Recently, I had the privilege of dining at Per Se in NYC for the first time. What an incredible experience. Much has been written about Thomas Keller and his exceptional restaurants (French Laundry in Napa, Per Se in NYC, Bouchon bakeries, etc.) and their impact on fine dining globally, both through the chefs who have worked for him and through his cookbooks – although I can barely spell sous vide, not to mention know how to operate a machine effectively.
About 12 years ago I consulted with a Vice President of Sales who worked for a large Fortune 50 financial services firm. He was having, like many VP’s of Sales, an issue with his pipeline yielding enough so he could hit his number. If you know anything about business-to-business (B2B) sales, you know that the sales pipeline is constantly scrutinized to ensure a seller has enough pipeline opportunities to hit quota or goal.
In general, most companies assume sellers will win one-quarter to one-third (a win ratio) of their pipeline value, all things being equal. Thus, in a lot of cases, the pipeline value needs to be 3 or 4 times the quota.
As you take sales cycle time into the equation – for example, it takes 90 days to close an average deal –the pipeline math can be a bit more complicated.
CSO Insights has been conducting research on sales for almost 15 years. In one of their surveys to over 1,000 sales leaders, they ask about the percentage of forecasted deals that actually close. On first blush, you would think this would be a fairly high number.
The decline of print media has been thoroughly documented, with Newsweek shuttering their print edition, leaving Time as the last one standing. I was reminded of this today when I picked up my print copy of the Wall Street Journal off the driveway on the way to the gym. Even though I subscribe to their online edition, I find the print edition convenient for exercise bikes and airplanes below 10k feet (can’t afford any Alec Baldwin moments).