The Sales Pipeline Miracle

So, here’s a test for all the petrol-heads, and speed merchants out there. You’re in a car at the start of a bridge that’s two miles long. You’re in a race and you’ve been given a target time of two minutes to drive the length of the bridge. You’re thinking, “That’s not too hard, it’s just an average of 60mph, I can do that”, and you turn the key in the ignition and off you set. No plan needed, just go.

But there’s some traffic on the bridge, and you only average 30mph for the first mile. Now, you’ve a bit of a challenge. But you can still do it, right?

So, what speed do you need to do over the second half of the bridge to average 60mph over the trip?

The answer is coming up shortly … but before I tell you the answer (you probably got it right anyway), I’d like to draw a parallel with the task you have of hitting your sales target – consistently.

Unless you’ve enough opportunities in your pipeline, you’re always going to be under real pressure to get to your destination in time. And it’s not just about volume of deals – it’s equally about steady pipeline velocity.

In two previous posts I wrote about knowing when you’ve enough deals in the funnel, and understanding the true health of each of those deals, so that you know how far you need to go, how much gas you have in the tank, and how long it’s going to take you to get there.

But back to the race over the bridge: Remember, you had to average 60mph over the two mile stretch, and you only averaged 30mph for the first mile.

The most common answers to this puzzle are (1) 90mph and (2) 120mph. The correct answer of course is that, unless you can perform a miracle, it can’t be done. The 30mph average for the first mile has already taken up two minutes, and that’s all the time you had if you were to average 60mph over the two-mile span of the bridge.

And so it is with hitting your numbers without a full pipeline. It calls for a miracle, and that’s not something you should count on.

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