The sales pipeline or funnel is a familiar concept in most organizations. It provides a framework for measuring and tracking sales opportunities through a series of gated stages, in a progression from leads to closed customers. Sales organizations use pipeline tracking to forecast future revenue streams, monitor salesperson activity, and gauge overall sales force productivity.
As a management construct, the sales pipeline has been oversold to sales forces. This is especially true in business-to-business sales, where buyer behavior isn't often linear or sequential, and where most firms' pipeline-based forecasts are persistently inaccurate.
In this session, we consider three alternative views to the conventional sales pipeline framework. Each offers insights into how and why to overcome traditional pipelines' limitations, and new strategies for driving productivity in a post-pipeline B2B context.