Sales pipeline review traps (and a free template)

The temptation to use the sales pipeline review meeting as an opportunity to ask your reps about every deal in their pipeline is tough to resist, especially for new sales managers. But everyone on the team will be more engaged if you can use the sessions to help them plan for success.

Before you even get into the details of what to cover though, check if you’ve been misled by any of these common issues…

Team pipeline reviews

They sound logical in that you think it’s good for the team to learn from each other and you save time from not scheduling lots of individual sessions, but in reality people often zone out until the spotlight is on them. Plus, it can be tougher to create a space where someone feels comfortable talking openly about challenges when there are more people involved. Yes, there are loads of times that you can take advantage of peer learning – but this isn’t one of them.

Combining pipeline reviews and one to ones

If your team isn’t bringing issues to talk about in their 1-1s, doing pipeline reviews at the same time seems to make sense because there’s always a deal to discuss. Because it’s so easy to talk about pipeline for the whole time though, it’s easy to neglect the important things you should be covering in a 1-1. Keeping them separate creates a natural barrier to prevent that.

No prep required

When the focus of the meeting is on the rep’s pipeline and their deals, it might not seem like they need to prepare other than working their deals and having their admin up to date. But think how much more you can both get from the session if you make sure they always come with an understanding of where they are in relation to their goal, and a provisional plan of how they’ll get there. (Hint: this is what our deal triage is perfect for!)

Stepping back from high performers

Your team superstars deliver without any nudging or cajoling and they don’t seem to need your help, so it can feel almost like an intrusion to insist on a pipeline review when they could be out there selling. That might be the case if you treat them as troubleshooting sessions. Your A-players can still benefit from your guidance though, if you can look for ways to pull in close dates and find extra deals to help them go even further past their target, they will love you for helping them to exceed.

Pipeline review template

If you’ve successfully avoided any of those traps and want more ideas about the structure and content of a pipeline review meeting, you can find our template on the resources page.

Got questions about pipeline reviews? Why not connect with our CEO and sales expert Emmet on LinkedIn and ask directly…