Applying Pipeline Management Practices for Revenue Growth. Verizon SA
Verizon South Africa is a part of the global Verizon network, providing wireless telecommunications services. Verizon has global reach, with offices in 75 countries on six continents, serving nearly every country in the world with its Internet Service Provider network.
The Verizon South Africa team faced challenges in predicting revenue streams due to an unreliable pipeline and inconsistent sales conversion rates. Sales representatives and managers were unable to provide reliable forecasts for the business, which caused related hurdles in business development and planning. This was a critical issue as Verizon needed to maintain their growth rate in a very competitive industry. Their challenges largely stemmed from a lack of consistent sales process, qualification criteria and framework, although within a mature sales team.
Approach & solution
Priority Solutions’ sales management consulting expert was brought in to help the Verizon South Africa sales team to overcome their problems. After determining the nature of the firm’s challenges, they planned and enacted many changes to help the business move forward. Over two years, these initiatives included:
- Development of a comprehensive Sales Operating Plan, including a sales and pipeline building process as well as an implementation plan
- Creation of role profiles, KPA’s and remuneration structures for sales and sales support team
- Development and delivery of sales school for each sales discipline (Telesales, New business development, Account Management, Key Account Management, Channel Management and Sales Management).
- Sales Coaching and performance management
- Implementation of Pipeline Management Process and policy
- Ongoing sales coaching
As the sales team increased their pipeline management activity and applied what they had learned through sales coaching, they were able to establish a more sustainable, predictable sales pipeline. This included:
- Higher conversion ratio of forecast deals, from 37% to a consistent 82% conversion ratio of forecasted business for the Corporate Account and New Business Team.
- Improved opportunities to secure meetings with wholesale customers, increasing from 10% to 60%, due to an improved cold calling methodology and business-focused prospecting.
- Sales skills development of critical sales personnel leading to better business results long-term and a fostering of a new success-oriented company culture.
- Reduction of management time and resource allocation through the refinement of the sales team. Those non-performing staff that did not adopt the process either left the company or were managed out within a 6-week period of commencing the implementation of the new sales operating process, whereas those that adopted the process yielded significantly improved results, meeting their target and activity objectives.
- Increased the Total Available Market yield by 12 percent for key accounts within the Channel Sales division. This profitable innovation in channel management was later introduced more widely throughout Verizon.