Getting AEs to do more consistent Pipeline Generation (PG) is one of the toughest parts of a sales manager’s job.
To understand WHY most FLMs are having such a tough time (and how to fix it)—here are a few insights, best practices, and a PG Checklist that should help. . .
Before we get to the checklist, it’s important you first have to understand a bit about behavioral science and motivation.
When it comes to motivation and getting people to do what we want them to do (like PG)—there are two types of behavior: controlled and autonomous.
Controlled behavior is predicated on the reward for compliance or the threat of punishment for defiance. This is the proverbial carrot and stick approach.
The first secret as to why most FLMs have such a tough time getting reps to do more PG is because, well…
People don’t like to be controlled!
Control is coercion and people don’t like feeling like they’re a pawn being controlled or manipulated by someone else—especially their boss.
It’s human nature. We want to have autonomy and freedom to choose our own actions.
We want to control our destiny and be in charge of our own decisions. From psychology principles like “agency” and “self-regulation theory” we have learned that…
When it comes to GETTING BUY-IN there is a world of difference between “having to ” and “choosing to”.
GOING FROM COMPLIANCE ➜ COMMITMENT
Change cannot be imposed. It must be chosen.
So instead of trying to drive behavioral change with a manipulative controlling approach (which never works)—try more of a “coach approach” which is more autonomous, empowering, and aligned.
In other words, frame it as a choice THEY get to make—but connect it to something that is important and meaningful to them, personally.
Invest the time to understand their hopes, their goals, their dreams, their career aspirations—their WHY—and then connect what you want them to do (more PG) with what they want to achieve (their WHY).
In short, make it about THEM.
✔ Are your reps clear on how to articulate the value proposition within the context of the 3 WHYs (WHY anything, WHY us, WHY now)?
✔ Do they understand which buyer personas they should be targeting and why?
✔ Do they understand the optimal positioning for each buyer persona?
✔ Are they’re clear on how to find the pain and identify/build champions?
✔ Do they know how to create a proper PG Plan and a Power Chart (not just an Org Chart)?
✔ Is their email outreach messaging on-point?
✔ Are they setting weekly PG goals and are you positively short-term weekly wins?
✔ Are they blocking out time exclusively for PG and having success booking New Business Meetings (NBMs)? (If not, why not?)
✔ Are you celebrating PG wins, cross-pollination best practices, and intentionally building a PG culture?