👨‍🎓 How to clean up deadwood

A messy, cluttered pipeline is a teriible motivation-killer... so let's clean it up.

The process is simple: eliminate with extreme prejudice.

Look at your pipeline.

1: Pick a lead.

Don't ask yourself "what needs to happen?", as when you're doing a pipeline review.

Instead, you want to ask yourself:

2: What is here, that makes this a clear no?

What is there about this deal, that means I should not spend time on advancing it?

In order to determine which deal should be a "no", below you'll see some sample criteria.

You'll need to decide for yourself, but in my world, the moment I see one of these, the deal is instantly disqualified.

The opportunity is closed in my CRM and marked as "not qualified" or "bad fit" etc, and my pipeline is smaller but cleaner.

Martin's disqualifiers:

  • Scope creep
  • Haggling
  • Mismatch in values
  • Sales cycle too long
  • Boring industry
  • Boring individual
  • Client is a taker, not a giver or matcher (Google: Adam Grant, Give & Take)

There's more of course, and you'll need to create your own list, but you get the idea.

3: Close the opportunity and remove the deal from your pipeline.

If need be, set a reminder to re-connect with your buyer later down the line, if this is a lead for whom the timing is wrong, but everything else lines up.

Most of the bad deals though, you can safely close them, and focus your attention on the people who do qualify, and that you do enjoy engaging with.

Keep repeating this with all your deals, in all stages of the pipeline, until you either have a small set of opportunities you'd love to work on, and then proceed to reviewing your leads.

Or, keep going until your pipeline is empty, in which case you can start filling it up by using the ⛏️ MYNO = Mine Your Network for Opportunities workflow.


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