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Qualified Leads are Difficult and Expensive to Generate

85% of them are LOST!

Protect your Investment by Converting them to SALES


Proactive Pipeline is a solution selling programme, that enables business growth by empowering salespeople to better qualify, and to convert more leads. Leads come at a great cost, whether you generate your own, or employ a third party, they represent a serious investment. Capitalising on this investment is key to the success of the sales function and their performance should be measured accordingly.

The sales role can be viewed as two opposing activities:
  • In the first instance, salespeople are eliminating Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) if they don't meet the Sales Opportunity qualification criteria. this exercise prevents salespeople from spending valuable time on unwinnable deals.
  • In the second instance, they are nurturing Sales Opportunities, to a successful Close.
The numbers involved might be surprising to some
  • In the corporate world where deal sizes are between €50K and €100K, the number of MQLs that are eliminated by salespeople is in the region of 95%, and that is a conservative estimate. However, at such a high elimination rate, the conversion of Sales Opportunities to a successful Close can be as high as 40%.
  • We estimate that most SMEs are eliminating about 85% of MQLs and their conversion rate of Sales Opportunities to a successful Close is more like 15%. (Incidentally, both examples deliver the same MQL to a successful Close rate of 2%)

The charts below portray the figures involved for a solution selling salesperson generating €400,000 per annum with an average sale value of €25,000. They will receive 800 Marketing Qualified Leads and eliminate 680 of these, leaving them with 120 Sales Opportunities with a total potential value of €3,000,000. In turn, they will successfully close 16 of these. The total potential value NOT converted remains at €2,600,000. A 15% improvement in sales performance would result in €60,000 of this €2.6M being added to the salesperson's revenues. If the company is operating a 35% margin, the net gain would be €21,000.

The common thread between these two examples, is that better qualification results in better conversion rates. The challenge is to know how far to go when eliminating leads, so that opportunities are not missed. Salespeople who do not follow a structured method of qualification, but instead use their own logic and 'gut feeling', are more inclined not to eliminate those that they should and consequently, spend time working on unwinnable deals. Time spent working on unwinnable deals is time NOT spent on winnable deals, resulting in a lower conversion rate.

Improved qualification is only one aspect of overall sales improvement, Sales Opportunities are still being lost for various reasons and this too needs to be addressed. In fact, of the five modules that make up the Proactive Pipeline Solution Selling Programme, only one is relative to Qualification, the other four: Engagement, Discovery, Closing, and Presentation are all related to converting Sales Opportunities.

If your conversion rate from Sales Opportunity to a successful Close is 15%, or put another way, you are losing 85 of every 100 Sales Opportunities, there is ample scope to improve your position. A combined improvement of better Qualification and more successful Sales Opportunity conversions could result in a realistic 20% increase in revenues.

We understand the challenges faced by SMEs when implementing personal development programmes:
  • Difficult for everyone to be available at once
  • The geographical spread of relatively small numbers
  • Individuals in the same role at different stages of professional development
  • Limited resources
  • Wide variety of duties across the sales team

Proactive Pipeline is easily understood and easy to implement, and it is widely accessible and flexible in terms of delivery. Clients can choose to implement the programme as a method of changing how they do business, or they can choose to have individuals partake in the programme, maybe to raise their skill levels to that of their more advanced colleagues. Whether you have one salesperson or a team of 50, our approach is the same.

Blended Learning Approach


E-Learning with Workbooks

E-Learning is delivered on a modular drip-feed basis over the period of the programme. Modules appeal to auditory and visual learners supported by text-based workbooks

On-The-Job E-Training with SOPAC

SOPAC (opportunity assessment) is an on-the-job sales training aid for solution selling. It helps to bridge the gap between learning and execution of the sales methodology

Virtual Coaching Sessions

A highly effective method of supporting E-Learning/E-Training. Regular sessions help salespeople implement the sales methodology and achieve their professional goals

DISC Behavioural Assessments

Understand your own behavioural style and that of others. Adapt your style so that you communicate more effectively with your prospects, customers and colleagues


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