Don’t Let Procrastination Kill Your Pipeline

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One of the hardest parts of sales is keeping the pipeline filled with qualified opportunities. Nurturing leads is something salespeople put off. Akin to delaying the home maintenance project you perceive as time-consuming or the medical check-up that makes you uneasy – procrastination is a creeper But avoiding necessary actions can make things harder over the long term.


We know the importance of sustaining the pipeline and nurturing leads so why do we drag our feet? I’ll explain some reasons why as well as tell you how to prevent procrastination from taking root.”


So, what’s hanging us up?

  • Time Constraints: Sales reps often face tight schedules and multiple priorities. Nurturing leads requires time and effort, which can lead to procrastination when other urgent tasks take precedence.
  • Lack of Resources: Limited resources, such as manpower or tools for automation, can make lead generation seem like a daunting task.
  • Focus on Immediate Wins: Low-hanging fruit. Some may prioritize pursuing new leads and immediate sales rather than investing time in nurturing existing leads, especially if they are focused on meeting short-term targets.
  • Unclear Strategy: Without a well-defined strategy, sales teams may struggle to prioritize and execute consistent actions, leading to procrastination.

Being mindful of your circumstances and some of the classic reasons why we procrastinate can help reduce its occurrence. Here are some other ways to bury the tendency and continuously fill (not kill) the pipeline.


  • Evaluate Current Customers: It is not uncommon for 60-70 % of new revenue to be generated from an existing customer base. These prospects are more likely to close in a timely, predictable fashion, and forecasting their revenue is typically more accurate.
  • Assess the Lead’s Value: Whether a lead is given to you or organically generated, the most qualified leads are those with a personal connection. We are interconnected like no other time in history – personally and professionally. A quick LinkedIn search can reveal if you know someone within the company you are targeting. A cold lead instantly turns warm with an introduction from a mutual acquaintance.
  • Weigh Progress with a Milestone: The velocity of water through a pipe depends on pressure. Likewise, it’s advantageous for salespeople to have some pressure – or triggers – to determine the pace of a deal from contact to close. This is especially true immediately following an initial customer conversation. Did the customer share any goals? If yes, spend more time pursuing that. A great forecasting tool is a Deal Map. This document identifies by date and responsibility a map of the deal. Buyer and seller agree to the terms and proposed timeline. When both parties are working off the same document, forecasting probability and close date are easy to determine.


Regularly evaluating and refining your approach will contribute to a more resilient and effective sales pipeline management strategy – leading to more confidence and less procrastination. As William Butler Yeats, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, said, “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.”