September 5

Exactly What To Do When Your Sales Pipeline Dries Up – 4 Precise Steps

This week I had a prospect reach out looking for help with an age-old problem we have all experienced in sales – what exactly do you do when your sales pipeline dries up? It usually looks something like this: you come off two or three great months, you have a record sales quarter and then suddenly you turn around and your sales pipeline is pretty much empty.

It’s understandable, you have been so busy engaging with interested prospects, delivering proposals, writing contracts and getting the decision makers to, well, make a decision, that finding new opportunities had to take a back seat.

Or maybe you have continued to make prospecting calls, even with everything else you have had to do, but somehow nothing is moving from contact to conversation stage. Or maybe you are having conversations but not with the right decision makers or the ones you are talking to just don’t seem ready to make a move.

There are so many variables, so many reasons, that are outside of your control, that your prospects are not ready to become your customers. But even when the reasons are valid, that is little comfort when you are looking at a tough quarter, an empty pipeline, and a stark commission check. 

Why Your Sales Pipeline Dries Up

While there are several reasons, outside of your control, that your sales pipeline dries up, the good news is there are several reasons that you can control. And the more you focus on what you can control, the far less likely you will ever face a dry sales pipeline again.

Let’s take a look.

You’ve Been Successful

The biggest reason sales pipelines dry up is the one I mentioned above. You’ve been successful, closing big deals and surpassing your monthly goal, you’re busy and enjoying your success – a little too focused on the present to worry about the future.

You Took Your Foot Off The Gas

You forgot the importance of prospecting no matter what – no matter how full your pipeline is – how much business you’re closing – and how much you are past your sales goal. You treat prospecting like a task, something you do when you need to – rather than a lifestyle – something you do every single day for sales health and vitality.

You Missed The Signs

The signs that are so subtle it is understandable you missed. Somewhere in the midst of you making calls, having conversations and trying to get to decision makers, the marketplace shifted. Your prospects’ challenges, their budgets, their needs, and their priorities changed, and that change has pushed what you are selling a little further down their urgent need list.

More often than not, when your pipeline starts to dry up it is because the marketplace and industry you are calling on is experiencing subtle shifts and changes. If you miss those shifts, then you miss the signs that your sales process needs an update. You are no longer as relevant as you were three months ago, and if you are not relevant then you will not close the sale. 

You Waited Too Late

And last but not least, you missed the opportunity to review the health of your pipeline on a monthly basis to see the signs and shifts of it starting to slow down, and by the time you picked up on it, your pipeline was practically empty.

It is far easier to refill a pipeline before it dries up, then to wait until the well is empty to go looking for prospects you need to buy quickly. 

So how do you fill a dry sales pipeline?

The Four R’s To Fix A Dry Sales Pipeline


First take a breath. This is normal. Happens all the time in sales. Stressing out, increasing anxiety or allowing yourself to get overwhelmed with fear will only make things worse. This will not be your last dry sales pipeline, so learn to get comfortable with the discomfort.


Start with a look back at the last few months and take the time to learn as much as you can about the following: What have you been doing that is working? What is getting you through the door to decision makers? What questions are engaging and getting your prospects to take an interest? When you win business, why do you win it?

Now the opposite – what isn’t working? What is wasting your time? What is causing you to lose business? And lastly, how is the marketplace shifting, what are prospects talking about that you are not addressing? What are some new ideas or strategies you should try? Your best sales coach is you, so take the time to review what is working in your process, what is not, and what, if anything, you need to change. 


Then make some adjustments to your current sales process. Listen, if your sales pipeline is dry, the only way to fix it is to double down on what is working, stop doing what is not, and try some new things to shake it up a bit.

One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make is their deal flow slows and they continue to use the same sales process to fix a new problem. 


Then repeat this entire process no less than every quarter. We are living in a time when there is more change outside of your business than in, so it is only natural that your sales strategy will easily and consistently need an upgrade.

Make this four step process a regular part of your quarterly routine, and you will not only experience a far more consistent healthy pipeline, but you will increase value to your prospects and customers.

A slowing or dry sales pipeline is a part of life for the average salesperson, and there is not much you can do to change the forces outside of your control that cause them. But when you understand the shifting marketplace, how prospects' worlds are constantly being disrupted, you can focus on the strategies you can control. 

Doing that will not only help you avoid a dry sales pipeline, but it will help you turn uncertainty to your competitive advantage.

Meridith Elliott Powell

Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

Related Posts

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to Receive Meridith's Updates & Insights!