#039: Hit Your Sales Target F.A.S.T.

Fix your leaky pipeline with the FAST framework

Read time: 5 minutes

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Have you ever faced a sales slump and struggled to pinpoint the cause? Have you struggled as a manager to figure out exactly where to focus your team’s efforts?

Of course, you have. You’re in sales! It happens to everyone.

The FAST Framework provides a clear, systematic approach to improving sales results.

Whether you’re managing a team or taking matters into your own hands, this framework helps you identify and fix the biggest gaps in your sales funnel.

Instead of broad, generic advice, it provides targeted, personalized strategies based on your unique data. This way, you can make meaningful improvements that lead to real results.

Ready to fix your leaky pipeline?

Here’s a closer look at how it works.

The FAST Framework

This is a 4 part framework that can be used across your sales team or as an individual rep.

  • Find the cracks: Diagnose the root cause of the problem

  • Assign a metric: One metric that will move the needle the most

  • Skills training: Improve the specific skill to improve that metric

  • Track performance: Monitor progress and hold people (yourself) accountable

The secret to making this work is applying it to each individual rep. If you use average data across the whole team, you’ll get average results.

Here’s how it works.

Find the cracks

If your doctor prescribed medication without asking you any questions, would you trust them?

Probably not.

A good doctor will ask a number of questions and run tests to determine the root cause of your symptoms. Only then will they prescribe a solution.

You need to treat your pipeline the same way. Before assuming what actions you need to take, you first need to diagnose where the cracks are.

Start closest to revenue and work backward. Use the following questions to determine where in your pipeline you need to focus.

  1. Have you already hit your target?

  2. Do you have enough late-stage pipeline to hit your target?

  3. Are enough deals progressing to late stage?

  4. Are you creating enough qualified opportunities?

  5. Are you having enough first meetings?

  6. Are you doing enough prospecting activities?

Once you know where in your pipeline to focus, you then to understand why the issues are occurring.

  • Am I discounting too much and giving up margin?

  • Are prospects going dark in late-stage deals?

  • Are deals getting held up in procurement?

  • Am I losing to competitors?

  • Do deals keep getting pushed out each quarter?

  • Are prospects going dark after our first meeting?

  • Are prospects showing up to the first meeting?

  • Are my prospecting response rates high enough?

  • Do I know how many activities I need to complete every day based on my own conversion rates? (Hit your quota formula)

Keep asking yourself why until you get to the real root cause of the issue.

Your goal is to come up with the NUMBER ONE reason (closest to revenue) that you are not on track to hit your target.

Most people mess this up by:

  • Trying to solve too many things at once

  • Not using their own individual data

  • Using averages across the team

  • Not being honest with themselves about their skill gaps

  • Not asking why enough and getting to the real root cause

This process can be done in 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort.

Sit down with each rep (or by yourself) and go through each of these questions until you have the NUMBER ONE biggest crack in your pipeline.

Assign a Metric

Without a metric, you won’t know how you’re progressing.

Your goal is to pick ONE METRIC that if improved, would fix that crack in the pipeline.

By focusing on one metric, it’s very clear what you're going to measure and how you are progressing. Too many metrics will spread your focus and it will be unclear if your actions are having the desired effect.

Here are some examples of metrics (closest to revenue first)

  • Discount percentage

  • Number of line items per order

  • Quote to order conversion rate

  • Quotes sent

  • Number of engaged stakeholders

  • 2nd meetings completed

  • First meetings conversion rate

  • Contacts prospected to first meeting conversion rate

  • Number of contacts prospected

Conversion metrics are great when you’re trying to improve the quality of that metric. Ex: You're doing a lot of prospecting with minimal results.

Quantity metrics are great when you’re trying to increase activity levels of that metric. Ex: You’re not prospecting enough and need to prioritize it.

Once you’ve identified the metric, write down your current state and give yourself a goal.

You’ll then monitor that metric each week to see if the actions you are taking are moving you closer to the goal.

Skills Training

Now that we know where the gap is, why it’s happening, and how we will measure success, you can prescribe the solution.

The goal here is to focus on improving ONE SKILL. (you’re probably seeing a trend here)

When trying to improve any skill, you need to know what good looks like and you need consistent feedback.

There should be a constant cycle of learning, using, and improving.

  • Learn the skill

  • Use the skill

  • Improve based on results

Here are a few examples of skills you might want to improve (specificity is key)

  • Use negotiation levers other than price

  • Involve procurement and legal earlier in the process

  • Engage multiple stakeholders

  • Prove ROI through business cases

  • Upsell techniques to increase order side

  • Create urgency by quantifying business impact

  • Align your solution to high priority problems

  • Always get next steps with agreed-upon objectives

  • Improve follow-up emails and nurture existing deals

  • Improve multi-step sequences in prospecting efforts

  • Write problem-focused emails to get more replies

  • Leverage multiple channels like LinkedIn to engage prospects

  • Create better-targeted lists of prospects

  • Use deeper personalization when reaching out to prospects

These are just some examples of the types of skills you want to focus on. You’ll notics how each is very specific. We don’t say “negotiation” or “prospecting” are the skills we want to improve. Each of those skills is made up of many sub-skills.

Trying to improve too many skills at once is a recipe for improving nothing.

The trick is to pick the one skill that will improve the one metric. Once you master that skill, move on to the next skill.

Over time you’ll start stacking all of these skills together to turn you into a well-rounded sales rep.

You’d completely change your life in a year if you focused on improving each of the skills above one by one. That’s the power of skill stacking.

P.S. If you want to build these personal training plans for each rep on your team, this is exactly what we do at Succession. Individual skill assessments inform skill development plans to uplevel each rep based on their unique skills and experience levels.

Track Performance

Now we have a plan for how we’re going to fix our sales funnel (and it probably took less than 20 minutes!).

Create a set of actions you will take to improve your skills and implement what you’re learning.

If you’re a manager/sales leader, build a skill development plan for each rep and use it in your 1:1s to track progress.

Each week review what you learned, what you tried to implement, and how you're progressing toward your metric goal.

Hold yourself and your team accountable for actions you’ve agreed to complete.


This framework will help you hit your targets FAST.

  • Find the Crack

  • Assign a Metric

  • Skills Training

  • Track Performance

Find ONE CRACK, assign ONE METRIC, and choose ONE SKLL.

Use this framework for each individual rep on your team. Don’t fall into the trap of using team averages and giving everyone the same metric and skill.

The secret to making this work is the systematic skill improvement that will occur across the entire team because it’s personalized to them. You’ll improve the most impactful metric and skill to uplevel each rep with the greatest impact.

Want help rolling this out to your entire sales team? Schedule a call with us

Episode 31: [Leadership] Founder-led sales, delegating, and prioritizing sales activities with David Nathan

  • Using pricing psychology

  • Founder led selling and how hard it can be

  • Delegate your low impact activities

  • Detach from the outcomes

Special Offer: If you’ve made it this far, you can use the coupon code NEWSLETTER to get 20% off an individual Succession membership.

Recommended Products & Tools: We’ve used every one of these products and can highly recommend them to you. Everything from CRMs to AI tools.

20-Day Prospecting Challenge: This is a daily prospecting challenge to help find more opportunities and exceed your quota. One email. One action. Every day for 20 days. Ready to take the challenge?

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