Over the last month in speaking with several Sales Directors a similar issue keeps coming up.
“We have plenty of inquiries coming in, our salespeople are trying to keep up with all the quotations, but despite the level of opportunities we are not winning at the rate we want!”
Looking at this in more detail it’s easy to see how you can lose focus on the quality of your qualifying questions.
Without taking the time to understand your prospects situation and concerns you end up quickly reacting and going into ‘solution mode’.
A couple of key elements I see often getting missed are a) understanding how they will make their buying decision, the steps and who is involved.
And the key milestones or steps in the process that are important to the buyer to complete their project successfully.
If you miss these vital pieces of information, you will be in the dark when it comes to knowing what is happening with the opportunity.
The more sales opportunities you put into your pipeline the easier it is to see the time you previously spent on opportunity tracking being lost.
Unfortunately, this is a key issue because if you and your sales team do not have a clear focus on qualifying opportunities you can quickly find yourself on a ‘Hamster Wheel’ churning out quotes for people while previously qualified projects in your pipeline get neglected.
Without proper follow up and follow through the quality of information on these opportunities start dropping significantly and more importantly so does your conversion rate.
Another issue to exacerbate the problem is that once you neglect your opportunity tracking you allow your competitors to get in on the sales opportunity, often causing you to play catch-up to get back in pole position.
So, what can you do? Two things.
- Focus your efforts on creating sales opportunities that are a good fit for your products and get involved in projects earlier rather than later.
Better selection and closer tracking results in higher conversion rates with less work!
- Self-discipline. Everyone in the sales team needs to be crystal clear what type of opportunities are best for your company and product and how to qualify these opportunities early on and consistently engage throughout the sales process.
Qualify before quoting… so you can prioritize where you should spend your time and let your top 10 ‘must win’ opportunities be the focus of your efforts; these are the ones that really count and if you’ve done the hard work up front to create them you don’t want to lose focus on winning them.
Dedicated to Your Sales Success!