Prioritizing is the number one determinant of sales success. So, what does this mean? It means that how you spend your time as a sales rep means everything. Don’t waste time on opportunities that won’t move forward. Know the difference.
So how? That’s the big question. What makes up a good opportunity versus a waste of time? Or how can you tell whether a deal is going to take an incredibly long time to close and cost an inordinate amount of effort? There are definite signals buying teams give off, and some good clues to determine whether pursuit is worth your time. Let’s take look at how to analyze an opportunity and tell whether it’s good or not.
First, look at your primary point of contact. Are they smart? Do they really understand the problem they are trying to solve? Are they passionate about solving it? Are they a true champion? Meaning, do they think what you have to offer will meet the needs of the buying organization? Are they capable of convincing others?
Point 1: Score your champion—they have a lot to do with whether a deal will close.
Has your champion expanded the buying team? This is big. This is on you, partly, but it’s also about how influential your champion is and how capable they are in gaining interest for the cause within the buying team. Are others showing up and showing interest. If it’s early in the engagement… okay. But after a while it’s a red flag.
Point 2: Rate the level of consensus. Are others getting involved and showing interest? Or does it look more like resistance?
Buying teams can be secretive, exposing only the information they need to get the information they need from you. But usually not if they plan on going with your solution. Are they openly sharing with you about their issues, and willing to discuss options? Or are they just gathering information from you for comparison purposes? If you’re feeling like a column in a spreadsheet, it’s probably because they need you for comparison data to support a decision to go with another vendor.
Point 3: Evaluate their openness: If they are not forthcoming with information, it’s likely a waste of time.
Some deals just look attractive, and some just don’t. When the buying organization really needs what you’re selling, and you know it will make a big
Point 4: Measure the fit: Can you solve the challenges of the buying team—bringing positive change to their business?
So, those are some of the metrics I use to coach opportunities. It helps reps decide whether to invest further, spending high quality time planning, preparing and engaging the buying teams. Or, whether to stop the investment and reinvest elsewhere.
To be really successful in B2B sales, you’ve got to be a ruthless "prioritizer." The targeted planning, information gathering, customized messaging and personalization required to win a B2B deal dictate lots of focus. Any time spent on deals that aren’t going anywhere, or take incredible effort to close just stand in the way of your success. Cutting down your pipeline and focusing on the ones that matter will increase your productivity. Give it a try—you could have your best year ever.