Sales opportunity qualification is the key to improving results. A lot of companies struggle with identifying and prioritizing the best sales opportunities amongst the prospects and deals they're working on. Best in class companies do a great job at sales opportunity management by spending regular time systematically analyzing their pipeline, analyzing each customer opportunity, and prioritizing the allocation of resources to make sure that the focus are on the most valuable and profitable sales opportunities of the portfolio and converting these into contracts.
Every sales person wants more clients to work with. But finding new clients is hard work. So the temptation is to keep working with one, even when chances of success are low. Time and efforts invested in a sales opportunity over time creates an enertia for the sales person to keep going, regardless of red flags.
A quick way to get organized is to have a top ten opportunity list for each of your sales persons, to bring that list to every sales meeting, and to get a regular update on what's being done to advance each of the sales on those top ten accounts. Many companies fail to do this, but it's a very easy tactic that can be used in order to bring greater visibility to the key accounts that are going to drive your business, and make sure that your sales persons are focusing their top attention on them.
A simple spreadsheet which is updated once a week by your sales persons and discussed at the sales meeting is one way for the sales manager to do a top ten account review. However, this might be quite time consuming and a prioritization using spreadsheets is often based on total contract value and the sales persons' gut feelings. Thus, it does not systematically combine the sales persons' knowledge about the customer's behavior, strategic fit with the business, the business opportunity at hand with the ability to win, which is exactly what the prioritization of the Freedom2Act Sales Opportunity Management sales tool does.
Have your reps focus on those ten accounts every week and make sure that each week you're holding them accountable for showing some advancement on each of those accounts, and also planning what the next steps are to continue to advance the sales at those companies. By maintaining a top ten list for each of your sales persons, you'll show them that it's important for you to get visibility on the accounts that they're working on that are going to drive revenue and help them to achieve their sales quotas.
It will also get them into the mindset that they need to be focusing their time and energy on the best sales opportunities, as opposed to just turning out the sales activity. Lots of sales persons get overwhelmed by the volume of activity that they need to generate in order to do their jobs effectively. They get lost in activity and start to equate activity with productivity. Being productive in sales means being able to quickly qualify your valuable sales opportunities and focus your time and attention on moving those sales opportunities forward.
By putting in place a sales opportunity management system like the one suggested above supported by a sales portfolio management system will enable any sales manager to quickly make sure that the sales persons are giving primary focus to what's going to produce the sales that the company needs in order to accelerate its revenue growth.
Freedom2Act helps companies accelerate their sales, by providing an easy-to-use web-based Sales Portfolio Management tool, which enables the sales persons to quickly keep their portfolio of opportunities up-to-date and provides them with easy to understand graphics clearly showing where to focus and where to defocus based upon a systematic multi-dimensional analysis of the sales persons knowledge of their portfolio. Growth potentials at existing clients are clearly indicated, whether more of the same or from cross-sales of other products.
The sales manager can more effectively manage the sales pipeline and the sales force from powerful reports and intuitive graphical overviews.
Chart mapping a portfolio of sales opportunities.
The size of each circle equals contract value, the color which sales person, and the position in the chart is based upon a multi-dimensional assessment of attractiveness and ability to win