Are your opportunities winnable before month-end?
June 16, 2020
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- Are your opportunities winnable before month-end?
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- Do we chase every “opportunity”?
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For many of us, in about two weeks, quarter end will again be upon us. You may be asking yourself, which opportunities in my pipeline are winnable and how many can be closed before the end of the month?
Below are 6 variables that will help you determine the health of the opportunities that you hope to close before month-end. If you, and more importantly, your prospects, can’t answer the questions around ALL of the following variables, there is a very good chance that the winner of these opportunities, at least for this month is a competitor called No Decision Inc. (NDI).
Sale = Pain x Power x Vision x Value x Collaboration x CRTA (Compelling Reason to Act)
– Pain – We have a basic principle: “No Pain – No Change.” Do you and the prospect understand the prospect’s pain, problem or missed opportunity? Is it an actionable pain? Have you quantified the pain? Have you and the prospect identified other people in the organization who are impacted by the pain? If pain has not been identified and quantified, there is not a good reason for the prospect to make the decision to buy – particularly in the next 2 weeks.
– Power – Does your contact have “Power?” Can this person make the decision? Can this person influence the decision you want? If not, have you identified who power is and then bargained for access to power? It is not uncommon to enter a prospect’s organization at a level that is not power. But, if you are not progressing towards getting access to power, you are wasting your time. If you are not yet at power with an opportunity, it’s highly unlikely that you are going to win the business before month-end.
– Vision – Does the prospect, particularly power, understand within their company, who is going to use your capabilities and more importantly, how they are they going to use your capabilities? In other words, do they get it? Can they visualize how this will help them solve their pain? Another related critical question is: Did we create the vision or did a competitor, consultant and/or an internal option create a possible vision before you even got there? Bottom line, are your capabilities differentiated and does the prospect buy-in? If not, it will be important to work towards re-engineering their vision to align more with your differentiated capabilities.
– Value – While vision is the prospect understanding how they are going to use your services, value is how much they are going to make or save from using your capabilities – and if possible, that value has to be quantifiable, measurable as well as owned by the power person. This means that the value must both solve the pain of the power person as well as be communicated via the metric that drives that person. I am reminded of a long-time basic principle that we have had: People make emotional decisions for logical reasons (value). Does an opportunity that you hope to close before month-end have a value figure that is owned by power?
– Collaboration – Often when working with clients, I hear the terms, Win Plan or Close Plan. While extremely important, they are often internally focused and thus, leave input or ownership from the prospect out of the equation. Some questions related to collaboration that could help determine if an opportunity is closable before month-end include:
- Have we asked the prospect, particularly power, how they would like to evaluate us?
- Have they bought into collaborating with us? Do they have skin in the game and/or own the steps to get comfortable with us?
- Are we leading them, not pushing them, in a direction that will help them solve their problem?
- Finally, because the “risk” of buying is exponentially increased during these turbulent times, are we helping them to minimize their risk, i.e. related to implementation and/or which vendor to purchase from?
– CRTA – An acronym for Compelling Reason to Act, this may be the most important variable to answer in today’s turbulent times, so that you can win some opportunities before month-end. Specifically, is there an issue or an edict coming from the prospect’s CEO, board, regulators or analysts that states, if you don’t do this by this date, you will get fired, fined, lose market share and/or have a major decline in stock price? Do you know their CRTA or can you help them recognize their CRTA? Can you link your capabilities directly to that CRTA and thus, create a sense of urgency that will motivate them to make a decision before month-end?
As you look at those opportunities that you hope to win before month-end, do you have an answer for each of these 6 variables? More importantly, do your “prospects” agree with or own each of these variables? If you have zeroes or question marks for any of those 6 variables, there is an excellent chance that NDI will be the winner this month. Not for the sake of this equation, but to help you win, over the next week or so, work to get answers to any outstanding questions – so that you can win your key opportunities before month end.
QUESTION: What variable of our Pain x Power x Vision x Value x Collaboration x CRTA equation is of biggest concern to you as you strive to close key opportunities before month-end?
Our next article, assuming that you got verbal acceptances on your opportunities, will focus on some basic principles for how best to negotiate – particularly given that your prospects know that it is your month-end or quarter-end. They will use that knowledge to their full advantage to squeeze you big time. Stay tuned for how best to deliver on a key principle that we have: Never give without getting something back in return…first!