Do we chase every “opportunity”?
June 4, 2020
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- Do we chase every “opportunity”?
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As we hopefully exit this pandemic, some Sales Leaders are saying to pursue any opportunity, while others are complaining that they have too many opportunities in their pipeline – and many of those are both unqualified and time-wasters. What’s your perspective on these diverse views?
We are hearing from many companies that while they continue to be busy with opportunities that were initiated before the pandemic began, their leadership is also concerned with where business will come from during the 2nd half of 2020, as well as into 2021. Some are saying to chase anything!
Additionally, just last week, I was referred to a prospect who complained that they had too many opportunities in their pipeline, and of most concern, only a small percentage were qualified. As a result, their sales team, as well as supporting resources, were bogged down working with unqualified opportunities and had no time to proactively support current & future work that was in their wheelhouse.
We are in total agreement that now is not the time to be passive, but instead to be proactive with your business development efforts. However, it has to be done both smartly and with a purpose as the only real asset that companies have is the time & talents of their people. We have seen so many companies waste the time of both their sales and support resources due to being overwhelmed with opportunities that are really not opportunities at all.
Some best practices to consider include:
- Know your company’s sweet spot for your markets as well as your capabilities
- Based on new market requirements resulting from the pandemic, adapt if necessary, your sweet spot
- Communicate a common language & sales process across your company to help you: 1) qualify and disqualify those opportunities you either pursue and/or react to; and 2) to better allocate resources to the most qualified opportunities
- Proactively reposition your company, initially with existing relationships. Get introductions to other divisions/areas/decision makers that your company has not yet built relationships with
- When reacting to opportunities initiated by other companies, recognize when you are “column fodder” and then prepare for a re-engineering approach to win the business
- Provide metrics that validate your capabilities
In summary, keep from actually winning less business as you attempt to chase every “opportunity”. Instead, focus internally on better preparing, communicating, qualifying, as well as determining next steps for pursuing each opportunity (or disengaging), based on an agreed upon common language. Again, be smart with pursuing new business during this pandemic so that you will come out the other end not only surviving, but thriving.