Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. —Jim Rohn
Some B2B organizations believe that significant and durable improvements in sales performance come from changing out the head of sales, introducing a new technology tool or process, or deploying additional training. The changes mentioned above can impact performance, but I’m skeptical that the effects of change are always significant and durable.
Sales leaders and salespeople have a core set of “motions” they must execute consistently to outpace the competition and achieve annual sales targets. These core motions vary by organization but rarely from year to year.
One core B2B sales motion is Opportunity Qualification.
You’ve probably heard someone in the sales team say, “We need to improve our Opportunity Qualification to improve our win rate.” However, the win rate remains sub-par, so the sales team needs to add more opportunities to the sales pipeline to achieve higher sales targets.
In the meantime, sales support resources (e.g., engineers, proposal management, solution architects) become overworked, making them spend less time on each opportunity they support, negatively impacting the win rate. Sound familiar?
Opportunity Qualification is not an exact science, but if you can dissect the attributes of ideal opportunities you have won in the past few years, your organization can develop and deploy an Opportunity Scorecard.
With an Opportunity Scorecard, Opportunity Qualification improvements can be measured, thus increasing the win rate and taking the pressure off sales support resources.
Improvements in win rates rarely begin to happen sooner than the length of your average sales cycle. However, by capturing an Opportunity Scorecard on your top deals, you’ll quickly be able to diagnose where incremental (1%) improvements in Opportunity Qualification can begin to affect your win rate.
Next week, we’ll review the details of the Opportunity Scorecard.