Often Sales Opportunity Management gets lumped in with pipeline and funnel management. It’s an easy enough mistake to make but at the heart of things Sales Opportunity Management when implemented correctly is much more powerful than those other tools alone. So get ready to look at your business and it’s potential in a whole new light with the 10 Best Practices for Sales Opportunity Management in 2020.
- Find Your Game Changer Sales
- Accelerate the Sales You Should Win
- Compete Harder in the Opportunities You Aren’t a “Sure Thing” in
- Exit Sales Opportunities that are Time Wasters
- The Importance of Mapping the Different Roles within the Customer
- Understanding Your Customer’s Buying Criteria
- Customer Expectation
- Must Have, Nice to Have, Need to Have – The Importance of your offer to the Customer’s Business
- Your Competitive Position
- Executing A Game Plan
What Is Sales Opportunity Management?
It’s not about looking at your sales funnel or pipeline as a whole. In fact it’s about getting laser focused on the customer and prospect opportunities that are most important to you, your boss and your company. Perhaps you have heard the phrase “going a mile wide and an inch deep”, think of that as your overall pipeline. It is a big wide picture of what might be possible. And yes, your pipeline should be much larger than what you need to close. Ranges vary by company from 3x to 10x so you need to know that, look at the overall funnel and know if you are in line.
Sales Opportunity management is just the opposite, it’s about going an inch wide and a mile deep into the right opportunities. It’s about looking inside your CRM system, which is a repository for all the sales you will make and the ones you hope to make, then getting laser focused on your must win deals.
Finding Your Game Changer Deal
- Pick a “Must Win” Opportunity – Whether for you, Your Boss or Your company
- Does it add revenue or margin in a significant way for you?
- If not, does winning it open the door to strategic opportunities?
- Is it a Beach Head Opportunity?
- Is it a repeatable income stream you can bank on?
Your game changer deal when it comes to sales opportunity management should meet one or more of the criteria above. It has to be substantial and or strategic to your business. Every sale is nice but this is about winning the most important opportunities. Marquee wins not only put money in your pocket but can establish you as a bankable resource and set up a career of bigger and bigger opportunities.
Accelerating The Deals You Should Win
- Getting to the Right People Sooner
- Meeting or Exceeding Customer Expectations Faster
- Know the Customer’s Buying Process
- Positioning Your Competitive Differentiation Earlier in the Sales Cycle
- Confidence in Asking for the Order
Compete Harder in the Opportunities You Aren’t a “Sure Thing” in
- Be Open to Walking Away from a Bad Deal
- Ask Harder Questions Earlier in the Sales Process
- Find The Individuals that Are Not Supporters
- Know Where You Really Stand Against the Competition
- Position Your Solution as You Make Them Money, Save Them Money, or Reduce Their Risk
Exit Sales Opportunities that are Time Wasters
- Get Over the Idea that You Win 100% of the Deals You Compete In (If you did they wouldn’t be paying you a commission)
- Listen to the Real Answers to your Hard Questions
- Do you Solve an Actual Business Need/Problem
- Understand the Political Landscape for the Opportunity
- Never be “Just their 3rd Bid”
Roles With In the Customer
- Recognize They Change Opportunity by Opportunity
- Figure Out for Like Type Purchases What Part People Played in the Buying Process
- Absolutely Need to Develop a Coach/Champion
- Understand the Approver’s Priorities
- Even if it’s “Going to Committee” someone is going to drive it the right way or the wrong way
Understanding the Customer’s Buying Criteria
- You’ll Never Know Unless You Ask
- Every Individual Has Their Own Buying Criteria
- Not Every Buying Criteria is Weighted the Same
- What They Say and What They Mean is Something Different
- Recognize that the Individual’s and the Company’s Buying Criteria Change Throughout a Sale’s Cycle
- You’ll Never Know Unless You Ask….
- Ask again to gain insight and understanding
- The Role of Price vs. Cost
- Figure Out how to Get to the meaning of what they say (Cost, Performance, etc)
- You and or Your Competitors can Set Expectations
Must Have, Nice to Have, Need to Have – The Importance of your offer to the Customer’s Business
- Have the people inside your customer classified what you are selling as something essential to their business?
- Do You Reduce Their Risk?
- Can You Quantify the benefit of your offer or solution?
- Is there an impending event or can they delay the decision? Do they “need to do it”
- Is it budgeted and will it stay a budget priority?
Your Competitive Position
- Know Who You Are Competing Against
- What is the Value of Your Solution
- Like for Like vs. Apples and Oranges
- When the Customer Doing Nothing is a Formidable Opponent
- Don’t Over Value Your Competitive Advantage if the Customer Doesn’t See it
Executing A Game Plan
- Prioritize the people and the issues you need to address
- Have you thought of the outcome and worked your timeline backwards?
- Can you answer the question “what is the worst possible thing that can happen?”
- Do You have somebody inside your customer fighting for your success?
- How have you positioned yourself against your competitors and thought about their next move?
Sales Opportunity Management and You
We help thousands of sale’s people Win More Business and Make More Sales every year using our proven Sales Opportunity Management approach. If you are ready to be one of them, here’s five ways we can help you.
9 Week Premier Sales Coaching Program – Comes with a 1 Year Subscription to the RedZone Sales Opportunity Management Tool, 9 Weeks of Group Sales Training to help you get the most out of every deal and the 9 Months of Bi Monthly Group Sales Performance Coaching. The Program is available as a Single Payment and as an Installment Payment option.
1:1 Sales Performance Coaching –
The Weekly Sales Leader Newsletter –
The Bowties and Business Podcast – Every week we bring you interesting guests ranging from Small Business Owners to Inspirational Leaders. All of whm have built and run businesses by successfully selling their products and services. Listen and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.