Not every sales opportunity is going to be an ideal fit for your product, service or solution. To succeed in sales you need to know when to fish or cut bait. Top salespeople develop a keen sense of their situation and spend precious selling time on the deals with high probability closing odds. They grasp whether the sale has potential for a timely win/win and allocate resources accordingly. When valuating an existing or potential opportunity consider the following:
- What kind of pain does the customer have? Prospects must have business initiatives that result in challenges or gaps requiring a “fix” that you can jointly discover to increase your odds of winning the sale. These latent pains are always the most deserving ones to pursue – those which you can help a prospect identify and quantify. Most salespeople mistakenly prospect looking to find live deals . . . But often engagement for already “active” pains comes too late in the client’s procurement process for you to successfully win. You may end up spending a lot of cycles as column fodder in a bidding exercise for a solution created by a competitor.
- Are you in contact with the right people? If you can’t get direct access to decision makers, think again. Spending valuable time with a prospect only to be denied a seat at the decision making table is foolhardy. Be sure early on that you have or can negotiate access to the people who actually commit funding and have the ultimate authority to choose a vendor.
- Do you offer a differential advantage? If the client has commoditized the solution or your competitor clearly has an edge rethink strategy and further engagement. When vendor selection comes down strictly to price and the client sees no value in your offering it may be better to opt out early in the selling cycle – or spend as little resource and time as possible with the deal. Let your competitors play the price game and whittle their margins down to nothing in the process. Understand clearly your product’s sweet spot so you don’t waste selling time with those who don’t.
- Are you in control of the sales process? If the prospect is “getting” with no “give” it may be time for you to move on. Creating and engaging in opportunities where you clearly act versus react will greatly increase the odds of closing.
Your time is money and resources costly so be sure you put your energies into deals that can be positioned favorably and ultimately closed. Failing this, it’s may be best to exit and find another opportunity where you can play a central role in joint discovery of the client solution, create distinct value, connect with decision makers and manage the sales cycle. Happy Selling!
Enjoy this article? Be sure to "Subscribe" for updates on how to grow your sales and business . . .Share this article with friends and associates!