Are all sales opportunities good business for you? - Jonathan Viney of JV Consultancy Group
In a time when you may feel that you need turnover, I would suggest that you review potential sales that do not fit the normal profile of what you do. If this happens, what do you do?
There is always a temptation to take on all new business and therefore It may seem strange to suggest that you should review these opportunities to see if they are worth pursuing. The reason for this, is simply that the lost time and cost in pursuing deals that you can't win or aren't profitable can be very costly to your business. It would be better to take a little time to ensure you are spending time and money on the right deals for your business.
One of the reasons, these scenarios often happen is because the Salespeople are only commissioned on turnover and therefore they will want to convince the business to win the deal but is it right for you?
You should ideally consider, does the business opportunity have more costs in time and changes needed to win it? And therefore may not be as profitable and in some cases, I've seen it where the deal doesn't make any money and has a very negative impact on the business.
It a short time frame, a small group from across the business can carry out what I would call an Opportunity Assessment. There are a couple of simple questions that will help guide your decision to pursue the deal or politely turn that opportunity down and work on ones that you do want to win.
The three key important facts to consider are listed below, depending on the size of the deal and the complexity this could be done in a matter of a few minutes, that could save you thousands of pounds:
1. Is it a deal?
2. Can we win it?
3. Do we want it?
Below are some pointers on the types of questions that should help you in getting the correct answers to these three questions. The idea is to take your opportunity and sense check it against these in an objective manner and try to take out some of the emotion over the pure revenue.
A good tip here is to be hard and fast about your answers so try and stick to a cold yes or no. As you develop this, you can more detail that works for your business.
Is it a deal?
- Does the customer have an absolute need?
- Is this need a real "pain point" to the customer?
- Does the customer accept this need and pain point?
- Is there time pressure for a resolution?
- Is there budget available or access to funding?
Can we win it?
- Do we have a solution?
- Is there a good/need solution fit?
- Do we have a good, current relationship with the customer?
- Do we have inside support/sponsorship
- Have we got any unique business value?
- Does the customer have a good perception of our company?
Do we want it?
- Is the deal profitable?
- Does this deal comply with your short/mid/long term revenue and profit requirements?
- Can we afford to support it?
- Is there future revenue/profit potential?
- Is there any marketplace value and credibility to be gained by having this customer?
By now you will have a list of yes and no and even some "not sure" answers. The first thing to do now is to get definite yes/no answers to the not sure's, a simple way to do this is to class the not sure are as a no until you can validate the facts sufficiently to enable you to accurately class it as a firm yes.
In some cases, you may not be able to do this so our council to you is to carry on classing it as a no.
At this stage the key thing to ask yourself is, do you have enough yes's to continue with the sale.
This may seem a little harsh, but it does give you a good reality check on your "prospects" and it enables you to populate your pipeline with "facts". We aim to encourage you to move away from the "comfort blanket" of having lots of prospect names to a list of true and profitable sales to win.
As I have said at the beginning, prospecting is hard work and resource hungry, so make sure that all your effort is rewarded by achieving the kind of sales that you want.
Work on the deals that you can win and be more profitable.
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