Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

There are only a few days left in the month for you to hit your sales quota, so it’s time to close deals, and close them fast. But out of all the open opportunities in your sales pipeline, how do you know which ones to work and which to give up as a lost cause?

It’s a fact of sales that not all opportunities are created equal. Some opportunities are a better fit for your product, are easier to move down the funnel, and have a much higher chance of closing. Ideally, every sales rep would focus their time exclusively on the best opportunities and stop wasting time with tire-kickers and prospects that will never buy your product.

Here’s how you can use data to prioritize your sales pipeline better, stop wasting valuable time on unlikely opportunities and maybe even close a deal or two before the end of the month and quarter.

Timing

Prioritization is all about understanding your own abilities, and learning from both your mistakes and your successes. The first step to sales self-awareness is understanding the many factors that put an opportunity at risk – influencing why you win one deal and why you lose another. One factor that strongly correlates with success is how long an opportunity sits in your pipeline. Based on your historical won vs. lost performance, you can see a huge difference between the time opportunities spend in each stage.

In this report, you can see that winning deals spend a lot less time in each sales stage, compared to how long losing opportunities lingered in each stage. You can apply this knowledge directly to your pipeline by dismissing opportunities that have spent too long in any given stage. If you see an opportunity has stayed in the Present Solution stage for longer than 10 days, it’s time to let it go and focus on another. This will really allow you to focus your attention on deals that have a greater chance of closing.

Value

Another factor that helps you select higher-quality opportunities is the total expected value. Larger deals historically take more time and effort to close, compared to smaller deals. This doesn’t mean it’s never worth it to chase bigger deals, but you have to be realistic about the chances of that massive deal closing in the next week or so.

This report will help you identify the sweet spot for deal size according to your historical win rate. You want to target the biggest possible deals in the pipeline that still have a relatively high win rate – somewhere around your average win rate. You can see that ideally, you should work deals that are around $5K to $7K. Quickly scan your pipeline and focus your attention on those deals, or maybe try to close a quick hit deal that’s on the smaller side.

Learn More About the Sales Metrics You Should Track»

Find Your Strike Zone

Ideally, you can combine these factors along with the projected close date and slippage in close date to find the opportunities that you are confident you can hit out of the park. Combining the age and the value of opportunities gives you a strike zone that you can target.

Using this data, you notice that you have historically had the most success with deals that are between $1K and $10K, and that have been in your pipeline for no more than 25 days. This report helpfully shows you all of the open opportunities in your current pipeline that fall within this “strike zone.” You can quickly glance at this report to see exactly who you should call next today to close a deal, without wasting any more time.
 
Sales is and always will be a numbers game, but it is possible for you to game the system to your advantage. By understanding the timing, value, and momentum of the deals in your pipeline, you will be able to spend more time focused on an opportunity that is likely to close, and stop wasting time on deals you’ll never win.
 

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