Every sales rep has experienced the gut-wrenching disappointment of losing a deal. After months of meetings, engagement and effort — the prospect simply says “No”.
It’s easy for the rep to want to hold themselves accountable for making a mistake during the sales process, or the prospect for having an 11th hour change of heart — and those are possibilities. But what if the prospect should never have entered the sales pipeline in the first place, or should have been qualified out much earlier in the process? Sales reps only have so much time in each day to engage with prospects, and that time is incredibly valuable. All too often, reps waste their time chasing unqualified prospects, only to discover the truth when they lose the deal.
As a sales leader, it’s your goal to minimize those unfortunate and often ill-timed losses by helping your team narrow the sales pipeline and focus intently on the deals that are most likely to close. The aim of this post is to outline a simple method to analyze your business’ historical sales performance data, which will enable your sales team to specifically pinpoint the open opportunities in your pipeline that have the highest probability of closing. Using this data, you can help your reps play to their strengths, engage at the right time, and intervene before a deal is lost.
As a sales leader, it’s your goal to minimize losses by helping your team narrow the sales pipeline.
Imagine that instead of chasing 100 lukewarm prospects, reps are able to focus on 10 incredibly high-quality prospects — focusing their engagement and more efficiently using their time each day. By narrowing the pipeline according to the data, your sales team can drive up win rates and hit even the most aggressive revenue goals.
This isn’t just theoretical: We’ve used this exact playbook for the Mid Market team at InsightSquared. With a narrower pipeline, the sales team was able to achieve 104% of our Q4 goal and increased productivity by more than 25%. I specifically used our software to analyze this data, but you can use Excel or another method to achieve the same results. By combining pipeline-driven metrics and strategic sales coaching, it is possible to achieve maximum sales results with efficient efforts.