This blog is about data driven sales intelligence. Opportunity win rate, in the SaaS industry, is around 30%-40%. It means that a typical sales person spends more than 25 hours a week working on eventually lost opportunities.
Some of it cannot obviously be avoided. It is the cost of developing opportunities. It takes time to know that an opportunity is a looser.
It is also related to:
- Sales people are optimistic by nature.
- Good sales person is supposed to never gives up.
- Forecast is typically based on % probability derived from opportunity stage x amount. For the individual sales person having more opportunities is sometime better.
Using data driven sales intelligence could help eliminating likely loser opportunities in an early stage helps free up time and attention to opportunities that are more likely to win.
We analyzed large number of opportunities data across different companies to identify trends the successful behavior.
The following dimensions were evaluated for won vs lost opportunities:
- Number of emails sent/received
- Number of people from the prospect and the seller side that were engaged
- Number of meetings that took place
- Response time to emails sent from the seller
From a very early stage lost opportunities are significantly worse in all dimensions. They have less emails sent/received, less people engaged, less meetings and worse response time.
Interestingly enough even in won opportunities the number of email sent from you to your prospects is always bigger than the number they sent to you. Same is true for the number of people engaged from your side.
Winning deals requires investing more effort than your prospects. It’s the nature of sales.
2-4x more emails are sent from the seller in won opportunities
In the first 90 days of won opportunities 4-5 emails were sent every month, which is about one email a week. It grew to 12 emails in the last 30 days, which is about 3 emails a week. Lost opportunities on the other hand had about 2 emails sent per month during the entire opportunity time. The ratio between the number of emails sent in won opportunities to lost starts at 2x and ends in the last 30 days at 4x more emails sent in won opportunities vs lost ones.
The more emails sent the higher probability to win.
60% more emails are sent vs received in both won and lost cases
We analyzed the ratio between emails sent by the seller and received. On average, there are about 60% more emails sent vs received in lost opportunities. It means that the reason for losing these opportunities is most probably lack of interest from the prospect side and not necessarily lack of effort from the seller side. We can conclude that for this case the number of emails sent is an effect and not cause.
From very early stages there are significantly less emails sent/received in lost opportunities vs won. You should disqualify likely to lose opportunity is as early stage allowing you to focus on the highly likely to win.
3x to 4x more contact people (prospect side) are engaged in won opportunities
Similar behavior is found when analyzing the number of contact people engaged. There are about 0.5 a person engaged every month during the opportunity for lost opportunities vs 1.5 persons and up to 2 people in the last month.
Slightly more people are engaged from the seller side in both cases
The ratio between the number of people engaged from the prospect side and from the team is very similar. In both cases, there is always more people engaged from the seller side.
This is another indication for likely to loss opportunity. There are significantly less contacts and team members in lost opportunities vs won. And it starts in the very beginning of the opportunity. So no need to wait for the last minute to disqualify an opportunity.
2 to 2.5x more meetings are taking place in won opportunities.
Won opportunities have 2x more meetings than lost ones. In the last 30 days it grows to 2.5X.
Won opportunities have 4x more new contact people
Won opportunities have 4x more new contacts joining the opportunity than in lost opportunities.
Response time gets 50% better in the last 60 days of won opportunities
Other softer aspect is response rate for won opportunities which is better than for lost ones. It becomes more significant in the last 60 days of an opportunity.
You can kill walking dead opportunities in a much earlier stage, which will help you allocate your resources to the more probable opportunities and improve the quality of your forecasting.
In the world of data, sales can be boosted by using data driven sales intelligence approaches.