TL;DR you must start strong in order to win more
Engagement in the first few weeks of a sale cycle is the most critical for winning. If you succeed to engage a prospect in the early stages you are likely to win.
Our data shows that in the first 3-5 weeks winning opportunities reach more than double inbound and outbound emails and more than 1.5x contacts and team members engaged than lost opportunities. In the following weeks of the sales cycle the ratio may grow in some cases, stay more or less the same or even drop slightly.
Account Executives – hints
As illustrated above the early stage of the sales cycle is the most important, just like breakfast. During this stage try to engage as much as reasonable with your prospects. The sentiment of the discussion is less critical as long as your prospects are replying to you, accepting meetings and adding more people from their team to the conversation. More questions from your prospects is also a positive signal.
Team selling is important – It is also important to introduce additional team members from your side and try to get your contact person to expand the discussion to other people on their side.
Managing likely to lose opportunities – If you have not managed to reach the right level of engagement in the early stages, try a different course of actions and if it does not work consider dropping the opportunity. The worst case is to keep pursuing the opportunity for long time. Losing not only the opportunity, but also your time and focus.
Rule of thumb for closing opportunities as lost – Most people keep lost opportunities for at least 2x time vs won. So if your opportunity went beyond the average time for won, you should seriously consider closing it.
Komiko can provide on-going guidance regarding the actions that need to be taken and when you should consider closing an opportunity as lost.
Sales leaders – hints
To keep your pipeline honest consider driving your team to close the following opportunity types:
- Opportunities that do not meet the engagement targets in the first few weeks.
- Opportunities that run beyond the average time of a winning opportunity.
Applying these two relatively simple rules will already give you a more accurate forecast, saving you time in pipeline reviews and 1:1 with your team. And more important it’ll give your team time to focus on winning deals.
Komiko can provide you with an overall health score for each opportunity as well as an aggregated score per segment, territory, sales rep, etc.
You can see more details in this blog – Three facts that can change the way that you manage opportunities