Two meanings for Pipeline Qualification: which one do you apply?
Add Value to Stay Alive

How Can You Double Your Sales? A Play in One Act


Scene: Enter Mike Wilkinson and Salesperson

Mike: You are involved with big complex deals that can take many meetings to drive through. What resource stops you selling twice what you currently do?

Salesperson: Time, there’s just not enough of it.

Mike: Well then, …what is the biggest waste of your time when selling?

Salesperson: Travel, admin, internal meetings.

Mike: Wrong! Tell me, what is your current success rate of wins to quotes?

Salesperson: I win about 1 in 3 of the sales I quote for.

Mike: Then the biggest waste of your time is the two you lose. You can’t even claim to learn when you lose, because you learn more when you win. You learn how to implement and be paid! At the moment, two thirds of your sales time is totally wasted. Just think about that. Do you know the name of the discipline used to avoid losing?

Salesperson: Qualification.

Mike: Exactly. Forgive me, but it seems that you are not very good at it. You know, the top salespeople win 70% to 80% of their sales. And that is not because they are better salespeople.

B2B companies often tell us their salespeople have difficulty deciding which sales opportunities to pursue. Optimism takes over. As a result, they win only 2 or 3 out of every 10 opportunities.

So, the biggest waste of time is the sales they lose.

And there are only two reasons why they lose a sale. Either they were outsold, or they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

The best salespeople win 7 or more out of every 10 they go for. Better than twice the norm.

So, what can you do about it?

Replicate the best salespeople. They think in a different way.

Instinctively they do 4 things:
• Use a strict set of criteria to see if it’s worth bidding,
• Refuse to bid on unwinnable business,
• Use the time saved on deals they can’t win to spend more time on those they can,
• Devote some of the time to prospecting for new opportunities.

So what is needed is a rigorous qualification process that helps test the temperature of a sale. Salespeople can then plan to win (or lose quickly).

Of course, you can qualify an opportunity and still lose. The best understand not only what they have to do, but what they want the prospect to do. These are the commitments (actions taken by the prospect) they need to progress the sale.

By only chasing winnable business and doubling your effective selling time, this is how you can double your sales and replicate the best salespeople.

Mike Wilkinson
Mike Wilkinson
Managing Director Advance - Creators of SCOTSMAN®