Author: David Brock, president, Partners in Excellence
This may seem very basic, but I’m constantly surprised by how little we address the issue of “Are we winning enough?” Of course, there are a number of ways to consider and respond to the question.
Most of the time, sales people and managers look at if from the context of the goal/quota. Their response is based on, “Are we winning enough to make our goals?” It’s a key question, but too often, if it looks like we are falling short, the immediate response is, “Go find more deals!”
We see this in organizations that focus on volume and velocity. The solution to any sales performance issue is always to do more. If we aren’t making our numbers, the response is always to find more deals, do more prospecting, cast a wider net, fill the pipeline, do more!
Too often, that has a disastrous effect. Diverting people to do more, may cause them to do less on the deals they are working, reducing the number of deals they win. And when this happens, the solution is to do even more—and we end up squandering opportunities we should have won. And the death spiral continues.
Focus on Effectiveness
Another way to look at this issue, is to think, “Are we winning enough of the deals we are currently working?” This focuses more on effectiveness than volume. It’s the basis for determining our win rate.
The win rate is not something that happens to us, we manage it–or should. When we look at our win rates and figure out how to improve them, we need to think about:
Are we chasing the right deals? Are we focused on our ICP or are we chasing other people’s deals?
Does the customer have a compelling need to change? We have a compelling need to sell, but without the customer having the compelling need to change–and a target for making that change, we are just spinning our wheels.
Are we viciously disqualifying “deals” that don’t fit the first two criteria, or are we wasting our time on wishful thinking.
Are we executing a customer focused deal execution strategy? Is is aligned with their buying process?
Are we creating value that is meaningful for the customer? Is it differentiated in ways that align with customer priorities?
Are we guiding the customer through their buying process, helping them reduce time to decision and time to results?
Are we consistent in the way we execute our deal strategies maximizing our efficiency in managing the qualified pipeline?
We have to focus on effectiveness, volume and velocity to make sure we are winning enough to achieve our goals or to maximize our growth. But there’s an order to how we do this to maximize growth, and too often we don’t understand that order.
Maximize Your Ability to Win
We have to, first, maximize our ability to win the deals we qualify and compete in. Once we do this, then we have to make sure we are finding enough high quality deals to achieve our goals. Doing this enables us to maximize our impact, effectiveness, and market share.