• Gert Scholts

'When will you close the deal?'

'When will you close that deal?' is one of the dreaded questions sales managers ask frequently.

It is a logical, outcome focused question. They want to know when the deal is coming in and when revenues will start. Targets have to be achieved.

Yet, as a salesperson you probably do not know when the deal is coming in. Perhaps you were too optimistic talking about the deal as a real opportunity. The pressure is on.......

Many CRM applications add success percentages depending on stage, yet these are arbitrary and often set by CRM experts rather than sales people.

So how can you assess an opportunity objectively and predict (when) it is going to come in?

Here are 4 easy questions to answer and know how close you are to winning an opportunity

  1. Am I talking to the person who has the power to make the purchase decision?

  2. Have the customer and I agreed that my product fixes the customer’s issue?

  3. Has the customer indicated that the price is acceptable?

  4. Is there a clear time frame for a purchase decision?

Every full blooded “YES” catapults you 25% towards a deal.

So, two “YES” answers takes you to 50% , three to 75% and four to the top 100% certainty.

Here is a simple example:

Salesperson meets operations manager in a white good factory. The operations manager is under pressure to reduce logistics costs.

The salesperson identifies an opportunity to sell a new packaging solution saving the customer £50,000 over two years.

The operations manager agrees to a demonstration of the solution and is very positive about the demonstration afterwards.

Sales Manager asks salesperson when the deal is coming in.............

Let's ask the 4 questions:

  1. Is the Operation Manager the decision maker? Don t know. Therefore 0%

  2. Does the solution fix the customer's issues? Yes. Therefore 25%

  3. Is the price acceptable to the customer? Don t know Therefore 0%

  4. Is there a clear time frame Don't know Therefore 0%

Now check this concept on 2 current opportunities and see how close you are to winning them. If not on the 100% yet, just home in on the missing elements. The deals will follow!

I love this concept. Its easy and gives total focus on any missing elements. Besides that I have seen companies growing their sales output by more than 100% by using this pipeline management method.

Simplicity is key. If you want to make more sales faster just get in touch

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