Tactical Selling

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3 steps to fixing your end-of-year pipeline

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share my 3 steps to fixing an end-of-year pipeline.

If you can replicate this process, you’re going to have a clear understanding of your real pipeline, and you’ll stop working on opportunities that have no chance of closing.

Unfortunately, most reps waste a good chunk of their time working on opportunities that will never close, resulting in missed targets.

Building a pipeline that closes is about disqualifying hard

Without a simple qualification process, a few challenges arise:

Challenge 1: You don’t know if you are spending time on the right opportunities.

Challenge 2: You spend a ton of time and effort on deals that may never close.

Challenge 3: Your pipeline looks good, but your results aren’t good enough.

You can overcome all of these challenges by answering the three following questions.

Question 1: What is the quantified cause

When you start working with a prospect towards closing a deal, you need to understand the reason why they are speaking with you, and get an idea of that number.

It’s often referred as their “Why” and it’s an important element to find out if you should invest more time working with this prospect, or disqualify them immediately.

For example, I work with VPs of Sales who have sales targets for 2023. They speak with me because they have a specific goal to reach, and my job is to uncover that number.

Example: CFO has a 2023 gross margin target of 80%.

Question 2: What is the quantified problem

After uncovering the quantified cause, you need to find out the size of your prospect’s problem. You can do it in many ways, but I love to use a simple tool from ProActive Selling to do that. It’s called Time Traveling.

Instead of asking a question like “What are your goals?”, attach the goals to a point in the future, like “As you look in 2023, where do you think you’ll stand compared to your goal?”.

This formula helps your prospects travel to that point in time, and it increases your chances of finding a gap.

Example: CFO is expecting to only make a gross margin of 65%.

With that example, the CFO has a gap of 15 percentage points. If the company is expecting to sell €100M next year, the quantified problem is €15M.

Question 3: What is the quantified solution

Now that you have calculated the problem, you can start speaking about the price of your solution.

In our CFO example, the problem is €15M. If you can make an impact and bring their expected gross margin from 65% to 70%, you are solving a €5M problem. If your pricing is €500.000, then the investment is a no brainer for your prospect.

And this is how you can fix your end-of-year pipeline. Go to your opportunity overview, and find out if there’s:

  • A quantified cause

  • A quantified problem

  • A quantified solution

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Thibaut

PS: The tool I just mentioned is called Q3, and it’s part of the ProActive Selling methodology. If your team is having difficulties moving deals forward, then just book a call with me and we’ll chat about what we can do to help.

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