Performance Management Friday — % Of Opportunities Advanced


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Our goal as sales people is to help our customers move through their buying process. We want to help them move as rapidly as possible to making a decision (hopefully for us). From our point of view, as sales professionals, we monitor this as progress through the funnel or pipeline. Ideally, on a monthly basis, we want to see new deals flowing into the pipeline, deals closing and moving out of the pipeline, and deals moving from stage to stage within the pipeline.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Pipeline Flow/Velocity. It’s one way of looking at whether things are moving through the pipeline or funnel appropriately. Another simple way of looking at this is by looking at the % of Opportunities Advanced.

We measure the % of Opportunities Advanced by looking at the Total Number Of Opportunities That Have Moved To A New Stage Of The Sales Process as a Percentage of Total Opportunities In The Funnel. (# of Opportunities Moved/Total # of Opportunities). As a side note, you’ll notice that to be able to measure and track your performance you have to have a strong sales process in place and you have to be using it. Without this, the number is meaningless, it gives you no clue of where you are or whether you are making progress (but if you don’t have a sales process, you probably aren’t making progress!)

For example, if we have 50 opportunities in our funnel, and 10 of those have moved from to a later stage in the sales process, the % of Opportunities Advanced is 20%. But be careful in looking at this number, it can be deceptive. For example, if you disqualified and abandoned a lot of opportunities, the % of Opportunities Advanced might be very high–but this number is actually a false positive. You might think you are moving things through the funnel, when actually you are moving things out of the funnel. Some organizations manage this by looking at progress through the pipeline only after qualification (but then if you abandon opportunities you have the same problem).

Whenever you look at any of these numbers, remember the number is just an indicator, you need to drill down and look at what is causing the number to be what it is.

If the % of Opportunities Advanced is decreasing or below your target level, look at the opportunities that are stalled or stuck. What’s causing them to be stalled or stuck? What can you do to get them moving? Are they still real opportunities?

To get things moving, put together a strong deal strategy. Look beyond the next step, but look at the next several steps. Look at what calls you need to make, on who, to move the deals forward.

We get busy with all sorts of activities. Sometimes we’re busy, but not making progress. Make sure your opportunities are moving forward, measure the opportunities advancing.

For a free eBook on Coaching For High Performance, email me with your full name and email address, I’ll be glad to send you a copy. Just send the request to: [email protected], ask for the Coaching For Performance eBook

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


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