Why sales deals go sour and how to forecast sales with better reliability.


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people I’ve met over my career want to make things work, and mostly for the right reasons.

However, poor sales training and education along with bad leadership forces sales people into difficult positions.

Way too much focus is placed on activity for the sake of activity or having busy forecasts that demonstrate activity when in reality it creates a lot of so called “deals” that should never be on the forecast.

Time gets wasted discussing and chasing down deals that aren’t a good fit and are never going to happen. Its stressful and painful.

Instead most of these deals should remain in the pipeline until they’ve reached a sufficient level of qualification or even more likely be killed off completely because they’re not even a good fit.

What’s need is better qualification and a clearer evolution of how opportunities journey through the pipeline so that your focused on the right deals in the first place.

Here are 5 categories that you can use to evolve your opportunities, improve your forecasting and stop deals going sour.

Cold sales opportunities

These are simply contacts that you may have found through research that are a good fit based on some simple rules that enable you to target your activity and likely fits.

Filtering criteria may include the type of company, the market they operate in or their location.

Suspect sales opportunities

You’ve typically made some contact or had a conversation and their is level of engagement between you and your potential customer.

They get your positioning (how you can help them) and have probably scheduled another reason to make contact again.

Prospective sales deals

Their is a clear need for what you do and somebody recognises is and is actively promoting it within your prospects business. Their is less resistance now and a significant number of compelling reasons for change as well as measure consequences are clearly understood.

Qualified sales deals

Deals become qualified once the timescales, processes and criteria for making decisions and getting things complete are clear and money is available in some form, whether its from a budget or using finance.

Closable sales deals

When there is real need and the company wants to solve their problem and its been qualified as a good fit then you’ve got a closable deal on your hands.

What else causes deals to go sour and what have you done to resolve them?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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