Getting it right sooner: Knowing which deals to prioritize

This week we uncover how to predict revenue outcomes sooner, the early warning signs to watch for, empowering reps with forecasting, and the relationship between gut-feel and data truths. Join the next table here!

Panelists:

Tamara McMillen, Strategic Board Advisor, CSO UK

Daniel Hebert, VP of Sales, Proposify

George Arabian, VP of Sales, Absolutdata Analytics

Michael Meehan, Regional VP of Sales, Open Text

Keep an eye on the buying signals

It’s a common mistake to convince yourself that increasing your activity and investing time in an opportunity is a sign of engagement and buyer intent.

You can turn the dial on activity after a proposal is sent, but if you can’t see the smoke signals returning, then that deal is unlikely to materialize. 

Sales reps are notoriously optimistic and equally neglectful of analyzing the data in the latter stages of a sales cycle. 

Hope is not a strategy, and if you can’t visibly outline the reciprocal engagement, present stakeholders, and healthy movement of the critical timeline – then you’re opening your revenue to risk.

[See how leveraging Ebsta’s Engagement Score to identify the vital signs of a deal increased revenue by 24% annually for Copado]

Is there a compelling event?

Companies still have purchasing budgets, and people are still buying.

Are your reps creating a compelling event during the buyer cycle that identifies the threat, positions your solution against that, and leverages proof to frame the outcome?

When customers can tangibly understand the opportunity gains and losses of partnering with your services right there, then they’re far more likely to make a considered decision to progress.  

Hope is not a strategy

Sales need to be intentional with their decisions.

Which logos do you want to win this quarter and what needs to happen, by when, for that to move closer to reality?

Even with transactional sales, businesses need to be moving with strategic intent and keeping an eye beyond the deal directly in front of them.

Reps need to be building the runway ahead whilst meeting the deals in front. 

They need to be talking to the right people across the buying committee, at the right point, and the conversations need to join up.

What they want to do vs the reality of what they will do is rooted in the evidence of your CRM and your understanding of their capability. Lean on it.

Data-backed-gut-decisions

It splits a room as much as the death of cold calling.

When the two schools promise different outcomes, do you trust your gut, or what the data tells you?

As we mentioned earlier, you can’t scale hope, but you have to counterbalance data indicators with a tenured team, a maverick, an unorthodox buyer, or accelerated market conditions.

There’s no perfect science, but layering your instincts on top of process and data-signals, is the right way to increase your confidence in predictable revenue.

Does the compensation match what you’re asking?

Sales reps do what they are paid to do, but there remains a disconnect between what we ask of them and how we compensate them.

Every time a new company objective, product, service, or buyer intention is rolled out, the goalposts and compensation should realign.

Reps will naturally pursue the activity and deals that pay the bills, which can inflate their pipelines and substitute the most valuable moves for their ability to hit target.

How do you define value within the business? 

There needs to be a unilateral understanding of the key objectives, how the reps work best to achieve that, and a compensation structure that’s anchored to encourage that.

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Calum Morrison

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