From The Editor's Desk

Opportunity Pipeline Inflation

CRM has given us the ability to inflate metrics to those looking at our macros results. And it helps convince sales staff that they are doing well, even when they are not.

Opportunity pipelines are guessing games, for the most part. Each position allows you to garner up a percentage of what you believe the sales’ progress to be at.

Three steps in, you’re at 75% of a success rate.

But that isn’t the reality of the situation. Especially when examining success rate in general. Everything could turn on the fourth step, for the entire opportunity to be lost. Now your 75% drops to 10% or 0%.

The problem is that instead of factoring in the amount of opportunities, thereby increasing the overall chances of a sale, we look at them individually as successful. When you are selling units, its the volume that sometimes matters more than the quality.

I know that sounds strange, but follow me on why I feel that way. Volume is what those above you need to see in order to obtain the metric. If you sell 4 season tickets, and give a ton of quality to each, instead of selling 400 season tickets, you’re not going to get a raise. You’ll likely get the boot.

That’s why the opportunity pipeline suffers from inflation. Because instead of filling up the pipeline with as many opportunities as possible, most sales staff rely on the crutch of having a set segment at a percentage success rate.

And there really isn’t a success rate, until the opportunity is a sold one anyway.

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