An opportunity might exhibit all the hallmark signs of a stellar deal, but months of labored conversations always pose a risk to the health of any opportunity.
If a prospect seems keen to proceed, consider saving both parties time by completing some of the tasks you save for the finish line now before you lose any momentum.
A great example of this is forwarding over your standard terms & conditions to their legal team so that 90-95% of the contract back and forth is completed before you figure out the exact order size.
Another is asking to become an approved vendor via a refundable deposit. This way the procurement team can vet your company and give you an identification number so that when it comes time to purchase, you will already be in the system.
Finally, if you have a technology product, think about inviting IT into early calls to make sure that all feasibility and security requirements are addressed early in the deal process.
If you are going to bet, bet on the strongest opportunities
High achieving reps work on building momentum in 5-10 key opportunities and politely deprioritizing those which are less likely to succeed. If you look at your average monthly or quarterly sales quota, a risk factor could be relying on one particular deal as a “make or break” for you to hit your number.
Instead, you want to focus on trying to only need to win 20-30% of your winnable opportunities to meet your quota, with everything else either being additional bonus commission or spillover into the next month.
Many sales reps will work their pipeline in a linear fashion, moving from one deal to the next based on alphabetical order or responding to new leads as soon as contact details are received. Instead, you want to weigh your time spent on particular opportunities based on the probability of success. Many high achieving reps in Silicon Valley actually refuse to do any new customer calls in the last week of a closing month or quarter.