Are All Sales Opportunities Equal?

The most widely accepted definition of a qualified sales opportunity is a decision maker with a budget to purchase a product or service. But are all sales opportunities equal? Are identical offerings to two different buyers equal in value to the sales rep?Before & After

In the 1940s, Frank Bettger, author of the sales classic “How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success” made several game changing observations over a 12 month period. 

  • 70% of sales were closed on first meeting
  • 23% closed on second meeting
  • 7% closed on third meeting or after 
  • 50% of his time was spent chasing the 7% that closed on the third meeting or after

By eliminating sales that did not close by the second meeting, Frank doubled his income!

“On average, it takes a salesperson 3 to 4 months longer to lose a deal than to win one.” – James Ninivaggi, Research Analyst for SiriusDecisions

Based on James’ research, if your average sales cycle is 90 days, then all sales should be dropped on the 91st day.

When I learned Frank’s simple and brilliant philosophy, I wondered if I could eliminate weak sales opportunities on the frontend. How could I avoid high-effort, low-return sales and sales I would never close?

Qualifying by itself is not enough for evaluation, so I assessed my best and weakest sales with questions like these:

Which sales netted the highest profit with the least effort?

What did those sales look like, including lead origin, products and services sold, price range, discount, and cycle length?

With which types of customer was I most successful, company size, organizational makeup, decision maker’s position, buying committee size, and personality types?

From the answers, I developed a quantification method that helped me evaluate and segregate new sales opportunities.

By eliminating high-effort, low-return sales that pay lower commissons, wear you down, and drain your enthusiasm and passion, you can focus that lost time with a better attitude on high-return, lower-effort opportunities. This is a secret of top producers.  

The Declaration of Sales Quality Effectiveness

When, in the course of sales events, it becomes necessary for sales professionals to dissolve the methods that have failed them, then with authority, separate unequal sales opportunities, losers from winners, which the new process entitles them.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all sales are not created equal, that sales professionals are endowed as decision makers with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the right to the pursuit of quality sales opportunities that lead to higher commissions, greater ROI, and happiness.

Free yourself of lousy sales results, add your name and comment to “The Declaration of Sales Quality Effectiveness”