wideload

The Problem with the Weighted Pipeline (or how to improve your sales forecast accuracy in Salesforce)

Ever since I was promoted to sales management in the late ‘90s, I’ve been confronted with the measurement of weighted pipeline and forecast methodologies.

In case you’ve never worked with a weighted pipeline, here’s a quick summary:

Each sales stage is given a certain probability to close – so stage 3 in a 6-Stage sales process would be assigned a 50% probability to close, stage 4 a 67% chance, and so on.

Then you multiply the value of each opportunity with the percentage, and sum up the weighted values to get your weighted forecast:

weighted pipeline forecast example

This should give you an indication where you will end up in the month, quarter or year.

But there’s a big problem with the weighted forecast. Watch this short video to see what we mean:

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MEDDIC on Salesforce Screenshot 2

Cut Your Time Spent on Forecasting in Half

Cut Your Time Spent on Forecasting in Half One of the most painful and time intensive tasks as a sales leader is driving an accurate forecast. Leaders spend up to 40% of their time collecting and qualifying the forecast. Lengthy labour intensive Friday forecast calls, reps complaining about wasted time,  frustration on poor deal qualification […]

the economic buyer

How Meeting with the Economic Buyer Can Help You Hit a 90% Close Rate

the economic buyerWhen I first started out as a sales manager, I had a pretty good close rate – with one record quarter after another.

Until one devastating quarter… where almost 50% of my team’s deals either slipped or were lost for good.

It crushed us.

We couldn’t make any sense of it. After all, we hadn’t done anything different.

I spent days trying to find out what went wrong… until my manager pulled me aside and asked me one of the most eye-opening questions of my career:

Rizan, in all the deals that slipped, how many of them did you meet the Economic Buyer?

The answer was clear:

After a quick check  I was able to find a direct link between meeting the Economic Buyer and whether we won or lost the deal.

You may have a killer pain, a strong champion, and powerful metrics. But if the the EB isn’t on your side, there’s a big chance your deal won’t close.

In today’s article, we cover:

  • Just who the Economic Buyer is (and why he’s so important to your deal)
  • 3 actionable ways to get access to him (or any other VIP)
  • How to get him to sponsor your deal (and increase your deal’s chance of closing to 90%)
Free PDF: Get access to a free downloadable PDF version of this guide. Reference it anytime you want (or print for daily use).

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Sales Metrics

How Metrics Can Help You Create Value and Build a Compelling ROI

Sales MetricsToday, we’re onto Part 4 of our series on How to Effectively Close More Deals.

So far, we’ve covered pain & implication, generating customer rapport and building up a sales champion.

The next step is the glue that binds your whole sales campaign together. It’s what justifies the purchase and convinces the Economic Buyer sign on the dotted line.

That’s right, I’m talking about Metrics.

Here’s an in-depth look at what they are, how they will help you close more deals, and why you never want to miss out on collecting them…

Free PDF: Get access to a free downloadable PDF version of this guide. Reference it anytime you want or print for daily use.

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identify sales champion

How to Identify and Nurture a Sales Champion

identify sales championIn our last article, we talked about how to discover real pain points – ones that will drive customers to take action.

Today, we want to talk about Champions – the people in your accounts that drive the projects meant to solve these pains.

A Champion is the person within your client’s organization that will sell on your behalf when you’re not there

They will guide you through the decision making process, introduce you to key players and decision makers, and alert you when things go wrong.

They are probably the most important person in your sales campaign, and they’ll fight hard for your cause.

So, how do you identify the right potential champions? And how do you discover what’s driving them, so you can build them up and leverage their power and influence?

Free PDF: Get access to a free downloadable PDF version of this guide. Reference it anytime you want or print for daily use.

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Grumpy_man_squared_small

How to WIN Customer Rapport

Grumpy_man_squared_smallIn our post, Identifying the Real Pain, we talked about what qualifies as ‘real,’ deal-closing pain points and what doesn’t.

We received great replies from our readers stating that customers many times don’t disclose this kind of information so easily.

Well, it’s not an easy task.

If you want to find pain points, you need to uncover them – inch by inch – and earn the right to learn about your customer’s pain.

And the key to developing customer rapport…

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identifying customer pain

Identifying the Real Pain: How to Effectively Qualify Your Customer’s Pain Points

identifying customer pain

There is no deal without a pain.

Pain is the driver. The ultimate reason why customers will act and buy your solution in the end.

It may not be obvious to begin with, but there is always a trigger that gets decision makers buy:

Something they need to solve, grow, improve, or reduce.

However, too many sales people don’t know what the real pain is or how to find it.

In this article, we’ll cover exactly what qualifies as a real pain, what doesn’t, along with real world examples of pain points that were strong enough to close a deal.

Free PDF: Get access to a free downloadable PDF version of this guide. Reference it anytime you want or print for daily use.

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MEDDIC Sales Process Fundamentals

Focus on the Fundamentals with the MEDDIC Sales Qualification Methodology

MEDDIC Sales Process FundamentalsHere’s how the MEDDIC sales qualification process can help you hit a 90% close rate by keeping your focused on the fundamentals of a deal.

In 1973, UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden created sports history.

That was the year he became the first coach in any sport to win 7 national championships in a row.

He ended up leading his team to win a total of 10 championships in a 12-year period, with an unparalleled 88-game winning streak.

So what was it that set him apart from every other coach that came before (and after) him?

One simple thing:

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MEDDIC Sales Qualification Methodology Founder Jack Napoli on How to Enable and Drive Sales Teams

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Napoli, the ‘Godfather’ of the MEDDIC sales process:

For those of you who aren’t familiar, MEDDIC is one of the most effective sales methodologies I’ve ever come across for qualifying deals thoroughly.

In fact, Jack and MEDDIC co-creator Dick Dunkel used it while at PTC to more than triple sales from $300 million to $1 billion in just four years. Personally speaking, MEDDIC helped me increase my close rate to over 90% and increase my team’s sales 60% year on year.

Today, MEDDIC is used by fast-growing startups as well as large corporations such as EMC, RSA, BMC and more.

Check out the interview here:

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sisyphus250

How to Overcome Every Sales Team’s Biggest Problem

There’s no question:

Improving the effectiveness of sales teams is a top priority for sales managers everywhere.

But there’s only 24 hours in day, and a million (and one) things you have to stay on top of:

Maybe you’re facing more “No’s” than ever. Or the churn rate of your sales people is climbing higher and higher.

But you don’t have the time to deal with that, because you’re stretched to your limits hiring new reps, managing the pipe and making sure your team is closing deals and hitting their numbers.

It’s more than most managers can handle.

That’s why I teamed up with Steve Ammann, Managing Director of the Sales MEDDIC Group, to put together some action items to help sales managers overcome the number one problem facing every sales team:

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