COMMONLY EXPRESSED PIPELINE CHALLENGES:
prisoners of hope
"At the start of the quarter, each sales rep ‘committed’ several deals that they were hopeful to win this quarter. Some deals won, but too many didn’t. If we understood which deals were shaky earlier in the sales process – and why – we could likely influence many of those deals. We should win some of them. But we need to lose some of these faster and refill the funnel with strong prospects faster."
Agony of Defeat
“Most of our reps from time to time are shocked when a big deal they were counting on fails to win. These losses can really distract the reps and our management team. I am sure in many of these cases there were signals that a deal had challenges, but we spent a lot of time spinning our wheels. I am sure that they could have used that time on other deals that were not getting enough attention. This lack of focus is costing us money.”
“Our reps tend to prioritize their sales activities based on their gut feelings about which deals in their pipelines are most promising. We need to understand what our sales data is telling us about the opportunities in our pipelines and rely less on our gut feelings. If we do this, our 1 – 1 pipeline reviews will be more efficient and our reps will be positioned to focus on the deals that should close.”