January 31, 2009

Win Rates: How Managers are Planning to Boost or Maintain The Level of Success

Pressure on win rates is mounting, with increased competition, together with longer and more complex buying processes to blame.

Maintaining or increasing win rates is a priority for practically every sales manager.  It is expressed in lots of different ways however – ranging improving the quality of sales leads, to more effective sales proposals. 

An overall win rates is the sum of conversion rates at each stage of the sales process – from leads to sales meetings, from meetings to sales cycles, from cycles to orders and finally from initial orders to repeat customers.  In other words potentially everything that a sales person, does and does not do, can impact on win rates.

Here are what Sales Managers identify as the top 6 priorities in terms of maintaining or boosting win rates:

1.       Better quality sales leads (including prequalification and nurturing to sales readiness)

2.       More effective sales meetings (with a multiple meeting approach and fewer presentations)

3.       A more sophisticated, structured and systematic approach to sales cycles (including building relationships, selling higher and wider, a bi-lateral approach, etc.)

4.       Approaching getting the order in a new way, with a gradual gaining of commitment,

5.       Involving the customer in proposal development and avoiding 'surprises'

6.       Moving from being a 'supplier' to 'strategic partner' to ensure repeat sales

Sound like a major challenge?  Well, all it takes is a 3% increase in conversion rates at each of the stages above, in order to double the rate of sales growth in most organisations.   Thus, we recommend starting with the easy areas to improve (e.g. a new sales presenter, some sales training, a sales database, etc.) and continuous (if modest) improvements over time.


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