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Unlock the secret to supercharging your B2B sales efficiency and reducing waste today!

Over the last two decades, sales leaders have pursued efficiency through technology, with sales tech stacks growing more expensive and consuming more time. Sales teams are now spending more time with their technology than with their prospective clients. These same sales leaders are now infatuated with the ability to automate something as banal as cold outreach.

AI has already found a way to cure liver cancer. As a species, we would be better off allowing all the electricity we are using now and all the quantum computers available to extend and improve our lives. Yes, I know cold outreach is important.

Identifying and Tackling Waste in Your B2B Sales Process

If you are a sales leader or a sales manager who believes their team should be efficient, and you want your sales force to avoid waste and inefficiency, then you might consider a number of areas where you have a large amount of waste. Let us begin here with the largest waste you can find in a sales organization: pipeline coverage.

To have this conversation, we will need to create a new KPI called waste. You tell your team they need 2X, 4X, or, if you are deranged, 8X of their quota to succeed in sales. Because you are their leader, they do what you ask of them, spending an inordinate amount of time creating new opportunities.

For your part, you like to see these new deals stacking up in the quarter, providing you with the certainty that you have enough deals to reach your goals. Your team is running around creating more opportunities to drop into your CRM, instead of working on their best and most desirable clients in their sales territory.

The only opportunities that count are the ones your sales reps win. We will use simple math here to expose the problem of waste and inefficiency in this approach. Salesperson 1 goes out and creates 14 opportunities to double their quota. At the end of the period, Salesperson 1 has won 5 of the 14 opportunities they created. Nine of these opportunities are pure waste, as they were created without being captured.

Understanding the Impact of Sales Math on Waste

Five wins divided by 14 opportunities is a waste KPI of around 64 percent. The sales manager who believes sales is a numbers game is likely to ask Salesperson 1 to create even more opportunities, giving them a greater opportunity to win deals. To believe that the client was not won because something was wrong with the opportunity must mean believing that all 64 percent of deals were not capable of being won. If it wasn’t for Salesperson 1 reporting they bought from their competitor, you might not know the competitor has a new client.

Creating more opportunities you are not able to win does nothing to improve your sales results. The only deals that count are the ones you win. None of the pipeline coverage that was lost, or not pursued due to the fact the salesperson is being charged with creating ever more fake, false, and fictional opportunities.

Strategies for Reducing Sales Pipeline Waste and Inefficiency

What one must do to eliminate or reduce the waste in their beloved pipeline. It is not the prospective client that creates the waste in the pipeline. If the deal was real, some other salesperson would have won it.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with a rep who created 14 opportunities, but I will argue that a 35 percent win rate results in a large amount of waste and inefficiency. There is only one way to reduce the waste in your sales pipeline: to increase your sales force’s win rates.

If you want a sustainable strategic advantage, you will not find it in creating opportunities your team can’t win. You should hope your competitors spend their time on multiplying the numbers of deals in their pipelines and increasing their waste KPI, while your team wins deals.

To create that sustainable strategic advantage, you will need B2B sales training, coaching, and anything else that will cause your team to improve their win rates. This strategy will result in increased win rates. I am doubtful that your deals are not winnable; the low effectiveness of a salesperson or a team is to blame for the high level of waste created by failing to win the deals you created.

Future-Proofing Your B2B Sales Force and Pipeline for 2024 and Beyond

As your win rates increase, and your team’s ability to win deals also increases, you can add additional opportunities without the cost of the waste of using your team’s time and energy that produces only wasted opportunities.

In the near future, we expect to see less demand, reducing the number of opportunities. You may not have the luxury of creating many more opportunities than you can win. As the largest generation in history retires, they will spend money on travel and medical care. But let’s say you are incredulous about my role as a futurist, there is no way you can be harmed by increasing your team’s win rates and lowering your waste KPI.

Leaving this article, you should calculate your waste and begin to build a plan to increase each salesperson’s win rate. You must also remember you only get to count the deals you won, and get nothing from the deals your team didn’t win.


Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 9, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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