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One of the primary reasons sales managers and sales leaders do not win the business they need to win is because they are too focused on opportunity capture and have long given up any focus or accountability for opportunity creation. This is to get things backwards, in the wrong order.

Forecasts, Coaching, and Interesting Work

You are missing your forecast. A good part of that miss comes from deals that didn’t close and deals that pushed. Due to the extremely non-linearity of deals, being influenced and interrupted by so many factors, deals stall, get stuck, push, or die. But that isn’t why you missed your forecast. You missed your forecast because you didn’t have enough deals in the first place.

You are also coaching deals in the later stages. Who wants to talk about prospecting results and early-stage meetings? Those deals aren’t deep enough into the process to command your attention. This, even though many of the mistakes that derail deals in later stages happen much earlier in the process. Don your cape and mask and swoop in at the end, but that isn’t a strategy to rely on, nor does it scale. It’s not supposed to scale.

Deals are interesting. The bigger the deal and the closer it gets to being won, the more interesting it becomes. Down the stretch, your team needs help. They need resources, and they need modifications to the solution. This is the work sales managers love to do because it results in a win.

Your avoidance of prospecting enables your team to do the same. Everything is your fault. They are everything that you are.

Celebrating and a Too Narrow View of Wins

What if, in addition to celebrating wins, you celebrated new opportunities being created, recognizing that no deal is ever closed that is not first opened. What if the value of an opportunity created was the same as the value of an opportunity that is won.

Taking too narrow a view of what you value shifts all the focus to the end of the process, what I call The Commitment to Decide. Every step before that commitment is equally important in moving a client from target to client.

Not until you treat opportunity creation like it is equal to opportunity creation, will you have more of it.

Sales 2017
Post by Anthony Iannarino on December 4, 2017

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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