Any opportunity scheduled to close on March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, or December 31st should be removed from your forecast on principal.
These “close dates” are your sales quarters, and they have nothing whatsoever to with the date that your prospective client is going to buy, implement, take delivery of, or otherwise purchase what you sell. With the exception of budget found at the end of a fiscal year, your client doesn’t feel any pressure to make deals on the last day of a quarter.
The date your prospective client want to buy from you is Tuesday the 11th and 11:15 AM. The only time they can get their team together of a kickoff meeting is the following Thursday the 20th at 9:00 AM. They don’t have any idea where they are going to find time for you to train their team members. The whole process has already taken longer than they hoped it would, and they sometimes wish you’d get through your process faster.
They haven’t seen a schedule of of events leading up to implementation because you haven’t shown them one. If you had, they’d be happy to argue over dates and times and come to some agreement. If they had this implementation plan, they’d use it to hammer their people in the legal department to move on your stalled contract.
The truth about opportunities and closing dates is that they’re messy, that there isn’t any reason to try line them up with dates that only make sense because they answer the question “So what are you going to close this quarter?”
Show me a deal with a March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31 close date and I’ll show you a deal that can be closed before that date but is likely to get pushed into the future.
How do you choose the close date when you enter an opportunity into your sales force automation?
How do you determine the real date your prospective client is going to buy?
What would you have to do to dial in a real date? How would dialing in a real date help both you and your prospective client?
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