Prospecting: Never Fall Behind, Never Play Catch Up

Let’s imagine that your quota is $2,000,000 this year. Let’s also agree that your average deal size is $100,000 and that you win 50 percent of the deals for which you compete. This is easy math.

You need to win 20 deals to make your quota. Of course, the fact that this is an average means that some deals will be larger, and some will be smaller, but overall, twenty is a good number. Remember, however, you only win half of your opportunities. This means you need forty opportunities to reach your quota.

This is where salespeople and sales organizations get into trouble: opportunity acquisition.

If you divide the number 40 by 12 months, you come up with 3.33. That is how many opportunities you need to create each month. Here is where the wheels come off.

If you decide that January is a tough month to prospect, and you don’t create any new opportunities, you just doubled the number of opportunities you need to create in February. You need to double the average number of new opportunities to get back to even (or create opportunities that are twice the average).

If you create two new opportunities in February, you carry the deficit of four into March. Not you need seven opportunities. That’s even more than you needed in February. You have fallen further behind. You are now running to stand still.

You have a tough time in March. You only come up with one new opportunity, but it is twice the average, so now it counts as two. Congratulations, you are now only 9 opportunities behind where you need to be.

Things don’t work out as neatly as I have described them here. That said, the outcomes in the scenario above are all too real for too many salespeople and too many sales organizations. The math doesn’t matter as much as the principle. Prospecting it the lifeblood of a sales organization. It is something that must be done with great discipline and equally great consistency.

There is no way to cram opportunity acquisition. An hour of prospecting each and every day can keep you from falling so far behind that it is impossible to catch up.

If you want to be be more productive, go sign up for my free 9-part video training series, How to Plan Your Model Sales Week.

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