Before we dive into sales opportunity management, let’s start by thinking about the business’s approach to sales opportunities. How many of these statements apply to your organization?
- You don’t know if the opportunities in your pipeline are viable.
- You don’t know which opportunities to focus on.
- You take hours or days to follow up on opportunities.
- You don’t know your ratio of won to lost opportunities.
If even one of the above statements applies to you then potential deals are likely slipping through the cracks. Here are other sales management KPIs you should keep an eye on. So now that you have identified the definitive need for opportunity management, let's dive into it.
What is opportunity management?
Opportunity management is the process of managing and organizing your potential sales.
Sales opportunity management (or sales pipeline management) involves tracking potential sales as they move down the funnel. When managing sales opportunities, you want to prioritize your efforts on the highest-value deals that are most likely to go through.
The purpose of sales opportunity management is to make your sales process more efficient. Effective sales opportunity management allows you to better understand your customers, enabling you to prioritize interactions with higher potential.
The next step is understanding the difference between leads and opportunities.
Leads vs opportunities
A lead is a sales prospect, while an opportunity represents a potential deal with a qualified prospect giving it a high chance of converting to a customer.
A sales opportunity should have a pain point that is a good fit for the product or service that you are selling. A lead, on the other hand, is someone with a general interest in your product or services. This creates a different process for lead management.
How to manage opportunities
In sales, opportunity management means converting potential customers and leads into recurring revenue. A good sales team is not enough to achieve this. Sales Managers need to have a proper system in place to track opportunities as they progress through the sales pipeline.
Your business can benefit from opportunity management in several ways:
- Streamline your business process by standardizing your sales pipeline workflow. Keep your prospects informed and on track.
- Applying proper sales techniques will result in you increasing your win rate by knowing what to do next in each step.
- You will be able to see which opportunities matter most when you have a better understanding of your opportunities.
How to find new sales opportunities
Identifying new sales opportunities is different from identifying leads.
A lead is an individual who may want to buy products or services eventually. Leads, however, don’t always result in an immediate sales opportunity because they are not ready to make a purchase right away.
Sales opportunities on the other hand are already interested in your product and looking to buy.
So, the first stage of finding new sales opportunities involves doing your research. You want to learn as much about your current leads as you can.
The next step is to determine whether your leads fit the company's sales criteria. This is important as you don’t want to spend too much time on unqualified leads.
Breaking down your opportunity into stages
There is no set length of time for the sales cycle, and it can be anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on your industry. This is why it’s important to separate your opportunities by stage.
When it comes to opportunity management, here are the sales stages to consider:
- Qualification: Prior to putting all of your efforts into a lead, you want to make sure that it is qualified. Make sure your product matches your prospect's marketing persona and level of interest by using pre-established criteria. Once you determine that your lead is qualified, they then become associated with a sales opportunity.
- Pain Point: Assess the pain points of your customers and determine how valuable your product or service would be to them. This will allow you to market your products or services in a way that speaks directly to your potential customers.
- Point of Contact: Finding the right key decision-maker is key. You can build a positive relationship with anyone, but if the person you're talking with doesn't have the authority to make decisions the power to pay you, then your efforts may be wasted. In order to close the sale, you must establish a rapport with the person responsible for purchasing decisions at the company.
- Quote: As you near the end of the sales cycle, you need to prepare a quote for review. Customize your quote to address your customers' pain points and meet their specific needs.
- Close: Once the details are finalized, you are ready to close the deal. You probably converted this opportunity into a sale! Even when you fail, it's important to see the opportunity through to the end.
Effective opportunity management takes time and effort but the payoff is well worth it. If your business is struggling to manage sales opportunities it may be time to adopt a new solution.
Analytical solutions not only streamline your opportunity management but also provide insight into your prospects. They help you effectively manage opportunities by:
- Tracking every interaction part of the journey from lead to customer.
- Providing you with a 360-degree view of every contact.
- Giving you an at-a-glance understanding of your sales pipeline and opportunities.
See how it works