It’s not unusual to encourage bulldog stubbornness and persistence in sales people: we want them to dig in and not let go. The problem is, some sales deals are not worth pursuing past a certain point, and we know it. You have two choices: either move on now or hang on for a while. The question is, when it the right time to drop it? Here are the consequences of not leaving or qualifying out of a deal early on in the sales process.
Should you stay in the game if the deal is not qualified? If the deal will cause enormous risk to you and your company by over-promising and under-delivering? If you are just column fodder?Of course not. But sometimes we do anyway. Let’s take a look at the risks and the benefits when you do not qualify out of deals early on.
If you stay in the game:
- You will waste your time when it could be better spent on other more qualified deals
- You will waste the time of your key resources as well
- You will have deals in your pipeline that have not closed for hundreds of days past the original close date – and will probably never close
- Your pipeline will be inflated and may lull you into believing you have an adequate pipeline-to-close ratio
- You will continue to hope and pray that the deal will close (never a good thing!)
If you qualify out early:
- You can use your time on deals you have a better chance of winning
- Your key resources’ time can also work deals the company has a better chance of winning
- Your pipeline will be more reflective of reality
- Your management will be able to forecast more accurately
- You can take all of the kudos and know that you are an exceptional sales person who knows when to stay in the game and when to ditch
I realize that sales people believe they are doing the right thing by hanging in there and being persistent. However, knowing when to qualify out of deals early has more upside than downside.
Janice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter