Do Your Sales People Know Their Estimated Close Dates?

July 30, 2019 Uncategorized Comments Off on Do Your Sales People Know Their Estimated Close Dates?

The last newsletter discussed managing the quantity of opportunities your sales people have so they can close enough sales to meet their quota. A key component to the management process is the Opportunity Log that lists each Opportunity with a realistic estimated close date, the status of the opportunity within the customer’s system and the probability that you will get the order when it is placed.  

Having this Opportunity Log and keeping it updated daily will increase the sales person’s efficiency and close rate. This month, let’s look at the fist component of managing the Opportunity Log, having a realistic estimated close date for each Opportunity.  

Why is it important to have a realistic estimated close date for each Opportunity? The work has been done to find and define an application, quote the solution, submit the quote and list the quote in the Opportunity Log. Why would you not want to know when the customer or potential customer plans to place the order?  

Part of the initial questioning when defining the scope of the request for quote needs to include asking this question so you know when you are in the quoting phase what the expectations for delivery are so you can take this into account. It is after the quote is submitted and the sales person moves on to other requests for quotes and their day to day sales work that managing the estimated close dates typically becomes an issue.  

Change is the only constant and this is what makes maintaining the estimated close date a challenge. Quite a bit can happen between when the need is first discussed and several months after the quote is submitted and it is common for the date that the customer plans to make the purchase to get pulled ahead or pushed back. Therefore, the sales person needs to proactively work on managing the estimated close date in their Opportunity Log. How is this done? They simply ask and keep asking and making updates to their Opportunity Log. This follow-up helps both the sales person and their company.  

The Opportunity Log should be the best forecasting tool the company has and with the estimated close dates updated with dates as realistic as they can be, a forecast can easily be compiled. This helps management with future plans of all types from financial, to personnel, to resources. From the sales person’s personal standpoint, knowing the estimated close dates will help them plan and manage their time. This can help them be in the right place at the right time and many other things including making updates to their plans and quotes when needed.               

“A Habit” is not work, but just a thing that is done every day and managing the estimated close dates in the Opportunity Log is critical to your success in sales and can easily become a Habit.  

TIME MANAGEMENT. For Top Performers every task is planned and focused on the goals that earn the results. Top Performers plan and then engage. They act on their plans, they work hard and they get results.      

Coaching these skills is a critical part of what we do. We are here to help you develop and implement your Strategic Plan and coach and develop the skills to implement the plan successfully.

We are having great success coaching and implementing these methods and skills and our clients love it!

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