If your company is like almost every client we work with you have a goal of improving close rates. Because unfortunately, not every prospect your sales team is selling to is truly "qualified", the easiest way to improve your win rate is to eliminate or disqualify those prospects as early in the selling cycle as possible. This is difficult to accomplish if your sales team is self-identifying prospect targets.
Increasing win rates is actually fairly easy to accomplish when you establish a well-defined opportunity qualification process and early deal stage dis-qualification process. This can only occur if you have taken the time to determine best-fit prospects and are properly segmenting by characteristics such as industry, company size, and type of product/service being sold.
Two tools to help this effort are on 3FORWARD's Resources page: the Sweet Spot Matrix and Finding Your Best Prospects Success Kits.
Using these tools and making their results part of your selling process ensures that sales teams are only calling on approved targets. It also makes it very easy to quickly reject opportunities that are not a best fit without appearing arbitrary. Just remember, even some opportunities which pass your best-fit filter may eventually be disqualified out. As an example, an opportunity may require an IT component you don't have, or contain legal requirements that you cannot accept.
By uncovering these deal killers early in the selling cycle you are able to conserve the valuable resources in your opportunity management team and the more importantly keep your sale reps focused on high probability targets. This same process can be applied against your current sales pipeline to understand how much "risk" it contains. Better to be surprised now rather than at the end of the sales year!
Like a dog chasing cars – some sales leaders and their teams try to fill the sales pipelines by focusing on RFP's and poorly qualified opportunities! Break your sales team of this habit and watch your close rates climb.