One of my customers asked me to meet with members of their sales team to assess sales opportunities their sales people are working on and see if I can provide guidance. I asked the reps to share an example of a deal that they are working on; and one of the examples is an opportunity were the customer has indicated they are going to buy the product, has a copy of the paper work and had yet to send in the required paper work. The sales person is feeling frustrated by the fact the paper work has not been received.
I did a BANT (budget, need, authority, timing (I add competition)) assessment on the opportunity and I was not surprised to find out that the rep did not ask questions associated with budget, need, authority and competition; as a result he did not know when or if he was going to receive the contract.
If your sales organization struggles with sales people providing accurate timing on close dates, structure the Opportunities object within your CRM to help you collect and assess the information required to estimate close dates.
· Need –This is typically a combination of custom fields that are populated to help establish product selection associated with the opportunity.
· Authority –SalesForce.com provides a Partner & Contact Role objects that are associated with an opportunity. These objects allow you to customize a description of the partner or contact, I use terms like President – Decision Maker or Marketing Coordinator – Influencer.
· Competition– SalesForce provides a custom object that allows you to associate a competitor name and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses/Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats)
· Budget –This is a combination of custom fields.
· Timing –Use the close date field to predict timing and build reports and dashboards to manage these dates.