Velocity of Opportunity

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Speed wins deals and procrastination (delay) kills deals. A statement very strong, but true…however, something which all the sales professionals would agree based on their experience in the field. Every buying decision that a customer takes, involves a complete process of evaluation, benchmarking  (if any) and decision making. However, this process is not followed when there is an urgent requirement.

Marketing professionals do believe that every interesting opportunity that they come across or generate has a great potential .This potential can be realized only if the opportunity is converted into an executable order, in the least possible time. The speed of conversion of the opportunity in to an order can be termed as “Velocity of Opportunity” . Higher the velocity better are the chances of conversion.  We need to focus on the following few things to increase the velocity :

Ambassador (Single-thread) at customer place : Although most of the buying decisions are taken by a buying committee, there is always one key person who influences the decision, in majority of the cases. This person, who could do all the talking for you, at the customer place, is the single-thread or the ambassador for you. It is (s) he, who can help you win or lose the deal. Hence, it is very important to be well connected with him and understand his (her) requirements– the key objectives of the purchase and the benefits expected by the customer, in addition to the boundary conditions and the competition.  Appropriate questioning technique and enough time spent at the customer place are some of the common methods used by the sales fraternity to understand the requirements of the Ambassador and in turn the customer.

Perceived Benefit : It is very important to understand the perceived benefit from the customers’ viewpoint. If need be, this needs to be expressed in terms of value so that it is objectively evaluated. In some cases, though, the perceived benefit is not measurable .A good sales person should attend to this too very pragmatically.

Be Next Door : Availability of a sales person within the ‘radius of buyer’ is an important aspect, that becomes the USP in quite a few cases. In today’s e-age, the buyers have limited time, and hence, if they are able to locate the required sales guy within their radius (reach), they prefer this owing to the ease of this activity. This indicates that being next door, is a good resource. Nevertheless, this should not mean pestering the buyer with too many emails or calls. Being next door also includes being on the top of recall memory. The buyer should think of us when he needs a solution .

Knowing the competition of customer : Benchmarking has gained immense popularity in every segment across the globe. Being aware of what the customers’ competition is doing, is an important asset, that comes to one’s help in critical times.  It is often found that the buyer at customer place knows little about their competition. Hence, any such information that could influence his decision, is a welcome information for him. It is a great aid to him, if relevant. An additional overtime by the sales person in this regard is often fruitful.

Response Time : Response to a query from the buyer in the least possible time – speed of response – has been seen to be a game changer in majority of cases. Every buyer loves a fast response . Hence, being punctual and swift is an advantage. It has a favourable impact on velocity of opportunity as well.

An appropriate combination of all the above parameters (traits) helps a sales person to enhance the velocity of opportunity, and get faster success in realizing his goals.

- Manoj Kabre