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From the Lead to the Sales Opportunity

What is a Sales Opportunity and How to Identify and Manage It?

Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. – Chris Grosser

According to the statistics, only 13% of leads get converted into sales opportunities across all the channels and it takes about 84 days to convert a lead into a sales opportunity.

Overall, the average lead-to-deal conversion rate is 0.8%, which means that it takes over 128 leads to close one deal.

To work efficiently, you need to know how to sort this 1 lead out of 128 others and how to competently conduct leads through the entire purchase process. That means changing their status from a lead to a prospect, from the prospect to a sales opportunity, from the sales opportunity to a happy client.

To increase your chances of closing a deal, it’s absolutely necessary to understand that there are several more steps between the lead and the purchase itself.

Mace Horoff, an award-winning speaker, trainer, consultant, the author and first of all a great seller, in one of his TED Talks compared sales to sex: When it comes to sex and romance that things are better if we slow it down. Salespeople need to do the same thing.

The fact is, that in any relationship there are stages: you meet a person that attracts you, but you don’t jump into the marriage from the very first conversation. So why it should be different from sales?

I’m pretty sure now you are wondering what are the stages of the sales process and if they have an impact on communication or let it be a carbon copy?

Let’s figure it out and create the opportunities together!

What are the sales opportunities and how do they differ from leads and prospects?

Sales opportunity is one of the most confusing concepts in the sales world. Many salespeople don’t see any difference between sales opportunities and leads or prospects.

That’s why to understand the concept itself, at first place we need to define what leads and prospects are, and after that see the difference between all 3 of them.

A lead is an unqualified contact you have little information about. It’s someone potentially interested in your goods or services. Lead can be just a name on a list, referrals or someone you were talking with while waiting in the line at the grocery store.

Once a lead wants to proceed, you need to qualify him.

3 qualification criteria a lead should have to become a prospect:

  • fit your target market
  • have the means to buy
  • be authorized to make buying decisions

Once you’ve determined that the person meets the criteria above, he is a prospect and you can move to the next phase of the selling process.

People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole. – Theodore Levitt.

To successfully proceed to the next stage you need to remember, that people don’t buy a product, they buy a solution to their problem.
As soon as the prospect agrees to consider your solution, he becomes a sales opportunity.

Here is the definition: a sales opportunity is someone who fits your target group, has means and rights to make a deal and agrees with the solution you proposed.

But don’t confuse the sales opportunity with the closed deal, you still have a long way to go.

To close the deal you need much more than just a solution. The same way to solve the problem can be proposed by several of your competitors. What stands you out from others is the value that you provide together with the solution to the problem.

Let’s see the example.
To make it easier, I chose the topic, familiar to everyone – Travel Agency.

Imagine: You are a big lover of summer vacation, you travel at least 2 times a year, and you have been to many countries. You live in a private house in Paris and shop in the luxury stores, love haute couture and follow up with all the trends.

Not long ago you started following my travel agency on Instagram, simply because the page looks trendy.

Now you are my lead.

My travel agency provides a luxury tourist service for people that do not deny themselves anything.
My target group is an upper class from Paris and its surroundings, vacation for them is not a luxury but a usual thing; They are interested exclusively in a top-class vacation: five-star hotels, first-class tickets and so on.

You submitted an online form on my website, and I know that you are a good opportunity for me. So I’m calling you to know you better (where have you been, whether you are planning a trip, etc.) and to familiarize you with my services.

Thanks to the research I made and the information I got from the phone call, I know that you are a perfect client for me: you fit my target group, you have means to use my services. You also agreed to proceed with our communication.

Now you are my prospect.

At this stage, I’m trying to develop our relationship, to build trust and at the same time to get as much information as possible to learn more about your problem and to provide the best solution for it.

Then I’m trying to figure out what other options you have and develop my offer according to it (what other travel agencies can propose you; how do they differ from me).

After I have all the necessary information, I make a proposition. Once you agreed to consider it, you are a sales opportunity.

Now I’m taking into account your remarks, and improving my offer.

It’s time for the sentence: yes or no?
If yes – the deal is closed;
If no – well, is there something I can make to turn “no” into “yes”?

Otherwise:

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming. – Richard Branson.

How to manage sales opportunities?

  • Qualify your leads.

Appreciate your time and the time of your leads. Considering the fact, that out of 128 only 1 lead will make a deal with you, that’s incredibly important to qualify them.

Because if you spend around 84 days on the conversion of just 1 person from the lead to the sales opportunity, imagine how much time you will spend on converting the other 127 leads, that for some reason will not buy anything from you.

  • Build a strong connection.

Decisions are largely emotional, not logical.

A few years ago, the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio told a story about a man, who suffered brain damage in the part that is responsible for emotions. This damage left him unable to feel any emotions.

What was quite surprising, is that he became far slower at making decisions – very often finding himself unable to choose between two equally good options.

Without the ability to associate choice with emotions, the man found it particularly impossible to make decisions.

Try to develop a relationship with your sales opportunities. Because if they feel a strong bond with you and your company, they will never again consider other options, such as your competition’s offer.

Interesting fact: Successful reps are 10x more likely to use collaborative words like “us,” “we,” and “our”.

  • Know your prospects: their needs, pains, gains, and obstacles to buying.

We tend to prefer people who are similar to us.

Knowing as much as possible at first sight completely unnecessary details about the prospect will let you better understand him and find something in common.

If you know him, you know his expectations and desires, you know what stops him from the purchase. Once you start thinking like your sales opportunity – the deal is in your pocket.

Make your customers feel something when they come in touch with you.

Can you imagine how much easier it would be if you remember all the small details from the conversations with your prospects?

Then you could easily personalize the communication and get some extra points at that very moment of choice.

The problem is, that the short-term memory can hold up to 7 pieces of information at the same time… But only for around 20 seconds!

But CrazyCall found a solution.

With plenty of features such as Call Recordings and Call Scripts knowing all the details will seem like a pity.

On top of that, you will find CrazyCall useful no matter how big your business is. Make notes, listen to previous calls before contacting a prospect and enjoy good deals.

Right now, try it out with a 14-day free trial.
Open doors and embrace new opportunities with CrazyCall.

  • Track the progress.

Once the lead becomes a sales opportunity, you need to keep track of his engagement rate. For example how often he visits your page and elapsed time he spends on it, etc. So you will be one step ahead, ready to react.

We’ve come to an end.

I hope, this article will provide some clarity to your sales process.

Remember, that sale is also a kind of relationship.
Building a relationship with a wrong person never ends well. So pick leads carefully.

Slow down, to hit the home run you need to get through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base.

If you focus on relationship stages and creating a strong bond with your prospects, things should go well.

Don’t wait for the opportunities, create them!

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