We asked that question on our LinkedIn group, Sales Readiness, and started a pretty spirited debate among our members. Probably the most thoughtful reply was this one from Sandy Horner: “If a lead is not closed, there is no sale. Therefore, closing is critical. However, I believe that a properly qualified lead that is well managed will close naturally, without the need for engaging in clever ‘closing techniques.’ “
Consider your own sales organization. Which is more important to you, generating leads above your sales funnel or getting better at closing deals already in your funnel? While the easy answer is to say both, force yourself to really think through the equation.
Change your win rate
Here’s one approach to determining the answer: Change your win rate. Take it from 30 percent to 50 percent (or 15 percent to 25 percent) or whatever constitutes a meaningful jump. Without getting better at any other stage of your sales pipeline–and keeping the number of incoming new opportunities steady–will you make your sales target this year? That’s one way to start looking at things. Just realize that if changing your win rate gets you to your goal in this calculation, you will actually have to change your real win rate.