CRM Manage-Why do so many CRM implementations behave as if every sales opportunity was created equal? If your organization is involved in B2B or transactional B2C sales, a “one size fits all” approach might possibly work.
But if you are involved in complex B2B sales, and if you are selling to a mixture of new business and existing customers, you’ll almost certainly have a variety of different opportunity types.
These opportunity types will inevitably have different critical success factors, different degrees of difficulty, different average sales cycles, different average win rates and so on.
Four common opportunity types
It is striking (and unfortunate) how many CRM implementations still fail to properly reflect the distinct differences that exist between key B2B opportunity types, which typically include most or all of the following:
- Net New Business (a new project with a new customer)
- Cross-Sell (a new project with an existing customer)
- Up-Sell (an expansion of an existing project in an existing customer)
- Migration (moving from your previous platform to your latest platform)
Let’s examine the dynamics of each of these opportunity types (you may have even more types, particularly if you have a lot of services-only engagements):
Net New Business [New Project-New Customer]
These are typically the most challenging of all opportunity types but often the most rewarding – particularly if the account has genuine long-term development potential. We often have to sell the need to solve the problem, sell our company’s credentials and sell the unique benefits of our solution.
We need to qualify hard (particularly in areas like organization fit, decision criteria, and decision process) and have to expect a lengthy and complex sales cycle. It is particularly important that we find creative ways of engaging early and influencing the prospective customer’s requirements.
Net new business win rates are typically lower than other opportunity types – and they are worst of all when responding to an unexpected RFP from an organization we have never engaged with before. In fact, industry-wide average win rates for this latter category of deal are usually so painful (low single digits) that our default should normally be to qualify out.