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The Outcome-Centric Selling Blog

Why it’s best to say “no” before your prospect does

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 20-Jan-2016

Many sales people seem to have an abiding fear of hearing the word “no”.

As a result, they go to often-extraordinary lengths to avoid asking questions that might cause the prospect to give them a negative answer that will kill the deal.

But this desire to avoid negative answers usually turns out to be an entirely counter-productive strategy, and here’s why…

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Why sales forecasts go wrong - and what to do about it...

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 5-Jan-2016

I hope that you enjoyed the holiday season, and are returning to work re-energised and determined to achieve some ambitious goals in 2016. But I wonder if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to do a better job of sales forecasting?

If so, I want to share a few ideas that may help you start the New Year - and finish the first quarter - as you mean to continue…

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Why untested assumptions will kill your Q4 closes

Posted by Bob Apollo on Sun 22-Nov-2015

It's the 22nd November, we're well into Q4 and for many organisations - and many B2B sales people - that haven't yet achieved their 2015 revenue goals, it's the most critical period of the year.  In practical terms, we've probably got 4 weeks of active selling time - 5 if we're lucky. In the US, the Thanksgiving holiday is about to eat into that precious time.

You're probably still depending on a number of deals to make your number. Now more than ever, you've got to rely on your sales people to execute flawlessly, and hope that your prospects do what you want them to do.

But if that hope is based on assumption, rather than a mutual commitment to an agreed close plan, you had better prepare to be disappointed. Let's not forget that hope is not (and should never be) a strategy. A number of clients have found the following checklist invaluable when determining whether the deals they are depending on have a real chance of closing - so that they can address the weaknesses before it is too late. I offer them to you in the hope that you might find them equally useful...

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Sales Forecasting Essentials - get your definitions right

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 12-Oct-2015

There’s nothing more frustrating for a sales leader, a CEO or a Board of Directors than a continued inability to come up with a revenue forecast that consistently hits the target numbers. But - as anyone who has had the responsibility knows only too well, accurate forecasting is a tough task.

That’s particularly true in complex sales environments with multiple variables. And it’s a sad truth that there are no magic wands. But - as I hope to prove in this occasional series on the essentials of effective sales forecasting - there are some basic foundations that need to be laid.

At the most basic level, forecasters - and everyone they depend on for data - have to work off a common set of definitions about what exactly they mean by various forecast categories. It sounds like it ought to be simple, but I’ve been exposed to far too many sales environments where even this most basic objective has not been achieved...

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