Salespeople don’t have enough selling time as it is. The last thing they need to do is squander precious time chasing bad opportunities. Yet, that is exactly what many salespeople do.
According to CSO Insights:
- Most salespeople, at best, spend three days a week selling: two days in front of customers and another day doing research and generating leads. The other two days are devoted to administrative tasks.
It gets worse.
- About 25% of forecasted deals end in no decision. That means salespeople often are using their limited selling time badly.
There are ways to ways to expand selling time. But that is a subject for another post.
This post will focus on making the most of selling time. The first step is to stop wasting time.
You can do that by identifying bad deals early. By bad deals I mean opportunities that either:
- Will never close
- You’ll never win
- Will take forever to close
PUCCKA — The Opportunity Finder
Consider the sales acronym: PUCCKA. This tool will help you distinguish good opportunities from bad ones. Special thanks to Mark Suster for a blog post on the topic.
To illustrate the concept, I will use a fictional salesperson named Nick and a fictional prospect named Mary.
P-Pain — What is the problem (or lost opportunity) that Mary is experiencing? How badly does she want to fix it?
U-Unique Selling Proposition — How compelling is Nick’s offer? Does Mary consider it the best available solution?
C-Compelling Event — Why is Mary considering the offer now? Are market conditions driving her? Or is it Nick’s killer ROI analysis?
C-Champion — Does Mary have the clout and conviction to get the money and approval for the project?
K-Key Players — Who else is involved the decision process — Technical experts? Finance? Users? Who can sabotage the project?
A — Aligned Purchasing Process — If P-U-C-C-K are favorable, is Mary ready to buy now? Does she have budget issues? Does she have higher priorities?
Nick uses a PUCCKA scorecard to analyze and prioritize opportunities. He’s looking at three companies “Standard,” “United,” and “Titan” (Mary’s company) and trying to decide which, if any, to pursue.
Below is the score for each company:
- Scoring –Each attribute must have a score ranging from 1 to 5, with 5 as the highest score. A perfect score is 30.
- Qualifying score — Nick will not spend any more time on a company with a score below 20.
- Standard — The Pain is high, but the champion lacks the clout to convince the key players and get budget approval
- United — The Pain is not strong enough to drive action.
- Titan — Mary is a well-placed champion and “in pain.” Nick must work with her to convince key players and getting approval.
The scores indicates that Titan, with a score of 23, is the only company worth pursuing.
More Time. Better Opportunities.
Nick can’t develop a score by only using the internet. Internet research is a start. But eventually, he’ll need to talk to someone at each company, probably quite a few people.
His research and conversations will take time. But, ultimately, he’ll save time.
Nick will avoid the “no decision” black hole. He’ll also avoid investing time when it’s clear that he’ll lose out to a competitor.
With a scorecard, Nick will not only find better opportunities. He’ll have more time to find more opportunities. He won’t be wasting time chasing bad deals.
He’ll also score points with the boss and maybe even the CEO. His forecasts will be more accurate because he has rigorously quantified opportunities.
About the Author | Peter Helmer
Peter Helmer is a principal in The Sales Management Group (SMG) which provides interim sales management and sales consulting services to middle-market companies. SMG works with CEOs and sales leaders to improve sales efficiency and effectiveness. SMG’s services include: sales audits, compensation plans, sales leader onboarding, and territory management plans. Peter writes the Sales Management Blog.