On Qualifying Opportunities: Bad News Early Is Good News

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Sales is a funny sport: to win the silver medal is to lose in the worst kind of way. No matter how counter-intuitive this feels, its true.

When you compete for some business, go the distance and lose, you are wasting your company’s resources, time, and money while most likely keeping your company from competing for winnable opportunities. There are only two winners in any sales cycle – the one who gets the sale and the one who backs out early from an opportunity they cannnot win.

If your company has long sell cycles you have to be extra vigilant in qualifying your opportunities. The selection process of many customers requires at least three vendors to bid for a larger purchase. Still, most of the time the selection committee already has decided who to award the business before they invite the other competing bids. These competing bids are there only to satisfy the company policy or to show the management that proper due diligence has been done in making the purchase decision.

So, if you are not the predetermined winner, bad news early is indeed good news for you and your company. Never mind how hard it seems to qualify opportunities out from your pipeline. You should have enough opportunities in your pipeline anyway so that disqualifying one of them won’t put you in trouble.

Just move on and concentrate your efforts on some other business which you know you can win. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did, and so will your company.

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