In poker, a player can lose to another player who is making wrong decisions in a single hand of poker. Still, the player who consistently makes the right choices will eventually win the tournament.
The same is true in sales. A sales professional can lose the deal to a salesperson who is making a wrong decision in an opportunity pursuit. Still, the sales professional who consistently applies improved decisions over many opportunities will earn more throughout their career.
"The two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck. Recognizing between will determine your quality of life."
I want to share three principles you can apply to your business decisions. When you make these into a habit, they will increase our ability to make the right decisions and improve the quality of everything you do.
Please look at your sales pipeline. You probably like most of those deals, and you can defend the win probability.
So you know That deal will close. Earning will continue to go up. The next project will be successful. your clients will call you back
Imagine someone just came in the room with the opposite position on your assumption and said, Wanna bet That deals will NOT close. Earning will continue to go down. The next project will NOT be successful. Your clients won't call you back.
If asked to wager a significant sum of money on your assumption, you would probably pause and try to validate your position then and think about What information are you missing? What do they know that I don't?
When you think of every one of your position as bets, you begin to scan for possible future outcomes and try to compensate for your degree of risk factor. As a result, you apply your comfort level and risk and are likely to seek new information and an unfair advantage to remove uncertainty from your position.
"Thinking of everything as bets reposition you in objectivity, accuracy, and information seeking. faster application over time exponentially, which accumulates positive directional moves."
Despite any uncertainty about the future, we can make a confident bet if we know our chance has a positive expected value.
(Expected value = Deal value * Win Probability)/ Opportunity Cost
If an expected value > cost (time, money & attention we need to commit), we have a positive expected value.****
If a salesperson has an opportunity with a 50% chance of a $200K contract, the expected value is $100K. If the opportunity cost is $50K, to the end of the deal, and the solution is better than the competition, they have a positive expected value ($100k > $50k). Therefore, you should continue the sales process. Even If you lose, you still made the right decision because if you make the same assumption enough times, you will win deals.
Perhaps you need to look at the assumptions used to determine if your solution was better than your opponent or see if they had an unfair advantage that you didn't, thus reassess your position for the next pursuit.
If the reward is worth the weighted probability, you should commit with confidence to the opportunity. If we don't get the desired result, we still made the right decision.
WARNING. It has been my experience that many sales professionals do not make the right decision at this point. Most sales professionals don't truly understand the total opportunity cost and the ramification of spending the limited resource available to be used across all aggregated opportunity pursuits. You can remedy by asking the opportunity owner to take bets on their sales portfolio's outcome by ranking the opportunities expected results.
Evaluation is hard because regardless of the outcome, what was the Quality of Outcome vs. the Quality of Decision.
In sales, you can completely misread my situation, opportunity, or competitors' solution, make a terrible bet but get lucky by something changing in your favor and get the deal.
As my friend BillyD always says, "he woke up on third and thought he hit a triple."
If you don't take the time to assess and adjust your faulty judgment critically, you will have the opportunity to make the same mistake in the future, and you may not get lucky next time.
The key is to not only critically direct your losses but spend two times as much time on your wins to understand what you did right and how you can repeat it.
You can make a lousy decision and still win. But when making the same future decisions, you will surely lose in the future. That's why you must develop the following practice: When we get a good result in sales, we must find at least two mistakes you made in the deal pursuit and admit them to a peer and debate better choices.
The reveal keeps us humble, but it will also help us shift from being results‐focused to process‐focused. Admitting mistakes when you lose is hard, but admitting mistakes we've made winning an opportunity is the way forward to earning your next deal.
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About the Author
Marco Giunta had an interesting journey to digital B2B marketing sales. He began with a C64, and Founded several startups where he focused on projects around top_line revenue growth and helping companies succeed...
I f you have a project or question that you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to reach out to me.