Big Elephants or Little Fish?

By March 6, 2018 June 21st, 2019 Blog

Should Your Sales Team Chase The Big Elephants Or The Little Fish?

The answer, of course, is both.  I have been on quota for over half my time on earth and have had the opportunity to sell or lead sales teams that sell a variety of products and services at all different price points.  I sold the largest single-site software deal my company ever sold back in 2000 for $1 million dollars as a rep and still spend every day collecting invoices that all together don’t amount to much.

Business Analytics

The larger deals, of course, take longer to close with all their moving parts.  That makes the sales cycle longer with more people involved and more approvals that are needed and more chances to go wrong.  They require more resources from your own internal team to address the needs of the prospect.  They often want to work on “their” paper even though they are not in your business.  I’d offer that because of time to close you also win a smaller percentage of them.  But oh, the rewards!  To land that big deal makes you that star, sends you to Presidents Clubs, fills your bank account and get you and your companies name on the map.

The smaller deals tend to move faster and sometimes are executed with a handshake or a note on a bar napkin.  They tend to be based more on relationship and trust than actual process or documentation.  They are the foundation of success in any business, big or small – these are the deals that “keep the lights on” – the singles and doubles that actually let you go chase those Home Runs …I’d suggest most salespeople make their quota off of a volume of “small” deals and they overachieve as a result of the elephant.

The better question for me is – how do you more effectively chase both these size deals at the same time?  A challenge for any sales leader – when and where do you commit your resources to a deal?  If your organization is NOT using METRICS and DATA to help with these answers you are swimming upstream.  You have to inspect what you expect from your team and use the past to predict the future.

Sales teams are hustlers – but with data and analytics crafted the way YOU need to run your business they have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.  Reporting needs to give you the transactional details to make day to day decisions, Dashboards or Visualizations in today’s market need to be the component that allows you to be more Strategic.

No matter if you use tools like ours or others on the market, but make sure you get in the game – bring the right tool to the right opportunity and HAPPY HUNTING

Tom Ericson

VP SALES
Splash Business Intelligence, Inc.