With SDR™, “hope” is a four letter word. Suspects, Prospects and Clients are the only categories you should be focusing on. Get rid of grey areas because grey areas are judgment calls filled with what I call hope.

First off, when assessing an opportunity you must stay away from “on a scale of 1-10, how close do you think they are to buying?” Yes, your boss might ask you that silly question, and yes, you’ll have to answer him, but always remember that when assessing an opportunity you should only think of it as a black and white issue in your head because ultimately your opportunity is either going to buy or won’t buy.

As mentioned in my blog post, “How to achieve the SDR™ mindset“, there are two “compelling moments” in the sales process, that’s right, only two. The rest of the sales process is simply the art of that deal, not the next one or the last, just that deal. These two compelling moments are where the human condition must make an honest and informed decision.

Compelling moment number one is when a suspect becomes a prospect (giving clear direction to move one or more steps thru the sales process). When the prospect is worth investing resources like time and money. The second is when they commit to buy or when you tell them they need to buy from someone else because they are stringing you along or are asking for too many concessions.

There was a time in my career when I was asked three questions every Monday morning for 5 years. 1) How many appointments do you have this week? 2) How many of those have a 50% chance or greater to close 3) When will that revenue book.

Obviously, there’s only really one question that could be answered honestly by looking at my calendar, #1. So what does that mean? #2 and #3 are merely responses of “hope” based on an educated guess.

But we already know we don’t sell, we help buyers buy. And they will only buy when they are ready, not a moment sooner. So hope is a waste of time, stress and significantly hinders good judgement. Thus making question #2 and #3 a slippery slope of deal momentum killing doom.

Sure, there may be measurement needed for “the funnel” and projection purposes, but thats for a CRM system, not your brain. This question must be asked for budgeting purposes, but it can’t be taken seriously on how and when the “prospect” will decide. It only provides a forecast, hope and comfort. Again, not for your brain.

Besides, a funnel by its visual nature isn’t dynamic. An excel spreadsheet isn’t dynamic. Dashboards, dials, color-coded systems are pretty cool, but alas, none are part of sealing the deal.

They account for things yes, but this is where average sales people get stuck and become dependent and over reliant on a CRM system – the true time bandit. Data entry, data collection, data management, forecasting and lastly, your overall performance. All things pointing to hope. Again, tools for accountability and strategy, not for your brain.

Dump your funnel, it’s longer relevant! Set targets, pursue those targets with honest effort and leave the accounting to an after business hours discussion with yourself.

Hope will cook your brain – recognize hope and keep it caged.

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