Key activities such as market evaluation, product positioning and alignment of leadership goals are crucial first steps to commercial success. To continue the development of an optimal commercial strategy, consider past commercial successes and failures. Historical sales data is a source of unbiased data information that provides new perspectives regarding your sales process, resource allocation, and customer needs.
Constructing Data to Extract Value:
Pipeline reviews can provide insight into your success, challenges, and missed potential in your commercial strategy. A thorough pipeline review doesn’t only evaluate open opportunities in the current pipeline, but also past sales opportunities both lost and won. Many early stage companies don’t have reliable and organized sales data to analyze, which complicates a seemingly simple commercial activity into a long and resource intensive process. Without reliable data and commercial management tools, companies may find it difficult to begin pipeline evaluations and extrapolate accurate commercial insights.
United BioChannels organizes and evaluates past and present sales data to assist commercial teams in maximizing revenue generation. Early stage companies may use resources like Microsoft Excel, Hubspot, or Salesforce to manage their sales activity and pipeline management guidelines to optimize the pipeline analysis activities below, but often this information is fragmented, incomplete, or biased to only evaluate won opportunities. The relative success of a past and present sales review is dependent on the accuracy, completeness and construction of the data.
Pipeline Review: What to Consider
Once the complete historical and current sales data is assembled for review, it informs commercial teams which market segments and applications are the most lucrative for their current product and customers. The following questions may pose challenges to the commercial team: What data is the most important? What insights provide the most value? How should the commercial team use the sales pipeline data?
- Are the opportunities appropriately segmented?
- Can one estimate the average sales cycle timelines to win an opportunity by market segment?
- Does the market segment that results in the most wins also have the least amount of lost opportunities?
- Is there an opportunity to re-engage lost opportunities because previous customer pain points or deeper knowledge of workflows has been developed by the brand?
The United BioChannels team has led inumerable pipeline evaluations over decades of combined experience and has shared their expertise through the following customizable process and guidance. Commercial leaders that leverage the recommendations below will get a realistic view of their current commercial aptitude and the most viable markets to gain commercial traction. To maximize the actionable insight that pipeline reviews offer, The United Biochannels team customizes their analysis to each client’s specific challenges, technologies, and commercial goals.
Commercial success is exciting and can provide validation for a product idea or positioning, but not all commercial successes represent the same value. To determine an effective sales strategy, evaluate the size and circumstances of your wins against the commercial strategies proposed in the positioning brief and market analysis. Consider the resources required to close a sale and the subsequent revenue resulting from product support and consumable consumption. The questions below will guide you through the evaluation of successful sales and their potential to drive sustainable revenue.
- What segments and customers are responsible for your profitable installation and sales?
- What resources were required to close successful sales?
- What application segments are driving your largest sales?
- How long is the sales cycle?
- What product features are driving your biggest market segments?
- How are customers using and supporting their purchased product over time?
Lost sales opportunities are difficult for companies to endure. Securing feedback from past customers or soured relationships is challenging, however, it can be one of the most valuable sources of insight into your commercial strategy, product positioning, and customer needs. Third party resources can have impartial discussions without the pressure of a sales meeting and revisit opportunities that have closed due to technical challenges that have since been rectified. UBC can help you answer the following questions that contribute to strategic commercial improvements.
- Where have you hosted product demonstrations in the last two years?
- What segments and customers are not resulting in sales? Why?
- Why are you losing when you think you are going to win?
- How much time have you spent on lost opportunities?
- Are you still working opportunities where you are unlikely to make a sale?
- Did customers purchase a competitor product? What features drove that sale?
- Are there opportunities in your pipeline lost to technical challenges? If so, have any of these challenges been solved? Is there an opportunity to re-engage?
Evaluating Open Opportunities:
Open opportunities are a subset of actionable leads in your pipeline with defined timing and set revenue. They represent the current potential revenue and commercial health of the company. Collating the data into meaningful recommendations requires accurate data and careful analysis. Ask the following questions to gain actionable insight:
- How accurate is your understanding of the current sales cycle? Where are there opportunities for improvement?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of the application?
- Do the opportunities in your current pipeline reflect your target market segments?
- Are there other markets represented in your pipeline that are surprising?
- What market segments are represented in your pipeline and which product features provide value to them?
- To what applications and segments are you allocating the most sales resources?
How United BioChannels Can Help:
United BioChannels creates meaningful sales pipelines and extracts actionable insights to inform commercial strategy. Our team identifies technological challenges that result in lost opportunities and identifies solutions that maximize potential revenue. We then source Key Opinion Leaders and collaborators to support those solutions, helping brands test and execute strategies that would be difficult without additional resources. UBC also tests potential messaging in novel market segments and seeds high risk markets without detracting from the company’s commercial resources. You can focus on closing the lower risk opportunities in the pipeline while UBC ensures your future success.
Read our next blog to learn more about completing your pipeline review and drawing actionable insights from commercial data.
Additional United BioChannels Resources:
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