Sales Focus: the 80-20 rule for your Sales Funnel

Everyone recognizes that focus is one of the key elements in driving the performance of your sales organization. Most organization resort to the pragmatic approach of ‘focus on the top deals’, often augmented with a time dimension like ‘that we need to close in the near future’.

I’m regularly surprised by how true the 80-20 rule is for the Sales Funnel. In the last Sales Audit we conducted, the numbers were almost spot on with 19% of the opportunities representing 80% of the total Funnel value. Focus on this 19% is obviously a great start.

The same Sales Audit however also revealed that there was another 20% of Opportunities that only represented 1% of total Funnel Value. Key question here: why do we need these opportunities? Do they represent some other value than merely revenue? Do they cover strategic innovations or customer relations we want to develop? Or, should we just drop them as soon as possible?

To quote Steve Jobs:
‚ÄúPeople think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully”

Now take another look at your funnel and run the numbers: FOCUS!