Now it’s time to put your Zebra Profile and scoring system to work. You’ve identified Zebras from your current customer base and teased out all the details that help you determine which prospects are likely to be Zebras moving forward.
You tested your system against your best customers, and you are ready to hunt!
Prepare to use your Z-score to assess the forecast of each quarter, identifying Z-scores at the beginning of each quarter and helping your salespeople score objectively.
Accurately Predict Quarterly Revenue
Using your Zebra profile and new scoring system, analyze each lead. Keep track of the answers and look again at the end of the quarter. Which Zebra score translated into a 90% close rate by quarter’s end? If your new system works as it should, you can use it to predict quarterly revenue accurately.
By predicting a weak quarter early, you can build a sense of urgency and action to alleviate sales problems immediately.
Teach Scoring Discipline
Most salespeople tend to be overly optimistic. Use your scoring system to teach objectivity and manage expectations. The forecast becomes unreliable without a critical eye on prospects, leading to disappointment and poor sales performance.
Overly optimistic sales forecasts and lead scoring can become a toxic cycle as the company spirals downward. Using your Z-score instills discipline and trust as the positive results pour in at the end of the quarter.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Pay close attention to the score before spending resources on a lead. If the first two attributes are not Green, that prospect is unlikely to end in a sale. Remember, you’re shooting for a 90% close rate. Don’t get caught up in the numbers game. It’s not about just filling up your forecast-it’s about actually closing the deals that matter.
Engage only those prospects who are most likely to buy. As you move through the process, you will expose where you’ve been wasting resources all this time.
Are You Really at Power (the decision maker)?
The most mistakenly scored attribute is the one about access to Power. If you aren’t engaging Power, your probability of closing sinks, and you are wasting resources on a contact that does not influence business decisions or budgeting.
If everything is progressing, but you can’t nail down funding, Power might not have allocated any budget to the project. Power is the person who can buy without budget approval, so you need to convince them of your Business Case and ROI.
If everything else is Green and ROI is strong, flush out a budget using a trial close.
The central theme of the Zebra philosophy is not about walking away from prospects, although that always remains a possibility. You are moving beyond the frenetic pace of attempting to sell to any prospect that comes your way.
Compare all opportunities to your Zebra profiles before beginning pursuit and before each significant step in the Zebra buying cycle. Then you can decide whether to engage or remain engaged. Using your new profile and scoring system keeps your eyes open to all the potential strengths and weaknesses on the way to success.
Ideally, you are using your system to evaluate every opportunity before using any sales resources to pursue it. You continue to use the system during the buying cycle to ensure you remain on track.
The Zebra way is a quantifiable niche strategy that is exceptionally effective when followed. It’s easy to understand, but your team needs the appropriate discipline to maximize rewards from execution.
The Pushbutton Zebra streamlines process implementation and ensures you don’t waste high-potential resources on low potential opportunities.
You are now ready to launch your newly successful sales efforts as we move into identifying Power’s pain points.