Until now we have been establishing and nurturing relationships with potential clients. As we prove our worth, some of these people will approach us with opportunities to work together, or we may identify opportunities to work with them.

Either way, both organisations are about to start a process that is costly in terms of time and money. It's best to figure out very early on if their organisation, our company, and the opportunity are a good match.

It is way better to get to the answer 'No' for that question at a very early stage, than at the end of a complex procurement process, or worse still when we're part way through a project. Getting to a good quality 'No' now can save everyone a lot of time, money and energy.

Steps To Take

  1. If the opportunity isn't already captured on the New Clients pipeline, then add it.

  2. Move the opportunity card in the CRM to the 'Assessing' column.

  3. If a google drive folder for the opportunity hasn't been created yet, create one now by copying the template folder and renaming the clone.

  4. Add as much detail to the opportunity and contact records in the CRM as is available now.

  5. Make sure the google drive folder for the opportunity is shown in a note on the opportunity card in the CRM.

  6. Within the google drive folder is a document called Opportunity Evaluation (Here is the template version). The Green squares are the ones to fill in.

  7. Along with one other team member, review all the information we currently have.

  8. Each person should score each of the statements listed based on how true they think they are for this opportunity. You can also make notes as needed.

  9. At the end you'll see an average score. This should be used as the basis for discussion only, not as a final decision on its own.

  10. The two of you can decide whether to proceed or decline this opportunity.

If We Decline

If the system is working well, we should decline a lot of opportunities. That normally doesn't mean we don't want to continue to nurture the relationships with the contacts at the client organisation. So let's make sure to provide value and great service even when we're saying no. This could include:

  • Giving clear description of our assessment, walking them through it and explaining why — showing that it's best for them.

  • Providing advice and links to useful resources to help them proceed.

  • Introducing them to other potential suppliers where appropriate.

  • Offering other ways we might be able to help.

Then we should put the opportunity card to 'Lost' in the New Clients Pipeline in Contactually. Check the client contacts are assigned to the right 'buckets' so that we'll keep in touch with them.

If We Proceed

We should revisit this assessment at each following stage of the process and see if it still holds true. We shouls always be prepared to decline if we think the match isn't good.

But now we can move to the next step, which is to start Learning and Thinking about the opportunity.

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