How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Sales Win Rates

Authored by Chisom Uche on August 26, 2016

It is commonly reported that a good sales rep has a win rate around 35% and anything significantly under that indicates a problem. So if you are under that magic number or even just too close for comfort, how do you improve? There's no cliffhanger here, the best way to solve your win rate problems is to focus on sales coaching and sales process. You probably already knew that but are you doing the specific things to make sure your sales coaching and sales processes are on par to make your sales organization best-in-class?


Sales Process

Before you can worry about sales coaching, you have to take a solid look at your sales process and see if it is focusing on the right aspects of your buyer's experience. If your sales process isn't tailored to the way your buyer buys.



Stages are essentially the file cabinet drawers of your pipeline. You can have as many or as few as you like but you should have them and have a clear definition of what each stage means in regards to your process. They are very important when it comes to identifying issues with your win rates, though. When you break down your sales process into clearly defined stages, you have a better chance of seeing where your deals begin to fall out of your pipeline. Remember, as a sales manager, you want to build this process with your reps in mind so make sure to include them in this process and to ensure you have the buy-in of your best reps. For more detailed advice on building out stages, you can check out Part I and Part II of our post.


If stages are the drawers of the file cabinet, then milestones are the folders inside. (Click to Tweet) Your milestones are the activities that must happen within your sales process to ensure that deal actually closes. For example, in our sales process, if a sales rep does not get sign off from the manager of the CRM and at least one of the Sales VPs (depending on the size of the company) we know that there's no way we can say that the deal will close. Your milestones are typically harder to agree on and are more fluid than the stages but they are very important to have. To find your milestones, meet with your sales reps and make a list of the events that absolutely must happen for your deals to close. They may be unique to certain products or customers but list them all out first and then you can rank them later. Next, sort them into which stages in the process they belong. Establishing milestones will ensure that your reps are always driving the deal forward and aren't being held up or blindsided by important events that they forgot about or didn't account for. If you want more details on establishing milestones, check out this guest post from expert sales process consultant, Richard Harris.

Sales Coaching

Once you've laid out an agreed upon sales process, the next step to solving your win rate woes is to formalize your sales coaching. Now that you have your sales process figured out, you should be very targeted in working with reps who struggle with a certain phase of the sales process. For example, if you have a sales rep that has a problem with moving deals past the qualifying stage, then maybe you need to work with reps in doing a better job seeing through the prospects initial excitement and actually identifying their ability to sign and pay. Sales coaching is probably something you do every day, but having an informal sales coaching system can be detrimental to your reps even if you are very specific in what you coach them on. You want to make sure that your rep is prepared for their coaching session and that you are not using more time than you need. The worst thing you can do as a sales coach it to bog your reps down with coaching and keep them from having time to sell. We also have this 3 step guide if you want to learn more about how to be an effective sales coach.

Bonus: Utilize the Advances in Sales Technology

A recent study by Aberdeen Research found that Best-in-class companies are 33% more likely to use sales analytics solutions specifically designed to support forecasting. It's no surprise that the companies that are the best in their industry adopt technology. To be the best you have to most quickly, effectively, and intelligently. Everyone must be on the same page all the time and problems must be resolved quickly. If you're looking to boost your win rates and have identified a part of your sales process that could use some automation, check out these 5 tools that every sales team should have. Sales tools can seem like an arduous and expensive undertaking, but the right vendors can help your team improve in the areas needed by making it easy to follow a process and give them help when they need it.

The cause of why your win rates are improving can sometimes seem to be a trip down a deep, dark rabbit hole. If you dedicate your attention to improving your process, coaching, and investment in sales technology you will see improvements. However, if you feel like you aren't improving at the rate that you want to improve or to the magnitude, consider giving TopOPPS a look. You can build your entire sales process in our tool, be notified on areas where your sales team struggles and the reps that need to be coached, and have confidence that you are actually improving every sales period.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

May 15, 2020

Best Practices For B2B Sales-Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement

This blog reviews best practices related to two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the previous blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: The ability to easily update the sales pipeline on a regular basis Sales process review and improvement An accurate sales forecast requires an accurate, timely and always up-to-data sales pipeline.  This data includes up-to-date: sales activity and buyer/seller interactions; buying team members and roles; opportunity descriptors and attributes; and company descriptors and attributes, in the CRM.  It also includes integrated reporting from the CRM to produce the sales pipeline, porting CRM information to Excel is not an option. ...

Pipeline Optimization, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

April 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline

In my original blog in this series “Best Practices for B-2-B Sales,  I outlined five categories of best practices: The previous five blogs in this series, reviewed the best practices related to data.  The next three categories, Sales Process, Opportunity Management and Pipeline Analytics all are driven off of the sales pipeline. This blog introduces 6 different best practices related to the sales pipeline.  These best practices cut across all  three areas. ...

Sales Pipelines, Sales Process, Sales Tools, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

April 14, 2020

Avoiding A Horrific June Sales Quarter: Sales Pipeline in Crisis

Our current economic climate feels all too similar to the great recession of 2008.  We knew the story back then, “Work harder and sell less.” That is all we could do, we didn’t have the technology to help mitigate the impact of the great recession by better sales pipeline visibility and better cost control by understanding what is “real” in our sales pipeline. This time around we will have to work just as hard, but if we work smarter with the help of technology we could even the playing field and even sell a bit more. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, Sales Pipeline Visibility

March 28, 2020

New Times, New Ways to Run the Sales Team!

Jim Eberlin is founder of TopOPPS.  Jim posted this blog on Linkedin.  It was just a few weeks ago that I was preaching that in order to stay on top of things to give my team and customers what they needed, solve problems and make sure things don't fall through the cracks - I had to be in person.  Obviously that has changed - like it or not. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

March 23, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales-Company Attributes

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about accounts [companies] where you have sales opportunities or are targeting for a sales opportunity.     This blog is the fifth blog in the series “Best Practices for B2B Sales”.  The first blog organized the best practices along five key areas. The second blog divided up the first area, data access, into four key areas.  This blog focuses on the last area of data access and collection. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices

March 9, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Opportunity Attributes & Buyer Team Tracking

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about a sales opportunity [opportunity attributes] and information about buying team members and roles.  Much of the information about the sales opportunity is not available electronically. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to enter it and provide benefit to the sales rep by presenting it in an intuitive manner to keep both sales reps and sales management up to date on the opportunity. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices

February 25, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales - Data Access-Sales Interactions

The typical situation we found many of our sales prospects in when they were considering our solution is: Sales reps don’t timely update their sales force automation platform Sales reps don’t have sufficient, timely and accurate information about their sales opportunities Sales Managers don’t have the data they needed to accurately forecast sales for the quarter or coach their direct reports on specific opportunities The end-of-quarter is a mad scramble and there is no visibility into the deals to focus on Forecast accuracy suffered ...

CRM, Sales Tools, AI for Sales, sales best practices

February 11, 2020

Introduction to Best Practices for B2B Sales - Data Access

With all the advances in sales technology and analytics, you would expect sales teams to have all the data they need about each sales opportunity to accurately forecast sales.  However, that isn’t the case.  Research by Bohanec, Kljajic Borstnar and Robnik-Sikonja in the study “Integration of machine learning insights into organizational learning, A case of B2B sales forecasting” found that: ...

Sales Rep, Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices