<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/4z2e82sWyhmveGlCzuJa" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">

What Is Real Deal Status

Authored by Steve Newell on December 2, 2015

Working with sales leaders who struggle with understanding the true state of the deals in their pipeline is an every day occurrence for my team and I.  Many rely on information from their sales reps through phone calls, emails and meetings to gage how individual deals are progressing along combined with hours of digging through CRM data.  The data lacks “real” understanding of which deals are progressing, which ones are stalled, and the ones that are falling out.  One of the first things we do when implementing TopOPPS is to create alerts and reporting views to help sales leaders understand what is happening to their pipeline both on an aggregate and individual opportunity basis.  

Which deals are progressing?

Of the three, understanding which deals are moving forward is the easiest for sales leaders to identify since sales reps keep that list top of mind. Most sales leaders rely on the opportunity stage, close date in the CRM, and communication with the sales reps to identify which deals are progressing towards close.  

With TopOPPS, we can use the activity level for the opportunity along with positive check-ins by the sales rep to identify which opportunities have positive momentum at any time without having to communicate with sales rep.  As quarter end approaches, these views can help sales leaders and sales reps understand which opportunities are closed, most likely to close and which ones are not realistic to close by end of quarter.

Below is a common filter our customers use to identify those opportunities that are moving forward.  This includes the right contact level, a positive (and recent) conversation with the rep,  and a defined next meeting date.


Which deals are stalled?  

Stalled opportunities can be most difficult to detect.  Too often, by the time an opportunity that has been identified as “stalled” it is actually falling out.  The notification of a stalled deal  needs to happen quickly so immediate action can be taken.  There can be many factors that contribute to deal becoming stalled, but identifying which deals are stalled is the most critical part of addressing the underlying issues.  One of the most common contributors to stalled deals is rep focus.  Sales reps tend to focus on closing deals as they approach quarter end and neglect the healthy deals with future close dates.  

The TopOPPS alert shown below looks for deals that are in a given stage longer than the average time by 10 days, deals with no activity in the last fourteen days, or deals with no recent sales rep check-ins in the last seven days.  These are early indicators that a deal is stalling.  With this alert, the sales rep is prompted to update the opportunity through a check-in and provide their assessment of the true deal status.


Which deals are falling out?

There can be a fine line that separates stalled opportunities with those that are falling out.  While they have many of the same attributes of lack of activity and being in a stage too long, deals that are slipping can have additional attributes.  These attributes can include the close date being pushed back multiple times and a longer time without any meaningful communications with key decision makers.  When deals are slipping, it can become more difficult to turn them around.  Like stalled deals, the sooner these opportunities are identified the higher the likelihood that the deal can be turned around.   

The alert below identifies opportunities that are falling out that include a number of push-backed expected close dates, last activity exceeds 30 days, the deal is stuck in a stage too long, and the expected close date in at least 15 days sooner than TopOPPS predicts it to be.  The called action for the sales rep is to perform a check-in and document what is happening with the deal so it doesn't throw off the forecast.

Falling out

Real deal status affects the forecast  

Sales leaders often have deals that are forecasted to close but should not be.  This causes an unrealistic representation of what deals are expected to close in the quarter. Even worse,  sales leaders have to spend hours digging through the forecasted deals to understand which ones will actually close.  While stalled opportunities can be kept in the forecast, ones that are falling out should be removed from the forecast since there is a lower likelihood of these deals being closed in the current quarter. This is a best practice that we can enforce through the use of our forecast rules. Once the deal is moving forward again, it will move back into a forecast category for the current quarter.   TopOPPS puts your forecast on autopilot!

Getting Up and Running

These three alerts are immediately set up after TopOPPS is installed in your CRM.  Taking your CRM data, TopOPPS applies these alerts in a matter of minutes.  Immediately you can gain a better understanding of the overall health and quality of your pipeline.  Both sales leaders and sales reps benefit from real time alerts, eliminates a lot of CRM time and info gathering conversation.   TopOPPS  makes real deal status available on demand.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Lists by Topic

see all

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:

January 15, 2021

Best Practices For B2B Sales - Monthly Sales Meeting

This blog focuses on the third part of the Sales Management Process, the monthly sales meetings.  These meetings are held on a monthly basis, usually twice a quarter, at the beginning of the months when the quarterly business review[QBR] is not being held.  This is a team call with the sales manager and his/her sales team, plus sales support and marketing.  While it may not be feasible to invite marketing to all the one on one’s and sales forecast calls, they should attend the monthly sales meetings and the QBRs.  This will help align marketing and sales. ...

sales management, Sales Process, best practices, sales best practices

December 14, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Forecast Call

This blog focuses on the second part of the Sales Management Process, the sales forecast calls.  The last three blogs focused on Sales Coaching and One-on-Ones, the first part of four parts that make up the Sales Management Process.     A Word of Caution Both One-on-Ones and Forecast Calls are weekly meetings, but don’t make your One-on-Ones the forecast call.  One-on-One time is for the sales rep.  This is the sales rep’s  sales development time.  It is your time to help them become  A-players.  The Sales Forecast Call is all  ...

Sales Calls, Sales Forecasts, sales best practices, Sales Forecast Call

November 21, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching-Performance Reviews

This is a continuation of the previous two blogs on sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses on reviewing the sales rep’s overall performance during a one-on-one.  In a series of weekly one-on-one meetings this topic typically comes up once every four weeks.   ...

sales management, AI for Sales, best practices, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

October 30, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Weekly Pipeline/Opportunity Review

This is a continuation of the previous blog on sales rep coaching.  The prior blog reviewed how sales rep coaching fits within the sales management process and outlined best practices related to “call coaching”, one aspect of sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses another aspect of sales rep coaching --  sales pipeline reviews and detail opportunity reviews.  The next blog will focus on the third aspect of sales rep coaching, sales rep performance one-on-ones.   ...

sales management, Sales Process, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, automated sales rep coaching, sales best practices, Sales coaching

October 16, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching and One-on-Ones

Sales rep coaching and sales manager/sales rep one-on-ones are the catalyst for sales optimization and sales growth. They are also the tool for increasing the sales rep proficiency and converting C and B quality sales reps to B and A players.  Some supporting research from CSO Insights reveals a correlation between quota attainment and coaching.  The study found the better the sales manager coaching the higher quota attainment.   ...

Sales Executives, Sales Tools, AI for Sales, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

August 26, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Management Process

The next four blog posts will focus on the sales management process.  This is the overarching sales processes between sales leadership and sales managers, sales managers and sales reps and sales operations with sales leadership, sales management and sales reps.  These processes align the different sales groups towards the same goals. This is the fourth category of blog series Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management based on the original blog post for this best practice series started on January 21st. ...

sales management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

August 19, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Opportunity Postmortem

or a sales team, complacency is the enemy of improvement and growth.   Top sales teams continuously improve to achieve better standards, no matter what level of success they have reached in the past.  The blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement, focused on using analytics as a basis to identify bottlenecks in the sales process and create a process for continual improvement.  That is one way.  Doing a sales postmortem is another.  It provides an operational perspective on how to enhance the sales process. ...

sales best practices, sales opportunity management, sales account management

August 11, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Always Know the Next Step

The most important step in any sales process is the NEXT step.   It is a hurdle that must be cleared to give you the right to move to the “NEXT, NEXT” step.  The next step is not granted, but earned by successful completion of the current step.  The next step has to be set up with the buyer as you finish out the current step.  ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility, sales opportunity management