After a sterling victory on a foreign field of Wales last Friday, England rugby coach Martin Johnson declared his satisfaction with the time spent in the Red Zone. I suspected he meant how long England camped out in the Welsh 22.
I checked further on the wonderful web. Slightly miffed, the phrase seems to have originated in American Football. It describes being in the territory where you’re most likely to score.
I also happened across a marketing consultant that adapts the phrase to allude to your commercial finishing. She offers freebies at her Red Zone University. They appear to relate mainly to getting more referrals for financial services. As an aside, cultivating referrals is something surprisingly few b2b salespeople accomplish with aplomb.
For us solution sellers, our Red Zone reveals itself in the closing loop. We’re on the shortlist. There’s the final Board presentation. The reference visit’s going ahead.
The first salesteam I ever joined used a different expression. Not for the faint-hearted, it combined a type of condiment and physical touch.
On the basis that the two ways to improve your sales come from either putting more in the top of your funnel, or closing more at its foot, then Red Zone Efficiency should seek to raise what you close.
Yes, a sales campaign is not quite like a sports match. You cannot score in a jiffy having been under the cosh for aeons. Small mistakes made at the outset can amplify to fatally scupper you at the death. In other words, even deep analysis of how many deals you close or lose may miss something fundamentally awry with your campaign openings that have later derailing impact.
That’s not to say assessing your Red Zone Efficiency isn’t a worthwhile exercise. My point is that it’ll only improve your process (and obviously, results) if it’s part of an overall framework of study.
Knowing that you are prone to win a bid when something or other happens towards the end is a winner of a insight, but you must still try and understand upon which occurrences this builds. The ones that blaze its trail.