What's a True Gateway?

Those in Sales Operations love to talk about gateways. They’re pretty fundamental to a winning sales process.

In simple terms, a sales gateway signifies when you progress from one stage in your campaign to the next.

They are important to sales ops types because many sales reporting systems are built around a series of gateways. This is usually because they are used to create a forecast weighting. These roughly follow that the more gateways your bid has passed, the more likely the chance of success.

On this basis though, a bid where you come second at the death will score the same probability as one you win.

I had an in-depth discussion on these with the CEO of a multi-million technology concern recently. It was with specific relation to his new business team and his imminent rationalisation to a single crm.

He made the excellent point that gateways can be misguided.

They are so often based around items like first meeting arranged, tender completed or Board presentation.

Yet these are from the seller’s perspective.

They are way better when they are based around something that the potential customer does.

When you navigate a gateway due to an action that they take, it is also less likely to be an opinion. Especially as this viewpoint can often come from an over-optimistic, although fittingly enthusiastic, salesperson.

When your prospect grants you key access, speaks to someone that you know is a good sign, shortlists you with the right reasons or arranges that meeting with the CEO, then you can think in terms of significant gateways.

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