Chapter 5Describing What Happened

When she arrived at work early the next morning, Stacy was surprised to see Henry seated at the conference table where their taskforce had met the previous afternoon. He was even wearing the same clothes from the day before, and he seemed so much at home in the space that she felt a bit like she was intruding. “Good morning, Henry.”

“Morning?” a startled Henry said, as he looked out the window. “Oh, right, so it is. Here, look at these.” He pushed a stack of reports across the table. “I made about fifty charts of different slices of the data you gave me, and even though we need a lot more, I was able to dig up some good stuff.” He pointed to a chart on the top of the stack that showed an inverted pyramid (see Figure 5.1).

“This chart is our pipeline,” continued Henry. “It shows what typically happens to the leads generated by marketing. On average, only 80 percent make it through the qualification stage. That's a 20 percent loss. We lose 5 percent more during the prospecting stage of the sales process, another 10 percent lost during the discovery and demo stage. We lose another 20 percent between stages 2 and 3, so only 45 percent of the total leads we began with make it to the proposal stage. That's a huge loss! And by the time we get through the negotiation and contract stages, only 20 percent of our original leads are won.”

“This confirms what I've suspected,” said Stacy. “We knew our win rate was only 20 percent, but now we know we should ...

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