The Coaching Effect Blog

How to increase close rates w/ ZEBRAs not ZONKEYs

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

April 6, 2011

EcSELL Institute 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity Pre-Summit Workshop Session Overview

Instructor: Jeff Koser, Selling To Zebras Jeff Koser, Selling To Zebras

Fact: the average company closes only 15% of its forecasted sales pipeline.  This means that most sales people actually spend 85% of their time following leads that will never produce a sale. They are expending more energy than ever before, and yet they are closing fewer deals.

If you, as their sales coach, could help your sales reps focus their efforts on qualified prospects, they would yield higher return and spend less time on deals that will never close.  Our featured instructor, Jeff Koser, is the award winning co-author of Selling to Zebras, HOW TO CLOSE UP TO 90% of the BUSINESS YOU PURSUE FASTER, MORE EASILY and MORE PROFITABLY.  Jeff taught the attendees how to create an effective qualifying process that will increase sales team’s close rates.

It all starts with identifying your Zebra!

A Zebra is the prospect that is a perfect fit for your company, and not just from a product or solution perspective.  It is a prospect that you know you can win based on identifiable, objective characteristics. Zebras are the only prospects a salesperson should pursue.                      

By creating the profile of your perfect prospect, your Zebra, will enable you to establish a set of characteristics that all of your best customers and future prospects have had in common. 

A ZEBRA is based on seven identifiable attributes:

  • Organization - philosopies, ideals, size, SIC, product adoption life cycle
  • Operations - critical business issues, strong and growing or failing, regional/domestic/international
  • Power - decision makers, power level, who approves
  • Funding - budget making authority
  • Value - what value do you provide, how do they measure ROI
  • Technology - high usage/ low usage
  • Service - how the customer values your service offering

The first step is to identify and define your perfect prospect based on these seven attributes. You need to measure all future prospects against that "perfection".


selling to zebras

Buy Selling to Zebras-Amazon
Buy Selling to Zebras-Amazon Kindle

Read Jeff Koser's bio

Jeff Koser was also a feature instructor at one of EcSELL Institute's Sales Management Webinars. If you would like a copy of the webinar recording, leave a comment and be sure to include your email, name, and company. thanks!

Topics: Sales Process, Assessment Tools

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