|(Photo credit: ultrakml)|
Grids? One of the ‘aha’ moments we had when developing Focus happened when we were trying to come up with a visual representation of a sales pipeline. We know that a lot of you already keep your deals in a spreadsheet (and an early version of a Focus-like tool existed on a spreadsheet, too) so we were aiming to present information in a format that wasn’t completely alien to your normal way of working. At the same time, however, we wanted to convey both a sense of moving deals through the pipeline and of how the pipeline looked from a forecast point of view at any given time (something I learned while working under Michael D'Antonio of Impatto). We wanted to make sure you could open Focus and at a glance tell where you were in relation to your sales target. The answer was….. grids.
If you take a look at the Focus screenshots you’ll see we built a screen split into unique sections. On top of that, we made sure that certain sections were colored to clearly differentiate areas of the pipeline. Not every grid is shown in the screenshots but the red sections indicate your funnel - the deals waiting to go into your pipeline; the yellow sections are top line deals over which you have little or no influence; and the green sections are the deals you can directly influence - these are the deals included in your forecast. You can read more about how to decide in which grid a deal should sit in our Buying Process guide.
What makes Focus so good is that you can simply pick up a deal from one grid and drop it in another, either because you’ve successfully moved the deal closer to winning or because you want to see what difference the change makes to your target and - more importantly - your commission.
Grids make it easy to see where you are and easy to see what needs to change to improve your position. We like our grids.