When quick wins are quick losses

Where last years 'quick wins' really quick wins at all?

Phew! There goes January….

At the start of a New Year a lot of us are usually busy agreeing sales targets! In most cases the focus is on how to win new business. After that the question that usually comes up is, “ How can we get a few quick wins to kick the year off to a great start? “ But before you waste time and energy trying to come up with the suspects in your network, the good clients that always buy from you and the fresh marketing ideas, I would recommend you review last years “quick wins” and see if they were real “wins” at all ?

Here are my observations and recommendations after working with clients and carrying out this exercise in January:

Take time to write a One Page Plan

Decide and agree with your fellow directors where you want the company to be in five or ten years’ time and the type of customers and wins (including quick wins) you need along the way to achieve your goals. A “win” is only a “ win “ if it helps to lead you and your company in the direction you want it to go. Too often we chase business that is not playing to our strengths and it can lead us away from going after our ideal, sweet-spot customer.

Define your Sweet Spot Customer

Take your time and clearly define your ideal customer, their persona and the characteristics of an ideal piece of business. You can then focus on generating these type of opportunities and build your pipeline with quality leads. You need to think – why should someone buy from me? What really makes me different? If a prospect invited my company and three of my competitors to pitch for a “quick win” why would they choose me? Once you have defined your sweet spot customer any win is a right win, whether quick or not. You will be amazed how many “wins” from last year are not in your sweet-spot and most likely distracted you from getting the business you really want.

Sales and Marketing takes time

A lot of clients we meet want quick wins. They think any type of sale or win will do. They think we should go after all opportunities. They think we have a magic wand!! There is nothing quick about building rapport with your target market – they say you need seven touch points using the various marketing channels before you are even recognised !! Sales and marketing is a process and a journey not a destination. Don’t start a sales and marketing initiative unless you are prepared to plan and wait for the right business.

Focus first on your customers

Would you have more success going back to all your existing customers to see if you can help them in other areas or asking them if they could recommend you as opposed to looking for a “quick win” with a new prospect? We find so many companies ignore the potential that exists within their existing client base.

Return on Investment

What is the real return on investment from quick wins or any win for that matter? Do you know the real cost of winning a piece of business ? Unless you are lucky enough to come across a piece of business that matches your sweet-spot it is likely to result in a negative return in investment and time.

So in conclusion, be careful in what you wish for – quick wins are usually quick losses – unless you have taken the time to think and you know the types of business you need to achieve your overall company goals and vision.


Joe O’Reilly is Managing Director with www.boostyoursales.ie, a sales, marketing and business mentoring services company for growth-focused IT and tech services companies in Dublin, Leinster and beyond!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash