Strategic Opportunity Analysis (SOA)

What is SOA and how does it work?

Think of the SOA as a sales campaign guide that describes what’s required to win a specific sales opportunity. Whilst the SOA acts as a guide, providing a structure for defining the strategy and tactics required to win, what makes the SOA process work is a professional facilitator. This should always be an experienced sales individual, and ideally someone who can be independent. Once sales people become familiar with the SOA tool they can generally manage the process themselves – but achievement of the outcomes mentioned here usually deliver the best results when the facilitator is engaged. This can be someone within the client sales organisation who we train.

One of the key jobs of the facilitator is to make the sales team think, to question the validity of their approach and test their assumptions, especially when set against a competitive situation. This is one of the reasons why we always recommend a professional and experienced sales person facilitates or manages these workshops.

5 outcomes from applying the Strategic Opportunity Analysis tool:

01.

Develop a clearly defined Sales Strategy for those Must Win deals, and that identify a set of Tactics that will support our sales strategy so we know what we need to do to win the deal.

02.

Ensure we ask the right questions (qualifying the sales opportunity) and have the right (or best) available information to help us develop a winning strategy.

03.

Agree a set of tactics based on a rational and well-articulated business case, relative to the customers’ identified needs, in comparison to any competitor alternative.

04.

Help our clients figure out what they need to do to win – or qualify out (so as not to waste money and resources trying to win an un-winnable deal).

05.

Increase the effectiveness and win rate of the whole sales operation.

The outcomes usually begin with a sales workshop – typically these might run from between a couple of hours to half a day, depending on the complexity of the account or deal. They can be run as a face-to-face activity, or Webex, depending on location of participants.

Once the SOA for a particular account or key deal has been populated it can be attached as report in the company CRM. Let’s take a brief look at what the SOA looks like:

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