Too many times, sales management does not get involved early in deals
. They either wait until the end of the sales cycle to get involved or don’t get involved at all. But in many sales situations, especially complex sales, it takes a village to close a deal.
You will risk losing that deal unless you and your team:
- Understand all key stakeholders goals, strategies and initiatives
- Identify priorities of where the client is spending their time, money and resources
- Expand and broaden relationships at all levels of the organization
- Recognize past experiences and failures to best understand the potential risk – from the client point of view and from yours
The more eyes and ears on a situation, the greater your ability to objectively view the deal from many different and sometimes disparate points of view. Getting sales management and sales leadership involved early allows you to qualify the opportunity at the right levels of the client organization, allows everyone’s past experiences to influence the possible outcomes, and ensures that everyone has been a part of the selling process. Key questions should be asked
by all levels of the organization based on their past successes and failures. Think through all of the risks of why a deal can go south and collaboratively work to understand the options.
I recently had a client who lost a large deal at the last minute. It had nothing to do with the product or services, the perceived risks of either organization, or the money. It was purely a legal issue that was exposed at the final hour and no one could resolve it since there were little to no relationships established at the higher levels of the organization. Senior leadership blamed the account team – but who was to blame? Everyone!
It takes a village to close a deal, and the earlier sales management and sales leadership get involved to qualify the deal and establish relationships at the right levels, the sooner they can ask the tough questions, handle the objection(s) and ensure everyone’s time is used in the best possible way. So when a deal suddenly goes south, don’t blame your sales team – remember that it takes a village to close a deal.
Janice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results.
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