In this post I will show you an approach to helping your team convert more deals, faster and with better pricing. I am referring to the art of deal strategy. At the end you can download the Deal Strategy Tool Kit which will aid you in this approach
Deal Strategy consists of three critical steps:
- Identifying & Understanding the BDT
- Account Planning
- Deal Strategy Sessions
The Buying Decision Team
The first step in deal strategy is identifying the Buying Decision Team (BDT). Rarely is there ever a single buyer. In more complex deals, be certain of a large and varying BDT.
There are four categories to mapping the Buying Decision Team:
- Economic Buyer
- User Buyer
Using the Stakeholder Wheel Job Aid (Click here to download the tool), walk your rep through the BDT. Help him to identify anyone that influences the buying decision. Be exhaustive. The BDT often includes someone in IT, HR, Finance. These stakeholders can wield tremendous political power and easily kill a deal. Your rep needs to map the client ecosystem and identify these key influencers.
A critical step in mapping the BDT, is understanding where each stakeholder is on their buying journey. There may be one person ready to ink the deal, while another debates if the problem needs solving. Help your reps identify where each stakeholder is on their decision timeline. And from here, develop a strategy to move them all along.
Step one in the process is Account Planning. Most reps struggle with prioritizing their accounts and prospects. Not all deals are created equal. Coach your reps to assess the strength of a deal by using the Opportunity Assessment Job Aid (Click here to download the tool). Let’s face it. Most reps see the world through rose-colored glasses. Assessing the deal strength keeps it objective.
In the Account Planning process make sure to capture the deal potential. Look at both current and future potential. It could be net new business or expansion within an existing client. Either way, establishing the account potential helps a rep prioritize their time.
The last part of Account Planning is developing a tactical execution plan. Get granular here. Walk through a step-by-step plan for each account. Establish milestones and hold your reps accountable. A tactical plan should include items such as:
- Meeting the Decision Maker
- Completing the stakeholder wheel
- Establishing a decision timeline
- Defining the customer’s evaluation criteria
- Meeting with marketing to coordinate account-specific marketing activities
Deal Strategy Session
The final step in the process is the Deal Strategy Session itself. I like to call this the “Big Deal Review”. Download the tool here. Deal strategy session are conducting most often for bigger deals. Bigger deals have larger BDTs. They also have more internal stakeholders to contend with. As the sales manager, broker a meeting with the internal resources required to close the business. If they need to buy-in, make sure lack of access doesn’t slow the deal.
In your Big Deal Review make sure you cover the following:
- Understanding where the economic buyer is
- Determining where the deal is in the Sales Process
- Discussing the buying decision team and their disposition
- Determine necessary internal resource involvement and approvals
- Make a proceed or cut bait decision
- Develop a tactical plan on how to win the deal
Call to Action: In the next 30 days, have your team…
- Map the buying decision team for their top 20 prospects
- Create account plans for these prospects
- Schedule a Big Deal Review with their top 5 deals