The end of the quarter is almost here. Are you going to make your number? If you answered yes, congratulations. Our research shows that less than 45% of B2B companies make their Q1 number. If you aren’t, what is your plan to close the gap? You probably have a Big Deal that could get you to your number. There will be a lot of quarter-end activity. It’s not too late to get your team focused on closing some large opportunities. To help guide you through the process, we’ve developed the Big Deal Strategy Tool.
What is a Big Deal?
A Big Deal is a large opportunity that has significant impact on your revenue. Not every company has the same threshold. For one company it may be $10K deal and for another it could be $20M. When determining what classifies as a Big Deal, here are some things to consider:
- Impact on Revenue- Evaluate if this one deal has a significant impact on the overall sales number. I’ve seen clients use 20%-25% of the quarterly number as a rule of thumb.
- Complexity- Identify who is part of the Buying Decision Team (BDT). Map out what approvals are needed. Internally, make sure you have all the teams aligned to support the effort. This could include finance, legal, support, product management, presales, etc. Make sure you understand your buyer and their buying process.
- Timing– Once you understand the buying process, you need to evaluate the timing. Identify if there is a compelling event that is taking place within the account. This could be a project start date, end of Fiscal Year or budget cycle. Big Deals will take longer to close and you need to manage expectations both internally and externally.
- Future Potential– You may identify an opportunity that does not have a large in-quarter revenue impact. However, over time the potential is there to warrant going through the process. Make sure you set the correct internal expectations for these exceptions.
Once you identify the Big Deal(s), it’s time to get to work. The Tool will help walk you through the process of managing these opportunities. Many sales leaders try to do it alone without help from other departments. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Work with internal stakeholders that can help you get it closed. Here is an overview of how the process will work.
Checklist for winning the Big Deal
- Selection– Determine the large opportunities you are going to target. Meet with your management team to identify and validate its revenue for this quarter.
- Planning- Download the Big Deal Strategy Guide to give you the plan you need. Send it out to your sales management so they are aligned. Also, share it internally with key stakeholders. Ensure everyone has reviewed the strategy document before meeting.
- Implementation– Once everyone understands the process, it’s time to execute. You need to pull the resources together and build a War Room. The War Room has internal representatives that can assist in helping to close the opportunity. The number of participants will vary by deal and complexity. A detailed explanation of the War Room can be found in the guide.
- Execution– Follow the process. This includes answering questions that show you where you are strong vs. your competition. Continue to coach your sales team on how to move the opportunity to close. Document what is needed internally and within the account to close it. If you have a CRM, make sure you use it to capture everything.
- Reinforcement– Now that you have the process established, you need to reinforce it. Set up regularly scheduled meetings from the front line managers on up. The tool has recommendations on who and how often to meet. Each level of management will have a different cadence schedule.
- Adoption– Learn from the process. This is not a one-and-done exercise. Take input from the team. Find out where things are slowing down. Observe how your team adjusts when obstacles arise. Most importantly, document what works and what doesn’t. Make this part of your sales culture.
Remember, clients and prospects have their own agenda. Take the time to understand how they want to buy and align to it. If you try to push too hard, the deal will collapse or push out. Don’t be the “pushy” sales guy. Sometimes slowing down to speed up is well worth the effort.
Beyond this Quarter
Try working a few deals using the Big Deal Strategy Tool. Document what worked and where you struggled. This is a dynamic process that will evolve. No two deals will be the same. Train your sales team on how to identify and what steps to follow. As opportunities move through the sales funnel, start identifying them as Big Deals. Follow the strategy and measure the results. Chances are that you will start increasing the deal size and win rate. Remember to focus on opportunities that have a chance of closing within the quarter.
To learn more on this topic, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn