sales consulting firmBy our estimate, 84 lost deals could have been won, if only the sales team had a better understanding of the influence dynamics inside their accounts.  We are in the era of committee decision making.

 

How many deals did you lose in Q1 that you could have won?

 

If the answer is “too many”, and you feel a better understanding of account power dynamics might help, here is an idea for you.

 

Sales Benchmark Index’s PowerGram

A PowerGram is a graphical representation of the power dynamics, and power positions, within an account.  It shows the true power structure, which is usually different than the account’s organizational chart.  It provides useful insights about an account’s decision making process. 

 

Power is part of each organization.  An account’s org model provides the framework for the alignment of power, authority, and responsibility.  The PowerGram tool makes the informal framework clear.

 

What does a PowerGram Do?

Whenever people work together, they form groups, whether formal or informal.  Relationships amongst members of the group may be positive or negative ones.  There will be channels of influence, communication, power, and patterns that regulate the group’s interaction.  PowerGrams display exactly those relationships amongst members.  PowerGrams represent the levels of power by circles (the larger the circle, the more power a person has).  The lengths and breadths of the lines between circles represent how close or strong the relationship between the two members is.

 

How to Use SBI’s PowerGram?

  • Get the account’s org chart. Identify the formal lines of reporting and authority.
  • Identify the people on the org chart you think will be involved in evaluating your proposal.  Include everyone, even those you are not sure about.
  • Use the symbols from Figure 63 (Download here).  This is an extract from our win/loss methodology.

 

Figure 63: An example of a recently completed PowerGram
Sales Consultant

 

AB= close, positive and strong.  AF= negative distant with major power imbalance similar to CD. ABC appears to have formed an alliance similar to FED.  E is a central facilitator role with more power than F or D, but not as much as A or C.  E might be a crucial person for A and C to be in good relationship with despite the animosity towards E’s close friends F and D. 

 

download-sbis-powergram-symbols-referen

 

Action Items for You:

1 – Be sure to perform your Win Loss deal reviews immediately following every quarter.  If you don’t know how, read this and this.

 

2 – If you need help, contact Tony.  He is the best in the business in getting accounts to open up and give the real reasons a deal went your way or did not. 

 

3 – Get real if your Win Loss deal reviews are being done by your reps and managers. Half the time they don’t know and for the other half, they are afraid to tell you what really happened.  3rd party objectivity is a must.

 

4 – Pick your top 5 deals for Q2 and attempt to use the PowerGram.  Watch out for:

 

 

  • Leaving people off the chart.
  • Assuming rank determines power. It never does.
  • Lack of clarity around thin and heavy lines.  If you don’t know who hangs with whom, you will lose the deal.
  • If you cannot draw a PowerGram because you simply don’t know how big the circles should be, you are not sure if a line should be thin or heavy, where to strike throughs should go, give us a ring at 888-556-7338.  We will get someone on the horn and tell you how to remedy the situation.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.

 

He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.

 

Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.

 

He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.

 

Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.

 

He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.

 

Video:

 

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