The answer is yes, but only with a strategic plan. Top Sales Reps are successful closing the big deals with a plan. To learn more, read the Big Deal Strategy Guide.


The Risks of Being Behind Your Number By Q2 90% of companies behind in revenue at the end of Q2 miss their number. Typically 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the deals.  These opportunities are more complex. They require longer, 6-12 month sales cycles. When a big deal is lost, it’s very difficult to make up for it.  SBI has confirmed this through client research. (11,000 companies, 315 metrics, 14 key sales drivers, 12 years of hard data).


If you are a Sales Rep and behind in revenue, you risk your job.  If you find yourself in this situation, your entire year hinges on this month. It is time to rally the troops around closing the deals that matter.


How to Make Your Mid-Year Number

I asked my friend Bob about this topic recently.  Last week we caught up over lunch. He is currently the #1 producing Rep at a Fortune 50 software company.  Last year his personal income was just over $1 million.  Of course I asked him how he did it.


“I closed two massive deals before mid-year. I almost lost them, but worked to win them back,” Bob explained. “These were complex deals that required careful planning.” He was at the end of a 9 month sales cycle when he took corrective action.


The Big Deal War Room

Once a big deal is identified, you need to create a deal team.  These are also known as war rooms. Not wanting to involve management, Bob created a Big Deal War Room himself.  He created a team that included product, marketing, legal, and customer care.  Then Bob focused the conversation around the needs of the Buyer. 


To get started, his big deal was put in the middle of the table. Each of the critical stakeholders could see every detail and could work together. The team strategized how to save the deal. The more insight his stakeholders provided the more successful the sales effort became.


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7 Elements of a Successful War Room

To follow Bob’s success, the effectiveness of your efforts hinge on a structured approach. To do this, organize the conversation around 7 key elements. Emerge with a corrective plan of action.  Then re-engage your Buyer with a better message. Position yourself for the win to close the deal.


1. Create a “Big Deal War Room” Team.  Draw from within the organization. Depending upon the needs of the Buyer, certain skills are required. Engineering, Legal, and Marketing may need a seat at the table.


2. Review the Big Deal Strategy Guide. Download the Guide and use this to direct the conversation with your team. This also provides best practices and meeting cadence suggestions.


3. Decide where the Buyer is in the Buying Process.  It is critical to align with the Buyer’s process.  You are dealing with multiple Buyer roles; each moves at their own pace.  Look for signs that indicate their readiness to buy. 


4. Discuss most recent Buyer actions.  Has the buyer requested a meeting with you to discuss their reservations? What are they telling you in their correspondence? Ask the right questions and listen to the Buyer.


5. Identify who is on the customer’s Buying Decision Team (BDT).  Identify the key individuals involved in the deal. If you use Personas, reference them. Understand everyone that can influence the decision.  This removes surprises.


6. Determine the risks in the deal.  Look at the competitive threats. Determine if your organization is preventing the deal from progressing.  


7, Plan the next steps. Time is usually limited at the end of the quarter.  Delegate to each of your “Big Deal War Room” team members.  Make this an orchestrated effort to move the deal forward. Gain commitment on deadlines and deliverables. From here you can provide what the Buyer needs.


Bonus tip. Send your review documents to the team 48 hours in advance. Ask everyone to preview and come prepared with questions, comments and strategies. Time is a premium.  Make the most of it.


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Save the Big Deal, Save the Year

In the words of Bob, “go big or go home. Nobody is going to hand you your commission check for free. You have to work smart to earn it. I was smarter than my competition and I won the deals. I created my network of support within my company, and they helped me.”


Our research was confirmed by Bob. If you have a monster deal, you should take every measure to win it. Take a strategic approach.  Download and review The Big Deal Strategy Guide to help you plan.




Dan Bernoske

Develops innovative revenue growth solutions and designs the SBI client experience.

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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