Deal optimization requires driving deal strategy into day-to-day execution. With the stakes even higher in the current COVID-19 environment, now is the time to incorporate a disciplined commercial management cadence.

Your Q2 plan has been impacted by the most significant economic disruption that any of us have ever seen.  Everything changed in what was seemingly the blink of an eye. New deal flow has dried up, and the velocity of deals already in the pipeline has slowed dramatically.  Every opportunity counts, and deal optimization has never been more important. You know how critical your Deal Desk is to deal optimization, but this is only one component.  Deploying a consistent commercial management cadence to drive deals to closure is more critical than ever. This tool will help you assess whether or not your organization has the right commercial management steps in place.

 

 

Download the Commercial Management Cadence Scorecard Here 

 

Revisiting SBI’s COVID-19 GTM Framework, step 5 is focused on Deal Optimization.  Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion on this topic and how to get late-stage deals over the line during the pandemic.  In a recent blog post by Gregory Solomon, he recommends standing up a SWAT team and emphasizes the need to redefine the value that can be extracted from deals in a COVID-19 world.  SBI also recently hosted a webinar in which Managing Directors shared their insights on the topic of deal optimization during the current crisis and how to deploy a world-class Deal Desk. Leverage these best practices when implementing a commercial management cadence.

 

A Disciplined Commercial Management Cadence Picks Up Where the Deal Desk Leaves Off

 

While much of the focus has rightfully been on the right way to structure and deploy a Deal Desk, this process alone is not sufficient.  There must be a disciplined process in place that drives high touch and frequent interaction between executive leadership, sales management, and reps on the ground.  And this commercial management cadence must be tailored to the unique challenges we’re all experiencing today. While the deal desk helps to establish a deal-by-deal strategy, a disciplined commercial management cadence ensures execution.

 

So what is meant by a ‘commercial management cadence’?  It’s merely a set of activities to ensure that no opportunity is overlooked.  The right management cadence should consist of an assortment of the following: Territory Prioritization Reviews, Account Reviews, QBRs, Team Meetings, Pipeline Reviews, and Forecast Calls.  The key is discipline. These interactions are essential to execution and deal optimization. The moment they are viewed as extraneous or optional, execution will suffer.

 

Your Commercial Management Process Should Drive Frequent Interactions Across Management and Reps On the Ground

 

Let’s take a bit deeper dive into the tactful elements of a robust commercial management cadence:

 

1. TERRITORY PRIORITIZATION REVIEWS

 

Attendees:  Sales Rep, Sales MGR

Cadence:  This is typically an annual exercise, but the pandemic has changed that.  As Andy Hastings wrote here, any segmentation done at the beginning of the year is now obsolete.  

Objective: Review new segmentation and prioritization review to ensure that Reps are targeting the right accounts.

 

2. ACCOUNT REVIEWS

 

Attendees:  Sales Rep, Sales MGR

Cadence:  Again, typically an annual exercise, but one that needs a refresh now.  

Objective:  Determine, among those accounts identified as top priorities, what is the plan to drive opportunities, and determine if the Sales Rep is enabled with everything they need.

 

3. QUARTERLY BUSINESS REVIEWS

 

Attendees:  Sales Rep, Sales MGR, potentially next level of Sales Leadership

Cadence:  Given the current pace of change in the market, these should shift to a monthly cadence.  

Objective:  Determine how each Rep is executing against their new territory plan.

 

4. FORECAST CALLS

 

Attendees:  Sales Management, Exec Leadership, Revenue Ops

Cadence:  Weekly

Objective:  Holistically review outlook of deals, project bookings & revenue, including a focus on those deals that will ‘move the needle’ for the organization.

 

5. TEAM MEETINGS

 

Attendees:  Sales MGR and all direct report Sales Reps

Cadence:  Weekly

Objective:  Align on the state of the business & market dynamics, and share knowledge across the team.

 

6. WEEKLY 1:1 COACHING

 

Attendees:  Sales Rep, Sales MGR

Cadence:  Weekly

Objective:  Develop a holistic understanding of opportunities and challenges faced by the Rep.  Ensure that the Rep is enabled with all that they need (knowledge, resources, etc.) to succeed.

 

7. PIPELINE REVIEWS

 

Attendees:  Sales Rep, Sales MGR

Cadence:  Weekly

Objective:  Discuss both new & existing opportunities by stage and progression, identify challenges, and ensure accuracy of opportunity status/stage.  These can be scheduled in tandem with a 1:1 coaching session, but it’s essential to ensure that a block of time is dedicated explicitly to pipeline is set aside.

 

A Strong Commercial Management Cadence Bridges Deal Strategy and Execution

 

Incorporating the above elements into the operating rhythm of your business is the key to bridging deal strategy and execution.  In this time of unprecedented disruption to deal flow, the time to act is now. Assess your own organization’s commercial management cadence and processes using the tool here.

 

Download the Commercial Management Cadence Scorecard Here 

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chad Wittenborn

Bringing growth leaders into alignment around emerging best practices, enabling them to outpace their competitors and make their number.

Chad deploys a highly analytical approach, leveraging a background heavy on growth strategy, sales effectiveness, and operations, to drive top-line revenue growth.  Prior to joining SBI, Chad held a variety of growth leadership roles in industries ranging from Manufacturing to Healthcare.  He has worked closely with sales, marketing, and operations leaders to identify obstacles to growth and to execute initiatives to overcome those barriers. Chad has delivered results by leading projects involving structural transformations of sales organizations, new service line launches, incentive plan overhauls, performance management programs, and CRM implementation and adoption.

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