Driving the Value Process as a Sales Leader

So how many Sales Leaders have been in this situation?

It’s week 10 of a 12-week quarter and you have a key deal you’ve been counting on to make this quarter’s number.  All through out the quarter your rep has been saying “the customer has budget and the order is in procurement, everything’s fine.”  On Monday of week 10 your rep gives you an update and his/her key contact mentions that they need more information justifying why they should spend the money and your rep (and you) go scrambling to figure out the value proposition that makes your deal compelling.

Remember, Hope is not a strategy.

Unfortunately, you don’t have the right information to build the case because up until now everything seemed fine and your contact had been assuring you the deal would fly through procurement.  And you suddenly realize your sales teams doesn’t have many options and you may miss your number for the quarter.  So your team ends up pulling together tactical and superficial information for the case and you're not sure it will resonate higher up the customer’s organization, but you do it anyways.  And then you start listening to that little voice in your head that’s been saying “dig deeper into the deal”, “challenge the rep on their facts and confidence level.”  Remember, Hope is not a strategy.

So how do you ensure your teams are positioned to drive impactful value propositions on your key quarterly deals?

First of all, we all know that your reps can’t get deep and strategic on every deal so you need a value methodology for your key quarterly deals.  Here is our suggestion for a high level methodology:

1.     Assess which deals require deeper effort – Typically this is going to the deals that make up 10% to 20% of your number.  Or it could be any deal over a certain size (depending on your organization’s average deal size.)

2.     Have a discovery methodology that is employed AT THE BEGINNING of the sales process.  Too often a rep tries to figure out what’s truly important as a diving catch and it’s not realistic, on short notice, that they can discover the important business drivers that guarantees budget approval.

3.     Challenge the teams to engage with their contacts to build the internal business case BEFORE the deal goes to procurement.  Have them ask their contact about what they are required to submit with their purchase requisition.

4.     Ensure your team has been trained and has access to good value documents that can be used to help your customer gain budget approval (ROI Tools, Business Case Templates, etc.)

The best course of action is to instill in your team the “curiosity” spirit in the early stages of the sales cycle.  Salire uses a simplified discovery model made up of (4) key areas; Business Initiatives, Organization, Solution Environment, Procurement & Finance.  A proactive and well thought through discovery process in the sales cycle should provide the information your team needs to ensure you help your key contact build the case to get budget.  And then you make your number!