Working in Sales is a privilege and requires an arsenal of skills to become a successful Sales Leader. One of the key aspects whilst working at a deal (or contract) for a prospect, is how far can you go? The answer is simple, but also complex: ‘As far as you need to!’.
What this means is that you are overall accountable within your organization to make your Sales targets, and this starts with closing deals. Whilst working on a deal, you – as the ‘deal maker’ – have full responsibility to ensure all angles are covered to win the deal. And I can tell you, there are allot of angles to it, but we will cover them in a separated article.
For now, I want to encourage you to think, lead and act as the ‘CEO of the deal’ towards your team and exec. Management. This easier said than done in practice, as when your COO or CEO puts the pressure up, and you don’t have the right arguments to mitigate him/her, you will bend and they will control your deal. Never let this happen and think 3 steps ahead on all angles (internal, external, market, customer, etc.) – to ensure you stay in control!
If you work in a larger organization, mostly allot of individuals with different titles, want to have a saying in your deal. Mainly when you are about to win the deal, or at least, they believe you can win it. Reason: they want to become part of your success. However, if new information shows you’re going to lose the deal, most of those supporters find ways to flee (no time anymore, different priorities, etc.). This is – and always will be – part of your job; manage all stakeholders, regardless what deal-phase your currently in.
Same goes if you require executive decisions, as some ‘unit manager’ is not willing to follow your deal strategy, you can’t let this happen, as in the end – you are the CEO of the deal! You have to escalate and politically engage with your exec. management to explain the win-strategy and get their buy-in. and yes… this puts allot of attention on you as the Deal Maker, but hey, that’s why you get the largest cut of the deal bonus, so stop complaining! And once you won the deal – they (the exec. management) will recognize your work. In most occasions, even the ‘unit manager’ will trust you next time.
In the next articles I will explain more about the different angles of navigating through different deal phases.