How To Time That Sales Deal


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Deal or No Deal (video game)

Deal or No Deal (video game)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ve probably been staring at that sales deal on your forecast now for months. As each month goes by and each quarter merges into the next, for some reason that deal keeps getting pushed out. Every time you call them up they keep telling you it will be next week, or soon, or some other date in the near future, yet its just not happening and its getting a little embarrassing.

One of the best excuses I heard during a sales meeting was that the person who signed off the PO’s had…..wait for it……gone moose hunting. Guess what, that deal never came in.

Sales people are tasked with delivering numbers and usually within a defined time. That’s great in an ideal world, however few things happen as we want them, especially in the beginning with sales and until you’ve got enough opportunities on the go.

Learning About Your Deal

Every sales opportunity that presents itself should be going through a cycle and assuming its passed your qualification and the “real deal” tests its now a matter of continuing to confirm what is really happening.

During your discussions with this customer (new or potential) you would have been learning about whether a problem big enough exists to justify change (motivation), that your solution fits into their current business without significant impact (risk), delivers enough value (return on investment) and if so how it will be financed (money) and what’s involved in getting it signed off, who’s involved and they’re level of involvement and agreement (process and people) amongst other things.

As well as determining the controlling factors you also want to learn about the real time scales. It’s easy to assume something and for other to say something to try and please others. Fact’s though, rarely lie though.

Not only will there be individual factors that will be controlling this deal, there will also be cultural factors that will affect how things happen. Some businesses take more time to make decisions, whilst others have a greater risk appetite. Your job is to determine the factors and culture and create a picture of this deal and how things should unfold within a given time frame.

A stopwatch is a hand-held timepiece designed ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Factors That Can Impact Your Sale

If you raise your expectations against the evidence and start pushing when the timing is out then things can start to unravel before your very eyes and the deal you worked so hard to bring together just falls apart in front of you.

Likewise if you and your team is not responsive enough to the people involved you can have the same result as your buyer loses faith in your ability to deliver and begins the search for an alternative source of supply.

Just like most things in life there is no “do this” or “do that” and you’ll be guaranteed results. Instead you’ve go to spend time doing the research and building the facts than you have in guessing and hope-casting what might happen.

Sometimes, its something simple that is slowing things down like the size of the deal or investment (risk) so by carefully finding a way to create a smaller deal as a test or provide some level service before investing could help you take a small step towards concluding that bigger deal and you have a closed sales increasingly the likelihood that they’ll spend more money if all things pan out. However, this will impact your overall sales cycle and it should therefore be factored into the equation.

It could be that they’ve just forgotten about this deal because something’s cropped up and its no longer the priority it was, or the decision making team has changed or even a takeover or merger.

Complex sales and even smaller deals to a certain degree require you to be more like an “investigator” or “analyst” to determine the facts and build the scene. Until then, never assume, just test until you’ve got your timing about right.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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