The Complex Sale- 6 tips to gain consensus from Multiple Stakeholders

Consultative Sales Professionals- this post is for you.

Ever sold a product/service to a group of multiple stakeholders?  If you’re in a strategic sales role, I’m sure you have, with or without knowing it.  Just recently we closed a deal that incorporated 1 company, 3 different organizations, and 8 different stakeholders.  All stakeholders had different concerns and hot-buttons.  There were many times when I felt like throwing in the towel and walking away.  To be fair, I’m sure my client felt mutual at times.  So, here’s a few pointers that I’d recommend if you find yourself in a similiar situation.

1. Identify your stakeholders, and their interests.  Understand the hot-buttons of every party/stakeholder.

2.  Understand the goal.  Everyone must be on the same page in regards to the final outcome.  Agree to time-tables, and responsibilities up-front.

3.  Make sure you know who carries final decision approval and cater to their underlying motivations.

4.  Appoint a delegate.  One person from the customer is your go-to and speaks for the entire group.

5.  Align like-minded parties.  Technical folks talk to the technical folks, strategy is discussed with shareholder responsible parties.  Project Management talks to implementation teams. 

6.  Find a champion.  Someone who is on your side and will give you accurate feedback on the decision making process. 

Lastly- be a little bit greedy.  Identify up-front if you’re not going to win.  If you’re not going to win, then walk-away.  As a sales professional, time is your most precious asset.  Don’t waste it. 

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