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.