I have had the opportunity to coach many top salespeople to successfully win their largest sales opportunities. I have also reviewed deals near the end of their sales cycle that were destined to fail. Salespeople often say it wasn’t their fault, they didn’t get the support they needed, and therefore their company lost the deal. While big deals always have some internal issues, like extra attention or pressure, lack of organizational alignment, challenges related to pricing or the solution, top performing salespeople mitigate these issues to still be successful.
Here are six recommendations for a salesperson who wants to be in the top 5% of performers and win big deals:
- Get a coach. Every top performing athlete has a trusted coach who is invested to help them be more successful. It can be your direct manager or an internal /external coach. When you are too close to an important situation, good questions and ideas from others can be vital. Ensure they have relevant sales experience and will give you their real point of view; you shouldn’t be looking for someone to just build your confidence. Then schedule a regular coaching cadence with them no less than every 4 weeks.
- Teams win more large deals than solo salespeople. Encourage your team around you so that they can contribute their strengths, ultimately sharing in the success. Communicate often, more than you think is necessary, to keep the vision and goal close to their heart; they need to feel the emotional ownership to win. Together you can brainstorm and accomplish more than you can yourself.
- Use your CRM and sales processes. If you have a CRM, then use it to share more information faster and to demonstrate to the broader organization that you are a team player. This will generate support and confidence from others, including management whom can provide valuable resources to your team.
- Use scientific sales tools. In today’s sales world, you need to leverage sales intelligence as fast as possible – it can mean the difference between winning and losing. There are scientific tools available today using big data analytics that will “x-ray” your sales plan to identify strengths and vulnerabilities. Your company has likely invested in such tools, but they are often underleveraged by salespeople. Use them and their valuable insights. If you don’t have access to such tools, Revenue Storm offers new tools for Salesforce.com or Microsoft Office that run on Macs and PCs.
- Focus on How to Win. Too many salespeople are overly focused on their solution with the belief that the best solution will win. In reality, very few solutions are so unique that they were the key reason for the win. Deals are won or lost most often based upon HOW the sales pursuit was executed. This includes account strategy, understanding of the decision making process and the people involved, uncovering their personal agendas and political connections, and how to best message and leverage a compelling value proposition.
- Take Risk. We see a growing trend of risk aversion in pursuing big sales opportunities, both in strategy and tactics. Big sales are won by changing the deal momentum with influential, powerful people. By continuing to work with traditional contacts and staying within your comfort zone you will severely limit the potential to create emotional momentum, which is the key to garnering and building support.
We all want to be successful, but we work in a complicated world of human emotion and motivation. By following the six steps outlined above, you will be surprised how quickly you see an impact on your success. Why not start today?