Much of what we do in sales we do alone. Our prospecting is an individual activity. Many of our sales calls we make alone. And much of the work we do as we move a prospect though the sales process is made up of activities that we complete ourselves.
Sales is a team sport, even when you are the only one actually playing much of the game. You succeed for and with a team, and bringing that team together early and often improves your odds of winning your dream client opportunity.
Your Team’s Solution
As you work through your sales process and your dream client’s buying process, you will gather a lot of information and an understanding of what they need to succeed. You capture their vision, and you work to build a solution that gives life to that vision. You work closely with your dream client’s team.
You also need to work just as closely with your own operations team, the team that will ultimately deliver your solution.
Bringing your operations team into the sales process early creates a competitive advantage. By inviting them into the process while you are in the early stages of the sales process, you get the benefit of their best thinking about your dream client’s problems, challenges, and opportunities. By the nature of their role in operations, they have the ability to see things that you cannot see. They sometimes have a greater understanding of the constraints and how they can be overcome. And their experience doesn’t only include your clients; it includes the experience they have serving clients that belong to other members of your sales organization.
More important still, by including your operation team in the process, you create more buy in on the solution and a greater commitment to delivering the outcome for your dream client. Your dream client becomes their dream client.
Instead of springing your solution on your operations team after winning, bring them into the process early and make it their solution too.
Your Management’s Buy In
Sales managers always want to know how a deal is progressing though the pipeline. Great sales managers will remove obstacles to a deal and help to ensure that you win your dream client opportunity. You can do much to ensure your management works for you on a deal.
By bringing your management in on the opportunity early, by sharing detailed information on what it will take to win, you share the ownership of the outcome with your management team. Their participation creates buy in.
This buy in helps tremendously when you need their help to win your opportunity. It helps when you need an exception to your standard delivery terms. It helps when you need someone to run interference within your own organization.
Sometimes your dream client needs proof that your management team is committed to their account and that they are going to provide the resources that ensure you deliver on your promised outcomes. Sometimes they need to be with you when you make some of your sales calls.
Instead of avoiding management on the complex and complicated deals, bring them in early and gain their commitment and buy in.
Priced to Win
Some deals that are lost on price shouldn’t be lost at all. Some salespeople mistakenly believe that they are supposed to price a deal according to some standard pricing or some national pricing model, without giving it any more thought than that. Without sharing all of the information that they have collected with their internal team, these salespeople make pricing mistakes.
By including your operations team and your management team in the sales process, the information you share may mean that other factors have to be taken into consideration. Your price may need to be increased to deliver what your dream client really needs, and your internal team can help you share this information in a way that helps to demonstrate to your dream client how much lower their costs will be at a higher price.
Alternatively, you may be pricing a deal too high, and sharing all of the information with your team may result in you delivering a lower price based on factors of which you have no knowledge or little understanding.
Either way, inviting your team into the process almost always means you price the deal in a way that ensures that you can deliver the outcomes that you sold and promised.
You may be the only one in the room when you deliver your presentation, your solution, and your pricing. But even if you are alone, make sure your team is there together with you.
How much better might your results be if you leveraged all of the resources available to you?
How does it benefit you to involve your delivery team early in the sales process?
How does it benefit you and your dream client to involve your management team in the sales process?
How do you ensure your solution is going to deliver the results your dream client needs?
How does the act of including others improve and increase their buy in?