Let Your Preparation and Planning Match the Opportunity

You are working on a deal that is worth $1,000,000 in annual recurring revenue. You’ve pursued deals of this magnitude before, and you’ve been fortunate enough to win more than your fair share. Why them, should you spend your time preparing and planning for sales calls when you have experience?

Let’s start with what a deal is worth. If your dream client spends $1,000,000 annually, the value of the deal must consider how many years you are likely to retain the client. If you retain your large clients an average of seven years, you are working on a deal with $7,000,000. Would you prepare and plan differently for $7,000,000.

Larger deals tend to be more strategic, and winning and retaining them provides some proof that you can deliver the outcomes for clients with more significant and more strategic needs. For a lot of us, larger clients stretch us by asking us to develop new processes and new offerings that increase the value you create for other companies. They provide experiences that allow you to differentiate yourself and your offering.

I have won large clients whose key stakeholders have moved to other large companies, and because we had done good work for them and with them at the company they left, they brought us in to do the same things for them in their new company. In a few cases, multiple contacts moved to numerous new companies. The probability of people leaving larger companies and ending up a similar company with similar needs seems to me to be higher, even though I only have anecdotal evidence.

Do the Work

It’s difficult to win big deals and spending time preparing, and planning does a lot to improve your chances of winning. It allows you to develop a strategy to win the contract, helping you convey how you are different and how that difference will benefit your client. Preparing and planning gives you the time to work on your talk tracks, improving the effectiveness of your conversation, while also allowing you to anticipate questions or challenges you expect. Spending time working on the agenda and the content you need to discuss improves the content and the flow, provided you do the work and ask the tough questions. In team sales, prepping and planning roles and responsibilities improves the flow, handoffs to and from your team, and it looks professional.

The larger and more important the deal, the more time you should spend preparing and planning every sales call. Don’t allow your experience or your confidence prevent you from also being a professional.

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