Tim Sanders has spent his entire life structuring large deals for some of the world’s largest companies, and knows the transformative nature of closing a significant account. Dealstorming is about cracking the toughest accounts with a combination of dealmaking and brainstorming (hence the name).
When Dealstorming Comes In
When your traditional sales approach gets stuck—whether you are using The Challenger Sale concept, SPIN Selling, or any other sales methodology—it’s time to bring the team together to get the deal over the finish line. Sanders has identified four distinct phases you need to bring a sale through.
Contact. This stage involves engaging with all of the relevant parties at your prospect’s company—the informers, influencers, mobilizers and decision makers.
Conceive. This is where you come up with a vision of how your company can help your prospect company achieve more of what they are looking to achieve.
Convince. At this point, it’s about getting your prospects to buy into the vision you created.
Contract. This step needs no explanation.
Dealstorming Step #1: Qualify
Determine the strategic value of the sales opportunity to your company. The things you will want to consider here are revenue opportunity, branding power and market penetration. Sanders suggests that you give the strategic value of the sale a score on a scale from 1 to 10.
Next, you will assess the degree of difficulty in solving the sales challenge in light of the resources you currently have available. Again, give the difficulty a score on a scale from 1 to 10.
Finally, you determine the amount of people you’ll likely need from your company to solve this challenge. by multiplying those two numbers together. As a general rule, scores below 10 don’t require anybody, between 10 and 29 requires 2-3, between 30 and 49 requires 4-5, between 50 and 69 requires 6-9, and above 70 requires 10-12.
Dealstorming Step #2: Organize
Now, it’s time to decide who specifically needs to be involved. The idea here is to include all the necessary internal stakeholders so that the problem solving and execution can work together. There are four different roles you’ll need to fill in adealstorm.
The problem owner. the person who is ultimately responsible for solving the sales problem.
The sponsor. The person that will be in charge of qualifying the dealstorm, and then give guidance on the feasibility of the potential solutions.
The resources. This will be the bulk of your team, and can come from anywhere in the company. They will bring insights, objections, and participate in executing the deliverables of the dealstorm.
The information master. This person is in charge of making sure that everything is documented and followed up on in the dealstorming process.
Dealstorming Step #3:Prepare
The next step is to get your team ready for the dealstorming session itself. The account executive prepares the team by writing a comprehensive but compact deal brief. It should give everyone involved the key information about the account and frame the sales challenge in four pages or less. It should include the following:
Dealstorming Step #4:Convene
Next we move on to the meeting itself. The goal of the meeting is to set up the “next best move” on the account. The sponsor of the dealstorm needs to decide whether or not to bring in a facilitator. This meeting needs to run smoothly so that everybody has a great experience, and future deal storms can happen. When you open the meeting, the problem owner should state the goal of the dealstorm, and remind everybody why winning the deal is important. Then introduce everyone and get to work. Discuss the problem at hand and the possible solutions. After you’ve collected all of the ideas from the group, try to narrow down the idea into what you consider the best option for your team. Your goal here isn’t to create a consensus, but you do need to make sure that everybody in the room can live with the solution if it is chosen as the way forward.
Every business has potentially transformative deals that they should be looking out for. Here you have a step-by-step formula to harness the collective power of your team to create a game plan for winning that account.