10 Sep Dealstorming : The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges (Book Review)
Today, only 40% of sales representatives meet their quotas. Coming to the rescue, sales veteran Tim Sanders outlines a direct approach to overcoming hurdles in large business-to-business (B2B) sales. He presents his seven step “dealstorming” process in clear chapters filled with explanatory anecdotes. The process of dealstorming requires assembling a focused team from across your company’s departments. Sanders positions dealstorming as the best method for closing stalled sales. He illustrates his system with diagrams and illuminates each step with case studies drawn from his sales leadership experience.
Dealstorming offers an intriguing approach to overcoming sales problems strategically.
I really recommends this solid guide in Dealstorming to B2B sales reps and managers looking to overcome that nagging, lagging sale.
Key Take-Aways in Dealstorming
“Dealstorming” is a focused approach that uses a cross department team to
move a stalled business-to-business (B2B) sale forward.
– With 40% of sales reps unable to meet their quotas, making sales is harder than ever.
– Today, most deals face several challenges: multiple decision makers, complex technology systems and an influx of information that complicates clients’ expectations.
– The seven major steps of the dealstorming process are “qualify, organize, prepare, convene, execute, analyze” and “report.”
– A sale moves through four stages: “contact, conceive, convince and contract.”
– The size of a “dealstorm” team depends on the “value” and “difficulty” of the sale.
– The team has a “problem owner, sponsor, resources” and “information master.”
– To help your team embrace different ways of thinking, suggest personas for members to adopt, such as “the hacker, the chef and the artist.”
– You might stop a deal for four reasons: It’s a “bad fit,” you lack a unique offer, chasing the deal is a waste of time or continued contact might damage your client relationship.
– Moving a deal forward requires the leader to “confirm, verify” and “implement.”
Despite a sales representative’s best efforts, a potential deal can hit a roadblock that prevents it from coming to a successful conclusion. One cure is dealstorming, a collaborative based approach to business-to-business (B2B) selling. In dealstorming, a cross department team follows a step-by-step, “linear process
Brainstorming produces a lot of ideas, but unlike dealstorming it lacks a deliberative process for determining if the ideas are viable. Dealstorming brings people together from a company’s different units to find creative, practical solutions to a blocked sale. The participants in a dealstorm session share the same
sales goal and can offer suggestions for advancing the sales process. A dealstorm requires a major investment of time and resources, so companies should turn to this tactic only when other B2B sales options don’t work.
Why Dealstorming Works
The dealstorm helps people who don’t usually deal with selling develop a stake in a sale’s success. A salesperson may not be able to find the hidden key to success, but a team probably can. A dealstorm often discovers a sales innovation that other sales teams can use in similar situations.
Today, the B2B sales process is far more difficult than it was. Previously, most sales depended on one client decision maker. Today, most purchases require agreement from many people at varying levels of a customer’s firm. Most enterprise sales now involve five client decision makers. Completing a deal often requires navigating a client’s internal blockades. A company’s policies may complicate sales negotiations. Resistance from other departments in the client firm can make it harder to meet prospects’ requests or needs. Concluding a sale requires solving these issues.
Information technology enables prospective buyers to gather their own knowledge about your industry’s available products and about your competitors. Clients research prices before speaking to your salespeople. Many prospects already know what they want and what they think it should cost. Yet, the abundance of
knowledge now available also can help in your sales planning. For example, purchasing trends reveal valuable data about what your prospects need from you.
Dealstorm’s Seven Steps
The dealstorm starts when the sales rep identifies a sales opportunity or problem and requests assistance.
The seven major steps for an effective dealstorm are:
1. “Qualify”– The sales manager decides a sales challenge needs a dealstorm team after the sales team has tried all other sales support options.
2. “Organize” – Assess what knowledge and skills you need. Recruit from across the company to assemble your dealstorm team.
3. “Prepare”– The dealstorm owner manages all preparatory materials, including a premeeting
“deal brief” containing all relevant information on the client and the challenge.
4. “Convene”– Hold dealstorm meetings to initiate the process. “Regroup” to review progress or handle problems. Offer an agenda to focus the participants, guidelines that explain the process, time to discuss the problem, opportunities to suggest solutions and a review of “action items.”
5. “Execute” – Every meeting requires followup action even if it doesn’t yet involve engaging the client. To keep the sale moving, identify upcoming action steps and remind participants of their roles. The group outlines solutions, but the problem owner – with the sponsor’s guidance – decides how to proceed. Have a backup solution ready.
6. “Analyze” – After every interaction with the client, analyze the dealstorm solution. In future sales, identify how to recreate the dealstorm’s success or avoid its failures.
7. “Report”– Take notes on clients’ body language and feedback to report back to the team. Even when the solution is in effect, keep the team aware of ongoing successes. This ensures up-to-date
readiness if members need to step in again. When problems arise, resolve each situation before announcing a new problem.
Dealstorm success stems from each team member’s careful planning and thoughtful participation. The sales rep leads the process with the sales manager’s guidance and support. The resource people provide information, generate ideas and offer feedback.