When we think about how a typical conversation transpires between your coach/sponsor and Power Person…it goes a little like this: (abbreviated for brevity)

PowerWhy are you here?  What are you asking of me?

Sponsor I am here to talk to you about your number one priority (Business Issue).

Power Okay, you have my attention, what is going on?

SponsorWe can’t do x, y and z, because of those challenges, we are hindered in achieving your priority/objective we just discussed.

PowerWell, what are you looking at and thinking about?

SponsorWe have looked at several solutions and we found (your company name goes here) can solve those better than anyone else.  In addition, they solve problem 1 & 2, and no one else can solve those problems.  (Unique Problems)

PowerWell, if they do all that, it must be expensive.

SponsorActually, you know, we would not be having this conversation if we did not pass the hurdle rate.  Let me take you through the business case.  We spend 1 we get 2 back over this time period.

PowerSounds like a solid business case – but has everyone bought in?

SponsorYes, IT, Users, LOB. Yes, all of them have given us the green light – you, Mr./Ms. Power are the last person. If you are comfortable we can move forward.

PowerWell, I can’t afford to make a mistake – how can I be sure we are doing the right thing and that we’ll get the result?

SponsorHere is the Plan – This is what we did to ensure (your company name) can deliver.  Also, if you sign this today, here are the steps we have outlined and the timing on when we will check back in and demonstrate that we are resolving the problems and getting the Value we discussed.

 So, can you hear it?  This conversation is very common.  Are you confident that your sponsor, or even you, if you had to, can succinctly get those answers articulated in the Power Person’s language?  What they truly care about?  If you or your sponsor can, you’re in great shape.  If not, you drastically increase the chances for your deal to slip.

What can you do to effectively prep and coach your sponsor to have a meaningful and targeted conversation with the Power Person?

We suggest you focus on 6 key areas.  This can easily be constructed into a PowerPoint presentation.

Slide 1 – Objective (Business Issue)

Slide 2 – Challenges (Problems)

Slide 3 – Solution (Solution)

Slide 4 – Business Impact (Value)

Slide 5 – Key players/resources (Power)

Slide 6 – Timeline (Plan)

There you have it – now, go build it!

  • Can you do it?

  • Can you get your sponsor to validate it?

Give them the tools and the Framework so that they can start selling internally with or without you.


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Carlos has 25 years of experience in the enterprise software industry, including sales, service, business development, creation of partner alliances and business operations. He’s advised companies including Comcast, NCR, Sumo Logic, ServiceNow, and VMware.

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