Double-check for Alignment to Identify Holes and Avoid Late Surprises


Does this sound familiar? Unless this is year one in sales for you, this is a common refrain around now. It’s the end of year and there are:

  • X selling days left
  • Y number of deals in the pipeline
  • Z dollars to hit to reach our number (and Z*2 to get our manager to their number)

Do you feel like REM – “it’s the end of the world and I feel fine” – or,  are you a little more uncertain?

It’s easy to feel helpless and as though you’re not in control as the year comes down to the wire. However, across the ValuePrompter there are clues we can use to gauge if we’re going to close the year the way we’ve planned. If we’re missing any component(s) of a ValuePrompter, our deal is likely unqualified, and we have limited time to ensure that it closes.

Here are some easy questions to ask yourself in order to double-check alignment:

  • Can you confirm that you need to hit your metrics by MM/YYYY? (Business Issue to understand sense of urgency)
  • Have you seen anything better that will give you the capabilities to solve the stated problem(s)? (Solution – are we differentiated enough?)
  • Are we the best alternative that you’ve seen so far? (Solution – again, differentiation. Will they bet on it with their bosses?)
  • Is there anyone else who needs to be involved in this decision? (Power – are there roadblocks? Who can veto?)
  • Would we have to engage X to ensure this gets done? (Plan – do we know the process, decision, and procurement?)
  • How backlogged does procurement/legal get at this time of year and how do we get ahead of the queue? (Plan – is process going to stand in our way?)

You can better project your success by how well you have asked simple questions to gain the voice of the customer. Utilizing these questions ahead of crunch time can prevent deals from falling apart at the end of the year, and set you up for success.

David is an accomplished ValueSelling Facilitator, Coach, and Practitioner with over 25 years of applied ValueSelling experience. He leverages his leadership experience by guiding sales professionals to become more effective, efficient, and relevant.