- Are you confident your prospect sees your company, the opportunity, and the timeline for closure the same way the sales team does?
- Have you qualified your opportunities from your prospects’ vantage point?
- As a Manager, are you ensuring that your teams are accurately forecasting their deals.
If you haven’t answered yes to these questions, you have not fully qualified your opportunities to ensure your success.
While focusing on closing the deals for this quarter, use the following questions to assess and gauge the strength of your deal. These questions will test each of the key areas in the ValuePrompter to ensure you are in alignment with your prospect.
1. Can you articulate the Business Issue for the person of power you are addressing? (BI)
- Have you identified what your customers need to address and resolve in order to achieve business objectives?
- The Business Issue should have metrics and be time bound.
- It should be personalized to the ultimate signer’s key measurement objective.
- Most often, it’s not a technical solution or requirement.
2. Can you articulate unique problems only you can solve? (Problem)
- These are difficulties that prevent them from being able to satisfactorily deal with or resolve the business issues.
- Ensure they are problems not benefits.
- Problems are things the prospect can’t do.
- Problems are NOT things they want or need.
- The problems should be articulated in the prospect’s words.
3. Is the business value quantifiable and does it justify the expense? (Value-Business)
- This should be a quantified value.
- Can the prospect justify the expense internally?
- The economics need to make sense based on the ultimate signer’s title.
- The signer must have that level of signing authority.
4. Can you articulate the personal value for the key stakeholder? (Value-Personal)
- This is the bigger motivator in value box.
- It cannot be assumed.
- It should be articulated to the team by the prospect.
5. Do we have access to Power? (Power)
- Do we have access to the ultimate signer?
- Are the answers listed in the ValuePrompter for that individual?
- Have we received confirmation of the elements in the ValuePrompter from the Mutual Plan Letter?
6. Do we have a mutual plan in writing – mapping steps beyond contract? (Plan)
- Let’s get real – is there a Mutual Plan Letter?
- This is not a path to closure!
- This is a Plan Letter written to a senior member of the team – with feedback.
- The prospect agrees to what’s been documented around the Business Issue, Problem, Solution, Value, Power, and the sequence of events in order to obtain the Business Issue.
- This two-page letter should be sent and will help to determine if you are in alignment.
- Contract signature should be one minor event in a longer list of events detailed in this letter.
Remember, your prospect should be able to answer these questions without you.
Leverage the questions and the Mutual Plan Letter to gain insight on your alignment and timing with the prospect – remember, it’s about closing the deal and getting to good OR bad news earlier in the cycle.
You and your team are not the ones to accurately qualify a deal? Yes, I said that. Your customer is. Said more clearly and accurately, a qualified deal is when the customer’s power person is telling you it is. Anything less than that, you’re only hoping it is qualified. If that is the case, put it in upside!