sales process

How Long Should It Take to Land a Big Deal?

Posted in: Sales Consulting

Sales Process

Different factors will determine how long it will take to land a big deal. If you follow the sales process we help you establish, walk through each step, and don’t make compromises or compensations to try and force a deal that doesn’t fit, you will see the deal flow in a timely manner.

That’s the short answer. Let me give you a longer answer. The deal’s complexity, what you’re selling, and to whom you’re selling will determine how long it takes to land the deal. Some government contracts can take years to complete the deal.

In one of my previous posts, I talked about a client who worked on a deal for seven years, but we helped them finish it in seven months.

We can help you develop a customized sales process

Typical Time to Complete a Deal

I’m going to emphasize the word “typically.” Typically, we will see a company get a deal flow to completion within six to nine months There are lots of steps along the way that indicate whether you’re moving in the right direction or the wrong direction. The last thing you want to do is work six to nine months and then find this deal unsuitable for your company.

If you follow the sales process step-by-step, you will see signs telling you whether the deal is working. You will be able to change your course if there are roadblocks. With these mid-course corrections, a deal can complete in a few months. This will vary based on the industry and complexity of the agreement.

Here’s a story that illustrates my point. One client had worked on a significant deal for years, but they seemed to be stuck. They treated the agreement like a typical sale instead of a large deal that would transform their business.

Don’t treat large deals like a typical sale

When we analyzed the situation, we met with their team and mapped the process on a whiteboard.

When we listed the key players, it became evident that the roadblock was a lawyer from an outside legal firm they were using. They were paying this lawyer for his billable hours, so he needed more incentive to move it along quickly. Instead of helping to finish the deal, he was hindering the completion, which was to his advantage. The longer it took, the more he was paid.

So, once we understood everyone’s motivation, we could map out a new sales process with a new legal team with a different compensation scheme. This helped expedite the process and complete a deal that was advantageous for everyone except the lawyer that had been sabotaging the deal, perhaps.