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How Long Should It Take to Land a Big Deal?

Posted in: Sales Consulting

How Long Does It Take To Land A Big Deal?

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 complexity of the deal, what you’re selling and to whom you’re selling will be factors in how long it takes to land the deal. With some government contracts, it 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 is not a good fit for your company.

If you follow the sales process step-by-step, you will see signs along the way that tell you if the deal is working or not. You will be able to change your course if there are road blocks. With these mid-course corrections, a deal can complete in a few months. This will vary based upon the industry and complexity of the deal.

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

Don’t treat large deals like a normal sale

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

When we listed the key players, it became obvious 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 had no incentive to move it along quickly. Instead of helping to finish the deal, he was actually hindering the completion, which was to his advantage. The longer it took, the more he was paid.

So, once we were able to understand everyone’s motivation, we were able to map out a new sales process with a new legal team that had 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.