Should the Sales Executive Team Get Involved in Pursuing Large Deals?
Yes, the sales executive team needs to be involved in pursuing large accounts and RFPs. When Sarbanes-Oxley came out, the rules of the game and how companies do things changed.
The most significant change was in corporate governance, which now requires a more defined buying process with RFPs in place. After Sarbanes-Oxley, companies had to show that they were being responsible, getting RFPs and paying attention to money and how they pursued large accounts. This changed the game.
Back in “the old days,” you could do things self-sourced. At that time, you could do deals with friends based on relationships, on a handshake, and out on the golf course.
You can still do things from the perspective that relationships still matter. But now, if it’s going to be a big deal, with a lot of money changing hands, there is a lot of risk to the company, and they have to be sure that you did your homework.
The buyer must do their homework to avoid putting anyone at risk. This requires jumping through many more hoops and involves many more people. It’s much more complex, and you’ll now be scrutinized more.
So from our perspective, the complexity of landing a large account has increased exponentially. So looking at it now, there’s a lot more to it. For example, you need a process to counteract their process, which includes a matrix of touch points. This includes asking questions such as:
- What things happened all along the way?
- Who needs to be touched?
- How often do you need to reach out and touch them?
- What’s an appropriate way of doing that?
You need to know the hierarchy of influencers. Who is going to be all the players? Not just decision makers because in an average consultative sell, you will hear people say, “Well, who’s the decision maker? Who’s the one who can say yes versus the one who can say no?”
That’s not the way it works in large accounts. In large accounts, everybody has the right to say no; it just takes one of them to kill the deal. That’s why you need the sales executive on board.
No one person can say yes or no and override everyone else. That’s why we say you need a hierarchy of influencers and decision-makers. You may even need involvement from those in the supply chain, or however you do fulfillment, whether it’s a service or a product, or raw materials.
With large accounts, you’ll need to have more people involved in the supply chain, and you’ll have to provide way more proof of your ability to deliver. You’ll also have to be much more transparent than you’ve ever been before.
The only way that all of this can be accomplished is to have the sales executive team involved. Regardless of how good a salesperson is, he can’t do it alone.