Picture this: Your team has invested a huge amount of time and energy in this deal, in this moment. The pursuit and demo team worked tirelessly for weeks to get to this final executive presentation.
This deal is high value. Maybe it’s the first time you’ve sold this hot new solution, or it’s the first time you’re co-selling with this important strategic partner. Or maybe this deal represents a huge portion of your annual quota. The point is, losing the deal is not an option.
How do you ensure this closing moment pays off the effort you’ve already invested?
You do what your competitors aren’t doing. You create a Sales and Marketing dream team that works together to make sure the day and the messaging is powerfully on-target and your support materials are flawless. You’ve had tight turnarounds and late nights, but your demo, oral presentation and leave-behind materials are the product of Sales insights and Marketing finesse. You’re ready.
This approach to your high-value deals can offer competitive advantage. However, it requires a new level of agile collaboration and possibly a change in Marketing mindset, who typically don’t get invited to help at this point in the sales cycle.
Sales usually do the last ten yards without Marketing help, and the messaging and support materials often lack Marketing polish. We’ve developed this collaborative approach and seen it make an incredible difference in high-value deals. Plus, it delivers “live fire” learning around what works and what doesn’t in these moments of truth. And that learning can be brought back to adjust messaging in other places.
What Marketing should do when losing the deal is not an option:
- Start and end with empathy
- Be agile, fast-moving and responsive
- Be solidly grounded on the offering and relevant value propositions
Start and end with empathy
Marketing may have just gotten involved with this deal, but Sales has been working it for much longer. They’re probably stressed. They’re trying to coordinate with the pricing team, the demo team, and the leadership team, all while managing many small, final details with their prospect.
Marketing’s job isn’t to come in and tell Sales what they need. Marketing’s job is to listen and come up with ideas. Your seller knows the prospect best. They know what messages will resonate and what format the prospect might like. Offer your ideas, but let them lead on the big things. Anticipate what they will need, and give the pursuit team a white glove treatment by handling the details. Make them feel well-supported by the company as they put it all on the line.
Be agile, fast-moving and responsive
The sales process moves fast at this point, and when your seller needs changes to their presentation or materials, they need those changes yesterday. Marketing often works with long revision cycles, but that can’t be the case here.
Be responsive and flexible. Decisions on pricing or even the solutions to offer may break very late. There may be many rounds of unplanned changes. The production team working on the materials needs to be on full alert. Answer emails and calls in almost real time. Make changes as quickly as possible and communicate with all involved when time frames change. Remember: Sales is driving, and Marketing is delivering world class responsiveness.
Be solidly grounded on the offering
and relevant value propositions
Sellers in this critical moment have high standards for the pitch and supporting deliverables. You’re only as strong as your weakest bullet and warmed-over brochure copy isn’t likely to cut it.
On your initial call with Sales, ask many probing questions to get necessary context and texture around what they want to pitch and how they want to do it. Walk in with at least a rudimentary understanding of the prospect being pitched and demonstrate your knowledge of the solutions involved with the questions you ask.
And when you’ve proven to Sales that you’re valuable, agile, and empathetic?
That’s when they’ll keep coming back for help on the deals that matter. And with this kind of collaboration, you win more high-value pursuits. For more ideas on how to win high-value deals when losing the deal is not an option, check out our page on agile sales pursuits and our case study on establishing a pursuit support process.