Managing communication internally with your team and externally with the customer can be the difference between winning and losing a large/complex deal!
Why does communication need to be managed?
When you are pursuing a large, complex opportunity there are numerous people involved and a lot of information is flying around. Just look at the themes of my last 4 posts:
- 2/14/2020 Key contacts and their roles
- 2/18/2020 Mapping the customer’s decision process
- 2/21/2020 Customer decision criteria
- 2/25/2020 Understanding your competition
Many of you may be part of an account team run by an Account Executive and/or work with other specialists. Since it is common that each of you are involved in several (maybe many!) accounts, it is challenging to get your fair share of their time. However, if you are effectively managing communication in a structured manner you will find it easier to:
- Keep the team focused on a common goal
- Address questions, issues in a timely manner that would otherwise make your pursuit difficult
- Stay on top of updates as the team gathers new/additional information
- Develop confidence of those you report to regarding your ability to manage a large deal pursuit
How can you structure the management of communication?
There are some keys to success in managing communication. These should be in place for the duration of the pursuit effort.
- Conference calls/meetings – same day(s), same time(s) every week
- One person in charge of all calls/meetings – most of the time it should be YOU
- Ensure other team members provide updates (versus one person doing all)
- Document action items, owners and due dates – must be shared with the pursuit team
Gain selling time!
Taking this approach ensures timely communication with the internal team and the customer. Having team members provide updates on actions they own helps with accountability and keeps them engaged. Most importantly, it minimizes time you would otherwise waste chasing each other for updates and gives you more time to be in front of your customer!