Navigating the pursuit of a complex opportunity made easier

It would be great if most deals we pursue were straightforward where it was obvious how decisions would be made.  However, if the sales cycle on solutions you sell are several months or more it is likely the sales process is not simple.  In this and a few subsequent posts I will share an approach that should make it easier to identify the information you need and decide on a pursuit strategy. 

Upcoming posts will be focused on mapping the decision process, understanding decision criteria and competition.

Key contacts and their roles

Key contacts can be categorized into one of several roles including the following.  In order to identify who plays each of these roles seek input from either your “internal coaches” and others in your company that have experience with the customer.  Note that sometimes people can play multiple roles and that there can be more than one person in each role. 

  • Decision Maker
  • Influencer
  • Coach
  • Information Gatherer

Perspective of each contact

Key customer contacts in any sales pursuit will likely have a perspective from which they evaluate solutions they are considering.  The same people helping you identify key contacts are good sources for input on each contact’s perspective.

Persistence, Curiosity and Patience

Longer, more complex sales cycles can produce frustration.  However, the process of revealing what you do not know is GOOD.  Do not look at this as a sign of failure.  Attack the pursuit of the information you now know is necessary.  Stay persistent and be patient with the process…you will feel more confident as your knowledge grows.