Today’s post is brought to us by our partner in Munich, Germany, Dr. Michael Franz. Learn more about Dr. Franz below. Enjoy!
Let‘s say you want to get a bigger client. Like a huge international group. And you want to sell something, that is so big, that you have do deal with the board of directors, to get it signed. How do you navigate and align all those people that are involved in the sale?
Start with the Org Chart
I always advise my clients to get an org chart of the target organization. Even if you do not have it, you can assume from your experience how many and what kind of people will be involved. Ok, get the Org Chart and do the following:
- Mark every person, that might be involved in the sales. First, identify obvious decision makers like CEO, COO, VPs, Directors. Second, identify influencers like subject matter experts, personal assistants and users of what you sell deep down in the organization.
- Tag every person involved with green, yellow or red, to indicate whether they are in favor, neutral or against you.
- Use arrows to indicate which people like each other and who hates each other. Never forget, there is much animosity in huge organizations and you need to know about that.
If your are in a 01 situation, you usually have big white spots in your chart. That is normal and should motivate you to gather intelligence about your target. For that you create a coverage map.
Second build a coverage map.
The coverage map answers the question: Who will talk to whom (and when) in the target organization to gather what kind of information?
Create an excel sheet and fill the first three columns you put the name of the person covered, their formal position and their role within the sales process. Then you do the following together with your team:
- Decide who from your organization will cover whom from the target organization. (Column D) Obviously your CEO should cover the target CEO and from their you got down the org chart.
- Decide when, how often you are going to cover these person. (Column E to G) Contact frequency depends largely on the position of the target person in the hierarchy. The higher the person ranks, the lower the frequency. The how can be a telephone call, emails contact, business lunch, meeting, workshop, site visit.
- Decide what kind of information you want gather. Generically you need to know: What they want to achieve with your project – for their company and for themselves. What they fear about this project – e.g. what should not happen, what do they not want to experience? Likes and Dislikes with the other people involved in the buying process. Further, are they in favour, neutral or against your project? Of course, you need to find answers to specific questions related to the nature of your project.
With the information gathered you close the white spots in your org chart.
The result of this exercise?
You have a crystal clear overview, who are the white spots in the target organisation. And you have a plan when and how to close these spots. Start to systematically cover everyone involved in the buying process and your chances of getting the deal doubles.
Dr. Michael Franz founded a sales process consulting firm targeting franchise, real estate, manufacturing and consulting companies to double their sales figures. He is author of the german edition of the bestseller “High Probability Selling” and writes regularly about professionals sales in business magazines and on his blog.