Five Ways To Immediately Impact Your Deal Reviews

Deal reviews allow leaders to get valuable insight into the sales pipeline. Unfortunately, though, most leaders aren't effective at conducting deal reviews. Many leaders ask unproductive questions such as, "When is the deal going to close?" and "Are you talking to the decision maker?"

Entrepreneur and business leader Jeff Hoffman says there's a better way to make deal reviews more valuable for you and your salespeople. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Hoffman's five ways to get more out of your deal reviews.

1. Stop asking reps to self-analyze. Hoffman says that salespeople are optimists by nature and by necessity. They need this quality to survive the rejection and emotional variability of the role. However, it means they're usually not good at objectively analyzing how a deal is going. Instead of asking reps to fight their nature, Hoffman recommends that leaders conduct the analysis portion of a deal review on their own.

2. Stop posing impossible questions. Hoffman urges leaders to never ask questions that they wouldn't be able to answer. For example, avoid asking:

  • What are the individual metrics of each member of the buying committee? 
  • Which evaluation criteria does procurement use?
  • Who's the sign-off authority, and what's their relationship to every stakeholder?

Not only are these questions ineffective, they're demoralizing. Your sales reps will feel like they're being attacked. Hoffman says to avoid asking these kinds of questions.

3. Create a fixed list of questions. To get an accurate view of how an opportunity is going and run a deal review your rep won't dread, stop asking ad hoc questions. Limit yourself to six to 10 questions you and your reps have agreed upon in advance, recommends Hoffman. Ask these same questions for every single deal. When your salespeople know exactly what you'll ask, they don't feel like you're trying to trick them or expose their ignorance.

4. Move on as soon as you hear "I don't know." Hoffman advises moving on to another deal as soon as a rep says they don't have an answer. The expectation is that they'll get the answer before the next deal review.

5. Don't use deal reviews to coach. Never treat deal reviews as coaching opportunities, says Hoffman. You're seeking clarity, not trying to improve your salesperson's behaviors or techniques. If you pause in the middle of discussing a deal to say, "So-and-so, you need to get the budget for these X reasons," you'll lose valuable time to talk about the deal itself and the other opportunities in the rep's pipeline. Instead, wait until you've noticed a negative trend, then stop by the rep's desk or schedule a one-on-one, suggests Hoffman.

Deal reviews can be some of the most important meetings of your week. By adopting some of the ideas above, you can get more out of each deal review—and see the accuracy of your sales forecasts skyrocket.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jeff Hoffman is a globally renowned business leader, serial entrepreneur, academic innovator and motivational speaker. With global insights and experience launching and growing a range of companies, including Priceline.com, Hoffman has built a career by innovating through entrepreneurship.

filed under February 2020
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