RESET: Facilitating Decision-Making to Initiate AccountsSeptember 22, 2015 | By Wayne O'Neill
In this month’s video, I talk about one of the most important skills relevant to shaping work: the ability to facilitate decision-making.
So often, we tend to want to move quickly to a “closing” mentality as we move work through the sales pipeline. And this leads to conversations around price and scope.
What our team has learned from coaching the owners of decisions, is that they their decisions are rarely stuck on price, but rather a deeper discomfort or fear about a broader decision they are making. And, those fears rarely have anything to do with the price or scope or your deliverable.
Watch the video to learn more.
A pivotal part of shaping work as you try to grow your firm is to learn how, either as a team or as a team lead, to facilitate client decision making to initiate the account. And this is a key part of it. And I know all of you, at least all of our clients, experience this.
What’s the most hated part of trying to manage revenue growth? It’s that dreaded pipeline review meeting. Because what typically we do in teams we bring the technical people in, we bring the go to market people in, there’s leadership in that meeting and you start kind of going through the top part of the pipeline. So, where have we started the discussion? And you go, that’s pretty easy.
Then you go to the middle part of the pipeline, how are you progressing that discussion?
But here’s the dreaded part of the pipeline discussion– what are the things that you’ve either won or are about to win and how are you going to get that thing over the line? So we all kind of get into inadvertently “closing” mentality. And I don’t think that’s as functional as we all believe it can be because here’s what you start to do– when are we going to follow up with a client, when are we going to call that decision maker, what’s the next step, when’s that next meeting? And you inadvertently as a team, or particularly in the go to market standpoint, start talking about when, hey, maybe we need to reduce scope, maybe we need to drop the price.
I want everybody just to think about it from this standpoint, maybe you just at this period you need to breathe, slow down. Because here’s what’s going on from our owner practice on the other side. Decision-making teams, particularly in complex organizations, are struggling many times with discomfort and fear about the decision either they’re about to make or they just made. So, you trying to come in and tactically talk about timing, dropping price, changing the scope is just going to distract them from what they’re really, really thinking about.
What I want you to think about now is if you’ve done a proper shaping of the account, if you started the process off, you know the business and political issues, you’ve done three to five approaches into the organization– not your typical technical or lowest level approach, you’ve really come into a client’s organization at a lot of different levels– then you’re going to know a lot about the business and political issues.
It’s as simple as this. You want to take those business and political issues and make sure that you refocus the client on how your service or your product links to those business and political issues, particularly the impact of your service or your product. It’s about reminding them and refocusing them on the impact to what they’re really bothered about. Even to the point where, and we say this to our clients all the time, it’s not about us. It’s not even about our service, it’s about the impact of our service.
So this gets you out of closing thinking and into connection thinking, which is really faster. Which is really what makes the dreaded pipeline review so difficult because what we all want to do as it gets closer to initiating an account we want everything to go faster. But the key to this– business and political issues, refocusing around the impact of your product or service– that’s what will make things go faster.
Thanks for listening and be safe.