Dealstorming - Tim Sanders

Dealstorming - Tim Sanders

Have you ever wondered how much complex sales have become today? Learn the technique of 'dealstorming' and change the way you do business.

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Today, only 40% of sales representatives are able to achieve their goals. That's why the veteran salesman Tim Sanders takes a direct approach to overcoming hurdles in the book "Dealstorming".

It presents the seven steps of a process that he calls "dealstorming", clearly and with explanatory anecdotes throughout the chapters. It can be your secret weapon to achieve your sales goals!

The process of dealstorming requires the assembly of a team formed by members of several departments of the company. Tim explains how to plan, organize and apply this sales closing technique in your business.

In the publication, he illustrates the system using diagrams and clarifies each step with case studies drawn from his vast experience in the market. Got interested to know more about? Stay with us in this summary!

About the book "Dealstorming"

In the book "Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges" (2016), Tim Sanders explains that B2B sales become more complex for many reasons, such as more people involved in shopping, more complicated products being sold, super informed buyers and more competitors.

Also, the sales function remains one of the most isolated departments of the companies.

Finally, the book teaches you how to manage the negotiation processes from beginning to end.

About the author Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders had worked for Yahoo as head of solutions, was co-founder of the research group Deeper Media Inc., and also wrote "Love Is The Killer App", "Today We Are Rich" and "The Likeability Factor".

In addition, he served as a consultant for Fortune 1000 companies, wrote several bestsellers, and gave lectures around the world. He uses his deep business knowledge, psychology, and marketing to help people and companies achieve the best.

To whom is this book indicated?

The book is recommended for representatives and B2B sales managers who seek to overcome difficult and packed sales. The book brings together the best sales techniques to make a deal.

In the book, you can find useful advices, not just for salespeople and business development executives, but also for those who have products to sell.

Main ideas of the book "Dealstorming"

  • Dealstorming is a focused approach that utilizes several departments to advance in a stationary sale;
  • Today, most businesses face many challenges, including: multiple decision makers, complex technology systems, and an influx of information that complicates customer expectations;
  • The seven main steps of dealstorming are: qualify, organize, prepare, convene, execute, analyze and report;
  • A sale goes through four stages: contact, conception, persuasion and contract;
  • The size of a dealstorm team depends on the value and difficulty of the sale;
  • For the team to adopt different ways of thinking, suggest characters for members to adopt;
  • You must stop business for four reasons: the sale is poorly adjusted, you do not have a differentiated offer, the business is being a waste of time or when continuous contact can disrupt the relationship with the customer;
  • Moving on a sale requires the leader to confirm, verify, and implement.

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[Book Summary] Dealstorming - Tim Sanders

Overview: What is Dealstorming?

Despite the efforts of the seller, a potential business may encounter an obstacle that disturbs it from turning into a successful close. A remedy for this is dealstorming, a collaborative approach to business-to-business (B2B) sales.

Brainstorming produces many ideas, but unlike dealstorming it doesn't have a particular process to assess whether ideas are feasible. Dealstorming brings together people from different parts of an organization to find practical and creative solutions to a problem at some sale.

The participants of a dealstorming session share the same goal and offer solutions to advance the sales process. A dealstorm requires a great allocation of time and resources, so companies should only use this tactic when other sales techniques didn't work.

Overview: Why does dealstorming work?

The dealstorm helps people who aren't accustomed to dealing with sales support in a successful business process. A salesperson may not be able to find the missing key element for sale, so the team is important.

In the past, most B2B sales depended only on the choice of a decision maker on the part of the customer. Currently, to close, a business requires the approval of several people at various levels of the organization.

Completing a sale often requires the overcoming of internal locks coexisted by the client, since the policy of a company can interfere in the negotiation. Therefore, the process of completing a sale needs to go over such difficulties.

Information technology enables stakeholders to gather their own knowledge about their products and competitors. Customers research prices before talking to a seller. Many stakeholders already know what they want and how much they think it will cost.

On the other hand, the author Tim Sanders says that the abundance of information available can also help in your sales planning. For example, buying trends reveal valuable data about what your stakeholders want from you.

Overview: Four levels of every sale

For Tim Sanders, every B2B sale must go through the following stages: contact, design, convincing and contract. Contact is the stage of meeting and networking with people of the company concerned.

For this, you must determine whether contact with each person in the customer organization can help you learn about your credibility, connections, company knowledge and motivation.

Identify the initial decision maker you want to reach. Listen to what stakeholders have to say about the strengths and weaknesses of the company, learn from them and point your strategy accordingly.

The second step, which is design, requires you to understand your product and the problems that the interested parties seek to solve. Build a sales pitch that addresses the solution the customer needs.

The next convincing step begins with you explaining how your product is able to solve the problem. Your product needs to solve and offer something attractive to the customer in terms of deadlines, procedures and deliveries.

It must persuade customers to make a commitment, as they can often be suspicious about very innovative products. Teams from other sectors of the client's business can be entered into the negotiation.

So, just your persuasion may not be enough to convince them all. That's why it's important to set up a team to dealstorm with people from various sectors, which makes it possible to create a complete proposal.

Overview: When to give up a Sale

The sales manager and dealstorm team should be aware of the issues the representative is facing when a potential sale seems to be going down. Until a satisfactory solution is found, the seller should not contact the customer.

The manager must suspend the sale when any of the following situations occurs:

  1. Lack of adjustment: the client does not see an alignment between his problem and the solutions offered and asks for no further contact;
  2. Lack of differential: if your product does not offer a valuable differentiation, it is more difficult to convince someone. Multiple encounters happen without progress, nothing indicates a positive course;
  3. Loss of time: sometimes the manager must intervene when a representative fails to see that the continuous effort on a difficult stakeholder hinders the progress of other sales;
  4. Potential damage: suspend immediately when continued contact can damage the relationship between the two institutions.

Overview: Learn how to set up your dealstorm team

Team size is determined by the value and difficulty of the sale in question. Evaluate the value of the sale on a scale of zero to ten in revenue levels, brand presence and market penetration.

The difficulty must be conceptualized by the same scale, based on personal challenges such as the number of decision makers and internal obstacles. The number of steps to completing a sale indicates how many challenges you will face.

Multiply the two notes to use as the basis for your team size. For example, a score of 5 and difficulty score of 7 means a total value of 35.

Scores less than 30 require a dealstorm team of two or three people, including a salesperson and the manager. A value from 30 to 49 requires a team of four to five employees. From 50 to 69 asks for a team of six to nine people, and anything over 70 requires an effort of ten to twelve individuals.

Participants of a dealstorm should carry out the following roles:

1. The owner of the problem

It is usually the salesperson who identified the difficulty and asked for help. They lead the team by identifying potential members (including recruits for other roles), producing pre and post-meeting notes, overseeing meetings, checking information and ideas, determining what action to take.

2. Sponsor

Usually it is the sales manager who supports the owner of the problem throughout the decision-making. The authority position helps employees understand the value of the dealstorm.

3. Resource team

Anyone within the dealstorm who provides expert knowledge about the client or the sale in specific fields. Members of the technology, research and development or marketing department can offer innovative ideas about customer concerns.

To recruit these employees, explain the dealstorm and how it relates to overall business success.

4. The holder of the information

It is the member responsible for recording, organizing and reporting the information produced in a dealstorm process.

Overview: Staging

To get past creative obstacles and habitual thinking, team members can stage and take on different personalities during the discussions. Three different characters can help teams develop new ideas.

The "hacker" looks at the problem from different angles to find weaknesses where opportunities may exist. It can overcome resistance to a sales lead by using social networks to engage the customer.

Authentic tastings and comments in a customer's posts on LinkedIn and other networks can build relationships and increase profitability with sales.

The character "chef" mixes and combines ingredients to prepare a well done dish. Think about what you already know about the situation - review your notes, contacts, information, needs, and customer issues - and compare that list with the ingredients your product offers the customer.

The character "artist" uses the famous approach: "do not tell me, show me". Sometimes a visual-based analogy can clarify an offer.

For example, a real estate company found it difficult to rent beautiful offices until an agent compared the spaces with cars: renting a van is cheaper, but it does not get the same message from a BMW X5.

Overview: Seven steps of dealstorm

According to Tim Sanders, the process begins when the sales representative identifies an opportunity or problem and ask for help. The seven main steps for an efficient dealstorm are:

1. Qualify

The sales manager decides that a challenge needs a dealstorm to be solved, after the sales team had tried other ways of solving it.

2. Organize

Assess the knowledge and skills needed. Enlist by company to set up your dealstorm team.

3. Prepare

The process owner manages all materials, including a summary containing all relevant information about the customer and the challenge.

4. Convene

Initiate the process by holding meetings, and also promote re-meetings to review progress and deal with problems.

Provide an agenda to focus on the participants, guidelines explaining the process, time to discuss the problem, opportunities to suggest improvements and review of "action items".

5. Execute

Every meeting should promote actions after its completion, even if it still doesn't involve the client. To keep up with progress, identify the next steps to be taken and remind participants of their roles.

The group outlines solutions, but the problem owner - with the guidance of the sponsor - decides how to proceed. Always have an emergency solution ready.

6. Analyze

After every interaction with the customer, analyze the solution generated by the dealstorm. In future sales, find out how to recreate the good points of the dealstorm and avoid its failures.

7. Report

Make notes about the client's body language and give feedback to advise the team. Even when the solution is working, keep the team informed of the success in progress.

This ensures that members are ready to take action if necessary. When a problem arises, resolve any existing situation before announcing a new problem.

Overview: Successful Meetings

Keep the meetings of the dealstorm process light. Reinforce your team's focus with a clear, simple, and few-page summary that needs to be reviewed prior to the meeting. An initial dealstorming meeting should last from one to two hours, plan accordingly, and don't exceed this mark.

To give people a chance to talk, ask members to meet 10 minutes before the scheduled time. The problem owner must be the leader of the meetings.

A good leader must have the skills to listen, protect and be assertive in order to maintain focus and momentum.

Overview: The Collaborative Idea

A group of people from different divisions of an organization is likely to include people with different approaches and styles. Pixar Animation President, Ed Catmull, believes that a new idea from time to time comes as an "ugly child", but with time and consideration it may prove to be the exact solution you were looking for.

Manage participation, so that everyone has the opportunity to share their recommendations and thoughts. To run a collaborative idea that comes from a dealstorm you should take the following steps:

  1. Confirm what was decided and agreed: Immediately after the meeting, the problem owner should send individual emails expressing appreciation for participation, followed by follow-up deliveries to be made;
  2. Check hypotheses and assumptions about key elements: Examine facts and stories that participants brought to meetings. Recognize and prepare for any problems, challenges and difficulties;
  3. Implement winning ideas methodically: Report the decisions and create a timeline for sale. If necessary, construct a prototype as a visual representation to help everyone understand the solution, or conduct a test to identify any errors.

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "Never Split the Difference", the former FBI negotiator Chris Voss explains the human side of a negotiation, how to search for information and the perfect attitudes to extract the best in a negotiation.

The author Robert B. Cialdini, in the book "Influence", shows six psychological principles that influence clients to make a decision. This book is definitely crucial if you are looking forward to improving your sales.

The book "Mental Triggers", written by Gustavo Ferreira, gives guidelines to activate the main emotions of your customers, this is extremely important to convince them easily to buy from you.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

The stems for the success of the dealstorm depends on the careful planning of each participant. The salesperson guides the process with the guidance and support of the sales manager. Resource people promote information, generate ideas, and provide feedback.

No big sale happens by the effort of just one person, success in sales is the result of joint effort.

Most sellers are very competitive by nature. We are trained to compete with others all the time but in today's sales climate, teamwork is the key to build great deals that meet more people.

Teamwork makes the business work, and in this book you learn a new way of thinking about collaboration in the selling profession.

Did you like this summary of the book "Dealstorming"?

Are you ready to apply the dealstorm sales strategy in your company? Did you find this content useful? Leave your feedback in the comments!

In addition, if you got interested to know all the tips that Tim Sanders gives, the book's full edition is available for purchase by clicking in the image below:

Book 'Dealstorming'