Weekly Tip: Selling – A License to Hunt
Many of the companies with whom we consult are in a two-step sales process. They first have to sell a governing body such as a GPO, franchiser, corporate procurement department, or other central body to approve them as a “preferred or approved” vendor. Great! They have the contract, but no money. The money happens with the purchase orders from the distributed body of buyers inside of the large company’s network. Now the selling starts over again. When you land the big company, you have just gotten a license to hunt, not a real paying customer. Yet, many companies work hard to land the license, then let osmotic pressure or marketing efforts bring in the money. That’s a slow road to revenue. Here are a few things to do instead:
- Support Agreement – Seek to get definition of the roll-out support you can expect from the parent organization. Know what you want in advance – whether that is an announcement, a jointly released video, a feature in their newsletter, a prime location at their next national meeting, or an opportunity to speak. The job is yours to get their support in a way that is favorable.
- Blitzkrieg Team – The landing of a large master agreement is an event. It should be treated as a win that you can springboard. Instead of just rolling out to your field reps the announcement, establish a team to go after the highest value locations in the network and land business quickly. These locations will start the dominos of the buying organization’s network tipping in your favor.
- Run the 90 Day Sprint – The first 90 days are critical. That’s about how long you have to keep your organization energized to go after the opportunity in a unique way different from their standard work. It’s also how long you can expect, at the maximum, the support of the buying organization’s central team. Everyone moves on. Run a sprint plan to get the ball running.
Too many people win the hunt and then slow-walk the revenue. Push as hard for the revenue as you do for the agreement.