Monday, July 18, 2011

 

How to keep your sale alive after an org change

There's nothing worse to a seller than feeling good about a deal's momentum, only to have the prospect's company shuffle the team and change who's in charge. Even if the internal reorganization (or "reorg") doesn't directly affect the team or individual buying from you, the uncertainty about micro and macro priorities moving forward may very well freeze your deal anyway.

Some of this, of course, is well outside of your control. But if you quickly read and assess the new organization, you can still sell. In fact, the reorg may help you sell faster.

Underlying the opportunity to speed up your deal is to help the new organization achieve some quick wins. If the organization has put new people in new seats, those individuals are going to be motivated to quickly prove their value. They're going to want to demonstrate results as quickly as possible.

If you can quickly assess their new objectives and priorities, and position your product or service as fundamental to getting that done, then your sale may go to the top of their list. Especially if assessment work has already been done by the organization, saying "yes" might be faster and easier for the new regime.

Whether a faster sale is possible or not, here are four other best practices to keep deals moving with new people in charge:

1. Define the new ecosystem and players
Just as you did at the start of the sale, assess who's in charge, who's making the final decision, who owns the budget, and who else may need to sign off to make the deal happen. Some of those seats may have stayed the same during the org change, and those players (no matter where they are in the decision tree) may be critical to helping keep your deal on track.

2. Understand any changes in goals or priorities
Has the new leadership provided a new vision or set of goals for the organization moving forward? What outcomes are most important to the organization, teams or individuals you're working with? Make sure you adjust the highlighted benefits and outcomes of the purchase accordingly.

3. Get a warm intro and transition from the previous internal owner
Even if the previous owner is no longer involved, your new buyers will appreciate getting up to speed quickly. Leverage the previous deal owner to not only make a warm introduction and transition to the new buyer, but also provide an endorsement both to the prioritization of the project and to you as the preferred provider.

4. Quantify progress and explicit next steps
Make it easy for the new team to quickly understand what you're doing, progress made and specifically what to do next. Remember, new teams in charge are buried in understanding their new world and where to focus, let alone translating specific tactics that may help them get there. The more of that ground work you can do for them, the better.

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