IMG_2442Somewhere, a sales professional or senior executive woke up this morning in a cold sweat after having a nightmare. They woke up in a cold sweat believing that their best and largest deal was just lost to a competitor and for a few brief moments they panicked… until they got a grip on reality. It really was just a nightmare (or was it an unconscious warning?)

If  you’re driving deals for your organization, it may be time to review the quality of your previous engagement execution, and upcoming joint working plans for one primary reason: Q4 is well known to be “spoiler season.” We’ve all watched as the deal that “is absolutely closing next week” was snatched by a competitor or indefinitely deferred (which is just as bad as losing the deal straight out.) Result: A jacked-up sales forecast leading to terminations with the survivors… working in fear.

As a sales leader, one of the best insurance policies I’ve written for a strong sales forecast, begins with ignoring  my traditional linear “Qualified Prospect-to-Contract” pipeline nomenclature for a time, in order to circle back and periodically re-validate existing presumptions, re-initiate senior executive interactions, re-confirm articulated needs, double-check competitive positioning, review the ROI, and make sure my sense-of-urgency and the prospects compelling business events or issues are still congruent for a prompt and timely buying decision.

Businesses are dynamic and alert competitors understand what was relevant yesterday may not be a show-stopper today and look forward to killing your deal. Just to be clear, in today’s busy corporate environment it’s unreasonable to expect your executive sponsor to call and tell you what’s going on inside their organization. Things change. To go forward it may be smart to…

Go back, to win now!

~Chris