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⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
Today’s edition unpacks a simple framework you can use as a checklist for closing outsized deals at your organization. Hint: It’s sweet and fresh!
Read time: <7 minutes
Punching above my weight
Between 2018-2022, I closed transformation deals with 11 net new logos (all Fortune 500 brands) as a strategic B2B2C SaaS seller while I was at LivePerson, a mid-cap 1,300-person company generating under $500M in annual revenue.
Each deal averaged $1.7M ARR, which is 161% above the company’s average booking size*.
*That’s based on the latest earnings call. Back when I was an active seller, it was even higher.
In each of my deal pursuits, I was competing with much larger incumbents like Genesys (5,900+ employees/$2B annual revenue), Nuance (6,500+ employees/$1.4B annual revenue) and Salesforce (79,000+ employees/$31.3B annual revenue).
I also gained important mindshare with executives, taking critical digital transformation discussions away from some of the major consulting firms like McKinsey, Accenture, and Deloitte.
My special sauce?
Every single deal had “MINTS” in place.
Below, I’ll deconstruct this framework using who, what, when, where, and why and give you a thought experiment and where to go to learn more for each component.
Freshen up your strategic sales strategy with MINTS
➾ Who: Someone adept at driving consensus
➾ What: Leader motivated to enact right change
➾ When: Identify early to avoid a lengthy sales cycle
➾ Where: Key BU in the org that needs a fresh reboot
➾ Why: Will make it much easier for the deal to progress
Example: We identified that most contact center leaders had been following a 30-year-old blueprint. This was true, because at LivePerson, we were a category owner of the “conversational brand” space.
Instead of building a sales process around hawking chatbot and conversational AI software, we taught enterprise executives how to re-design their contact centers using their existing agents as assets and then guiding them through an operational blueprint that introduced automation in a systematic way, while simultaneously moving expensive phone calls to digital messaging at scale using a transformation maturity model.
Our tech simply came along for the ride.
The job was to help them adopt a new blueprint (7-figure move) vs help them buy software (6-figure move).
– Do your top 5 accounts have a true Mobilizer? If not, what gets you closer to one?
– Does your company “own a category?” If not, can you design one?
If you want to dive deeper on the topic of identifying and aligning with a true Mobilizer, read the book The Challenger Customer.
If you want to dive deeper on Category Design, read The Category Design Toolkit.
➾ Who: Comes from the perspective of their customers
➾ What: A big idea that seems impossible, but is achievable
➾ When: Stress tested and validated in the first POV meeting
➾ Where: Most authentic insights come from being their customer
➾ Why: Commercial insights → Compelling perspective → Big impact
Example: With one major hotel brand, we saw that their in-app chat experience was going to the front desk of the property vs a centralized help desk.
The job was to calculate the cost of this workflow (7-figure move) vs focusing on features it was lacking (6-figure move).
– Pick your top 3 accounts
– Go deep and become a devout customer of theirs
– Document everything you learn about the customer experience
If you want to dive deeper on this subject, read the book Naked Sales: How Design Thinking Reveals Customer Motives and Drives Revenue.
Need more help? Grab my Diamond Standard Cheat Sheet.
➾ Who: Designed to equip the Mobilizer to circulate internally
➾ What: Built to read like an internal memo vs a vendor proposal
➾ When: Shared to bring your business case to life through story
➾ Where: A collaborative process that uses their words and assets
➾ Why: Will face less internal friction when it looks like their own doc
Example: With a major healthcare company, they used internal whitepapers to make decisions.
The job was to translate our materials into something that looked like their whitepaper (7-figure move) vs sending them a generic business case with our branding on it (6-figure move).
– Take your top account
– Start by writing a headline of what their future can look like a year from now after using your software
– Fill in the blanks (in a narrative format) on how to get there using the data you’ve collected and the perspective you’ve formed by being their devout customer
If you want to dive deeper on this subject, read The Ultimate Guide to Writing in Enterprise Sales — How to Craft Internal Narratives.
Need more help? Grab The One Page Business Case
➾ Who: Experts that fill in skill gaps and elevate presence
➾ What: An account team that supports all your deal pursuits
➾ When: Identify and bring them in early to complement each deal
➾ Where: Recruit from all over the org – each account will be different
➾ Why: Reduces the burden on you as the seller and amplifies impact
Example: For one major cable company, I recruited a lean but capable team that had industry expertise, could match their executive presence, and answer the big questions. This was key, because I was not a vertical expert or had huge cable/telecom business experience.
After we landed a small deal to prove ourselves, the job was to translate our small initial pilot with one BU into a 3-year $504M global transformation across their entire portfolio (7-figure move) vs asking for a bigger rollout within the current BU (6-figure move).
– Take 25 minutes to review your last 5 opportunities (won and lost)
– Write down the biggest areas where you felt you needed help
– Find an internal subject matter expert that fills that gap
– Invite them into your next deal strategy
➾ Who: You are best positioned to orchestrate the strategy
➾ What: Focused on a transformation, not a transaction
➾ When: Starts when you become their customer first
➾ Where: Be smart, but it will involve planes, trains, and automobiles
➾ Why: Turns this incredibly hard job into a fun game you get to play
Example: With one major fast casual food chain, they wanted to explore implementing a basic chatbot for a small customer care use case.
The job was to use a design session to explore every use case across their org (7-figure move) vs following their lead and staying in a small box (6-figure move).
– Get crystal clear on your distinct point of view
– Map out a strategy for each of your top accounts
Want to dive deeper on this subject, read The Persona-Based Transformation Blueprint: How I Closed $50M in Contract Value in Less Than 4 Years.
MINTS is an example of using design and systems thinking to level up your strategic sales strategy so you can close outsized deals in less than 9 months.
Just don’t forget to literally grab a mint before you present at your next big meeting.
See you next week!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
Most readers have opted for the Intermediate Program, which combines the 7 Steps to 7 Figures system along with a membership to Make More Hustle Less Club where we put the system in action as a community and members have access to over 14 hours of available on-demand content.
You can book a 60-minute strategy session with me (although the Pro above option provides access to 1:1 coaching with me at a 70% discount (just 6% of available coaching slots remain for 2023).
3 | Sponsorship opportunities
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