In my many interactions with sales leaders and professionals, one question often comes up:
“Is there a more optimized method to scrutinize deals in our pipeline?”
“What should I be inquiring about, during our sales meetings, to ensure we’re ahead of the curve and efficiently steering the deal?”
Today, I’ll share 5 pivotal deal-review questions to accelerate pipeline into profits and take pre-emptive action if a deal is showing signs of strain.
Let’s dive in,
Q1. How did your customer arrive at their due date?
You may notice a few raised eyebrows or sheepish smiles in the room when you ask this question.
Often, the deadline or due date associated with a deal isn’t the client’s but rather a hopeful estimate from your team.
If that deadline coincides with the end of a month or a quarter, it’s possibly based on an educated guess.
Q2. What metrics does the client use to calculate this project’s ROI?
This question seeks clarity on the standards your client is using to judge the viability of your proposal. What truly is the criteria that your customer is applying, to decide on your project?
Many times, the answers tend to scratch the surface.
Rarely do sales reps have a thorough grasp of a client’s decision-making yardsticks.
Q3. How does your customer describe, how your project shows up on their CEO’s KPIs?
When you ask this question, what you’re really testing is, has your sales team connected the dots from your capabilities, products, or services to the customer’s measurable and monetizable business outcomes?
Because if your team can’t connect the dots, the customer definitely will not be able to do so as well.
If your team is unclear, the client is even more so.
Q4. When you and your client say “Yes”, who else within the client’s team could still veto the decision?
A question geared towards understanding stakeholder dynamics and creating consensus.
Has your sales team got the necessary buy-in from all the decision-makers? Have they covered all their bases?
It checks if your sales reps have garnered endorsements from all key decision-makers, ensuring no unpleasant surprises down the road.
Q5. How does the client monetize the unique value you provide?
This one is my personal favorite.
If the customer is not monetizing it, that means there is no differentiation. Period.
If there is no differentiation, it means there’ll only be commoditization.
No clear and confident answer is a red flag to act on immediately.
Are we done?
Not yet, because I’m going to throw in 1 more bonus question. (We always like to overdeliver)
It’s what the French call a lagniappe, one extra in a baker’s dozen.
If you’re only going to ask only 1 question to your team, make it this one.
Q6. Tell me all the reasons why you’ll lose this deal?
Most often, sales reviews focus on how you could win a deal.
The counterintuitive nature of this question forces your team to confront reality and identify the risks that hold your deal back.
In fact, sales is the systematic elimination of risk.
When you’re ready to delve into these questions with your team, approach them with empathy and curiosity with a mindset to serve, not to judge.
My mantra is – Address the concern firmly, but handle the individual gently.
I’d recommend selecting one or two questions from the list above and posing them to your sales team.
You’ll be amazed by the depth of insight you can gather by merely framing the right questions.
By equipping and empowering your teams with these queries, you’re setting the stage for consistent victories.
If this was helpful,
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