Barring a technical fatality, the checkered flag most often goes to the team with the superior strategy and best execution. In fact, an inferior strategy supported by excellent execution can many times overtake those who fail to execute.
A sales pursuit cycle is no different. The deal is won through tactical execution, not strategy alone. Strategy merely lends direction to the individual plays, tactics and activities of the pursuit team in accelerating past the competition while at the same time laying speed bumps to the other guys' progress.
Complex enterprise pursuit cycles involve a lot of distractions, variables, and resulting swings in the buyers' opinion toward each of the contenders, leaning more toward one over the others based on logic - intellectual arguments AS WELL AS emotional reactions to the behaviors and conduct of each team and their respective members.
How often have you or your organization felt pretty secure in the deal knowing you had the best fit solution, a killer value proposition supported by a slight price advantage ...... yet the business went to the "other" guys? What the heck happened? Let's be honest, they just weren't that into you!
Crossing the finish line and taking the checkered flag is not simply an intellectual - ROI, best business case wins race. Failure to leverage the relationship dynamic throughout the pursuit leaves us vulnerable to political and personal agendas. Key influencers and decision makers will lean into those who exhibit knowledge of and support of their PAIN or GAIN agendas and ultimately justify and sanitize their leaning based on the logical - intellectual argument.
Leveraging the competitive advantage inherent in the relationship dynamic, if executed well, can often trump a slight disadvantage in solution, pricing or self-perceived elegance of your delivery - engagement model.
So how do you harness and coordinate the talent and resources of your pursuit team to systematically outpace the competition and take that checkered flag up front, before the end of the race?
How often have you or your teams been caught continuing to lap the track after the checkered flag has actually been taken early, up front, by the other guys. We just didn't realize it!