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Megadeals: The very tip of the ABM pyramid

#ABM, #Podcasts, #FlipMyFunnel

If the success of your company depended on winning massive deals, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars each, how differently would you need to approach your work?

Would 1:1 account-based strategy and execution with tight alignment between sales and marketing get you there, or would it take something more?

ABM literature doesn’t adequately address this question. Complex selling guidance generally focuses on six- and seven-figure deals, not nine- and ten-, and often restricts itself to the sales function alone rather than an integrated sales and marketing approach.

We know these massive deals get done. Power generation facilities are built. Fleets of airplanes, trains and buses are purchased. Infrastructure projects of all sorts spring up all over the world. Giant corporations embark on colossal digital transformation journeys with a host of new hardware, software and professional services. The list goes on and on.

Behind these deals are teams of sales and marketing professionals operating at the highest levels of strategy, orchestration and execution.

How are these enormous deals done, and what can the rest of us learn from the practitioners who operate at such high levels?

Christopher Engman has spent the past decade digging into exactly this.

Engman is a serial company founder, an investor and a multi-time CMO, CRO and CEO. He has led the charge on eight-figure deals himself, and he has interviewed hundreds of other business leaders who have repeatedly closed deals much bigger than that.

He calls them “Megadeals,” and his long-anticipated book, Megadeals: How Multi-Billion Dollar Deals Are Done, and What the Rest of Us Can Learn from It, is about to be snapped up by sales and marketing leaders hungry to learn what elite performance really involves.

It was my immense pleasure to sit down with Engman and explore this fascinating topic over two episodes of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast.

Some highlights:

  • A Megadeal isn’t just a high-value sale, like the sale of a billion dollars worth of a commodity product. Beyond big money, a Megadeal involves extreme complexity (not just of the solution, but of the sale itself), it involves significant change management, and it very often includes a mix of hardware, software and services.
  • Serial Megadeal pros don’t just develop a deep understanding of the buying organization; they go further, to understanding the ecosystem that surrounds the organization (legislation, grants, analysts, consultants and much more). The good ones see where the ecosystem is moving. The great ones, “ecosystem architects,” as Engman calls them, influence the evolution of that ecosystem in ways that position their firms for massive success.
  • Risk mitigation is paramount to Megadeals. While smaller deals are often won on unique value proposition and anticipated ROI, these massive, highly complex deals hinge on risk. The best Megadealers proactively and transparently illuminate the many areas of inherent risk and work in close collaboration with the buyers and other ecosystem players to manage that risk as clearly as possible.

Risk mitigation is paramount to Megadeals. While smaller deals are often won on unique value proposition and anticipated ROI, these massive, highly complex deals hinge on risk.

Engman also explores the vital importance of aligning with your buyer’s key corporate initiatives, the role of “trojan horses,” the “CEO mindset” that sets the best Megadealers apart from most sales and marketing people, why brand is more essential in B2B than often acknowledged, and how to compete with global giants when your company is a fraction of their size.

Even if your sale is much smaller than a Megadeal, there is so much to learn from these elite, tip-of-the-pyramid operators, and there are so many ways to up your own game as a result.

Check out the first episode here.

And the second episode here.