In this episode, Jamal Reimer, founder of the Mega Deal Secrets masterclass shares his take on enterprise sales definition and mega deals, as well as his perspective on enterprise SaaS sales process and creating mega deals.
Jamal has over over 30 years of experience in sales, was a Strategic Account Manager and top 1% performer at Oracle, and is a go-to expert in closing mega deals worth more than $50 million. Insights he shares include:
Some topics we discussed include:
- Enterprise sales definition and how it is different from selling to smaller businesses
- Is enterprise sales right for your startup
- Jamal’s take on enterprise sales process and strategy
- What prevents salespeople from making mega deals
- The characteristics of reps who are successful in closing larger deals
- Enterprise sales definition and how best to overcome pressures of sales to consistently create mega deals
- How does the mega deal sale process look different from the process used by most other salespeople
- The 5 shifts to making big deals in enterprise sales
- How to build alignment within your business to secure mega deals
- How to secure mega deals when you have a fixed-line of products and prices?
- How to decide on your sales pitch and who to pitch to
- What Jamal recommends CEO’s or executives who aren’t usually involved in sales do to help secure mega deals
- and much more
00:00 Vinay Koshy: With over 30 years of experience in sales, our guest was a strategic account manager and top 1% performer at Oracle. He is an expert in closing mega deals, with more than $50 million, and is the founder of the Mega Deal Secrets Masterclass, where he teaches the art of wealth hunting to ambitious enterprise sellers and teams. In effect, you can say he helps them change their mindset, and put in place a structure in their organizations, which allow their businesses to land their first mega deal. These are deals that will change the trajectory of their businesses' growth. Jamal Reimer, welcome to the podcast.
00:39 Jamal Reimer: Hey Vinay, thanks for having me.
00:42 Vinay Koshy: No worries. Pleasure. Jamal, we'll be exploring enterprise sales or mega deals, as you put it, in a little bit, but I'm curious, if I understand this correctly, you started out in the sales, selling books. Is that correct?
00:56 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. That's good research. I... Yeah. When I was 18-ish, I had to pay for university myself, and so, I started working for a company, who is well-known among college kids in the US, called Southwestern, and there we would sell books door to door, 80 hours a week. Crash course in selling.
01:19 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. And that's quite a journey from selling door to door to enterprise sales and mega deals. I'm curious, what would you say you learnt from those early days, that has stood with you in your journey in sales?
01:40 Jamal Reimer: The first lesson was, you wanna get out of door to door sales as soon as you can. [chuckle] But sales at that level, that's the most basic and most brutal form of sales. And so, the lessons that you learn at that level, are how to take rejection, because you take a lot of it, you also learn the pain of cold outreach, versus warm introductions or having a brand or any of that other good stuff that comes with a smart marketing plan, that opens the door for sales, you really learn, "Okay, if I got no brand, nobody knows me, and I come in and interrupt somebody and something that they're doing, likelihood, it's not gonna go well." So you learn how to take a lot of rejection and how to make lemonade out of lemons.
02:29 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. So what would you say is your personal area of strength?
02:36 Jamal Reimer: It's funny, even though in some ways, it's a little out of fashion, especially with books like The Challenger Sale, I would say, my strength is relationships.
02:45 Vinay Koshy: Right, okay. And in that area of strength, what would you say is something that businesses don't know, but should?
02:55 Jamal Reimer: Number one, growing relationships takes a long time, and I think some businesses know that and other ones don't. Big business is so quarterly-driven, even some of the things that we know to be true, we operate as if they're not, and we try to develop relationships very quickly, we try to jump over rapport as fast as we can and move right into selling. And oftentimes, especially with mega deals, it oftentimes... It takes the relationship a while to marinade, and it's not just like a one-on-one relationship, it's many to many, to get to know each other before you make a big commitment with a large transaction.
03:35 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. And talking about relationships and building relationships to large groups, I guess a good point to start off a conversation would be to define enterprise sales, especially for those who haven't been introduced to such a concept. How would you go about defining enterprise sales?
04:00 Jamal Reimer: I'd say it's a fair question. So, if you look at it in terms of extremes, there's something that you can sell as one person and sell it to one person, and then there's the other extreme, which is, it takes a group of people to sell to a group of people. And enterprise sales is the furthest toward that extreme. I usually think of enterprise sales as selling to an enterprise and enterprise can be a company, an organization, a political group, some kind of an organization rather than an individual, and then you usually run into a number of stakeholders, which could be the business, it could be IT, it could be finance, it could be procurement, it could be security or compliance. And so, it's not like selling a vacuum cleaner or books door-to door, where one person, or a couple who might be able to buy it, but rather, it's a longer process where there's lots of stakeholders involved, and it's almost like a... It can become more like a political campaign, where you need to garner a whole bunch of votes before you get a yes.
05:04 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. So would you say that enterprise sales is something that any business or organization could explore, or are there certain prerequisites before a business could even look at getting into enterprise sales?
05:22 Jamal Reimer: I guess I could take the experience of the start-up world. Even for startups that want to target the B2B sales, business to business sale, they don't really start with large enterprise, they start with small to medium businesses, they're smaller organizations, they can move faster, and you're not requiring that much money from them because it's a low number of users or it doesn't take as long to implement. So there's usually a maturation curve or a learning curve, where if you're thinking, "Hey, I'd like to sell to companies instead of people because there are budgets" and if you sell, you get to resell more often, etcetera, there's lots of benefits for selling to the enterprise, but there's absolutely a learning curve and you need a whole bunch of other stuff to go along with it, like good customer support and enough people to kind of... If you're gonna sell to a global company, you have to have a support system where the sun never sets, 24/7, all around the world. There's lots of stuff that you need to have in place, from an infrastructure standpoint.
06:34 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. Okay, so from an enterprise sales point of view and your starting Mega Deals Secrets Masterclass, what is the problem that you were trying to solve when you started this up?
06:50 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. So, the short story on a problem to solve was, a problem that I solved for myself and then it became attractive for others, and that problem was enterprise sellers are... Salespeople in general are quite ambitious. They're actually trying to do something where they're measured by very clear metrics, did you sell something or not and how much? And over my career, I had been a fairly mediocre seller for like the first decade of my... I got fired twice in a row for under performance.
07:25 Vinay Koshy: Okay.
07:25 Jamal Reimer: And at some point, I wound up at a really big company, at Oracle. And not too long, a few years into my stint at... Well my 13-year period at Oracle, I got brought into a very... A deal that was in trouble. It was a ongoing contract and long story short, I had an amazing set of mentors, my Head of Sales and my Head of Services, and they mentored me through the process of where we took that deal that was in crisis and we completely transformed it and changed everything, changed the commercial model, changed the operational model, renewed relationships, made lots of exception... A lot of exceptional work went into it and the contract went from a run rate of $10 million to $50 million in a nine-month period. And that completely opened my eyes to the whole possibility of selling uncommonly large deals. That's where it all began.
08:26 Jamal Reimer: But I think the problem that it solves for companies is companies get to a point when they're selling their wares, be they services or products, and they hit this ceiling of deal size and it becomes this run rate, and they become dissatisfied 'cause they're trying to get a higher rate of growth and learning how to do these larger and more complex deals, that is a problem for a lot of growing companies. So, that's the problem that I learned how to solve.
08:58 Vinay Koshy: Okay, so just based on what you were saying, would I be right if I were to say that mindset is a bit of an issue as well, in terms of approaching these sorts of mega deals, and that while you weren't quite attuned in that first instance to the possibilities your Head of Sales and Service certainly saw potential where others couldn't and that was the pivot point, so to speak?
09:29 Jamal Reimer: There was a very distinct point and so to your point, absolutely, mindset plays a massive part of the process. And I think the topic of mindset is so important; it's overused, but it's under-appreciated. And the moment in the transaction came as clear as a day when it hit, me and my team were sitting on this side of the conference table and we were... We were talking about small discounts here and there and moving some services people from onshore to offshore, etcetera, and the sponsor on the customer side, excuse me, was a Vice President, and he just put his hands up and said, "Guys, guys, guys, this is not about discounts and moving team members around. This is about how you can help us steward the most important IP in this global company."
10:30 Jamal Reimer: And there was a long pause and then the conversation took a different tack. And when we left that day, my VP of Sales, we were getting into the taxi on the way back to the airport, and he said, "You realize this meeting changes everything." And I'm like, "Well, it was a good meeting, but what do you mean?" He said, "The customer basically laying out for us how important this issue is for them and in so doing, opened the door for the most ambitious solutions that we could offer to solve the problem", that once we understood the magnitude and the depth of the problem, now we can see the abyss into which we are looking and that creates all kind of opportunities and we can get very creative in terms of how we can help them and the way that we could help them that they chose happen to be doing a deal of a very large size.
11:27 Vinay Koshy: Okay, certainly. So, other than mindset and certainly the infrastructure and other elements that are required to support such deals, is there anything else that you noticed prevents people from entering into such deal sizes?
11:46 Jamal Reimer: Management.
11:48 Vinay Koshy: Okay.
11:50 Jamal Reimer: I'll give you an idea about what I mean. So, if you just look at sales management, oftentimes... So I coach individuals and teams, you said it in the intro, and sometimes the reps... The sellers will come to me themselves and they will say, "I want to at least work on one mega deal so badly, but my first line manager, every time I bring him a deal, he says, 'Great, close it. It's closable now? Close it this quarter.' You know he's on the hook for closing a certain amount every month or every quarter, and he simply doesn't really allow me to let this thing grow and mature into what I know it could be if we just put some more time and effort into it." So, oftentimes the short-term nature of management doesn't leave room for the seller or sellers to mature deals to their largest potential.
12:41 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. And have you had the experience of bringing about a change in management's mindset? Is that part of the coaching process or is it very much a case of, management needs to be in aligned with the perspective we take, otherwise, it's just not gonna work?
13:02 Jamal Reimer: My work is taking a turn, going deeper and deeper into management. It started with just individual reps, and I would be on podcasts like this, sales or business-related podcasts, and then afterwards, anywhere from 20, 30, 40 sellers would connect with me on LinkedIn and say, "Oh, that's a great story, and I wanna learn how to do mega deals and... " So, it started with individuals, but as some of the individuals began to have some real success, obviously, their managers started to see, "Okay, something happened with my seller. What happened here?" And then they find out about the work that we've done together, and then we start to engage, and then as we start to engage at that level, now it's moving up the chain into VP and SVP of fairly large companies. So those coaching opportunities are really starting to come to the fore now. And it's really interesting, even the first line managers, they're like, "Well, I'd like my sellers to do mega deals, but I'm getting hit from my VP or the senior VP." So, it's this chain, you gotta get... It's gonna be a real culture change for companies that don't already have it in place, the space to give the seller to go for larger deals. It's a significant change.
14:19 Vinay Koshy: If I understand this correctly, you're in effect, using almost a ladder technique, in that you're working on slightly larger deals as you work to change the mindset within an organization, would that be the approach that you take?
14:33 Jamal Reimer: I would characterize it more like, you can make a comparison to an investment portfolio. Oftentimes, sellers will come to me and I'll say, "Okay, show me your pipeline," and they show me this pipeline, and they're working 15 or 20 deals right now, and I'm like, "Okay, there's no room in your life to devote what you need to devote to one or two accounts to really grow them into something that's gonna be huge, if you're working 15 opportunities simultaneously." So what I encourage both sellers and sales leaders is to think of the pipeline as an investment portfolio, and it needs to be diversified and basically, there's... You need to have some high risk stuff... Well, depending on your investment horizon, you need some high risk stuff and then some moderate assets and then some low-risk assets. If you've got a pipeline filled with small but safe deals, that's like having nothing but bonds in your portfolio, and if you don't broaden it out, and let's say you pick 10% of your pipeline, you could reserve for working... Seeing if they have the potential to be uncommonly large deals, 15%, 3%, it... What I encourage everyone to do is make a conscious decision to leave a certain amount of space within a seller's bandwidth for maturing deals that could really be upsized.
16:04 Vinay Koshy: Certainly, okay. Would you say there are certain characteristics of people who make these mega deals on a regular basis, that help them stand out from the rest of the pack?
16:19 Jamal Reimer: Yeah, there's a few. One is the focus of dealing with senior stakeholders rather than mid-level or junior. I lovingly call the guys on the shop floor worker bees, right? The folks on the floor pushing the buttons, doing the work. A typical selling mindset, this run rate sales mindset, kinda tells the seller, "I've got to start at the bottom of the mountain and work my way up to an executive, if I ever wanna do a deal this size." But a mega dealer or a person that does large deals, their starting point is much higher than a typical run rate mentality. So that's one, is a real focus on dealing with executives or senior stakeholders. Another one is how you craft a value statement. You could sell a widget... Any widget at a very low level that a shop floor person would perceive and say, "Yeah, I find value in that." You could sell that same widget at a level that a VP would say, "Okay, that's enough, there's enough value in this statement that it could cover the scope of my work, which is more like a business unit." But then if you wanna sell to the C-Suite or to senior executives, you could sell that same widget, but it's gotta have a very different value proposition, it's gotta be something that could extend across the whole enterprise. So people that do these really large deals can see how to translate the value of their widget or their service into something that has broad applicability across an enterprise, not just for one team or one business unit.
18:14 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. That's terrific. I think it that also relates to a shift that I've heard you talk about, in terms of approaching these deals. Could you tell us more about that shift that's required...
18:31 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. The five shifts. It's actually five. Yeah, so one of them is working with your executives, another is... I call it C-level insights and that's this idea of these different ways of viewing the value of what you have. And then there's how to establish and defend large prices, a big price tag. So most of the people who I deal with, are selling software or some kind of a technology, and those industries suffer from something I call the law of infinite units. What I mean by that is, once you write software and once the code is written, you write it once, you invest in the time to get a team to write that code, and then you can sell it and resell it many times. And it's not like eggs, you only have so many and then once you sell them, they're gone, you gotta go back, get some more chickens, to get some more eggs. Software is not like that. And many companies who procure a lot of software, their buy...
19:39 Jamal Reimer: Their frontline buyers, the procurement department, they're very good at saying, "Okay. If you're saying that the price for your product is $100 a seat, we're gonna buy 5,000 seats for our enterprise, so I want a 98% discount because it's not gonna cost you anything more to make this product. I just want a massive, massive discount." So when you get to these super high numbers, in terms of a price tag, if you don't know how to justify the value and hold the price, you're not gonna actually get a... You might get a large deal done, in terms of the impact on the company, but it might not be as big as it should be, and that's our job as sellers, is to basically trade the value of our product for a financial return.
20:34 Jamal Reimer: And if we don't live up to that and we just discount the heck out of something just to make it easy for us, we're not really... We're not really living up to our role. And then the last one is work with mentors, and that, I took from my own experience, I've been in sales for over a decade by the time that I got mentored in this art, this science of doing these large deals and in nine months, I did a ton of learning, and I never really looked back, I was able to hold on to those learnings and do other large deals. So that would be... The last big thing that I would encourage, one of the big shifts is not try to do it yourself, go to a person or a group or some... Leverage the expertise and experience that somebody else has gained in learning how to do this, it'll just accelerate your learnings and success.
21:29 Vinay Koshy: That's terrific. Just so that we can be clear, could you recap the five shifts?
21:37 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. There is, leverage your executives... I forgot the very, very first one, which you gotta back. The first one is, deal with everyone with integrity and authenticity, and this is this kind of foundational moral ground upon which you build every argument, every relationship, every talk track, every statement of value, it's got to be based on not just the truth, but being your authentic self and not this kind of canned sales personality. So there's... Lead with authenticity and when I say authenticity and...
22:19 Vinay Koshy: Integrity.
22:20 Jamal Reimer: Integrity, and then leverage your own executives and then C-level insights, which is how to raise the... How you convey the value of your product or service, and then how to establish and defend large deal numbers. And then lastly, is work with mentors.
22:42 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. Excellent. There's a lot that we could start to unpack in this, but I guess, at a basic level, from what you were saying, I take it that you really need to understand your customers and understand what life is like for them, very much like in the example like you shared before, with your first mega deal. It's one thing for an executive to be very open and transparent about it, but in a lot of instances, that doesn't happen naturally. So how would you begin to address that issue?
23:23 Jamal Reimer: The scenario you're throwing out is, if you're working with a prospect and you're trying to get the truth of their situation and they're not being as forthcoming as they could be either 'cause they don't trust you yet, or they don't wanna show all their warts or whatever.
23:40 Vinay Koshy: Yeah. Or they're considering other proposals and don't wanna show their hand.
23:44 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we always have to deal with that. That's just... There is a point in every negotiation, where there's this period of, it's a zero-sum game, and even with customers that I've had for a long time, when it's time to renew, there's this one customer that I know the procurement person really well, and he says, "Okay. For the next few weeks, we're gonna be fisticuffs, and after that, we'll be friends again."
24:14 Jamal Reimer: One of the biggest elements that I think of, or at least that's my selling style, is the relationship. If they don't know I can trust you, why would they share anything sensitive? If we think about that in any relationship in our life, if we don't know, like and trust a person and there's no kind of coercion going on, or kind of hierarchy... "Oh. I gotta tell my boss, even though I don't like him", why would we share anything that's sensitive? So I'm always kind of care and feeding for important relationships among all of my accounts, not just 'cause I feel I have to do it, but because I want to work with people who I know, like and trust, and who know, like and trust me.
25:00 Jamal Reimer: But then, once that relationship is kind of well on the path, then you really have to... I hate these cliche terms, but they actually work sometimes, you walk in their shoes, or what I say is, you gotta jump in the foxhole with them. So when they're going through pain, you get in and... The first very large deal that we did, was with this run rate customer who... They were actually a customer and they were angry with us, because our product wasn't working, our services people were turning over too fast, it was a huge mess. And what did we do? We rolled up our sleeves and we just got in there and we were having these escalation calls every single week, and I, as the sales guy, I was on those, and even though it was not a selling moment, it was not a selling effort, but it was kind of all hands on deck to save the entire relationship, to make sure that the customer got through some really critical business milestones that they needed to get through.
25:58 Jamal Reimer: And so we just went to work. So one, establishing care and feed for the important relationships. Two, jump in the foxhole with your customer. You kind of open the question by saying, you really need to understand your customer. The best way to understand them, is actually to do something together that's of value and especially when it's a time of crisis, when they know that you got their back and you're gonna be there for them, that's when you earn a lot of points. Those are kind of the two big ones that come to mind.
26:31 Vinay Koshy: Okay. When you say, "a good place to add value" and use the example of a time of crisis, assuming there isn't a crisis or maybe you're approaching a new customer, is it fair to ask a potential customer to spend time with them, as they go through their day-to-day processes, so you get a better understanding of what's involved and what it takes?
26:58 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. It is. But you need a couple of things to actually make that happen. One, you've got to have a good story, you have to have a good value story, and at the highest level, it's really simple, which is, "Hey, Mr. Customer, I have a widget or I have a service, and it does something in the... It helps your manufacturing, it makes your manufacturing go faster. But don't take my word for it, you can talk to these other customers who have already had success, and I would suggest that we actually spend some time together." So even those stories aren't exactly... It wouldn't exactly be your story, you're a unique customer, so we could spend some time before I'd ever ask you to buy it and let you kinda kick the tires.
27:46 Jamal Reimer: So there's this kind of walk before you run progression, of starting with a good story and then being able to reference the validity of that story out in the market, and then starting to prove that story with the customer. And when you're on this progression, larger deals are much more possible, because the commitment is so much higher, it takes more people, it's gonna take more money, and that means that if you dump a bunch of money into something and it doesn't work, that's a big setback. So they sharpen the pencil and they look a lot harder and they gotta get more people involved in seeing if it's gonna work or not, and then voting it up or down, and that's kind of the progression that I go through, little by little, walking them from the shallow water to the deep end, and you're with them in the deep end, and by the end of the process, you're both swimming and having a great time.
28:39 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. So the other side of it is, in my mind, and I'm just thinking about the individual enterprise sales person, the other key elements would be communication, both with potential customers as well as within the organization, in order to get people on board, but also to be able to justify the time and effort you're putting into a particular deal, I guess is a key part, especially when you have this pressure from both your front line managers, as well as others, to hit your quarterly target or even monthly targets, depending on the case. Does there need to be an element of conviction, or a bit of backbone to stand your ground and continue to justify why you're doing what you're doing?
29:27 Jamal Reimer: There is, but oftentimes, if you do a good job in the initial stage, that's when the backbone can really show up, and what I mean by that is, the way that I teach how to do large deals, it's a very front-loaded effort. And one of the things that I do and that I encourage, is for sellers to include their management very early in the cycle, and that's counter-intuitive, it's actually kind of fear-provoking for a lot of sellers, because lots of executives will say, "Hey, tell the sales reps, get me involved in deals early, I wanna be involved early." But the reality is that when a sales rep brings, either through the sales... Usually through the sales management line or directly to the senior executives, brings them kind of this deal, management is so good at picking it apart and saying, "Well, do you have buy-in from all of the major stakeholders? And have you got them to sign off on the value? And do you know exactly what their problem is? And do you know exactly who the competitors are?"
30:37 Jamal Reimer: And so reps have been conditioned with those kind of questions so much, that they don't wanna bring in management until the deal is basically ready to sign. And yet, it's the initial stages, where executive involvement could accelerate everything by many months. So what I've learned how to do, is go internally to whatever company I'm working for, and find the executive who is the best match, who I think is gonna be the best personality, role, title and the best match for the executive that I wanna get them in front of, within the customer, and I go to my internal executive and I say, "Hey, Mrs. Executive, I've got this prospect and it's not all wrapped up and I'm not sure about a lot of things, but I do know this, I smell smoke. Would you like to go make a fire with me? And here's why I think it. There's this and there's this. Here's what I know so far, I don't know everybody, but I know these two, and here's the intel that I'm getting from the folks who are on the ground."
31:47 Jamal Reimer: And that's where the backbone really comes in because if you do a good job of showing, "I think that there's something here, but I don't wanna spend a year finding out. I want you and I to go in there and you come in as the big brass, which will get the attention of their big brass, and we get in a nice big meeting within the next couple of months, and if they like the idea, they'll kick us down to the lower level folks to actually do an investigation of some type, but we'll get there with a mandate." If we don't get that mandate, it's nothing but trying to climb uphill, from day one.
32:24 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. What would you say to CEOs or executives who may be listening, who aren't usually involved in the sales prices, it's something that they want to have the salespeople look after while they look at other things, what would be your recommendation to them?
32:45 Jamal Reimer: I'm writing a book right now, Mega Deal Secrets and the audience for that book is individual contributor sellers, the people who would be driving these initiatives. But while I'm writing it, I can clearly see that there's another book that needs to be written after that, and that book, if I do it, the working title right now is The Executive Seller. And I see it time and time again, the value that the C-Suite or broader... You just say senior executives, the value that they can bring to a sales effort, especially large strategic deals with companies that you really want as your big logos, it's just phenomenal how important it is. But the key is that executives don't need to feel that reps who are trying to involve them are trying to make them their sales guys.
33:39 Jamal Reimer: If I was going to kind of craft a chart about the activities that the executive would do versus the rep, the rep would do 40 activities to choreograph a sales cycle, and the executive would do one or two or three. No more than three calls or meetings. It could be more but in the order of magnitude, the rep does all the work and then just basically, lets the executive come in for some key moments that will help them align with somebody very senior on the customer side. So number one, I would... If your audience includes non-selling executives, I would hope that they would realize the value that they can bring, but two, they don't have to drive it, they need to enable their sales teams to, one, have the space to be able to mature these deals, and two, to have a dialogue with senior management, about who makes sense to bring in, when and for what purpose and in which account.
34:46 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. Excellent. When you have... I know you touched upon this, but when you have a fixed line of products and prices, how do you go about securing mega deals? You talked about that instance where you had a procurement person looking at getting 5,000 units and wanting a 98% discount, and you said we need to defend our position. Is there... In terms of value that we're bringing, but is there anything else that we need to keep in mind when we're looking at that type of scenario?
35:20 Jamal Reimer: If I'm understanding your question is, how do you defend that? How do you...
35:25 Vinay Koshy: Yeah.
35:28 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. There's a number of different arguments or tactics to be used, just two or three of them, you could defend your position based on value, you could defend it based on a variety. If you've got this fixed portfolio, it could be a number of things. Or it could be something like volume. I've sold deals based on value, which is, "Here's how much time... " Or, "Here's how much time we will give back to you in terms of minutes, hours, days, weeks, man hours, what have you. Here's how much money we'll save, in terms of rerouting your need to input resources in various parts of the process."
36:18 Jamal Reimer: Then you start getting into business benefit calculations, which is more like finance. So you get into internal rate of return, you get into ROI, you get into net present value. If we're gonna be putting in money and people's time into this project, into the implementation, there's the cost of... If it's software we're selling, there's the cost of the software, when does that start? When do we implement and how much does the implementation cost when we start using the product? And then there's the training and the change management, and then finally, X weeks or months later, we finally start to actually use it with some kind of, like, "We know what we're doing."
36:56 Jamal Reimer: And then the benefits don't really start for 6, 9 months down the road. Well, when are we gonna break even, and then when are we gonna actually start to see this ROI? So to the level of granularity that you can give, not only in showing each one of those pieces, but also saying, "Well, we know this is a good estimate because we've done it four other times. Go talk to our other customers or look at the use cases that we would have laid out." That's typically how it's done.
37:25 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, there's so much gold in what you just shared, and we could dive in a lot more, though I'm conscious of the fact that time is fast disappearing on us. So is there another aspect of enterprise sales and creating these mega deals that you feel we haven't quite touched upon, but need to bring to the fore?
37:46 Jamal Reimer: Whale hunting is an activity for the whole tribe, it is not something that you just say, "Oh. Sales force, go do this." And it's also not just the executives, it takes conscious thought, through how are you gonna go to market... If you're gonna build an internal capability, to go after larger deals than normal, you need to think through, "Okay. How are we going to staff these sales pursuits?" And the best way to do it is to put your very best people on it, and then you gotta make decisions about, "Okay. Do we take them off other stuff that they're doing to give them the extra bandwidth to do this?" And the analogy that I use is, most of the time, most sellers are used to doing smaller deals with just the salesperson and a pre-sales person.
38:36 Jamal Reimer: Kinda like this dynamic duo, kind of riding off into the sunset and selling stuff. But with mega deals, you gotta leave that mentality and you gotta turn into a field marshal that is commanding garrisons, armies to the right flank and to the left, and archers and cavalry and the whole bit. So, the role changes. So if you're going to really conceive of learning how to do mega deals, you gotta learn how to staff them and then how to run them, because it changes the sales' normal MO from a two-person team into something that's more like a real sales unit.
39:25 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, if you were listening to this episode, what would be your top takeaway?
39:33 Jamal Reimer: Well, my biggest takeaway from learning how to do this is that mega deals are not for superheroes. Before I ever did one, I looked at the one or two people that I saw at a distance and I was like, "How do they do that? That's not even... It shouldn't even be possible." But after I was mentored and I saw it from the inside, and then coming on the other side, I said, "Jeez, I just did it with my team, we just did a mega deal." I learned that mega deals are not for superheroes, they can be learned and they can be... You can be mentored into it. And so there's hope for all of us, it's not something for special people. If you leverage people who have already done it before and if you give the organization the resources and the bandwidth to do it, you can have these big revenue hockey stick events, just takes some forethought.
40:30 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, where can listeners head to if they wanna find out more or connect with you?
40:39 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. The shortest path to me is on LinkedIn. So I'm sure you'll get the right spelling of my name in the show notes. So you can just look me up on LinkedIn, I'm there. And also, I'm doing a challenge, which is kind of an introductory experience for sellers and management that want to kind of get a first taste of this, in Asia-Pac, and I'll give you a link to that, if anybody wants to be notified on when it's ready for the Asia-Pac region, which will be in a week or two.
41:08 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, this has been terrific. Thanks so much.
41:12 Jamal Reimer: Thank you.
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Links and resources mentioned
- Check out Mega Deal Secrets
- Sign up for the Mega Deal Secrets masterclass ( for Asia- Pacific timezones)
Connect with Jamal
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