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Sales Deadlock and the Process of Dealstorming w/ Tim Sanders [Episode 152]

Tim Sanders is the author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business & Influence Friends. He was an early stage member of Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s broadcast.com. After Yahoo had acquired the company, they asked Tim to lead their ValueLab, which enabled sales teams to close business through rapid collaboration.

For the past decade Tim has been consulting with B2B companies on how to improve their ability to get unstuck due to the Dealstorming process he created.

In today’s episode, Tim and I discuss his 4th book Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges.

Bullet Points

  • What is Dealstorming?
  • What is the process of selling a big deal?
  • What are the 7 steps to organizing and implementing a Dealstorm?
  • How can businesses find the root cause of a problem?
  • Why is there a rule of 3 for Dealstorms?
  • How to invite people to a Dealstorm.

The sales environment has changed over the last 15 years. It continues to evolve more competition and less differentiation rapidly and many sales teams are getting stuck. Dealstorms was created by research to help buyers and sellers get unstuck and across the finish line.

When you make a B2B sale you do it by traversing four levels: contact (decision makers), conceiving the deal (what’s going to be the best ROI for customers), convince (selling the way you do business), and contract (signed and binding agreement). How you sell is more important than what you are selling. There are dozens of problems that can happen in this process.

Dealstorming is a process developed to bring the collaboration of people together to move a sales challenge forward, which combines the linear process of deal making with the parallel process of brainstorming. If you marry the two together, you will solve problems more efficiently.

Dealstorming is a problem-solving technique that is a repeatable, cyclical process with 7 steps:

  • Qualify: You want to create a Dealstorm that is a strategic value of the opportunity and degree of difficulty.
  • Organize: This would comprise of 6 to 8 people for at least 3 different disciplines. Who has the biggest stake?
  • Prepare: Account Executives (AE) prepare teams by writing a deal that frames the issue and gives everyone on the team information related to the sales challenge.
  • Convene: The actual meeting.
  • Execute: The AE is responsible for managing and execution of the ideas from the meeting.
  • Analyze: Complete after the implementation.
  • Report: Inform the team of the progress.

The sales process has become a bit antiquated in one of the levels. Dealstorming can make a huge difference, not just for the deal at hand, but also for the future of the company.

The first role to fill in the team would be the owner of the problem, which has to be somebody that isn’t the Manager. The Account Executive runs the show; the Manager is the Sponsor, which is part of the show – they are the qualifier. You want to seek out people that are equivalent to the influencer or decision makers you are selling.

Don’t invite people to come to a meeting – those are boring, and frankly most people are not going to show up. Invite them to join a team and share with them the cause.

Learn More About Tim Sanders:

What’s your most powerful sales asset?


Who’s your sales role model?

Stephen Covey

Name one book that every sales person should read.

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

What’s your favorite music to get you pumped up?

Mickey Snow, Gary Clark Jr, Old Dominion, and The Weekend

What’s the first sales activity you do every day?

Rehearse the day, before checking email.