How to create compelling events with our buyers is on the top of the priority list for every head of sales. Who doesn’t want to improve forecast accuracy, close bigger deals faster, and create value? What sales leader, sales manager and sales professional don’t want to uncover big problems to solve that are all tied to dates with consequences of inaction? Why aren’t we doing more to train and coach our teams how to create compelling events with our buyers?

We may close deals without “compelling events” – some of the times, maybe. Our teams will definitely close deals with much greater certainty when “compelling events” are co-created with champions and aligned with the top priorities of executive sponsors. To do this, we must get to power and we must uncover our economic buyer’s top priorities. Conversations filled with open-ended, authentically curious, layered questions gets us closer to co-creating compelling events with our buyers. We do it together with them. We show them the way and they explain to us which problems to solve.

What Is A Compelling Event?

All too often we spend too much time focusing on our timelines whether it be end of month, quarter or year versus our buyer’s calendar of priorities. We should be focusing on our customer’s timelines that are mapped to their company calendars and business priorities. For example, we should be looking to align our value with our buyer’s internal and external company events like product launches, users conferences, marketing campaigns and so much more.

We get asked all the time: How do you define a compelling event?

“A compelling event is a customer’s business pain that needs to be solved by a certain date, or else, something bad happens to the executive who owns solving that problem. The impact of the consequence of inaction is the lever we use to accelerate a deal. It becomes the anchor of our sales campaign messaging. Our job as sellers is to tie our solutions to real compelling events.” Click for a blog on compelling events.

Sales Coaching Checklist

Here’s a sales coaching checklist to use to validate the authenticity and urgency of compelling events in our deals:

  1. What business problems are we solving?
  2. What’s the financial impact of solving these business problems?
  3. When do the business problems need to be solved by and why?
  4. What personal and company-wide consequences happen if the business problems aren’t solved by this date?
  5. Which top executive have we spoken with who validated the prioritization and quantification of the problems?
  6. What time-based customer activity are we helping to execute that’s aligned with the problems to be solved? (Once you identify this date, then work backwards to create a sequence of events to meet this date.)
  7. When did the champion and executive sponsor approve the mutual plan aligned with customer’s timeline and customer’s compelling event?
  8. What are the risks of the customer not including our solution in their plan to solve the problem?

Clarity of these questions will help us stop having “happy ears” in our deals and we’ll start spending more time on deals that win versus deals that get stuck or are lost.

Always be curious about the biggest and most important problems we can solve for our most senior executive buyers.

About the Author

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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