“With a client coach we had a win rate of 50% or more. Without a client coach, our win rate was less than 5%.”
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Clive Butkow, venture capitalist and former COO of Accenture, would walk away from a deal if his team didn’t have a client coach.
“While I was at Accenture we determined that we either needed to find a client coach, or put our time and energy into winning a different deal.”
So, what’s a client coach?
A client coach is an individual inside the organisation you want to do business with who would like to see you get the deal. They support you, and they’re willing to be your inside man, offering you information that will make your pitch more compelling.
What information do you need?
Who are the key stakeholders that will care about this deal or be impacted by it? Who do you need to build relationships with? What is the client’s strategy? How does your solution ensure this strategy is accomplished?
Related: How can you compete without discounting your price?
Deals aren’t won by a mile — they’re won by millimetres
Moreover, they’re often won by chance; you’re seldom in control of the deciding factor in why a client does — or doesn’t — choose to do business with you.
"Successfully winning deals is about compiling a winning strategy," says Butkow.
“The difference in winning or losing a sale is almost always in the preparation your team puts into the pitch. A client coach is an essential differentiator, and a big component in compiling a win strategy.”