Sean Casey with eLumen talks to Brent about his “work backwards plan” or “path to partnership” for deals, which has improved his team’s close rates and deal forecasting across revenue leadership roles at eLumen, Burning Glass, and Campus Labs.

With this approach, you create an explicit agreement between the seller and internal champions on the sequences of events that need to happen to start a partnership. Sean explains that the “last 10 minutes” of any proposal-ready sales call should focus on steps to a close.

The work backwards plan comes after agreement on areas on fit and scope – and before a proposal. It’s a “trial close” to see if your champion is really ready/able/willing to get it done, agreed on the target start date and understands the financial, legal, and technical steps in the purchasing process.

This outward-facing approach helps to get mutual agreement on the steps to a close – the who, what, and when of the deal.  

Sean explains that the teams with skills for building a path to partnership have much less late-stage deal breakage and dramatically improve their forecast accuracy. It creates a lot more stability in late stage pipeline and forecasting.

At Burning Glass, for instance, it helped Sean’s team grow revenue 50% faster in the first 6 months of 2021 compared to the first 6 months of 2020.

It’s really about being very intentional with your champion and buying group to secure commitments in the last stages of a deal to make sure you are ready to close.

 Learn more about Sean’s approach here!