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Top Line Tips: Guiding Sales Teams to Land Must-Win Deals

Posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Jules VanSant.

November 2013

Lisa Magnuson, Top Line Sales LLC

From PPI Consulting Partner ~ Lisa Magnuson, Top Line Sales

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Use the Magic 5 to Achieve Sustained Sales Results

How many times have we put all our relationship eggs in one all-purpose basket?

Have you ever experienced the despair associatedwith your key contact moving on?

Is it possible to get so enamored with your internal champion that you miss opportunities for expanded sales?

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ve all fallen prey to one or more of these issues in the past. But have you ever considered what the real cost of these less-than-optimum conditions might be?

Magic Hat

Lost opportunities for more salesAccounts going southMaintain vs. Grow mentality

More to the point, as we move up-market into larger accounts, this environment will naturally provide ready access to more lucrative opportunities and greater revenue-generating potential. If you want to put gain (instead of just maintain) on your sales results, it’s essential to think more broadly and pro-actively about your existing client contacts and general account relationship plans. Enter the ‘Magic Five’.

The Magic Five

The Magic Five helps us to re-define, re-evaluate, or re-prioritize our accounts (or divisions, locations, subsidiaries) in terms of both depth and breadth, and in a far more meaningful and quantifiable way. Regardless of the nature of your product or services, or which market segment your sales effort is focused on, there are general “rules of engagement” that we can all use to apply the Magic Five. The Magic Five are the five essential relationships needed for success in a complex selling environment. For example, to achieve any measurable and sustainable level of success in this profession, we all need:

An executive sponsorA financial approval contactA day to day or key contactRelationships with end-users of your products or servicesAn internal champion

In today’s do-more-with-less economic reality, sometimes these roles or relationships are combined or re-purposed based on current trends or market forces. But as you can see, it’s fairly easy to target the Magic Five for your situation. (And by all means, don’t stop at five if the opportunity presents itself. Five is a minimum, not a maximum!) Why five? Because five is where the ‘magic’ starts to happen. There may be other ‘must have’ relationships associated with your solution, such as project management, legal or HR contacts, and so on. Consider the benefits of casting a wider net, and re-thinking all avenues of approach in terms of viable chances for real and measurable expansion.

Don’t Be a Lone Ranger

The good news is that you don’t have to establish and maintain all these relationships on your own. As a matter of fact, it’s best not to. Your customers and prospects also want to see depth and breadth from your company. As the team quarterback or leader, assemble your team and start calling the shots from a re-organized and more refined playbook. Develop a simple and effective three-phase strike – 1. target the Magic Five making sure you cover all important relationship bases for your business; 2. discuss appropriate pairings; and 3. assign critical next steps for each relationship. Review your relationship plan on a regular basis to keep it fresh and dynamic. No amount of thoughtful scrutiny or a more expansive profiling of your client list will ever be a wasted effort. Avoid the common pitfalls of:

No relationship planToo few relationshipsContacts all at the same levelOnce and done approach to top executivesLetting too much time lag between contact

The Magic Five will help get you started and can be considered a general rule for all medium to large sales opportunities. It should also be used for existing clients as a key part of your foundation for future account growth and retention.

The Magic Five Pays Huge Dividends

The benefits associated with the Magic Five approach are numerous and quite lucrative. This ‘extraordinary’ method will go a long way toward getting your solutions through the sales pipeline much more quickly, making roadblocks and setbacks disappear before your very eyes. They include:

Faster and larger sales through executive sponsorshipAwareness of new opportunities through internal championsStreamlined contract negotiations by knowing the financial decision makerPulse on customer satisfaction and changes by interacting with end-usersAvoid or reduce technical issues with clear communicationsAvoid the pitfalls we outlined aboveAnd the list goes on and on…

We’re Here to Help

The featured Top Line Sales tool this month is the Magic Five Relationship Builder. Visit to get yours today.- See more at: