Assessing deal health
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Assessing deal health

Article summary

Who's this for? Frontline Manager

These top 5 health indicators will give you a place to start knowing whether a deal is on track. Use this quick checklist before your next one-on-one or pipeline review to know where best to spend your time.

Tip: We also have a step-by-step recipe you can follow.

As a frontline manager, you need to know the real health of your deals

1 - Identify next steps

Ensure that there is a clear firm future commitment in the form of a phone call or in-person meeting.

What does the timeline of communication look like moving forward? Is there a next meeting on the calendar?

Consistent communication throughout the deal cycle is an important indicator of its likelihood to close, so having scheduled next steps is a critical component in assessing the deal’s overall health.

Checking your CRM or asking your reps to provide updates on each deal is time-consuming and leaves room for missing information, bias, and inflation. To help mitigate this, Gong provides a simple and accurate way to identify when and where next steps have been set by way of a dedicated column in every deal board. This gives you a quick, teamwide snapshot of where every deal stands, in terms of both current communication and future calls. Use it to see all scheduled calls in one place and then choose to dig deeper into specific accounts when necessary.

2 - Review activity levels

If the activity timeline looks sparse, ask your rep if communication is happening elsewhere.

How frequent are touchpoints on the account?  A healthy deal will have frequent touchpoints facilitated by both parties.

A healthy deal will have a number of activities taking place. Look at how much activity is occurring on the deal board to get a holistic view of how your team is communicating across active deals. If you're wondering how much activity you need, our research suggests email velocity is a key indicator of likelihood to close. Look for at least 8 emails per week on healthy deals, with 3 coming from the prospect.

3 - Understand if there is multi-threading

Identify that there are multiple customer contacts engaged in the deal.

How many people are involved in the conversation? 

A sign of a healthy deal is seeing that a rep is in touch with multiple contacts at a company. This multi-threaded approach helps to mitigate risk if your main contact gets promoted, leaves the company, or for any other reason is no longer part of the buying process. Your rep should be able to list everyone involved and the role they play.

Multi-threading helps ensure that you build a base of influencers, including anyone who will have an input in the decision-making process. Winning deals typically have multiple champions.

You can also use deal warnings to surface deals that don't have enough people on them.

4 - Confirm access to power

Check to make sure each deal has not only multiple stakeholders engaged but the key decision-makers. You can also use deal warnings to surface deals that don't have enough power.

Are you in touch with the right people? Deals should include the person who recommends the purchase decision and the person who approves it.

Taking into account who a rep is in touch with is a key factor when assessing deal health. A deal can have frequent communication, with concrete next steps scheduled, and may still be at risk. If reps are not in touch with the right people, the decision-makers, then the volume of touch-points yields little impact.

For example, let’s say that you see a late-stage deal forecasted to close this month—there's a healthy level of engagement, with a good amount of back and forth. But you find out that communication has all been with enthusiastic junior team members, or people on an adjacent team to the one whose budget pays for the purchase. That would be cause for concern.

The activity timeline enables you to see the number of touchpoints a rep has had with an account and who your rep has engaged with. Armed with this knowledge, a deal that could have been at risk becomes an opportunity to guide your rep on how to reach the right level of contact in the right team.

5 - Dive into what's being communicated

Bring yourself up to speed quickly by drilling into the latest calls and email conversations.

Once you know that communication is happening, dig into what is actually being discussed. After all, nothing is more disheartening than seeing activity in an account only to find out it’s a prospect telling your rep no over and over again.

Sometimes a good level of engagement, solidified next steps, and being in touch with the right people can provide a false sense of security—what's missing here is context. You want to make sure that your reps are having high-value conversations, that they are handling objections effectively, and that they are mitigating risk along the way.

Get direct access to what is being said by both sides in the deal board per deal. Coming soon in Deals and already available in the account page: this is also a great place for both you and your rep to maintain open lines of communication to keep deals moving. Reps can tag you directly in comments attached to the deal to get guidance. Likewise, you can tag your reps with questions, suggestions, and coaching tips.

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