Sales Leadership in Action Group
Best Action Commitment
Sales reps must strive for the best action commitment from their potential buyers when
developing a sale. Agreeing to commitment requests from a sales rep proves a buyer’s
engagement in the sales process. Agreeing to the rep’s best action commitment
demonstrates engagement at an even higher level, potentially reducing the number of steps
required to close in the multi-step sales process.
Bottom Line & Business Impact:
Reps that continuously engage in best action commitments create progress, engage
buyers, and reduce sales cycle time, therefore ensuring the deal moves forward
incrementally towards a natural close.
© 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 1
Getting Commitment from Buyers
Getting commitment from potential buyers is not an easy task. As a result, many sales reps
have become accustomed to working on a deal without any form of commitment from the
buyer. Since buyers are typically unwilling to offer any form of action to help sales reps
develop a solution, their willingness to agree to another meeting is assumed by the rep to
Lay of the Land
mean that progress is being made. This situation is a result of rep-centric sales tactics
from traditional selling practices. Too many buyers have found themselves involved with
deals that do not effectively address their needs and, as a result, they are less willing to
trust or commit to a deal with sales reps.
When seeking commitment, there is no best approach for reps to consider. Rather, there
are several different commitments reps can strive to achieve. Sales reps that are buyer-
centric and work to understand buyers will be able to gauge the type of commitment that
can be expected from a buyer. Once reps can garner an initial form of commitment, they
have to use this momentum to more thoroughly engage buyers in the sales process
• Best Action Commitments
• High End Engagement
• A Multi-Step Process
Best Action Commitments
The best action commitment is the best realistic action to which sales reps think the buyer
can commit for an upcoming sales meeting. This action should have the buyer demonstrate
that there is little to no hesitation with moving to the next stage (whatever that may be) in
the purchase process. Naturally, the best commitment a rep can expect is an agreed upon
deal. However, the buyer engagement process is about incremental commitment steps.
When sales reps ask for a best action commitment, it must be ﬁrmly based on:
• Understanding of the buyer’s status
• Current engagement
• Level of commitment thus far in the deal
• What is left to accomplish before the deal can close
If a buyer commits to the rep’s best action request, it demonstrates that they are becoming
more involved in their engagement when developing a deal. It is extremely likely that the
buyer is starting to integrate the sales rep’s offering into their vision of an ideal solution. If
the buyer, for one reason or another chooses not to commit, then there is clearly some
form of hesitation on their part. In this case, sales reps need to reassess the situation and
fall back on their minimum acceptable action as the commitment they wish to secure for
the sales meeting.
The essence of the best acceptable progression is similar to the minimum acceptable
commitment. Instead of focusing on deﬁning an absolute minimum commitment they are
willing to accept from a potential buyer, reps are focusing on the best case scenario for
that sales situation.
© 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 2
This depends on:
• Where the rep and buyer are in the sales/buying process.
• The actions to which a buyer has already committed in the past.
• The reps understanding of the buyer’s current status as the buyer engagement
High End Engagement
The peak of a best action commitment is high end engagement. Sales reps strive for high
end engagement during the progress of a deal. High end engagement is present when a
rep and buyer relationship is viewed as a partnership, the partnership is viewed as an asset
to the organization, and both parties are putting in the required effort to achieve a
common goal. When reps and buyers are operating in what is classiﬁed as high end
engagement they are in the top quartile of sales performance. This occurs when reps have
a buyer centric sales approach, have effectively gained trust, built credibility, and
developed a win/win environment with buyers to work together to develop a solution.
While high end engagement does not occur with every buyer, reps need to follow the best
practices to achieve it. High end engagement is built on previous commitment steps
established with the buyer, and encourages reps to think, not only about the best case
scenario for themselves, but also for the buyer. This is communicated to buyers when reps
show the beneﬁts and value of committing to a best action commitment. When this is the
case, and when buyers are engaged at a high level, they are fully committed to the deal.
Even if reps get their buyers to progress at a high level, it is still a multi-step process
regardless of whether the deal is transactional (multiple steps in the interaction) or
complex (multiple meetings over time). Therefore, sales reps need to aim for something
less than the close when setting their best acceptable progression.
Picture this multi-step process as a staircase:
• Each time sales reps meet with potential buyers they want to get to the next step (a
best acceptable progress) of the sales process.
• The deal can only move to the next step when commitment is present. Each step in
the staircase is a best acceptable progression as deﬁned by the rep before each call.
• When reps and buyers work together on a number of best acceptable progressions,
they ﬁnd themselves at the top of the staircase (closing the deal).
• There are no predetermined set of steps that will get reps to the close. Each sales
process involves different variables. If reps can consistently climb the staircase by
working with buyers to achieve the best acceptable progression, they will be well on
their way to closing the deal and providing buyers with an ideal solution to meet their
© 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 3
Putting into Practice
The Buyer Engagement Approach
Minimum Acceptable Action Commitment
Construction of a Valid Buyer’s Reason
Sales 101 - Five Types of Closing
Closing Challenges & the Buyer Engagement Process
Sale Leadership in Action Group products are for the exclusive use of SLiA Group’s clients, and for
internal purposes only. Members can use the document in whole or in part. The products are to be used
for internal purposes only, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the paid memberships. Members may
customize the tools and templates by editing titles, headers and footers with their company information.
© 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 4