Sales Assembly’s Sales Souffle is a monthly collection of tips, trends, and tactics to help you navigate the Michelin Starred world of Tech Sales – featuring yours truly, Chef Matt Green, Chief Revenue Officer here at Sales Assembly.
Summer is notoriously slow for many salespeople, but all signs are pointing to this summer being at a Sloth-in-the-movie-Zootopia level of slowness. Vaccines are plentiful, school is over, and those who have the financial and work-flexibility means to do so (i.e. the people who buy your product) are taking vacations…or in some cases sabbaticals.
While operating in a completely distributed environment has made many prospects much easier to get a hold of over the past year, with so many decision-makers planning on intentionally disconnecting over the next two months, the key will be keeping your activity high, not getting discouraged by the lack of immediate results, and ensuring that your messages are not the ones getting buried in your prospects’ inboxes.
Leverage Kyle Coleman’s 5 x 5 x 5 method + Sam McKenna’s “Show Me You Know Me” approach. Don’t let a lower response rate in the near-term inhibit your productivity over the long-term. Remember that sales is a marathon, not a sprint.
Video communication is fantabulous, but there are instances where it may not be necessarily warranted (or, if you’re like me, you’ve come to terms with the fact that the less people see of your face, the better). With that in mind, behold two really amazing productivity-focused tools:
Scribe is, hands down, one of the most impressively useful tools I’ve come across this year. A simple Chrome plugin, Scribe will automatically “record” whatever steps you’re taking on your computer (e.g. clicking buttons, entering information, etc) and quickly convert it into a step-by-step guide in PDF format. Need to quickly walk your clients (or co-workers) through a process of how to do something? Scribe has got you covered – and it’s free.
AirDeck is another tool salespeople can arm themselves with at no cost. It’s a seamless way to add audio or video to any presentation (e.g. PDF or Powerpoint) to make them more personalized and engaging. There’s also a robust analytics component built in that allows you to see what specific part(s) of the presentation your prospects were most engaged in.
Below are a few tips from leading B2B tech sales pros from across our awesome community:
Simona Bannerman – Account Executive – PureB2B
Q: How have you effectively leveraged LinkedIn Navigator?
A: I’ve had more success prospecting using LI Navigator than cold calling and emailing combined:
- I keep the messages as short as I can.
- I personalize them, ie: Using their alma mater, including fun or interesting facts about their college, and ask questions so it’s engaging, such as:
- “Did you participate in Dragon Day, if so, what was the most memorable part of it for you?”
- If they’re from Boston or the New England area, I talk about the Yankee Red Sox rivalry with a subject line like “A Yankee Loss is as Satisfying as a Red Sox Win”
- Add a quick value prop. If I notice they are working with a competitor, I use this template (w/personalization) Sometimes, I’m just straight to the point:
- “Hi Loree,
I recently noticed WorkJam promoting some content with one of our competitors and wanted to learn about your experience so far & how we could help take your demand gen one step higher. We offer fantastic lead quality in conjunction with aggressive prices. What’s one thing we could do better than your current provider?”
- “Hi Loree,
Alisha Johnson, Ph.D. – Manager, Sales Development – Affirm
Q: What’s one best practice you should employ pre-demo to boost your conversion rates?
A: Research + Planning. *drops mic*…
Seriously, though, what’s the point of doing research? Are we just trying to make ourselves look good by showing that we have all of the answers?
We already know that one size doesn’t fit all, and learning more about a particular prospect is where I start in planning a demo. I want to go in with a solid idea of what path I need to take to present the most relevant and meaningful aspects of my offering in a way that resonates with a prospect’s goals and addresses their challenges.
I think that a lot of people have forgotten that we’re curating an experience, and doing some planning before the demo enables you to step into the role of knowledgeable resource and focus on the products or services that will make the prospect want to buy. Knowing what to focus on, and then plotting a course to dig into those aspects of the offering creates space to teach, problem-solve, and for overall productive conversation. That develops trust, which puts you and the prospect on a mutual path toward the same end.
It’s critical to immediately get an understanding of where your buyer is in their evaluation process before you go into your standard pitch or demo. Only 19% of buyers want to connect with a sales rep when they are first learning about the product, but a whopping 60% (!!!) want to connect after they’ve already done a considerable amount of research.
We all know that buyers are now doing more research in advance than ever before. Make sure you adjust your first conversation with them accordingly.