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.
Sales is all about hitting numbers. Hitting numbers is all about revenue growth. Revenue growth is all about achieving maximum company performance.
Sales goals and company goals are clearly intertwined and reliant upon each other (yeah, it goes the other way too). Which is why I always love seeing companies who really find ways to link company performance and individual/team performance – outside of just reminding people that they have stock options that’ll one-day vest (maybe). There are so many positive impacts that stem from this.
If you’re a company, make sure you’re reminding your reps why their number REALLY matters, showing them what impact higher revenue will have on future company growth goals and investments, and offering them ways in which they can have a larger impact on the company outside of just selling more deals.
If you’re a rep, make sure you’re getting time on the schedule to hear about goals and direction from leaders in other areas of the business (finance, product, etc), taking company values to heart when making decisions, and asking more questions to understand how the finances of the business work (and what more revenue will actually lead to).
When sales and the company overall have a super-tight focus and a common core mission, great things happen.
I host a series of monthly calls with groups of AEs and another call with BDRs/SDRs. One of the topics that comes up consistently as these folks are chatting with their peers is around the best thought-leaders in B2B tech sales to follow, the best podcasts to listen to, and the best blogs to read. Enter The Juice!
You likely haven’t heard of The Juice yet as they are juuuuuuuust going live this month out of High Alpha in Indianapolis, but just picture Spotify for B2B sales & marketing content and you’d get the picture. This platform is amazing – simply enter your role within the organization, share a bit about your interests, and you’ll begin getting served a curated diet of podcasts, blogs, whitepapers, etc. Like every solution I’ve shared in these Sales Souffles thus far, The Juice won’t cost you a penny but will make your life a lot easier.
Speaking of making your life easier – and more productive – you may not be aware that Vidyard has a free 20-minute Video Selling Master Class for those who are looking to level up on their video selling game! Having gone through this myself, I can say that it’s extremely efficient and super tactical.
If you want to invest 20 minutes of your time to learn innovative ways to accelerate deal cycles using video (which, let’s be honest, everyone does these days) take advantage of the free master class here!
Below are a few tips from leading B2B tech sales pros from across our awesome community:
Jeremy Mazzurco – Senior Director of Commercial Sales & Revenue Operations – PathFactory
Q: How do you prepare for and facilitate a demo to increase your conversion ratio?
A: These are 3 main areas we focus on:
- Research your audience: It is important to understand who is in the room, what their roles are, and how that will influence their use and needs of your product. This allows our team to tailor the conversation to each individual ensuring their needs are addressed.
- Prepare a custom demo: Our team tries to limit the number of slides as it’s less interactive. We find often our prospects want to get straight to seeing our product live in action. Doing a walkthrough of actual examples, customized with their marketing material, allows the prospect to visualize what it would be like to use PathFactory right away and it improves our AE’s ability to facilitate quality discovery.
- Ask good questions and most importantly listen: If your company is anything like PathFactory, there are several use cases that can be demonstrated. It is key to know 2 or 3 main ones that align with their needs to show proof of value. Make sure to spend time uncovering their current pain points and then adapt to the conversation. This is more critical than presenting additional examples which could be done as a secondary meeting.
Joe DeFrance – Director of Strategic Accounts – Clari
Q: How do you stay at power with executive buyers in lengthy, enterprise sales cycles?
A: As is the case for many enterprise software solutions, Clari it’s a power-based sale. Meaning, if the head of sales and key execs aren’t sponsoring the initiative, it’s hard for meaningful progress to be made.
The challenge is that execs don’t have the bandwidth or desire to run point and be involved in every part of an evaluation process. Therefore, it’s important to find creative ways to keep key execs engaged and your solution top of mind, even when you’re not meeting with them directly.
Here are a few ways to do this that I’ve found to be useful:
- Align them with an executive peer from your company, ideally early in the process. I haven’t met an exec buyer who doesn’t appreciate having a peer/peer relationship and line of communication. This also allows for a different voice and another touchpoint as you progress in the process.
- Send updates after key milestones during the evaluation WITHOUT an ask. For example: “Hi Tim, our team met with Jane Doe on your team today and aligned these 3 specific areas we can drive ________ value for ______ problem you’re trying to solve. We have a game plan and are working through the deployment strategy for a target go-live in Feb. Simply wanted to keep you in the loop since you shared this is a top priority…no need to respond.”
- Incorporate video whenever it makes sense. Record & send short, personalized videos that tie back to the exec’s strategic priorities & business drivers. These could be a demo of a specific use-case of your solution, a reference story of another customer tackling similar problems, or simply an update on relevant progress that’s been made with their team that they’ll care about. Again…no ask :)
- Connect & follow them on LinkedIn so you can like and comment on their posts.
The take-away here is to make sure you’re keeping your exec buyers engaged and excited about your solution throughout the evaluation even when you’re not meeting with them regularly. It’s important to “show them you know them” with value-add communication throughout the process because eventually, you will almost certainly have an ask of them later in the cycle (i.e. budgeting, coaching on how to get around blockers, procurement hurdles, etc.) to get your deal across the line.
Speed to lead! As many as 50% of all sales go to the vendor who responds first. I personally will never understand when, after submitting a form on a vendor’s website, it takes for than a day for a rep to reach out to me.
Meanwhile apropos of nothing other than the fact that this hit me right in the feels, only 39% of your fellow salespeople intended to pursue a career in sales. Count me as part of the majority on this one – fellow accidental salespeople of the world unite!