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.
During a recent Strategy Peer Group call we held for Front-Line Sales Leaders of Sales Assembly member companies, a pertinent question was brought up during a conversation about how we can all get ready to drive as much business as possible before the end of the year:
Is there any better way to motivate reps to start a prospecting blitz other than helping them realize that 90% of the stuff in their pipeline isn’t real? Kudos to Jackie Grant, Sales Director at Hybrent, for throwing this out there.
The answer is an emphatic “NO!” If we’re all being honest with ourselves, we know that “pipeline fiction” is and always will be a pervasive problem amongst us salespeople. To be clear, this is completely natural. We tend to be optimistic by nature, and are confident that all these prospects who haven’t been super responsive might need is just another week of bandwidth to connect internally with some other stakeholders, or that one new case study that you’re getting ready to forward along to them, or that $5 coffee gift card to agree to hop on another call with you, or…..well, the list goes on.
Removing the fiction from your pipeline is not only a nice little shot of motivational B-12 as we look to close out the year strong, but believe me when I say that it’ll save your leaders (and the leaders above them) a whole ton of money on antacids as you approach the last weeks of any given month/quarter/year.
David Goings, RVP Sales at LogicGate, is working with his team to review all of the open opportunities and see if they can answer these 3 questions honestly:
- Do they have a reason to do something?
- Do they have a reason to do it now?
- Do they have a reason to do it with us?
If David’s team can answer all of those questions, with the summation being “This person will make a great LogicGate customer,” his team will be laser-focused on driving those deals to close, ignoring deals that don’t fit that mold, and spending the extra time filling their pipeline with lookalike prospects.
There’s limited time in life and even less time between now and the end of 2021. Use it wisely.
The worst part about moving a prospect from “Negotiation” to “Contract Sent” to “Closed Won?” Dealing with contracts. You create a contract, send it to the prospect, they ask for it in Word version so their legal team can put their red pens to use, and don’t even get me started on dealing with procurement. Before you know it you’re spending more time converting this from Word to PDF back to Word then back to PDF and part of you honestly thinks “Ok, this deal isn’t really with it anymore.” Contractbook is a Godsend of a platform that allows you to draft, edit, sign, store, and manage in the cloud. It naturally will sync with your CRM (so if any terms or dollar amounts are edited in the contract draft, those will automatically be pulled and adjusted appropriately in Salesforce or Hubspot) and generally shaves so much time off of this process that you can be allocating towards finding new prospects to sign additional contracts!
On the topic of making every salesperson’s 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:
Alisha Johnson – Sales Development Manager – Affirm
Q: What’s one best practice you’ve employed pre-demo that boosts 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.
While there is and always will be a place for salespeople like you and I, a whopping 70% of B2B decision-makers are open to making fully self-serve purchases in excess of $50,000! Don’t always presume that a buyer wants (or needs) you to hold their hands throughout the sales process. On that note, 77% of B2B buyers said their most recent purchase was either “difficult” or “very complex.” We talk endlessly about Sales Enablement, and for good reason. Be sure to save some headspace for Buyer Enablement. Strive to get a good understanding of how your buyer wants to be sold to, and support them in that journey.