Freshsales CRM partnered with Andy Farquharson (Sales Growth Specialist, Winning by Design) for a webinar on “7 key moments that unlock your sales success” on February 27, 2018. In this webinar, Andy talks about the 7 key moments that unlock sales success and help understand the changing dynamics of B2B sales. Some of the key takeaways were:
- What are the key moments that matter
- How to increase your conversion rate and win more business
- How to trade instead of negotiating
Andy: It’s great to be working with Freshsales as we’ve actually sort of done. We work with clients across the globe and to enable them to be more successful and to really take a customer-centric approach to selling. And I’m really glad we’re actually able to go and do a bit of work with that, with the Freshworks team at the start of last year. So, super excited to be here today and even more excited to be talking about the 7 key moments that unlock your sales success. Look, I just want to reiterate there on the questions that the sort of Nivas was talking about, don’t hesitate to just put those questions in the chat at any time. We really want this to be sort of interactive and make sure it’s targeted for you guys to get what you want so it’s a super valuable session for you.
So, we’re going to be pausing out of these, pausing out of the presentation, and sort of double-clicking on a couple of elements and really sort of taking those to the whiteboard, and going a little bit deeper so that you’ve got some really actionable things that you can take out to be able to go implement to be more effective in sales. Okay, so I said we do want this to be as interactive as possible. We do know where a few of you guys are located. We’ve got some people from Ontario, in Norway, in India; so they are all over the place. But I want to make sure that you guys keep asking me questions as we go through this. Okay, so as Nivas said, like Winning by Design, we work with… typically with high-growth startups or scale-ups. So these are companies who are really looking to be able to double or triple their growth in a short amount of time. And we sort of work with them a number of ways, designing their sales, assessing their business, their go-to-market strategy, going down then sort of designing elements of their sales process, and then more importantly, we spend a lot of time training their sales reps. And so we spend a lot of time with them, on the phones, in their sales pitch, and actually sort of hearing about some of the changes that we see out there in the market. Well, the reality is, there are a lot of changes that makes life for us as salespeople really tough to be able to deal with. So, we’re going to make sure that we’re consistently sort of adapting and keeping sort of on top of all those latest trends. But what I want to do is just sort of share with you a couple of those sort of key observations that we’ve seen through that process. Here we go.
SaaS Changed B2B Selling
Andy: Look and one of those four big elements, is around that sort of software as a service. I mean, immediately that’s where we spend a lot of our time. But we think that the software is a service, the ability to be able to take what was traditionally sort of large expensive purchases that sort of were done on it on a capital expenditure in a business to be able to transfer that into an operational expense. It has made that people, it really reduces the size of the purchase. It has changed B2B selling forever.
SaaS Contracts are smaller
Andy: What we’re seeing is that, contracts, especially in SaaS, there are a lots more. What used to hundreds or hundreds of thousands of dollars is sort of becoming even a tenth of that, which is really sort of changing the way that people buy. Especially in the B2B sense, a lot more people are just going and utilizing one of their credit cards that I’m sure you’ve all got in your pocket. A lot of you here are Freshsales customers. I’m sure you’ve probably pulled out your own credit card to be able to make that purchase happen. So we’re seeing a lot more people to be able to adapt to that.
SaaS happens at High Velocity
Andy: And so that’s how we really need to start thinking about how we can enable people to go and purchase at this speed; because that speed, like things are happening a lot quicker. I mean, gone are the days of super long procurement cycles where people would be able to take investments to a committee and they decide and then they’d be coming back down. And so the people, they don’t have the internal frameworks that are really stopping them from making these purchase decisions. But, more importantly, people need to be working at a faster speed. I mean, we’re all finding that, I’m sure as salespeople, the fact we really need to sort of be moving as fast as we can and trying to sort of win as much business, get back to clients and really sort of understand what’s more important in the fastest way possible. So SaaS is happening, and now that’s very true for our customers as well. So we need to be operating at that velocity to ensure that they can operate at the velocity that they need to be successful. So the shortening of the sales cycle, of their buying cycle, is something that we need to adapt to and something that is changing the way that we need to sell. Look, it doesn’t mean we’ve sort of got to jump to every single request that they may have, but that does mean that we’ve got to be sort of super mindful that we are sort of here supporting their buying process and so make sure we’re positioning ourselves to be able to sort of facilitate that with as least friction as possible.
SaaS provides Higher Volumes
Andy: And then sort of going through a little bit further… sorry, there we go, we finally got that with the lower average contract value with the sales velocity. We’re seeing a huge change in volume. You know, what used to be done, so when you’re trying to hit a hit a large number, we used to be able to do that in 2 or 3 deals. But look, now there is… and this is sort of greater to a question from Stefan which we’re sort of will go through and talk in a little bit detail later on that it means we need to do a lot more transactions. We need to be sort of going out there, finding and speaking to more customers, then having those, converting them at a higher rate and ultimately bringing more people through our funnel to be able to make a commitment with and be working together. So these high volumes that we need to be creating means we’ve got to be a lot more efficient in our sales processes.
And so this is a part of what Freshsales is looking to be able to help people with. But it really is something that we’ve got to be sort of super mindful of what do we need to bring in to be successful. So, how many opportunities do we need to create to really sort of go and convert those at a higher volume to be able to be successful? And so we are going to be talking about that and those key moments that you can do to really be able to impact those conversion rates. So we’ve talked about a couple of things, okay? So we’ve got the fact that look SaaS has really changed businesses, okay? The average contract values that we see and B2B sales are shrinking. The time to be able to actually win those deals is shrinking as well. People’s buying cycles are drastically shrinking. And then also we’ve got a lot higher volume. So that’s great, and this is all being driven by the customer.
People Hate Being Sold/ People Love To Buy
Andy: So one of the core tenets that we find is that, even though they want to do it, they want to buy to buy smaller deals at a faster pace and more volume, we know that people hate being sold to. Because one of the things that sort of people feared the most that you see, the people avoid opportunities to be sold to in every situation. But on the other side, people do love to buy, okay? They love to be able to go and solve their problems. And this is something that we really need to go and enable them and help them to do. And so this is a big part of what we’re really going to be sort of going in and covering off today. But what we really need to do is simplify down how we go and help people to do that.
7 Colors In A Rainbow
Andy: And when we talk about that there’s a lot of really great sort of simple things that we see out there in the world. One of these, is simple 7 colors in the rainbow. But it’s what people then do with these really simple elements which makes them truly special. Here we can see a great iconic building from here in Australia, which I’m sure a lot of you recognized, which is the sort of the Sydney Opera House. But we see how when those 7 colors of the rainbow are actually sort of going and projected on the Opera House.
Andy: We can see how magical that looks. And then also when we’re looking at that in another sense, we look at it in music. In music, we know that this sort of 12 notes on a scale, okay? Well, let’s just have a quick listen to see what sort of Ed Sheeran can do with those 12 notes on the scale.
Can We Simplify Sales To A Few Key Moments?
Andy: I bet you never thought you’d be listening to some Ed Sheeran on a sales webinar. But I guess what we wanted to do is this illustrate that look, once you sell you master the basics and really sort understand that the simple things, you can really start to do amazing things. And this is exactly the same in sales. But when we started thinking about that, what we really wanted to understand is look, how do we actually go and simplify sales down to those key moments?
SaaS Sales Simplified
Andy: So, when we go and look at SaaS sales, we think about what really happens in 2 really cool ways. I mean, 1, we’ve got to go sort of land our customers or probably decide for you guys, we’re going to go where there are customers. We’re going to go and win that new business and bring it into our funnel. And then the beauty of SaaS sales, which I’m sure a lot of people but this is effective with a lot all sales at the moment, is that once we’ve won a customer, that’s only half the battle; we then need to go and expand that customer. And we can have a lot of debates about that terminology as to sort of workers are talking about there, is the fishing analogies and what happens to fish during that process. But ultimately, we’ve got those land and expand elements.
But when we break those down there’s 7 key moments that we really need to go and impact. There are large different stages in that sales cycle. So taking people from a prospect; so people who we just identified as people we want to speak to. Then we want to engage them in a marketing qualified lead. We want to progress them through, we want to be able to open opportunities as sales qualified leads and ultimately bring them on board by having them sort of commit to and agree to terms with us and commit to that longer-term relationship. Then we’ve obviously got the onboarding piece in making them go live and achieving that first value; helping them to actually achieve recurring value and to be able to utilize the tool more. And ultimately, we need to be able to help them grow, have those ‘Oh my God!’ moments so that they want to share it with their colleagues. Colleagues is another part of their business and then look to be able to upsell and cross-sell new technologies. So these are the sort of 7 key moments. But for today’s webinar, we’re going to be focusing on the first 4, okay? We’re going to be sort of talking about a couple of examples of how you’re going to be able to sort of implement and impact against those. And then we’re going to be talking about which ones are actually going to give you the greatest impact in your own sales process. So without any further ado, let’s just get stuck in and look at these 4.
Andy: And the first, I mean, a couple of questions that we sort of got before we started the webinar, we talked about how do we start thinking about sort of going out and reaching these customers. Like how do we go on prospect? And how do we do that, and how do we sort of do that effectively? So at the moment, like this is in selling today, a lot of people are really just focusing on fit. When I talk about fit I’m talking about, “Hey look, why do we think this customer might be a good person to speak to?” Well, they’re from this company which is a particular size, they’ve got this title on LinkedIn, so I’m going to go give them a call. I’m going to go target them. And what we see is a lot of people targeting people with those sort of customized, those personalized messages of, “Hi, <<insert name here>>. We typically work with companies or <<insert company>> like yours. Would you like to meet for 15 minutes so we can find out if there’s an opportunity for us to work together?”
This kind of personalization which happens at scale look, customers are getting… I’m sure a lot of you have received that. I mean, just raise your hand in the chat if you would just sort of click on that little button on the side of that if you’ve received an email or if you received an email like that, asking for that 15 minutes of your time. Awesome! Okay, so a couple of people raising their hands. But what we see is that this is happening a lot and customers are getting are getting tired of that. So we need to rethink about how we’re actually sort of going and engaging our prospects. And this is one of those examples is, “Hi <<First Name>>, we help companies like you, for example <<customer A and B>> to reduce their times. Do you have 15 minutes for a conversation?”
What we like to think about is, where’s the value exchange there? Okay, who is going to get value from that interaction? And the moment, always the only person that we see getting value from that is the salesperson. We’ve got to flip that around, okay? Because I remember, people hate to be sold but they love to buy; we’re going to keep coming back to that. I want to present to you and give you a quick example of how we’ve seen someone doing a fantastic job in delivering that value or to be able to do those pain. So we’ve got to be able to do that by sharing insights at the right time. Okay, and we do that to help to understand what the customer’s pains and challenges are and then go and deliver that insight. So here’s an example of someone doing just that.
Andy: Oh, so guys so we accidentally hit end on Eleanor a little bit earlier there. But what you could see, I mean, Eleanor and her team, they don’t sell Facebook advertising, okay? They enable people to better utilize video. And so what she was doing is providing value to these prospects just by sharing about how they could utilize these videos in a much better more efficient way in a very sort of costly means for them, which is by Facebook advertising. So it helps them get more value from that costly investment. So this is just sort of a great example of how you can lead with value. Another thing that I absolutely love about what Eleanor is doing here is that she is sharing that value via video. I just want to sort of, if you’re all in the chat now, if you could please raise your hand if you are using video as part of your prospecting activity. Okay, we’ve got a couple of people who are sort of using video; which is awesome. Awesome! Like I can’t stress enough, we have the power of video and how you can really have that have a great impact on someone if you’re delivering them some insight.
From personal facts, I mean, you can insert the videos in the emails and there’s a whole bunch of technology out there that you can just pop into the emails in fresh sales within a link and a thumbnail, and to be able to sort of push that out. So, I mean a couple of my favorites a Soapbox and ViewedIt and Bonjoro but you can’t talk enough about the power of video and why it’s sort of super important. So we’ve got to really focus on that pain, not on fit. We’re going to be flipping that around to be thinking of not so much, “Hey, look, is this company the right person to speak to in terms of their graphics of size, location, industry type. But what are the challenges that they’re facing? And what’s the pain that they’re experiencing? And are we in a position to be able to help that? Do we have experience in solving that?” So, that’s going to be a really sort of the great true north of where we want people to be.
Key Moment Conversation
Andy: Alright moving on, I can move it to the next key moment, is about having a conversation, okay? Typically, a lot of people, whenever they sort of get that chance they go, “Fantastic! I’ve got a warm lead! Here we go! It’s time for me to sit and actually tell them about everything that I know about our fantastic product or service and here we go!” And that’s when they sit and go, “Great, alright it’s time; pitching time!” okay? But the reality is, when we go back to that sort of Darth Vader at the start where we had it in the header, “People love to buy but they hate to be sold.” This is so true at this early stage of the process.
Andy: So what we really need to do is focus on how we sort of transition that, okay? We’re going to break this out onto the whiteboard but we may have come back. But we might struggle out on time. So we want to turn that into a conversation and a great framework for doing that is the talk framework, okay? So it’s just a really sort of conscious way for us to be able to think about how we’re having conversations with our customer. Yeah, there’s obviously sort of the tone of voice that we’ve got. We’ve got to be conscious that we’re not speaking really quickly and so that people can actually slow down so they can understand what we’re talking about. And then we’ve got to go and match and mirror how our customers are engaging with us so we can really have a great conversation with them.
We need to be able to ask intelligent questions, okay? So, this is super important. There’s obviously multiple different types of questions. There’s open or closed questions, and then you’ve got the types of questions; whether they be situational, whether they be pain or they be impact related. So we’ve got to utilize these questions and we’ve got to utilize them carefully. So when I say carefully, because we don’t want to bombard people with questions. We don’t want it to be an interrogation, okay, it’s got to be a conversation, so we don’t want to ask too many questions up front. But one quick pro tip I want to give you guys here is that, when we’re actually going to ask these questions, especially the sort of situational question, it’s really going to help the customer open up if you provide some context at the top of these questions.
So say, for an example, if you call up someone, if you’re calling up someone like you, someone in sales, and you say, “Hey look, you work at company X, is that at Acme corporation? Is that right?”
“Okay, I just want to know, what’s your role there in the business?” okay? That’s a like a situational question; so a closed-ended situational question. But there’s no context there. Does it sound like I’ve done any research? But if we flip that around a little bit and just sort of, “Hey look, I noticed at Acme corporation, you’re the sales manager there. Is that correct?” What we’ve now done is asked a closed question with context, and have also demonstrated to the prospect and the customer that we care. We’ve actually gone and done some research about their business and about them as an individual to be able to really ensure that… which starts demonstrating that we’re going to be able to help them solve their needs. And so we’re asking questions and I can’t encourage you guys enough that we’ve got to be able to sort of ask these intelligent question. And so we’ve got to understood to delve deeper into their business. So we’ll talk about a little bit more about those shortly.
But then once you ask a question, do not then go thinking about what’s the next question you’re going to be asking, okay? The common mistake going, “Oh, I asked a good one there! Okay, what am I going to do next?” What we need to be doing is listening attentively, okay? We really need to be going and focusing more on what they say back to us. So many time customers in conversations just tell us about their pains but we don’t pick up on it, okay? We don’t pick up on it. We don’t sort of understand those core pieces of those core words that they’re bringing in that they utilize. Because when we listen attentively, we can start speaking in their language.
So a big part of actually going and speaking and of listening actively is keeping notes. We can’t just magically go and remember absolutely everything that our customers say. If you think that you can, I think you’re lying to both yourself and to the customer. By taking notes, it may slow you down but it definitely shows your customer that what they’re saying is very important too. So keeping notes is an incredible way for you to be able to ensure that you’re knowing exactly what your customer said and also really helps you too. So when we go to the bottom one to repeat back to them in their words what you’ve heard. It’s so often, we see it see it happen all the time, okay? When people are in the sales conversation and they’re in that dial…they’re sort of in this just sort of element or they’re having a great conversation and then it stalls; you might not get the response that you want to a question. The person that you’re speaking to just might just sort of be going quiet a little bit and there’s a little bit of awkward silence. What the sales rep then does, a lot of the time, is they go to their happy place, okay? They start talking about what they’ve being trained to do which is this fantastic product or service that we’ve gotten and how this could potentially go and help you and solve the world. But the reality is, that happy place is very selfish; it’s focused on you, okay? We really want to turn this happy place to you to be repeating back what your customers have said, okay? Summarize what they’re talking about.
But we also want to make sure… so then going back up one, we want to go to the elaborate, okay? So we want the customers to tell us more about what they said. Once we’ve kept those, listened, asked questions, listened actively, you know, then we need to ask them if they could please tell us a little bit more about that. “What does that mean for your business?” Asking them to elaborate about how that impacts them. So this talker framework, if you’re going to take one thing away, I really want you guys to be thinking about how you’re asking those questions, listening actively, keeping notes, elaborating on what they say and then repeating that back to them and summarizing. And here’s a great example of how sort of one of our clients is sort of starting a conversation. And this is a role-play voicemail that we have them go through:
Male: Go for it. Give me a voicemail with excitement, okay? So go and give me a good voice mail.
Female: Hey Corbin, I hope you are doing well today. This is Sarah Ann.
Male: Okay stop, please say it extra.
Female: Hey Corbin! Just saw this cool ad for apartments.com. Really nice added by the way, except…
Male: That’s it!
Male: That’s it! Okay, can you do that again? Do that one more time. Just exactly the same. Just the height go… for it.
Female: Hey Corbin, this is Sarah-Ann, 6707935107. Read your blog post the other day about mobile innovation, thought you had made some really good points.
[End of Voice mail]
Andy: Okay so there. It wasn’t Sarah Ann saying, “Hey, Hal, liftoff is going to come and be able to solve all your problems,” or starting a conversation, okay? Going back to the first point which is sort of really around talking about pain rather than fit, you know? And then she led finished it up by not pitching, okay? People love to buy, they hate to be sold.
Key Moment Diagnose
Andy: Then we’re going on to this next key moment which is around the diagnose. Now this is super important. Traditionally, there’s been a great legacy from the IBM sales team during the 80s. And this legacy has been sort of infecting B2B sales ever since. And that’s how we actually go on qualify opportunity.
Andy: So they taught all the people leaving out of IBM with this BANT; which just refers to Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe, okay? Do you have the budget to buy? Do you have the authority to be able to go and make a decision? Does your business have a documented need? And do you have a timeline of when you want to make that far? So one of the challenges we’ve got today is that people don’t make purchase decisions like that anymore, okay? People aren’t buying multimillion-dollar mainframes that need to be budgeted for years in advance. And so, when we call up a customer and say, “Excuse me, do have the budget? Are you the decision-maker and have the authority to buy?” we’re qualifying them for what we think is going to be important to be able to for us to progress them in across the deal. But that doesn’t really help us understand what’s important to them. So one of the questions that we had earlier was around, “How do I stop my cut my clients, my prospect, from going dark or not getting back to me?” We find this is the key to doing that; is not qualifying them via BANT, okay, but actually diagnosing, “What are the real challenges that they face?”
What to Diagnose
Andy: And so we find that there’s 2 key elements to any fantastic diagnose. The first one is, we need to understand what is the impact to their business? And the impact can really come down to, “Isn’t there nice fluffy things that we see on a lot of your websites? Hey, we enable people to be more effective,” or, “Hey, we would like to sort of help; we help sort of reduce your travel time.” Are they available to do this remotely? No. An impact is, “What does it mean for the bottom line of the business?” The impact is, “How do you help me make money? How do you make me save money?” or there’s the, “How do you keep me out of jail around risk or compliance?” or then there’s another one which is, “Thanks to Steve Jobs and the lower order value that we’re seeing is just, hey look, what if you build an amazing UI/UX? And I think this could be something really easy to use.” So that impact is super important.
Now the other key element that we see is around the critical event, okay? And this critical event isn’t the end of the month or the end of the quarter when you need to go and hit your number, but this is, “When is it critical for them to be able to be feeling the effects of solving this problem?” Okay, if you guys and you’ve always sort of made a decision to go, a lot of you have made a decision to go fresh sales or you’re thinking about it, but probably got sales targets that you need to achieve by a certain date. But if you need to achieve these sales target by the end of this month, you’ve got a day to go, okay? The chances of you installing a new piece of technology and that magically being able to help you go and achieve that goal by that day, is probably pretty minimal. But if you’re talking about you need to do that by June, by sort of June 30, fantastic. Then it’s really worthwhile, then you do need to start. You could maybe make that purchase decision today but you need all that time to be able to then go and implement that to ensure that the systems up and running to be able to solve that problem by the time of your critical event.
One of the key questions you need to ask is, “What happens if you miss that date?”, okay? So that’s going and their answer is going to help you understand whether it’s critical or compelling, okay? If it’s compelling it’s, “Oh yeah, okay, well if we miss that, I’ll probably just set another date a little further down the road,” okay? But if the answer to, “What happens if you miss that date?” is, “Well, we’ve got some serious growth goals for us to be able to achieve that day but I’ve got to go. And look, I’m on a performance improvement plan that could really put my job in jeopardy?” Or, “I’ve got to really answer to the board about how to do that,” or, “There’s a couple of startups on the line. Hey, if we don’t achieve those revenue goals, we’re running out of money.” So there’s some really critical events there that we really need to peel back the layers of the onion to be able to do. And we often find that there’s impact and critical event or intertwined.
How to Diagnose
Andy: So how do you go and do that? So when you do that by sort of going and having a great diagnose call. We talked a little a bit earlier about how we actually sort of go through and ask those different types of questions and we and how we don’t want to be doing that an interrogation. But here we actually sort of go through and have that framework like these blueprints of what a great diagnose call looks like. Now, this is going to be a little bit of a shout out. My colleague Dan Smith is going to be joining Freshsales on a webinar in a couple of weeks; we’ll talk about that later at the end. But he’s going to do in a real deep dive into this diagnose call. And we’re going to be sharing with you some blueprints than on how you can actually go and be successful. But basically what we were trying to do here, look, you’ve got to start the call. We’ve got to start the call with the end in mind. So we’re going to really sort of open appreciate their time, check that they’re good for that amount of time and set those end goals. But when we’re having, when we’re actually going through and asking those questions, we’re having to really sort of narrow focus on trying to get that impact. And it’s not just all about us taking information, we’ve got to be giving value back. And we give that value back via these third-party for references or third-party stories about how other people have been successful.
So, we’re going to stop qualifying our customers and start diagnosing our customers. And again, Dan Smith is going to be able to tell you, we’re going to do a much deeper dive on that in a couple of weeks.
Key Moments Trade
Andy: So now we’ve got that element. We’re going to move to this little last key element that we’re going to be covering off today, which is around when we get people to sort to commit. And a lot of people struggle with negotiation, okay? It’s a tough thing; it’s adversarial, right? People sort of they get a little tense when they’re coming into these negotiations because they think that, “Hey look, we have got to buck heads here because I know I’ve always been told that there’s only ever 1 winner in a negotiation.” But we need to flip that on its head, okay? Because we’re building a long-term relationship with that with our clients and our customers, we really need to be working with them. And we can’t give anything away unless we’re actually sort of trading for it; we’ve got to set up a relationship. So if we do offer any discount, what are you going to get in return in a SaaS business?
Andy: Now there’s a couple of things you can typically ask for. If people want a discount, they could buy more seeds, okay? They can commit to a longer term or they could pay you up front, okay? So these are some really sort of great things that you can do to be able to go and negotiate. But also, the big change that we want you to start thinking is that, this isn’t adversarial; that you can, by sort of flipping this around from a negotiation to a trade, you can actually be working together. You’re both sitting on the same side of the table to get a great outcome. So we’re going to stop the negotiation and start trading.
Andy: So when I look at these sort of simple metrics, what I want to think about is, which ones actually have the greatest impact? Before we go and reveal the answers, I want you to be thinking about, where do you think has the greatest impact? And so hopefully you’re thinking about that a little bit now. But to help you understand, we sort of looked at sort of average performing teams and we looked at best in class. And when we look at sort of we go an impact pain, we saw sort of little gains. But when people were able to improve that diagnose conversation, that’s when we saw that exponential lift. That’s where we saw that that huge improvement in sales performance.
The Compound Impact
Andy: And what does that mean when we sort of compound those across the actual results? You can see here like this huge variance from sort of around three grand in what we’re looking at there in the annual recurring revenue all the way up to sort of almost ten thousand dollars. So you think about that huge difference that you’ve got there. And these changes don’t happen at once. So that old adage, “How do you go eat an elephant?” and it’s, “One bite at a time.” So we’ve got to be thinking. And so that’s why you really need to be thinking about these narrow areas in your sales process as you look through 1, 2, 3, 4. Like, which one are you going to look to impact over the next month? How many percentage points can you improve that? And that super narrow focus is going to enable you to be successful.
Best Practice Blueprints
Andy: So how do you do that? Like the best practice frameworks is not to use scripts and tricks but to actually follow some set frameworks and blueprints. And so Dan Smith’s going to be helping you to do that and obviously if you reach out to me afterward, more than happy to help you with that as well. But ultimately at the end of the day, sales is a tough game, okay? We need to be making sure that we’re sort of going where we’re working hard to improve on that; so those key simple elements of the sales process. But we’ve got to have fun doing it. If you’re not having fun doing, you’re not doing it properly. So really sort of want to stress that there’s a there’s a better way for us to sort of be going out there and engaging with people and that you’ve got to be having fun in the conversation to be making those human connections.
Andy: And ultimately I just want to thank you very much for taking the time to sort of stay with us. And most of you did stay with us, which is fantastic. But before we go, I know, Nivas, you probably want to open the floor to questions and also talk about the next couple of webinars.
Nivas: Sure, Andy. If you could just show the next slide there. Yep, so guys just to get it started, we have another webinar coming up on March 8th which is more aimed towards small businesses or just early-stage startups. So I just pinged the link in the chat. So it’s called ‘Going from 0-100 signups per month, without content’. We know a lot of startups are struggling to generate content. But Patrick Barnes over here, CEO of Advocately, cracked this and he also spoke about this at SaaS talk. The other one is… could you just move it to the next slide, Andy?
Nivas: So this one’s by Dan Smith also from ‘Winning by Design’, it’s going to be about how to run a perfect discovery call. I will also be pinging you the link to that right now. Yeah, So just keep the questions coming and we would get them started. So, Andy, we already have one question from Joe, “You talked about pain over fit. How can you do that at scale?”
Andy: Yeah, look, it’s a really sort of tough thing to do. We talked about sort of how people can really struggle with moving beyond that really sort of simple view of, “Hey look, this is your firma graphic data,” okay? The company name, size, location, etc, okay? But they find that the key ways to actually sort of go around that, if you look at sort of 3 elements. So you can go deep on the company. What’s important? What are the sort of the burning issues for that business at the moment? Is it likely to sell the large corporates? Fantastic. Like publicly listing, you can typically see a lot of that information, okay? If they don’t have that information available, you can focus on what’s on the industry, okay? What are the sort of core things that are impacting people in that industry? And then lastly, the third element, is what’s happening with that individual? What’s happening in their life that could potentially be causing that pain? But, Joe, thank you very much for asking that. It’s a great question and it’s a very common challenge.
Nivas: So, I think there’s also another question about, I think this was mentioned earlier about customers going cold. Andy, do you want to address that?
Andy: Yeah, look, a lot of the times when we find when people do go cold, the reality is, that’s a fault of our own, okay? It means a means 2 things. One, when I say it’s a fault of our own, it’s something it’s an issue that we’ve had earlier in the sales process and when we’re looking at those 7 key moments. So it means we haven’t diagnosed their problem correctly nor have we sort of really established those next steps. So Dan’s going to be talking a lot about running that perfect discovery call and so what are sort of keys to be able to avoid that. But a big one is, we’ve got to be asking, continually asking, the customer, whether this is something that’s going to meet their needs. And if so, can we sort of setup and date with a firm future commitment?
Nivas: Cool. And there’s another question from the SaaS angle, about getting the right team, in fact, putting the right team together for sales, I believe. So do you like to address that?
Andy: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So you think about we’re trying to do this sort of presentation through the lens of actually going through and understanding how the customers buy. So I think it’s going to be super important that when you think about hiring the team, you’ve got to think about, “How do your customers like to buy? And who are going to be the right people to help them through that process?” okay? “Is it going to be someone who’s got years of sales experience? Is it going to be someone who’s got years of experience actually sitting alongside the customers? Or someone who’s got more of that sort of industry expertise?” Okay. So you’ve got to be sort of taking that critical lens of what’s going to be super important to help your customers with that purchase decision. But then you’ve got to actually start; you’ve got to go out and start hiring to try to find these people. And a couple of things we really need to be looking for, especially in today’s in today’s sort of buying to facilitate today’s buying process, there’s a couple of core traits that we see which is super important. First one is, you’ve got to be hiring for curiosity. People have got to be curious enough to be able to care about sort of what’s going to be involved for them. It can be a tough thing to look for in interviews but that’s typically around those softer skills. Then the other thing which I find is a key thing to focus on is around taking notes, okay? Because what the customer says is so important, it’s really important that when people come to interviews, that they’re also listening to their potential future employer about what’s important during that interview. So they’re 2 tips on how to actually sort of go and make sure that we’re still getting the right team on board.
Nivas: Sure. So we have a question from Jennifer. It’s about putting together a sales development from scratch. In fact, this was asked at the beginning of the webinar.
Andy: Yeah look, and so when you’re talking about that, yet again, you got to understand who your customer is and where are you going to find them, okay? Where is there a certain playground? But typically what we find the best practice today and look at that’s why a lot of people some being able to utilize fresh sales for is that, we don’t know exactly what’s going to be the right channel of communication for people. So we’ve got to be able to try to make multiple connections with people across multiple challenges with multiple messages, okay? There’s a lot of multiples there and it can be really tough to manage. But one thing we really want to but… what I’m sort of talking about is that typically people don’t make enough attempts to be able to go out to reach our customers. So instead of sort of making 2 or 3 attempts, we’ve got to be moving that to sort of 6, 7, 8 plus attempts. So if we were trying to do that just over email, we’ve got to be using the phone, we’re going to be using LinkedIn, we’ve got to be sending an SMS, we’ve got to be utilizing direct mail; you’ve got to figure out what’s right for your customer. And then when we come to the content, we’ve got to be focused on giving and providing value. We’ve got to give before we get. And so that’s where we’ve got to be really putting the customers’ pain at the heart of it and sort of you providing information on, providing some insights, providing examples, case studies, you know, how other people it looks have been solving that pain, okay? When you’re delivering these solutions to them, you’re going to be seen as someone who’s actually going to be a partner in their business moving forward. So obviously Freshsales is a great tool that’s going to sort of help you go and manage that at scale. But also, actually just quickly, one thing I did want to mention with regards to that content is that, when we are providing value, we also want to try to make sure, let’s not give everything away and in one email or on one phone call, okay? We’ve got to sit down and figure out what’s going to be right. And remember people don’t want to read too much information. So if we keep it short, keep it focused around one particular pain that you’re going to be able to solve and give away that sort of one piece of value, you can start understanding what piece is more relevant for your customers.
Nivas: Cool. Andy, so we have a couple of comments from Stefan. He says, “Great stuff, man!” Janna says, “Thanks, Andy!” And also Stefan has a question around, “in your example of compounding impact, you had a data set of thousand prospects with the deal size of thousand dollar ACV (Annual Contract Value). That seemed a pretty low deal size to be having discovery calls. Could you expand a little on how using discovery calls for low ACVs make sense?”
Andy: Yeah look, we see people doing, obviously it all depends on the type of business and the type of product that you’ve got; whether it’s required. We see people actually sort of going through and doing these diagnose calls, although all the way down to ACVs like $20. But what happens after that, which is important. We talk, especially in SaaS, we’ve got that land and expand element of that. And sort of with the expand proportion is quite large then there’s sort of a huge opportunity. I mean, we even see people doing that on some freemium tools and sort of doing some discovery if they’re from sort of somewhat target companies. So, I think that there’s, obviously you’ve picked up a great point there that you really want to be allocating the resources where sort of the opportunities are going to be. But look at the sort of rule of thumb, you might be able to say over $500 where there’s going to be or where you’re going to start doing those discovery calls. But look if you look at the Atlassian approach, where they obviously don’t have a lot of people doing discovery calls and people are making larger purchases than that. But then also have people do… there are instances where they do, where they’re sort of product onboarding is been broken or isn’t running as efficiently as it could be. And so that’s when they’ll get salespeople in there to actually help as part of that to help with that that diagnose. So there’s no…. yeah, so awesome. Lifetime value it’s a big part of that, Stefan. But also you got to think about we’re going to be facilitating how your customers like to buy; that’s a big part of that. Do they want to speak to someone at that point? Do they need to be educated? So we’ve got to start thinking a little bit more about how we can help them, help your customers through that process.
Nivas: I think I totally agree on that. So, we are getting a couple of questions with respect to Freshsales. Jennifer and Jose, we’d be happy to take them offline. I’d be sending you an email about it or feel free to reach out to me are email@example.com. And so we have one more question from Stefan. In fact he talks about… yeah so, Andy, it’s about the need to generate. “So no more about average contract value and the need to generate a higher volume of leads or SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) at lower ACVs and vice-versa. For example at an ACV of 10k, what would be the volume of SQLs an SDR (Sales Development Representative) should generate?”
Andy: Well, it really depends. That’s a huge one. You sit there and talk, “What’s the volume of leads?” If you ask someone who’s really hungry to be out in generating sort of a lot of business, you’d say “Well, as many as they possibly can.” But then you’ve got to think about sort of what is possible. What is possible for them to do? And then also, what’s sort of reasonable in terms of the targets you want me to get and also the market that you’re going into. But typically when we go back to when I sort of boiled it down a little bit further, what’s the average number of leads than SDR can create? So when we’re talking about SDRs for those people, we’re talking about sales development reps. And they’re typically people who are just in a role of going out and finding opportunities and creating sort of opportunity to create conversations for an account executive or someone more senior to be able to then go and have that conversation. The reality is what we’ve been seeing in the market is the number of those SDRs could generate sales qualified leads. But the number of sales qualified leads that they generate has actually been reducing, you know? So we’ve been finding that the tactics that they’ve been using, so where they used to be able to do 20 to 30 leads per month, they’re typically getting between that 10 to 20. So it’s becoming tougher and tougher for people to generate those leads out there in the market, which can be a huge challenge for a lot of people. But in saying that, we also see the SDR sort of being deployed in ACVs when they’re sort of greater than, I mean, 10k. We do see that happening a lot, but we see them being more effective when they’re in some higher ACVs.
Nivas: So, Andy, we have our last question. Stefan just has a comment saying, “Hey, very encouraging since the blueprint book, Jacko’s talking about much higher ACVs.”
Andy: Yeah absolutely. And that was the point I was sort of referring to that, we do see people doing that and much higher rates but there’s also people doing it at some the $10,000 rate. It all comes down to how much money you’re willing to invest to go and acquire a customer.
Nivas: Mmm-hmm. So, Andy, this would be the last question from James. So he’s like, “When it comes to pricing, most SaaS companies today do opt to undercut the competition by slashing prices and offering discounts. Is it advisable to hold ground and deny discounts and later appraise clients to see the value and pay the price?” So what’s your opinion, Andy?
Andy: Look, I don’t quite fully agree with the fact that everyone’s cutting prices and discounting to win business. But we’d like to sort of taking it back a little bit further to that last thing; that key moment number 4 that we’re talked about. Sometimes customers do need a discount to be able to move, but we strongly recommend it if you’re able to… also, we’ll go back to the 3 first; so that diagnose section. If you’re able to uncover exactly what the impact you’re going to be able to deliver and by that critical event, your need to be able to discount will diminish because you will have created some differentiation and aligned yourself to their needs. But if it does come down to the point where you do need to discount, do need to sort of negotiating that piece, stop that negotiating, start trading. What do you get in return for that? But look, we are seeing a lot of people just sort of putting that straight out on the website that, “Hey look, we don’t do discounts. We want to be fair to everyone who’s coming on board with our service, so everyone’s paying the same fair price.”
Nivas: Cool, Andy. I think I totally like the point of, I mean, going from negotiating to trading if/when there is talk about discounting. Cool, so with that we’re going to wrap the question and answers. Thank you so much, Andy, and thank you all for joining us. We look forward to seeing you again, we have a couple of other webinars coming up. As promised, all of you will be getting a recording of this webinar by Friday. If you have any questions about fresh sales, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Andy, so would you want to give your email address if they would like to reach out to you?
Andy: Yeah, absolutely. So you can find me at email@example.com You can also find me on twitter at @andy_ farq. I’d love to connect with you all on LinkedIn. It’s horrible surname, I know, to be able to go search for. But if you search for us at winning by design, you can find Andy Farquharson. And if anyone’s got any friends in Australia, you can also find us at had sort of a great sales conferences that we’ve got coming up called ‘Rock your Revenue’, which is going to be a Sydney in 6 weeks.
Nivas: Awesome. Thank you once again, Andy. Have a great day. I know it’s just a start of the day for you. Thank you so much.
Andy: The sun has just come up, Nivas! So I’m looking forward to it. Thank you, everyone, for your attention and your questions. Nivas, thank you so much for the invitation and hopefully, you can come back again a little bit later.
Nivas: Sure. We look forward to seeing all of you soon. Thank you so much.
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