How can sales teams use data to build a formula that helps in winning the deal? Marketing is not able to deliver the promised amount or quality of leads. The product has not hit a feature delivery commitment date in over two quarters. Customer Success still has not figured out how to successfully launch a customer. Your main competitor just raised a ridiculous amount of money, at an absurd valuation leading to every one of your prospects immediately going and looking them up.
This is the situation the Oakland A’s faced, as portrayed in the movie, MoneyBall. Lowest Salary Cap, on the edge of bankruptcy, and haven’t had a winning record in years. Oh, and they were expected to beat the Yankees!
Here’s the thing, in sales (and in baseball), you are still expected to find a way to win. But how?
Intelligence and Perseverance. That’s how. Thinking differently, and using data to drive incremental improvements leads to large success over time. This is what industry-leading sales teams are doing when it comes to their sales training.
Know Thy Competitor
In sales, it’s easy to think of your other competitors as the competition. But keep in mind, your prospects are also your competition. So, the first thing to try to treat differently is how you understand your prospects. It is pretty well documented the Buyer’s Journey has changed. But has the Buyer’s Journey changed yet again? To beat your competition, you must know them. It is kind of like knowing a certain pitcher throws a curveball on a 3-2 count 90% of the time, and batters with a slugging percentage over 400% get a hit 50% more of the time against a curveball on a 3/2 count. We would be giving the signal to swing to that hitter each time!
Where are Prospects Going for Information?
The question becomes, we know buyers are engaging in different ways to fact-find, yet reps are not being trained in how to use that information. Why not? Sales coaching needs to incorporate an understanding of how prospects look for information to use that as part of the sales cycle. These are the places buyers are now going for important information:
- G2Crowd Reviews
- LinkedIn, ModernSalesPros, and multiple other online communities
- Free Trials
Overcoming Objections, Decreasing the Sales Cycle, and Other Solid Sales Moves
As a Sales Leader, let’s say you win deals 90% of the time your Sales Representative shows your company’s G2Crowd reviews as a first reaction when challenged with stories of poor customer service. Would you make sure that your reps were prompted with that link every time that objection came up? I am guessing yes.
What about when your sales cycle is decreased by an average of 35 days when 4 certain discovery questions are asked on the first meeting with a prospect? Wouldn’t you do everything you could to make sure those questions were asked? Probably another yes.
As a Sales Representative, would you be hesitant to offer a free trial if you knew that, 87% of the time it resulted in a higher ACV (Annual Contract Value)? Combine the trial with answering a vital technical question in a very specific way and your chances of winning approach nearly 100%.
Reactive Conversational Intelligence is Dead
Why aren’t Sales Leaders using data to build formulas for winning sales deals? The problem is that today’s tools do not allow you to know that your Sales Development Representative’s On Base Percentage (booking a meeting) is better when they articulate their reason for the call first, as opposed to the second, a few moments later.
Here at ABSTRAKT, we like to think of Frameworks as the batting line-up. Questions are deployed, objections are handled in a very specific manner to drive the desired outcome (winning the deal). We no longer are reviewing the game tape, listening to “Take Me Out to The Ball Game”, during the 7th inning stretch, just to find out if a certain player hits a double off the knuckleball that loses 5 mph after the 70th pitch of the game for that pitcher.
This is the opportunity for Sales Coaches, and Sales Leaders to take a page from Billy Beane, and hire someone like Pete Brand (or deploy ABSTRAKT). Data is what allowed Beane to know that his best bet for success at the Reliever position was going to be Chad Bradford. Not because he threw side-armed, but because he knew that the power hitters in the American League statistically had 78% (making this number up) less success against side-armed pitchers.
Reactive Losing or Proactive Planning
Sales coaching typically has revolved around the concept of role-playing. After it has taken place, listening to a call and then going back and forth with how to change that behavior the next time. Opportunity lost. With ABSTRAKT, Sales Leaders can see what impact Chad Bradford will have, as opposed to Roger Clemens (2001 American League Cy Young winner).
Reactive Call Recording Tools are Dead
This is why call recording is no longer an effective way of trying to deploy sales coaching, it is reactive and doesn’t help to drive intelligence decision making as it pertains to incremental improvements in key specifics throughout the revenue lifecycle. Why not, you may ask? Well, because it looks at general trends, not specifics. It looks at the year, up to the All-Star break, and not every single at-bat along the way.
Track the Effectiveness & Win Rate Impact
Bringing this back around to the buyer’s journey, Sales Leaders need to start training Sales Representatives on how customers are making buying decisions today, and then deploy technologies to track the training effectiveness AND its impact on win rates. If Sales Representatives are actively inserting G2Crowd site reviews into their sales models, it shows the prospect that the Sales Representative is not trying to hide information. Showing it, but then also understanding its role is key.
Wrapping it all together, Sales Leaders today need to deploy technology and sales training that helps reps understand the buyer’s journey, craft an experience that shows that understanding, and then measures each and every question and answer along the way.
Here’s to winning together!