Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Sean Burke, CEO of KiteDesk. Among the topics that Sean and I discuss are the problems sales professionals have today with prospects going dark, how prospects should be more fully qualified before the reps spend too much of their time, and the NOTE process for qualifying, explaining, and closing deals.
Sean started sales with his mother at age 12, selling burglar alarms. His mother trained him well how to make money. KiteDesk is his ninth early-stage venture, in sales and marketing, for revenue generation; sometimes as the CEO.
Sean sees sales reps struggling to find out what’s going on inside the buyer’s walls. There are so many influencers. Often, the prospect just goes dark, and you never know why.
Andy suggests this is a failure of qualification and discovery.
Sean looks for landmines, to plan pre-emptively for them, such as budgets, product releases, or other projects demanding resources.
Sean sees a lot of surprises he didn’t see in the 90s. Andy attributes these changes to technology, and behaviors related to new technologies.
Sean sees BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) as outdated for new companies. (It still works for IBM.) Sean has come up with NOTE (Need, Opportunity, Team, Effect) to qualify leads based on the buyer’s needs.
Sean was trying to find a way to make the discovery process extremely valuable, especially the buyer, and to be responsive and efficient with the time spent with buyers.
Sean refers to Anthony Iannarino’s book where he said that if you’re in sales, you’re focused on outcomes. Sean wanted to lead with outcomes, not features or benefits.
If the client doesn’t Need the outcome of the benefit of your product for the cost to implement it, then there is no qualified lead. Tell them there’s no good fit here. Either they will rethink their need, or you will save everyone a lot of time.
Some of the need is philosophical. Sean refers to the ‘find your why’ works of Simon Sinek. It’s great to find a company in synch with your philosophy.
Opportunity is a pressing requirement. Is the need great enough to attack now? Sean uses a scoping method to determine ROI, and asks, does the proposed solution justify the expense? This gives the prospect a way to qualify in or out.
Team is composed of multiple stakeholders with a sense of urgency. Defining who is impacted by the opportunity helps the client qualify themselves for the deal. There is also a team defined of the influencers involved to get to “yes.”
Effect is the experienced value of the product or service to the buyer. It is not the opportunity. The full opportunity doesn’t result on Day 1. The effect is developing the working plan to get through the process and track it for success.