Vince Beese, CEO and Founder at Sales@Scale and The Revenue Exchange, joins me on this episode.
- A meaningful conversation includes give-and-take and clearly defined next steps. Vince gives an example of one. There will be commitments on both sides of the discussion, both from the customer and the vendor.
- Be strategic about your calls. Know what the logical next step should be (e.g., a demo should lead to a proposal). Setting expectations is a good beginning. Andy recommends having a plan with the desired outcome for every call.
- Write out what you want to accomplish and have it in front of you before making a call. Every conversation is a potential closing call. Are you prepared for objections or questions? Do you know the customer’s agenda?
- An objection is just an unanswered question. Pushback means you are getting somewhere. Questions are buying signs. Don’t be defensive! Find out the underlying question and answer it. Sometimes it is a disqualifier.
- Two hot topics for Vince: the diminishing close rate and the diminishing quota attainment rate. Hiring more reps is not the answer. Increasing the close rate to 25% is more economical than hiring more reps that close at 20%.
- When selling seven-figure deals, the market is smaller, so each prospect is more valued. Make sure your reps are prepared to learn a buyer’s needs and get commitments from them. Are you closing 50% of those large prospects?
- Sales enablement focuses on content, training, and coaching but is missing the fourth leg of education. The person-to-person connection is the basis of sales, and it involves the rep pursuing their own sales education.
- Enterprise deals are closed with face-to-face meetings. Selling is an apprenticeship. Shadow other salespeople on their sales visits. Some reps don’t learn fast enough. Vince thinks complete training programs aren’t coming back.
- Vince has a Deal Predictor based on five questions that reveal if the sales rep really knows the deal and is honest about the deal. Vince will be back on another episode to do a deep dive on the Deal Predictor.
- Know the value you need to deliver to each of your top five prospects on the very next call, and what you expect of the prospect in return. You need to know that about every single qualified opportunity in your pipeline.
- When you bring your manager to a meeting, the manager brings value by listening to all parties and getting an overview. A high-value deal works best in a team-selling approach. After the meeting, regroup and debrief.
- At night, Andy closes out thoughts in his mind before he goes to sleep. He sends himself emails, each with only a subject line that is a task or followup from these end-of-day thoughts. He reads them fresh in the a.m.