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May 23, 2022
4 min read
The Weekly Pitch is back! We're out of hibernation and excited about today's issue!
Our Feature Story explores proven tips from Gainsight's CEO, Nick Mehta, on running clutch Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR). We started thinking, "Hey, these tactics could spice up other key sales meetings."
We also unpack how sales pros can use current macroeconomic conditions to our advantage. Let's go!
All major market indices have been deep red over the last six months. The pain is even more severe in Cloud and SaaS stocks, where most company valuations are now half of what they were in November.
There's little doubt we're heading toward a recession. Technically, we're not there yet. GDP needs to show two straight quarters of negative growth (Q1 GDP contracted 1.4%).
As a sales community, however, let's remain bullish. Corporate balance sheets are healthy, unemployment is still near record lows, and many companies are growing revenues as fast as ever.
When our customer or prospect says, "we need to cut costs," how will we respond? Consider tweaking our sales pitch and value prop to prepare for cost-cutting (or its evil twin "uncertainty") as the obstacle of 2022. We offer insights in The Closer section below.
Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, was a recent guest on episode 24 of Gong's Reveal podcast. We think his advice, meant for the Quarterly Business Reviews, is so good that it'll impact any late-stage potential customer meeting or any current customer call involving many stakeholders.
Start with the customer's top goals in mind. Make sure to set an agenda that boldly caters to the senior-most leader on the call. What do they care about most?
Think company goals, business challenges, and long-term strategies. Before we talk about ourselves or show our product, engage the senior-most executive right off the bat.
Most presentation slides get the 😴 emoji from customers. If we feel compelled to use them, prioritize one with benchmarking data. How does this potential prospect or current customer stack up to our other customers or competitors?
If getting that data is problematic, consider public sources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Product Hunt, G2, number of followers on social media, and earnings transcripts or 10-K reports from publicly-traded competitors. Consider a 2x2 matrix on this slide with X and Y variables tailored to our customers.
Designate one person from both sides to do the intros. Arguably the biggest timesuck in a meeting when time is so precious, make sure we and our champions are the only two making concise intros across the teams.
Aim to finish in two or three minutes. This is a meeting, not a social.
Set up the chat option upfront. Chat works exceptionally well in calls with double-digit attendees where smaller or more specific questions should live.
And according to Mehta, "Never ask does anyone have any questions?" Nails on chalkboard, Nick. We couldn't agree more.
Who does our service or product help? Gainsight, a Software-as-a-Service customer success platform, opens up big customer calls by asking, "which customer success managers from your team would you like to recognize for doing a great job?"
It's a fun way to kickstart the call with positive recognition and get our customers talking about day-to-day challenges from people who might use our product or service.
This tactic could be our favorite. Ask toward the end of the meeting with simple imagery like green/yellow/red if our prospect or customer agrees on fit. "Based on XYZ challenges and how our solution solves for that, we think you're green. Do you agree?"
Another example is asking, "On a scale of 1-10, how strong of a fit do you see?" Follow up with identifying what would make it a ten. When those pesky prospects say, "we need to digest everything first," consider saying, "yikes, 99% of our potential customers give us an honest number...guess that means we're a one!"
Most virtual meeting software offers real-time polling. Think of using one for every 30 minutes of meeting time to stir attendees' emotions. Build questions like, "how many hours could be saved?" or "what does each bad customer or employee review cost the company?"
Be realistic with the options and ranges, and spend extra time where the answers spread across the spectrum.
Experiment with one or all seven on this list. We're confident these tips will help us stand out and make any crucial sales meeting more memorable.
Cost displacement. It's time for us to double down on what we should naturally be pitching in our product or service – value. We should always ask, "How are we helping our customers make or save money?"
As more companies inevitably trend toward reigning in costs, think about the latter and how what we're selling will be a money saver for our potential or current customers.
If we're in real estate, will locking in a mortgage today save money for a home buyer when rates might be much higher three months from now?
If we sell physical products, will buying now before more supply chain issues hit save money for our customers?
If we sell software, can our platform replace other tools in the customer's tech stack and save money?
Happy selling! And let us know if there's a future sales topic we should unpack in a future issue. Reply to this email with your idea :)
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