Start your week with the stories and insights that matter most to the sales community. Subscribe so you never miss an issue.
June 7, 2021
6 min read
More of you are feeling rosy about hitting your goal as we near the end of Q2. Don't forget to uncover any remaining obstacles with your deals (now, not next week), and try to avoid stamping the order form or contract with the last date of the month.
Our feature story is the second and final part of the series on driving account growth. In this issue, we focus on the post-sale journey.
Finally, we share the story of Joni Booth in Deal of Fortune. You'll read in her own words she didn't let imposter syndrome or the birth of her second child stop her from closing one of the biggest deals in her career.
Before we dive in, here are three things that grabbed our attention last week:
5 Ways To Build a Sales Coaching Process That Scales
Demandwell's Proven Approach to Winning Revenue Through Organic
Your First 5 Sales Hires to Jumpstart Pipeline Generation
⬆️ Optimism around hitting Q2 goals jumps for a third week in a row to 46%, up from 29% back in early May. More individual contributors are weighing in each week, spearheading this bullish outlook.
Have a quota and interested in seeing our Weekly Forecast week-over-week trends? Hit the link below to share your Q2 outlook anonymously.
We shared eight pre-sale tactics to drive account growth before a customer is even signed. Now, let’s turn our attention to the post-sale journey. Account growth is strongly correlated to critical customer KPIs like renewal rate (or the negatively correlated churn rate), customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores, and product or service utilization. When a happy customer likes us, or when we’re not sure, it’s our mission – as revenue growers – to seek out more opportunities to deliver value.
Here’s how to approach account growth post-sale:
Tweak the account manager talent profile (and the customer success manager to a lesser extent) from farmer to hunter. It doesn’t have to be abrupt. Even taking a traditional account manager from 60% farmer to 60% hunter can impact account growth. Find those hunter characteristics of your top sellers and plant them into job descriptions when you hire and add to the team.
Consider a formal sales process that mirrors new customer acquisition, deal stages, and all. Introduce deal reviews to prioritize accounts ripe for growth.
Pay account managers commission for growth beyond 100% of the original deal – reward sellers who generate more revenue from increases in fees and closing upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Consider commission tiers equivalent to what you pay account executives for new business revenue.
Create a community. Lattice has built one with over 10,000 people. Community leads to potential customers. Check out this exchange on the RevOps Co-op Slack, a community of over 2,000 built by startup Funnel IQ:
Start a customer advisory board (CAB). First, find and recruit ten of your most ideal, not happiest, customers. Then, create an open environment where you can hear what’s working and what needs improvement. You can read other best practices here.
Build a customer referral program. Consider a charitable gift in their name, a team outing your company sponsors, or opportunities to be part of the CAB when a current customer delivers hot leads for your sales team. Win rates skyrocket with customer referrals, but only when the program is structured and actively managed.
Consider annual price increases if anything less than a multi-year deal is signed. Salesforce bakes in a 7% yearly hike. If you're not Salesforce, 3% seems fair.
Chase the boomerang. Hire a seller dedicated to every lost customer that doesn’t renew or trials that don’t convert. They do boomerang if someone gives them attention. As long as the rep is leading with insight, it’s ok to reach out immediately to rebuild value.
Accelerate customer onboarding, so they get to “time-to-value” quicker. The sooner customers start using your product and see the value, the faster you’ll spot cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Value begets value.
Monitor usage and utility; qualify sales opportunities based on a rank-order of your customers using your product or service the most. Those “high maintenance” customers are often the most likely to buy more stuff.
Interview customers for product feedback. It’s a win-win; your customer will appreciate the chance to shape the product, and your team will value the roadmap validation. Offer a free trial of beta features for thirty days in exchange for the customer’s time.
Measure Net Promoter Score and do so with both admin and end-users. If customers are likely to recommend you to others, then ask them to do so.
Start “Quarterly Business Reviews” (QBRs) or the more frequent “health check-in” to ensure your team is meeting expectations, staying on top of the customer’s business challenges, and mapping out a plan to deliver value. Consider #7 above if QBRs for every customer aren’t possible.
Coach proactive outreach; answering support tickets, putting out fires, and responding to ad hoc customer requests are inescapable but encourage account reps to talk with customers to get to know them and their business.
Shift the focus of customer success teams from retention to improvement. Make your customer’s most important “success” outcomes your own. Connect the dots from your product or service, impacting their key results and business objectives. Are you helping customers lower employee turnover, drive product innovation, or accelerate their digital transformation efforts?
Segment accounts; option A: Prioritize accounts by size to maximize growth.
Segment accounts; option B: Prioritize accounts by verticals to maximize growth.
Did we miss anything? Which tactics are your favorite? We’d love to hear from you. Happy account growing!
It’s hard to believe women only make up one-quarter of the sales profession when data shows they’re slightly better at selling than men. Women come out on top when you break down things like high performers in sales and win rates. Joni Booth is one of those high performers.
After spending eight years at a management consulting firm – the last two selling and leading workplace consulting solutions for large global organizations – she’s now a Senior Enterprise Account Executive at Culture Amp, a high-growth tech company offering an employee experience platform. Given the typical enterprise sales cycle, Joni needs a few key wins a quarter to hit her seven-figure stretch quota. But one, in particular, stood out as her best career win ever.
"It all started with a cold, three-sentence email straight to the CEO of an organization with more than 100,000 employees when I was seven months pregnant. As sellers, we send so many prospecting emails in a week that go unnoticed. I was stunned when I got a response five minutes later!"
And the response was positive. The exchange with this CEO scored Booth an invite to a half-day meeting with the company's top leaders. There was one slight (literal and figurative) hiccup – Joni gave birth to her second child around the time of this meeting. She had to collaborate from afar and help team members keep the deal progressing in her absence. But once she was back from maternity leave, she jumped right back into the deal conversations and took the lead on the scoping and purchasing process. It took over a year to get to this moment:
"When the contract finally came in to help advise some of the highest levels of leaders at this organization with critical, mission-oriented topics, I was in shock. I paused and took a moment to reflect on the long sales cycle, but more importantly on my confidence as a young woman to land a deal with one of the largest organizations in the U.S."
That win may have elevated her to an A-level dealmaker, but she’s excited about her future at Culture Amp and where the company is heading. Booth lists pipeline management, storytelling, and time management as her top three selling superpowers.
With her closest co-workers right at home (now ages 3 and 7 🙂), she’s especially adept at planning her day to maximize work time. “Being a working mom through a pandemic has provided tremendous challenges, but also the chance to bring more humanity to work.”
Indeed, Joni is kind, down-to-earth, and brings a potent mix of fearlessness, persistence, and hard work to her sales game. She reflected some more on that big deal she closed:
"I didn't let my imposter syndrome get the best of me when meeting with established executives. I reminded myself that if I listen to their needs and provide them with helpful information along the way, it didn't matter that I was young and a new mom. I worked hard to be at the table."
Feel free to reach out and connect with Joni on LinkedIn. We’re excited to follow her career and will keep our eyes on that next big deal she reels in.
Are you a star dealmaker and closer? Take five minutes to fill out this short form. We'll polish it up, write your profile, and get your approval to share with The Weekly Pitch community! Deal of Fortune is a fun twist on the Q&A and an opportunity to elevate your personal and company brand.
No awkward high fives here. You've made it to the end. Have fun this week booking meetings, closing deals, and making customers happy :) We appreciate your support.
Please consider forwarding this email to your team and asking them to subscribe.
The Weekly Pitch
1700 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO 80203
Start your week with the stories and insights that matter most to the sales community.