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March 28, 2022
6 min read
Welcome back to The Weekly Pitch! Today in our Feature Story, we offer the sales version of March Madness and build a Sweet Sixteen bracket of possible meetings to be a part of – but only four survive. Vote for the winner in The Closer!
Let's start with our Weekly Chart.
We go back to another chart from Gong – the sales content king. Late last year, the revenue intelligence platform published its 10 Golden Rules of Pricing Conversations.
The chart above complements the need to discuss budget and price on discovery calls. Win rates skyrocket 8x when we bring it up versus not mentioning it.
Prepare by making pricing assumptions and confidently giving a range of what most customers pay on the first sales call.
Meetings. So many we participate in or are required to attend. What trumps all are the prospect and customer-facing sales calls, but that's a given for sales pros. Instead, for today, we build a bracket based on some of the most common internal meetings we could have as a team or individually with our manager.
The purpose is to identify which get-togethers to prioritize and schedule on a consistent cadence to find the signal, avoid the noise, and drive high performance. We present four "regions" with four meetings like March Madness.
Let's dribble and drive-in!
Inspecting data and numbers in our formulaic profession is unavoidable. To hit our goal, we need to understand the equation of Activity x Pipeline x Qualified Opportunities x Win Rate x Average Deal Size = Quota Attainment.
Tracking progress with our monthly and quarterly pipelines throughout the year empowers us to forecast confidently. The "Pipeline Cleanup Meeting" is a necessary evil that eventually gets eliminated once our teams understand how crucial CRM data hygiene is to operate at a high level.
Some sample questions to ask:
The "Team Pipeline Meeting" is different. Instead of scrubbing for potential errors, we evaluate the health of our pipeline. Leaders could focus at the team level or ask each rep to present the state of the business.
Some sample questions to ask:
Dissecting our pipeline gives us more confidence in our "call" or forecast as a rep and leader for the month and quarter. Meeting with our manager to break down "Best Case" and "Commit" scenarios are worthy discussions, but forecasting weekly as a team provides more benefits.
Some sample questions to ask:
The winner: Team Forecast
In September, we published 5 Ways to Say RIP to the PIP. Even HR and legal concerns can be avoided with early intervention and coaching with struggling reps. The "PIP Meeting" gets crushed in this tournament.
Far more worthy is structured (unstructured works too!) 1:1 conversations centered on career growth. Setting aside time to talk about personal and professional goals drives high performance. And high performance leads to more responsibility, promotions or internal transfers, and other developmental opportunities.
The value of career conversations doesn't replace holding our managers accountable to coach in one-to-one and team settings. The "Team Huddle" gets a slight edge because it scales things like focus, recognition, and teamwork as a collective group, whereas the manager-rep 1:1 is the maintenance check on our performance.
Some ideas to ignite our team huddles:
Although the "game" goes into overtime, the "Career Conversation 1:1" wins by keeping us engaged, maps out clear goals for us to strive for, and inspires us to perform at a high-level.
The winner: Career Conversation 1:1
Modern sales organizations invest heavily in their tech stack. CRM, sales automation, call recording, and contact databases are examples. Knowing how to use and leverage these sales tools is essential to our performance. The same goes for product training. But articulating the value and the impact behind the product matters more than features and functionality.
Consider learning huddles to develop critical selling skills instead of traditional product or technology training. Recognize high-performers by giving them a chance to lead and present on a topic that resonates team-wide. Bring other teams that support sales to level up our selling game.
Some examples of learning huddles:
In the last five years, the most significant game-changer to sales is call coaching. Recording tools like Chorus.ai and Gong.io make it easier than ever for managers to listen, leave comments on what went well (or didn't), and score sales meetings based on pre-built scorecards.
The best sales managers use two real-time call coaching tactics as development opportunities:
The winner: Call Coaching
The beauty behind the "Team Deal Review" is how cross-functional leaders come together to understand sales is truly a team sport. We can't do it alone (nor should we).
Taking the prospect and customer on the journey to closed-won on our key opportunities requires a lot to go right. A deal could involve special service requests, unique contract terms, a product trial, or intense competition.
Bringing our CEO and leaders from customer success, professional services, and legal into these deal reviews accomplishes two things at once:
Deal reviews between manager and rep serve a purpose in driving high-performance but to a lesser degree. And don't forget to take time as a team to celebrate each win or diagnose what happened in a critical loss.
The winner: Team Deal Review
Prioritize these four internal meetings below to drive our teams to greatness. Other meeting types are essential and make an impact too. But to hit our revenue targets, keep our reps engaged, and build a special sales culture, bet on these four to move the needle.
Unlike this upset-galore NCAA tournament, The Weekly Pitch went chalk with all four number one seeds advancing.
Help us pick the winner by replying to this email with the number of your top choice.
Thanks in advance for voting. We'll announce the winner in next week's issue!
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