Today’s rapidly changing sales landscape has forced organizations to pivot, reworking processes and strategies in order to stay competitive. In some ways, it’s a whole new ballgame for sales teams—which means sales leaders need visibility into how their reps are adapting.
In a recent webinar, Lucidchart’s VP of Sales Peter Chun and Sales Hacker’s Head of Partnerships Scott Barker sat down to discuss some of the changes teams are now facing, with a top-of-mind challenge being the “scarcity mindset” many customers have adopted in the face of COVID-19.
They discussed how while we are seeing budgets slowly start to loosen, purchases are under more scrutiny than ever before. A $100K purchase now feels like $300K. There are far more stakeholders involved. Fear and uncertainty play a dominant role.
So how do sales reps successfully navigate this new environment, and how do leaders keep a pulse on how they are doing? Peter and Scott share tips for addressing “the new abnormal.”
Treat every deal like you’re selling to the CFO
Today’s deals involve more stakeholders. Before, a rep may have only needed one contact to sign off on the deal; today that person likely has to run the purchase up the ladder to get many eyes on it.
Alyssa Merwin, VP of LinkedIn’s Sales Solutions business for the Americas, says that she now advises her team to treat every deal as if they’re selling to the CFO. Regardless of their size or impact, nearly every purchase is crossing that CFO’s desk right now. Reps need to change their mindset to realize it’s going to be more of a battle to get a deal across the finish line these days.
As a result, reps need to be diligent in understanding who needs to be involved in a deal, bringing those key players in early on, and developing strong relationships with them. Multithreading deals is crucial.
Learn more about the benefits of multi-threading and how to apply it within your organization.
Conduct deeper discovery
A key component to finding the right contacts for a deal is conducting deep discovery. During coaching sessions, sales leaders should help reps understand how to take their discovery one step further to truly understand the players at a company and their current initiatives. Sales leaders can join more calls to help reps develop this discovery muscle.
Peter Chun suggests using the Three Levels of Why, a component of Skip Miller’s ProActive Selling methodology, to achieve deep discovery and find areas of expansion or new opportunity. Skip Miller suggests getting to the third level of why by asking:
- Why: Why would you do that?
- What: What would that mean to you?
- Flip: So I think I hear you say this, is that correct?
This improved discovery helps reps understand how their product and solution can provide value to support a customer’s goals and address their pain points. Buyers need quantifiable ROI to get a purchase approved in today’s environment.
Gong’s CFO, Tom Ritters, recently said in an article, “The best way to get a deal done today is to prove how you’re going to help increase remote productivity, enhance visibility into their business, and/or increase agility. You have to come prepared to show how a specific investment will indeed save the company hard dollars. The bar for measurable and rapid Return on Investment is much higher than it was before.”
Keep tabs on account documentation
With more than 90% of B2B sellers having transitioned to a virtual sales model during COVID-19, sales leaders can’t get a quick pulse on things by walking the sales floor at any given time. It’s difficult to fully understand if reps have conducted deep discovery and brought in the right stakeholders, and teams can no longer gather around a whiteboard to map out contacts and align around a clear plan forward. Leadership needs alternate forms of visibility.
Account planning and account mapping allow leadership to quickly understand a deal and the work a rep has put into it. This visual documentation allows teams to simulate “deal war rooms” and hold effective deal councils, regardless of team member’s locations.
Not only does Lucidchart Sales Solution allow reps to easily create account maps and account plans, but it also allows leadership to easily see if reps are actively working strategic accounts. With the recent release of Activity Metrics, leaders and admins now have valuable usage data to better track adoption of account documentation initiatives across their sales org. For each account, leaders can see collaborators, number of documents created, number of contacts mapped, and date last modified—all within a single view.
By making account documentation a key part of a sale’s teams process, leadership will have the visibility they need to ensure teams are working with the right players and conducting the proper discovery to succeed in today’s new sales normal.
Coordinate and execute account-based strategies more effectively with the Lucidchart Sales Solution.