Running out of ideas on how to create more sales at your company? Do you think you know everything about B2B Sales & Marketing already?
Ever heard of BANT?
Budget Authority Timing Need – OK, fair enough, you got it! it's how your Inside Sales Team will qualify a lead before passing it to the Sales team to continue its journey, hopefully, to close.
But how about MEDDIC?
"From $0 to $100 million, [PTC was] successful because we sold a better widget," HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan said. "From $100 million to $1 billion, we sold a shift in technology. MEDDIC became important because it's not just any old purchase — it's a transformation of the business."
You should consider using MEDDIC as a qualification framework if your company sells a product that requires a transformation in behavior or the average sales price is incredibly high, as understanding exactly how a prospect buys, why they would buy, and who's championing you internally is crucial to maintaining an accurate pipeline.
How about 'Sales & Marketing alignment'? - Did you know that because of the massive changes in the way B2B sales works, some companies are no longer even separating sales from marketing? Yes, that's right They work together in the same unit/department.
Two companies I've worked at in the past that absolutely 'nailed' Sales and marketing, were: Zscaler, founded in 2008 and now a $50 Billion company: And Visual IQ, which was founded in 2006 and is now part of Nielsen.
Both companies had a sales team and process that came from bigger organizations
At Visual IQ, our entire sales team came from Adobe and used Adobe's lead development methodology. We were closing many million dollars a year annual subscription deals there, with companies like Target, Crate & Barrel, Honda, Amex and Bank of America.
At Zscaler, our sales team came from big companies like Fortinet, Paolo Alto, VM Ware and Cisco. Our sales bible, coming right down from our CEO Jay Chaudhri was 'The Challenger Sale'. At Zscaler our team closed deals at Barclays Bank, Wonga and Coats while I was there.
Back in the 00's, everyone was saying that successful sales were about great relationship management – you' wine and dine' the prospect, make them feel special, and listen to their every whim
But then came 'The Challenger Sale'
It revolutionized the way we look at sales
– a book based on hundreds of thousands of data points gleaned from hundreds of companies. The Team over at Corporate Executive Board made a breakthrough – 'Relationship managers' did not close the most sales. In fact, it was 'Sales Challengers.' What do Sales challengers do that's so effective and different?
As a Challenger, you offer a new perspective to your prospect and don't shy away from conversations about money. You understand what brings them value and leverage that information to deliver an irresistible pitch — and to pressure them tactfully. Remember the three T's: You teach them something valuable, tailor the sales pitch, and take control over the conversation.
Here are the stats
- 40% of high sales performers primarily used a Challenger style.
- High performers were more than 2x likely to use a Challenger approach than any other approach.
- More than 50% of all-star performers fit the challenger profile in complex sales.
- Only 7% of top performers took a relationship-building approach — the worst-performing profile.
Another book that profoundly influenced me was 'Inbound Marketing' by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, founders of Hubspot.
The first key point in the book is the importance of creating a marketing flywheel of resources that not only hit every channel but also hit each sales stage, as well as utilize every type of content out there, from ebooks to video.
The second key point I took, is the importance of almost zen-like communication between the marketing and sales teams.
You can do all the lead scoring, ABM campaigning, and predictive analytics you like but if your Sales & Marketing teams are not communicating effectively, these strategies will have limited effects.
By 'communicating' I suggest having real conversations about how you are working together - the pros and cons; Don't be afraid to get down & dirty about what's going wrong!
These exchanges require having trust, being honest, and sharing vulnerabilities and mistakes on both sides. This requires psychological safety across the company. Even more importantly, this trust is built up over time. So if you have a bad culture and/or high turnover, that could be a problem.
At Zscaler, I met with our sales team & each salesperson once a week. Based on those conversations, we went through their target accounts and figured out approaches and campaigns.
At Visual IQ, not a week went past that I hadn't talked to at least three VPs of Sales at some length about their targets and how to accomplish them.
Why is it important to hold Your Teams Accountable With a Service-Level Agreement?
The Sales and Marketing SLA
An SLA is an agreement between a service provider and its customer that guarantees a certain output. When it comes to sales and marketing, this is actually a two-way agreement, with marketing promising a certain number of leads to sales, and sales promising to contact those leads within a certain timeframe.
In this activity, you'll need your sales data for a full year, divided into quarters. You'll need to know:
● How many qualified leads did you generate?
● How many of them became sales opportunities?
● How many of those opportunities are closed to create new customers?
● What was the value of each sale?
A typical SLA:
Every month, marketing will deliver ______ qualified leads to sales, and sales will contact each of those leads within _____ hours of receiving it.
Having an SLA like that puts you in the top 5% of companies. But you can be even better than that.
The Judicial Branch
Sales and Marketing often jostle on almost every issue that crosses both functions. A typical conversation may sound something like this:
Salesperson: the leads this quarter were weak. That's why I missed my target
Marketer: What are you talking about? The leads this quarter are better than ever!
Now, this is a very simplistic way of demonstrating the problem. It may be something similar to what I experienced a few years ago at an Enterprise software company.
Marketing had generated a lead through an event, which we then marketed to, mainly through email and some google ad retargeting. Finally, about nine months after this event, the lead broke through and eventually became a sale – one of almost $5 million (annual license).
While attributing the lead, the salesperson claimed that this was a contact that he had been networking with during this time; the lead was, in fact, a friend of his of over five years standing. This situation can be quite commonplace in industries like Telecommunications, or Insurance, which are amazingly incestuous; everyone seems to know everyone.
How did we solve this conflict? The Chief Commercial Officer decided to split the lead source between sales and marketing generated.
However, ideally, I recommend having a person outside of both sales and marketing make these decisions. For the judicial branch to be effective, it's paramount that its members are unbiased and focused on what's best for the company.
If you can do that, based on extensive research, your organization will be in the top 5% of the world in B2B sales & marketing. For more information on becoming a top 5% Demand Generation Company, click here.