Monthly Recap: Event Highlights from October 2021
We’re back with another ICYMI bi-weekly event recap of our jam-packed Pavillion events calendar. We’ve got 139 informative events scheduled in October, led by some of the top business leaders in the world. Let’s dive into event highlights from the month.
Digital Prospecting That Feels Like In-Person Networking
There’s no doubt that the process of connecting with customers and buyers has changed a lot in recent years. Now, digital prospecting is often the only avenue businesses have for sales messaging, but it’s also a space that’s getting more and more saturated.
This all begs the question: how can my business and message be relevant, timely, and, most importantly, meet the customer where they are?
In this webinar, RevShoppe co-founder and CEO Patty McLaren and Sendoso Sales Director Nick Casale walk through how businesses can hone their messaging strategy, set the proper foundation, and stand apart from the noise in the digital prospecting space.
A few highlights from the discussion:
- Flip the script: When in-person networking, you wouldn’t walk up to someone and immediately start talking about yourself, yet that’s the messaging you often see in digital prospecting. Successful campaigns flip the script and focus on the customer.
- Grab attention: No one logs into their computer in the morning excited to read cold emails from someone they don’t know. That’s why it’s so important to interrupt reader patterns and defaults. Doors open when an email or a message can get the reader to stop and say, “Hold on, what’s this?”
- Implement email best practices: The preview to your unread email is only 17 words. That real estate is valuable! Those 17 words are your opportunity to be relevant and timely to a prospective buyer. That’s where you create an emotional response or trigger the reader to open the email.
- Don’t just stick to one channel: It’s important to have messaging across email, Linkedin, social media platforms, and phone check-ins. And your messaging across each platform has to be different — don’t just copy and paste your pitch. Otherwise, it’s just spam.
- Create familiarity by being unique: A common mistake is reaching out to all potential customers at once, but that approach doesn’t meet each customer on their journey. The more personal you can make your message, the more likely you will create relevancy for yourself and your business.
Toronto Chapter Monthly Roundtable
This October’s Monthly Roundtable discussion with business leaders in the Toronto community featured GrowthGenius Sales Manager Katryn Kolt leading a conversation about remote sales roles — what makes them successful and why digital sales can sometimes come up short.
These ongoing roundtables are opportunities for participants to digitally connect with peers, learn from local leaders, and break off into groups to engage in interactive discussions.
Here’s are some highlights covered in this month’s conversation:
- Markets primed for digital sales: Often, the success of a digital sales role depends on whether or not customers are familiar with engaging on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet
- Tech savviness is always a plus: Finding success by hiring sales reps who are well-versed in modern remote tech and companies who are willing to invest in a variety of remote sales tools
- Slack and beyond: New remote protocols have increased engagement and commitment in many respects on communication channels and apps
- Virtual scheduling and meetings: Business leaders are changing their approach in scheduling Zoom meetings, with many building in time for chit chat at the start of every meeting — but also making time to help sales and buyers more quickly build a rapport
- New-hire training: A process that has been made more difficult via remote work, our roundtable discussed successful tactics like inviting new or junior staff to shadow on sales calls and personal debrief meetings
How to Drive Sales Excellence through Product-Led Growth
Recently, there has been a lot of momentum in the market around leveraging product-led growth to break into large organizations, and Miro has been at the forefront of that success.
In this recent virtual happy hour, Miro VP of Global Sales Adam Carr walked us through the recent evolution toward product-led growth, transitioning from the CIO, top-down, executive decision-making motion of the 1990s and 2000s to the more recent End User Era.
With over 25 million users, Miro has proven that there’s no one way of doing things. Both the product-led growth model and enterprise sales excellence have distinct strengths and weaknesses, but Miro has seen success combining the two. Here are some other highlights the Miro team covered:
- Don’t be afraid to compete against yourself and your products: Establish and drive a product-led growth sales process and methodology
- Rapid growth through customer centricity: Intense focus on NPS, staying engaged with user community and investing in people, tools, processes, and product
- Challenges in moving into large enterprises: Both the culture of large enterprises as well as navigation of complex deals
- The customer journey for PLG: User engaging in self-service options, free accounts, or light pay plans. As you gain traction within the organization and more users come on board, opportunities for enterprise option agreements often follow
- Structuring sales teams according to strengths: Sales teams are composed of people with diverse skill sets who understand and value both the top-down and bottom-up selling structures. Find and invest in people who can do both
Building the Perfect Sales Contract
So much happens on the journey to closing a sale, but getting the contract signed and accepted is the biggest step in the process. Being so close to the finish line is exciting, yet a single red line from counsel can put you far away from being done.
In this discussion, our panelists discuss how to build a contract more likely to gain faster approval. They also talk about the future of contracts and how standardization can go a long way in moving sales forward.
Here are a few insights from the discussion:
- Be pragmatic about risk mitigation: It’s impractical to account for every single risk in a contract, and it tends to create ambiguity. Focus instead on what’s likely to happen and cover those bases.
- Keep it simple — in language and design: Simplifying the language ensures that people will read your contract faster and understand it better. An attractive design can make a contract easier to review.
- Automate, automate, automate: Aim for 80% automation and 20% human expertise so that your talent can focus on their contributions. You can start by using standardized contracts and NDAs to automate a large part of the process.
- Take an iterative approach: Take stock of the phrases in your contracts that often get red-lined by clients. It could be that you can adjust the language at the outset to start on a better foot.
Megadeals for Saas Companies
Megadeals may feel like a pipedream, but it’s possible to harness some of your sales power to achieve such a lucrative deal as a SaaS company.
The Megadeal Book gives you a discipline for orchestrating the kinds of large, multi-million dollar deals that sales teams dream of. Created using several years of research from 100+ Fortune 500 companies, the book interviews 60 high-performing megadealers all over the world. The result is a book of complete insights from some of the most talented salespeople in the world.
The authors joined Pavillion in this virtual event to talk about scaling your sales team to make better and bigger deals, how to leverage your rainmakers, align on messaging, and focus on segmentation to up your chances of success.
There’s an entire framework for making a successful megadeal, but here are the cornerstones:
- Get aligned: Align with the key initiatives of the customer to reach the senior leaders
- Understand and map the company’s ecosystem: Who are the stakeholders, and how are they connected?
- Create consensus at scale between all of the stakeholders: This is where segmentation matters because you can use content to help drive consensus
- Find your Trojan horses: Champions are important, but so are Trojans. They will help you learn the ins and outs of winning the business that isn’t so obvious in the official channels
- Mitigate the risks for the customer: Address the risks that the client is concerned about to reach a strong level of trust with them — and fend off competitors to close the deal.
Will You Accept My Proposal? Insider Secrets to Winning More RFPs
From finding accurate answers quickly to collaborating with internal experts, nailing an RFP can feel like a tall order. The turnaround time is often short, and the punch list is long. But here’s a bit of news: RFPs generate 35% of a company’s annual sales revenue, so they are worth every effort we put into them.
But how do you know whether an RFP will land with your prospective client?
In the discussion, our panelists discuss how you can make sure an RFP speaks your prospect’s language and highlights your value proposition as their vendor, focusing on five things that top RFP performers do differently. Here are a few:
- Be selective about which RFPs you respond to: Weigh the risk and reward of each RFP. How many questions are there? And what is the value of the contract? Does your value prop align with the client’s needs?
- Involve more people: The average top-performing RFP is created by a team of 6-10 people. A larger group gives you deeper institutional knowledge and more diverse perspectives to increase your chances of winning the RFP.
- Automate repetitive tasks: 69% of top-performing teams use response software to help them complete an RFP. Automating some parts of the process allows you to respond to more RFPs because of the efficiencies gained.
How Great Comp Plans Increase Rep Retention and Productivity
People are quitting their jobs at record highs these days, making retention more difficult than ever. It’s even more challenging for sales teams, where the turnover rate is almost three times higher than average. Some call it “The Great Resignation.”
In this kind of job market, a compensation plan can truly be the deciding factor for whether a sales rep stays or leaves. If the compensation plan is hard to understand or difficult to maximize income with, they may start to look elsewhere. Compensation transparency has become one of the key pieces of information that sales reps ask for when entertaining a job offer.
In this webinar, our friends at QuotaPath led a lively discussion on how to craft a comp plan that retains your best talent — including data on sales performance, a timeline for developing your compensation plan, tips for incentives and the age-old question: who should own compensation planning?
If you’re short on time and want to know where to start, below are some key principles to help you craft a stellar compensation plan:
- Simpler is better: Easy to understand compensation plans encourages sales reps to maximize their income — and company sales.
- Align the compensation plan to the company strategy: Make sure your incentives will give you the company results you are looking for. Start by determining the company strategy first, then design the compensation plan that supports that.
- Keep a 3 measurement max: More than 3 compensation measurements is difficult to follow, and it can lead sales reps to just give up on the company strategy and make whatever deals they can. Simpler is better!
- Give lucrative accelerators: Consider pairing your accelerators with decelerators so that you can pay higher commissions to your top performers.
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