The Epic Battle Between Quality and Quantity In Sales
Everyone touts sales as a numbers game. The more emails you send, the more calls you make, the more conversations you have, the more likely you will close more deals. And to some extent that’s true. But beyond just numbers there’s a quality piece that’s often missed.
Hustle, grit and numbers are table stakes. The hammer is the first tool in everyone’s kit. But you can’t hammer well if you haven’t measured properly. Or gotten the right nails. Or visualized what you’re going to build in the first place and have a sense of all of the steps to get there.
This is sales beyond the grind and that’s what I want to share with you most. Here are a few things you can do in sales beyond just hustle:
Personalize Your Approach
During your cold outreach, differentiate yourself from other salespeople by referencing something personal about the individual or their company. You can do this by carefully reading their Linkedin profile, reading the latest news on the company, and if it’s a big company, reviewing their annual report.
Include quotes from the annual report from their CEO that aligns with the business challenges your company wants to solve.
Mention by name other folks in the organization you’ve reached out to, to show your persistence.
Describe their competitors and mention some of the ways they’re using your product. Nothing like a little FOMO to light the fire.
These are just a few ways to personalize your approach. To show that you’re not just a spammer. That you’ve actually done your research.
Prep The Dossier
When you do book your first meeting, make sure you prepare and make sure to flaunt your preparation as well. For example, I like to create a quick one sheet dossier for myself and for any of my colleagues joining my call (i.e. Solutions Engineer, CEO, Head of Product).
The Dossier usually consists of the following:
– The names of everyone attending
– Their Linkedin profile
– Points of interest on each of the attendees
– A couple of lines on the company
– A couple of lines on the use cases I think would be most applicable
– Primary questions I want answered by the end of this first meeting
– Possible issues we may run into.
Flaunt Your Prep
Now when you actually get on the call, you can use it as a moment to tout your prep. For example, you can ask an open ended question about what their company does, but when asking, mention points of interest that shows you’ve done your research.
You can say something like, “I’m really interested in what iLevitate does. From what I can tell their micro-populsion rockets built to be placed on the bottom of your sneakers. Am I right in in saying that?
Client: Yes, they’re micro-propulsion rockets, but they weren’t just designed to be placed in sneakers. They can be put in any shoe. Initially they were designed by the military blah, blah, blah…
By showing you’ve done your research right from the get go you’re sending subtle signals that you’re well prepared and ready to be a personal consultant rather than just some schlub working a day job. All that allows your prospect to open up to you.
Create A Personalized Presentation
After you’ve finished your first meeting, you’ve ideally gotten a sense of the top two or three challenges that your solution will solve. These challenges should involve making the company money, saving the company money, saving time and / or making your champion or their department as a whole look good somehow. Check out my previous post on creating a killer presentation if you’d like to learn how.
Keep Following Up With More Value
Finally, the other piece of quality here is the follow up and the light nudging. If you’re selling an enterprise software your sales cycle will typically take 6 months to 12 months. There are many steps in the process. Getting NDAs signed, test agreements, buy in from other stakeholders, dozens of meetings along the way. How you follow up is the key to moving things forward.
Simply checking in, poking and prodding is a good start but it’s not the absolute best way to speeding up the sales cycle. There are better ways, but they require you to think strategically. Here are a few examples you can use, but there are many, many more:
– Send a note with an article relevant to their challenge. Even better if it’s an article that shows just how important that challenge is to solve and how much they’re losing by not solving it.
– Mention some momentum you’ve recently had with a competitor in their space.
– Create a little video outlining the business case and send it over to them.
– Call other folks within the conversation and mention progress you’ve had with your conversations.
All of these and more are ways to add value in addition to following up. These micro-moves will help move the conversation forward faster and make you look like a rock start in the eyes of your prospect during the process.