Simple Ideas For Sales Momentum & Service Success
Written by: Steve Krull
How easy are you to do business with? Are your proposals and pricing easy to understand? Are your people easy to talk to? How do you know if your pipeline is strong?
Not long ago I saw Dan Waldschmidt speak at Inbound 18 and he blew me away with just a few simple rules. This post is going to be quick and dirty because, like I said, these are simple:
See, easy! Go do those things and call me in a couple of months. I kid, I kid. Let’s dive in and see what these are all about.
Dan tells us that there is only 1 metric that matters: Momentum. Through his presentation, I became convinced he was right. If you have momentum at the front of your pipeline, the back end will never be a problem.
I will borrow from another speaker to assign this metric a name: Conversations. He called Conversations a leading indicator and he’s right. That speaker is Mark Wayshak. We’ve since renamed this “Sales Starts” internally but it’s the same thing.
What Mark did was to challenge the audience to simplify their view and language of the pipeline. As he laid it out it became obvious.
As he explained, if you count not the number of meetings set, but the number of meetings , you’ll be in control of your numbers. Yes, you have to know conversion rates between steps, but that shouldn’t be hard for any of us.
- Sales Goal: $1mm
- How Many Deals: 10
- How Many Discovery Meetings to Win A Deal: 5
- How Many Meetings to Win 10 Deals: 50
- How Many “Sales Starts” Per Week: ~1
There’s your momentum, schedule roughly 1 meeting per week and you will hit your sales target (assuming your other metrics align).
We had been staring primarily at revenue which is a lagging indicator. By the time revenues dip, there’s already a problem on the front end of your pipeline. The switch has given us an incredibly different view of our pipeline and we’re learning much about conversion between stages. Simple change, huge improvement (If you would like to know how we’re tracking and reporting, just whistle).
Be easy to work with. This starts in Sales and extends all the way through your client service team. Dan doesn’t believe in proposals or contracts. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sold on how this piece would work, but I sure appreciated the part about being easy to work with.
Remove friction by making pricing easy. Remove friction by creating simple proposals. Remove friction by making it easy to sign and pay. People love it when you’re easy to work with. If you can simplify the normally arduous process of “The Pitch Dance”, your prospects will be dancing with you.
Take this to your Client Services folks too. Make meetings, communication, planning and reporting all easy too. I have a general rule for our teams “ Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it ”. Give them what they expect, when they expect it. Clients crave consistency (and performance, but that’s not what this piece is about).
The last piece of the simplicity trifecta is Awesome. Are you awesome?
The question is simple enough but how do you know? Ask!
As soon as I got back from seeing Dan & Mark speak I began asking clients if we were holding up our end of the deal. More specifically, I wrote “We like to be awesome at what we do and take feedback very seriously. So I ask – how we doin’? What can we do better?”
One answer couldn’t have been better “It’s been great; the team is great and we’re really getting things done”. #Boom! Now my job is to ask each and every client if we’re bringing the awesome.
I hope these simple things help you as much as they help me. Often, as we mature our businesses, ideas aren’t like lightning strikes or anvils falling on our heads, instead, it’s a simple thing that connects dots or connects them better.
Think about it this way, you don’t have to be perfect to be awesome!Aim for perfect and you’ll never be satisfied when you fall a bit short. Aim for Awesome and when you fall short, you’re still pretty darn good.
Thanks! Be well my friends, and if any of this sparks an interest to chat, please do reach out.