Engagement Technique: Are you a Mad Man or a Math Man?

Anneke Seley

During Sales 2.0, I’ve met Anneke Seley, Founder of Phoneworks and author of Sales 2.0.

Anneke was presenting there about the modern ways to sell a thought, a product or a concept to your executive team or your board and anticipate what is going to make them more engaged once making a decision.

Anneke has quoted the All Things Digital article: The “Mad Men” Years Are Giving Way to the “Math Men” Era, making a point that nowadays more and more executives are acting like math men rather then Don Draper in Mad Man…

And indeed, we can see decisions are being made more and more based on metrics and cohort analysis rather than on our guts feeling. It’s not enough to feel it inside – you should base your feeling on numbers and know which metric to measure – that would not only increase your customer engagement but can also increase inside engagement while selling an idea to your team!

Once a business understand which are their most important metrics, they should stick to it and measure them in order to create a clear view of its consistency over time.

Need some help measuring your metrics? try Totango free!
To read the full transcription of the video, click here

Video Transcription:

Hi, I’m Anneke Seley and we want to talk about justifying Sales 2.0 investments such as technologies, training purposes, marketing programs, and making an inside sales team, and in my presentation today, Sales 2.0 conference, I quoted All Things Digital who last month said that we are moving from the era of “Mad Men”, as in Don Draper, to an era of Math Men, and I used Albert Einstein as an example, and it’s really important to understand how to sell a thought, a product, a concept to your executive team or your board and know what is going to make them engage and make a decision, and more and more executives are acting more like Albert Einstein in the Math era than Don Draper in the Madman era, so understand what metrics are important to your company, whether they are revenue per head, average sales cycle, average deal size, these are some of the standards.

Of course, they are probably metrics that are more meaningful to you. And use those metrics before you install your product, after you install your product on a trial or something like that or similarly for marketing program or a new sales 2.0 initiative and hopefully that’ll get you the results that you want.

 

 

6 Social Selling Tips to Implement Today (from Sales 2.0 San Francisco)

LlinkedIn for Salesforce

The hot topic at Sales 2.0 Conference today in San Francisco remains (surprise, surprise) social selling (for B2B companies). Lots of speakers and lots of wisdom but also became abundantly clear to me that for most B2B organizations it is very early days in the adoption of social selling techniques. Therefore, for my wrap-up blog of Sales 2.0 I decided to summarize six things that any organization could do to get started with Social Selling.

I hope you find this blog helpful. Please tweet if you do: your own text or this clickt0tweet link.

1. Use your second degree connections

Mike Derezin (@mikedfresh), Global Head of Sales, Sales Solutions at LinkedIn shared that second degree (LinkedIn) connections are 87% more likely to respond to any e-mail or phone call as compared to a cold call. If there is one place to start it would be to use your second degree connections as part of our (outbound) sales efforts. And not just your own second degree connections: also the second degree connections of the rest of your team. The new LinkedIn TeamLink product looks promising in this regard: it lets you tap into the second degree network of your entire company’s team.

2. Follow and engage strategic accounts on Twitter

Jill Rowley, Director of Strategic Accounts at Eloqua is the queen of using social media to engage with strategic accounts. You cannot do this for all your prospects and customers, but the best place to start is to create a short list of accounts that you are targeting for this quarter and deeply engage with them via social media. Follow them on Twitter and engage with them. Make the conversation personal. Often twitter, and sometimes even a text message, can be a great alternate way to get in touch with target accounts these days when people’s e-mail inboxes are overflowing. Be careful about engaging with prospects on Facebook. Mike Denizen shared research that shows that 80% of people want their social and professional networks separate.

3. Turn all employees into customer coaches

Your goal as a salesperson is to add value. Think of yourself as a customer coach: your job in sales is to make your customer successful and revenues will follow. Jill Rowley, super-star sales queen mentioned above, calls herself a “content concierge” on behalf of her prospects. “Think of prospects as as future advocates for your brand”, says Jill Rowley. “She clearly does a good job”, says Matt Heinz, a marketing consultant on stage at Sales 2.0: “Until today I didn’t know Jill is in sales. I thought she was an evangelist”. Eventually, not just your sales reps should be customer coaches, but every employee in the company is representing the brand and could be building trust with prospects and customers on social media.

4. Focus on lifetime customer value

Eryc Branham said it: “the only sales metric that matters in the end is customer lifetime value”. Customer lifetime value also featured high on Matt Heinz’s Top 10 Sales Metrics list, but I am with Eryc that all that matters in the end is customer lifetime value. Jim Cyb, VP of North American Sales from Zendesk shared: “the key to the success of Zendesk is a land and expand selling strategy”. It is not about the first sale, but about a lifetime of purchases. You can start small, establish any kind of paid relationship with your customer and grow from there. And, as Donal Daly, CEO of the TAS Group pointed out, when calculating Customer Value include “network value”: the revenues generated from referrals made by your customers.

5. Assign leads based on social proximity

I wrote about this before in Top 5 Trends in Sales 2.0 but this is still one of my favorite social selling black belt techniques: assigning leads based on “social proximity” (remember Tip 1 on leveraging second degree connections) makes the most sense. This time, Jim Cyb from Zendesk offered a good alternative if you are not quite ready for “social territories”. Zendesk is assigning leads based on a round robin system which is straightforward, eliminates any territory fights and aligns with today’s low-touch, virtual selling environment.

6. Make your product social

Research says that by 2020, 85% of the buying process will be completed before a salesperson is called.  In a day and age that direct contact with buyers is sparse, you should be listening to other channels.  Deploy social media tracking like Radian6 and Google Analytics to listen to your prospects. If your product is software, you should also be listening to what your product is telling you. Which trial users are active and what are they doing with your application? Did your paying customers stop using your application (and may cancel their subscription soon)? Of course this is the core of what Totango customer engagement is all about.  Even better – make your product a two-way social communication channel.  Communicate with your customers when and where you are top of mind: in your application with free tools like Appbox.js.

Top 10 Sales 2.0 Leaders I Want to Meet

Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco

I am much looking forward to the Sales 2.0 conference in San Francisco next week.

Here are 10 Sales 2.0 Leaders I hope to meet at the conference and why:

1. Jim Cyb, Vice President, Sales, Americas, ZenDesk

2. Pete Eppele, VP Product Management, Zilliant

3. Steve Patrizi, Chief Revenue Officer, Bunchball

4. Kevin Akeroyd, SVP, Field Operations, Badgeville

5. Kirk Mosher, Vice President, CRM Product Marketing, Oracle

6. Mike Derezin, Global Head of Sales, Sales Solutions, LinkedIn

7. Robert Pease, Founder & CEO, Nearstream

8. Jill Rowley, Director of Key Accounts, Eloqua

9. Paul Melchiorre, Global Vice President, Ariba

10. Anneke Seley, Founder Phoneworks, co-author Sales 2.0 book

They are all speaking about some of the most important trends in Sales 2.0:

Sales analytics

Big data is changing the way products are being bought and sold. It has been called sales metrics, sales analytics, predictive sales analytics and sales intelligence. The bottom line is that there is much talk this year about a more data-driven approach to sales.  Jim Cyb, Vice President, Sales for Americas at ZenDesk will be on a panel and talk about ZenDesk’s move from a zero touch sales to a low touch sales organization.  His company, which now has 15,000 customers, started life without a sales team. Pete Eppele, VP Product Management, Zilliant will be presenting interesting new technology that can uncover where you can sell more, sell other products and win back wallet share that competitors have taken.

Gamification

Both Steve Patrizi, Chief Revenue Officer from Bunchball and Kevin Akeroyd, SVP Field Operations from Badgeville will be speaking on how to use gamification or Behavior Lifecycle Management (BLM) as Kevin calls it, can be used to motivate your sales team. I always thought that gamification was used primarily to drive usage and adoption of your products and services by customers. However, both of these sales leaders are eating their own dog food and will share how they get their own teams to use sales best practices and tools by throwing in some fun and games. It should be an interesting duel!

Customer success

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Kirk Mosher, VP CRM Product Marketing from Oracle will be speaking about “customer success” (a concept Totango deeply cares about). I still of Oracle as the classic Sales 1.0 company: bully customers into signing seven-figure deals, adding another seven-figure professional services engagement and then counting on the fact that customers won’t switch ever to a competitor because they have invested so much money with you. However, it seems that things have changed!

Social selling

Everybody recognizes that social selling has huge potential but in the real-world sales haven’t yet embraced all new possibilities. There are a large number of sessions (again) at this Sales 2.0 conference to help sales teams learn. Mike Derezin, Global Head of Sales, Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, will break down his social selling tips by lifecycle stage. Robert Pease, Founder & CEO of Nearstream, will cover tactics for identifying buying signals on social media networks, essentially capturing demand that’s already out there rather than generating leads.

Lead management

Jill Rowley, Director of Key Accounts, Eloqua has been an evangelist for the lead management automation space since its inception. She is a leading commentator on social media and one of the top networkers in the space. She was the winner of 20 Women to Watch in Lead Management last year. More importantly, my friend Matt Childs from Dreamsimplicity tells I absolutely have to meet Jill while at Sales 2.0. She will be on a panel about, what else, nurturing revenue-generating prospects to close.

Sales effectiveness

In Silicon Valley we love technology and I am a tech-girl guilty myself so last but not least I am much looking forward to the talk by Paul Melchiorre, Global Vice President, Ariba and Anneke Seley, Founder Phoneworks and co-author Sales 2.0 book which both focus on “getting real”. Does all this technology really pay off in terms of sales effectiveness?

A full agenda and lots of people to meet!

If you are going to be at the Sales 2.0 conference, give us a shout on Twitter @totango #sales20 and we are looking forward to connect! I will even buy you a beer!

 

What is the Best Sales Model for You?

HubSpot Tip

So how do you know which sales model is best for you – zero touch vs. low touch vs. high touch vs. field?

In his last tip from the Sales 2.0 Convention, Mark Roberge, VP Sales at Hubspot explains that it’s really depends on your buyer, what you’re selling and the full sales context and it does require some experimentation.

Preferably you should aspire to go on no touch or low touch as possible as the economical will always be best if you can pull that off.
But it is best to simply run experiments – set 100 leads to no touch and 100 leads to low touch and check the conversion rate, revenue, Customer Lifetime Value and in SaaS see what the CAC to LTV is  (Customer Acquisition Cost to Lifetime Value) and what the payback periods are and take the approach which has the best economics.

Furthermore, as mentioned in many of my previous posts, it is highly recommended to keep a thorough and updated Cohort Analysis for your metrics so that user behavior would come out accurately. This is the only way a successful SaaS business could reach the right consequences and choose its suitable sales model!

 

Review Mark’s first tip “Do you Distinguish Your Sales to Hunters and Farmers?

Review Mark’s second tip “Top-of-Funnel Strategy

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

 
 

Video Transcription:

Mark Roberge, VP of Sales at Hubspot.

Yes so, zero touch versus low touch versus high touch versus fields, the quick answer is it depends, unfortunately, and I’ll walk through the dynamics. It really depends on your buyer and what you’re selling in the full sales context. And it’s gonna require some experimentation. I think in general you’d prefer to go as no touch or low touch as possible.

I think the economics will always be best if you can pull that off. But hey, if you’re wondering, “Here’s a lead that has 50 employees in this particular segment. Should this be a no touch or a low touch or a high touch?” You run experiments. You send a hundred leads like that to no touch, you send a hundred leads like that to low touch, and you see what the conversion rates are, you see what the revenue is, you see what the lifetime value is, in a SaaS role you see what the LTV to CAC and the payback periods are, and then whichever ones have the best economics, you take that approach.

Top-of-Funnel Strategy

HubSpot Tip

Another tip from VP sales at Hubspot Mark Roberge at the Sales 2.0 convention re top-of-funnel strategy.

Mark recommends on keeping the top-of-funnel as wide as possible and worry about the filtering and the quality further down at the funnel.

Most companies don’t know what type of a customer will convert and this will allow tracking a whole bunch of data that can be analyzed later.

However, the danger in that strategy is when passing all those customers to your sales team, it could lead to ineffectiveness and waste of their time so it is recommended to use filtering at this stage so that the most quality stuff is being transferred.

As mentioned in my previous post: “Top 3 Metrics to Measure Customer Engagement“, there are ways to set your filters by. Choosing the right metrics and measuring them correctly will assist in screening out the non potential buyers and keep the high potential ones is essential to any successful SaaS business.

Once the data is gathered and there are more and more leads you can continue optimizing this process.

Tomorrow I will publish another tip by Mark Roberge regarding how to pick your sales model – zero touch vs. low touch vs. high touch.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

SaaS Key Metrics Survey Results

 

Want to know which metrics are usually used in top and bottom of funnel?
Download SaaS Business Survey Results

 
 

Video Transcription:

Mark Roberge. VP of sales at Hubspot.

I highly recommend at the top of the funnel keeping it as wide as possible and worry about the the filtering and the quality further down to the funnel, and the reason being is especially when you are stunning out and most people are starting out with inbound. You actually have no idea who’s going to work out, what type of marketing tactics are going to work, what types of buyers are going to actually work well in your funnel, so keeping it why it is, possible allows you to capture a whole bunch of data to see what actually progresses through.

The danger in that strategy comes when you pass everything to the sales team, because that can lead to a lot of ineffectiveness in recent time by that sales team so with that process you want to have a lot of filtering to make sure that the most quality staff is actually getting down to the sales team.

And as you gather data and gather more and more leads, you will continue to optimize that process.

Do you Distinguish Your Sales to Hunters and Farmers?

HubSpot Tip

At the Sales 2.0, I’ve also met Mark Roberge, VP sales at Hubspot, who gave me some sales tips.
On today’s video post, Mark explains the difference between Hunters and Farmers sales skill sets and recommends to protect the hunters from doing the farmers’ job as finding good hunters is hard and we don’t want to waste their time on doing things they’re not skill to do.

I agree with Mark that a business should know to distinguish between those roles and have each of them focus on their own specialties. As discussed in my post: “Does your SaaS Business have a VP Customer Success?“, Some B2B sales leaders have the farmers focused on customer success. Others now call themselves “Chief Revenue Officer”. Either way, we can see more and more of these roles in the SaaS industry lately and therefore can conclude this distinguish exists and becoming more and more acceptable.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

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About Totango:
Totango analyzes in real time customer engagement and intention within SaaS applications to help you grow your business

 
 

Video Transcription:
Mark Roberge, VP sales at Hubspot.

You’ve got hunters and you’ve got farmers. The hunters are typically out there, generating new business, finding companies that don’t know who you are and turning them into new customers. You got farmers, who are really good at building those relationships, helping them see the hour line of your product and getting them to spend more money with you overtime.

Usually those skills are extremely different, and it’s really hard actually, I think, to find good hunters. The last thing I want them to do is spend more time on farming, more time making their number, not with my new lease and new companies. So, I wanna really protect that asset and also, I think, it’s such a different skill set that I want it separate.

Tip on How to Reduce Churn (Even in Low-Touch Models)

HootSuite Tip

Another tip taken during Sales 2.0 from Darren Suomi, VP Sales at HootSuite – this time regarding self service model and how to adjust it to reduce churn.

You know how it is that you get many leads and you just don’t know who to refer first? This situation is common in many SaaS companies.

With the right metrics and cohort analysis, it’s easy to decide who are the more engaged customers that are ready for sale and it’s usually more likely that if you’ll approach those customers, they’ll signup for your product.

Darren is also claiming that even in a self service model (low-touch model) like HootSuite, once they find out who are their active users in their service, they proactively reaching them and by that they reduce churn.

Tomorrow I will publish a tip by Mark Roberge, VP Sales at HubSpot who will explain the difference between the hunters and the farmers skill sets.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

 
 

Video Transcription:

I’m talking to Darren Suomi, VP of Sales from HootSuite.

Bring me a model which where we play, it is a self-service model. So, we’re really trying to look at it from turning down the churn. I guess I’m looking at what people are trying to play instead of going from just a self-service. We’re actually just playing with the model in terms of a little bit of more of a high touch point. So, we are really taking a look at our customer who are quite active on social media. We are actually proactively reaching out of them and seeing where we might be able to help them versus just letting them fend for themselves.

Do You Allow Social Media Channels in Your Business?

HootSuite Interview

At the Sales 2.0, I’ve met Darren Suomi, VP Sales at HootSuite who gave me a tip regarding social media – If you’ve ever considered not to give a salesperson your phone or email address, consider giving them a social media address.

As you probably know, nowadays, where customer engagement is the focus of successful SaaS business, social media is a central player in communicating with your customers and for customers to communicate with each other. As I presented in my previous video post, the world have moved on from “system of records” to the system of engagement and social media become a big influence in the system of engagement.

According to Darren, a lot of companies are afraid from allowing their workers interacting on this medium, however, Darren encourages they allow it as it worth while in the long run. Of course it should be accompanied with guiding you team about what’s acceptable and what’s not.

In my next post I will publish another tip from Darren regarding self service model and how to adjust it to reduce churn.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

 
 

Video Transcription:

“Darren Suomi, VP Sales from HootSuite.
Well, what I was talking about earlier was in terms of well, in the past if you’ve ever considered not giving a salesperson a phone or an email address. I think it began by giving them a social media address. A lot of companies are afraid to let people go and interact on that medium, I will say, really, “Open up, stick your foot in the water.
Get the waters warm.”
So come on in, play around, let people go but give them a little bit of guidelines in you know, what’s acceptable and what’s not, what kind of branding you want to give them.”

Top 5 Trends in Sales 2.0

Sales2.0

It was a jam packed day at Sales 2.0 in Santa Monica today. It was a great opportunity to meet with and learn from some of the brightest in the Sales 2.0 community.  I have summarized my key takeaways for Sales 2.0 leaders below:

#1 – Attract many, then focus on filtering

If your prospects do research online, will they find your company, or your competitor? Mark Roberge, VP Sales from HubSpot argued that you should keep the top of your sales funnel as broad as possible. Attract as many people as possible to your website through good content. HubSpot itself is attracting 50,000 leads a month, of which 40% get passed to the inside sales team and about 400 (or less than 1%) convert into new customers.  The leads that don’t convert still help to reinforce the HubSpot brand and trust. With so many leads, strong filtering and lead scoring algorithms are keys to sales success.

#2 – Give all sales people a social media address

Scott Holden, Senior Director at Salesforce.com argued that not just companies need to be discoverable, but also individual sales representatives. Social pages are often the first ones to come up in search results.  Darren Suomi, VP Sales from HootSuite called it “giving all sales reps a social media address”. He said it is no different from issuing a rep a cell phone and e-mail. IBM indeed has done just that, said Douglas Hannan, BU Executive at IBM: all 1,000 IBM sales reps have a web page with built in 2-way video and chat. They are also asked to get on Twitter and LinkedIn. IBM marketing maintains a social messaging calendar to make it easy for reps to find content to post.

#3 – Deliver value first, sell later

Jim Cathcart, the well-known author of “Relationship Selling”, defined what customer relationships are all about: in a relationship people know each other and have an exchange of value. Ask yourself: who is truly glad to know me? In a sales relationship, provide value first, sell later. Don’t talk about up selling customers, but rather up serving them. If you do a good job others will vouch for you and recommend your services. Scott Holden summarized this as moving from self-promotion to social referrals: “trust me, he is a great lover” and not “I am a great lover”.  I expressed a similar sentiment in my blog earlier this week on Genuine Customer Engagement.

#4 – Use online demos to drive sales

Salesforce.com recently did a survey of 1 million influencers in the buying process and found that 50%-70% of sales processes start long before a sales person ever gets involved. The most important deciding factor in the sales process was “online demos”, not sales person interaction.   HubSpot data points in the same direction: the most reliable indicator that a lead will convert into a customer is a request for a demo (46%) as compared to download a white paper for example (22%). As we discussed in many blogs including Trial Conversion is Top Priority in SaaS, I would add that interaction with a free trial version of your product has an even higher correlation with conversion to customer.

#5 – Consider a territory model based on social proximity

A somewhat radical idea was presented by Michael Lodato from Network Hardware Resale. He argued that in a commodity business (he sells network hardware) buyers are deciding based on personal relationships and customer service. Therefore he moved to an open territory model, where leads are assigned based on the personal relationship of a rep to the lead, rather than geography. On paper this social proximity model sounds great, but in reality it is still difficult to implement. Michael admitted to have a team of marketers manually assigning leads based on social parameters.

#6 – Move towards a lower touch model

Gerhard Gschwandtner pushed speakers to learn from B2C selling models:  Amazon has $30 billion in sales with ZERO sales reps. B2B companies need to learn from this and move to lower touch selling models, wherever possible. One of the speakers, Rini Das from PAKRA, has achieved just that. She is closing 95% of her business based on social media leads. She has hardly met any of her clients in person, but is still doing $30,000 to $150,000 in revenues per customer each year.  

Gerhard and gang; thank you so much for a great conference!

Tomorrow: Enterprise 2.0!