How Leaders are Pivoting their Sales Strategy

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Each month I have the privilege of facilitating a by-invitation-only Executive Open Bar peer discussion. We pick a topic, share what’s working, give advice, and basically help our fellow Sales Leaders succeed (email me at if you want an invite or have a request). 

Here we are 6 months into quarantine. What’s working and what’s not? 

We put our minds together and shared some great tips, tricks and insights that we hope will help you and your teams. Check your trends against your peers below:

What’s Working

Digital Onboarding & Training – a few are having great success here. Virtual new hire onboarding is working! 

Sales Targets

We’re over the excuses. Most of us are finding ways to hit goals and holding teams accountable to full targets.

Filling Pipe

We’re getting the interest and filling the pipeline. We’ve pivoted offerings, markets, industries and payment terms to make it happen. We’re just stalling at the 1 yard line. Best answer: a few creative financing solutions to help CFO’s say yes and close the deal (see below).

Team Engagement

We’re getting GOOD at this. 10+ ways to keep the team engaged: 

  1. Do the virtual conference / SKO / celebration! 
    1. Try adding comedy or entertainment
    2. Try adding skill training + live calling & contests (Factor 8 does this!) 
    3. Play some online games. Try Jeopardy, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Pictionary, and 2 Truths & a Lie, & my fave, Let’s Make a Deal- e.g. first person who can show me expired milk from your fridge…
  2. Buddy System – assign team members an accountability buddy to teams (and rotate them) so they can strategize before daily huddles
  3. Daily Huddles – What is your objective or targets for the day? What’s your strategy to meet them? How’d it go yesterday? 
  4. Video Always On – It drives being present, participation, and accountability 
  5. Desk Gadgets: Silly putty, fidget spinner – get creative
  6. Guest Speakers – internal or external. Mix it up
  7. Networking: Give random assignments to help them connect
  8. Skip Level Meetings with Yourself – keep it personal vs. business
  9. Sharing – Meet the family, meet the fur family, “MTV Cribs” for fun
  10. Yum – Have food and/or cocktails delivered home. Hire a real bartender to do some mixology! Use a great sending service to customize your send
  11. Summer Fridays – Give Friday afternoons off when goals are met

What’s Not Working 

Double Paying

Especially now that we’re all virtual, leaders paying double for virtual and field are working on new strategies. Best advice? Create a threshold – deals below a given dollar range or account potential range stay inside. Those above the line go to a more experienced rep to help close it while still compensating the original inside rep when it’s won. Right now, more experience won’t hurt us with challenging deal closing. 

Webinar Fatigue

We’re looking for non-event lead gen, and our audiences are fatigued with theoretical webinars that are mostly pitch. Goal: Keep it tactical to drive attendance and require more info on your forms so you can get quality, if not quantity.

Hot Lead Gen Tip – Get creepy.

Several leaders are using data crawling tools like “6Sense” to target buyers searching for our services. These tools watch our searches and can rate our readiness to buy based on our frequency, recency, and other search values. 

Closing Deals at Third and Goal

Across the board deals are stalling on the 1 yard line. Companies are scared to make that extra investment, and those who have the dollars now are unsure what Q1 2021 looks like. Hoarding is definitely an option. What’s worked? Delaying payment, quarterly payments, signing incentives (add-on products or time) pause and convenience clauses. We’re finding incentives for risk-averse CFOs and differentiating our offers to get the yes first. 

Want more on selling to the CFO? Smart.

Their involvement in deals has nearly DOUBLED according to Chorus. They are monitoring total spend and measuring risk on every dollar. Join us for a webinar in September (or sign up to receive the recording) to get advice straight from the source where LB is joined by four CFO’s with advice for sellers.

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