What Skills Do Your Sales Reps Need to Keep Deals Moving?
We’re all thrilled that the world is opening more and more and business is getting back to normal. The vast majority of sellers and leaders I talk to say the same thing:
Deals are coming in again (whew!)…
But they’re really sticking at the one-yard line (boo!)…
I’ve experienced this myself at both Factor 8 and #GirlsClub. We sell critical skill development that helps companies improve performance, gain new customers, and retain employees. But it isn’t mission CRITICAL services that keep doors open, ensure customer retention, or bolster WFH initiatives. These are the deals getting approved right now.
How do I know? The CFO’s blocking your deals told me. There’s a nearly 100% spike in senior executives approving company spend – and it’s almost always the CFO. Of COURSE this is true, right? Didn’t your company limit spending? Maybe lay some people off? Stop paying the office coffee bill? We’re spending again, but we’re doing it cautiously.
I smell a challenge. This is a unique global opportunity that none of us in sales has faced before. Naturally, I want to solve it. I’m getting closer. Allow me to share what I’ve learned so far and I invite you to join me on the next leg of the adventure.
SALES LEADER PERSPECTIVE:
In our Executive Open Bar (senior-level friends of Factor 8) last month, we shared some strategies that have worked. Some are finance tools, sales tools, a few pivots in GTM, and rep focus + skills.
I’ve put their top three in this download and I interviewed them live at the AA-ISP Virtual Summit.
I’ve tried a few of these myself and frankly felt foolish that I hadn’t done so earlier. They’re working!
Next, I decided to ask some CFO friends their opinions on the strategies I’ve learned – and their POV on spending, approving, and when we’ll get back to normal. OK, to be honest, I don’t actually HAVE any good CFO friends. Sales leaders and finance leaders living in harmony is a bit like cats and dogs… we try to make money, they try to save it. The universe has pitted us against each other for all time… OK, I’m getting off track here. I asked some clients and some friends and soon had a panel of their VERY smart finance leaders.
I feel like I’m holding the answer key. They answered: What WILL you spend on? What ARE you approving? What do you need in order to say yes? And, what do you wish sellers would do better? Again, I put a few tips in the download, but I hope you’ll join us live and get your question answered (or watch the recording).
FINALLY, we heard from both groups that sellers needed to raise their game. We weren’t asking enough questions, nor the right ones. We weren’t justifying the spend the right way, and we had no idea what our finance friends cared about.
Wait, what? A skill challenge! I’m ALL OVER this one. So the Virtual Sales Masterclasses were born! We dropped 3-4 eLearning courses, 2 live training sessions, and an assignment focused on helping reps get executive leadership meetings and rock them. All with the focus of unsticking our deals! We’re going to cram this into 4 weeks. I am pumped to get after this together and raise our games – and our end-of-year commissions.