In today’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton discussed the way that prospecting has changed since COVID-19, and how sales teams are adapting.
Here are the numbers:
- Overall cold call dials are down 35% since January, essentially even week over week
- First meeting volume holding steady week over week for Account Executives with a slight uptick at the start of Q2
- Discovery calls are down slightly at the start of Q2 vs. pre-COVID, and significantly down YoY
- AEs are experiencing a dip in meetings while CSMs are meeting more frequently with customers
One thing was present throughout each data point: Empathy.
Jim was excited and humbled by the amount of empathy surging to the forefront in sales conversations. It impacts every touchpoint sales teams have with prospects.
When mulling over the discovery data, he explained a shift in the process the data implied. “It’s important to know how to have natural discovery,” he said. “One that doesn’t come up as canned or prescribed.”
The problems people have are different. Before, they were more global. How they are more nuanced. We have to be more precise and prescriptive.
“We have to train our teams so they’re comfortable asking these questions and doing discovery in this way,” Jim added.
We see that shifting to customer conversations is becoming more and more prevalent. “It’s time to engage with our customers thoughtfully,” Jim said. “It’s time to understand their needs. This is also where we’ve seen a spike of leadership joining our calls.”
As we heard from Ryan Neu at Vendr, we know that almost every deal is being viewed by finance in the current climate. “This is the time to make sure that we communicate the value of ROI,” said Jim. “We have to be able to create deals that are clearly beneficial and easy to sign off on.”
Ending on a high note, Jim expressed optimism for the future of sales once our market reopens. “There’s a lot of opportunity out there for us in the sales community,” he said, “we just have to learn and grow from it.”