On today’s Daily Briefing, Jim was joined by Trish Bertuzzi is the Founder and CEO of The Bridge Group. They discussed the different paths to revenue, specifically, how companies are pivoting from Land and Expand playbooks to include more customer success selling.
Before getting started, they discussed the impact of COVID-19 on inside sales teams.
“This has impacted sellers across the board. Buyers too,” said Trish. “It’s a brave new world out there. We’re in transition. A couple of weeks ago, it was crazy. But now we’re settling in. We will figure this out, but things won’t go back to the way they were.”
Outbound calls are down, but connect rates are flat… Keep calling!
Outbound cold calling was down a whopping 48% since pre-COVID levels last week.
When looking at the data, Jim and Trish discussed the variables that would shift the numbers. “I think it varies client to client,” she said.
The outbound numbers didn’t surprise Trish, but the connect rates left an impression.
“I find them kind of silly,” said Trish. “If connect rates are flat, why are we not using the phone?” she asked. “There are a lot of reasons to continue to use the phones as part of your strategy and I hope people get back to that.”
Let’s take care of their physical wellbeing to set up a proper work environment.
Leaders should motivate teams by fostering empathy and enabling remote workspaces
Part of what is keeping outbound teams from calling is the lack of motivation, the adjustment to the new normal.
Trish offered two things that leaders should do to get their teams enthusiastic about making calls and hitting their numbers. Empathy and Environment.
“Everyone should be on a work from home stipend,” said Trish. “Let’s get people some funds to give them a home office. You’re going to be more motivated if you’re able to work comfortably.”
When asked what amount she would recommend, she said simply: “I think even 500 would go a long way.”
The important part is to show that you care and that there is value in their work. Make your teams feel excited to sit down every day where they are and get to it.
“Let’s take care of their physical wellbeing to set up a proper work environment,” she said.
The next step: Empathy. You have to have empathy.
“Unless you as an executive leader are doing those jobs, you don’t know what it’s like,” she said. “Walk a mile in their shoes - I don’t mean an hour, I mean a mile. See what their job is like. How are the buyers responding? What challenges are coming up?”
“That is empathy and that is motivating,” she said.
Jim enthusiastically embraced this idea. “It does feel great as a leader. You see the job for yourself and you work through the challenge. You work as a team and gain respect and motivate in a new way.”
I think we’re smarter about who we’re calling. We’re targeting people closer to our ICP. We’re giving them messaging that’s more thought out and consultative.
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Change the message. Be strategic and consultative.
Teams are experimenting with new messaging in every sector. Adapting playbooks to accommodate more personalization is no easy task, but it’s essential now more than ever.
“People are being more strategic,” said Trish. “People are looking at their buyers in a more segmented fashion.”
Teams are spending their time more wisely, making sure that they’re targeting the right accounts and that their messaging is relevant for now.
“Even when it comes to outbound Connect rates,” she said. “I think we’re smarter about who we’re calling. We’re targeting people closer to our ICP. We’re giving them messaging that’s more thought out and consultative.”
Jim agreed. “It’s coming from the heart right now,” he said. “People are choosing more wisely and the messages are resonating more.”
Acquisition to stabilization leads to a new frontier in sales: Customer selling
Revenue teams are taking a hard look - planned or not - at their strategies. Land and Expand is usually the name of the game.
“Land and Expand is just straight up selling,” said Trish. “Now people are stabilizing their companies.”
Stabilization is a different ball game, won through limiting two things: Attrition and Churn.
Customer Success teams are critical to a revenue organization’s survival - now more than ever. It’s essential to know if people are using your product or service to its full capacity; that they understand its full capacity. You need to know who your champions and users are.
“The players are changing,” said Trish. “Do you have your finger on the pulse of who is using your product and service on-site?”
You have to ask different questions and have a different relationship with your customers.
Prioritizing acquiring new logos over limiting churn is a difficult balance. Regardless, it all comes down to the relationship.
“Before expanding customers,” said Trish, “do you have a relationship? Looking at your usability data within customers is going to be a big factor. Stabilization is the first thing we need to do from a revenue perspective. “
And make sure the premise of your engagement with customers is personalized to them. “When you’re having conversations,” Trish added, “make sure they’re relevant to the now, not relevant to then.”
Trish’s two favorite words are “Pivot” and “Iterate”. And they are easily applied to customer selling. The key is to not assume.
“Don’t assume that just because they’re your customer now, means that they’re your customer forever,” she said.
When it comes to customers we have retention and churn. There’s a whole new set of metrics that need to be created.
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Metrics for leaders to stay closer to their teams
Trish offered this simple advice: “If I was a leader of a CS team, I’d call customers.”
“It’s about what you’re trying to accomplish. Stability? Expansion? What metrics. People are so focused on new logo metrics,” she added.
“But when it comes to customers we have two: retention and churn. There’s a whole new set of metrics that need to be created.”
Leaders should start measuring conversations. All conversations matter. Trish suggested conducting and listening to exit interviews as a lagging indicator that can help inform your strategy in the future.
Trish left us with one last piece of advice. “The biggest thing for Customer Success is to pay attention to your players. They’re changing every day and you need to know who your champion is.”