The Daily Briefing: May 7, 2020

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In today’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton was joined by Tom Boccard, SVP Sales at GlobalData. They explored ways that teams are staying motivated, how they’re experimenting with new tactics, and the metrics that are most essential in this new normal.

Before diving in, they discussed the makeup of Tom’s team at GlobalData, and how they are adapting to the current climate.

“At GlobalData,” said Tom, “We have about 400 salespeople globally.” Of that, Tom manages a handful of verticals. “About 90% of my team is inside sales.”

Inside Sales has had to adapt quickly, and there have been surprises along the way. “Time management has been really crazy,” he said, “A 5-minute conversation is now a 30-minute Zoom. You didn’t know how much you missed when you can’t feed off of the energy around you. You miss the competition style on the floor.”

So, like we all are, GlobalData is experimenting with new ways to bring out the excitement and share the energy.

Tom said that two things have worked well for them so far: Sharing and celebrating small wins, and incentivizing.

“We have daily team standups, group chats, and Zoom meetings,” he said, “Trying to get as close to communication as you can in the office.” And, when you get in those group chats or Zoom calls, the key is to celebrate wins. Every win, no matter how small.

“We put a big emphasis on small wins,” Tom said. “What was the talk time for the day? Who booked those meetings or closed those deals? I’m a huge advocate for the idea that success builds momentum. Small bricks build big houses.”

When it comes to incentivization, it’s just making sure everyone is capitalizing on the energy of those small wins. “We’re mixing up the teams and running multiple incentives at the same time. Try to get those competitive juices flowing.”

Tom’s team runs competitions around opportunities generated in the pipeline, proposals on a daily and weekly basis. They tend to run for a month. “We’re also doing streak bonuses. If you close a deal every week you get bonus points.”

You have to identify the markets you’re servicing. What are the events that are happening in their vertical? We have the data at our fingertips, but anyone out there can do it.

Use laser-focused micro-campaigns to create your own secret sauce


To stay ahead of any dips in the market, Tom’s team is refining their process so that they’re targeting the right people in the right way.

“We’re bucketing targets together to focus on micro-campaigns,” Tom said. “Here are the companies we want to target, and here are the people you should be talking to. With this particular micro-campaign, we have booked more meetings in the past 2-3 days, than in the last two weeks combined.”

Micro-campaigns are where the magic is.

“You have to identify the markets you’re servicing. What are the events that are happening in their vertical? We have the data at our fingertips, but anyone out there can do it,” he said.

This is a different kind of empathy, a “commercial empathy” or “business empathy” as Tom calls it. “People are working,” he said. “Who are the people whose roles are being impacted right now? It’s about understanding your ICP at a level you never had before. Leaning into them and their objectives at that role, then going to the company angle.” It’s about providing support to help them get their jobs done, especially in this time.

And they’re testing everything. Messaging, angles, what challenges they are hearing in the market - these are all soft metrics that have increasingly become more essential as sales teams adapt.

“You have A/B testing with marketing campaigns,” Tom said, “well, we’re at A/B/C/D/E/F testing.”

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Are sales leaders joining more customer meetings?

Microsupport, not micromanagement


Like most leaders Jim has talked to on The Daily Briefing, Tom is joining more calls.

“We’re on the front lines to make changes across the group and to share what I’m hearing,” said Tom. “For me, it’s important to know what’s working at these companies. Not just how we can help these companies and they’re sales campaigns, it’s also how we can make our company better.

It’s not micromanagement, it’s microsupport.”

Listening to what’s happening in the market is essential to adapting your sales strategy. “We need to talk daily about it and see what’s working. I know they are working and making calls,” he added, “it’s not about that. It’s about the conversations that are happening.”

We’re not the only ones calling, they’re getting a ton of emails, you have to separate yourself from the crowd. The best way to do that is to help them.

Non-scripted, commercial empathy


Everyone is asking “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”. It’s a sign of where we are as a society. But people are working, and they don’t want to be offered scripted empathy.

“We should be asking not because it’s in a script,” said Tom, “we should ask because we truly care. It’s about taking empathy to a business level. How are you achieving your objectives now that you’re at home and not on the road meeting clients? Where are you pivoting to? These questions show you care.”

Business is still being done. People are still working, as Tom said. And goals still need to be hit. Those objectives have changed. “Everyone’s pitches have changed by this point, lean into those changes and challenges,” he said.

“We’re not the only ones calling, they’re getting a ton of emails, you have to separate yourself from the crowd. The best way to do that is to help them.”

To help personalize their messaging, GlobalData offers a massive collection of essential data to help teams hone in on their targeting. Their COVID-19 Executive Briefing has informed their own micro-pitches.

I didn’t have the secret sauce, I worked my tail off. I doubled down. I didn’t slow calls, I tripled the amount of calls. I found the angles that were still supportive of the events that were happening.

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The magic is in the changing metrics


Jim said it simply: Because we are all now remote, we have to be data-driven sales orgs or we will fall behind. “If you’re not using technology to stay connected and listen to your calls, you’re essentially flying blind,” he said.

That is one metric that has shifted into focus for Tom and his team: Conversations.

“I’m looking more at talk time rather than meetings booked. Who are we talking to? What are we saying? Do we need to pivot our messaging?”

The top of the funnel is extremely important, and it comes in two parts. The addition of opportunities and the progression of the deal.

“We’re leaning in on the latter stages and looking at how many days it’s taking,” said Tom. “How long is it staying at demo or proposal? It’s similar to 2008 or 2009. Deals are still closing, so that’s good, but they’re taking longer.”

In 2008, Tom was an Individual Contributor and his ICP was in finance. That’s a tough hand to draw. Even so, Tom said 2009 was one of his biggest years.

“I didn’t have the secret sauce, I worked my tail off. I doubled down. I didn’t slow calls, I tripled the amount of calls,” he said. “I found the angles that were still supportive of the events that were happening.”

Get hyper-targeted throughout each of your processes. Listen to calls, listen to the market. Understand what challenges are facing each person in a company you’re approaching, and help them find a solution. That is empathetic selling.

GlobalData reports that in the past 30 days, there's been a 16% drop in active jobs and a 1.5% drop since last week.

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