The Daily Briefing: April 10, 2020

April 10, 2020

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Jim Benton was joined by Jerry Pharr, Director of Global Sales Enablement at Redis Labs, to discuss Chorus’s latest findings about the state of sales. Today, they shared that the volume of first meetings is continuing to hold steady as discovery conversations lag.

Here are the numbers:

  • 11% decrease in overall meeting volume
  • Volume of first meetings held continues to hover around the initial dip below the 30% baseline week over week
  • 30% dip in discovery conversations since this same week last year

First meetings held holds steady at just below the norm 3 weeks in a row

Yesterday we reported that we are seeing an 11% decrease in overall meeting volume. However, the volume of first meetings held is continuing to hold steady week over week.

As first meetings hover around the initial dip over three weeks, we wonder if there is a new baseline in the making.

“It’s a small dip,” said Jim, “but it’s holding steady.”

Perhaps it’s the content of these meetings that has shifted more than the volume. Jerry believes so. “The nature of these first meetings have changed,” he said, “We used to rely on event-led meetings. We’ve transitioned to Zoom meetings since, and haven’t seen a significant drop. We’re very fortunate.”

“Enablement standpoint - any changes you’ve noticed?”

One thing has certainly changed since entering into this new-normal created by COVID-19. Empathy. “The amount of care that people show has increased,” said Jerry. “We’re getting back to better sales practices.”

Jim agreed and added: “One thing that we’re interested in is first impressions. Any advice on the working from home transparency?”

“I love it,” said Jerry. “People buy from people. People love the human connection. We used to think it was unprofessional, but now it’s human.”

First meeting volume holding steady week over week for Account Excecutives.

30% dip in discovery conversations from this time last year

That first meetings are holding steady is especially interesting as we are seeing a dip in discovery conversations from the baseline. Discovery is down about 30% from this same week last year.

Follow up meetings may suffer later on if you don’t align the pain point with the solution from the very start. It’s important to encourage teams to do their research to make that first meeting stick.

“A 30% drop year over year is significant,” said Jim. “How have discovery conversations changed?”

“The nature of these conversations have changed,” said Jerry. “We’re spending more time asking what’s happening in their life and what’s going on with them. We’ve noticed that the percentage of calls with some pain going on has increased 20% in the past couple months from our data from Chorus.”

Jim agreed that there has been a strong shift in the way we do discovery. “I've seen discovery in the past which is just mechanical questioning,” he said. “And now it’s infused with empathy.”

It’s been said by some industry leaders that sellers don’t have to invest in discovery. To that, Jerry disagrees. “I think that it’s important to explore problems and solutions in a new way.”

“Trust your sellers,” Jerry advised. “They’re being encouraged to do things that are good for sellers anyway. To understand where buyers are in their human condition and ask the right questions. Allow sellers to do that.”

Significant dip in discovery calls in March.

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The Daily Briefing - April 10, 2020 - First Meetings Hold Steady as Discovery Conversations Lag
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