The Daily Briefing - April 3, 2020 - An Increase in Leader Participation in Buying and Selling
In today’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton was joined by Brian Trautschold, Co-founder & COO of Ambition. They discussed Chorus’s recent finding: A significant increase in Leader participation in buying and selling. The numbers are staggering: +53% increase in leadership joining meetings last week. +70% increase of executive involvement +37% increase of executives from the buying side joining meetings As Jim said: “The assumption is that this has been super disruptive. But the data shows that the sales community has never been more productive than ever. Leadership participation is mirroring that. This is our moment.” **Sales Leaders Are Joining More Customer Meetings** The uptick in Leadership joining meetings shows an unprecedented and nearly universal sense of priorities shifting and deals escalating. “We’re in a triage moment right now,” said Brian when mulling over the data. “It’s more important than ever to know what the next step is or if there will be a next step in the near term.” Jim and Brian shared that they both have seen this trend on their sales floors. Leadership is being called in to add gravitas, security, and also to provide flexibility. When asked if the conversations happening have changed, Brian confirmed that they were because everyone is dealing with similar challenges. “[When leadership joins a call,] they add relatability,” he added. “We’re able to go a lot deeper which makes us a better partner. This is a unique situation because it’s not just a standard ROI case. The deal is now driven by a need based on a universal circumstance.” The weight that a sales leader gives to a call that they join is made more impactful because of the relatable authenticity they are able to provide as a leader of an organization. “I am excited to see that the sales community is bringing authenticity back,” said Jim. “Sales is playing a big role in bringing people together right now. This is the profession we all signed up for.” Brian agreed, “I can be on calls with an executive and I have a two year old smashing trucks together in the background. We’re giving people more latitude to be more real and open, regardless of the business context.” Sales leaders in every industry have had to transition almost overnight to manage teams and keep revenue coming in. While we’re all adjusting to this transition, leadership is brought in to provide as much value as possible. “Sales teams don’t get to stop,” explained Brian. “We have to keep doing what we need to do, so it’s a high level priority for our leaders.” “We’ve never been more productive in the past few weeks,” agreed Jim. “It’s largely because of how Zoom is enabling us.” **More Leadership Level People from the Buying Side are Participating in Meetings** The selling-side isn’t the only one leading on leadership to move things forward. Buying-side leadership is also participating more. Last week, we saw a 37% increase vs baseline of executives. Buying-side leadership joining calls signals to us that as priorities are shifting, deal escalations are reflecting this. Customers and buying leaders are likely joining because they need to fundamentally change in a quick, two-week period. There are questions about how much the sales community should lean into this “new world” of transparency, relatability, and authenticity from even the highest positions of leadership. To this, Jim says: “Our customers and prospects are helping us coach. They say: ‘Give me the real reason you’re calling me, not just the old world business-case reason.’” Authenticity is shifting everything, it seems. “What we’re saying now is very different than what we would’ve said a few weeks ago,” agreed Brian. “It’s challenging. And every leader is facing this challenge.” One observation from the data is that people are coming together. Jim called this the “Democratization of Connection”. Leaders can join wherever and whenever. If you are bringing in your leaders into meetings, you’re not alone. But know that leadership being on the call will add more pressure to make concessions come to life. “When leadership joins a call and an ask is made,” Jim added “there’s pressure to make sure that it happens because your word is weighted by the reputation of your company.” To the future of leadership joining sales calls, Brian is realistic. “We’re pulling the future forward. Maybe we thought we would get to it in 2022, but it’s happening now whether you like it or not.” Leaders are joining calls so that they can pull their team into the future with them.