The Daily Briefing - April 20, 2020 - Meeting Volume Up vs. Last Week & Executives Involvement
In today’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton opened up the week with Ryan Neu, Founder of Vendr. They discussed how to navigate procurement in today's environment. Here are the numbers: + Meeting volume up 9% from last week + Sales executive involvement in deals is up 70% since COVID-19, +6% week over week + Buying-side executive involvement up 57% since COVID-19, +10% week over week + Extended payment terms continues to be the trend, holding steady since last week *Meeting volume up 9% week over week after being down the first two weeks of Q2.* The news seems dire, and it can seem that all sales momentum has ground to a halt. But we do see some positive movement in the data. Ryan agreed that this is what they are seeing at Vendr. “A few weeks ago, everyone was told to press the pause button - you’re not buying anything. And now, companies don’t know if we’re exactly able to buy but they do have to plan for the future,” he explained. “The barriers have come down a bit, and now it’s about what you will buy if you can.” It’s important to become essential. Ryan said that their messaging has adapted to accommodate the needs of the current market. Instead of casting a broad net, they’re focusing on those who are most interested. Engaging with those companies who need support from a service, it’s important to address this need. “If you were ever going to consider us, you should consider us now more than ever,” he said. The amount of meetings that sales teams continue to have is encouraging. “You would think that sales have stopped,” said Jim, “but you know there are a lot of needs out there and problems to be solved.” *Executive involvement in deals continues to trend up* Leadership involvement in sales calls went up even further last week - 6% week over week. Executive involvement is up nearly 70% since before COVID-19. We also saw 10% more leaders on the buying side, also with a trend towards more executives at 57% higher than before COVID-19. When it comes to executive involvement, Ryan believes that the conversations are changing. “An important question to ask in the sales process is: Are you considering buying this now, or do you have approval to buy this now?” “Salespeople need to know this now so they can allocate resources and time to it,” Ryan said. “A lot of deals are being eval right now, but not procured. Typical urgency and discounting isn’t working right now.” Executive involvement is an indicator of urgency and of sourcing power, but Ryan thinks it can also be a warning signal. “When they’re involved, it could mean that there’s a disconnect between buyer and seller. You may have to ask yourself if your point of contact is a truly qualified lead,” he said. “It might not be the best thing if an exec on the call.” They could be in the process of negotiating longer payment terms, which does show in Chorus data. Discussions about longer payment terms continue to persist, now three weeks into Q2. Last week held steady at the same level as last week.