The Daily Briefing - May 28, 2020 - How Many Actions Are Managers Taking on Calls to Support & Train
On this morning’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton was joined by Jon Perera, the CMO of Highspot. They started the day together by discussing their shared joy for helping to coach teams and how much they miss the energy of the sales floor. Jon’s Zoom virtual background was a snapshot of Highspot’s office in Seattle. While both have adapted to being distributed leaders, they are excited to get back into the office. “I think we’re all going to figure out that there’s a hybrid way to come back into the office,” said Jon. “We’re learning new muscles.” With that, they dove into the data to discuss how distributed leaders are adapting their teams and preparing for the next phase of selling. *Coaching at scale* Jim began with their shared passion: Coaching. The data shows that managers taking more coaching actions on calls, up to a 53% increase since before COVID-19 hit. There’s little wonder that managers of now distributed teams are seeking ways to stay involved and connected, but Jim and Jon both wonder if there are other reasons Managers are spending more time in calls. “This data is fascinating to me for a couple of reasons,” said Jon. At Highspot’s Dreamforce event called Soiree, they discuss what the state of the art sales looks like. “And the top panel was coaching. How do we coach the coach? I think, particularly in the world of B2B selling, there's a pent up need to create better coaching. Maybe it took this horrible situation for people to take advantage of these tools to get where they need to go.” Jim agreed. “Yes. Now it’s about coaching precision,” he added. “Having managers get in on that and at scale to move us forward as an industry.” And tech is a big reason why this is more accessible than ever. “One trend that we’ve seen loud and clear,” said Jon, “is that companies that invest in sales enablement perform way better. Name a professional athlete that doesn’t have a coach. We’re seeing a shift that tech enables coaching and people enable coaching.” *Role of marketing to build pipeline and demand* As the data shows, people are picking up the phones. There are significantly less dials, but the connect rate holds steady. Likely, people are at home and more willing to take a call. That being said, there have been a few shifts. Jon listed three: 1. Empathy 2. Community 3. Building demand through marketing “Everyone is going through a really tough time,” Jon said. “The more we focus on helping the better we do. In terms of community,” he said, “we’re competing for digital attention. You need to develop peer to peer advocacy.“ “Another is building demand through marketing,” Jon added. “Customer experience is everything. How do you make it great for that buyer to interact with you digitally?” *People are still buying… right?* We are in uncertain times. “For Q2 and Q3, no one knows what to expect. What we’re seeing is that for organizations using Highspot, the deals are there. Pipeline is there. But it’s choppy. SMB and MM are taking a lot longer, Enterprise may need it so they move faster.” Like the varied success across segments, Jon said they are seeing some unexpected gains. “We’re seeing micro-verticals taking off that we didn’t expect. Logistics and Fin-Tech, that’s a micro-vertical that’s taken off in a big way.” “Anything that’s tech enabled is ripe for high growth right now,” he added. *Pivot your value to match the CFOs priorities* As CFOs join calls at an alarming rate - 91% above pre-COVID levels! - it’s more critical than ever that revenue teams come prepared to talk brass tacks. Jon spends a lot of time with his CFO and understands how he thinks. He brought that insight to today’s Daily Briefing. “They’re thinking about things like how we retain the base and customers today. Or, how we will drive growth, and how we can mitigate risk. Any investment they do better be able to prove demonstrable ROI.” Ultimately, there is much more deal visibility. “You better come with real, hard data with how you’ll drive value,” Jon advised. “CFOs are asking for data and how it’s worked for companies that look just like them.” ROI calculators are in vogue again. Do they work? Jon is realistic about the value of an ROI, and their limitations. What’s more, he provided some options to get around those. “ROI calculators,” he said, “love ‘em, they’re great. But they’re still met with skepticism. The customer needs to see their own data in there. You have to align your ROI calculator with what their business goals are.” “Pivot the ROI calculator to align with that CFOs priorities,” he added, “and if they’re still skeptical, cut that number in half.” You will likely still be able to show value. Jim added that much of the value comes from utilization and adoption, so being able to make the case that both are easy, will be essential for success. “Connect to the above the line leader,” said Jon. “The C-suite person trying to drive change and what they are focusing on..."