Did you watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on Saturday 19 May? Were you at one of the famous wedding parties, toasting the happy couple from the other side of their world?
A magnificent wedding calls for a spot on the Magnify blog. Here are 12 Sales and Marketing lessons we can learn from the royal wedding:
Mary from Magnify shares - This is the third blog in our Magnify series following the recent Wellington ‘Kiwi Landing Pad’ Sales and Marketing Jam, thanks to organisation by John Holt and Sian Simpson.
Today’s blog is inspired by Tanya Neary, Director of Sales at Culture Amp, providers of software that makes it makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. Their key goal is to improve the engagement, experience and effectiveness of every employee. It’s hardly surprising then to learn that Culture Amp rewards all employees who contributed to that new customer coming onboard – not just the salesperson at the very end of the process.
Tanya spoke about the synergy between Product, Marketing and Sales – and how Culture Amp aims to always think like a buyer. This is very important for all of us – if we’re not building something awesome that creates lots of value for our customers, then we’re missing the mark.
In return for building something that directly solves customer problems, delivers value and ticks all the customer’s boxes every step of the sales journey – we will be rewarded with loyal customers who bring their total lifetime customer value into our business. And we’ll have fun because we’re serving raving fans. Sounds great doesn’t it?
If we want to delight our customers at every step of their sales journey, we need to reward staff so that they are motivated to give the best value they can at every touchpoint.
Tanya called this ‘Team of Teams’, and reminded the audience that Sales, Marketing and Product need to talk. Each of these areas has a different view of the customer. We will only get a more complete picture of who our customer is, what their pain points are, how they experience their world and our products/services – by dialoguing with our own ‘Team of Teams’. Silos are most definitely out.
To that end, Culture Amp aims to hire for humility, especially in the sales area. Key questions they ask about prospective employees are:
At Culture Amp, they provide fixed compensation for everyone. This means no commission for sales people. In fact, Tanya shared that Culture Amp has always operated this way. This is an idea that's been gaining traction over the last few years from sales commentators in the USA and in other parts of the world.
Tanya reports that this approach has created alignment in the Culture Amp team. Ultimately, they want people who are intrinsically motivated, not just motivated to make that final bit of sales commission at the end of the month. As Tanya said – ‘Imagine that it is the last day of the month, and my goal is to sell $250K, but I’m on $240K. The efforts to get that extra $10K in one day will end up changing my behaviour. Is this the kind of behaviour that we want for our organisation?’
So, it was great to hear that Culture Amp has quarterly recognition of excellence across all the staff, rewarding excellence for sales, marketing, product, etc. Culture Amp recognises that their staff across all disciplines have contributed to bringing a customer onboard.
Such an approach also values the data which is generated, and measured, by each employee’s interaction with the customer. Data from Product is just as vital as data from Marketing or from Sales, or from other departments, in terms of a company growing in its understanding of their customers.
Tanya commented – ‘If I as a salesperson get paid 10% of a new sale, and I’m sitting next to a product specialist who helped win that deal, but they get nothing extra, what does that do for our team relationship?’ Again – we’re back to thinking about how your company works as a team.
Sales, Product and Marketing have a common goal. They are all working to bring on board new customers, and to keep them for the business. Especially with the Marketing function. Customers may have seen Culture Amp for a while before talking. Perhaps they’ve read an article, heard the CEO speak, watch a video, attended a free event where customers talk.
It makes sense for all three functions to be equally rewarded – especially when they each play such a vital part in the total customer journey. Tanya also spoke about how Culture Amp handles their remote team members – how they keep in touch and keep their team culture.
If everyone on the Product/Marketing/Sales spectrum is rewarded for their part in the sale, and they all play an important part, how early should we bring in salespeople? Tanya addressed this, sharing how Culture Amp has a focus on the total lifetime customer value that each new customer brings to the business. As Tanya said – ‘We don’t want to bring a customer onboard at all costs and then have them leave. With new customers, we don’t want to churn and burn - so we often bring a product person to client meetings.’
This makes a lot of sense, especially if the product team will be crafting solutions to meet customer problems. Sales is the initial Reach Out. A team member from Product will sit in the meeting with Sales, to hear the customer issues. So the whole sales process becomes more collaborative, more buyer-centric - which is what a great sale should be.
Post-purchase nurturing is the norm at Culture Amp. Tanya’s sales role is to have the early stage conversation, from legal aspects to sign off. She then sends a welcome email, which includes an introduction to a Culture Amp Success Coach, who will work with that customer to achieve the best results for them by providing technical advice and training. A six-month check gives the Culture Amp team an opportunity to review an account.
It's an interesting shift, isn’t it – no commission for salespeople. Tanya was excited by her work with Culture Amp. The team ethic is high for this business, who really are walking the talk when it comes to employee engagement and experience. Just like the football team who all celebrate their win, even though only one of them scored the final goal – perhaps it’s time we all shared in the benefits when each of us helps a new client on their customer journey.
What is your top challenge in Sales in 2018? According to this Gartner Report, 25% of respondents identified new customer acquisition as the top challenge for Sales Leaders in 2018.
Reading further through the Gartner report, 80% of respondents listed ‘improving sellers’ skills and enablement’ as their top initiative by importance and leadership confidence in execution.
We’re living in an age of inbound customers, delivered to us on an email platter, garnished with tasty data telling us exactly what it would take for them to buy. It is so easy to reach customers. Some would say it’s never been easier. So why then do sales leaders report that their top challenge in 2018 is new customer acquisition?
Another question - With the latest training so easily accessible from our desktops, why are salespeople in such urgent need of training?
Perhaps the time that we’re living is the source of these challenges. Many businesses are so distracted by generating inbound leads that they forget some vital statistics. Like the fact that only a very small percentage of visitors to your website are ready to buy right now. Read this blog by HubSpot, where they put the figure of website visitors who are ready to buy at just one per cent!
Make no mistake – the one per cent of total website visitors who are ready to buy are most definitely worth spending time on.
However – what about the remaining 99% who are not yet ready? How do you bring them in so that they become your customers? The automation software that is available to help you progress these website visitors on their journey to becoming customers is a huge help to your sales team.
Sticking with these prospects on their journey to becoming your customers will require a lot of love and a lot of patience. That’s right – you’ll need to nurture them.
Sales is all about building positive and profitable client relationships. Emphasis please on building. It takes time to build something worthwhile. Sometimes, the best customer relationships, those long-term customers who absolutely love what you do and will never move, take some solid time to build up. Along with your content marketing, social media and any automated sales processes, customer relationships can also benefit from some old-fashioned care in the form of telephone calls, visits and even snail mail.
There’s so much noise for your customers, so many emails to navigate through each day. If you’re serious about succeeding in new customer acquisition in 2018, when you’re looking to improve your ‘sellers’ skills and enablement’ in order to deliver on this goal – be sure to look for ways that you and your team can stand out to your prospective customers.
Many business owners admit to fearing sales. The thought of selling their goods and services is enough to make them break into a cold sweat.
If you’re scared of sales, pause for a moment and think about what a sale is. At its core, a sale is an agreement between two people. One person agrees to supply goods or services. The other person agrees to buy the goods or services, for an agreed price.
The very heart of sales is an agreement between two people. Sometimes we’ve forgotten the power of personal contact. Listening to clients, making time for them, providing solutions to their problems – these things never go out of fashion. Yes – that’s right! People buy from people.
Next time you’re at a function and you meet a potential client, remember that they are a person first, and a potential client second. Take the time to understand their story. Listen to their pain points. Have one or two good sentences (your elevator pitch!) that you can say about your business. Then, suggest a coffee catch up. They’ll probably say yes!
Why? In experience, it’s a rare man or woman who says ‘no’ to a suggestion to catch up for coffee. When two people sit down over a cup of coffee (or tea), they relax. Even the person who says, ‘I’m happy with my current supplier’ will often say ‘Yes’ to a coffee catch up. When you’re sitting having coffee, relaxing, you might just discover more of their pain points.
You might not realise it, but you’re already starting the sales journey together. Whether they buy from you now or in the future, that person you’re having coffee with is evaluating whether they’d like to deal with you. That’s right – you, as a person.
Think of sales as an opportunity to meet some great people, learn more about them, and then to share how you can help them.
As Zig Ziglar says ‘Stop selling. Start helping’. Focus on how you can help people. Any fear of sales will soon go – all you’re doing is helping people to understand the options available to them. Your sales will just naturally ‘close’ if you focus on helping those ideal clients.
Yes - People buy from people. We love how that still works!
Do you want to magnify your business and sales? An excellent way to do this is by having great Sales Documentation for your client communications.
Think for a moment about the emails, letters, tenders, proposals, and everything in writing that you send to your clients. The smallest detail really can make a difference in your written communications with clients – right down to subject headings that capture client interest and help your emails to get opened.
Here are Seven Ways to Shine with Great Sales Documentation:
When you shine in these seven ways, you really will out-class any other salesperson, blitzing the competition.
It's time to let your sales documentation shine. Go forth - Magnify your Business and your Sales!
Clients ask many questions about their sales. At the heart of it, they're really asking, “How long will it take to reach my sales goals?” We understand this question. Who doesn’t want a bit of certainty in their life, especially when they're about to spend some budget?
Every client situation is different. Some clients have never talked to their customers, some have sporadic email relationships with their customers, others communicate regularly. Add into the mix industry factors, how your business measures up against competitors, the economy, the time of year (we’re about to hit the end of the March financial year) – and forecasting becomes a whole lot more complex.
Some clients have never mapped their sales processes, and do not know how long it takes for them to make a sale, how many touchpoints are needed, or how the customer experiences their business.
All of us want happy clients. Here at Magnify, we’d love to promise the moon and deliver it to everyone. But the reality is that sometimes people come to us because they’re finding the Sales Mountain hard to climb and need some help.
Just like our last blog, where we talked about the Seven Lessons that St Patrick (climbing a mountain!) can teach us about sales – a lot of what we do is sheer perseverance.
So – what do you need in place to climb your Sales Mountain and get the best from your outsourced sales campaign?
Your outsourced sales provider needs to ensure that your data is ready, and that you have good client documentation ready to go. It’s also important to discuss the sales processes already in place, and how the new business development you’re about to start will fit into that. Skimping on the preparation, just like a mountain climb, will mean a less successful journey to the top.
Are all your sales steps in place? Now you’re ready to start the climb.
Please note that no-one can accurately predict when your high-level sales goals will be reached. What you need most is an honest assessment of your sales situation. Your outsourced sales provider needs to prioritise your business needs over their need to make a sale. This may mean your campaign takes a pause for a week or two while you pivot your sales approach, to help your business meet the market needs and conditions that you’ve uncovered. Breaking through into that new market might take longer than you think.
However, much of sales is scientific. So you can predict some things.
When your sales team collectively put their shoulders to the proverbial wheel and P-U-S-H – uphill if necessary – you will generate sales momentum. Well-thought, appropriately spaced contact with your client database will provide the touch-points you need. Listening carefully to your customers will help you understand their experiences of your business. Which will ultimately deliver the results you want.
Good sales notes (in a CRM or database) will help you to see what’s happening with your new and existing clients. After a couple of months, you should be able to spot patterns to help you map your sales processes, number of customer touchpoints, and how long it takes to make a sale. You can then start to calculate the real cost of bringing on board new clients, and make more accurate predictions on how long it will take to reach your sales goals.
So – we can’t say exactly how long it will take to climb your Sales Mountain. But a good outsourced sales provider can provide tools, insight, and measurable results for the journey to help get you there, however long it takes. And a couple of coffees to start you on the right track!
Happy St Patrick's Day! Yes, that’s right – it’s the day that around 20 per cent of New Zealanders celebrate being Irish. For Saint Patrick’s Day last year, I posted on LinkedIn about Celebrating the Irish in IT.
This year, I thought I’d recount one of the stories of Saint Patrick, and extrapolate on Seven Things that Saint Patrick can teach us about Sales.
The story goes that Saint Patrick was attacked by snakes during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill (Croagh Patrick – known as Ireland’s holy mountain). Saint Patrick chased the snakes into the sea, banishing them from Ireland.
As they say in Ireland – Slainte!
Getting people and businesses excited about Sales.