Despite how cliche it is, I love to ask sales candidates to “sell me this pen” during the first interview. I can learn more about a candidate with this request than with any other question. As sales leaders, we need to consider increasing our situational questions like this one during interviews to help find the best candidates and avoid the wrong hires.
Why is setting the right buyer expectations so important? Because this is what leads to customers who accelerate themselves through onboarding, adopt your product and renew when it comes time. Buyers who know what to expect are far more likely to be retained than those who don’t. Prepared customers are the best customers.
SaaS customer retention is everything. Everything. If you are bootstrapping or running lean, it’s the only way to have a healthy, profitable company. And if you are raising money or want to be acquired, it’s the basis for the entire valuation of your company. While customer retention takes a village, sales is the most on the front line of selling to the right customers and side stepping the wrong ones.
Without a clear definition of what types of customers and contracts are most likely to be retained, it’s hard to avoid the wrong ones. Sales leadership needs to document, and educate the sales team constantly on these four things.
Everything starts with a sale, and the sales team needs rewards for their hard work. Squeeze budget from every nook and cranny to come up with motivating, useful incentives. But just don’t break the bank.
There are lots of other creative, low-cost ways to keep your SDRs engaged and happy. SDR ruts are avoidable if you are deliberate about the culture you create, and make the right investments of your time and energy into systematically building in ways to sustain the ongoing efforts of the role.
The Generalist. The Metrics-Drive Hard Ass. The Bull in a China Shop. The Keynote Speaker. The Blogger. All in all, I am so grateful for all of the experiences I had with the 5 sales consultants. I hope this helps you decide what type of sales consultant is right for you, and what to expect out of the engagement. Of course, results will vary—so much of what happens between a consultant and an organization is chemistry, timing and culture.
I am a believer that SDRs have the most difficult job on the sales team—trying to break through to busy buyers to get that first “yes”, drawing them into qualifying questions and gaining commitment on the next steps. This stuff isn’t easy. As a sales leader, you have to head ruts off at the pass.
Plenty of ill-fitting customers will buy your solution if you let them. They are a tempting group, often having velocity in the pipeline. Make no mistake, they are also the devil.
So often reps, and sales managers, are afraid to disqualify a deal and get it out of the pipeline, but all that does is take up space (mental and actual) for the good deals. A prospect who is dark, or a prospect who is not working the deal with—these are just false positives. False hope. And hope isn’t a strategy to hit quota. It’s a crutch that prevents you from working on the skills needed to sell value and sell solutions to business problems.