Every VC and sales leader wants AI to cure all. I’ve been selling since 2000, and I’ve seen the invention of “Sales 2.0”, Inside Sales, Social Selling, Conversion Funnels, and so many new sales trends. Many changes the way we fundamentally sell today, but none became the cure-all. A trend is a trend… not a programmatic system.
Here are the three topics this week:
1. AI is cool, but it’s NOT a prospecting methodology.
2. Try using the “I can’t find” model to open new doors.
3. Start your LinkedIn messages with a big question.
AI is cool, but it’s NOT a prospecting methodology.
What AI does really, really well (as an example) is help you craft the language of your message.
- The Hook
- The tone
- Linking context into the message
- Condensing the message
What AI is NOT doing in 2023/2024:
- Helping your sellers waterfall their goals into daily actionable tasks (Time Management and Pace Management)
- Select accounts based using objective, strategic thinking – like Triggers / Compelling Events (while this exists, 99% of sellers aren’t using it).
- Account Planning (Why? What? Who? How?) The 4-fundamental questions a seller needs to answer before they start engaging.
So you can craft a Shakespearian play for a prospect, but none of this will matter if you are aiming at the wrong targeted accounts. Only 3%-10% of the market is going to change, so most of your AI-crafted robo-messages are falling on deaf ears.
If you want to make your number next year, don’t expect robots to help your sellers with the prospecting building blocks. Teach them how to make objective, strategic decisions around:
- Account Selection & Prioritization
- Account Planning
Try using the “I can’t find” model to open new doors.
A sales play from my past is emerging into an effective play I’m seeing in a bunch of customers.
If you want to book a meeting with a buyer, they have to:
- They have pushed off their status quo, primarily because they have a Eureka Moment of seeing the Opportunity Cost of their situation. They have to be SHOWN.
- See enough value in what you SHOW them, to warrant a Time-for-Knowledge Exchange. This is why Show is better than Tell.
How does the play work:
Our customers in the Language Translation and e-commerce space are famous for this play. Show a prospect what’s wrong on their website, and show them what Nirvana could look like. Simple enough. Show the Opportunity Cost of a crappy experience.
How can you leverage this play?
Think about the First Principles of this sales play.
- Point out where a prospect is missing something. Visually show it on their website, retail location, experience, social media, and product.
- Show the customer what the alternative looks like.
A real-life example from a customer of ours – Limelight Platform. Their customers and prospects are in a category we call “anything that moves” (cars, motorcycles, scooters, etc.). Many of the transportation manufacturers do not have a great live/experiential to digital sales experience. Think about being at a conference or auto show and placing business cards in a fishbowl, vs. an eCommerce experience that captures a lead to book an experience on the spot. Our customer Limelight can showcase the Opportunity Cost to the best-in-class BMW Drive Experiences – https://bmwperformancecenter.com/ & https://driving.bmwusa.com/ude which they power. The manufacturers realize how “20th century” their experiences are.
Start your LinkedIn messages with a big question.
We have two customers who showed us an interesting way to open doors on LinkedIn…
Ask an “I value your opinion” type of question.
Customer 1 will ask “Can I get your feedback on something?”
Customer 2 will ask “Can I ask your professional opinion on something?”
It’s been really interesting to see the responses. 40% – 45% response rates!
Why does this work?
Inside every executive is a mentor, coach, and future advisor waiting to pop out. That’s what our customers have exposed. Executives want to feel needed and valued.
Give it a try!
FREE RESOURCE – Activity & Pipeline Gap Calculator
Does each of your sellers know the exact number of conversations they will need to have next month to highly influence Pipeline Creation?
Have they accounted for the headwinds and tailwinds?
- Leads from Marketing
- Leads from the BDR team
- Leads from Channel Partners
What is their ‘Self-Sourcing’ GAP?
How many opportunities do they need to self-source?
How many conversations will be required to create enough opportunities to win?