We have entered a new sales era where Net Retention Revenue (NRR) and Gross Logo Retention (GLR) are the topic du jour. No more are we growing at all costs. Revenue teams have recognized the financial impact of losing a logo and its revenue is far more detrimental than winning the next new logo. BUT, babysitting the existing customer base and not thinking about expansion in/around your customers, will have a massive impact on:
- Customer Referral
- Customer on the Move into a Prospect
You’ll be a growth zombie before you know it.
In our inaugural newsletter there are four topics this week:
- Your CX team is killing your future prospecting in 2024
- 2023 has exposed the Sales Enablement Gap
- Job Change Signals – marketing “air cover” vs. sales “ground cover”
- Day 31 – 75 for new CXOs, the ultimate “Window of Change”.
Your CX team is KILLING your future prospecting in 2024
Let me tell you a story. We had an enterprise SaaS CRM customer that had a mission – monitor CXO’s that leave their customer base into a set of named prospect accounts. Easy.
- Chief Digital Officer
- Chief Technology Officer
- Chief Information Officer
These were examples of the decision-makers they wanted to capture.
In Month 1 & 2 we identified 100’s of these amazing opportunities. Chief Digital Officer “John Doe” moved into Prospect A < 90 days ago. Check. Chief Information Officer “Jane Smith” moved into Prospect B < 90 days ago. Check. We thought this was a slam dunk.
A few months into prospecting, their demand generation team noticed a pattern. These CXO’s had NEVER HEARD of our customer?!? How could that be? These were the executives that even authorized the purchase of their platform. The challenge was that the CX team was woefully “single-threaded”, meaning that had forged deep relationships with middle managers (like a Director of IT), but outside of that relationship, had few connections. As time went on in the account, the CDO, CIO, CISO, CMO would move onto other companies, not really having any connectivity to our customer. So when the past customer arrived at a new company, there was no brand attachment to our customer.
The opportunity was lost one year prior when CX had an opportunity to “socially surround” the buying committee (decision-makers, champions, influencers) and maintain those relationships for years. Those relationships would inevitable leave and job new accounts, creating massive customer referral opportunities at scale.
Lesson learnt – the time you spend with customers today will pay massive dividends to your new business development team next year!
2023 has exposed the Sales Enablement Gap
The market has turned. Cheap capital, easy sales and upside-down CAC:LTV models were allowed in a 0% interest rate world. That’s now dead. All hail the new regime that requires way more productivity from what appears to be an ever shrinking GTM team/budgets.
In the last few months we are seeing a heavy emphasis on skills development because we need more “yield per seller”. Why is this? It’s a waterfall effect:
- As capital and sales opportunities dry up, Inbound Leadflow shrinks
- The % of self-generated sales quota requirements (the burden placed on AE’s / CSM’s to “self-generate” increases to cover the delta/gap)
- Sales teams wake up to a reality. The AE’s / CSM’s – can’t, won’t, aren’t prospecting to cover this gap
- Seller’s need to sharpen that axe to make the “quota gap”.
I’m going to write more about this as I see it transpire, but I’m going to call it now – 2023 to 2025 as the market is bearish, sales enablement will boomerang as a massive growth driver for the business. Great sales enablement teams and programs will be able to:
- Increase sales tool adoption/ultization (eliminate ‘shelfware’)
- Drive accountability to daily/weekly sales activities, highly influencing sales opportunities
- Transferring bold & different sales ideas to unlock stuck and stagnant accounts.
Job Change Signals – marketing “air cover” vs. sales “ground cover”
Here is a best practice that our customer Snowflake started one year ago with their Relationship Signals that we have passed onto other newer customers – and it’s worked with great success.
Situation: There are two main Signal sales plays. Follow your Fans + Window of Change.
Opportunity: Rather than inundate the sales team with 100’s and 100’s of Signals per month, they focused the routing process.
- Ground Cover (Sales) – anyone that leaves a Customer (Follow your Fans) and joins a Prospect, that Signal is routed to a live BDR. That BDR can personalize the relationship building with the past customer. This is important because these are PAST CUSTOMERS!
- Air Cover (Marketing) – anyone changing jobs in their Prospect accounts (job change is not related to a Customer on the Move, just purely new hires and promotions), these Signals are routed to marketing and placed into marketing automation for campaigning. From there, marketing engages these prospects via organic content, paid media, email marketing campaigns. Any of these job changes that showcase Buying Intent, they then reroute ONLY THESE Signals to sales. Now you have an account with Buying Intent + new executive change.
This best practice maximizes the sellers capacity while also highlighting Buying Intent accounts with a real action-packed group of compelling events / triggers.
Day 31 – 75 for new CXOs, the ultimate “Window of Change”
Walk a mile in the shoes of a new executive.
Day 1 – 30 = “Where are the washrooms”? “Who reports where?”. At this moment, when your sales team reaches out, the response is usually “Thanks for reaching out. I just got here and am still trying to get my bearings”.
Day 31 – 75 = “Ok, I have a board meeting in 2 months. What are the key initiatives and changes I want to make this year?” At this moment, when your sales team reaches out:
- The buyer is open to new ideas and thinking creatively (being bold & different compared to their predecessors).
- The buyer wants to recall all the people, process, technology that made them successful in the past (legacy bias)
This is your moment. This is where you are planting the seeds of inception! Push the buy to think BOLD & DIFFERENT.
Day 75 – 100 = “I’m in board prep mode. Let me focus.” At this moment, when your sales team reaches out, there might be an opportunity to slip in a new idea or two, but it’s focus on the big meeting.
Day +100 = “I’m focused on executing my 3-5 initiatives for the year that I acquired budget for”. At this moment, when your sales team reaches out, they are competing against the mindshare of other initiatives and the buyer has had a moment to evaluate the pain/friction of displacing legacy people, process and technology VS. the opportunity cost of fighting over other political
Do you sell into the Fortune 2000?
Immediately launch your Fortune 2000 sales campaign to book meetings / SQL’s. Free Fortune 2000 – Executive Job Change Database – Access it here.