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The ART Of Selling Is Dead. Long Live Sales DATA!

Roy Raanani is the CEO and co-founder of Chorus.ai, a conversation intelligence platform for sales professionals.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Roy is explaining how data is going to pave a new way to do B2B sales and how we can leverage some of these insights right now. The art of selling is dead sales nation, it’s time to use data to win more business.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Roy Raanani
CEO and Co-Founder of Chorus.ai

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast.

 

Roy Raanani:

Big data is the idea that you have databases that are capturing pretty much every data point that matters. And you’re able to run analytics against it all in real time or very close to real time in order to inform better decisions and create better product experiences.

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation, I’m Will Barron and host of the Salesman Podcast. The world’s most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already make sure to click subscribe and with that, let’s meet today’s guests.

 

Roy Raanani:

Hi everyone. I’m Roy Raanani. I’m one of the founders and the CEO of Chorus.ai. We are a conversation intelligence business based out of San Francisco, I’m originally from Toronto Canada

 

Will Barron:

On this episode of the legend that is Roy we’re diving into data in sales. So we’re getting rid of the art of sales. We get rid of any gut feelings you may have on things. And we’re looking at the specific data itself and after 5 million plus calls, Roy has a series of real practical, actionable steps that we can implement into our game to improve our sales results. Let’s jump right in.

 

What is Big Data? · [01:11] 

 

Will Barron:

Well forget leadership for this episode. We want to know how data technology can help us hit our targets and drive revenue for the organisations that we work for. So to set that up, I’ve got a few questions or simple, I guess definitions that I want to kind of pitch to you. And that’ll tee up the rest of the conversation because these go up all the time, but even I I’m not always clear on what they mean. So with that, what does if I say to you big data, What does that literally mean?

 

“Big data is the idea that you have databases that are capturing pretty much every data point that matters. And you’re able to run analytics against it all in real time or very close to real time in order to inform better decisions and create better product experiences.” – Roy Raanani · [01:37] 

 

Roy Raanani:

Big data is the idea that you have databases that are capturing pretty much every data point that matters. And you’re able to run analytics against it all in real time or very close to real time in order to inform better decisions and create better product experiences.

 

Why is Big Data So Important in The Current Sales Environment? · [01:54]

 

Will Barron:

And why is this seemingly new? Why is this something that we can… That we’re talking about that there’s over organisations doing, we’ve voiced and then over email and other things as well. Why is this all of a sudden become to the forefront, and why is this like now is the time to start investigating this from a sales perspective?

 

Roy Raanani:

Well in the early days there was no data in sales at all because reps they had their contacts in your black book or your Rolodex. I used to have a little Casio handheld thing for my contact list. And then over time, a company called Salesforce.com came around and they had a very simple initial value prop, which was your contacts shouldn’t belong to individual sales reps. There should be a record of them with the company, so that if a sales person moves on to another role or retires or does something like that, those contacts don’t disappear.

 

Roy Raanani:

And so Salesforce.com actually started out as an address book, and we forced reps to put that information into the CRM. And over time that extended to asking reps to manually update more and more information that actually did very little to help the rep do their job better. But it was there purely for management to have more visibility into what was going on, but it was very very manual. And anytime something’s going to be manual, you’re not going to have very much data and you’re not going to have very good data.

 

Roy Raanani:

And over the years, more and more of our sales processes and our interactions with customers became digital. And when they become digital, you can capture that data automatically. So there are platforms today that will automatically scan your email, figure out who it’s with and then attach it to the appropriate CRM record. You’ll have software that will go out and look at your calendar and figure out when you have meetings with different organisations and companies and put that into the CRM for you. So you don’t need to do it.

 

Roy Raanani:

And now you have platforms like Outreach.io for example, which will do sales engagements and help you create repeatable outreach sequences to prospect into new companies. And there’ll be creating data around the open rates and the response rates and which emails are working and which ones aren’t working and create all of that data. And so when you have data at that scale being created completely automatically, the data grows very very fast. And then with a platform like Chorus.ai, which does the same type of thing is Outreach but for conversations, you now have a full record of everything that was said in a conversation, every action item, every competitive talk track and so on and so forth. And so you’re just creating a lot of data.

 

The Role of AI in Sales · [05:02]

 

Will Barron:

I Love it. Okay that makes total sense, and that’s sort of in the, I can now wrap my head around because I didn’t realise the kind of gap between where we were and where we are with that. Having grown up, I guess in the Salesforce age of selling myself and not have to carry around a Rolodex or some of the filing cabinets in the back of my car to kind of keep track of and that makes total sense. Okay with that then, and you didn’t mention this buzzword in that kind of description, but it comes up all the time. What does AI look like in this context? Is this literally some kind of super human intellectual floating computer that people have in the office that is capable of taking over the world and so we only have a limited internet connection to it just in case, or is AI kind of a useful tool but not quite that yet. 

 

Roy Raanani:

You know it’s interesting the way that we frame things I think really matters. And so given your audience let’s talk to… So I’m going to talk to you to every sales person on the phone or, sorry listening to the podcast. When we talk about AI it feels a bit strange to me because companies don’t have budgets for AI, right? AI is cool but companies don’t have budgets for cool. Right? And I’m sure you’ve all experienced that. When we get on the phone and we talk about how cool our products are and what features they have and what they do, our analysis of millions of conversations shows that that doesn’t get you anywhere.

 

Roy Raanani:

And so, what I want us to focus on in the conversation are the problems that AI can help solve for customers. And so I see AI and machine learning as being something that’s going to be added to the platforms that we already use to make our jobs easier. And so there’s a joke obviously a lot of AI is marketing and there’s a common joke that if it’s written in Python, which is a programming language, then it’s machine learning. And if it’s written in PowerPoint with AI, and so I would think about examples of AI or machine learning that we have in our day-to-day usage.

 

Roy Raanani:

If you use Gmail, as you start writing emails it will auto suggest what the next sentence should be or complete the sentence for you. And you can fill it out by hitting tab. If you’re using a platform like Outreach, it will look at the conversation that took place, and it will suggest maybe as an email sequence that will help you get a higher engagement because of the way that somebody responded. And so I think that yeah, I would look at what is the specific problem that we’re solving and then can AI help a sales rep either replace a task that they used to do themselves, which they no longer have to do. And a classic example of that might be scheduling a meeting, right? So we’ll, we’ve agreed to meet, you suggested some times there are platforms out there that will take that email and then find a common time and schedule the meeting for you.

 

Roy Raanani:

And that’s great because it frees my time as a sales rep up from that mundane non-value-added activity. And it frees it up to focus more on actually having conversations and engaging with my customers and so on. And then there’s a second category of AI that doesn’t replace what you’re doing for you, but it helps give you superpowers. So think of it as Ironman, it gives you Ironman light powers through that suit, as opposed to replacing you with an Android. An examples like that would be something like Choru.ai, where we know that the most important thing that you can do as a salesperson is be focused on your conversation with a prospect.

 

“There’s no way that AI is going to replace a sales person in the next, at least during my lifetime I believe. But we can definitely make everybody more productive and more effective through the technology.” – Roy Raanani · [08:53] 

 

Roy Raanani:

And you can’t do that and perform active listening and be engaged while taking notes. So Chorus will record the meeting for you and the second the meeting is over, you’ll have access to the video, the screen share, a transcript, all of the action items or the next steps that were discussed and we’ll make it easy for you to go back to that conversation and find the key moments. There’s no way that an AI is going to replace a sales person in the next, at least during my lifetime I believe. But we can definitely make everybody more productive and more effective through the technology.

 

Will Barron:

Love it. So you frame that up perfectly because towards the end of the show, when I look at what all this looks like in five, 10 years from now and whether certain sales roles could be replaced by an AI, whether the SDR role, if you’re just spamming emails and you’re not going any further than that, maybe that could be automated, right? So we’ll come on to all that later on when your frame that perfectly so I appreciate that Roy.

 

The Infinite Data Points Roy and His Team Got From Analysing 5 Million Phone Calls · [09:30]

 

Will Barron:

So with all that said, now we’ve got context of what a Chorus AI can do for us, you mentioned Outreach and I know a couple of platforms there as well. What do you know and kind of from all the data you’ve pulled from, what is it 5 million plus calls now? How much data did you know from all of… Let me put a different way. We’re getting to the specifics of what can particularly help the audience in a second, but from 5 million phone calls. How many millions of data points does that kind of add up to?

 

Roy Raanani:

I couldn’t even tell you, because there are an infinite number of data points in every conversation because you could measure everything, we measure obviously there’s the transcript of every word that’s spoken. We have data on what’s being shared on the screen. We have data on who is saying what, and so how engaged are the different people in the meeting and what are they saying, you have all of the action items. And then of course you have the analysis of the sales process.

 

Roy Raanani:

So being able to deconstruct what is the topic that we were talking about and how much time did we spend talking about that topic. And then of course all the outcomes, so a conversation with these types of things were with this account, which is in this industry with this deal size, with this close date and so on and so forth, and putting all of that information together to give you insights on how you can win more business.

 

How to Recognise the High Performing Salespeople within Organisations Using AI and Data Analytics · [11:40]

 

Will Barron:

So how would you then, because this fascinates me because I like to think about this on a small scale of wherever consulting I do is you go into teams, a hundred sales reps, you see what the top sales reps are doing, you try and reverse engineer that. How would you go about doing that with all of this data? Do you have a context of who’s crushing it in sales and who isn’t and then you try and skew data points towards that end to see what some people are doing and some people aren’t. Is that how you’d go about it?

 

Roy Raanani:

Yeah, it’s a really great question. So I’m going to use specific examples to highlight how we do this because I want it to be useful for your listeners.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Roy Raanani:

And not just theoretical. So there are two things that we do. One is we look for patterns across all of our sales reps that are using the platform, which are thousands and thousands of reps at some of the fastest growing top performing sales organisations in the world. So we work with companies like Outreach and Zoom and Qualtrics and Adobe and Procore and all of these amazing companies. And the second thing that we do is we look at what specific top performers do on your team and we make it really easy for you and everybody else to learn from how they handle tricky situations.

 

“A couple of weeks ago we released data in partnership with Zoom video communications, which is a fantastic video conferencing platform. And what we found was that the win rate on deals where all parties of the conversation had video turned on is 9% higher than the win rate when you don’t use video.” – Roy Raanani · [12:30] 

 

Roy Raanani:

And so you can think of that as Chorus finding the needles in a haystack, but the needles are maybe golden nuggets of how they handled a difficult situation that led to closing the largest deal this quarter. So what does that look like? A couple of weeks ago we released data in partnership with Zoom video communications, which is a fantastic video conferencing platform. And what we found was that the win rate on deals where all parties of the conversation had video turned on is 9% hig`her than the win rate when you don’t use video.

 

Roy Raanani:

And that is not like I’ll say it again. It’s a 9% win rate across a very large sample of people that are taking these meetings. And so there’s something about… Now obviously this is correlation it’s not causation. So you have to ask yourself, what do we think is happening when both or all parties have videos on. And we know that it’s important to create trust. We know it’s important to create credibility. We know that it’s important to build rapport. All of those things are enabled when you have video on. And so maybe that’s the reason, but that’s an example of something where you could take reps and presumably without changing anything else about their underlying skills. If you turn on video, if you ask your prospects to turn on video, if you appear professional and so on and so forth, you can move the needle on your win rates.

 

Reasons to Turn On Your Webcam During Virtual Sales Conversations · [13:55]  

 

Will Barron:

How much of this then, and I want to get to more specific examples if we can in a second. But how much of this is… I don’t know if there’s a way to pull data on this as well. How much of it is common sense versus things that super counter-intuitive? Because it makes sense that if everyone’s on video, you’re selling to Betty, well if Betty’s not on video she might be picking a nose or walking a dog or doing some random thing and not paying attention to you. If she’s on video, just social conditioning, would it take that she’s going to at least pay attention to you for the time of the conversation, right? So that’s somewhat common sense clearly named centres, an incredible number to come off the back of that. So how much of if this can be measured is do you prove that common sense things work and how much of it you go, “Oh, we never could have imagined that trait or this thing or that language”, it makes a huge difference.

 

Roy Raanani:

Yeah. There’s that saying that we wish that common sense were more common. So I think that in some cases you’re absolutely right. We’re finding data that’s reinforcing things that expert salespeople and sales leaders have been telling us to do forever. But a lot of the things in sales is about creating visibility into what’s actually happening, so that you can change behaviours for so many people simply knowing how many emails and phone calls and meetings am I having a week creates that visibility that allows you to keep on track, to make sure that you’re building the pipeline that you need to hit your number.

 

Roy Raanani:

There are many people that don’t do that. So with video for example what we found, which did surprise us and surprise the sales leaders at our customers were that many sales reps are choosing not to turn video on. So that’s a pretty quick win, right? Where you just say “Oh, I didn’t think it made a difference.” And it turns out that actually does make a difference. There are other things that the data tells you that is a bit counter-intuitive or maybe it’s not counter-intuitive, but maybe you wouldn’t have thought to talk about it with your team.

 

“One of the things that has the biggest impact on your number is pricing. So if you think of it, the hardest thing to do is obviously to get somebody to decide to buy. And then there’s a relatively short but extremely high impact part of the conversation where you’re negotiating the price or you’re positioning the price.” – Roy Raanani · [16:03] 

 

Roy Raanani:

One of the things that has the biggest impact on your number is pricing, right? So if you think of it the hardest thing to do is obviously to get somebody to decide to buy. And then there’s a relatively short but extremely high impact part of the conversation where you’re negotiating the price or you’re positioning the price. And so what our algorithms did was look at when you talk pricing and when discounting starts being discussed in the conversation. And what we found was when you look at words in the pricing conversation that lead to more discounting conversations, it’s adjectives around the word price. So for example, if I were to say well ask me how much are our widgets costs.

 

Will Barron:

How much does your widget cost Roy?

 

Roy Raanani:

Well our widgets list at $25 per widget. Now, when I say that, when I say that our list price is $25 per widget, what is your immediate next question going to be?

 

Will Barron:

The [inaudible [00:17:14] incredible customer for you Roy, I don’t want list price I want to work with you on some kind of partnership or something along those lines to get a discount.

 

“Being confident and being precise in positioning pricing gives you more control over how you run that conversation, and then obviously how you run the negotiation down the line.” – Roy Raanani · [17:53] 

 

Roy Raanani:

Bingo, right? As soon as you qualify it, people realise nobody pays list price. Why are you qualifying it? Either there’s a price or it’s negotiable and so when we found that there are words like list price, standard pricing, generally, right? So if you say like, “Oh, we generally price at thousand dollars per user per year.” We generally price at this much for this, it’s like okay, well then there are exceptions. And then they want to dig into the exceptions, they want to understand that and so on and so forth. So being confident and being precise in positioning pricing gives you more control over how you run that conversation, and then obviously how you run the negotiation down the line. And that’s something that I think when you think about it explicitly you say yeah, that makes sense. But the data showed that there was this very strong correlation to it.

 

Will Barron:

How much for an individual rep does the conversation change? Because this seems fascinating because it seems like your environment, the mood, your energy levels, how well you slept, these are all things that I’m working on. We can talk about this offer and another time. These are all things that I’m working on tracking for audience at SalesNation with our own kind of service. Because I feel like they’re the underlying things that I know that I soak everything if I don’t have eight and a half to nine hours of sleep, unfortunately I can survive on six hours, but my work is just rubbish. These interviews are terrible if I, if I go down that front.

 

Analyzing the Factors Affecting the Standard and Outcome of a Good or Poor Sales Call · [19:03] 

 

Will Barron:

So we’re working on tracking all of that. And I know that effects the language that I use. I listen back to a podcast where I’m tired and a podcast where I’m less tired, there’s more stuttered, there’s worse questions, or it’s the same question, but worded differently. So for an individual rep who has multiple calls in the bank and being recorded. How much variance is there between kind of the best performances and their worst performances?

 

“No sales rep is perfect. You can imagine that there’s one sales rep who’s really good at the top of the funnel, they have incredible grit, they have incredible tenacity, they’re very good at hooking you with the attention. But maybe they’re not very good at delivering a demo.” – Roy Raanani · [19:29] 

 

Roy Raanani:

Yeah, that’s a really good question. What we find is that for most reps we’ll handle specific situations in certain ways, and they may do that particularly well. So the way to think about it is that no sales rep is perfect. You can imagine that there’s one sales rep who’s really good at the top of the funnel, they have incredible grit, they have incredible tenacity, they’re very good at hooking you with the attention. But maybe they’re not very good at delivering a demo in a way that focuses on the pain points that a prospect has and engages them during that demo process to connect the dots about why they need something, right?

 

“The idea of lone wolves that are amazing and deliver 30% of the quarterly number is moving towards how do we build a killer team where we can all learn from one another.” – Roy Raanani · [20:12] 

 

Roy Raanani:

There may be another rep that actually works really really well in a competitive situation where the prospect is fully educated and leaning towards your competition, and they’re very very good at selling the differences. And so what we’d like to do is say the idea of moving from lone wolfs that are amazing and deliver 30% of the quarterly number is moving towards how do we build a killer team where we can all learn from one another? And that’s one of the things that Chorus will do. We’ll find that there’s a rep that that was able to rescue a competitive deal. And Chorus we’ll highlight here are the 15 minutes across three calls where we dug into the competition.

 

Roy Raanani:

And just like every professional athlete will watch film after a loss or after a win to understand what went well, what didn’t go well. We sit down as a team and we look at them and say, “Wow well, I really liked the way that you handled that situation”. And remember most reps just like you said, so much of it’s unconscious, right? You’re in the moment and it has to do with how well did you sleep, are you exercising? Did you have a clear mind? Are you feeling confident or did you just get absolutely crushed on your last call? And all of that stuff matters, but once you were in the moment, these are things that could be a flash in the pan, they happen and they’re gone forever.

 

Roy Raanani:

But when you’re recording those meetings and they’re accessible to the entire team, it becomes lightning in a bottle. And we can look at it and we can review it, we can say “Okay, wow I see what I did here and I actually understand why it was so effective”. And then you share that best practise with everyone on the team. And so I learned from you on how you handle competitive situations, you learn from me on how I do my discovery and go down the pain funnel. And we learn from somebody else in terms of how they set up the post-purchase implementation cycle. And so I think it’s more about that and upleveling skills than it is saying I’m always good or I’m always bad. I think that different people have different strengths.

 

How Much of Our Daily Sales Conversations are Unconscious Versus Conscious? · [22:20]

 

Will Barron:

Awesome. Okay so this one again I don’t know if there’s an answer to it, but I’m sure there will be an answer at some point in time when we can track it if we can’t already. So using language, is there a way to suss out how much of a conversation is done just through the subconscious, like when we drive somewhere and we go, “holy heck I’ve got an even thinking”, especially if we’re doing the same sales over and over and over. Is there a way to measure how much of a conversation is unconscious? It’s just rolling off the top of our head versus the alternatives of that which might be the consultative sale where you’re asking questions, you’re being super vigilant to the answers that come back to you and you’re changing your game in real time with the conversation as it’s unfolding.

 

“The very best sales organisations have well-structured sales processes, which means that there is a blueprint but not a script. The blueprint is what’s important, it’s about we’re going to go through this period of discovery, and then we’re going to go into this period of a demo. And so our analysis shows that an average demo’s 29 minutes and that the very best reps create deep engagement with the prospect every eight minutes.” – Roy Raanani · [22:57] 

 

Roy Raanani:

Yeah. That’s another really good question. What we found is that the very best sales organisations have well-structured sales processes, which means that there is a blueprint but not a script, right? The blueprint is what’s important, it’s about we’re going to go through this period of discovery, and then we’re going to go into this period of a demo, right? And so our analysis shows that an average demo’s 29 minutes and that the very best reps create deep engagement with the prospect every eight minutes.

 

Roy Raanani:

So you’ll see that there are certain reps that will just talk for 29 minutes straight with very simple questions like, will does that make sense? Did you have any questions? No. Okay I’m going to move on. And then it’s 30 minutes of word vomit and the very best reps are every time that they get through a meaningful thing, a meaningful part of the demo, they’re asking a question, and then they’re asking questions that actually forced the prospect to connect the dots in their minds. Right? Well I just walked you through this part of the platform that would enable you to do X, Y and Z, can you walk me through how that would change or how that would fit into your workflow? Can you walk me through what challenges you might see yourself having implementing this, right? Things like that and so just keeping that conversation going.

 

Why You Need to Have a Blueprint for Sales Methodologies Instead of a Sales Script · [24:19] 

 

Will Barron:

[crosstalk [00:24:19] Are those questions documented and that’s part of the process. So you’re asking not predetermined questions, but well yeah essentially. So you’re not reading from a script, but you are somewhat scripting or shaping the conversation as opposed to going in there with a clear head, you’ve just meditated for five minutes before hand you’ve sat on top of the hill somewhere and you’re going right, I’m just going to be there for the person I’m speaking to.

 

Roy Raanani:

Yeah. I think I’ll go back to the sports analogy because I do think that there are some people that think of sales as completely artistic driven, right? Like I’m amazing, let me show up I can be completely unprepared and we’ll get things done. I would think of it for anybody that watches boxing or mixed martial arts, what you do is you drill very specific combinations, you drill very specific situations that matter. And then you let your training take over when you’re in the moment.

 

Roy Raanani:

And so what I would say is the very best sales reps, and it’s actually amazing because when we brought the product to market, a lot of people would say Oh, but aren’t salespeople going to feel like the company is watching them like Big Brother, if there are recordings of the meetings”. And it turns out that sales reps love the platform because they don’t want to take notes. And the very top performers actually go back and they review their meetings. They review their meetings, they’re the heaviest users of the platform, because when they do a follow-up, they want to know exactly what the prospect said in their own words to craft the follow-up. They want to prepare for the next meeting by going over what were the key points that we talked about three weeks ago. And I’ve had 35 meetings since then, so I can’t remember I want to be in the right mind frame for that prospect to create that continuity.

 

Roy Raanani:

And they do actually think about what are the important questions I want to ask and how do I want to ask them? Or when I get asked about pricing, I want to have a very confident answer around that, or when I get asked about a competitor, I want to have a very confident answer around that. And so they drill it and they listen and learn from how other people do it. And then when you’re in the moment, you let your training take over, you have the blueprint but you’re innovating in your freeform within that.

 

The Links Between Sales Success and Competitive Sports · [26:52] 

 

Will Barron:

Got it. Is there any of… So I want to get super practical in a second and talk about use the sentence, the situations that matter. I want to dive into them in a second because that’ll be real practical for the audience, and there’ll be some good takeaways there. But you keep using the sports analogy and so I train Brazilian jujitsu, I use that as an analogy in sales all the time because there’s a tonne of kind of overlap there with different things. But just continuing the sports analogy to wrap up this part of the show Roy, is there anything else that translates from sports to sales that we haven’t touched on?

 

Roy Raanani:

So there’s an amazing book called Peak, which is if you read the Malcolm Gladwell book The Tipping Point, he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. And so this is the guy who did all the research that led into that. And one of the things that he talks about is that you can develop… Anyone can develop expertise in anything with the right type of intentional practise. And so the only thing that I want to do is take a step back and say we had one of our customers actually comment on a LinkedIn post where we talked about why athletes make such great sales reps.

 

Roy Raanani:

And he took offence to that because he said, Look it’s not just about athletes, I don’t want to have this mentality that’s all about sports anybody that has developed expertise in anything has gone through this. If you become amazing at chess, if you’ve become amazing at playing the guitar or the drums or an instrument or anything else, it applies. I think it comes down to intentional practise. It comes down to intentional practise, putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. And in many cases having some form of a coach that can look at what you’re doing, even if they’re not necessarily better than you, right? Mike Tyson’s coach was not a better boxer than Mike Tyson.

 

“What we see the best salespeople and the best sales teams do is they block off a couple of hours a week, even if it’s just two hours on a Friday afternoon to do an intentional review. And it might be, “we just closed an amazing deal, I want everybody to listen to the key calls in that deal, and I want you to write down your own takeaways about what Rebecca did that you think influenced that competitive win.” – Roy Raanani · [28:37] 

 

Roy Raanani:

But having somebody that can just look at what you’re doing and impartially highlight, can help you create that awareness of where there’s a gap and help you close it. And that’s what we see the best sales people and the best sales teams do. They block off a couple of hours a week, even if it’s just two hours on a Friday afternoon to do intentional review, right? And it might be we just closed an amazing deal let’s listen, I want everybody to listen to the key calls in that deal, and I want you to write down your own takeaways about what Rebecca did that you think influenced that competitive win and just be intentional about it and yeah, that would be my answer.

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Love it that’s [Crosstalk [00:29:12].

 

Roy Raanani:

Just review the film.

 

The Multi-threaded Sales Approach and Why it Matters · [29:15] 

 

Will Barron:

That’s fantastic, great. So with that let’s wrap up the show here Roy. What would be… we’ve touched on price, which I guess is a key element of this, but what would be one or two other situations that matter, I guess when we’re on the phone, when we’re… Throughout the sales process not necessarily just to the closing end of it?

 

“I think most of us realise now that if you’re only working with one person in the account, it is very unlikely, at least in a B2B setting, that’s going to result in a deal. Our analysis showed that if you’re having meetings with multiple stakeholders, but your typical meeting is one-on-one meeting, I meet with you, I meet with Rebecca, I meet with Jennifer, those are all the right people, but we’re meeting one-on-one and independently, that is a very high predictor of the deal being lost.” – Roy Raananni · [29:48] 

 

Roy Raanani:

Ooh. Okay. Let’s start with a really easy one. I don’t know if everybody uses this term multithreading, but this idea of working with multiple contacts at an account in order to get a deal done. I think most of us realise now that if you’re only working with one person in the account, it is very unlikely at least in a B2B setting that’s going to result in a deal. Our analysis showed that if you’re having meetings with multiple stakeholders, but your typical meeting is one-on-one meeting, I meet with you, I meet with Rebecca, I meet with Jennifer, those are all the right people, but we’re meeting one-on-one and independently, that is a very high predictor of the deal being lost.

 

“What we find is that one of the roles that we have as sales people is to get all the right people in the right room and facilitate the conversation amongst them. So my advice to sales people is number one, to the extent you can schedule meetings with a bunch of people together with a really compelling reason to do that. And once you have them in the meeting, think very proactively about how you develop a skill to moderate the meeting, as opposed to you being the one talking all the time, develop that moderation skill.” – Roy Raanani · [30:20] 

 

Roy Raanani:

And so what we find is that one of the roles that we have as sales people is to get all the right people in the right room and facilitate the conversation amongst them. And so, one of the things that Chorus will do in a recording is show you when each person in the meeting is talking and how much time they spoke. So my advice to sales people is number one, to the extent you can schedule meetings with a bunch of people together with a really compelling reason to do that. And once you have them in the meeting, think very proactively about how you develop a skill to moderate the meeting, as opposed to you being the one talking all the time, develop that moderation skill.

 

“If you see a deal where you’re trying to get more people involved and they’re just refusing to do that, then I would think really long and hard about investing more time into that account.” – Roy Raanani · [31:37] 

 

Roy Raanani:

So what are the ways to say “Oh, Jennifer we haven’t actually heard much from you. And I know that this is going to impact your department. How are you thinking about this?” Or “John and Frank we’re going to need to work together in order to get this done. Why don’t you talk through, likehow do you actually see the rollout taking place?” Right? And get them talking. So it’s a lot about preparation, get the right people into the meeting and then facilitate those conversations is number one. And if you see a deal where you’re trying to get more people involved and they’re just refusing to do that, then I would think really long and hard about investing more time into that account, if you can’t multithread.

 

Data on the Number of People a Salesperson Should Have in a B2B Sales Meeting to Guarantee Successful Deal Closure · [32:15] 

 

Will Barron:

[inaudible [00:31:49] this question is it depends, but the maybe data on it, we’re told that I think it was 18 months ago. It was 6.8 buyers per business deal, a B2B deal. I’ve just been private to data that’s now yet, so I won’t share that because this is the first time anyone’s come to me with data beyond the scene. So I won’t give out that, but the numbers got up, right? The numbers going up all the time. Do you see that in your data that for a certain deal size, a rep has conversations with two individuals for a bigger deal size that rep has in the same account conversations were perhaps four or five people?

 

“You know that you’ve built some momentum in the account when you can get a bunch of people into a room and they invite you into that conversation.” – Roy Raanani · [32:46] 

 

Roy Raanani:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. At least in our customers and where they sell into the larger the deals, the more folks you have involved. And like we said a very strong predictor that a deal is going to close lost is if you’re only having meetings with one person, even if it’s different people all the time. So you know that you’ve built some momentum in the account when you can get a bunch of people into a room and they invite you into that conversation.

 

Will Barron:

Is there any data on an all wrap up with this, because this could be a conversation five hours long in itself. Do you have data on length of deal cycle?

 

Roy Raanani:

We haven’t spent too much time looking at that. There are other companies that are out there like CAMICO and People.ai that really look at the activities, just the number of activities that take place across the sales cycle to figure out what’s in backs to those types of sales cycles. And so I’d encourage your readers to check out their blogs, to see what types of insights they could get around that.

 

How Roy and His Team at Chorus.ai Help Salespeople Improve Sales Conversations · [33:31] 

 

Will Barron:

Cool. Only two, or that insurance this episode over at Salesman.org. Okay then we’ll just the final kind of one on this Roy. Is there anything that we’ve missed? Is there anything that if we hang up now you’ll be screaming five seconds later for not sharing with the audience, not sharing with SalesNation, So when they can really impact the day from which is amazing, the data that you guys are collecting?

 

Roy Raanani:

Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t say there’s so much work that we’ve done and all of that work gets published on our blog. So if you head over to www.chorus.ai, go over to our blog, sign up for the blog and you’ll get a very actionable data-driven insights, like I described that will help you understand what changes you can make to improve your win rates and crush your quota. And the other place that we’d love to see you is on LinkedIn. If you go to chorus.ai and you follow us, we always post our research to LinkedIn. And it would be amazing to see you there. And let us know if there are specific questions or research that you want us to dig into that you think could help make you a better more effective sales person. And we’d love to dig into it and see what we find.

 

Roy’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [34:56]

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well Yeah. I have a list of about 14 things for me when I’ve a ponder over this and wake up in the morning Saturday morning and kind of go for it back in my mind, this is top of my kind of focus and priority of insights and data that we can pull out of. Essentially general activities that we’re doing every day, right? This is the beauty of it, which is you’re teed up at the top of the show which is fantastic that we’re doing all this. We might as well get data on the back of it. With that Roy got one final question, mate. So I’m going to ask everyone that comes on the show and that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling.

 

Roy Raanani:

Review the film.

 

Will Barron:

Other than what we’ve talked about in today’s show, because that’s a cop out we can’t go down that road.

 

Roy Raanani:

I mean I think it’s… I’m not exaggerating… I think well, okay. So it’d probably two things. One would be learn as much as you can about people, so there’s a lot of books on selling and there are a lot of books on how people make decisions and how people think about their career development and things like that. And at the end of the day, we’re dealing with people. And at Chorus for example, when we talk about our customers, we don’t talk about logos, we talk about specific people at specific companies, and we talk about what they want to do with their careers. We talk about specific reps and what they want to accomplish and how we can help them.

 

Roy Raanani:

And a lot of selling is about understanding how businesses work. So understanding how do budgets get set, how do budgets get allocated, How do those decisions get made, how do people make individual decisions and how do they think about risk, right? Whenever you’re buying something you’re putting a bit of your career at risk by recommending a vendor or a partner. And so understanding the psychology of people and reading up on that.

 

Roy Raanani:

And I know it can be really difficult as a sales person, especially if you’re earlier in your career where maybe you don’t have exposure to how senior people in organisations make decisions. So how do you get that knowledge and many organisations struggle to provide that type of coaching, so it might be an online MBA programme, it may be reading up on books, but that’s what I would say. Like understand people and the selling will almost come more naturally.

 

Will Barron:

Because you’re an MBA writer I’m correct in thinking that.

 

Roy Raanani:

I am, yeah.

 

Parting Thoughts · [38:56] 

 

Will Barron:

Are there any… I’ve never asked this question before. Are there any more academic business books that the audience wouldn’t see the top of the Amazon bestseller list, which would be useful for them to learn about, even if it’s finances or kind of like risk management within organisations, is there anything on that front that you could recommend?

 

Roy Raanani:

The best learning that I had when… Happened when I was in consulting. So I worked for a consulting firm called Bain for eight years where we were working with organisations, and I found that that learning was more effective than a lot of what I learned in business school.

 

Will Barron:

Okay.

 

Roy Raanani:

So I think maybe the right answer here is talk to people, so be curious and if for example you’ve developed really good relationship with a customer, you’ve brought them on as a customer offer to take them out for lunch and just say, “Hey listen, as a sales person, early in my career, I don’t really have exposure to all this stuff. Would you mind helping me understand how these types of decisions actually get made? I’m thrilled to have you on, but can you tell me what really happens in the background and knowing what we know now, what would have been the most effective way to bring you on as a customer?”

 

Roy Raanani:

And have those conversations because what I found is there’s a famous saying that if you ask for money, you’ll get advice. And if you ask for advice, you’ll get money. And so people I find if you’re authentic about it, we’ll be more than willing to help you out and so try, ask one of your customers, “can I take you out to lunch?” And just ask you a bunch of questions about how your organisation works and how you make decisions to make me better.

 

Will Barron:

Love it. That is incredible insights. I appreciate that Roy. And we’ve mentioned the blog, the service at the LinkedIn page. Is there anything else you want to share before we wrap up?

 

Roy Raanani:

No that’s it, just wishing everybody an amazing 2019. I hope that you all crush your numbers and if you’re not already a Chorus customer hopefully we’ll get a chance to work together at some point in the near future.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. With that Roy I want to thank you for your time, your insights mate, and for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Roy Raanani:

Thank you very much.

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