B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

51: 2 Steps to Seal the Deal With Your Prospects (and Avoid the “Valley of Death” for Contracts) w/ Samir Smajic


Closing a deal isn’t as easy as it should be. 

Some research suggests that 60% of all deals you have in the contract stage end up in the “Valley of Death,” the dark where nothing happens.

The challenge, then, really has nothing to do with your competitors. Instead, it’s all about how you handle your own end of the sales process. How do you push deals all the way through to the very end?

In this episode, we interview Samir Smajic, CEO and Founder at GetAccept, about a couple of ways to close out sales and avoid the Valley where deals go to die.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of salesand marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcometo be tob revenue acceleration. My name is Dane Seber. Can I'm heretoday with summits, myitch CEO and founder at gets accept. How you todaysummit? So it's really good. I mean end of quarter, Q twoand end up h one, being that the half year. So I meanthe stress is total. That is busy but fun. A lot of dealsbeing closed, a lot of hiring and a lot of things that needs tobe settled before vacation time coming up now, in in July here and here forus in in the nordics. So busy, busy, but fun.Good to hear and know. Well. I appreciate you taking the time tojoin us in this in the last week of the quart and also, toyour point, there is quite unusual for someone in Scandinavia to still be inthe office of this time year. So I appreciate that it is through.No, but July is where everyone takes off, so I still have acouple of days left. Okay, good, good stuff. So to me,the topic that we planning to discuss today is around an article that youput together actually, which was a five steps to still the deal with yourprospects. Before we get into that, you please give us a bit ofbackground and yourself and also your company, gets accept of course, of course. So, I mean, if we go way back, I'm a mechanicalengineer from from the beginning, never worked as one. I love people andnot numbers. So I actually started Anna as a ceram consultant. So Iwas out getting my fair share of sales management and project management education. Andwhen I implemented crms here in the nordics and during my time period there,I got really, really tired of all loud sales reps who more or lesssold things that wasn't possible to implement in the cerm that we that we weredeveloping and selling. So actually switched to a new role in that company,becoming the product management product manager there. So that's also where I where Igot like in love in in software and how develop, how to develop likesimple software and easy to use software. So that's where everything started, moreor less, and and through that process I was like really into like howsales reps were doing their job, how they were developing and how we coulddevelop the product connected to the sales process. More or less. That was whereI came up with came up with get accept, and the main reasonwas, like I saw, like you have full control of the process,you're setting the meetings, you're talking with with with the buyers, but thenwhen you when you actually send the quote or the contract, you have moreor less no control of what's up next. I mean you have giving them thenumbers, you're giving them the solution and now it's up to them totake the decision. And so there was a gap there and where our salesreps and close the deals. So try to figure out, like how canwe help in the end of the sales cay cycle, and that's where whereget accept comes in, more or less.

So this is like four years backin time since since we started that journey off get accept more or lessinteresting. Yeah, and I think think that's probably a problem. You've identifieda lot of organization the facing on a day to day basis, and nowwhat we often see is that sales and marketing teams get it very excited when, when a new lead comes in and they service a new lead initially andand take it to a certain point where that's up to the proposal and then, and then often get kind of, I guess, can place in itand when the prospect showing a certain amount of interesting interaction, often start thinkingthat the deals done before for it truly is done. Now you, aswe alluded to a couple of minutes ago, you've developed five step process to ensurethat deals progress through the funal way to close and to purchase order actuallybeing in hand. So can you please jet more detail around those five stepswith with our audience? Yeah, and that's these these five steps are actuallylike outside of of get except, to be honest, it's more like afive step process of how how we think of closing, closing the deal,where the first thing is super easy and everyone talks about it. It's aboutlike really make clear what is the value. I think many, many sales reptfocus on the product, selling the features, but everyone knows that youneed to ask the an ended question so that you can use that information toreally explain what the value with the features is. But very few of usare listening in and are actually using that through the process. I think thefirst thing is that you should always make sure to not only explain the featuresthat you that you have or that you can provide, but the value thatcomes with the feature that you're that you're selling. For example, and onething that we did that that helped a lot was really make a least ofall the features you have and the value that they are connected but also thepain point that this feature or solving. So if you're in a call here, okay, I have problem, like I'm sending too many, many quotes. I can't like manage to follow up on everyone. Okay, what featureare connected to this and what value should you bring up in that kind ofconversation, so that you hit them straight on the head with that instead ofare saying, okay, we have an automated follow up feature and which whichreally really doesn't resignate. Maybe what what they're thinking of, so that that'sjust like a simple thing of making your value more clear in the process.That makes sense and from your perspective, I mean most of our listeners andmost and most of the companies that we do business within in general or inthe software space. How do you ensure that your sales team move away fromthe talking about features and benefits but actually hone in on the value of theof the prospect. To do that based on the position of that prospect?Would that be based on value that you're bringing two similar organization, just simplecompanies, in a similar vertical? What are some tips that you would thatyou would typically share with yourselves team? Yeah, of course, like ifyou're, if you're really nail down on a certain certain vertical, you youmost likely know all the paint points and...

...then you of course ask the rightquestions through that, through that journey, and as you get the different answersof that, you know exactly which features the Demo and when you demo afeature, make sure that you're not saying, okay, this is the feature andthen you show off it more saying okay, this is the feature,this is what it will help you with, and then stop and then ask,for example, how do you think this could help you in the journey? You just explain to me this pain point that you had. Will thishelp you, so that you always like stop and ask for like small acceptsthrough that, through that demo. That's something that we are educating our salesreps and it's always get these small acceptance through a full demo so that whenyou're through the demo you have accepted all the check or they all the checkmarks, all the needs that has been phrased through the through the through thepain conversation. More or less. That's just one simple thing that you cando that makes sense. Okay, interesting, and then in general, obviously getaccepted. Is a technology that's helping sales people close more? Yeah,the old more business. If we look at the the widest sort of salesand marketing technology market, how do you see technology helping to make the closingprocess smoother and more effective? And do you think you think that's replacing partsof the salesperson's job, or do you think it is really augmenting and supportingthem to do more? No, but I mean the discussion now is muchabout how ai will replace every sales rep in the world and there will beno more sales reps and and I mean I don't, I don't believe inthat. It's more about the process itself. Is Changing. Of course it's moreonline, just like the business to consumer has changed. We're do allbusiness online now. That's that's happening in be to be to like and youonly need to adapt. And what we really believe in and get accept isthe power of personalization, the power of relationship. I think that will stillconsist even if it's moving inline. So the only thing you need to dois like, how can I dress that in a more online world? Andthat's really what we're trying to do with get accept. I mean we're justtrying to build an online platform where we help businesses do more business, butin a more online world in the in the future. So I mean that'swhat is all around. personalization, engagement through the process, through the salesprocess, more or less. Okay, that makes sense now. We spoke, I guess, particularly around the point in your five step processor. Wemainly discussed the idea of shuring that you make the value. Ali. Whatdid it? What are the other points? I really done that from that sortof five step process, that the really I think the most simple one, is the most scary one, is actually just asking for the clothes.I mean often we walk around and walk around the actually accept, but Imean if you're if you're of checked all the needs, you just need toask the magical question, like what is between us and assigned contract now inthe end. So that's just a super...

...simple thing that we implemented in ourorganizations. Ay, like, okay, if you have all checkmarks, justask for it. Sometimes people think that is like a little bit too pushpushy. And then then another kind of way of doing it is actually justskip the closing and go for the planning. For example, if you are aconsultancy organization, you have consultants and maybe they are getting booked and booked. So for now, for for Summer Times, where everything everyone is takingvacation, you need to maybe make clear that after vacation everyone is taking decisions. Now, after vacation, everything is booked. So if you want toget started in September, we need to get this contract signed, because Ican't, I can't like sell you something and that we can't think we can'tprovide later on. So you need to take this decision now so you makeit more urgent for them to close now, for example. That's just just asimple thing to use. Use it like a thing connected to the urgentand see if you have by thinking. I think you need to be awareof also that don't I hate those calling me like her selling ads in papersand in web pages. So is always all you have, this last spot. It's like the last one in the paid or on the that certain pageor in this paper, and I can only sell it to you right nowand I have a someone else that I will I will sell it to ifyou don't take it. I mean that just feel so teas. It's justjust if you if you want to use that technique, you need to reallyhave something compelling and something that you can use as an urgency in the processof asking for the clothes. That makes sense. And do you think thatit is sort of the moment to ask for the clothes is varying based onthe complexity of the cell process, of the cell cycle. Do you thinkthat sort of idea that you just describe it if you've had all the littleaccepts along the way and you you feel that actually, all along the way, whether it's a one week or one year cell cycle, there's about askingout the right time. How do you know it's the right time to askto the globe? Yeah, I mean, of course that depends on what you'reselling. I mean, if you're selling a nuclear reactor, you can'task for it the first meeting. But I mean the thing you need todo is like, of course, check off all the needs and all themusts that that the buyer asking for, and when you have that, youcan say like, okay, from from from what I've see and what Ihave like noted down, we have checked off this, this and this.Is there anything more that we need to check off? You to be ableto take a decision and have that as as a like more of a checkon the customer if they're ready to go to the next step, as Ithink, and that that you can do like quite early, I think.But of course, again, depending on what you're selling, you need toalways reflect that. But I mean you can always use that as as anunderstanding of where are we in the sales journey. And if they say,like, okay, we also need to check off this, I need toinvolve the legal department, I need to involve it department. Okay, thenyou got another number of check marks out to your list. Then when yougot through those, then you have the next conversation asking like, okay,now we've checked off all these things,...

...how to come to the next step? Are we ready to get to the close contract? Is there anything morethat we need to get to get done before that, because you needly needalso to take in consideration that they're talking to you because they need what you'reselling. Hopefully so. I mean they're not talking to you just because theythink it's fun. You have some values that they need. If if youcan provide them, that's that's perfect. It's a win win. Absolutely,and I think as well it was. Was An overriding point about all ofthat is that you've got to ensure that you're actually engage with the right personto all. Yeah, of course, of course, that's that's that's akind of given. But I guess a lot of so people get for it. crapper about the close. When when that person gone close to deal withthem? Yeah, it's quite as you said, it's quite given, buttoo many of us fall in the same same trap. I mean, havedone it tons of time. I'm even as like are you the one takingthe decision? And they always answer yes, because everyone wants to be important andI think like a good way of asking that question is not like sayinghey, how is it you taking the decision, because, as I said, many will say yes, I am. It's more like awsome. Okay,have you implemented this kind of solution? If you're selling a saw solution,if you're selling consultancy project, have you implemented this before? Have youboth this service before? If they say yes, then you ask like,okay, how did that journey go? Lost Time? How did that processgo through your your like buying process? Then it will say, okay,first I had the meeting, then we involve legal and then my cfo signedin the end. Okay, so we have legal and CFO that needs tobe involved. So you're just like a mid part for me to get tothe next step. So I think that's a good way of like really discoveringthat the different stakeholders, and then we actually use get except for that,because as long as you're sending your collateral withou get except, we can actuallyidentify new stakeholders, I mean new persons involved in do you watching that companypresentation or watching the quote so that we can then see, okay, isbesides just mark watching it? It's also someone else, Eric or Sandra oranyone else who's in that contract right now watching it. So I mean that'salso way of identify more stakeholders through that journey. That's interesting that. Thatactually gave me on to a another point, which was exactly around your own technology, get except. So I think you just mentioned it at the tailend of that common there. But how do you use your own solution andwhat are some of the best practices around how you use get except to accelerateyour own sales process, whether that's you or make from a sort of moregeneric perspective, and it'd be great if you could share a success story andassociated with with get accepted as well. Yeah, of course. I meanwe use it in the full journey from more or less as long that wehave got a contact. Is Not a leads generation tool, it's it's notthe outreach tool. As long as you have like a sales qualified lead,that's when we start using it. So, for example, before going into thefirst presentationtion where we will present get...

...accept and then ask for their painsand so on or the needs they have and then do a demo, wesend a presentation to them with get accept in that way we can identify who'sviewing that presentation, who will be in the meeting, for example, ifthey don't, if they don't tell you that in in the beginning and afterthat we will of course follow up, with the next part being sending,for example, a customer case or White Paper, whatever it is, tokeep that that hot prospect even more hot or make it even more hot.So we're using that through the whole process and as we're doing that, it'spossible to use video, for example, to engage with the buyer to makeit more personalized. It's impossible to use chat. So it's easier to bemore timely in how you follow up because you know, okay, they're inthat contract right now, watching it or that presentation, so you can actuallyask questions and you can let them ask questions, because I think that's oneof the important part now, like you're not selling when you're ready to sell, you're actually selling when they are ready to buy. So that's an importantpart that you need to make it feel like the buyer buying something, notbeing sold to, because I don't think anyone want to be sold to.You want to feel that you bought something, and you can only do that ifyou let them steer the process or be at the steering wheel and youlike just providing them the information when they need it or when they ask forit to be available when they are available. I think that's one important part.And then in the end, of course, like no more hassle withwith the printers and scanners to get the contract signed. I mean you justyou just press the button and then you're then you're done. So that that'slike the standard, the standard journey. But I have a really fun customerstory that just got told for me a couple of days ago that I cancan run you through if you want to. Absolutely why. Yeah, so nowit's actually it's quite fun because we have hired quite a lot lost likehalf year. We went from thirty persons in January to seventy five now,and a couple of hires are actually coming from from our customers. So wejust hired a new new sales manager here in the nordics who wasn't old customerof ours and he had been using get accept and has been sharing collateral tothrough the process and then just to go before going on parental leave, heshared some collateral and the contract actually, but no answers. And then whenhe came back from parent to leave, he had one week left of theyear and since I had so much things to do, who just like hada list of I need to fix all these things, and then he gota notification from from get accepted said like okay, the potential buyers actually inthe contract, watching the demo video, for example, and and he waslike immediately on the phone answering back on a chat message like okay, Hey, I see your your your like interacting. Is there any question? Anything Ican help you with? And they started the conversation. He phoned backand actually see the deal on the year because they had some left in thebudget before closing down the year on the customer side to spend. So hewas making Henry tk on that deal.

The company made this budget on thatdeal and and he made his personal budget just by closing that deal. Sothat's just a simple, simple customer case that just happened this last year.Actually. Oh, well, interesting. Well, thanks for sharing that.So, Sammy, I guess your last question for me and it's probably reallyoff the back of that point you just made, I'm sure. Well,as you describe yourself, you've been seeing a lot of growth the last coupleof years. So you've got a lot of those successful case studies, ifyou like that, that you've that you've worked on, but it would beinteresting for us to understand what your journeys being like as an entrepreneur. Iknow you shared a little bit as to how you started the company, buta little bit around yet. What motivated you to start the business and andhow did you find your niche in this market? Because, as we allknow, there's there's your your doctor signs of this world and echo signs ofthis world. Now they're naturally more more just a knee signature type pollution.But interesting to understand what that journey is like and how you find it competingagain. So those large players in the industry. Yeah, of course.I mean when we started, as I said, like back in the days, we were more or less just solving our own challenges in the in thesales organization we had. We were for founders different organizations. We saw thatlike, closing the deal isn't as easy as it should be, and thenwe saw a big research saying like sixty percent of all deals that you thatyou have in contract mode or in more or less like closing mode, isis actually just ending up in the Valley of death, the dark. We'renothing happens. So we said like Oh, the challenge isn't your competitor, isis how your your process looks like in the end of the process,or the sales process. So that was how everything got started. And Imean we just we're just super passionate about sales and wanted to change something.We've been running other businesses, as I said before, so we wanted todo this on a global basis. So we applied for Y combinator with thisidea, more or less, and the vision of helping be to be businesses, close more the deals and and got in. So that was how everythingstarted back in two thousand and sixteen. Work through why combinator grew with twentythree percent week over week from the start, as we released a product, whichwas an amazing time. Work like crazy, since we, since weare from Sweden living in San Francisco. Back then we could work you willshift, so during night, the night time, we work towards Sweden andduring daytime we work toward us. So that was that was great for atleast four months, because before you got a little bit sick. But thatwas a like a fun part of the journey. And then after that weraised some money, which we which we're still working with, and I meantoday we have offices in in in Sweden, in Norway, in Denmark, inFrance and and one in San Francisco. So growing the business. It's SuperFun and in the end we're just doing what we what we love.We want to change how businesses do businesses in the more online world. That'sthat's what we're aiming for. And now we have seventy plus get acceptors whoare all passionate about the same thing.

So Super Fun journey so far.Hope it will be Super Fun going forward to absolutely great. Well, thanksyou, Insu s as some is so what we've really appreciated that you've takenthe time to share your thoughts with us today and and and it sounds likeyou're just really at the beginning of an exciting journey. Get accept if anyonewants to learn more about your company or continue the conversation off line O orjust reach out to you and in a direct way. What's the best wayI can get in touch with with both the company and Yourself? Yeah,I'm I love to help other entrepreneurs. So so feel fee to contact methrough Linkedin is a good way. I can actually say that if you wantto call me on the phone, you can actually see my phone number somewherein the blog post that we have been discussing today. So so go inthere and find it and just give me a call and I'll answer you.So linked in or or find a number and call me. Great, okay. So how many thanks once again, submis it's been great having you onthe show today. Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure from my side. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide.While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed formany years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scalerequired in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operaticscan help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to betob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe tothe show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time,.

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