B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 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 sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be tob revenue acceleration. My name is Dane Seber. Can I'm here today with summits, myitch CEO and founder at gets accept. How you today summit? So it's really good. I mean end of quarter, Q two and end up h one, being that the half year. So I mean the stress is total. That is busy but fun. A lot of deals being closed, a lot of hiring and a lot of things that needs to be settled before vacation time coming up now, in in July here and here for us in in the nordics. So busy, busy, but fun. Good to hear and know. Well. I appreciate you taking the time to join us in this in the last week of the quart and also, to your point, there is quite unusual for someone in Scandinavia to still be in the office of this time year. So I appreciate that it is through. No, but July is where everyone takes off, so I still have a couple of days left. Okay, good, good stuff. So to me, the topic that we planning to discuss today is around an article that you put together actually, which was a five steps to still the deal with your prospects. Before we get into that, you please give us a bit of background and yourself and also your company, gets accept of course, of course. So, I mean, if we go way back, I'm a mechanical engineer from from the beginning, never worked as one. I love people and not numbers. So I actually started Anna as a ceram consultant. So I was out getting my fair share of sales management and project management education. And when 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 less sold things that wasn't possible to implement in the cerm that we that we were developing 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 I got like in love in in software and how develop, how to develop like simple software and easy to use software. So that's where everything started, more or less, and and through that process I was like really into like how sales reps were doing their job, how they were developing and how we could develop the product connected to the sales process. More or less. That was where I came up with came up with get accept, and the main reason was, 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 then when you when you actually send the quote or the contract, you have more or less no control of what's up next. I mean you have giving them the numbers, you're giving them the solution and now it's up to them to take the decision. And so there was a gap there and where our sales reps and close the deals. So try to figure out, like how can we help in the end of the sales cay cycle, and that's where where get accept comes in, more or less.

So this is like four years back in time since since we started that journey off get accept more or less interesting. Yeah, and I think think that's probably a problem. You've identified a lot of organization the facing on a day to day basis, and now what 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 and and 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 it and when the prospect showing a certain amount of interesting interaction, often start thinking that the deals done before for it truly is done. Now you, as we alluded to a couple of minutes ago, you've developed five step process to ensure that deals progress through the funal way to close and to purchase order actually being in hand. So can you please jet more detail around those five steps with with our audience? Yeah, and that's these these five steps are actually like outside of of get except, to be honest, it's more like a five 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 about like really make clear what is the value. I think many, many sales rept focus on the product, selling the features, but everyone knows that you need to ask the an ended question so that you can use that information to really explain what the value with the features is. But very few of us are listening in and are actually using that through the process. I think the first thing is that you should always make sure to not only explain the features that you that you have or that you can provide, but the value that comes with the feature that you're that you're selling. For example, and one thing that we did that that helped a lot was really make a least of all the features you have and the value that they are connected but also the pain 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 feature are connected to this and what value should you bring up in that kind of conversation, so that you hit them straight on the head with that instead of are saying, okay, we have an automated follow up feature and which which really really doesn't resignate. Maybe what what they're thinking of, so that that's just 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 and most and most of the companies that we do business within in general or in the software space. How do you ensure that your sales team move away from the talking about features and benefits but actually hone in on the value of the of 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 simple companies, in a similar vertical? What are some tips that you would that you would typically share with yourselves team? Yeah, of course, like if you're, if you're really nail down on a certain certain vertical, you you most likely know all the paint points and...

...then you of course ask the right questions through that, through that journey, and as you get the different answers of that, you know exactly which features the Demo and when you demo a feature, make sure that you're not saying, okay, this is the feature and then 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 this help you, so that you always like stop and ask for like small accepts through that, through that demo. That's something that we are educating our sales reps and it's always get these small acceptance through a full demo so that when you're through the demo you have accepted all the check or they all the check marks, all the needs that has been phrased through the through the through the pain conversation. More or less. That's just one simple thing that you can do that makes sense. Okay, interesting, and then in general, obviously get accepted. Is a technology that's helping sales people close more? Yeah, the old more business. If we look at the the widest sort of sales and marketing technology market, how do you see technology helping to make the closing process smoother and more effective? And do you think you think that's replacing parts of the salesperson's job, or do you think it is really augmenting and supporting them to do more? No, but I mean the discussion now is much about how ai will replace every sales rep in the world and there will be no more sales reps and and I mean I don't, I don't believe in that. It's more about the process itself. Is Changing. Of course it's more online, just like the business to consumer has changed. We're do all business online now. That's that's happening in be to be to like and you only need to adapt. And what we really believe in and get accept is the power of personalization, the power of relationship. I think that will still consist even if it's moving inline. So the only thing you need to do is like, how can I dress that in a more online world? And that's really what we're trying to do with get accept. I mean we're just trying to build an online platform where we help businesses do more business, but in a more online world in the in the future. So I mean that's what is all around. personalization, engagement through the process, through the sales process, more or less. Okay, that makes sense now. We spoke, I guess, particularly around the point in your five step processor. We mainly discussed the idea of shuring that you make the value. Ali. What did it? What are the other points? I really done that from that sort of 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 I mean if you're if you're of checked all the needs, you just need to ask the magical question, like what is between us and assigned contract now in the end. So that's just a super...

...simple thing that we implemented in our organizations. Ay, like, okay, if you have all checkmarks, just ask for it. Sometimes people think that is like a little bit too push pushy. And then then another kind of way of doing it is actually just skip the closing and go for the planning. For example, if you are a consultancy organization, you have consultants and maybe they are getting booked and booked. So for now, for for Summer Times, where everything everyone is taking vacation, you need to maybe make clear that after vacation everyone is taking decisions. Now, after vacation, everything is booked. So if you want to get started in September, we need to get this contract signed, because I can't, I can't like sell you something and that we can't think we can't provide later on. So you need to take this decision now so you make it more urgent for them to close now, for example. That's just just a simple thing to use. Use it like a thing connected to the urgent and see if you have by thinking. I think you need to be aware of also that don't I hate those calling me like her selling ads in papers and 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 page or in this paper, and I can only sell it to you right now and I have a someone else that I will I will sell it to if you don't take it. I mean that just feel so teas. It's just just if you if you want to use that technique, you need to really have something compelling and something that you can use as an urgency in the process of asking for the clothes. That makes sense. And do you think that it is sort of the moment to ask for the clothes is varying based on the complexity of the cell process, of the cell cycle. Do you think that sort of idea that you just describe it if you've had all the little accepts 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 asking out the right time. How do you know it's the right time to ask to the globe? Yeah, I mean, of course that depends on what you're selling. I mean, if you're selling a nuclear reactor, you can't ask for it the first meeting. But I mean the thing you need to do is like, of course, check off all the needs and all the musts that that the buyer asking for, and when you have that, you can say like, okay, from from from what I've see and what I have like noted down, we have checked off this, this and this. Is there anything more that we need to check off? You to be able to take a decision and have that as as a like more of a check on the customer if they're ready to go to the next step, as I think, and that that you can do like quite early, I think. But of course, again, depending on what you're selling, you need to always reflect that. But I mean you can always use that as as an understanding of where are we in the sales journey. And if they say, like, okay, we also need to check off this, I need to involve the legal department, I need to involve it department. Okay, then you got another number of check marks out to your list. Then when you got 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 more that we need to get to get done before that, because you needly need also to take in consideration that they're talking to you because they need what you're selling. Hopefully so. I mean they're not talking to you just because they think it's fun. You have some values that they need. If if you can 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 of that is that you've got to ensure that you're actually engage with the right person to all. Yeah, of course, of course, that's that's that's a kind 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 with them? Yeah, it's quite as you said, it's quite given, but too many of us fall in the same same trap. I mean, have done it tons of time. I'm even as like are you the one taking the decision? And they always answer yes, because everyone wants to be important and I think like a good way of asking that question is not like saying hey, 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 you both this service before? If they say yes, then you ask like, okay, how did that journey go? Lost Time? How did that process go through your your like buying process? Then it will say, okay, first I had the meeting, then we involve legal and then my cfo signed in the end. Okay, so we have legal and CFO that needs to be involved. So you're just like a mid part for me to get to the next step. So I think that's a good way of like really discovering that 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 actually identify new stakeholders, I mean new persons involved in do you watching that company presentation or watching the quote so that we can then see, okay, is besides just mark watching it? It's also someone else, Eric or Sandra or anyone else who's in that contract right now watching it. So I mean that's also way of identify more stakeholders through that journey. That's interesting that. That actually 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 tail end of that common there. But how do you use your own solution and what are some of the best practices around how you use get except to accelerate your own sales process, whether that's you or make from a sort of more generic perspective, and it'd be great if you could share a success story and associated with with get accepted as well. Yeah, of course. I mean we use it in the full journey from more or less as long that we have got a contact. Is Not a leads generation tool, it's it's not the 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 the first presentationtion where we will present get...

...accept and then ask for their pains and so on or the needs they have and then do a demo, we send a presentation to them with get accept in that way we can identify who's viewing that presentation, who will be in the meeting, for example, if they don't, if they don't tell you that in in the beginning and after that we will of course follow up, with the next part being sending, for example, a customer case or White Paper, whatever it is, to keep 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's possible to use video, for example, to engage with the buyer to make it more personalized. It's impossible to use chat. So it's easier to be more timely in how you follow up because you know, okay, they're in that contract right now, watching it or that presentation, so you can actually ask questions and you can let them ask questions, because I think that's one of 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 important part that you need to make it feel like the buyer buying something, not being 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 if you let them steer the process or be at the steering wheel and you like just providing them the information when they need it or when they ask for it 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 with with the printers and scanners to get the contract signed. I mean you just you just press the button and then you're then you're done. So that that's like the standard, the standard journey. But I have a really fun customer story that just got told for me a couple of days ago that I can can run you through if you want to. Absolutely why. Yeah, so now it's actually it's quite fun because we have hired quite a lot lost like half 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 we just hired a new new sales manager here in the nordics who wasn't old customer of ours and he had been using get accept and has been sharing collateral to through the process and then just to go before going on parental leave, he shared some collateral and the contract actually, but no answers. And then when he came back from parent to leave, he had one week left of the year and since I had so much things to do, who just like had a list of I need to fix all these things, and then he got a notification from from get accepted said like okay, the potential buyers actually in the contract, watching the demo video, for example, and and he was like 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 I can help you with? And they started the conversation. He phoned back and actually see the deal on the year because they had some left in the budget before closing down the year on the customer side to spend. So he was making Henry tk on that deal.

The company made this budget on that deal and and he made his personal budget just by closing that deal. So that'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 really off 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 couple of years. So you've got a lot of those successful case studies, if you like that, that you've that you've worked on, but it would be interesting for us to understand what your journeys being like as an entrepreneur. I know you shared a little bit as to how you started the company, but a little bit around yet. What motivated you to start the business and and how did you find your niche in this market? Because, as we all know, there's there's your your doctor signs of this world and echo signs of this 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 competing again. 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 the sales organization we had. We were for founders different organizations. We saw that like, closing the deal isn't as easy as it should be, and then we saw a big research saying like sixty percent of all deals that you that you have in contract mode or in more or less like closing mode, is is actually just ending up in the Valley of death, the dark. We're nothing happens. So we said like Oh, the challenge isn't your competitor, is is how your your process looks like in the end of the process, or the sales process. So that was how everything got started. And I mean 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 to do this on a global basis. So we applied for Y combinator with this idea, more or less, and the vision of helping be to be businesses, close more the deals and and got in. So that was how everything started back in two thousand and sixteen. Work through why combinator grew with twenty three percent week over week from the start, as we released a product, which was an amazing time. Work like crazy, since we, since we are from Sweden living in San Francisco. Back then we could work you will shift, so during night, the night time, we work towards Sweden and during daytime we work toward us. So that was that was great for at least four months, because before you got a little bit sick. But that was a like a fun part of the journey. And then after that we raised some money, which we which we're still working with, and I mean today we have offices in in in Sweden, in Norway, in Denmark, in France and and one in San Francisco. So growing the business. It's Super Fun 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's that's what we're aiming for. And now we have seventy plus get acceptors who are all passionate about the same thing.

So Super Fun journey so far. Hope it will be Super Fun going forward to absolutely great. Well, thanks you, Insu s as some is so what we've really appreciated that you've taken the time to share your thoughts with us today and and and it sounds like you're just really at the beginning of an exciting journey. Get accept if anyone wants to learn more about your company or continue the conversation off line O or just reach out to you and in a direct way. What's the best way I 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 me through Linkedin is a good way. I can actually say that if you want to call me on the phone, you can actually see my phone number somewhere in the blog post that we have been discussing today. So so go in there 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 on the 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 for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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