B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

56: 6 Questions Every Salesperson Must Answer w/ Joseph Grieves

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A good sales pitch is like good storytelling.

To perfect your beginning, middle, and end, you need to answer 6 questions road-tested by Joseph Grieves, Training and Development Manager at Operatix.

We talked about how to answer these questions:

  • Who are your target persons?
  • How would you summarize your company in 2-3 sentences?
  • What are the biggest pains your service solves?
  • What are the best business benefits to your solution?
  • Who are the current clients you can mention?
  • What value will you give during a meeting?

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You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a rever a new acceleration. My name is Anim with you, and I'm here today with Joe Grieves, training and development manager at operatics. Allow you today, Joel. I am very well, Ray. I'm very pleased to be here. As you know, I've been an ardent fan of the show since it's conception. So, yeah, really pleased to be invited on. There you go. There you go. You are the guests now, not just the listen now, and I know, yeah, you've been a promoting the shows to the team and trying to take all the necktill the best practices and put that in place with the team. So, yeah, I know that you've been a Kinkin of the show. Funnics crime solutely. Yeah, love you. You've been a you've been a kin listener to the show. So today we will be talking about the sixth question. Every sarch person must on style. But before we go into that conversation, Joel, would you man introducing yourself to all audience and tell us a little bit more about what you do at operatics, what your role is at operatics. Yeah, absolutely. So, my name's Joe Grieve, so or Joseph for for being more formal some the training and development manager here operatics. My role is to not only train people coming in from various types of backgrounds. Maybe they're coming new into it cells, maybe they're coming into cells for the first time, is to provide them with the initial training but, more importantly, the ongoing coaching, so working with people very closely to help them do the job better and be better at sales. And I think you know, when whatever, we have new people coming in it. I'd be lying to them if I said what we do is easy. Then there's a lot of work that goes into making someone very good. I think for me, my background and how I got into sales is a little bit unusual. I think, like most people, are kind of fell into sales. I actually trained as a professional actor the Guildhall School of Music...

...and drama long time ago and, like most people who graduate from a drama school, I went on to become a unemployed actor and to supplement my my lifestyle. Should we say. I one of the types of work that was readily available was call centers and for a long time I worked in that kind of environment. I sold pretty much anything you can think of, wine, blinds, magazine Subscriptions, Charity Donations, music licenses, you name it. And I think you know initially most people don't ever think I want to do cold calling. But for myself are not only did I find I was very good at it, but I actually really enjoyed it and and weirdly, I think with cold calling, I know it sounds like a dirty word, but cold calling, the the adrenaline and the buzz that you get from cold calling is very similar to doing a performance or standing on front of an instant performing and you know me more on that. When he's not a call, call if you are prepared. So if you do your research, and I'm really you do, you do all the ground Wauky, it's it's a warm call. Cold call is it is just kind of repeating the same thing to the same people and having a hoping for a little bit of luck. But getting into a topic, one of the first question I'd have got for you, and I think today you'll be sharing a few of our internal secrets and and how we go about doing things and all that anyway, and do absolutely, absolutely. But I'm sure you will agree with me that when we kick off a program with clients, often we get absolutely too much information. We get lots of PDF, lots of so that we are truly don't in and even sometimes when we ask our client sells team to some of the pitch, to really give us that high level elevator pitch, they actually struggle to just go straight to the essense and actually summarizing only a couple of sentences what that company does. So maybe we could start there and maybe we would be wonderful if you could share with our audience the sixth question. Every sells person must on sell. Absolutely, I think before I kind of go into the question,...

...so I'll give it a bit of pretext to it, because I think there's an ongoing argument in sales as to whether you go for the scripted method versus the more free style. And for me, you know, what we do is very much an artful the analogy that I use is like a Hollywood screen right. So they don't just write the first draft of a screen playing and send that often and go there. You Go Hollywood. It's done. It takes countless iterations, you have to put a lot of work in doing various drafts to make it what it is. But the idea is that, as well as sales being an art form, there's also a science to it, there's also a formula to it, and we've cut very much perfected the formula and the idea of these six questions is to really give us the skeleton for that formula. There isn't always a one size fit or but the idea is with these six questions, if you can answer these questions, that will give you a really good jumping off point to actually build your pitch. And this pitch could be used for anything, whether it's calling, whether it's facetoface or what appy. So I guess going straight into the first one, the first question that I always ask is who the target personas that you want to meet with and the target companies. But what is it specifically about them that make them the best person speak to? Because I don't think it's enough anymore just to say I'm calling you because I see you are the chief information security officer. There's a wealth of information out there that you have at your fingertips now with Linkedin and various other tools where you can actually find out a lot about what people are already interested in and by leading into the conversation talking about them, talking about their interests, that immediately separates you from all the other salespeople. But even better, if there's a specific reason why you want to talk to them about your product, that's going to really kind of warm up the conversation from the off. The second question would be how do you summarize who your company is and what you do in two or three sentences? Now it's interesting whenever we ask our clients that question they struggle initially. It's not an...

...easy thing to do, but it's very important because I think a lot of salespeople that would be the entirety of their pitch. They start talking about the company, where they came from and that kind of thing. But actually, if you've only got a short amount of time, you need to make that very succinct and quite often if you if you can't, if you'll find yourself struggling to do that. Marketing teams spend a lot of time and effort actually doing that themselves. So you can go to a company's website and you see maybe they've already done that. Another great source of that is the CEO. If anyone's watched dragons den, you'll see people who have these ideas for companies. At some point they've stood up in front of investors and articulated what the company is and what they do in a way that they can repeat, and they're often a good source. So I find looking for interviews from CEOS of companies is a really great way of finding that. If you're struggling to do it yourself, you're the third question is one of the biggest pains that your solution or service solves. And if you think about it, most technology is borne out of the idea that there is a problem that you need to solve and they've created this technology to fix the problem, and you want to really highlight that. Now there might be more than one, there might be several problem ms that your solution fix, but you do need to be selective, you do need to pick the ones that are not in not only going to resonate, but something that they agree with and they recognize almost immediately. Then the fourth question would be what are the best business benefits to your solution or service, not features and it's very important to make that distinction because in the beginning really people aren't necessarily focused on what the technology does or how it does it. They're more interested in the end now coming. And in business it always comes down to the same types of things. Is it going to save me money? Is it going to make me money? Is it going to save me time or or make me more secure? What is it about your product? And often I'll say to my clients, I'll say give me one...

...good reason why people should buy your product and then quite often that is the main benefit. And then the fifth question would be who we are, current clients and what, if anything, can you talk about? And I think that's very important because it's all well and good to say you can do these wonderful things for companies, but unless you've got the ability to back that up and actually show that you've been able to do it for similar companies, then they may not always take your word for it. So a lot of our clients they may have strict nondisclosure agreements which which can make that somewhat tricky. But where you can talk about your current clients, it's very important and you need to actually give specifics so you've saved x company, you know x amount of money. Well, you need to delve a bit more into that and give people an idea of exactly what you're going to be able to do for them and how you've done that for possibly of neck competitors. I think finding a suitable competitor, to someone who's in the same vertical is very, very important. You can use as a reference. And then the the last question, which is one that I think a lot of sales people maybe struggle with, is, you know, what value, other than, let's say, a demo or a powerpoint presentation? You know the old kind of powerpoint Karaokes that people like to do? What value are they going to get from meeting with you other than that demo or other than that presentation? And quite often, I think, the thing that people get values learning something about their business that they don't already know. And hopefully, if you're able to demonstrate that in the next conversation that you have, the next steps, that's going to be the hook that draws people in because you know, if I'm going to take time out of my day to talk about your product, I want to know that that our I spend with you alone whether or not I buy your product is going to be worth my time. So those six questions there. If you can get the answers to those questions and you have them in in that order. Essentially what that does it writes your sales pitch for you and if you can use that as a jumping off point, use it as a...

...skeleton and reading. What you're looking for is a narrative. I think you know a good sales pitch is like good storytelling. It's got to have a clear beginning, middle and end, and this so this goes a really long way to giving you the ability to do that. Okay, that makes perfect sense in it and one of the point that you mention is around the feature of those thus versus the benefits of the value. You did even and I'm a big believer, and I'm sure you are now as well, in the fact that we don't need to become expert of the products, particularly for what we do, which is the initial part of the cells process. That demand generation, demand creation, that that paper and generation. But really what we need to get is to get onder the skin of the prospect, on the standing, the role of the prospect, on doesn'thing their challenges, on the something, what happening in their life. The solution is only secondary, because what we need to under some firsts is the pain. So I'd like to under something from you, out do you, because obviously we walk with a variety of clients in lots of your own different space, from cloud to big data, to save or security to marketing solutions. How do you go about adapting to each of this prospect I would you go about finalizing compiling a pertinent sell speech or cell scenarios, should I say, when you've got so many different potential person that you can target into an account? That is a good question. I think it's about for us, it's all about account based selling. You know, you really need to understand the verticals and the types of people, the types of company, understand the relationships between the people that you're going to be speaking to an importantly, you know if you get in the room with someone, they just going to be an advocate or do they have the ability to sign off on on the project? Sometimes, I think a lot of our clients, you know, they want to Wayim high, obviously, because you're looking for that decisionmaker, you looking for that person who can...

...sign off from the project. But there's an alden saying which is you've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prints. So the approach that we take is trying speak to as many people as you can. The more people you speak to, the better you're going to get insight from them. You might not always get what you're after, which is a meeting perhaps, but doing that kind of indepth research and speaking to those people understanding the pains, not just from one part of the business. I think you know, people make the mistake of thinking that the decisionmaking process is always top down. Actually, a lot of companies have a committee style decisionmaking process, which means you're going to have to speak to multiple people within the business in order to get what you want. Okay, that makes perfect sense. And could you could you also develop a little bit to explain to our audience which we called the deep dive when we do a campaign, because I think it's just related to which you're mentioned, which is what you need to have a stop the conversation somewhere, but then all our they you need to develop this conversation. So is that a it's not a one call when meeting, when deal, but is probably a few hundred calls, probably a dozen of meetings when deal. So can you just elaborate? Ad It did a bit on the on the deep day Fi audients and Oh, you go about it, I know you go about training the team about doing it properly. Yeah, I think. You know, one of the big struggles for particularly in the technology sectors, is understanding what I talked about before, which is the difference between the features of a product and the benefits, because you've got to understand your audience. Think. Think about it like this. Right, you call somebody out of the blue, they've never heard of your company before, and if you're going to go off on a huge kind of speech talking about the technology, saying things like it's a interconnected cross platform network, when solution with edfire walls at this stage, that's all meaningless and in you've got to understand what's important to the people that you're speaking to. So it's bringing you know, if you've got a feature that is going to speed up the process for someone, that is the key thing to talk about, not necessarily how it works,...

...but more the end result and give people specifics as well. You know, it's no good me speaking. Someone said Oh, I can save you a bit of money. People want to know how much she you know, you've got to give them those kind of examples. And when you're doing that kind of deep dive, if you need to, aren't be asking the right kind of questions, questions depending on where you're at in the stage of the process? If you ask the wrong question at the wrong to wrong time, that can put some people off. So you need to be very smart about the type of questions you're asking in order to get that person to divulge the information that you need, not only to qualify the prospect but also to almost convince, have them convince themselves that this is something they need. Okay, and then speaking about that, in speaking about asking the right question and also the right way to ask this question. And we know that there is specific technique to work on the psychology, the mind of the prospect to make sure the agreed to let more about the company while representing and the solution at wells trying to push it in, but can you show his our audience? I'll you do to actually do that. Will that psychology called mind walk? Yeah, the way you as the question to get them to agree to get into answer to get them to be interested. Yeah, absolutely, and I think the psychology is something I'd probably see. I'll probably go to detailed sometimes, so if I go off on a tangent, do stop me. But it's really interesting because you've got to understand how human beings work and how they relate to each other. One of the things I was talking about is that, you know, particularly let's say in the cold corese scenario, the very top of the core building, rapport with someone from someone who've never spoken to before. It can be a difficult stage of the process and initially you've got to get someone to like you because if the fact, the fact is, if they don't like you, they're not going to listen to you. So actually thinking about icebreaker questions, putting a lot of thought into that. A lot of people just say Oh, you know, how you doing or how's the weather, but you can actually put a bit of thoughts into that. So, for example, there was a study done recently where they looked at the best type of ice breaker question and the one that came out on top and...

...had the most successful results was how have you been? Now the psychology there is that how have you been implies that there is prior knowledge and it kind of scrambles the brain in the person come of think. So I we spoken before. Another one I used to use was how you doing? Are You well? And my theory was that no one likes to admit their unwell, so they'd always say yes. And again I hear. What I hear a lot is when you're trying to qualify and make sure it's the right person to speak to. I hear people saying, Oh, I understand your responsible for cybersecurity. Is that right? And by saying is that right, what you're saying to the prospect is, I'm not sure. Actually, that shouldn't be a question, that should be a statement. Saying a Renny and I'm calling you because I understand you are the CEO. And then you stop talking, and actually that by knowing when to stop talking is just as important as knowing when to keep talking. People feel awkward and they feel like they need to feel that silence and because it sounds like you know rather than you're guessing, you have a better result. But the way I see it, in in any kind of sales environment, you've got two objectives. Objective number one is to get someone to agree that they have a problem. And how do you actually do that? And One way we've developed that we know works really well is a multiple choice question, because that what I hear a lot is people saying, okay, you know you've got x, Y Zir problem. Does any of that resonate with you? Do you see those challenges? And really what you're doing there's you're testing that person's memory and they're trying to remember all the things you've just said, whereas if you offer that out as a multiple choice question. Well, to give me an example, I ask you a multiple choice question. What's your favorite color? Red Or blue? Blue? What's your favorite food? Peter Spaghetti, actually like bread. But I know why you're getting what we're you're doing is basically you're controlled the answer the question that you are getting strong gone for all in the answer. So yeah, that that makes perfect sense exactly, and whatever answer you give me is perfect, even if you stay. Well, actually, I don't like either of those are like this. I can use that information to lead me into the...

...core, but subconsciously you've agreed that you have a problem. And then the last point I make is when it comes to the clothes and the closest I think you know, can be the most difficult part of any sales conversation. It's you need to phrase a lasting question that's going to stick with them. And you know if it surely, if you turn around to someone and you say that we can save you x amount of money now if we did that for your company, what would the benefit be for you and your team? And then by asking that question in that way, they give you the answer and then they've convinced themselves that actually, this is something I need to look at. So very subtle kind of things you can do, but it's important to spend a lot of time thinking about it because it makes all the difference. Absolutely no, I agree, I think it. There is nothing more for rustrating at the gay killing me last week, and he was actually trained to quality fay me. So it's give me quality, faint question before I even didding me what he was about, and and you just kind of think, what, what a you doing? I don't even know who you are, what you do and you try to qualify me as if I should know. And I think you know, starting the concoction, as you mentioned, with getting the people to answer. Yes, you know, having that positive start from the beginning where you've got a few years answer and then you can go into explaining the value. Then you can go into explaining how you deliver the value to similar clients. So then you know, you get that kind of that validation. Then you explain the value of meeting and and then when, ultimately they say yes for the meeting, this is when you should as a qualifying question. This is when you will say we look now, we're going have one hour and I want to make the most of that time. All we're going to have set us. Let's make the most of that time. So I've got a few questions to ask you so I can make sure that my colding in cell will be able to come with all the right informations, etc. Etc. But I think that, although it is very important, you need to make sure there is a pain, if there is a pain, you explain that you can solve the pain and you give an example of all you solved the pain for someone in a similar situation. Then you explain the value of the medication and then you explain use them if they've got any allergies and stuff like that, and and then you plot it off basically...

...a so you make sure it when you get there, you know that you go with the right pill. Absolutely that makes perfect sensual. Thank you very much, Joe, for all your insights the having. It was pretty interesting to are you going through the the six question that we should ask and how to formulate the pitch, but also that conversation around the take, Brito G and know the mind walk is obviously quite quite interesting and intriguing. But if anyone wants to get on the conversation offline from this podcast, what's the best way to get old of your job? So you can connect with me on Linkedin. Always happy to have a chat with people that way. Alternatively, you can email me, Joseph dot grieves at operatics dotnet. Always happy to speak to people about what we do, as I'm sure you've experienced. Really and I could talk about the theory behind what we do all day and would happily do so. So if anyone wants to pick up that conversation with me, be prepared for a lung chat. NST, wonderful. Thanks for your time today. You'll really appreciate everything on this show and glad you made it as a guest. Absolutely is a pleasure. Thank you. Ronning. 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 BEDB 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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