B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 5 months ago

104: Scaling Sales Processes with Data & Technology w/ Todd Abbott


Everybody is looking at data. Whether from a privacy standpoint, or a productivity standpoint, data is king. But how do you harness that data to inform good decision making?

In this episode, we interview Todd Abbott, CEO at InsightSquared, about utilizing data & technology to create scalable sales processes.

We talked about the key elements to consider when trying to build a scalable sales process, what data points you need to collect, and the biggest mistakes companies make when trying to scale their sales processes.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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You are listening to be to be revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi welcome to be to be revenue ACCERTO.My name is on a with J and I'm here today we stirred about co of insidesquare. Are you doing to data doing well with the good dispensing mine withyou? That's that's. An absolute pressure asses for coming so to pick today is quite interestingand actually quite timely, because we are looking at data working at makingsense of it, and I think a lot of organization are doing that maybe from a privacy prospective maybefrom a projecit perspective, but the top atwill tackle today is utilizing data and technology to create scaly ball serviceprocesses, so that that's you know if we manage to make it work today, peoplewill make millions from listening to that podcast so that that is going. But before we get into the conversationto, would you mind taking a human man just to introduce yourself in a bitmore detail as well as the company you represent inside Squat Yeah, so I'vebeen a sales and marketing exact. Like my whole, life been a cro for the lasttwenty five years, or so, mostly in technology sales spent the number of years kind of learn,the traded, ID and tensed the number of great years, but Cisco, where I alsospent three years over in Europe three years in Singapore, so I've been kindof a global leader for a good good period of time. I joined the insidespar that, eighteen months ago I had been a three time customer and they haddone an acquisition. Just prior to my joining after the last company I waswith, was salted private equity and and got exposed to some new technology thatjust kind of really opened my eyes to to being able to bring more data intothe revenue analytics Bisiness, and I thought that I really wanted to be partof the company and help help bring the next phase of the shells and revenueprofession to be much more of a science of versus what we've historically been.I mean it's really been much more of an art yea and for now in Trinite Pas,where analytics in the revenue process is now possible like never beforeabsolutely absolutely well, let's Dave into it. My first question is wrong.Some thing, like you gray, everybody wants when everybody speak about havinga repeatable, scaly borsen process. From your perspective, what are withKiman companies should consider in order to build the scaly words andprocess yeah. I think it's a contextual question, depending upon what type ofcells or type of a business you're in I mean we're starting to see, or we haveseen over the last o five six seven years. The ability, a leveragetechnology for the repeatable process, in what I refer to or with the market.First two days of Mayor Self, prose, think of the shorter sale cycles andyou've had you know, sale, sequency technology that has enabled your drs orsers to run a posset, make a call, send an email, wait three days, do this XYNC, so that line your process very common and under thirty they kind ofsale, sex and that technology is really called stale, that the top of for alltypes of activities and inside sales for those kind of transacts yeahchallenge has been, is in the non in our sales pos. When you get to be a bitlonger in sale, larger deals and they're historically, we've all beenvery much focused on the hiring good people, people that had to sell right,the art of sale and what we're now seeing is is that the lack of datathere is making it difficult to be a repeatable process ye it's one of thefundamental reasons behind the life of a cro, the tenure of the Siro in a Bbad company. It's now sixteen eighteen...

...months and it's primarily becausethey've been unable to podcast that business might be going along reallywell, then hit a tough quarter, but not understand why and it's because theyhaven't been able to establish. What is that? That's that repeatable salesprocess that requires title in between marketing products filling a almen inops. We have never really grounded those prospection Al discussions andactually what happens in the sales process where your friction is and howyou need to come together as a team to be able to overcome that thosestriction points enable yourself process to. Actually we haven't reallybeen able to do that, because the datas been lacking in the non it yourselfspossible. Yeah yeah, we tend to see, we tend to see companies were trying,but it feel like pushing a square peg in a round pope. So and what I mean bythat yet wi it people will come and say this is the blue rent of my reptarecarbar sense process and the first question we ask them so, okay, we'lltell us about the conversation right or we got now. It's an agency at bird that for us, sothey are coming with like a process of saying, okay, we're going toget the meeting meeting today more table to prove where you prove a valueto contract. CONFRACTI close, you know to make it very simple right, and Iagree with you, I think in the transaction or commodity type ofbusiness kind of you know. If you speak to someone, you want to come. Va thatconversation to a meeting that meeting to a proposal that proposal to contractcontract. To close and of you go see you later that that's custances te cancare of you from now, but when it becomes a bit complex, Ithink we see a lot of organization coming with a blue print, but teffe orthe blue print may have been written by some one who is at isent person. Itcould be like a product, marketing person and stuff like that. So how do you get started because I get Iguess to to have a repeater scale bore need to have a few sells under yourback and when you are a newish starter or let's, even if you've got like sixtycustomers, that's say you know, which is a fifty Guone to take a wrong number.Is that enough data? What does the data gathering stop to be relevant for thefor the reputable skateboards process? Basically, is my ast, you know it's agood question. I mean in order to leverage analytics machine Marinanalytics I mean you need to have they would sapsago point. Typically, youneed to have ideally a hundred fifty et two hundred wins under your belt yeah.If you have that many wins, then you have a first ponding ly larger numberof losses. But when you get to that kind of point, then machine runningtechnology can be very accepted, that being much more predictive and in alittle tale of your posse, because what's what's important to recognize,is that in this remedy process we talked about getting the data, but whatdata do we really need to be able to understand and sales process, becauseeverybody starts with their sales process? Thinking about the sales teat,what happens at each stage, one of the criteria to move from stage to stagewe've been doing this for years, and it's still very valid. Don't get mewrong, but I think it's going to become less valid in the sense of looking atcessing the quality of a deal in a flow, but its plain in a minute: that's notto say that sales processes aren't going away. They are there. I they'regoing to staron time because they help with your own borning and feel an amoment and help develop the skills at each base, but actually now what thewith Smorin and the data and the data is customary gage. I there's nothingbetter to assess the health of a Dena then call the customer is engaging withyour tea. If you value propices in your...

...customers going to respond to yourteams, email they're, going to scedule next meeting they're going to look atyour attachments, we're going to engage with you because your vally brought isresume. It's worth their investment to learn more and if you think about asales process, it's really about a series of meetings and converting tothe next get your building. consenses your educating your aligning your value prop to thebusiness outcomes. They have do ultimately get to a point where thedecision maker is now present and a decision can be made. That could be,eight meetings could be. Ten meetings could be twenty. I depends upon thelength of your self sine, but in reality, what we've never able to getis that level of data? How is the customer engage you with your tea,because if you can get that data now you get assessed very quickly. Whendoes a customer stop en age? When have you potentially lost that custom or toyour question? If you understand the sales process relative to the series ofmeetings and what are the critical needs when other people are brought inthe decision or the influence point becomes bigger or if the decision makeris the CRO? Typically one dister O get engaged, and if you understand thatlevel of your sales pros- and you can look at deals through your in yourtunnel as you're- progressing from from conversion to conversion completelydifferently than what we thought of the past. But how do we today assess thehealth of the deal we in terrible threat? We inspect ted you out of thelast media. Go that is, is. Is this deal that qualified do they have thebudget? You know the things that we've done for years and relying on beingable to get the facts from the Rep. in some cases, the rat doesn't know thatthe fact that that next meeting wasn't scheduled actually indicates that youmight have you might be losing that custom. It might be going old, and so,if you understand what data is and then get the data in to be able to, I wantto Tatavla machine learning. The system be able to assess their reveal that'sgame, changing that machine, waring and quantity tomade a litis UN deal by deal as well as your old Brollo. So so I now haven'tbeen doing this for a while, like I don't think about feel state where Ilook at a fun, I look at how many meetings are way? Is the next meetingschedule? What's the engagement level with the customer and to me, that'slike a different way to look at and assess and engage it's pretty buting yeah you pretty much speaking aboutsome bits. For me I would almost crit Ipane Igne, because you can see a lotof deals. A lot of conversation we've all come across. It is two times ofserse the Pur opposite. You've got the very enthusiastic serse. Oh my God. Ispoke to thought today we had a cracking conversation which was easily.I did my presentation to turn and Ted was moving his at. He was smiling at meand I fikee right because I think you've got deposit but she's the Games,a my God. Yet, no, no, no, nothing. Nothing is moving nothing you hoving,I'm going to, but it out there and I need to wait for the prospect to e makeme to say that he wants it to for me to be convince that they will want it. SoI guess the pipeline Agin has always been that issue of okay. Is that areally did and and really the rule of the of the SES manager or the cro to toreally dismantle and that's question to get to basically almost create theirown story right, I suppose doing the forensic as a cro to make sure thethings adding upon that. But I guess what you are saying is forget aboutthat. The painful among the morning firers meetings with the Setem, wheresome people get addressed one down some people will get the applauds. You knowforget about what you need to do is to look at the stages of the meeting. Takeit in a different manner. Have you had to Stradivari meetings? Is it nowleading to a business case discussion,...

...what people coming at the business casedecision and basically so so I love that now. I'd like to understone aboutthe data that needs to be gathered, and I think I with your so useful for ginso that the meetings make sense and kind of taking in the process of warand say what this is. This is what the prospect wants. You know the way you'regoing to get this prospected you engage, then we put the prospect in the centerand we actually said to the days on what to establish the need of being to be okay. I get allthat, but when it comes to the data I can ally. I understand the concept Isee the value, but if I wanted to- and maybe that's your secret so so youdon't want to speak too much about that. But what data points you need to collect? Well, so it much a good question. I'mhappy to talk about it, so there is now technology that is able to to get allthat dated because up to this point in time, the data that is put in Cram,which is the database from which you're assessing an a deal, is all dependentupon with the re he punches into the system. Right and cram was neverdesigned to be a territory management pool for the Rep. it's not really areptile, it's a company to it. It's a madamite and it's a good work. Loeng,but typically reps do not like spending time in INCR. It takes too much time,they'd rather be out selling, and so we don't have the date. So the first thingthat is now starting to fundamentally change that dynamic ease, there'stechnology that can automatically capture all of the digital engagement,not just with the rat, because you want everybody, that's touching your custom,BS, no Verlat you as a manager, and so our machine learning since in betweenthe serm system and your email, calendery system and we'll keep trackof all of the digital engagement to and from your customers. calenders need theancaster and, based upon that content, being a CR will put that automaticallyinto the system with no administrative burden on the red. A cause as but we'velearned is that when we do play this technology for customers, first of all,we're typically finding that the most overt you have on the context in theaccount record is about thirty percent. But rest are horrible. A adinon there'sjust nothing in it. Don't put the key the key decision rakers, but there'sactually many more people invent be engaged in a decision that s certainlymany more as you get into the longer sale, ski and so first of all, you'vegot to make sure you get all all the activities, and so the system are onlythe concept the system will identify when a new contact gets engaged. NewEmail, ent or somebody's added to a mediate will add that to the system tobe able to now collect all of the engagement from that person as well,but I'll also prompt erect to say I, who is this person, you just started toengage hers in email. Give me the name. Give me the title in other sonabecause:Now you can start to to hold a rep accountable to a whole breath ofcontext for marketing to be able to be much more effective to market bypersona within an account within an admote. Then, once I am all thecontents were typically adding about ten times the amount of data thatexisted in an opportunity with this new active cat. So now I have all of theengagement level what's going on before the meeting. What is the level ofengagement? Isn't a healthy engagement and then, given that we're doing somany things virtual now, the analytics of the meeting is now also verypossible right. There reforming the transversing and analytics of the toptracks more than just me pot time who talked, but what were the key words andthen what's the he racine, I just had a customer that I was engaged inyesterday. Here we are at the end of a quarter.Actually this Coretti too bus last week and I had a follow tested, butbasically I was helping him leverage.

The machine learning of this is ahealthy deal on a deal that was supposed to be committed this month,and I was able to show him that there had been like one engagement in thelast three weeks steal. He had been believing the rap the REP PAS say: Yep,it's on track, it's going to come in, and I and the system now has theabilities, kill you like. No, your reps actually reached out three times thecustomers come back once in three weeks. That is not the sign of the deal that'sgoing to close in a week, and so, if you, if you can see that graphically,you can very quickly identifying the health of a deal without going throughthe interrogation. The question with the ret now is completely different.Like you said, this is a good meal. You W haven't heard from the customer inthree weeks. The system is kind of being the interrigation for you, andit's now identifying. I call it the you know my dserted leader that says I'msuggesting that this deal is not help, and now it's directing me as a managerto go in needs in a different dispect and so getting all the data in andbeing able to establish the profile of a winning deal, and then bench markingevery deal against that profile. That's the machin technology, but the key isyou want to give those insights to the rest as well as to the manager, becausewhen the reft starts to see how a deal compares, they now can be moreaccountable to what in act, how they're actually presenting the deal. If Ican't defend this teal being in the forecast, because I haven't heard fromthe customer for three weeks four weeks- then a better move. It because can hit- or I can't hold right- some people hireit. Some people are hoping this tells going to commit and hopes never astrategy right and so mid he's as luck yeah and it's so the reason that thelife of a cro is fifteen eighteen months is because there's too muchhoping that business is going to come in without being able to look at thatthru halt of a funnel statistically- and that's that's- to be changingaspect of this. You can find the deals very quickly that are in full or or orin hiding whether it's deals that are not very healthy or deals that arereally healthy. That are real the upset because we also have those keys. Itwere resorting engae, but I want to play that one, I'm just going to keepthat on of the upside while the systems. Now I expose all of that so you're oneon one discussions are not now interrogations, they move to beingcoaching sessions, which is what the re wants and what we want is men now,absolutely absolutely. I think it's there is nothing more than our servingsomeone in your team and you touch on. It is it's kind of creating a blueprint for os of sides red if you've got someone in your ties a performing, andyou can't actually figure out why it's, instead of going through a series ofquestioning and investigating and which is painful for you as a manager but forfor the red, because they think that they're being you know, dressed down ina way you could just say when to this is what we should do. This is whatyou've not done. This is a deliver of interaction to even- and I think it'sit's a very interesting at states, one of the thing that we've done it-we've got a relatively small se team and we we've established what we liketo, maybe not a scalable and reputable as we would want,but you know a good process in term of self and what we from fundamentallyuseful is to actually when you recruit someone to actually tell them. This iswhat happened. This is our so process right. There is no war to right,because this are the conversion rate out of the two hundred lasters thattook play. So if you dont have twenty percentconnatal rate here from there to there...

...h is one of racious. Okay, you've notdone that or the prospect got that or we didn't expect the right person orwhat the etc, etc, etc. So we've got the little narratives for the out tosaw it and we put that into a side play book and let's enter trast ically interm of addressing. But I guess for us is relatively straightforward: When youare a much larger company, particularly the companies were getting investment in sixty millionhundred millions of investment from TCU really need to go quickly and rally aquolity of customers and you've got sixty sers people across five differentcontinents going after it is it's a bit more difficult when you've got fiveguys to manage, you know it's things are much simpler and you get when youguys kin er. You can really give them the time. So I guess my last questionto you really to is: What would you say is the biggest mistake that or mistakesthat companies are making when they try to scare that sirs process? I think thebiggest mistake I see is that cushat teams are not spending enough time onearly stage. On a converse, I see I get exposed to a lot of different analyticsin my parent job because I'm consulting with customers on their what I waseating as their advance sales mat these meeting conversions and if you thinkabout the early stage Pannel, where you think about where you went, your winrate is hies as a team in mental eight state. We as managers to tend to spend most ofour time unmental stage, because those are thedeals that are going to make the months going to be port and we rely on enablement or marketingto kind of help with, or we assume that wretch, you know no ha follify and thestuff in a reality. If you can include your conversions in the in thequalification and Discovery Sect and ten percent get more deals into the midtalate stage of the hotel, where your team actually executes the best highestconversion rates. It has significant group put in that, and I s find toomany. Customers are not spending enough time of what really happens in thequalification and discard, because you're always selling a qualificationscar. It's not just about asking that. You know the fire six questions todayhave budget and I talk to the right guy. What's the big D, whatever yourqualification process, you have to be selling again think back to meetingconversed as I'm trying to get my information to qualify and assess anthat's a good opportunity. I also want to make sure that I'm selling to getthe customer to want to learn more yeah and I find customers just don't spendenough time on developing done skills that can have significant impacts. Dothe fruit but later speed when your team typically has entirest winterings,and you know I completely agree with that statement. I think it's sometimesyou almost feel like it's a dog bark es on day and it's sometimes being aprisoner. I in the jail of of that on paper, repeated or scalable processthat we don't know if it's repeatable and Calabar, but someone writes it down.This is what we should do and we've got customers who are. You know we've gotdifferent, customers of is ten and some tenor, or distracted and other, andmost of our customer have destructive techno on the stone Ned for education,because it's an eventually splay and you've got to go, and I give the Capekright yeah, but some of these are maybe a bit more commodity or whethercategory is growing and mattering. You know they want to black and white stuff. Youknow we didn't even a not proximate to them and they like. Okay, yeah well,was good meeting, but no posity an you can okay. So what do you do with it?Because you know I spoke to tot today it waslike look. I've got some of or stuff to...

...do. This is very interesting, but ifI'm speaking to an organization with five sand, people shun just try to go alittle bit more. I Stud Yon Legate will make the decision how many stuff arebeing both nowadays with just one person engaged in the SES process, nota lot right, not that at all, and I think I think I completely agree withyou. There is a stage of saying: I think there is a stage of creating thedemand rather than qualifying the demand, and there is if we want to workthat way. I think we will educate prospect better. I think we will be ina bit more of a challenge, our self type of position. I think we will getprospect to think everything we and we would probably and that's what we dofor ourselves. You know we are setting bike pines it. You know. None of ourclients before starts deciding a contract with operatics. None of themhave nothing from a Pike generation prospective in fact, most of them havesomething aright. So, most of the time when we speak to the Sun, I'm notinterested. I've got something in place, so we actually tell them that in theprocess of trying to get that meeting with them, and so we know that you'vegot something in place. We know that we would have budget now, but we believethat we could bring something that I can end you to add to the scheme thatyou are creating at to the acceleration. Okay and people take the conversation,because you know we've got a way of doing in that is interesting and then, through the conversation, youthen realize what the issues when you let them speak, that they are facing.With the current set up yeah, I e, like a Yewe, were to just quai them, God who lspeak to no one? We would have no meetings like because everybody's gotsomething and nobody's good budget. Practically. That's true. I think youknow it's a good point. I think you need to recognize. Where is yoursolution on the on the product market fix tale to determine? Are you in thelead, identification stage of abuses or in deleted generation? A demandgeneration, and I deal with a little bit of that in my business, in thesense that our platform is very broad and people are out there looking for aretenue intelligence platform to consolidate, analyse, and so I'm in thebusiness of identifying? What is the demand or the lead identificationelement to my business, and it's typically forecast people are lookingfor forecasting solutions, and so I have to lead identify people that arelooking for help and forecasting, and then once I get them in, I have to thenknow generate demand for a different buying criteria for a different set ofanalytic schools that they might not have been or warn typically looking for.So in some businesses, your solution is as reached that product market fifth,it's a known demand in the market and you're in the lead identification stage,which is a totally different business than in the demand generation toeducate em on right. So knowing where you are on that scale fundamentallydrives a different marketed strategy in getting customers in the door, and thenit all what's the play book who would address the immediate need and expandor to educate, only different ends of the spect right yeah. That makes perfect sense to wellthanks for that, thanks for sharing your insight with us today. If anyone wants to connect with you todiscuss how they can make themselves process more scale and more repeatableor Otso now about inside Quilp, what's the best way to get old of you, but youcan email me directly at t bit Tabot t at insights where or get me up on,Linton happy you indeed with anybody. The Mont part you this for that'swonderful! Well! Thank you again for...

...your time today. Tile was absolutelyfantastic to me on the show I enjoyed the time. operatics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies world wide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales. So operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline atoperatics. Dot Net you've been listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime E T.

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