Artificial Intelligent has finally been applied to my profession of B2B Sales. In a recent interview for my PodCast, Chris Orlob, from Gong.io shared the research result that his company has been working on. The results were based on analyzing over 25k qualified sales calls and tracked from the first call to close. What the team at Gong was looking for was to determine what are the elements of a successful sales call. The results are surprising and even counterintuitive.
1) The first one would seem obvious it is the Talk to Listen to ratio, experienced sellers know that Listening is more important than speaking. The problem is that we think we are listening a great deal more than we really are. Even seasoned sales people fall into the trap of talking more than we should.
2) Price coming up in the call can be a good thing if it comes up late in the call and a bad thing if it comes up early. The price finding was a surprise for me, I personally found it to be a false topic when speaking with user buyer because they are influencers and not economic decision makers. Clearly if price is brought up early in a call the prospect does needs to be refocused on the outcome vs. the upfront cost.
3) Competition is a good thing. When the prospect brings up your competitors it is a good thing because they have started a buying process. The hard part is to not walk into your competitor's traps and to set lock-outs for each competitor. Check out previous episodes of the podcast and YouTube channel to learn more about Traps and Lock-outs.
4) The Magic word that came out of the research was a total shocker for me. The "Probably" when used by the prospect when describing their intent to move forward I would have thought was weak or passive but has a high correlation for having the deal close.
5) Clarification Questions are the Magic answer to getting your prospect to share their real thoughts. Asking something like: "It sounds like your concerned about XXX?" when asked after a problem questions produces the longest and most valuable answers. This drilling down gets your client to open up about what they really care about so that you can focus on how you can help. The Clarification question is the simplest thing to learn and yet we tend to jump onto our next question and miss this golden opportunity to hear what they really care about.
You can hear the complete interview on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.
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