The simple truth is that a Meaningful Conversation has the biggest impact on deal movement. For the context of this post a Meaningful Conversation is a two-way dialog that has an OUTCOME.
These are the conversations that keep the opportunity fluid and on track through out the sales process. This can be a call, an in-person meeting, video conference or any interaction that is 2-way with an outcome. This does not include voice mail messages, outbound emails, LinkedIn invites or text messages. Though its important and informative to track all KPIs, it’s the Meaningful Conversations that should get extra attention because they have the biggest impact on deal movement.
Improving the Sales Process
We are all looking to improve the selling process and I use Meaningful Conversations to help me figure out;
a) on average how many meaningful conversations does it take to close a deal
b) on average how many meaningful conversations does it take to advance from one sales stage to the next
This gives me better insight into deal movement which helps me set expectations and forecast more accurately.
Start tracking Meaningful Conversations and I think you’ll agree that not all activity is equal.
Here’s some quick advice on how to track. It starts with your CRM system and seller input.
1) Add a field called “Outcome” to your Activities in your CRM system i.e. task and events – calls, meetings, web conference etc.
2) Then add a pick list of “Outcomes” – Qualified Opp, Presentation scheduled, Onsite meeting scheduled, Pricing call set, Negotiation finalized, Verbal commit etc..
3) Educate your Sellers as to why this field is required and necessary. (This isn’t another useless field for marketing)
4) Create a report that tracks all activities with an “Outcome”
5) After a Quarter of data start to look for trends
- Are your top performers having more or less meaningful conversations than others?
- On average how many meaningful conversation does it take before sending a proposal?
- On average how many meaningful conversations does it take to close a deal?
- Do your SDRs need more than one meaningful conversation to Qualify an opportunity?
Outcomes are critical for deal movement and without them there are no next steps. Don’t let time kill your deals because your reps aren’t having meaningful conversations that lead to outcomes.
So the next time your seller tells you they had a “great” call or meeting ask them the Outcome. No Outcome, No Great meeting.
I’m Vince Beese and I help growth companies accelerate revenue growth through agile go-to-market strategies. What’s your Go-To-Market Strategy? Let me know if you need help. Feedback is always appreciated.