The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

The 15-Minute Sales Cycle: A Success Story


No more hour-long meetings, either internally or with prospects. Welcome to the world of the 15-minute sales cycle, where you spend two minutes explaining what you do and the rest of the call focusing on making your prospect’s time productive.

In this episode, I interview Lee West , Managing Director at M-Brain Global , about the sales crisis that precipitated the adoption of the 15-minute sales cycle.

Join us as we discuss:

- The origins of the theory for the 15-minute model

- Asking directly why your prospect took the meeting

- Moving from 50 to 200 meetings per month

- When to spend longer than 15 minutes

- Obstacles to letting go of the hour-long meeting

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch 

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement

in your favorite podcast player.

Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast, this podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on our reach. The place to learnhow out reach well does not reach learn how the team follows up with every leadin record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how out rewins account based plays, manages reps and so much more usingtheir own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulledfrom out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'll be able todo it as good as they do had to outreach on io on out reach to see whatthey have going on now, let's get into the day's episode all right thanks so much for joining ustoday. Lee Super excited to have you on these sales engagement podcast. Forthose of you who do not know me, I am the CO host the Asgier podcast KetlandKelly here, and also senior manager of sales development for the MEA region, aout reach. Today we have Lee West managing director at embrangle Lee. Canyou tell us a little bit about yourself in exactly what enbraid is? Okay, then?Yes, molesly worst on the manager, director of Embra, Middle East, UK andten brain is a global Mark Intelligence Company. So I main aim to keep itreally simple. is to provide insides information. Intelligence to ourclients, use a combination of lace, a technology- and you know, experts onthe ground are human intelligence as well, so a hagged company, okay,fantastic! So for today's conversation, I'm super excited super excited to takea deeper dive here. LE A couple weeks back, we were chatting about thefifteen minute sales cycle that you had recently implemented over at your overan embrangle. So I'm excited kind of UNWRAP this a little bit more and talkabout the impact this has been able to have for your raps. Can you kind oftell us a little bit more about what is the fifteen minute sale cycle? Yes,this is a new way of looking the souls of direction of your appliance. So it'sa new way of approaching initial first meetings, which enables you to upliftour productivity. You know with then intern ably growth without compromisingyou know your clients needed expectation or yours. So it's justlooking at what we've done before I'm rabbling it and look at how we can doit better, bring it into the two thousand and twenty one. It fantastic,and I know a lot of us are really conscious of our time and how muchmoney or how much time we are spending on zooms. The word money sold in thatbecause you know time is money and such important that we add, we utilize it.What really trar you to kind of take like that initial meeting, that yourteam was doing prior to the pandemic and kind of convert it into thisfifteen minute power session yeah. So from from my side, I think, with theTermin we've had over the last two years, it froze into an unknown situation likeeveryone. We knew before had changed...

...and the way in which the world nowcommunicates totally different. As you just mentioned, zoom teams, it's allinteractive, IT'S FAST PACED! You know the days of an hour. Long seem to havegone. You know, and if you look at any research to I checked out most people'sattentions pan ten to eighteen minutes before they check out. They got allright so that fifteen minutes is an ideal window in when it comes to yourmind, you are up for it. You prepared your fully focused for fifteen minutes,so you have a window of opportunity to engage a C level provident. So as amanaging director of a global company, you know, I realized very quickly thatI had sales managers account managers in all a sudden. They were now homeschooling in between Ching a manage their job from home. You know how theyspent their time was critical and every time, if we were doing that, then ourpotential clients were doing exactly the same right, so we're all in thesame boat for once we're all in that same boat. So I started to look at howwe could increase a style from the tea with less time and increased targetsand the world a change. So I came up a process that allowed me to be able tocut all our meetings down from an hour to fifteen minutes. You know everyinteraction when every C CT ND sales director a short to fifteen minutes.You know, and if you ask yourself, the question has a CEO at time to sit downfor our meetings. Nine an ten hours a day probably has a right. That's thetruth, but if you ask him to see for fifteen minutes or her she for fifteenminutes can't are you goin t get that time in the dor, because it's to thepoint and as Belles the the attention span of ten to fifteen minutes when itcomes to listening, it's called: What's called a companied black block. So ifyou listen for too long, it becomes exhausting. It comes tiring, just asmuch if you're speaking for out so as to reverse cycle. So, as I said, the decision makers arewith me. We were in the same boat there at home, the home calling do. Theyreally want to sit and listen for an hour of which forty for what forty fiveminutes of that hour is probably arrevant to them and what they do. Youknow you think about it. We've always been taught. You know you must presenta presentation, yeah bright it out, but I'm sure in that presentation thateverything's going to be voluable for everybody, but there may be something:that's tarn their attention to take that meeting. You know the days of the hour ofmeeting a change you know and as we're coming out of the coke come we'relooking at the practices and how they communicate in for of notice. IsEverything shifted how we sold to corporate a year or two ago, just isn'tworking in the same way? Now we stick to what we did two years ago in thecurrent market? It's not fishing. You know about to shift we're about to movein our model and move out practices in the line you know with the world, andyou know time is currency. If you go back ten years ago, you know five poundhours worth fifty pounds a day and an hour ten years ago, is about fifteenminutes now. The well is fast paced, its quick. It's to the point I seem to have the time and you know Ihad it a key problem. Literally a sous... that tin half I got young childrenvery difficult for them to be up to work full time, Tryin to work ego,twelve hours a day plus home calling was near impossible. It's just you knowwe we all at a lot popa. That problem I mean no way. I've expect him to do that.Nor would I put the pressure on them, so I started to look at what I could do,how I could run numbers, how I could deliver what's required in less time,but deliver more so we started to look at okay. What can we do? Let's get tothe point in the fifteen fifteen minutes. You know if we see in oneappointment an hour we can now see for an hour. My sales team could see youknow eight in two hours. The Dominie would only see four to five, so we haein the time deliver what's required and still give them time to put everythingelse. That was going all the time. This is the situation we were we werethrown into, and obviously this is how it will start to born out. This is whywe start to grow. The model really start like testing. That theoryis this: What people wanted yea? What? So that's how we came to the fifteenminutes south treasure yeah. I love that. I think it's so you mentioned acouple of things there and it's so important that if you continue to doexactly what you were doing, you're never you're, going to almost likeyou're going to be irrelevant, you need to evolve, is exactly how, like thelandscape is evolving. You'd mentioned two things there that were interestingto me, one of Mamas. He took an hour and crunched that into fifteen minutesand we're focused on the important stuff. What would you say within theforty five minutes? If there's other leaders out there looking to mimic this,what were the the biggest things that you made sure were covered in thatfifteen minute sale cycle and what was the stuff that you're, like? Let's cutthe fluff? This is at driving value, so I spent time analyzing and appointments,not just in my sector. I've antent whole host of sales, appointmentsacross different industries but yeah and how they approached it. And whenyou look at the first twenty minutes, people were spending twenty minutesjust to explain what they do. I'm a big believer. If you can't explain what youdo within two minutes, if you don't know what you do and how you a re fie,so you know on average twenty minutes just to set the company and set thepicture your CEO. At that time, you checked out.Okay, I phones going they got emails. You know different all these thingsgoing on. So there's twenty minutes of just that's great. But what does itmean to our like nothing, and we can cover that a late a time, and then Ilooked at it on the other perspective, which was why did they? Why did thissea level provider take time out for fifteen minutes what you know and not be scared to getstraight to the point if you're talking to a Co, NC level or director you know,can I just asked why you took this meeting? What was it within thecorrespondence to caught your attention? Without you know about getting tooheavy to fat, find in already they're going to even they're going to take youdown a certain part, even something that's got their attentive was this. Wewant to know more great, let's spend this fifteen minutes talking about that,so we can value out of your time. I appreciate you're a busy person a rightor you know it a different roads, so it was cutting out the noise and gettingto the point, and some people find that...

...really hard. But I think when you, whenyou're starting talking to other people in the same position, fifteen minutesand being to the point, is very need very relevant time consuming and allowsthem to be don in their day walk covering the basis yeah. I would say like being direct and having thatbrevity is like such a skill that needs to be developed so kind of having watchyour team go through this transition and wanting to implement the change,but we're some of the some of the maybe tools or processes that you kind ofintroduced to them to make sure that this change was successful. So I think for the first, you know forthe first three to four three to six months. I was running this mother on myown, because obviously I was trying to find. Would it work you know I didn'twant to absently would want to lead something if I had tried to test it andcompro the numbers from every point from book to so what did it lead toknow doing it? This way, did it increase? Did it not so from my side itwas taking my team through the last six months. Now they see my ascort. Youknow they are. The everyone has their that boards. Everything is measured andmonitored. All of a sudden you can see mine. You know I was averaging. Youknow to two hundred appointment a month compared to the nearest consultant thatwas average M, maybe fifty yeah and then, when you take it from there, anlook at you look at what that knocked on to a never othe business. It took meto verses, you know, sales consult and that's their job. You know their job isto do nothing but a new business as an MB. I have lots of things pining lotsof different plates. I was able to do my wrong just as effective withoutdropping anything and still deliver that, so it was about taking himthrough that journey. It was about understanding. You know that it wasthat initial. Getting to the point was the hard part when you they've alwaysbeen been taught like robots from every job they've been in Noo. You must tellwhat we do. You must show a presentation, you must show every slideand Deta and it took about a month or so of them. Listening to me melistening to them, you know looking at the numbers, getting them to changetheir habits and behavior to you know by the bullet. To say: Okay just be tothe port, and why do they so do that? And they realize that actually theycould miss out twenty minutes and they can get to the juicy part of theconversation. You know why were they there? What was their common grand istheir asinity to move this to the next level? Yes or no, there's a lot O withit and no. But if we hear you know all a sudden there's a synergy and westraight to the point they realize that actually this was fifteen minutes wellinvested. We've got some here. We can now move into the next level, so therewas lots of show and tail lots of working together lots of observations,but to be give very difficult, because it's always what they've known an houran hour an hour m last. My show presentation must go through everyslide wherever the clipt wants to or not yeah you know is that on theclients agenda, you know I kept so being the client shoes. What does doesthat strategy director really want to sit here for an hour m N, and it waslike that constant,...

...especially you know, I'm kind of likebringing it down to having a like direct and just getting straight to thepoint with it. Did you notice that this impacted potentially the report thatwas being built like just jumping straight into the numbers, or did youfeel like it was received? Well from the other end? Sofor me it was received well. So, as the feedback I have from many of the seatof Avaris was that as straight to the point great that we know exactly whatwe want to do, we know what the next steps are. Let's crack on her that thismove forward. So from that side I didn't there was a lot of push back atall. You know is when you, when you Asansol, be a fifteen minute meetingyou put in the calendar they're already aware it's fifteen minutes and if theywant more than obviously they would say they should actually on half an hour.My question would be quite what would you like to go through that we couldalways make sure the time was spent well needed, and that's so I don't getme wrong with you. I did I explain the company yes, but I only need twominutes ye we introduced and what I were here and then it was a case ofgreat a quick I production for them, but actually, why were they here? Youknow my tin time I was always about. Why are they on this call? And once youask that question see level provided men aren't scared togive you the answer. They'll tell you it's great. I got. I can work from thatat least make this a productive fifteen minutes of your time. Why we're going abad conversation? That's fantastic! Now I love the sounds of this as you guys akind of launch this. Did you see this impact, any other parts of the salecycle or any other parts of the ord? As I'm a customer went through that orprospect went through the journey with you, so the the only the only noticeableimpact from it was because ever where we measure on Cape you eyes all of asudden, he were doing the short meetings. We were getting a party toOropesa for business, a lot quicker, so we were speeding at the process, allof a sudden it to Dru for the normal matt of proposes. We would do ocationthat impacts obviously of a resource issue, but in return it then you knowtwo three hundred cent and grow for month for month, so I only hadpositives for from it comes from a growth perspective. It only havepositives. Yes did we, you know where we seen. You know some stages. I wasseen on average fifteen to twenty appointment a day now, which we, a lotof people, got OL hat. You know, but then, when they sat with me, it wasquick. It was to the point. You know very easy to run because you get intothat moveth appliance and yeah. They try to point me, as you realize thatactually for have a genuine tenet of five that we're going to be followingforward in ten fifteen. It was nice to introduce, but this stage not right now so we're just getting to the pointquickly cutting out the noise you know and when you're a business and youlooking to grow. Do you really want your selves to spend in hours and hoursgoing nowhere, or would you like them to spend fifteen minutes goingsomewhere? There's a big difference: People think that I must spend sevenhours on the fine. Do Several pointments. Why? Why do you have to do that? Youknow when you can do more and get I...

...more productivity to e more and be moreproductive? You don't need an now do that yeah. I think one of the biggestchanges that I've noticing throughout the the environment is that people arelooking to find ways to be more efficient. How can you do more withless essentially and kind of drive revenue without adding more head count?And you know you mentioned your team and got cut in half, so how are theygoing to still meet the expectation that you had in place for them and thenthis is part. This is a fantastic way to do. It run more meetings in thefifteen minutes. Be Brief into the point and there's your efficiency andwe created virtual sales teams, so about prospers etive. You know I dearlyI'd be great to have four more sous after you, but actually when we were onthe numbers and when we looked at the overall numbers each month, it workedout that if you looked at two years ago, that would be quite for extra Fte thatwe'd have to pay for so we had little virtual sells it were.We create a team with four extra sours people with no cost that we didn't havea space just pew to the numbers we run. So when you do that across the group,all of a sudden, you know there's well wide. You can create fifty additionalsous people just through Pushin, be impact yeah if it's wrong correctly. That is that's amazing. So, based onthe results that your team has been able to drive, would you say? Is thissomething that embrion to launch globally? So we we have been testing itin different different regions, so central Europe, they be reallyimpressive. So if I look at my coins over in Germany and France, they havebeen running probably not as high as the UK, but it's very similar. Theyeven creased dramatically from what they were doing two years ago, seven oreight times more and again, they are delivered, really strong results andthey go through the same process. So they're seeing more they're deliver inmore, and you know I think Thats ous people a lot happy because they're busy,you know, day and day and they're doing what they've been asked to do, which istalk to flint, that's their job right to to introduce and talk, and obviouslyif they can do three times in man in one day be in a good cellar. Thenumbers would stack up so we're very luck. We have good sels yeah, it workswell, yeah, no fret sure a you as well. I pack very similar with the US placebond okay, Awesome Yeah! I was going to say: Do you feel that possibly, if youguys are global country and different cultures, do you feel like this wouldbe received well or is there if a leader was looking to implement thestrategy? Is there any obstacles? That should be me, maybe planning for soobviously we are tried in the Middle East, so oof. The Middle East Serge-you can imagine that that's a really different culture, yeah a fo or aboutright, but they embraced it. I mean the fan a really. This was never a problemthere. They like it, they do the same model y. You work with in there they'revery they were fifteen twenty minute meetings and made run more. So thisprocess was e was great but yeah some cultures. Maybe it could be colport theobstacles. I guess that the main...

...obstacles internally will be managementand sales teams, because a lot of the managers, I speak to still believe thatyou know you have to spend an hour, it's ingrained in them, so there's a asto think that they think they need to prep for an hour and then do allow meto you know how can you? How can you spend an hour prepere me and you haveno idea what we're going to discuss you're trying to Sokiti and you donover think what they're going to come up with, rather than use that time? Tobe honest and say what would you like to talk about? How can we make thisengaging? Have we've made this a positive fifteen minutes? It's just theopposite approach. People hide behind their presentations yeah. I need onething that I do love about. This approach is everything you've beenseeing saying today is keeping it all about the prospect or the customer hasnothing to do with your product or what you have to offer. There's no slidedeck, it's all about. Why are they here and what did they show up to learnabout like what are their pains? So I love this aspect: shorten down to thefifteen minute driving the results. You know, as you guys continue to do this,would you say, would this work for full psyche full cycle sellers as well? So I think the the fifteen, the fiftyminutes Sidcote you you lo for the initial first meeting. This is what wewant to against that yeah. I would be really clear. So the initial firstmeetings was was all about impact was all about straight to the point now,once we do from that for side for once to be then go into high level now.Would I be able to present a proposal to a client fifteen minutes? Absolutelynot that wouldn't be the right time really, because at that time you know,they've got a whole team involved q and a they want to dissect the proposer. Sothat's when you would, you know with the sale. So that's when you do need toinvest quality time with the white people, but that initial approach whereyou could be swallowed up. You know so much as a team and you lose all yourtime there and then it doesn't really create much and sale circle. So weshorten that down to give you more time when the time is right. So when youstart getting onto the proposal, you've got that time when you start getting onto the closing part, a finish him. I you have that time. So we've justshortened a cycle down at the first stage for a hundred percent does itwork. You know, I would be very surprised if I could do a proposalfifteen minutes and convince somebody to trust what we do it on objects. Butthat's that that's different, but on the initial stage a hundred per centyeah yeah, I think I it may be tough, especially on the proposal stage, giventhat a lot of people buying communities now it be hard to kind of be able tocommunicate to everyone and get everyone's needs met in thatconversation there so base on our conversation, conversation today lovethe inside that you've been able to provide. I think the fifty minute salesor initial meeting is such a good idea. Kind of just be brief. Get to the pointget the information you need move on. You did go over it a little bit, buteven if it is a know, after that, that's okay having the ability toqualify out quickly is just as good as a great thing as moving them along tothe next step and seen value in the conversation, and that was my biggestpan watching people struggle for ours,...

...portment, which were going knower, butthey felt they had to. You know why I spend that extra forty minutes ofsomeone that's go nowhere where you can invest it in three appointments thatactually one or two of those are going to lead to a further betterconversation with a wary team, because they're now engaged with what you cando and how you can help them. So you kind of just summarize that exactlywere for me, because that is my biggest. You know we struble when I see that with salesteems, it's like em come on. You know, save your time, use your time morewisely and qualify out so yeah, absolutely good, Sumere yeah. That is aa common pain across Olesale, Hans being able to identify the right ones.So you know. Lastly, if you were as a kind of wrap up today's conversation,if you D recommend a book that had the biggest impact and our professionaldevelopment, what book would that be? Or would youwant to share with us? So that would be a book called from the Gup by JackWelsh, which is an American Co who took over to back in the ATS and turn itinto a molti billion dollar company yeah. He he dared to be different right.So when you read his leadership book, the first thing you did when he tookover was five a top twenty percent sales people in the company wow,because they be doing everything for themselves and not for the client notfor the company and they would always be successful with the company wouldwrite. So he redefined sad processes in the way inwhich they did it in the people they brought him. So he he went t get thegrain of what was being done at the time. Yeah I think he's was ultor. Youknow he was the number one co biggest company, so that was my biggestinformants reading from him. That's what started the leadership journey ortwenty years ago, okay, fantastic! I'm going to have to look that one up fromthe gut, so great awesomely. Thank you so much for sharing your insight on thefifteen minute sales meeting. Super Exciting to see how the impact, howthis is impacting other companies as well. If anyone comes for that, islooking to implement this into their strategy, where is the best place forpeople to reach out to you if they want to connect a bit more, so they can even reach me or Lintonthrough probet messaging furniture that way, rather than just destore but yeah,but any just reach out linked in but happy to talk to anybody on the deepunderstanding of the process, all right fantastic! Will you hurt it here,furnish we have Le West and myself thanks for joining today on the salesand Agen podcast m. This was another episode of the Sales Engagement podcastto help this get in front of more eyes and ears. Please leave us a shiningfive star review join us at sales, engagement for new episodes, resourcesin the book on sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagementstrategy, make sure to check out out reached Lio. The leading salesengagement platform, see you on the next episode T T.

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