The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

4 Mistakes That Might Be Costing You Deals (And How to Fix Them) w/ Nick Siddoway



That’s the number of of B2B sales reps that actually achieve quota year to year.

Just because your sales reps know what they need to do to seal the deal, doesn’t mean they’re actually doing it.

Solving the knowing gap isn’t the problem. It's solving the “doing” problem.

Nick Siddoway came on The Sales Engagement podcast to talk about solving what he calls the “doing” problem.

He’s the Executive VP of Sales and Delivery at Primary Intelligence, an organization dedicated to helping sales teams reach their quotas, beat out the competition, and stay ahead of the curve.

Nick’s company recently put out the Done Differently Report. The report evaluated one thousand B2B purchase decisions that were made. The decisions were either to buy, or not to buy. Primary Intelligence talked to the decision makers - they wanted to understand what drove the prospects not to buy. What could the vendors have done differently to win their business?

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagementplatform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in themodern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes resources in the bookon sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of these sales engagement podcast. I'm your host, Joe Vignillo, senior content managing editor over at outreach, and today weare joined by Nick Sidaway, Executive Vice President of sales and marketing over atprimary intelligence, and he and his company have done some really interesting research thatwe're going to get into here. But before we get into that, I'mgoing to toss it on over to nick, who can introduce himself, tell usa little bit about what he does over at primary intelligence and just giveus a little taste of his background. Nick, thanks so much for meon the show. Hey, Joe, it's a pleasure being here. Iappreciate the opportunity. Like you mentioned, I run our sales and our marketingteams over here at primary intelligence. We've been together now for only two years. Prior to being here at primary intelligence, I I've been in sales consulting roles. Spent a good part of my my career helping executive teams really boildown the Stra ategies that will yield growth and helping them implement an execution methodologyto continue to hit their numbers year over year. Now what I find myselfdoing here at primary intelligence is we're helping cells teams, product teams and marketingteams, which really hit their quotas each year, find out exactly what theyneed to do to beat the competition and stay ahead of the curve. Well, that's that's good stuff. I mean, I'm sure everyone listenings like, yeah, I'd like to hit my quota and stay out of the curve.Yeah, we need some of that right. Absolutely. So what we're talking abouttoday? It's something called the done differently research. Can you, canyou set the stage here and give us a little hint and what that means? Yeah, yeah, so, for the for the past eighteen years,as I mentioned, one of the things that we do here at primary intelligence, as we reach out and speak to prospects that are considering buying from youthese are be to be organizations, what it is that drove their decision,how they view you as a company, how they viewed your cells experience orexperience with your cells team, what they perceive about your price value and then, ultimately, you know what drove their decision either buy or not buy fromyou. We do the same for existing customers as well, understanding why theystay with you and why they leave you. But throughout all this research we cango back and find really some common denominators that lead to revenue growth andin this particular done differently. report that we created, we went in evaluateda thousand purchase decisions that were made. These are all be to be purchasedecisions. We talked to the decision makers...

...and we wanted to really understand.Okay, we know you either bought or didn't buy from Vendor X. isthere anything vendor x could have done differently to win your business right and,if so, of course, what is that? So what we learned inthis group of, you know, a thousand plus decision decisionmakers, we learnedthat thirty six percent of these buyers, of these decisionmakers, they came backand said, you know what? Yeah, the losing vendor lost my business,but have they done something just a little bit differently? They could havewon right. So there's a big chunk or revenue out there that companies aremissing on just because of one single misstep that maybe happened along the evaluation process. On the flip side, forty seven percent came back and said no,absolutely not, there's nothing that vendor x could have done to one my business. Now these two figures are important, as you can imagine, for anumber of reasons. But first and foremost it's important to recognize that forty sevenpercent, so less, or almost half of the deals that organizations lose,they really never had a shot at winning that deal. Think about the wasteof time, think about the productivity kill that that is for a cells orat missing quota. When they know half of the deals are losing, theyshould even be playing and should even be pursuing on the other side. Thirtysix percent that they lose, they just barely lost or if there's something theycould have done just a little bit differently along the way, the actually couldhave wanted and earn that revenant. And while you're talking these people that say, yeah, there could have been just one little thing could have changed andthen there would have won. What are some of the common responses you're gettingfrom these buyers saying like, if they just tweaked exit, they just tweakedwhy, you know, they'd have a deal here. What are some ofthose those common missteps that you saw sellers making? Yeah, they fall intojust a couple of buckets, and these will be familiar buckets, you know, for everybody that's listening, and I'll work backwards on this. Most oftentimes, when you go ask a cells rep why you lost to deal,right, you usually get a very similar response. You know, nine timesout of ten they'll come back and say, Oh, our price was way toohigh. Right. What we found, although price is usually something that's consideredwhen making a purchase, it's really only a main driver twenty five percentof the time. So so only a fourth of the time is it reallythe big driver that led to a decision. So I love cells reps, I'vebeen in cells, I'm in cells, but really their perception as to whythey lose a deal is usually price centric and that's not what the buyersaying. The buyer loves to give that excuse because it's hard to fight it'shard to overcome that objection, but that's really not the main reason that theymade the decision they did. So prices number one, but not the mostcommon. As you dig deeper, the two big variables that really come intoplay around making a simple misstep have to do with either the product in itsfeature set and the belief that that product will solve my needs. Right,that's number one and that's thirty one percent of the reasons for the loss,or another thirty six percent, which is all cells related. I just feltlike we didn't connect the chemistry. Who... wrong? I didn't like theguy. Right, that sometimes so come up, but the thirty six percentof time had something to do with their experience with the cells team and thirtyone percent their belief or lack of belief that the current product really solve theirneeds or solve their problems. So, in gathering all this information right,you obviously want to make recommendations to teams and how to lower that thirty sixpercent. Right to us any more deals. What are some of the things thatyou are telling teams to improve upon? Right, you're getting the I justdon't like the guy. Well, someone just tells me. I justdon't like. I don't like Joe, I'd be like, well, impossible, right, I don't like you. Now you know like. But howdo you how do you flip that on the head? How do you winthose feels? Yeah, and I gave some very surface level examples of maybewhy you're losing these deals. We don't stop at the surface. We reallydig deep and we want to understand. Okay, what triggered your perceptions.If you don't like Joe, what did he do right? What didn't hedo to trigger that perception? And if I just take the microscope right andput it over cells, we don't need to put it on product in thisparticular podcast. Let's just go down to sales. There's usually four things thatcome into play here. Again, these are a bit surface level. Whatyou want to do is dig deep and figure out what these are, youknow, for each individual cells rep or sells team. But here's the foremostcommon cells missteps the lead to you losing a deal you really could have oneaccording to the buyer. The first one is what we title is understanding byour needs. Now, this isn't too uncommon, right. I'm not goingto buy from somebody that I feel doesn't really understand me. But that accountsfor about twenty four percent of the losses for the cells to the for thecells rep and that's usually something along the lines of, you know, theytalked too much. You know, Joe just didn't really demonstrate that he understoodmy problems. Didn't seem relatable. I try to tell them this is whatI needed to do, and yet he came back with the presentation that wasoff base. I just really didn't feel like Joe got me and what Iwas looking for. So that's the number one most common sales misstep. Thesecond, and I know any cells rapper, cells leader that's listening to this aslike, Oh yeah, no, doubt, that doesn't apply to me. I promise you that it does, because this data is universal. Right, applies to me right anyway. The second most common seals misstep is responsiveness, and this is usually something of the form of I had a request,they didn't get back to me in time, or I reached out and I thoughtI communicated the urgency around my request and they just they didn't. Theydidn't give me what I needed fast enough. This sell version this as a mare. It really really pisses me off. Because I'm like, I'm looking hardto get these these hot inbound leads coming in hand. Sales better respondquickly and follow up. Otherwise, like, what the Hell am I doing?Right, yeah, what's the point? What's the point? Yeah, exactly. Well, if that one makes you mad, way till I getto the fourth one. That all really of a really Erg yeah. Sothen the third one, and again I'm keeping this really high level for thesake of time. And again this is...

...different for all organizations, for eachrep you can have unique traits or behaviors that led to this, and reallythat's the call to action, finding out what it is specifically for you soyou can start making those behavior changes or process changes and start winning more,and that's what we do. But the third one. Again, so thefirst is understanding business needs. That's the biggest reason sells lose. The secondis your responsiveness. It's either that, the timeliness of it or the qualityof the response. That was when I didn't mention you know, you maybe responded quickly, but it really just wasn't what I was looking for.Or Look, you know, subpart quality. The third is presentation and especially ifyou're dealing with software, or tech. You know that solution presentation or thatdemo is so important, and I like in this one, back tomaybe even number one, because if I don't understand your needs, my presentationsgoing to miss the mark. And if I'm doing a presentation for a broadbuyer team, it's not just an individual presentation. I need to understand theneeds of everybody in that room. So what oftent times happen is the presentationfalls flat. It's too one sided. It's all about me and my company, all the great things we can do for you, and not enough aboutthe client and they're their unique needs. So presentation again, representing thirteen percentof the reasons that you lose a deal from a sales perspective. There yougo. Here's the fourth. This is the one that that drives me crazy, but I know what happens and I'm sure I've been guilty of it.Cells or not interested in me. Eleven percent came back and said, youknow what, it just felt like Joe and Joe. I hate to pickon you because you're a good guy right, but it comes back and says,Joe, you know, he just didn't feel like he cared to winmy business. Are you kidding me? Ouch. Yeah, as a salesleader, drives me crazy, but I've I've been in those calls. You'reoff your game, you got something else going on, whatever it may be. You know your you think you know more than the guy on the phone, whatever it may be, you can come off at times being you justdon't care. And that's actually eleven percent as to why cells reps lose adeal they could have won. So again, to summarize, understand my needs,be responsive, both in in timely timeliness and in the quality of response. Have your presentation, talk about how you solve my problems and then pleasejust pretend like you care, to show that you care about me and andhelping me. And I can just see the sales leaders right now listening tothis and pulling their hair out in like, you know, made the bulbs goingon and saying, yeah, I have these problems to write, myteam has these problems, and look at all the money that we're leaving onthe table because of these problems. So let's go back through those four andprovide some solutions. So let's go to one. You know, you justdidn't listen right. How do you improve that? How do what can salesleaders do to instill that good behavior in the sales rep? Like money,you got to listen, you have to tailory responses accordingly. Like what canthey do? Yeah, yeah, great question. So you know, inmy work in sales as a sales leader...

...and all the cells leaders that I'vehelped coach and consult to, this is the number one thing we always talkabout. Is, regardless of how good you are at listening right, youalways need to practice this more. And there's there's there's so many books thathave been written out on this topic, but people don't feel like they're understooduntil you can actually repeat what you've heard and you need to validate that youheard them. So a very common seals technique, and I know any cellsrep listening to this will say I do that all the time. But Igot to tell you a common sense is not common practice and this is,this is, this is the biggest evidence of that we are not listening enough. So if I'm in a in a in a discussion with a prospect oreven an existing customer and they start, get them to open up and ifyou're good cells ORP, that's exactly what you do. You get them talkingand talking about them. You need to transition every conversation with okay, I'mgoing to pause, Joe. I just want to make sure I'm tracking allright. And and here's what I'm hearing you say, and I'm going touse your language the best that I can, but I'm also going to put itin my language and I'm going to keep it concise. I'm going tosay, is this accurate? Am I missing anything? Now, that canbe a extremely obnoxious if you do that, you know, seven or eight timesover a thirty minute conversation. But there are lolls where you start tofill a conversation, shift topics a little bit, it's okay to push pause. I say, well, you're giving me great information. I'm taking notes, but I just want to make sure I'm tracking with everything you're telling me. What am I missing? Just helping them feel like you understand them inthe conversation is number one. The second thing we always have to do iswe leave a a presentation or a discussion with a prospect is then send themsomething to summarize what we heard and what we're doing next, in the formof an email, slap communication at whatever tool you're using, make sure thatyou then capture that electronically that they see it and you give them the opportunityto say, what did I miss? If you can do those two thingsin addition, I guess there's a big third in addition to when you doyour presentation or when you make a recommendation. It's all in the surround sound ofwhat they've what they've shared with you. You usually score really high in thisparticular category. I think it's all all good advice and and, likeyou said, come and say, doesn't come and practice, because everything you'resaying is like, Oh, yeah, of course, sorts, of course, but I can't tell you how many times, and unfortunately it kind ofhappened in this interview right now, where I was like, all right,let's move on to number two. What was number two again? You knowI come on, Joe, I'm sorry of this conversation right, I heardyou know it. And going back to common senses and common practice again,is you look at cells reps and helping them hit their quota. I sawthis statistic the other day. Forty three percent of cells reps, be tobcells reps actually achieved quota. Year to year it's fifty seven percent. IfI can do. My mother right.

Fifty seven percent miss quota. Whenwe're talking about growing revenue, that numbers unacceptable. Right, right. Sothese are people that know better. That's not the problem. Solving the knowinggap is not always the problem. It's solving the doing gap. Go institutionalizethis as the best practice, make it common practice, and that's another thingwe help with. That's beside the fact. But, but that's the other partof it. So number two was responsiveness, responsibily writing it down.It's write it down. I know I can see you right, I knowyou are. And really the simple one on this is when you get arequest from a client, even if you don't have the ARA prospect, evenif you don't have the answer, the fastest thing you can do is sayyou know what Irish message received, I am on it, and then settingthe right expectation. Joe, I hear this is what you're looking for.You're looking for a refer maybe someone else you can talk to that has donebusiness with us in the past. I'm going to find you the right match. I need to talk to them first, so I'm not going to give youan answer back probably for the next forty eight hours, but I'll getto you then. So acknowledge that you heard them, where you saw theirrequest, and it's set the right expectation as to when you're going to deliveron it. God, I am guilty, guilty of this one. I seethe emails like pile up in the inbox and they all get to it. I'll get to it, and then suddenly now that great gmail feature,now that like nudges things to the top. Yeah, right, you know,and outreach does as well. But I'm like, Oh wow, sixdays have gone by, I didn't respond. I'm sure someone on the other end, whoever is emailing me, is, is not not too pleased about thedelay. Yeah, yeah, and you know, the other thing youcan do in that Joe, is even ask the question. Right, Ican get to I can get this to you in forty eight hours. Doesthat work for you or do you need it sooner? You know, I'mon stand by to help. Just make sure that your level setting expectations.We all know frustration comes from a unmet expectations. So if someone's complaining aboutyour response time, it's because they had a different expectation than what you wereable to deliver on. So level set those right, right, right,exactly, all right, number three presentation. All right, the simplest thing Ican say here is, even though you're demonstrating your product, it isnot about you. It's not about your capabilities. Yes, there's an opportunityto talk about that. I don't care about your logos. There's an opportunityto talk about that. I don't care about how wonderful you are. There'san opportunity to talk about that. What I want to know is how you'regoing to solve my problems and how fast can you do it? That's whypeople buy. So make sure that in the presentation you've done such a goodjob up front understanding why they're interested in you, what problems you're going tohelp them solve, and then make that the centerpiece of your presentation. Andwhat's your quick take on on prebuilding sales decks? Like kind of the youknow you have to have something in the hopper ready to go, but areyou saying like just kind of tailor it on the front and the back,or you know, because it takes a long time to create a custom presentationfor each client? Yeah, yeah, you know, there's a lot ofbig organizations out there that we serve that. You know, and if you're luckyenough to have one of these offices...

...and your organization, you know,count your blessings or whatever. But you know there are there are teams dedicatedto building custom decks. You know, going into any cells meeting and ideally, if you've got the resources available, let them customize away. Feed themyou know what you know about the problems. They're going to go do some researchfor you online, look at press releases, know the industry, etc. And put together something customized. Yes, if you've got access to that,you're in a great place. Use that office to help you do it. The majority of cells reps don't have that resource, to your point right. So so I'm okay with having a preloaded cells deck. My team usesone. What we try and err on the side of is being simple,right. So we might have ten slides cued up in a presentation and onlyget two, four or five, and we will we will hand select whichones we hit on based on the floor of the conversation, so that first, that first conversation, might be a little bit boiler plate, right,because it's the first opportunity for us. No, should we keep talking?Here's what we do. Here's what you're trying to accomplish. That might bea pretty scripted or a standard deck, but when it comes time to actuallydo a presentation, and I'll actually say we are outreach customers, and ofcourse your cells RAPP did a fantastic job of this with me. I've actuallyreferred back to it a couple of times with my team saying hey, thisis what the outreach rop did for me a year ago. Why are wedoing more of this? But the second presentation, when she actually demoed thetool for me, it was all around my problems, it was all aroundmy concerns. Those are all around my needs. I could see there werea hundred other things outreach could do for me. That's not why I'm buyingoutreach. I'm buying it because I've got two problems and she's talking specifically abouthow outreach can help me solve them. So that first deck, it's alittle bit boiler plate. I get it. Be Ready to customize on the fly, but when you're actually doing a solution presentation or a product demo hasto be all about their problem. Yeah, agreed, and I will pass theill looking sales core. See who that person was and past that feelback on, because that's that's great. Thank you. It was Kelly.I can't remember her last name, but she was wonderful, awesome Kelly.Good job. All right. Number Four. They just didn't want it enough.They didn't show me they wanted to. All right, this is an interestingone. How do you fix that? He just fire them. No,I'm getting they just don't belong. No, no, yeah, well, I guess I should all joking aside. If this is a regular occurrence,if this is a common problem, then yeah, may not be agood fit for them. Right, and that's that's a completely different conversation.But we also get reps. sometime have some bad days. Sometimes they getleads for they're saying, wait a SEC, I really I'm an expert in,you know, XYZ industry and I only want deals north of a hundredmillion. This one doesn't look like it's going to be that. So,you know, I just don't really seem as genuinely interested in their needs.It happens a lot. Again, eleven percent of the time this ends upbeing the reason they didn't buy from that company. So you again, oneor two, one or two offs.

You know, just just remind yourreps that every every dollar counts, every customer counts. Were in business onlybecause of our customers. So let's not let's see cut this, come offour high horse a little bit. If it's an ongoing problem, then yeah, you've probably got a culture fit issue there. But you know, there'snot a whole lot you can say they're other than you know, as aleader it's your job to motivate, to encourage. It's on you to makesure that you have few bad days with your Reps. they're going to happen, to make sure they're few and far between. Yeah, put in theeffort. You know. This is why you're here, and you know younever know what this they may be buying one or two seats today, butwho knows, this company can grow and you may have a whale on theline here. So you know, especially in your world show, that thishappens a lot. They might buy one or seats there today, but alsoin that little upandcoming company just got acquired by multi billion dollar company and suddenly, you know you want to have a champion there. And if they feltlike, oh my goodness, outreach didn't care about me. That's why Ididn't buy from him to begin with. They're not willing to give you asecond look. I mean that's an impression that will last for quite some time. But but yeah, even if there are a two seat company now,they could be acquired, or that that sells rep or that executive, theygo work somewhere else. You always want to keep your network full of veryhappy people. Absolutely, Nick. This has been a solid episode, likewith so many great takeaways. But if people wanted to learn more from youor talk about primary intelligence or whatever, how can they get a hold ofyou? Yeah, might, I'll give you my cell phone number if that'sthe easiest way. Right, this is the first. Why not? Isit a first? Yeah, maybe I should retract the offer. Maybe there'ssomething I don't know about really. I mean, of course you can goto our website. It's, you know, wwwwy intelcom. My cell phone numbereight zero one seven, one two four, four seven six. Wewere just scratching the service on some other research that we've done. Again,none of it matters if it doesn't enable you to have some actionable insight.So what we do for organizations is we run our process just like we've talkedabout here. And get these results specific to your company. I've given youthe foremost common but you know you are unique in some ways. So let'sfigure out what are your most common sales missteps, by team, by repby product, and then we can help solve the knowing gap and then thedoing gap for you. So it drives your win rates against a competition.But you've got my cell number again. You got the website and we'd lookforward to talking with anybody that wants to learn more. Awesome making it.Yeah, give them a call. Go check out primary intelligence and let himhelp you. I mean this is look at all the great information these alreadyprovide here in twenty five minutes. So I'm sure there's a lot more inthere that they can they can do to help you out. So go checkit out, Nick. So thank you so much for being on the showand I want to thank all of our listeners for tuning in once again andwe will see you next time on these sales engagement podcast. Thank you.This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcomfor new episodes, resources and the book...

...on sales engagement coming soon. Toget the most out of your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check outoutreach die Oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the nextepisode.

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