The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Lessons Learned From Analyzing Over 2 Million B2B Sales Calls

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Max chats to Chris Orlob, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io, about what it takes to make innovative and effective sales calls that work, even at the C-Suite level. Tune in!

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast,this podcast had brought you my out: reach Ottio, H, leading sales, AF esealplatform, opin companies, sellers and customer success, ongaged with firesand customers, and the modern sales error check out sales, an asncom fornew episodes, resources and the book on sales andgugement. Coming soon. Now,let's get into today's episode Max ouchelor here with the salesengagement podcast and I'm talking to Chris Orlob today from Gong Dot, Io andChris give some amazing intelligence on call recording data and BTB sales calls.So what are we talking about today? Yeah Skinn is, and if you haven't ceardof it, hopefully you can get out of the Rock you've been living in for the lastcouple of years, but we have this giant poll of research that we continuallylook at and it's a full of over two million PTF sales color cordns. Thatnumber is continually growing, I'm sure 'll be utdated by the time people hearthis podcast, but we analyze those conversations with a we ye Setarat withthe speakers so that we can tell themto the seller whos the buyer. We tieeverything to the crm so that we can analyze songand, buyeur, higors againstoutcomes, and then we publish data about what is actually working in salesconversations according to her data rather than just bin Duition. That'sawesome so guys have a ton of killer that. So what do you want to talk about? Ithink the one that's been on my mind lately is the differences betweensuccessful question asking in discovery calls and how that changes, dependingon who you're talking to and who you're Sawnto so probably thifteen months ago, or so Iwas like the summer of two thousand and seventeen. We did this big analysis offive hundred, an nine tundedusand discovery falls and we found a fewreally interesting stats, like the quote. UNQUOTE, ideal number ofquestions to ask is between elevand fourteen questions, which seems to makesense. You know that seems like the right brains. You should be shootingfor a discovery call, but then we pulished this new analysis. We did justa couple months ago was at the beginning of August, where the resultspretty much flew in the face of the research we get. The previous here andwe found that there was a sharp decrease in wind rates after you askabout four questions and the difference between these two research pools t theone we did where were essentially suggesting you ask fewer questions andthe one wherewere suggesting US between theand fourteen questions is thedatabase for a new one. It was an exclusively sales call for the sellerwas selling to a CSWEET executive. Somebody who's a very lined a decision.Making hierarchy is probably the economic buyer and we found the deat.Essentially they have little patience...

...for generic Linds of questioning ordiscovery calls, and I think there are a lot of nuances to pack from that data.I think it can be very dangerous to jump to conclusions. You know. The lastthing I would suggest is the winning formula to winning deals in the C swetis to ask for questions. That's not at all what I'm saying Whel. I wouldconclude from that or a couple things tuff. The first is that I think whatthat means is not that s sweet executives, haping, ask questions. Ithink if's we as a perfecsion. Just do not ask the questions, because weweren't, really, you know we couldn't analyze. The exact content of everysingle question that was asked in the state of base, and what's the mostlikely happening, is that some sales rap shows up to this meeting afterthey've been trying to get it for months and they start rattling offthese. You know kind of generic discovery, questions that just makepeople cringe like tell me about your bigstrtegic initiatives for twothousand and nineteen or what keeps you up at Nihe and after a few of those,most sellers are going to get ticked him. The teeth they're going to bewalked out of roomwork. In a goodcase scenario, the C sweet executive isgoing to politely, pretend they're interested and then just go gark on you.So I think that's. The first conclusion you draw from that is not necessarilyit's a horrible thing to ask a Buch of questions, but you have to be reallygood with your questions when you get in front of somebody using the SS weorBP level, you have to be. Your questions have to be valuable, not justseller, oriented information gatheringpols, and I think the secondthing that I would conclude from this is that CSWEET executives would ratherbe taught. They would rather have a seller come to them, alerting them tounforesee problems and obstacles, or maybe big opportunities that have beensetting right under their nose exploited. They rather an intelligentseller, come into a meeting, teach them about a trend or a problem oropportunity that they have previously not considered or maybe justundervalued, rather than being asked a bunch of questions such as o Ovyeu salsrests. You have and a bunch of stuff that they could have found lower in theorganization or on the internet or Bireadin Compan reports. So that'sprobably the most interesting research we have that's been on Min Lind lately.Just kind of this juste position between these two discovery callanalyses and that's what's been on my mind, that's really interesting. Whathow are you collecting this Du? How are you analyzing this data so t the way itworks and it's slightly different dependingon. We, which researchfulstunwork conducting bu in general, we're recording sales meetings that areusually conducted on what conferencing platforms like cazum and outreach, notnot ouratal, soon webx go to meeting and we're also collecting collerrecordings from sales engagement platforms like out reach for pullingthose into com, so recording those t were transcribing them from speech totexts and then we're running these...

...transcriptions for what we callunsupervis machine learning and that is essentially Ai. That can identifyseller and Bire behators like questions that are being asked, topics that arebeing discussed stuff and how many calls do you think you've analyzed e,even Crosse, the two million mark? I don't even know how long ago isprobably a couple months ago, yeah in that Numberis, you know just increasingthat. The way we get ahold of these calls is their anonomized sales callsfrom our customer base and, as you know, Gong is just growing like a weed. Soit's like. We have thousand Suup more users eve week, which you know they're,making thousands more calls like. I said, Bu, I'm sure by the time somebodylistens to this. Two million is going to be outdated, so MEC', I, let's justcall it millions ot say I is calld eventualytensitgave enough to make allthis. You know credible two million, whether it's a one million or moredefinitely incredible, Therere, some more best practices that you've seenlike Miv, misteur top five or ten kind of either mindblowing discoveries orbest practices. An you're doing discovery calls or you know, havingsales conversations yeah I'll, give you a few of them so demo flow. This is oneof my favorite topics. How, in what order do you possess certain things tduring your Dowo? What we found is that most sale reps are doing the worstthing possible. I think it's the right thing and I could see the logic behindthis, but they're saving their quote unquote, best for last they're, showingkind of trimial teatures during their demo and their quotinquote building upso that they cend with, like the Spran Slam, feature that, frankly, the buyersbeen waiting to see sis they show their screen onto, and what we founding isthat the best demos, the most successfulthamost of them as that have the highest advanced rates and eventuallythe highest close rates at the end of the sale cycle, start with a thing thatwas talk about e most during discoverin. So instead of like building thisanticipatory demo, where you end with the most interesting thing at a last orat the end, you start with exactly what the bier wants to see. You just hitthem over the had with it, and then you slowly unpull the rest of the Demoadericaturs level and demis can be very short in those cases. You know if thebuyeris interested only in one or two things, you just show him that and kindof. Let them tell you how far into the demo they want you to go, and frankly,it's usually a lot shorter than lo sales people. So that's definitely one.You know we correlated the topics that were being discupved or DISCUSSD duringdiscovery to the tolks that were being discussed during Demos, and we foundthat it's. It should almost fee like this ubside down. permid start with thelast thing. First Turm, your dem on it's had whatever catchphrse you needto to do your temos right couple. War that come commind are talking aboutpricing. So, in the same vein, in terms of democalls, we found that the mostsuccessful sales people talk about...

...pricing late in the call, it's usuallybetween tick, the numbers between the thirty eight minute and forty sixminute mark on average and aver performing sales. Reps. don't reallyhave a rymeof reason as to when they discuss pricing during their democals.So the take away there is that the best sales people, at least in the Datasetthat Wev looked at, are focusing on establishing value first before they'reso eager to introduce pricing. Our answer, the the buyers, pricing,questions and howd you, so that's another kind of like magical piece ofhaving the successful sales of resentation o demo is, you know, gothrough the Stemawy I suggested earlier and end by talking about pricing. Don'tjust be so enger to answer your customers, pricing questions, maybe atthe beginning of the call or at the end, and then the final one that I'll touchdown at least on this for Uf, I'm sure we can get n more stats as we go here,but is this idea of mess steps so this one? This is data, that's yet to bepublished as well. It should be coming out this week and if you're vearingthis, it was probably the previous week or maybe a couple weeks ago, but wefound that- and I can't remember the exact numbers because I'm you knowstill kind of familiarizing myself with the data first meetings with aqualified opportunity. If you didiscuss Tom Net steps at the end of your call,I think it was for like twice as long Withan, an average performanc salesperson does then yourn much more likely to have a very short sale cycle nd,some of their reason, Clin Iin, O besideis from it being very obvioussales typing- is buyers on a first introsase meeting are not mentallychecked into a sales cycle, yet they don't consider themselves being part ofan act of evaluation. They are using that introductor sales meeting as a wayto evaluate whether or not they want to be more of a sale cycle or by Cyple,and so the imlocations on that are. They do not have next steps all MAPPout in their mind, because they don't even to see this as a project. Yet soyou get to the end of that call, and you only have a few satns. You knowtwenty or thirty cents TAT jus discuss tax stufs. Your buyer is probably goingto be at a loss because they maybe just decided a few seconds ago that theyactivavely want to evaluate this andother mind is kind of sitting alittle bit trying to figure out. Well, what do we do from here? So as a seller,you really have to put yourself in a leadership position. You have to manageyour time well during this intreacall to make sure there's plenty of time todiscuss the next steps at the end of this first meeting so that in Cintendto,chark e course from there to end on this Oriv. We found that spending a lotof time during unquote. Unquote next TEPs troop subsequen calls in the salesprocess. You know seven call third call the BYNE call. It doesn't matter thatmuch as one as you just do it, but spending a lot of time on it and nocorrelation where there was a really big inbact. It's spending time on nextsteps. At the end of that first meeting...

...and again it's because you have to grinclarity to the project with your buyer. You have to talk to next step, suggestnext step unpack what this project Woan it look like for them to kind ofmentally suit, their teethit too. I love this. So there's people h beenintals for a long time. You know kind of already do these best practices,because they've seen what works Ond, what doesn't and it's been kind ofdrilled into them, but then Haveng data that backs it up is so so so important,especially in this modern, a arof sales where we have all thi technology at ourfinger tips, whether it's you know outreaching and connecting to Gong andbeing being able to Av test things as you, you do. Your Omni Channel Outreach your different touches, know, call and everything else, so you guyshave some really amazing information on Ousi Hese, rest tractes. I really likethe upside down pyramid coming from the outcome. First, no workinds. Instead oflike telling the story in Tei, it's actually how I like to approachproblems in general, so great job on that yeah. It's how it's,how you apperch writing to like if you're writing an article instead ofhedging and spending the first like two or three paragraphs like every contentmarket around the planet does kind of leading up to the point. You shouldjust hit the reader over the head with like what the point is and then let themread the rest R, the rest of the article down to their interest level,because you never know whatever years gon to like jump off the page. Maybethey just want to read the first few paragraphs and it's the same thing withSou like start with a value unpack until you see your byer kind of losinginterest and WRAPP tings up from there- and I see you guys, you measure so manydifferent calls. Some of the first call someof pretty far down the the salescycle right. It's not all. Just the first call and discovery call so manydifferent types of phone calls that you're measuring right, yeah, yeah,first call closing calls fum fact. We analyzed a bunch of closing falls totry to understand the differences between a closing call that actuallycloses or reads to a close sale, and then one that loses and when we lookedat the data we couldn't tell any difference. There was a no differencebetween a widin closing call a losing closing call, at least from aScienticic level. You know without diving into hearing what these callsLik fooks sound like in the way, and I would inturve that is what you do earlyon or in the middle of the sales cycle, generally carries a lot more influencethan what curtoing later of the game, because that's where the trojectory ofthe deal a set right, the buyers just starting to look at things. Theirpreferences are not solidified, they're, imfrefonable they're malleable, but asthey start to go through this evaluation, things start to crystallizethings starte for month and if you get trough a closing, call and suddenlyyou're trying to convince your fire of. Why you're better than your competitor,instead of having to dress that early on in the fine process? But you stillmight close the deal, but it's not a...

...great position. Bo Win selling is verymuch. A profession of an ounce of corrention is worth account of cure.Yeah! That's interesting that you're doing closing calle the majority of thecals that you analyzed were prospecting discovery mostly discovery and debta calls likethe first or second sales meeting. That's like done ever web conferencing.We actually have not been a ton of prospect. Ind Calls. We have ban a fewof them and we found some interesting stuff. You know about cold calls andport of the best cold call opening blinds and what are some of theattributes of Ha successful, col call, but by far the majority of what we'vedone has been opportunity. Sales me O, I heard like a unmeetings already beenset and an account executive is martialing that deal through the vitenprocess. Talk about talk time. So this isn't what is said. This is what isn'tsaid so yearound how long your rep should be talking for verse theprospect. So the first thing, the first Cavya I'll give is every company is alittle bit different. But given that we have found some, you know generallizedcharts and this one is probably most dependent on the stage of the SayleCyple. So if you have like a dedicated discovery, call we found out the besttolk politan ratios forty three, Fifty Seven pee. The rap is tocking for fortythree percout of the time and potuquote listening for the rest of the time atfifty seven percent of the time, but that number tends to change dependingon different stages, an sales id bol so like a democall or sales preson patronas a hier one natural, it's the oters around sixty five or sixty six percentof the time, because you know you're presenting and then cold calls also hotiern. I can't remember the exact cumber, but it was in like the highs or Lowes,and you know the takeaway. There is during a full call. You really got tosell TA meeting you're, not there to you discover, but what we found is that,despite the fact that different sale cycle stages have different Tok tolisten ratios, it's usually going to be the lower one. That's going to win theday. It's just that the low end of each ofthose stages in the sales process is different and by the way you actuallyinterviewe somebody in your other podcast, the career ha packing podcast.That has some of the best tips for achieving a lowtop toliston ratio.Chris boss, the guy who wrote, never split the difference, because whenpeople he Wen santhraxs here, they should have a low tolk to listen ratio.What are they? They tend to ask a bunch of questions and a lot of thosequestions are not as well thought out as they should be. So, while you shouldask questions of a great way to get your bier talking, more is to use crirsboses technique called emotional label, and that is basically where instead ofasking question, you make a state, and it is a statement about an emotion thatyou ovserve your bior express and the best way to do. That is simply to fillon this setence. It seems like you...

...filling the loock. It seems like you're,really excited about your new job, atout rich Max, and then you just shutup and if you label their emotion accurately like if that's actually whatthey're feeling inside O, you actually stop. Couking then do'g open the flock get they'lltalk for thirty seon sixty seconds ninety seconds and the best part is youdidn't have to use a PICKAC of the question you didn't have to dig at them.You just send something that seems casual and you struggle cord and nowthey're letting you know all of this istaliable emotional information. Ilike that a lot of seems like you're, hitting on the just the conversationaltone and understanding the person across from you. Instead of coming withall these, you know bullet points and talking points and things like thatright, yeah, exactly there's, there are two negative extremes that US SASconversation. There is pitching, which means like you, just GOP Shet up, keeptalking your spiewing features of benefits, but the other negativeextreme that most people don't really realize is entirity. They just askgeneric question after question: It's like they're, going through a checklessand the buyer quickly becomes frustrated. So you really have to findthe happy media between those to you have to ask questions, but they shouldbe well thought out and targeted, and you also have to make saencs and theyshould be about your buyer most of the time rather than about you awesome. So,let's Tuk one more thing and one of my favorite topics. Personally, pricingweare some best practices around talking about pricing, an a call yeah h.The best thing to do is to talk about pricing toward the end of the call butenfor. The end is just afterview established value, because pricingwithout eminstrative value is kind of a meaningless on Aton and it just staresby ers away they instantly rationalize that they can't afford it. But if youestablish pricing and then you introduce the exact in price that theywould have ratioalized themselves out of now, they're recornizing themselvesinto the right, because we've given them a reason to so it's like you know,if you start a sales call, the buyer does not have an active need, they'renot sold on your solution, but they ask about price, and you answer it now, therest of the sales call. They are thinking to themselves in their mindwhy they cannot afford this or why they should not move forr, but somethinglike this or why did Yit just eject from the buying process entirely versuswhen you create the emotions of need and solution, and now those are firnedout as ik preference for the Viron like it's part of their psychology, and thenyou introduce pricing now they are in a totally different frame of mind wherethey are justifying to themselves and toother people. Why they can't affordthis, so you really have to create value before introduce price, and letme just unpack what value being so not using you know some sales buzzwerd iscreating an emotional neet, whether that is theresolution of pain or theattainment of...

...some sort of pleasure, or somethingmore benefit or something plossible there. You have to pray one of thosedet states of mind before crisin is introduced or most of the time Oterways,but most of the time they will try to ratinalize themselves out of e price.Even if you have the best Roi argument on the pace of teearth awesome that Ithink that's a crucial one that I think people furtheron the PO, the funnel anddifferent types of sale cycles will be interested in thanks of time for theknowledge bombs today. Chris, that was amazing, and I know your blog is chalkfull of other statistical gyms in the sales andsales engagement and call analysis sphere. But where else can peoplefindit? Is that the gung dot io the best place to go yeah go connect withme, I'm linked in to go. If you want to read all this stuff on our Blod go toGankaio SLA logged, but I also publish all of our frest fresh research as an harticle on Myon Linton Profile. That's how tra, where it sees the light of dayfirst so connected Banlington again, my name is Crisollav Orlope, as en boy,I'm pretty sure, I'm the only criscar Lov on linkeon net alone, the face ofthe Earth happy tonect, yeah awesome thanks a lot.This was awesome thanks, fors thanks so much for aies. This was another episodeof the Sales Anbagement podcast Jonus at sales, engagementcom or new episodes,resources and the book on sales agagement coming soon to get the mostout of your sales and Gatin strategy, make sure to check out out reachd at iothe leading sales, an beticule Plat. So you on the next episode.

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