⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
In this edition, I’ll deconstruct the simple strategic selling system I used to win 14 opportunities with 11 Fortune 100 brands in less than 4 years, totaling $27.3M in annual recurring revenue.
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Deconstructing My Simple Strategic Sales System
If you’ve been following along here with the Be Focused. Live Great newsletter, you know a big catalyst for leveling up my strategic sales motions was applying design thinking.
When I boil down my success over the most prolific portion of my sales career, I come away with 4 key design thinking principles that comprised my system:
- Identify better accounts to win
- Become a Category of One seller
- Choose Impact over Activity
- Position Transformations over Transactions
By targeting accounts that have more meaning to me, meant I could put more passion and energy behind pursuing them, thus improving my win rate as a natural outcome.
By developing a better personal narrative through a quality writing habit, I improved all skills necessary in strategic selling, thus making my voice heard amongst a sea of bland sales approaches.
By searching for how I can make an impact in every deal I worked, I avoided the need to constantly hustle and grind around the clock, thus turning my work into a fun game I could play every day.
By positioning transformations over closing transactions using a maturity model, I expanded the size of every opportunity I engaged with, thus increasing my personal income.
Here’s how to create a simple system step-by-step
I started with designing a spreadsheet that laid everything out for me in a single place.
The intent of the exercise was to help systemize all of the things that make my company and product unique so I could easily access, disseminate, and share this information in the most impactful way possible with the right people at the right time.
Step 1: Define your company’s distinct point of view
What makes your company unique? This is the distinct perspective your company has that completely separates you from the competition – how you view the world, how you do things differently, who you work with/don’t work with and why?
→ Tip: Scratch deeper beneath the surface than your company’s marketing material and tagline.
→ Example: “Customers should be able to message a brand or call out in their living room what they want, and like magic, it happens.
When this occurs, your brand is in the same threads of conversation with their mom, their spouse, their best friend. Once there, the relationship is elevated to a whole new level that few brands can compete with.
Your customer service agents are the most underutilized assets in your organization to bring this vision to life. We show you how to match their human intelligence with artificial intelligence to fundamentally transform how your company can operate as a fully conversational brand.”
Step 2: List out your product’s key features and company’s compelling services
Now, identify your product and company’s top killer features and services.
→ Tip: Develop at least 3 – 5 of these to have in your library that you could talk about in your sleep.
→ Example: “IVR Deflection”
Step 3: Create your powerful headline
Turn this feature or service into a powerful headline that would grab the right person’s attention. Think about pulling the reader or listener into wanting to learn more.
→ Tip: Really put yourself in the shoes of a C-Level executive at your top Diamond Accounts. What do they care about and what would grab their attention?
→ Example: “80% of your customers don’t want to call you, but they do because they’re forced to. Try this instead.”
Step 4: Explain the feature in simple language
Simplify how it works without using buzz words and jargon.
→ Tip: Don’t start spewing technical, internal, or sales jargon. Explain it like you’re talking to a 5th grader or your grandma. State the facts and remove the fluff.
→ Example: “When customers call your customer service line, they are greeted with an option to wait on hold to speak with someone or choose to move the conversation to texting where the conversation shifts to their terms.”
Step 5: Define the business impact of key feature (and how would it personally impact the person you’re engaged with)
Once they understand what it is you’re talking about, you need to quickly and easily share the business impact of this feature or service and how it would help that particular contact.
→ Tip: Make sure the impact covers both the account level and the contact level. Be sure not to jump ahead in dumping all of the benefits. Save that for later dialogue. Invite them into saying “tell me more.”
→ Example: “Shift up to 30% of your customer service phone calls to digital messaging in the next 100 days and keep them there. We’ve found this is this best starting point for going conversational as a brand and elevates contact center leaders to taking a leading position for CX initiatives inside the org.”
Step 6: Clarify who is using this today (and why your contact should care)
Every situation with an executive will be different, but you need to be prepared to answer “where else is this being deployed today and how is it going?”
→ Tip: Peer validation, especially when there is a natural tie back to their brand, is psychologically proven to be an effective way to drive action. Know who you can strategically connect them with before the meeting and offer it up as a follow-up item. This will help accelerate the deal.
→ Example: “<Insert Strategic Brand Name>, one of your your partner airlines implemented IVR Deflection under a year ago and are already seeing 95% peak CSAT scores and 50% decrease in agent attrition rates. I’ve already touched base with <Insert Strategic Contact Name, Title>, and she said she’d be happy to have a conversation with you about her experience. I’ll connect you following this meeting.”
Step 7: Develop impact questions
These are the questions you can ask in your communications and conversations that invite them to share more about insights you’ll need in order to deliver a major impact.
→ Tip: Develop at least 3 – 5 of these for each feature. Remember, you are looking to engage in a conversation, not an interrogation. It should feel like a dance, and when they are speaking, listen to understand, not listen to respond. It’s also best to use specific terminology that is germane to their industry, brand, and role.
- “How are you giving optionality to your customers when they call in today?”
- “What happens during an IRROP (irregular operation)?”
- “How does that impact your staffing modeling and operational costs at peak times, say during holiday travel season or during hurricane season?”
Step 8: Develop impact statements
These are the statements you can insert in your communications and conversations that make them ask “Interesting, tell me more.”
→ Tip: Develop at least 3 – 5 of these for each feature. These are known in digital writing as “twisting of the knife”…the things you can say that get them to really reflect on their business and explore new avenues to improve it with you. I like the following format:
- Jab: Get their attention with a quick jab
- Hook: Insert a fact using actual data or a customer story
- Uppercut: Tie it back to why you and your company are best suited to guide them through this transformation by offering a tip or avoiding a risk
- “When conversations are handled over messaging, customers can go about their day rather being tethered to the phone. We see an average spike up to 20 CSAT points with messaging compared to voice calls. The key here is educating them on that fact in the IVR and in the first automated message.”
- “When conversations shift to messaging from the IVR, agents have the ability to handle up to 5 conversations at once rather than just one on the phone. That increases further with the use of good automation. This decreases your costs in half and we see about 50% less attrition with agents. The key is shifting a portion of your agents from voice to messaging, and that leads to happier agents too.”
- “When conversations shift to messaging, the customer can come back to that thread (where you’re right next to the most important people in their lives) when they need something else. We typically see over half of customers come back after their initial conversation setting the stage for you to develop a longer-lasting, more asynchronous relationship with them. You go from being a disruption in their day (let’s face it, a pain in their ass to deal with) to becoming more like how they interact with their friends and family. This opens the door for addressing more customer service intents and even marketing and sales opportunities down the road. The key is having good automation in place and an intelligent operational roadmap.”
Bonus Step: Create a tab in the sheet for each one of your Diamond Accounts
By having this information at your fingertips, you’ll be ready to work with your SDR to develop a smart account map and checklist.
The key is to have pertinent account information at the top for easy access and then detailed information for each key contact within the account:
- Contact name
- What they care about
- Public links for reference
- Key feature/service
- Impact questions
- Impact statements
- Strategic outreach plan
- Impactful or creative outreach recipes/plays
This will allow you to tailor your strategic messaging to the appropriate contacts within the account. You’ll be ready for creating LinkedIn content, initial outreach, discovery calls, presentations, follow-up emails, RFPs, demos, executive memos, deep dive design sessions, and more!
That’s a wrap. See you next time!
- Strategic selling can be simplified with a good system
- An effective strategic selling system needs 8 things:
- A distinct point of view
- 3 – 5 key features and services
- Powerful headline for each feature
- The feature explained using simple language
- The business impact of each feature for each contact
- Who is using this feature and why your contact should care
- Impact questions
- Impact statements
- Having this master system in place will allow you to work with your SDR(s) to develop a smart account checklist for each of your Diamond Accounts
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
- Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (2,000+ students)
- Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
- Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)