‘New Math’ for your Sales Funnel
What wins you more deals?
-Asking your champion to ‘bring power’ to the next call?
-Enabling your champion to demo their boss without you?
Let’s compare these options…
This is the classic advice from any enterprise sales leader or trainer. You’re told to find excuses on the first meeting (“who’s in charge of that initiative over there?” or “has [department head] heard about this problem yet?”). Then you loop them in while you’re booking the second call.
It goes a little something like this: “Looking forward to giving the demo next week. Hey, check on [dept head]’s calendar… maybe she should just jump in and see it with you?”
The upside here is you get to pitch power. You’re not risking your champion softening the message or focusing on their personal benefit instead of the company benefit.
The downside is that champions often say no. They’re offended, they’re proud, or they’re protective of their boss’s time.
Enable Your Champion
This is an alternative approach, born from Covid. Buyers are working from home and not having informal huddles with their teammates as often, so “bringing power” is much more of an ask now. You know you want to pitch power yourself, but do you lose too many at-bats by making it all or nothing?
Instead, consider giving your champion access to your demo environment or to a tailored pitch deck and letting them do the first meeting with their boss solo. If it goes well, the next step is a group meeting.
The obvious downside is that you’re risking that your champion doesn’t sell as well as you. Their description might miss the mark with their boss.
The upside is that significantly more champions will pitch their boss for you than would bring their boss to meet you. The game here is making sure you coach the “right pitch” to help it land properly.
The ultimate question becomes: am I better off asking for power or coaching my champions?
Doing The Math
Let’s take a sample set of 100 first calls.
-Remember, bring power means a lower conversion rate “to the pitch meeting” but a higher conversion rate “from the pitch meeting.”
-Meanwhile, coaching your champion means a significantly higher conversion rate “to the pitch meeting” because you’re not asking to be there, but then the win rate “from the pitch meeting” should be lower (or else.. what do we even pay you for?!)
As an example:
With the Bring Power approach, only 20% of champions agree to bring their boss to a call, and you then win 60% of those power meetings. You’ve got 12 wins.
With the Enable Your Champion method, 80% of your champions will at least throw a quick pitch at their boss, but then only 20% of those ‘amateur’ pitches will come meet you. However, that’s 24 wins.
Sure, enabling your champions means your close rate is lower – but in these times, you’re also getting in the front door more often. The lower win rate approach could actually end up gaining you more deals in the end because you’ve got more irons in the fire.
Take a hard look at the math of your recent wins and approaches – do you need to start looking at giving up a little control to gain more wins in the end?