• Chief Revenue Officer

5 Valuable Sales Lessons Learned in the Quarantine

Molly St. Louis

Molly St. Louis
Senior Producer

5 Valuable Sales Lessons Learned in the Quarantine

After much anticipation, quarantines are slowly beginning to lift. We can now eat at outside restaurants, take the kids to the park, and finally get a haircut – three activities we may never take for granted again!

In the past few months, we’ve covered the many challenges brought about by the quarantine, but as the world creeps towards normalcy, we wanted to reflect on the valuable business lessons we learned from the shutdown—lessons that don’t solely apply to crisis situations, but should be remembered even in the best of times.

In our Masters of Revenue Roundtables, we have reflected on these learnings with some of the world's brightest minds in sales. Here are the top five highlights from our CFO series:

Make a Capacity Gradient

Clari’s CFO, Alyssa Filter, suggests maximizing your sales talent, using a capacity model. What’s a capacity model? She elaborates in this 1-minute video, CFO to CFO:

Be Direct in Customer Conversations

Getting emotionally intelligent about customers can help you gain critical insights into your pipeline, according to Artem Mashkov, CRO of SwagUp:

“A lot of deals got reset, so projects that were going in one direction are now going another, that’s why I talk to the account managers directly to figure out whether (a customer’s reluctance to buy) is a revenue problem or a cash flow problem. I'm asking what is the feel in your conversations with people? Are they fearful, are they calm, do they know what's going on? Because I think the confusion about what's actually happening is the biggest issue.”

While speaking with every rep about every deal gives leaders a view into the health of every opportunity, one way to understand whether or not a prospect is engaged is to look at their sales activity data. Are there emails going back and forth between your rep and their prospect? Are they booking meetings? Are they opening your attachments? All of these signals are a good barometer for how a deal is trending.

Increase Productivity with Remote Sales

Ann-Christel Graham, CRO at Talend, believes that sales teams working remotely carry extra benefits. For example, they can be more productive, and offer more activity data. Leaders should use this to their advantage:

“About a week or so after starting to work from home, some of the SDRs seemed to be a little bit more productive in terms of being able to keep more meetings. In the form of everybody working from home and being available online and wanting to have virtual connections and those types of things, it changes the dynamics a little bit. So it's interesting to now watch and see again how that's turning into activity and sales opportunities that are entering the pipe.”

Focus on Renewals

Kevin Knieriem, Clari’s CRO, believes in focusing on your current customer base to maximize the probability of renewals.

“Making sure that your customers are in a good position and are in a position to continue with your service or your product is super important. So one of the first things we did at Clari was take a look at our renewals business across the rest of the year, and truly understand how healthy each customer was. Were they going to be in a position to renew, and were they going to be in a position to potentially expand? All of our goals are growth within our customer base.”

It's easy to get sucked into Zoom meetings all day when we're all working from home, which makes every hour that much more important. Reps must quickly identify where to spend their time, and which deals to focus on --which is why visibility into the health of every deal is critically important.

Create a Seller’s Toolkit

In a virtual world, you have to be creative about customer connections to cut through the clutter of their inboxes, according to Andrew Criezis, SVP of Global Sales Operations and Enablement at Nielsen:

“One thing that we have looked at globally has been adding more tools in the seller's tool kit, not just from a product standpoint, but also capabilities for them to break through all the noise. We've given our reps more tools and more capabilities, whether it's things like Gong or video emails or things like Sendoso gifts—different ways to break through the clutter. We're seeing some really good results from that.”

In this new virtual setting, reps have to raise the bar on creativity to stand out. For more information about this, check out these creative sales tips by Maya Connet.

Join the Masters of Revenue

Masters of Revenue will be addressing more pressing topics in the weeks ahead and we’d love for you to join the conversation. If you’d like to attend, please email Mayra Delgado at mayra@clari.com and Nick Bennett at nick@clari.com. And as always, please stay safe, stay focused, and stay connected!

Interested in more Masters in a Minute videos? Check them out below:

4 Focused Ways to Close Customers with Confidence

Raising the Bar on Pipeline Prioritization

Become the Master of Your Pipeline