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December 04, 2014
Gut 2.0. It's You, Only Better.
You'll sometimes hear me talk about selling by “gut and golf” — a sales approach grounded in years of experience (gut) and deep, trusted relationships forged on the links (golf).
When sales execs hear me say gut and golf are no longer enough, they agree. They know more weapons are needed to “slay the number” and get their teams to club.
Don’t lose what got us here...
Please don't for a second think I don't respect someone who's got a great gut instinct for selling. I'd like to think my gut is battle tested to the nines as well. I just have proof, built over 20 years of selling and the last two years working with customers on our product, that it's time for us all to get better — a hell of a lot better
...But we need more
We need a more informed gut. Ok, I’m going to go out to the edge and call it… dare I say… “Gut 2.0.” Sound silly? Maybe, but even though we sales execs have savvy gut instincts, it’s time to step it up.
First, let's sync up on what gut instinct for selling (Gut 1.0) looks like. You’ll often hear a great sales exec or manager say things like:
“That deal feels like the Chromos deal that went south in Q3.”
“Toby always sandbags. I’m sure there’s another $75-100k in that deal.”
“...Yes, Randy has a monster in Commit, but based on our last conversation, I have my doubts it gets done.”
What you notice is our gut instinct (aka Gut 1.0) is about discovering patterns from our past experience. No… I should say it’s about feeling patterns from our past experience.
But here's the problem: we're human. Our memory isn't perfect. Recent experiences seem more important. We can’t remember every deal over the past 2 years that we’ve won and lost. Plus, there’s clear evidence we’re slow to see when markets and buyer attitudes have changed. So even though we need gut instinct, it’s not perfect. And it’s not enough.
There’s another problem. We need to grow. We need more people with a gut instinct they can trust. Most of us train reps on a sales process and then have them shadow a veteran. That’s a good start, but building know-how takes time and practice — a lot more than reps get with a week of windshield time. Or worse, we force reps to spend 3, 4, even 5 quarters hitting their head against the wall. That slow ramp-up kills our capacity plan… and “sink or swim” means too many good reps wash out before they get their sea legs.
Some teams bring in consultants with sales methodologies like SPIN, MEDDIC, or TAS. A standard methodology may or may not fit your environment, but even if it does, I’ve yet to see supporting technology that easily measures methodology activity and success across reps and regions.
So how do we get better? How do we get reps to be smarter? Managers to be more confident? Execs who see risk early, deal with it, and increase predictability?
What is Gut 2.0? It's you, but armed with timely information from all the sources that matter — CRM, mail, calendar, call logs, social media, news, and more. All pre-digested and analyzed with a healthy dose of data science. We’re not talking data dump. We’re talking about a smarter view of all your deals, activity levels, changes, and probability of closing. Which deals need your attention? Where do we need to double down? What should we push to next quarter to free up people?
It's still your gut. It’s still you. Just better.
What does an updated approach to gut instinct do for sales teams? There’s nothing like hearing from leaders in their own words:
Better Sales Manager & Rep 1-1s
"Clari is the central hub for our 1-on-1s. Whether we’re mobile or at our desks, it is the best way to stay on top of everything.”
— Doug Landis, VP of Productivity, Box
More Accurate Forecasting in Less Time
"Forecasting used to be a spreadsheet nightmare. With Clari, what took days now takes minutes."
— Chris Klapprott, Worldwide Sales Finance & Operations, Aruba Networks
Being Smarter in Customer Meetings, Without Hours of Research
“The beauty of Clari is our reps actually use it because it helps them sell. And as they use it, management gets better insight into deal priority and how to drive more revenue.”
— Sudheesh Nair, SVP of Worldwide Sales & Business Development, Nutanix
Whether you’re a sales exec, area VP, or first line manager, in your bones... sorry, in your gut... you know things are changing. Data is becoming better. Mobile is connecting more of us. You can't go two days without reading how data science is changing decision making. No one with selling chops believes this will all replace great managers or execs. At the same time, we can make the great ones better. We can inform their gut. We can give them Gut 2.0.
And you know the crazy part? We can prove this to you in under 10 minutes. Seriously, 10 minutes. We’re not going to take 4 weeks of your time to prove value. You’re going to get on the phone with us, turn on our cloud service, check out your own deals via mobile or web, and find new insights about your deals in seconds!
We’ll make you (and your shareholders) shine. That is no bullshit. Our goal is not just cool software that’s designed well and looks great on a website. We have studied you. We know you. We are you.
So we made Clari to make your life better.