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April 30, 2020
Maximizing Top of Funnel Activities in an Uncertain Market
Making revenue more connected, efficient, and predictable is absolutely crucial during any state of the market, but if possible, it’s even more imperative now that it’s harder to know where each of our deals stand. Across the board, revenue teams are seeing a significant slowdown in the top of the funnel, due to the implications of the recent economic impact.
These current events have created a sort of defining moment for sales leaders who must answer the pivotal question: how will you respond to these changes? Are you going to:
A. Surrender, or
B. Embrace “the new normal” and use it to strengthen your game
If your answer is B, then get started on the right foot with these expert tips from Clari’s VP of Growth, Kyle Coleman and Head of Revenue Development, Alex Jagiello:
Start By Securing the Meetings You Already Have
You may think of this quarantine period as a terrible time for prospect meetings, but it’s actually a great time in one way: prospects aren’t traveling, so it could be much easier to get a meeting with them. That is, if you provide enough value.
And if not, you run the risk of a last-minute cancellation. According to Jagiello, three tips for ensuring your meeting happens:
Set a Clear Agenda
“Inspect all of your remaining meetings for the quarter to ensure all parties have accepted and have a clear agenda outlined,” he suggests.
Now more than ever, prospects are focused on only the most essential priorities. So, it’s critical to have an agenda that helps your prospects answer their inevitable questions: What’s this meeting about? Why is it important? What am I going to get out of it?”
Remember that most people aren’t used to working from home and for some, the days really run together. The easiest way to make sure that your meeting is still on their to-do list is to remind them!
Jagiello points out that not all reminders work the same way, so you have to pay very close attention to your wording if you want to see optimum results.
“The key here is to avoid using passive language in your reminder emails, like ‘Hope we can still meet’ OR ‘checking in to see if you can still attend our meeting.’” he says. “Assume the meeting will take place and write your message accordingly.”
Use phrases that display confidence, like “we’re looking forward to chatting with you later today at 4pm.” This small tip can help you see a huge increase in attendance.
Add a Personal Touch
Effective selling is all about standing out from the crowd and the last thing you want to do is have your prospects think of your meeting as “just another sales pitch.”
Because of the remote environment we’re all in, you have a great opportunity to get creative about personalization. Jagiello suggests sending your attendees a small gift like a $5 coffee e-giftcard or an UberEats lunch for them to enjoy during the meeting. If they have kids, sent them a printable activity packet..
These kinds of thoughtful gestures go a long way with prospects, who feel like they are being cared for — even before a sale is made.
Consider the Redeployment of Resources
If your top of funnel is indeed experiencing a slowdown, you will most likely have to shift your resources to other parts of the funnel that are most likely to drive actions that will have an impact on the rest of the business; giving you more revenue confidence. There is very little room for (expensive) experimentation, so it’s important to make sure that the right activities receive the right amount of resources.
Developing the Right Activities
In order to properly redeploy, it’s important to understand your team’s key strengths. As Coleman sees it, SDRs have two very valuable superpowers that should be capitalized on in this new era of selling. He says:
“The ability to do research on both accounts and the people at those accounts. SDRs are able to take that research and to craft it into personalized messaging which is super valuable, not just at the top of the funnel to generate meetings, but also at the bottom of the funnel in a post-sales motion even perhaps to strengthen relationships that you already have with customers.”
Having SDRs send personalized emails with valuable content to customers who may historically be hard to get a hold of could be one way to track a new success metric. Some other solid metrics might include number of executive-to-executive introductions made, dollars generated in expansion pipeline, or number of enterprise POVs complete.
Aligning Activities to Company Goals
Redeploying resources is especially valuable in times like these where one area of the business may all of a sudden see a slowdown. However, key to all of this is to make sure that redeployment aligns closely with company goals. So, you need to be very specific about what your top goals are and place your efforts into those key areas.
Coleman stresses that this must be done with careful consideration. “You want to make sure that you’re not taking away from results that you were expecting in one area, without it really having an impact in another,” he says.
Setting KPIs related to larger company goals tied back to current market conditions for each activity is the best way to keep an eye on results and adjust budgets accordingly. Coleman and Jagiello suggest creating reports about quick wins that define and detail the elements that make up their successes.
Becoming Revenue Confident
Want to learn more ways of becoming revenue confident? Check out this video from Clari’s co-founders, Andy Byrne and Venkat Rangan who deliver key insights about building a rigorous business process around the right instrumentation. And stay tuned for more insights through our Path to Revenue Confidence series!