What Are Compelling Events?
- by Elay Cohen
- February 8, 2015
- Sales Process
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
When we talk to sales professionals that have real, business issue compelling events, the following words come to mind:
We all know we can close deals without compelling events, but there’s a good chance our deals will get pushed. We also know that investing time to uncover compelling events increases certainty that deals will close, and close faster. Conclude there isn’t a compelling event and quickly qualify deal outs of our pipeline. Whatever the outcome is from customer conversations and compelling event exploration, the goal is clarity on where to spend our precious time.
Uncovering or co-creating compelling events with customers is proven to make deals close faster. The magic happens when you tap into your customer’s urgency to solve their top business problems. Once we help a customer uncover their compelling event, they’ll push us to accelerate timelines to solve their business problems. That’s when our sales campaigns hit top speed.
How effective are your teams at creating compelling events to qualify deal better and progress deals faster? Here’s what we seeing:
A compelling event is a customer’s business pain that needs to be solved by a certain date, or else, something bad happens to the executive who owns solving that problem. The impact of the consequence of inaction is the lever we use to accelerate a deal. It becomes the anchor of our sales Enablement campaign messaging. Our job as sellers is to tie our solutions to real compelling events.
Many sellers, especially here in Silicon Valley, think their solutions are “nice to have” and they don’t have a compelling event. If you have a target profile buyer, then you’re already on your way to uncovering and quantifying compelling events. I promise, once you uncover a buyer’s performance metrics and top initiatives, you’ll find a compelling event. Then, work backwards and build a sequence of steps (aka close plan, success plan, action plan etc) to help your customer solve the problem they have revealed as a top priority, using your solution.
Here are three buyer personas and a compelling event for each:
With each of these compelling events types the trick is to find the initiatives that are a top priority, then show your executive how you can get them on a path to solving it. Once you do that, your deal will move super fast.
For example, if you sell technology to a VP Marketing and you’ve uncovered that they’re launching a new website on April 15, 2015. Your solution will help them make their website better. The way you drive urgency is to set up a sequence of steps that gets your technology trialled, personalized and operational before the April 15th date to ensure your customer will confidently hit their goals. It’s not your compelling event, it’s your customer’s compelling event.
Here are a few questions you can use to engage your buyer’s in a meaningful conversation about their priorities and their appetite to solve them together with you. These questions assume a relationship has been developed. These would not be the very first questions I’d ask someone one on a first call.
There are many more questions. These are just a sampling of a conversation flow to help uncover a buyer’s compelling event. Once you identify a top executive’s priority, tied to a specific date, that is mapped to your solution, then you can create a sequence of events to drive urgency around rolling out your solution to meet their timeline.
Since 2014, SalesHood powered thousands of Deal Reviews and Sales Coaching Huddles. We analyzed the win loss data and sales cycle time of 1000 randomly selected deals from 10 companies. The data concluded that there was a strong positive correlation (.8) of deals that have a customer defined compelling event to faster sales cycle time and more deals closed as won vs. lost.
We learned a lot about how deals are accelerated when sales professionals uncover real customer compelling events.
Share this list with your sales teams. Implement these ideas in your deal reviews, quarterly business reviews and forecast calls to immediately move the needle and grow top-line revenue. Make compelling events part of your sales values and operational cadence.
Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.
Based on my experience leading Sales Productivity at Salesforce, accelerating revenue from $300M to $3B, we’ve packaged our proven methodology into SalesHood, helping client after client achieve record breaking revenue growth.
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