March 28, 2023
Pipeline generation is in crisis
Pipeline generation is in crisis.
Everyone is talking about it.
If you’re racking your brain wondering how to fill an anemic pipeline, read on.
Most sellers - heck, most sales orgs - get prospecting extremely wrong. They talk about their product and go for the sale right out of the gate. By doing that they set up resistance from the first touch. It's like heading off on a road trip by picking the dirt road full of potholes.
What is needed is a complete transformation of how we think about the sales process.
Before we get started, if you want to use enterprise sales to amass FU money (without another decade of corporate hustle), enroll in the Mega Deal Secrets Masterclass and I'll teach you the system I used to close $160,000,000 in SaaS revenue and bring home massive commission checks.
The Warm Up
The ultimate human truth sellers ignore
Nothing happens until credibility and trust are established.
Only then will someone listen to you.
So go get that before you try to sell something.
This is absolutely the best example of slow down to speed up that there is.
Enter: The Warm UP
So here’s a radical idea…
What if you had an entirely new step in your sales process?
The Warm Up is a better first step than prospecting - it’s the period where you serve your prospect over and over until they proactively raise their hand and ask to move to the next step. There would be virtually no calls to action, no asks whatsoever during this step.
If you do this, it will definitely slow down the first stage of the sales process. But once the prospect is ready to move to the next step, things will go much faster, you will be perceived and treated differently and you will likely get higher in the organization.
Why? Because you're seen as a valuable resource, not a seller prospecting for their business.
Here is how different your sales cycle could be using The Warm Up.
Old: Prospecting - Discovery - Demo - Close small deal, 10-20% success rate
New: Serve - serve - serve your customer stakeholder -> inbound interest -> shortcut to decision-makers -> insider process -> big deal, deep relationships - 30-50% success rate.
The process of rapport building through serving them your best IP for free changes the dynamic from push to pull.
You have grabbed their attention and used that moment to give them something they thirst for - knowledge and insights about something they care about.
This is so different from what happens when they see a typical outbound email, read the first line and see the intention is to sell a product.
The old way of selling requires heavy investment in SDR and AE effort to cold prospect. The open and response rates are abysmal. The rest of the sales cycle is compromised from the jump because you have chosen to self-identify yourself as a seller selling them a product or service.
The new way is to spend the time it takes to serve the prospect your best IP, over and over if necessary, until they are ready to move to the next step. In that scenario you are seen as a trusted source of business intelligence before you ever talk with them. This is what it means to be positively pre-framed.
Once you have tipped the scales of credibility and trust in your favor, you are pre-framed as the best source of IP on your topic and are invited in for a completely different process. The insider track, expedited. Access to senior leaders happens faster because you have already been ‘vetted and approved’ by the mid level managers or worker bees doing the legwork to investigate potential solutions to the problem.
But how the heck do you serve them?
Give away your best for free.
The best thing you can give away is knowledge. Insights. Guidance.
If your free offer is valuable, this kills at least four birds with one stone. When done right, here is their thought process:
1. “Huh, this is actually interesting.” (credible info)
2. “Wow, if this is true, the implications are…” (stimulates thinking about possibilities)
3. “I would LOVE to have those outcomes.” (creates desire for your future state)
4. “I wonder if there’s more - what more does she know, what more can she do for me?” (Now you have them intellectually chasing you instead of the other way around.)Sometimes one idea, message, piece of information is enough to do all of that.
Most often it comes over several touches.
An undeniable benefit of giving away your best knowledge for free is the low barrier to acceptance.
There is no price, no buying process, no investment on their part, no risk, no friction.
If something you send sounds interesting, is a quick read and is given freely with no ask from you, there is a much higher chance they will read it.
And if it’s good - you are allowed into their head.
Once you are in their head, the next step is to come back again and again.
Keep giving, informing, educating, supporting.
Here is an example of how someone is successfully warming me up right now:
Matt Lenhoff is a guy who popped up in my LinkedIn feed this weekend with a carousel post he did titled, “A LinkedIn Comments Strategy Based on Data.”
The title was super interesting to me because:
1) I care about LinkedIn strategies because it’s how I communicate with my people
2) data-driven insights are rare from most LinkedIn posters and are extremely valuable to me.
The post was FILLED with insights. He showed results from several tests he did around LinkedIn comments and replies and their impact on follower growth. It was all gold (gold > credible). It had examples. It was actionable.
I was hooked.
I followed him.
Do you think I am eagerly awaiting his next post?
If he messaged me, do you think I’d reply?
Do I think he’s selling me something?
No but if/when he comes out with a reasonably priced info product, I’m all over it.
I was presented with a value statement that immediately resonated with me.
I was offered a free asset (Matt’s carousel) that I eagerly dove into.
I received immediate value in terms of new information about how commenting impacts my follower count.
I am ready and open to Matt’s next communication,
I am eagerly awaiting a product offer.
That’s the other side of the moon from praying to get a response to an outbound email…
So what value can you give away up front for free?
Here are some pro tips:
Create a piece of content like a pdf showing the prospect how to do something. Could be small like how to execute a new tactic in your functional space or could be big like a unique approach to a digital transformation.
Do your own digging or glean some benchmark data about your customers from your CS team and come up with data-backed insights about the reality or trends most of your customers face.
A great example is the insights about what drives upsell and cross sell opportunities in my post on how to grow an account after the initial land and expand deal.
Connecting players to other players outside of their network is hugely valuable. “Hey Christine, I’m in a dialogue with three other VP’s of IT around x issue. If this is on your plate this year I’d be happy to introduce you to join the conversation.”
News - insider info
Imagine a tech CEO getting a private version of this tip off several days before the SVB bank run:
When done right, serving your prospects in this way puts you in a completely different category than 99.999% of all sellers they get hit up by.
Try the Warm Up.
Slow down to speed up.
We are in a pipeline crisis.
Traditional outbound is incredibly inefficient.
Differentiate by giving away your best IP for free.
Slow down to speed up using The Warm Up.
When You Are Ready There Are 3 Ways I Can Help You Get To The Next Level In Your Selling Career.
1. Mega Deal Secrets – Get a free copy of the book that started the mega deal movement.
2. Enterprise Seller community – Surround yourself with the most ambitious enterprise sellers in the game.
3. Mega Deal Secrets Masterclass – Skip the line and get the cheat codes to closing mega deals by investing in my masterclass coaching where I teach all my secrets to close massive deals.
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