Recap of the Selling Smarter Fireside Chat on getting CRO and executive buy-in for sales technology. Read more.
In our latest Selling Smarter session, our CMO, Cece Lee, spoke with panelists David Troll, EVP, and CRO, TechSee; Megan Saucier, Sales Director, North America, TechSee; and Michael Walker, Global Engagement Consultant, about the process for getting David’s buy-in to purchase digital sales room technology.
We’ve included a summary of the webinar below.
Watch the Selling Smarter Webinar replay:
Lee kicked off the webinar by asking Walker and Saucier what challenges they were encountering that led them to look for a sales tech solution.
Like many scaling global organizations, TechSee was in the process of setting up a sales enablement process, and Walker wanted to determine what was needed to ensure a seamless transition. He mentions looking for a solution that isn’t redundant to what they already have and would make the job better, faster, and easier. Walker recollects Saucier saying the team needs a solution that would make them appear more professional when dealing with clients.
To this, Saucier adds, “As a sales leader, everyone knows that the real velocity changer is what happens after the meeting. Speed, accuracy, and consistency are critical for sales.”
Saucier talks about how the team wanted more than just a tool to share information. They were looking for a truly collaborative tool to add value to the sales discussions. Saucier explains that they created heaps of content available on their Drive, yet the team didn’t know which one to use. They had difficulty tailoring content to the buyer’s needs and lacked proper insights into what content worked for them. As such, this misalignment led to lower sales efficiency and productivity.
Adding to this, Walker reiterated the need to have space for exclusive customer-facing content “on the ready” for their growing sales teams to access at any time to ensure they were more efficient. “We started thinking how can we address the customers more professionally, impact them, and get them to be more engaged with their stakeholders,” he said.
Lee then inquired of Troll what his first impression was when the duo approached him. To this, Troll admits he understands that he was a hurdle that Walker and Saucier had to overcome. He explains how the organization was scaling up and transitioning when he joined. “I wasn’t looking at all these problems interconnected around one tool. Instead, I was looking at ensuring the marketing team made more relevant, focused content and that the sales team was more efficient.”
At first, Troll rejected Walker and Saucier’s proposal. He said, “I get a request for a new tool every week. While these are all great to have, we must choose the one that works best for us. One of the biggest priorities and success criteria in scaling up is what you're not going to spend time on.” He admits he heard only a piece of the value Walker was talking about and jumped the gun. “I was wrong,” he exclaimed.
Lee then probed into what changed Troll’s mind after the initial hesitation. To this, Troll reiterates that, more often than not, the buyer doesn’t know what they want. He says he was the buyer in this case and had no idea what he wanted. “I had requests for a bunch of different tools. I was looking for marketing to rationalize content. I was looking for sales to sell faster. I was looking for Michael (Walker) to deliver empowerment, capabilities, knowledge, and skills. But I wasn't looking for a tool to enable our teams to deliver content.”
Walker and Saucier were tasked with trying out the tool and showing actual data to prove that it would benefit the organization, connecting it back to the business value.
Lee then quizzes Walker how they put together the business case to move the initiative forward internally. To this, Walker admits that the rejection was initially discouraging but also made him think about how to sell internally. He explains there were two ways in which he went about it. These include:
“I took an element from our then sales process that was extremely difficult to operationalize and merged that into the tool. I'm speaking about delivering Mutual Action Plans (MAPS) to clients specifically, and so that it's embraced, it's enjoyed, and almost refreshing in a sense. This helped get the sales initiative aligned.”
Saucier then added how leveraging Enable Us helped them get in-depth seller and buyer insights about the content being used. She highlights that she was also able to get insights into the broader pool of people in the deal rooms. Once they saw the benefits the tool provided, Saucier and Walker collaborated multiple times to put processes together and truly leverage the platform.
When Lee asked Troll what really made him believe in the tool, he shared that it started with the fact that his team had faith in it and that other teams in the organization had started adopting the tool. However, the light bulb moment was when he used the tool himself.
"I can see exactly who clicked on which asset, and how long they spent there, and whether they forwarded it, and who else has joined the room. And that level of insight was the aha moment that really helped me go from skeptical to, you know, rational engagement to believer."
When asked how he got the Marketing team’s buy-in and what recommendations he had, Walker stated that what really helped him was asking the right questions and helping the stakeholders visualize the impact the tool would have on their goals.
Additionally, he said that deliberating on the importance of real-time, in-depth buyer and seller insights came in handy. He also shed light on how you shouldn’t find a product and then see what all problems it solves or the value it provides. Instead, identify your pain points and then find a solution that caters to your challenges.
When asked what impact the other teams had on his decision, or even if they had any impact, Troll said, “Startups don’t work unless the teams are pretty well aligned. If marketing had a better solution, we wouldn’t even have looked at a new tool. But marketing and sales both had challenges, and there was this solution. And in a collaborative environment, finding something that meets cross-functional needs actually makes the decision very easy.”
Saucier then spoke about how being able to look at user insights helped them take an agile approach and curate content that actually works. One thing that marketing teams hate is being asked for the same content over and over again. With Enable Us, sales teams could curate personalized content for each prospect without having to start the content curation process all over again. Walker then jumped in and shared how he loved the marketing team’s reaction when they saw the insights.
“I really love the fact that it gave marketing a chance to see their results and what they drive for the business as well. It was their content, their material, how it was used, how the customer engaged with it, and then they saw the dollars in revenue that brings in for the organization.”
The webinar then led to an important question: What was the team looking for when they went for a trial with Enable Us? To this, Saucier explained that the first thing the team looked for was usability. The intent was to see if a non-technical user could navigate the platform smoothly. The next important thing was to set objectives throughout the trial period. This meant seeing how often people would use the tool, what they would be using it for, etc.
Walker then chimed in with how important it was for him that the leadership truly understood the value of the tool. He discusses how he expanded the use case to include onboarding to highlight increased adoption.
Before concluding the webinar, Lee asked each panelist to provide their advice on how to get executive buy-in. Here’s what they shared: