The Buying Experience: 10 Ways for Sales to Deliver What Your Buyer Wants

What we have here is the transcript from the webinar: “10 Ways Sales Can Deliver a Great Buying Experience” featuring Scott Albro, CEO of TOPO moderated by Megan Toohey, Digital Content Manager of AG Salesworks. First a warning, transcripts are hard because people don’t talk the way they write. I am constantly trying to edit this post on the fly…Nonetheless, its a great webinar and a great read. I suggest you check it out. First, here is the webinar:

Secondly, here is the transcript:

Slide 1:

Megan Toohey: Morning. Thank you for joining us today. Welcome to sales summit brought to you by the funnelholic. You have joined Scott Albro presentation 10 Ways Sales Can Deliver a Great Buying Experience.

Slide 2.

When tweeting about about today’s sales summit please use hashtag # Crushyourquota.

Slide 3.

My name is Megan Toohey, and I am the Digital Content Marketing Manager for AG Salesworks, and I will be your moderator today.

Slide 4.

The Funnelholic will also be presenting three other webinars today. So please take a moment and read through this slide, and also a big thank you for today’s sponsors: Citrix GoToMeeting, DocuSign, KnowledgeTree, Socedo, and TOPO.

Slide 5.

Today’s webinar will be 45 minutes in total. 30 minutes will be dedicated to the presentation, and the last 10-15 will be for your questions. Feel free to type in your questions throughout the webinar. We’ll get to as many as possible at the end of Scott’s presentation. Now let the fun begin. I’ll hand it over to Scott Albro, founder and CEO of TOPO.

Scott Albro: Well thanks for the introduction Megan. Good morning everyone it’s great to be here, and great to be presenting about what we think is one of the most powerful ideas in sales and marketing today. And that’s what we at TOPO call the buying experience. So we’re going to spend the next 45 minutes talking about that, and we’ll do that by showing you 10 ways that we think the buying experience can help you beet you quota. And we’ll talk about some really specific tips and practices that you can really use as a sales person in your sales organization to deliver what we call a great buying experience to your prospective buyers.

Slide 6.

So what we do at TOPO is we’re basically a research advisory consulting company that helps marketing and sales organizations design and deliver great buying experiences. We’ll talk about what a buying experience is, to start today’s presentation, and then we’ll get into these really practical tips to help you exceed your quota.

If you want to learn more about buying experiences in general, and see how companies are delivering great buying experiences throughout the world. The best place to do that right now is on our blog. You’ll find a lot of detailed information about designing and delivering great buying experiences.

Slide 7.

So for TOPO, and our clients, the buying experience is really a new way to think about sales and marketing, and we came up with a definition, (every great business term needs to be defined. Right?) We came up with a definition that we think describes what the buying experience actually is.

So we define the buying experience as how people perceive the experience of buying a product, or service in your market. And the first kind of notable aspect in this definition is the buying experience is about what the buyer perceives. So as you think about designing, creating, and delivering great buying experiences. Step number one is to take the buyer’s or the prospect’s perspective.

The second sort of definitional attribute of a buying experience is that it’s representative of the entire journey that the buyer has as they move from status quo, they’re doing nothing, to actually making a final purchase. There are lots of steps that sit between the status quo and purchase. As a matter of fact, for some of our clients we define as many as 50-60 steps in their buying experience. It starts with the buyer doing nothing. They are operating their business, or running their life, or whatever it is according to the status quo all the way to the completion or the consummation of the final purchase. So it’s really representative of the entire journey.

The third kind of definitional attribute is that across those 5, 10, 15, 16 steps that might exist across the buying experience, we want to make sure we understand the entire experience the buyer’s having along that journey. Some of the things we focus on with our clients is we want to understand the buyers emotions, what their objectives and wants are, what interactions they’re having during the buying experience, the information that they’re consuming. We want to understand all of those things across the entire journey.

Finally one really important thing to understand about the buying experience that relates directly to what you do as sales people, or what your marketing organization does is we really believe that job number one for sales and marketing organizations today is to exceed the buyers expectations. As a result, they end up buying your product or service, and we’ll talk more about that. And again in today’s presentation we’ll give you these ten practical tips that we think will allow you to do that.

Slide 8.

So one of the things that is really important to understand is why the buying experience is so important to a sales organization. Something that we do at TOPO is we benchmark companies buying experiences, and one of the things that we’re always on the look out for is what companies out there are delivering a great buying experience. And there are lots of examples of companies that do this. One of my favorite examples right now is Zendesk. Zendesk is a fast growing company. They sell customer service software to all kinds of companies these days, and they deliver a truly exceptional buying experience. By virtue of delivering this buying experience that out ranks what their competitors are doing, they’re able to grow a lot faster. In fact, we find based on our benchmarking data that the companies that deliver great buying experiences grow greater than two-times faster than companies that just provide average experience.

And the reason for this is that great buying experience has a profound impact on sort of all the revenue-oriented metrics that we care about as sales and marketing professionals. So great buying experiences allow companies to generate more traffic and leads. One of my favorite metrics to look at when we look at our client is how the buying experience impacts conversion rates. A great buying experience builds larger average deal sizes, shorter sale cycles, lower churn on the back end, and more customer referrals on the back end.

When you start to sort of average all of those metric. What it means is that these companies just grow a lot faster than their peers.

Slide 9.

And the reason for that is because great buying experience gives buyers what they want, and in fact we find sales organizations that are delivering great buying experiences. And really what they are doing is their engaging in what might be called buyer responsive selling. So they’re able to respond to what the buyer wants, and as you might imagine that has a profound impact on something like conversion rates.

So one of the things we also do in addition to looking at our clients, and sort of bench marking who’s delivering sort of a great buying experience versus who’s not. Is we’re also out there surveying buyers, and trying to identify what buyers want. And how they define there own buying experience, and we pick up on hundreds of different preferences and behaviors that buyers provide to us in our surveys. Five of the most common references can be found on this chart.

So we find that buyers really value simplicity in this day and age, they also value relevance, they value information that helps them make better decisions, they value risk mitigation or the reduction of risk throughout the purchasing cycle or buying cycle, and they value control. And let’s just pick one of these to dig into. So when we look at these different preferences that we hear from buyers, one of the preferences that I’m most interested in is risk mitigation.

Buying experience, sales process

So buyers really prefer that vendors help them reduce the risk associated with the purchase, and you might sort of think of this as truly a financial preference. Right? Where the buyer wants you, for example, to offer them a discount to reduce the risk. And that may not be true. But a lot of things that is happening in the technology market, and in other markets for that matter. Subscription oriented market that targets consumers, is that companies, brands and vendors are starting to offer free trials. And free trials has become a very effective type of offer for. For example, selling a piece of [inaudible 09:25] software.

And we find that reduced financial risk is cited as a top three priorities for 54% of buyers in B2B markets. That’s a big deal that vendor marketing, and sales organizations need to be aware of to design their buying exuberance from. And in fact many [inaudible 09:43] companies, for example, are offering free trial right now. And some [inaudible 09:48] companies do a real exceptional job of that. They make the free trial easy to sign up for, and perhaps most importantly easy to use.

That’s a really important point, so we find across a number of our clients that we look at that companies have made it easy to sign up for a free trial. But not many companies have figured out how out to make it easy actually use. Examples of obstacles that sort of get in the way of making a trial easy to use include things like how do I configure the software, or administer the software so that I can actually use it, how do I put data into the software so that it’s actually helping me do my work better. Right? Those are two-common examples of obstacles that get in the way of making a trial easy to use, and again if we go back to buyer risk here.

The fact that the buyer wants you to reduce risk, and combine that with another preference that’s listed on this site, simplicity, you start to understand what’s required to deliver the buying experiences that the buyer really wants. They want a free trial because it reduces the perceived risk of evaluating the software. But they also need it to be really simple. Right? They are not going to spend days configuring your software, or loading data into the software. Whatever the case might be.

So you have to make sure that that free trial is not only easy to sign up for, but easy to use. There are lots of specifics around that, how you do that, how you design for that, and so forth. But that’s a good high-level summary of what we talk about. Of what we mean by buyer responsive selling, or buyer responsive marketing.

Slide 10.

So with that, why don’t we dig into 10 ways that we think sales could deliver a great buying experience, and one of the things that we try to do with all of clients when we help them design and deliver a great buying experiences. Is we want to make sure that there’s a conceptual understanding of what the buying experience is, and that we truly understand how the buyer goes about making a decision to buy your product or service.

But the other thing that we try to do for our clients, is we want to make sure that we are offering specific practical actual in sites that allow you to start improving the buying experience that you’re delivering to your prospects. And so this list of 10 tips that sales can use to deliver a great buying experience some of these are more conceptual in nature. How do I understand what the buyer’s truly experiencing today? But then there’s practical tips in here as well. We’ll cover both.

Slide 11.

The first one is really a conceptual tip. Which is, how do you help a sales organization understand the importance of the buying experience? And one of the things that we realize with sales people, is sales people need real tangible specific proof of why they should spend time on certain things, and we’ve collected a lot of data about different buying experiences over the years.

And one consistent theme that we pick up on our data is that buyers care about three things when they’re evaluating a purchase of a product or service. They care about the product or service itself, and typically what they care about there is quality and functionality. They also care about easy to use around the product. They care about price, so that’s kind of the second-high level criteria that they look at when it comes to evaluating a product or service, and then they care about the thing that they call the experience. And that’s really the experience that they have with you the sales and marketing organization.

And what’s really interesting is that when we first started doing these surveys. We fully expected the data to come back and rank that [inaudible 13:48], and the buying experience that they had would rank third. And what we actually found was that the buying experience ranked first, product ranked second, and price ranked third. And when you go into sales organizations, and talk to them about the buying experience, and when you talk to sales people about the buying experience very few sales people have a concrete understanding of the fact that this thing even exist.

But buyers rank it as the most important thing when they’re evaluating a product or service. And so helping sales people understand that buyers actually care about the buying experience. Than that of a sales person you can achieve your quota by delivering a great buying experience. Is sort of priority number one when it comes to making a sales organization buyer responsive.

The other thing is, back to this benchmarking data that we shared with you at the beginning of this presentation is that when we look at companies and we look at sales organizations that are delivering great buying experiences. They just simply grow faster than companies that don’t, and again this goes quota achievement right? We want to help our sales people achieve their quotas. Help them understand that delivering a great buying experience is just as important, if not more important, than having a high quality product, or a fair market price. That’s a great motivator to get a sales person behind this notion of the buying experience.

So that’s point number one, about how sales can deliver a great buying experience. Point number two is that before you can even start defining the buying experience, and before you can start delivering and optimizing your buying experience you need to truly understand the buyer. And one of the things that our clients ask us a lot about is, is they like to ask us questions like “Well, is this like buyer personas?” The answer to that question is, no it’s really not.

You know for a lot of clients we found, and in a lot of sales and marketing organizations, they’ve developed buyer personas that sort of sit on the shelf and age. And buyer personas in our opinion tend to be a lot less actionable, than truly understanding whom the buyer is, and truly understanding the buying experience of the product.

So one of our favorite quotes here is buyer personas like to tell you about what brand of coffee the buyer drinks. That’s not really what we’re trying to do when we try to understand the buying experience. We’ve identified over 40 questions to help us understand who the buyer is, and we like to pay particular attention to when we’re trying to understand the buyer is what experience they are having as they move from status quo to actual purchase.

Slide 12.

And when you start to ask these interesting questions, you know, these 50 questions that you can ask of a buyer. Or you can ask of really star sales people in your organization, or really star marketing professionals in your organization. You start to be able to map the buying experience, and the buying experience maps can actually get pretty detailed.

So there’s certainly high level buyer stages like status quo, the buyer identifies a problem or opportunity that they want to pursue, they move to try and understand requirements, the various options that are out there in the market, they actually engage with vendors, and then they make a final decision or purchase. That stuff interesting at a high level conceptual level, but what’s more interesting is when you actually start to map the specific steps or activities that a buyer takes as they work their way through the buying experience.

And so these are really specific steps. Just so we were talking about the notion of a free trial earlier. You know, a specific step that might exist in a buying experience. The buyer actually signs up for a free trial, and then the step after that, the buyer starts using the free trial. So one of the things you want to do as you start to define your buying experience, is you want to start thinking in terms of these specific discrete steps. One of the things that we advice is as you do that, try and think of the conversion points, and so in some markets, in some B to B markets in particular, you’ll see dozens of steps that exist in a buying experience.

Some SAS markets we see 20-30 steps on average that exist in a typical buying experience. We’ve even identified markets where there are 50-60 steps in the buying experience. Some consumer markets for example we’ll see dozens of step. You know, buying a car for example, or buying a house, or refinancing a mortgage. Those deep considered purchases consumers make. Some markets, for example consumer e-commerce market, there are fewer steps. Maybe five to seven steps, but the key point here is you want to make sure you define these specific steps. It’s not good enough to define these high level conceptual stages, and for each step it’s important to understand some key attributes.

So examples of some things that you might want to understand with respect to each step is, well what’s required to move to the next step? Right? So using that free trial example, for someone to be able to move past the free trial they have to be able to use the free trial. They have to be able to get their data in there and configure the software to do what they want it to do.

Slide 13.

So these are all examples of qualitative attributes that you can lay on top of your buying experience map. There’s also real data and in sites that you can lay on top of your map. We collect a lot of data for each step in the buying experience. Two of our favorite data points, this is a chart that we will commonly produce for a CEO, a CMO, a Chief Revenue Officer, a VP of Sales, is to make sure we understand which steps are really important to the buyer and the buying experience. These are the green dots on this slide. It might be a little hard to see. So you can see the free trial is extremely important to the buyer. That’s a critical point of the buying experience to the buyer, and then we like to cross-tab that with well how satisfied is the buyer with that particular point in the experience? Again those are the red dots on the slide. Again you can see looking at the free trial step. The buyer thinks that that’s a really important step, and they’re actually not that satisfied with the experience that you’re delivering there as a sales and marketing organization.

So those are examples of data points that you can start to layer on top of your buying experience map. One of the other things that are really important to do is to understand exactly what the buyer’s saying in each point of the buying experience. We call those things verbatim, so an example of a verbatim around a free trial is a buyer might say: “It was easy to sign up for the free trial, but it was really hard to actually use it.” So that helps you understand where this dissatisfaction’s coming from.

So layering data and insights onto your data and buying experience map is another great way to help sales delivering a great buying experience. The fifth point, and this is one of those higher-level conceptual points. Is to make sure you design your sales organization based on the buying experience? And when we talk about sales organization, designing the organization at a very high level, we think of a few different things.

The first is: What do you want your sales process to be? The second is, how do you want to organize, and what type of people do you want to hire to support that organization? The third thing we think about around designing sales organizations is what specific plays, or activities do you want to use to target, engage and convert buyers. The fourth thing that we think about when designing a sales organization is what metric should we track to make sure that we’re actually measuring whether we’re successful or not.

And the fifth thing we’ll look at when designing a sales organization is what technology should you use? And the idea here is that we make decisions in each one of these areas here. These really important strategic decisions, and to make those decisions based on what the buyer wants from you. So you can see some examples up here, but an example around sales profits is if the buyer won’t have budget authority until 90% of its sales process is complete. Maybe because for whatever reason in that market, and in that organization the buyer has to actually go to the CEO at the end of the buying experience to get budget authority. You would adjust what your definition of a sales qualified lead is to make budget a nice to have as part of the [inaudible 23:11] definition, as opposed to a must have.

Another example of a decision you might make is in certain markets really value vertical or industry specific context above all else. This is particularly true in B2B markets, so from an organizational perspective you might hire subject matter experts out of industries that you’re targeting to support your front-line sales people. A common thing that we are seeing in a lot of markets based on our buyer research, is that buyers don’t answer the phone or respond to voice mail so one of the plays that you can run as a sales organization. You should still use voice mails, but your voice mail call to action should prompt the buyer to reply or respond to you via the email that you just sent to them. And there are other examples of decisions that you can make here.

You know, a simple example around a technology decision is buyers today in a lot of different markets want a simple transparent pricing. We still run into sales executives in our client engagements that want to use fairly complex quoting tools or pricing configurations. When in fact, what really needs to happen is something as simple as publishing pricing on a landing page on the website that shows different common bundles, or packages, or versions. So those are all examples of sort of designing the sales organization in a buyer responsive way.

Slide 14.

Speaking of being buyer responsive, where the rubber hits the road for a lot of sales organizations in terms of achieving quota is the plays that they run to convert prospects into actual buyers. And one of the things that we see real successful organizations do, is they design what we call buyer responsive plays. And so if we go back to the buying experience map that we looked at earlier, where there were 27 different steps in this particular SAS market place.

One of the really critical steps is toward the end of the buying experience. The primary contact for the sales organization actually tells sales “Yup. I think we’re good to go. I just have to go meet with the CEO to get final approval, and final budget, and then we’ll get back to you.” And sales will often not hear back from the buyer at that point in time, or the buyer will come back to them and say “You know, the CEO asked me these really tough questions about the economics of this purchase. And I don’t have the answers, so we need to figure that out.” And you add three or four weeks to your sales cycle as a result to that.  So an example of a play that you can develop based this scenario is something that we call the champion content play. In advance of the meeting with the CEO, you as a sales person provide your champion with a tool kit or content that allows them to have a really effective meeting with the CEO. That might include a checklist, a pro forma economic model, it might include a presentation, and it might include talking points that the champion should emphasize with the CEO. That stuff’s not important. The important point here is to anticipate the experience that the buyers going to have with the CEO, and make sure that they are armed and equipped to actually convert the CEO on your behalf so that you can get to that final purchasing decision.

So that is an example of designing a buyer responsive play. There are literally 100’s if not 1,000’s of buyer responsive plays that are available to sales organization.

Slide 15.

The seventh way that sales can deliver a great buying experience is to make sure that you actually implement these buyer responsive plays. So an example in the world of marketing, in terms of implementing a buyer responsive play is to actually implement certain lead scoring rules or lead nurturing rules in your marketing automation system.

An example of a buyer responsive play in the world of sales might be to use presentation software to make sure that you’re delivering a truly engaging presentation, and that presentation is being shared the way you want it to be shared across the organization. But one of the things that we think is a really interesting trend is actually implementing these plays in the sales organization using CRN technology, using other technologies that other sales organizations are adopting.

Slide 16.

The eighth point, and this shouldn’t really be the eighth point. By the way, it looks like we’re stack ranking these things by using numbers here. These are by no means stacking ranking. In fact, one of the things that we find when helping sales organizations deliver great buying experiences, is that training is a really big deal. It’s critical that sales people are trained on not only what the buyer is doing, as they have an experience with you as a sales organization, but that sales is trained, and individual sales people are trained in specific plays to make sure that they deliver an exceptional buying experience to the buyer. This is an example of a training agenda for one of our clients. Keep in mind; buying experience training doesn’t need to be this big heavy-handed thing. It can be as simple as doing a one-hour training once a week or once a month to make sure that sales people understand the buyer.

One of the things that we recommend with these trainings is that you want sales people to take this information and use it. You want to make your buying experience training really actionable, and we find a way to really make it actionable is to one, to make the training sessions interactive, and use exercises. And two, at the end of the training session make sure sales people have tools, content checklist, whatever it might be that actually allows them to take this onto the phone, into the field, into email, whatever the case might be. The training is a very important point of making sure that the sales organization is actually becoming buyer-responsive

Slide 17.

The ninth way that sales can deliver a great buying experience is of course to make sure we’re actually measuring how we’re doing when it comes to delivering the great buying experience. It’s just some data that we pulled from that earlier chart that helps us understand how satisfied the buyer is, and these are sort of high-level strategic conversions. You can actually collect data on things like when my sales team is calling into buyers for the first time to buy. The buyer’s actually not happy about what they’re talking about. They’re trying to sell the product right away for example. As opposed to really trying to understand the customer’s requirements, or issues, or whatever the case might be. And it’s actually possible to collect that type of data, and make sure that you’re measuring how satisfied the buyer is with the experience that you’re delivering them.

Slide 18.

And that get’s us to the final point which is to make sure that you’re optimizing the buying experience, and this is totally possible. You know, this buying experience thing isn’t just a nebulous concept. It’s actually something that you can improve as a sales organization. So this is some sample data from a client that we worked with where we help improve the sales reps scores when it comes to the experience that they were delivering with the buyer, and you can see that on the left hand of the chart here. On the right hand side here, we’re actually able to benchmark how satisfied the buyers were with our client’s sales organization versus the competitive sales organization. You can see the client ended up fairing very well versus the competition.

So that gets us back to the most important point about the buying experience. Which is because the buyer rates the buying experience as being so critically important to them, and because companies that deliver great buying experiences grow much faster than companies that don’t. Really delivering a buying experience that exceeds the buyer’s expectations is job number one for sales. It’s also job number one for marketing. It’s job number one for every company that wants to grow fast.

Slide 19.

So those are our ten tips on how sales can deliver a great buying experience. Hopefully those are all valuable to you as some of them are real conceptual. Some of them are really practical. They are designed to be put into action right away. But we think it’s really important for sales organizations to deliver a great buying experience.

Slide 20.

So with that, I’m going to turn it back to Megan. I think that we might have some questions from the audience maybe. Megan, is that right?

Megan: Hi Scott, yes we do. We’ve got a couple floating in. Great presentation, and just a reminder out there to everybody. If you’re tweeting, please use hashtag # Crushyourquota, and then I will be looking at your questions.

First question I have for you Scott. How do you know if you are delivering a great buying experience? How do you monitor going forward.

Scott: Yeah. So interesting question. There are two-questions inside of that one that are directly related. So the way that you know that you are delivering a great buying experience is by monitoring it, and the best way to monitor you buying experience is to simply ask your buyer how you’re doing. So let me just give you some really practical tips on how to go about doing that. So a lot of people think that monitoring and tracking your buying experience by talking to your buyer involves heavy-handed qualitative research, and we’ve actually found in a sales setting. Not necessarily in a marketing setting, but in a sales setting, it’s actually counter productive. So an example of something that we recommend to our clients, and what we help our clients do is to go out and talk to five to ten buyers this week and let’s ask them how they feel about the experience that we’re delivering to them.

Slide 21.

And we’ll ask them “How can we improve that experience?” So point number one is to not try to do too much. Simply talking to a handful of buyers can help a lot. Point number two is you have to make sure to ask those buyers the right question. I just gave you a couple questions. “So tell me how I’m doing. Am I doing well, am I not doing well.” I mean it could be as simple as that. Tell me about the specific points in the buying experience where you feel like I am doing well versus not doing so well, and tell me where you think I can specifically improve the buying experience. And just by specifically asking those small number of questions to the buyer. You’ll learn a lot. So that’s how we help our clients think about monitoring the buying experience, and understanding whether you are delivering a buying experience.

I will also add one other tip. In many sales organizations, there are sales people who have a really good innate understanding of how to deliver a great buying experience, and they are in fact delivering that great buying experience. And you should make sure that you’re talking to those sales people as well. Because often times they’re able to aggregate the experiences with 100’s of different buyers that they’ve engaged with, and they’re very forthcoming, honest and transparent and honest with what they think works.

What’s a great example of a great buying experience?

It’s a little bit dated, but everyone will understand this because it’s actually You know one of the things people used to talk about ten years ago, with respect to was the real revolution that Mark brought to the table with was software as a service, and that was certainly a big part of it.

Another big part that Mark brought to the table was that he made the software really easy to buy. People forgot this, but you could actually buy using a credit card. And prior to, that buying experience did not exist in the B to B software industry. It just didn’t exist, and we all know what happened to And how they became one of the largest software companies in the world. That’s actually, even though it’s 10-12 years old, that’s one of my favorite buying experiences to this day. And nobody talks about it.

Everyone talks about the SAS model, and how figured out how to sell to director of sales operations, and how they did a great job targeting start ups out here, but one of my favorite things that market did was they just made the software really easy to buy. And again the proof is in the pudding: revenue growth. Look at how fast that company grew

Megan: We have one more. What’s the difference between a buying experience and a sales process?

Scott: That’s actually a really good fundamental question that’s important to understand. So the buying experience remember is defined from the perspective of the buyer. That’s point number one. The sales process is typically definned from the prospective of the VP of Sales. The real other important thing to understand between the buying experience and the sales process is, remember when the buyer is have a buying experience they’re experiencing a lot of different things during that process that has nothing to do with you as a sales organization, as a company, as a marketing organization.

And example of this is what we talked about earlier around champion contact play. So when your champion goes into a meeting with the CEO that has nothing to do with the sales process. You’re not involved in that. That’s an experience that the buyer is having without you. Another example of this is a lot of people in the sales industry and the marketing industry like to talk about that serious decisions data point is 70% of the buying experience is done before the buyer actually interacts with you as a vendor. That’s another example of look about 70% of the buying experience has nothing to do with your sales process. In fact, it’s being done without you.

So point number one is it’s done from the buyer’s perspective. Point number two is a lot of the buying experience happens without you, and that’s really important to understand. And one of the things that you need to do as a sales and marketing organization to make sure that you’re able to actually influence what’s happening without you, and that can be done via content, via things like that, and that’s probably the subject of another webinar.

Megan: Alright. So we have a few minutes. So I’ll give you one question, if we can answer this quickly. Can you give examples of other examples of plays? Can you give us other examples?

Scott: Let’s actually take a specific example from a specific type of market. So a lot of B2B companies target fairly narrow markets where there are maybe 1,000’s of companies out there that will actually buy your product and service, and at some of these companies the prospect is incredibly difficult to reach.

You know response rates, things like voice mail, email, and what not are actually quite low. And that presents a problem for sales organization which there are only 1,000’s of companies out there which could potentially buy my product or service, but the prospects of these companies are incredibly difficult to reach. Because they don’t have enough time in the day, they’re too busy. They think they’re above talking to sales people.

So what type of play can you run to actually drive higher response rates or conversion rates with that type of buyer when you first reach out to them. When you’re doing out bound prospecting. So a play that you can run there will be called a multi touch outbound prospecting play. Where you basically design a play which uses a combination touches via the phone, email, and potentially even social media channels, and you run those touches typically over a three week periods, and you’re making anywhere from 9-15 touches against that buyer.

What you say during those touches when you leave a voice mail, when you don’t leave a voice mail, what you say in your email, what you don’t say in your email, whether you use in mail, whether you use twitter. The details in that play, and it’s really specific to the buyer that you’re targeting. But that’s an example of a play that you might run for a specific target if it’s fairly narrow in nature if the prospect buyers are non responsive.

Megan: Wonderful, and I think that’s all the time we have for questions today. I know we had a few more in the queue here. Feel free to reach out to Scott regarding your questions. I just want to say is thank you Scott. Appreciate it, and great presentation. Thank you to Citrix GoToMeeting, DocuSign, KnowledgeTree, Socedo, and TOPO.for hosting the sales summit.

Buying ExperienceScott Albro is the CEO and founder of TOPO. TOPO is a research, advisory, and consulting firm that believes in a really simple, but powerful idea – that the most important thing in business is to deliver a great buying experience. By connecting everything we do back to this core idea, we help sales and marketing organizations exceed their revenue targets. Connect with Scott on Twitter.





demand generation, sales processMegan Tooheyis the Digital Content Marketing Manager at AG Salesworks.  AG Salesworks is a sales prospecting and closed loop marketing, lead generation services firm located in Norwood, MA.  You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.




Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Simplicity photo by _sarchi