Two-Minute Sales Masterclass: Nikki Damaschino

By Jen Burns

Are you the new owner of a latent account? In this installment of Two-Minute Sales Masterclass, Sales AVP Nikki Damaschino shares exactly what to do about it.

In 10 minutes, how can I revive latent accounts? If I had 10 minutes in a day to go after a latent account, a couple suggestions that I would have is, first and foremost, call the customer. The person you’re most afraid to call is usually the person you should be calling. So pick up the phone and call the customer. And I’m also really surprised that there are just some basics that I think really good AE’s do well, which is, they’re always sending a follow-up email summarizing what was discussed in the meeting within 24 hours of the meeting. And really the best, frankly, are sending a note, a follow-up note within that day to the customer. And if you do what you say you’re going to do, I mean that’s how you build a relationship. But I think if you are genuine in your approach, we’re going to be successful on those accounts. So I think it’s really just back to that genuine approach of really trying to help.

What’s the first thing you do when inheriting a latent account? If you inherit a latent account, some suggestions that I have to help reactivate that account or get back engaged, is number one, do your research. Understand the account, understand what they’re trying to do, where they’re going, who their customers are, and I also think you can leverage social networks, certainly their website, things like that. But I think the most important thing is you have to use it as a challenge. That’s going to help build momentum and hopefully turn that into a positive buying account.

So if you have 10 minutes to resurrect a latent account in your day, do your homework, take a genuine interest in how that company ticks, and be relentless in your pursuit of how you’re going to get in the door.

It’s easy to accelerate a sales cycle when you have these three things checked off. Learn more from Nikki Damaschino in this Two-Minute Sales Masterclass.

How can I accelerate an enterprise sales cycle? If you had 10 minutes in your day in order to accelerate an enterprise sales cycle, number one, don’t be single threaded in your account. Know who the decision makers are within your customer. It’s not going to be one person, so you can’t be single-threaded. Number two, leverage the full power of your team. It is so important that you are using your entire team to strategically touch every contact within your account. And then ultimately, have the end in mind. Figure out where you’re trying to go and then reverse timeline what you need to do in order to get there so that everybody’s on the same page and everyone knows exactly where you’re going.

What questions should I be asking the internal champion? Go to IT, go to your champion, and say, “I need to go to the business because I need to build a business case to help you be successful. I need to understand all the reasons why, from a business sense, it makes sense for you to move forward with this project. And so help me get to those people so I can help you be successful.” I think if we’re transparent about what our intentions are with going to the business we’re going to be a lot more successful in getting there.

Is there a critical phase of the sales cycle that’s most important? Keeping the end in mind is really important, and so the best way to do that is to establish a mutual close plan that you can work backwards from that you know the key milestones and you’re not surprised by anything along the way. If you have 10 minutes in your day in order to accelerate a sales cycle, always have the end in mind, leverage the full power of your team, and don’t be single threaded in your accounts.

How should I prepare for a big sales presentation? If I had 10 minutes to think about how I was going to prepare for a big executive meeting with one of my customers, I would think about, what is the pain or problem that we are trying to solve for the customer? What is the solution that we have that we’re presenting? What is the return on that customer’s investment? And ultimately, what's the implementation plan?

What are customers looking for in a sales presentation? As a customer if you show up and you’re solving a problem for me, the solution that I want to see is how it’s relevant to me in my business. I don’t want to see it in the form of your solution. I want to see how it changes the experience for me as a the customer. And so I think it’s really important that we show up with a demo that you’re showing how we’re changing their experience or solving their pain.

Where do salespeople often struggle in a sales presentation? From an implementation plan perspective, I see a lot of people get tripped up when they haven't thought about either our services or a partner’s services. There always has to be an implementation plan. Because if a customer’s going to spend north of a million dollars with us, it’s really important that they know the plan of how it’s going to get implemented. And so whether it’s us, our services, or it’s a partner’s services, it’s really important that that’s something that you consider and think about.

If you had 10 minutes to think about how you were going to prepare for a really big executive meeting, 80% of the selling is done when we’re not in the room. So what is the story you’re going to tell that they’re going to be able to retell to their peers to make sure that we have a successful outcome for the customer and a great project?

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