Episode Four

Lessons Learned From Analyzing Over 2 Million B2B Sales Calls

Guest: Chris Orlob, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Gong.io

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About This Episode

Wish you had the perfect winning sales call script?

Well, it doesn’t exist (obviously).

But, what does exist is data from winning sales calls (and not so winning calls).

Hours and hours and hours of data.

From that data, patterns start to emerge that you can use to craft your own winning engagement process, rather than trying to force prospects into a box from a script that may only work for a handful of them.

Chris Orlob, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io, was our guest on The Sales Engagement Podcast. Gong.io has recorded literally millions of calls, transcripted them, and analyzed the data to come up with some intriguing insights on what makes a winning call.

Here are some of the best practices pooled from that data that Chris was generous enough to share with us.

Quality Always Wins Over Quantity

A few years ago, one analysis Gong did found that a successful discovery call will usually involve a rep asking between 11-14 questions of the buyer, which makes sense.

However, a more recent analysis found that calls where the rep asked more than four questions almost always failed.

The difference? The latter calls were being made to c-suite executives.

“It’s not that c-suite executives hate being asked questions, it’s that we, as a profession, do not ask good questions.” – Chris Orlob

It’s not a matter of how many questions you’re asking, it’s the quality of those questions. If you’re asking rookie sales questions to an executive, like “What keeps you up at night?”, you’re going to be walked out of the room.

Questions asked should be valuable, tight, and never seller-driven.

In fact, most executives would rather have an intelligent seller bringing them solutions, rather than being asked questions that could have been collected lower in the organization or even online.

Other ways to engage at the c-suite level:

  1. -Show them unforeseen problems and obstacles
  2. -Point out the big opportunities that are right under their nose, sitting unexploited
  3. -Demonstrate current trends or problems you have a solution for
  4. -Make an emotional statement that gets them talking, like “It sounds like you are feeling ______ about ______.”

3 Ways To Improve Your Calls Today

1. Start Your Demo With Best Feature

When the time comes, in what order do you present your demo?

Most sales reps save the best for last, showing trivial features first, building up to their “grand slam” feature.

However, the data showed that the most successful demos–the ones with the highest advance rates–start with the feature talked about most during discovery.

Start with what the buyer wants to see, then slowly unpack the rest to their interest level, and wrap it up when they start to lose interest.

2. Wait To Introduce Pricing

The most successful calls found that reps didn’t talk pricing until around the 38-46 minute mark.

The first part of the call should focus on establishing value. If you haven’t established the value, the pricing is meaningless. By introducing pricing first, your prospect will spend the rest of the call rationalizing why they can’t afford it, not how brilliant your ROI may be.

Create the emotions of need and solution first, then, when you introduce pricing, they are emotionally invested in meeting that need or solving a problem and will actively try to justify the pricing.

3. Always End The Call With Next Steps

First meetings, with a qualified opportunity, that talk about next steps at the end, are most likely to have a short sales cycles.

Buyers, on a first discovery call, are not yet mentally checked into the sales/buyers cycle. They are purely evaluating if they even want to be part of that cycle. Even if they do decide to move forward by the end of the call, they haven’t considered next steps, because they aren’t yet invested.

This is where it pays to be prepared with what the next steps are. Take a leadership role here, bring some clarity, and suggest and unpack what the project will look like.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Chris Orlob from Gong.io. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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