Episode Twenty-Eight

The One Thing That Matters More In Sales Than Finding The “Right” Customer

Guest: Jeremy von Halle, Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Jellyvision

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Jeremy von Halle Sales Engagement

About This Episode


Isn’t it exciting when you’ve got a ton of leads at the top of your funnel? They make their way through the different steps you’ve set up and you eagerly watch as they inch closer to the bottom. But just as you’re getting ready to bring out the demo or agreement, they shut the door.

What went wrong? They seemed like the perfect customer based on your qualifications and yet they didn’t bite…

Jeremy von Halle knows this feeling all too well. He’s the senior director of revenue operations at Jellyvision where he helps people understand and choose healthcare/benefits packages. It’s a complicated industry, but he’s out to make it a little bit easier for companies and their employers.

Working at Jellyvision, he realized why the right customers weren’t taking action and purchasing their product; it was all about the timing. So he began implementing strategies to help his business development reps spend less time on leads that wouldn’t bite because the timing was wrong.

Finding the right customer Jeremy von Halle Sales Engagement

Timing is Everything

Readiness to purchase is super important in what a potential customer will do at the top of the funnel. Why? Jeremy told us that having the right person at the wrong time has a significantly lower close rate than the “wrong” person at the right time.

For Jellyvision, the “right time” includes things like:

  • how close is their company to the open enrollment period?
  • how much time have they spent on the Jellyvision website learning about their product?

The right timing will look different for every company in sales, but Jeremy’s team noticed that the “wrong person” (someone not able to influence or make a decision for the company) at the right time closed 3x faster than the right person at the wrong time. Crazy, right?

Good Timing = Good Conversations

Jellyvision’s business development reps don’t have conversations with every single potential customer that looks promising. Once again, they go back to timing, because if the timing isn’t right then the conversation won’t be fruitful.

When you keep the buyer in mind, you know whether or not they’re prepared to have a good conversation or whether they’re simply jumping the gun. This is a buyer-centric mentality. And no, sending a demo does not come before a conversation, it comes after.

Sales Engagement Jeremy von Halle

Because sometimes customers aren’t ready for the demo as soon as they learn about you. You want to give them time to ask questions, browse your site, and learn more about your product. By the time someone wants a demo, they’ve done all of their research- so much so that technically they may not even need a demo- but they do so to see how specific features work.

The point is, they’re not coming in blind.

If you’re not sure where they are in the buying process, get to work. Here are a few ways Jeremy’s team figures this out:

  • send a pre-survey to gather more information on where they are in the process
  • develop really good qualifications questions that you can measure
  • when was the last time they engaged with the site or other marketing collateral

Are you afraid this will diminish your pipeline if you shrink it down to only those who are ready to buy?

When you use the qualifications you’ve set up, you may see the initial “meeting-set” pipeline diminish, but pipeline conversion rates down the funnel become significantly higher. You have to trust the process. Otherwise, you would have a capacity issue. There are so many opportunities that you can’t work them all effectively. Instead, focus on giving your time and care to the right opportunities.

Not all meetings are created equal; put people on a better path to create better meetings. They started taking 25% fewer meetings, but their conversions didn’t diminish. Quality over quantity, it’s that simple.

What signals should you look for to know if someone is ready to buy?

1. Firmographic scoring

For Jellyvision, they look at the industry, company open enrollment dates, historical information on the company, former opportunities with them and the outcome, etc.

2. Buying contacts

The person/team member involved on the account is super important. Have you identified the manager, VP, CHRO? The buying group is growing so heavily that you should have this mapped out before reaching out.

3. Engagement

Look to your data for how these contacts have engaged with your marketing collateral. Is it high or low engagement?

Fewer meetings don’t mean fewer conversions if you’re taking only the right meetings. Here are three takeaways from Jeremy:

  1. Especially if you’re in operations, make sure all of your company’s tools and systems are cohesive and intuitive to use and able to be completed within the same window.
  2. Build for scale. Buy for innovation. Make sure the product you buy is going where your company is going.
  3. Get user feedback on your products from people using it on a day-to-day basis. How can you iterate if you don’t get feedback?

To chat with Jeremy, reach him on LinkedIn by clicking hereTo 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 an 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.

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