Sales in the Subscription Economy #7

"We know from past crises, in fact, that companies that take a slash-and-hold approach fare worse than those that both prune and thoughtfully invest." - McKinsey

Are you investing in your sales team (hiring, onboarding, training, mentoring), sales infrastructure (play book, battle cards, SOPs, etc.), and committing to helping bring the economy back to life, or are you waiting for someone else to do it?

It's our responsibility as sales leaders to ask ourselves:"What do I want our team to look like on the other side of this thing, and what am I going to do about it now?" We all know that fortune favors the bold & nothing happens until someone sells something, so let's get to work!

Here's what you need to know this week:

Time to Double Down by Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora

Key Takeaways from this week's Subscribed Weekly email:

  • Mr. Tzuo says now is the time double down on subscriber relationships, that's what the subscription economy is all about: a fundamental return to relationships as opposed to transactions.
  • Don't take advantage of your recurring revenue during this crisis. Reach out to your customers, continue to provide value and innovation, do something special for them – this is a relationship after all.
  • Your customers, peers, competitors, and communities are suffering from the global crisis – be empathetic and do your part to care well for others. In other words, be a kind, empathetic human.
  • If you subscribe to products and services (of course you do!), keep them if you can (if you're reading this I bet you can...). *Amanda's note: that includes your house keeper and others that rely directly on people like you to pay their bills each month. If you can't stomach "giving" that money away, ask for credit to be used later in the year.

Focus on What You Can Control by Jill Konrath

Key Takeaways:

  • "There's only one viable option right now: focus on what we can control. This doesn't mean being blind to this unprecedented situation we’re dealing with. Nor is it about false optimism. Instead, it's a quiet acceptance of the conditions you (we all) face, followed by a decision to figure out how to best deal with it."

  • Here are 3 strategies you can implement immediately:

    1. Ditch the word “problem.” Instead, say to yourself and your colleagues: “I/we have a real challenge here.” Start asking:

      How can we get more clients in a challenging economy?

      How can we ensure that we keep our current clients?

      How can we create greater value for our customers?

      How can we make it easier for our customers to make a decision?

      How can we increase our “share of customer?”

      How would [other people] handle this? (Insert names like famous people, athletes, scientists, etc.)

      When you do this, new ideas emerge—ones that are often far better than you ever could have imagined.

    2. Find new ways to fill your pipeline: not only do you need to double down your regular prospecting efforts (cold calls/emails/inmails/etc.), but get creative and host webinars to help your customers through the crisis; co-market with other companies in tangential businesses; set up strategic alliances with sellers who call on the same decision makers as you.

    3. Enhance the quality of customer interactions. Time to up level your sales skills: spend more time prepping for meetings and truly pinpoint where you can provide value and help prospects reach their objectives; develop better questions to uncover their real businesses needs.

How to respond to, "Your Price is Too High" by Aja Frost of Hubspot.

Key Takeaways:

  • *Amanda's note: if you're getting price objections, you missed something in discovery and have failed to effectively communicate the right value proposition, in the right way, to the right person(s), at the right time. Ask more skillful questions aimed at uncovering real business problems during discovery; be empathic, friendly, consultative, and conversational.
  • Aja recommends pausing for 3-5 seconds after the price objections is raised. Wait for them to divulge more information or ask a few questions to better understand their concern; then summarize their price objection and circle back to your value proposition.
  • The following are the best questions and prompts to move the conversation forward from the article:
  • "Let's say money was no object. Would our product/service help solve your problem?"or"Setting price aside, do we have the product/service you want to buy?"
  • “Price is an important consideration. So I have some context: How much research have you done on what a typical investment is for a product/service like this?”
  • "I understand. In fact, I had two other customers just like you who were uneasy about the price at first. But what they found was ... "
  • "How soon would you need to see ROI for this to work with your budget?"
  • *"What are the most valuable parts of the product/service for you?"*Once you've gotten a handle on the blocker, you can determine whether it's surmountable or you need to walk away.

That's a wrap! You’re fully informed for the week on subscription sales & recruiting news – now go crush it!

Visit Subscriptioncoach.com. Maybe you're suddenly on a hiring freeze (which you should fight against), but need help navigating how to make sales as we move headlong into a recession – let's talk strategy!

Follow me on Twitter @NorthcuttAmanda