The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 years ago

5 Ways to Make Your Deals Larger with Brian Burns


Sales professionals are interested in making their deals larger, increasing the revenue gains and hitting quota with fewer deals. The challenge - few know how to consistently accomplish this.  There are tactics and approaches which have proven effective and continue to be table steaks for sales professionals selling today.

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Today on the be tob revenue executive experience, we're talking about five things you can do to make your deals larger. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson, looking forward to giving you this with Brian Burns and I, and please stick around so you can find out how I can buy you a cup of coffee. You're listening to the BB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Before we get started today, just a reminder. If you want a cup of coffee on us, just go to our website, be to be REV exactcom, fill out the feedback form and we'll shoot you a gift card on us. Go get a cup of coffee as a thank you for your time and your information. We're interested in making sure that the show remains valuable, moves in a direction that's going to keep you guys listening and that that feedback forms in an extremely important part of that. So please take time to do that and, like said, we'll send you a gift card for a cup of coffee on us. Today we're going to spend time when Brian Burns talking about the five things you can do to make your deals larger. This is something that all sales reps struggle with, especially today, as the buying processes get more complex, there are more stakeholders involved in the deals. Larger the deal, more stakeholders you end up having. So how do you negotiate that landscape in order to make your deals as large as they possibly can? Brian and I spend some time kind of break it down those top five things you guys should be aware of and, without further dual roll right into the interview. Hey, Chad, let's talk about how to get deals bigger. I think everybody wants that and I think it's the smarter way of selling, instead of trying to do a bunch of tiny little deals all the time, that the person who really seems to blow it away that I've seen is the person who's able to do big deals. Well, big deals, I mean that's you know, everybody wants the bigger commission checks right. In fact, I was just talking to a person who used to work for me yesterday she's like you remember the first time you got your, you know, your first Fiftyzero Commission check? And I'm like, Oh, yes, I do, I know exactly where I was standing. But then when you think about everything that goes into that right, the work, and you're talking about big, large scale bb enterprise deals that can be one thousand eight hundred and twenty four. I mean I've worked on some that have been thirty six months of a sales cycle, and so in order to really make sure that those are are moving in your focus, one of the things that I think you have to do is you got to focus on making sure you understand the business and can quantify the Roy back to each of the stakeholders, not to the business as a whole, because I'll probably be a little bit different for each of the stakeholders because they're all gonna have different metrics. So being able to really dive into that Roi Quantification and talk to them, collaborate with them on building the internal business case so they can go sell it internally when they have to, I think that becomes really key. Yeah, I mean in my book I call it the business justification and staying away from proposals where I kind of came up, not like I discovered it, but I I started. I know, I was working on this huge deal at this, you know, this tiny start up that I was at. They literally had, you know, maybe a hundred k a product revenue when I showed up and here I was working on like a two million dollar deal. And you know, we had to justify it and it was such an arcade or abstract technology. We couldn't talk about the product. We had to talk about, you know, what was the real transformation it was going to give their business. We were really automating how they set up servers and laid out the software. It was, you know, back of the ASP application service providers, which you know today is what you would think of, is Amazon Wood Services, and you know. So it was transformational. But you had to basically create a document that people could pass around. And the magic I had with it as I always called a draft, and it's amazing how powerful that word is because no matter what's wrong with it,... can always say, oh, it's just a draft, oh never all, and everyone forgives you, you know, and and you can send it to people asking for feedback. You put their logo on it. You make it look like they wrote it. You put their names on it and you know and you basically show that you didn't done the due diligence. You looked at all the alternatives. This is why you picked it and you got to build in that business case of how quickly can they pay for this? How how soon is it going to make money for them? And if you do that out, you know, five, ten years with that Nice hockey stick graph right, that's what people care about and you know talking about it in the terms that they care about. Those are the things that are going to get to the deals that are bigger. It's not going to be a, you know, great demo to the CEO, it's going to be talking in the things that they care about and then having it. It has to be documented so that the they can see it in graph visual forms and to be able to you know, is it made up? You know, it's math. So it's so. But if you do it once, and I basically took that and I had every sales rep in the company wanting a copy of it and they started using it, but but none of them really did anything with it. You know, six months later, you saying, I just send a quote, because that's Nay, that is super is the easy out right. That's easy out. If you want a bigger deal, you got to spend the time. And if you can do that Roi calculation like you're talking about, if you can show that that it also, and might I get my reps used to hate when I would say this is a pricing is a fandom objection. If they're telling you you're too expensive, you haven't shown them the value to their business. You haven't shown them the Roi. And if you can do that it also helps you in the in the negotiation where they're trying to squeeze you, or even with procurement. I've used it with you know, that approach with percurement before. But being able to show the long term returns to the business. You know, a two million dollar investment sounds like a lot until you realize that in the next three years they're going to make twenty. So it's, you know, ten percent. Come on, you can do that. You can have that conversation with a with a power version, if you've got the numbers to back it up. Now, like you said, does it have to be one hundred percent accurate? No, but to show that you're thinking that way and then to actually you can even I've leveraged in the passes that Hey, you know what, I think this model is right, I think this are ut but I would love to talk to your CFO. Can I get thirty minutes to see if I let's validate this right. And it also becomes a way for you to to get to those other stakeholders because you're thinking about things that they care about. Your thinking about the value to the business and if you can start to demonstrate that, then the deal sizes just get larger and that's it. And if you can even, you know, extrapolate it into market capitalization or evaluation for a private company, because if you're talking to the right people, which number one has get up the org chart, not, you're not going to do a seven figure deal with an end user. It just won't happen. And the likelihood that that end user has the political savvy to work the organization, they can help you. You know, you could be partners in crime, but they're not going to be able to do it on their own, you know, because they're going to basic all I ran at buying them and they're thinking about it. That's what you're going to end up getting. Well, you can't sell the somebody who can't buy. At the end of the day, right, you can spend and in it's really hard sometimes in be to be enterprised organizations to try and figure out, and there's a whole bunch of different ways to class find where they are mobilizer. Are they a friend or they are talker? You depends on the gun, depends on the sales mythology. At the end of the day you really got to get to that person who has the authority to buy and and you can spend. I've seen reps spend countless cycles working on somebody that isn't they maybe not even an influencer. They just happen to show up on the org chart we always talk about. I always ask the reps find the guy with the swing line, Stabler right, it's off space reference for those that didn't get fine, because, like...

...if you look at the Org Chart, even your sea level guys, they're going to have people that they trust, that they you know, believe in, that may not necessarily be right in line in the org chart. So you're looking for that sometimes looking for that phantom or chart just because this guy reports to one guy away from the CEO doesn't necessarily mean he's gonna be able to influence anything. So asking those questions I'm really understanding not just the org chart on the paper, so you have some sort of map to go up, but understanding it, and I don't know more than three dimensions because there are other things that influence that and you got to have a plan going in, especially in large, long scale sales. You got to have a plan for how you're going going to get up to the people that actually have the authority to sign seven figure deals. I mean that's a that's a big investment right. That's that's career changing or career ending, depending if depending on how bad it goes. So you really got to get to the people who have, you know, the the steak in the game and then have the authority to sign that. That's it. And if you look back at any of those, I'm thinking through the seven figure deals that I've done in my career, you know there wasn't one of them where I didn't have that. You know, whether you call it the Fox from, you know, Holden's book, or the champion for the maverick with, then you know there's somebody there that gets a huge personal win by buying your product. You know it's career changing for them. You know that the two million dollar deal there was a young first line manager who you know were he was there every night to eight o'clock. He was you know, he wanted to move up the ORG chart really fast. He was looking for anything that would, you know, put a feather in his cap and he saw that in this product. And we work together and he knew the internals there, but you know, he didn't know how the company really bought things or what the CEO needed. And you know, we work together and you know, would we built out, you know, a hypothetical production of it? We worked on the business justification of it. But you know, could I have done it without him? Probably not. I'd probably could have got a k deal or Kal deal, but I couldn't have got a two million dollar deal. That's a really good point in every and I'm with you, is I think through those large deals that I've done there's always been and it and it often has not been, as I think back. Has not been the power person, has not been the never buy for ever, but there's somebody who gets it I think it was somebody in an HBR article referred to those as mobilized people that actually have the ability to kind of influence the internal organization. But you have to have that coach or mobilize or whatever it is. But you have to develop that relationship based on trust, like you have to trust the information they're given them, because I was used to say look it when a customer, when a contact tells you something, don't believe it until you've heard it from three other places. So it's all about triangulation. But if you can find that one mobilize, if you find that person who gets it, really gets it, has a vested personal interest, and I think that's key, then they can help kind of read the tea leaves of the Org Chart and how guide you on the steps that need to get you up into the organization. So the deal sizes stay large. Yeah, and I'm thinking through. I did a early in my career. You know, I half locked out. Yeah, it did a like a five million dollar deal with a fifty million dollar company. Wow. And and it was a similar type thing where I had a ambitious first line manager who saw that our product gave them a competitive advantage enormous competitive advantage to their customer. I then went to their customer for and explained how our product gave him that advantage, and then he you know, uh shirt, you know me, my manager, my CEO, in front of his CEO, in front of the board members, and it was this partnership that it happened. And if we went straight to the CEO, he had no idea what we did. He had no you know, he couldn't tell us...

...different than, you know, the people next to us, and didn't want to spend the time to figure it out. You know, that's why, you know, the top down it. It's great to get a referral from the CEO to the right person, but the people who try and immediately convince the CEO Today, I don't think that's nearly as effective as it was a long time ago. Well, not with I mean not with deal sizes, not when you can come into seven figures. It's just not I mean the CEOS want they want to move really, really fast, but they want to minimize their risk. And so you might get a referral into the CEO and the CEO if what I've seen over and over, he's going to he's going to refer you are and you need to talk to my vp of this or my vp of that. I go talk to that person and what I've seen, unfortunately, is reps forget to purchase what we call the return ticket. Okay, I'll go talk to these guys. I just want to make sure I have the opportunity to come back to you and get your perspective on it. A lot of them forget that last little hook right, like you were at the top. They're going to push you into the or but you're going to make sure you can get back right. You're going to have that return ticket to get back to them and bring those other people you're talking to you with them. Bring, you know, that consensus building up around your power players, so that they feel more comfortable going with a deal, you know, going with you specifically, and going with a deal that's going to be that large and that expensive. Yeah, I like that return ticket idea. You know, I've always thought of you know, just always get the next meeting after that meeting. But when you get that referral, getting the return ticket, you're not going to ask were all, can I have the next meeting? Goes No, no, did you listen to me ry. Excuse me, I was blowing you off. Did you not hear me? But your your point of you know, getting commitment to get their feedback afterwards is like getting that next meeting without getting it right. You just need the commitment. Will come back you when I have something important to say. But just remember when you see me come back, there's there's there's reason I'm back right. It's not just another you know, cold call or me annoying you like. I've literally done what you've asked and then I need your perspective. And so having that Hook, because it's funny. You can see, I've seen some really ultra high performers be able to I mean some of these guys can just walk into the sea level or I've seen him walk into the board level and they have great conversations and then, of course you get pushed into all right, I'm selling a I'm selling a night solution. So now I'm talking to the VP oft or the CTO, but I've forgot that I'm going to need to go back to get, you know, and put from the board or the CEO on board. And they don't, they don't do that return ticket and they end up getting stimied like it stalls because the CT is like, well, I talked to you because the bosses said I had to, but I don't necessarily see it right's you know what I mean. So it's just that making sure, and we used to call it thinkin strategically, like don't don't forget where you've been on your map and make sure you've got a plan to get back there. Yeah, because I don't see, or I can't imagine today, you know, a legitimate CEO telling some department to use this product, you know, because they don't. They want the users of it bought in. I mean even any manager you know it would be smart enough to run it by the team before, you know, they pick an expense system or a you know, travel service or something, because they want the people to use it and up. Sure you know every manager and CEO has been burnt by spending a lot of money on a product that ends up, you know, not being used and that just turns into waste it money. So that you know they want their team bought into it and then not just going to take some sales reps word for it. Imagine your board sets a target of twenty percent revenue growth in eighteen months. So something will have to change with your sales team. How do you beat your target? Value Prime solutions can help ensure your managers and reps are leveraging a sales framework that focuses on value, not price. Don't assume you have it all figured out. Don't wait until it's too late. Visit Value Prime Solutionscom and let them help. I want to. I do want to change my list. I know we talked about this for him, but you just said something earlier that...

...made me think of a way that I've seen several reps get their deals larger, and that's customer pressure. You mentioned going to a customer and I've seen you know, when you get into those large deals and you're trying to sell. Let's say you're selling. We're making this up so nobody could upset, but it. Let's just say you're selling something to to Fedex, and Fedex doesn't they don't want to buy. But you know, one of their largest customers happens to be Amazon. Right, and I'm using really large brands to illustrate the point, but it Fedex is want to buy. They don't want to bite, but you've been able to show the Roi I've actually seen reps go out and get the top customers of their target customer and show them, Hey, this is what we're thinking doing, this is what it would mean to you as Fedex customer. So then that customer turns around and applies pressure to Fedex, right to your primary and target it takes a little bit more time and it takes, you know, making sure you've got some contacts and stuff, but when I've seen pricing negotiations or deals stall and you know like you can, you can validate the business. You know return that your client, your clients going to see going and talking to their customers to get their customers input can be a very effective strategy for making sure that you know you're getting that deal done and then that customer feels more comfortable buying from you. Yeah, that that is enormously effective. And I spend a lot of time selling to the federal government and rep up would typically make the mistake of either only selling to the integrators or only selling to the agencies. Now, the federal government doesn't really build anything of its own. They're kind of like the administrators of what goes on they and they contract out pretty much everything. So what I always did. I'd go into the the agency and I'd explain the productivity benefits of our product over the alternatives, and then I would go to everyone who bid on their projects and I go well, you know, and I'd say some general you know, it's very concerned about this. We briefed him on as you may want to put this into your proposal, and sometimes they would just put it into the proposal just because I told them that the customer wanted it. You know, we were talking about, you know, five hundred k piece of hardware. This was not like, you know, you know, some Sass license for twelve dollars a month. This was a major commitment. And you know, even men they buy it and a lot of reps wouldn't then get them to use it. If they don't use it, they don't buy more. But I don't renew maintenance. They don't. They're not a referral. Well, that's just said. I mean, if you can actually, I mean a lot of reps will spend time trying to get and I've been I've done this. I've run down the rat hole when I was when I was carrying a bag of I'm look, I'm telling you, this is going to whatever increase your revenue and Christ your margin. This is I can show you this and and for some reason I haven't gotten the click right. There's just not that. You don't see the click, you don't see lightbulb go on in powers eyes, whatever it is. And and it turns out in vast majority of cases it's fear, like we're talking about a really big change right. It's fear of change, it's fear of that investment. What if it goes wrong? I'm not sure how it will impact my business or my customers. And so we're going out and talking to it and bringing those customers, their customers into that dialog reduces that fear. I've seen it reduce that fear and is and, as a like I said, does take a little bit more time and it may in some cases make it even a little bit more complex, but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't result in a larger assigning signature on the contract, which is really what we're after. Yeah, my next one is, you know, the people don't think about this is find out a way of financing the deal for them either. Yeah, you know, especially when you're talking six, seven figures, or you're trying to get a multi year agreement. And guess what you want as a sales rep. do you want them to pay or buy over five years? No, you want them to buy all at once. I commission check...

...needs you to buy now, because you know how you get comped on it next day to add it to your quote, which means you don't get paid forward, essentially, and you know so that what you want to do is pull it in and you know, certainly back them. You know this. Certainly the Sass people do this today. They want, you know, a two or three or five year deal. That makes it look more like enterprise software than it does SASS and back and enterprise software. What you wanted them to do is prepaid maintenance. You wanted them to you know, and remember run times. Yeah, and that it licenses. You went. Yeah, and you know, the company doesn't, Your Corporation doesn't finance it. What you do is you've try and find a leasing company or a bank or somebody, and especially today, with interest rates being so low and if the company has great financials, it's usually pretty easy. Yeah, well, and there's so there's helping them find the outside financing with is also I've spent a lot of time. And again this is more especially for big organizations. I had a one of the large telecoms, which I won't name names on this one, but one of the largest cell comes. I ended up doing a really large deal with but when the first conversations I had, I have eighty there, Eightyzero in budget, I'm my well, you can shake our hand for less than a quart of a million to get started right. So so we started talking to him and we got to a point where the proposal was up into seven figures and he's you know, I found some of the money in his own budget. But what we did was we teamed up with other budget holders, other silos in the organization that would benefit from the initiative, and convinced them to make up the difference. And so it does a couple of things. If you can do that, if you find the internal budget, it gives you an opportunity to get more people involved. Now again, it increases complexity in terms of number of stakeholders. But if you can manage it effectively, you can help your target, you know, silo in your customer go find money from other areas in the organization that are going to benefit from it. And then there's always the slush fund. Like I haven't run into a company yet where, if you can, if you can make a compelling case at to the right person at power, it's amazing how quick they can reallocate budget. Yeah, I mean budget is it bullshit? Right? And it's the essentially the price thing. It's just like you have and interested me enough. Let me give you some you know, it's like I'm just looking right. It's that I'm just that knee jerk reaction. And you know, and I always talk about you know, you should be able to prevent every objection because you hear the same ones all over the time. It's not. You know, when was the last time you heard a new objection? You know, the only time you hear that is with miscommunication, that just don't understand what you're talking about. And if you go, well, I don't know what you're talking about, Brian, with this financing stuff, go down to your CFO and say, like, you know, do you know any finance companies? When we buy big stuff, you know, how do you Amag Rize it over, you know, the life's time of the product. How do you depreciate it? You know, who would you go to and they'll see IFO is. They probably got, you know, a stack of business cards of people who caught cold call them trying to finance stuff for them. Exactly. I mean. And again that goes back to me, and we've touched on this several times, you have at your disposal in your organization the same types of people that you're selling to in these large organizations. Why not use them? I honestly think CFOs far under utilized. In complex as your own CFO, like get them involved in helping with the financing or even the Roy calculations or things like that. So I mean, if you can do that and leverage what you've got internally and help them find the money, again, it reduces that fear and their perception of risk. Yeah, and I bet they would dig it because they're sitting around, you know, entering stuff into a spreadsheet all day and you know, if they can say,...

Oh, I helped close this deal, that's a big and they feel part of it and they don't look at you as, you know, some robber baron trying to you know, cheat right, overpaid and, you know, overstaked. Oh yeah, we had had one. This is totally in a side. I had a CFO who got on me one time when I was an individual contributor about the movie had shown up on my hotel bill. He's like, well, we don't, we don't pay for movies, and I was like, well, all right, I got that, but I was working and just had that in on the backgrounds. Well, we don't, we don't pay for that. So I was like all right, it kind of hit made wrong. I was young, with younger and probably more full of adrenaline than I of today. So I took him on the road. I took him on the road with me and we got done with a day foot meetings and I said, all right, well, let's go down to the bar, we'll have a couple drinks, we've got some dinner and then we get done with dinner in the bill comes. It's hotel prices. Right, so we've had a few drinks. If at dinner, this bill is, you know, five x what that movie in my room would have cost. And I just looked them and I said, Hey, I can do this every time I go on the road, or you could pay for the movie in the room, pay for the movies but include the CFO in the sales process. Yeah, and that kind of my last one is, you know, similar as far as getting people involved. But when you are able to do joint marketing or joint promotions, trade shows anything with a two companies are working together and making that part of the deal or in the initial sales process or developing of the account, that is such a great way to keep the rapport going and working together without it being just a presentation demo, which a lot of sales reps that they don't know what to do outside of that or socialize right. Well, I mean that's more skin in the game rights that collaboration, especially today, when all the stats show that buyers want to be collaborated with companies. Like that collaboration as well, especially if you're selling for a large enough forganization where offering marketing or you know, Co marketing or events and trade was like you're talking about, where that has like significant value to the people you're targeting. I've seen deals actually increase in size as a result of that. It's usually not a you know, it's not a line item. It shows up in your you know, in your product portfolio, but all of a sudden they were pushing you on price and you're like Welly, let's talk about a way to collaborate on this event that's going on in, you know, New York City or Barcelona, Spain, that's globally, you know whatever. And you can see them understand that you're in it for the long haul, number one. So you're dealing with their fear A, you're getting out ahead of that and you're putting in place ways that you continue to work together so you don't find yourself, when it's time for renewals or you're trying to expand the account, banging your head against brick wall. Yeah, and I had a client and they would having a hard time getting in front of this key technical decision maker who like their product but hadn't committed to doing an enterprise deally. He was buying as needed and they were like, well, you know, the end of the year's coming up, we know there's multiple seven figures that they're going to need over the next three years, but the guys not working with us. And I go well, why don't you get him, engage with your marketing department and say hey, we want to come in and do a video interview with you and then we'll promote it through our channels. Would you be open to that? And he was so flattered. Oh yeah, that, you know, they Wu in or you don't. You do you fly and you could do it over the Internet. I'm not saying that you have to spend a lot of money, but when you promote your prospects in your clients, you help enhance their careers. You give them a platform, your platform, and they're promoting your product, right. You know, they ended up doing a ten million dollar deal with this company. It was like, you know, twenty percent of their revenue for the whole year because the guy all of a sudden green lit everything that they want it. Oh yeah, because, hey, you're talking to me,...'re giving them everybody. I think, even especially executives. They understand the the importance of that personal brand as well as that personal brand and how it affects their organization. Right, because people that work for and you like to see, I mean, unless they're getting escorted out by the cops, you like to see your CEO Right get promoted. You want to see them, you want to see them out there that it builds pride in the organization. So if you can give them platforms to do that, I mean there's a great deal of value, I think, for both parties involved. And then again, it removes some of the fear around pricing, builds that collaboration and allows you to make you know, bigger deals. Yeah, and that you're marketing department's responsible for producing content today, right, blogs, podcast, videos, testimonials, ebooks, and they need customer involvement. And when you're promoting your prospects, it's not taking they love to see their name in print, their picture on a website. It looks great on the resume. They gets their name out there, makes them look their personal brand gets magnified. It's a great way of breaking the ice and keeping that rapport going through the deal process as you build up the count the size of the deals. All right, that does it for this episode of the BB Revenue Executive Experience. Appreciate you guys listening with us when I thank Brian Burns again for the time to do this collaboration, really enjoying the opportunity to talk to him and get his insights and kind of do a little back and forth. Don't forget we want to buy you a cup of coffee, so please hit the website. BE TO BE REV exactcom click on that link to the feedback form. Fill that out. We'll shoot your Gift Card for Cup coffee on us. And if again, if you're in the Denver area, let us know at accelerate at value Prime Solutionscom love to meet you in person and buy that cup of coffee in person. Also, please share out the podcast friends, family's, Co workers. You guys have heard me say it before. More people that listen, the better off everybody is. And please always write a review for us on itunes. We use those again to craft the content of the show. Thanks again for listening and until next time, we have value private solutions. Wish you and yours nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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