The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 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 executiveexperience, 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 withBrian Burns and I, and please stick around so you can find out howI can buy you a cup of coffee. You're listening to the BB revenue executiveexperience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketingteams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools andresources, 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 shootyou a gift card on us. Go get a cup of coffee as athank you for your time and your information. We're interested in making sure that theshow remains valuable, moves in a direction that's going to keep you guyslistening and that that feedback forms in an extremely important part of that. Soplease take time to do that and, like said, we'll send you agift card for a cup of coffee on us. Today we're going to spendtime when Brian Burns talking about the five things you can do to make yourdeals 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 thedeals. Larger the deal, more stakeholders you end up having. Sohow do you negotiate that landscape in order to make your deals as large asthey possibly can? Brian and I spend some time kind of break it downthose top five things you guys should be aware of and, without further dualroll right into the interview. Hey, Chad, let's talk about how toget deals bigger. I think everybody wants that and I think it's the smarterway of selling, instead of trying to do a bunch of tiny little dealsall the time, that the person who really seems to blow it away thatI've seen is the person who's able to do big deals. Well, bigdeals, 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 workfor me yesterday she's like you remember the first time you got your, youknow, your first Fiftyzero Commission check? And I'm like, Oh, yes, I do, I know exactly where I was standing. But then whenyou think about everything that goes into that right, the work, and you'retalking about big, large scale bb enterprise deals that can be one thousand eighthundred and twenty four. I mean I've worked on some that have been thirtysix months of a sales cycle, and so in order to really make surethat those are are moving in your focus, one of the things that I thinkyou have to do is you got to focus on making sure you understandthe business and can quantify the Roy back to each of the stakeholders, notto the business as a whole, because I'll probably be a little bit differentfor each of the stakeholders because they're all gonna have different metrics. So beingable to really dive into that Roi Quantification and talk to them, collaborate withthem on building the internal business case so they can go sell it internally whenthey have to, I think that becomes really key. Yeah, I meanin my book I call it the business justification and staying away from proposals whereI kind of came up, not like I discovered it, but I Istarted. 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 upand here I was working on like a two million dollar deal. And youknow, we had to justify it and it was such an arcade or abstracttechnology. We couldn't talk about the product. We had to talk about, youknow, 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 basicallycreate a document that people could pass around. And the magic I had with itas I always called a draft, and it's amazing how powerful that wordis 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 thatyou didn't done the due diligence. You looked at all the alternatives. Thisis why you picked it and you got to build in that business case ofhow quickly can they pay for this? How how soon is it going tomake money for them? And if you do that out, you know,five, ten years with that Nice hockey stick graph right, that's what peoplecare 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 arebigger. It's not going to be a, you know, great demo to theCEO, it's going to be talking in the things that they care aboutand then having it. It has to be documented so that the they cansee it in graph visual forms and to be able to you know, isit made up? You know, it's math. So it's so. Butif you do it once, and I basically took that and I had everysales 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'sNay, that is super is the easy out right. That's easy out.If you want a bigger deal, you got to spend the time. Andif you can do that Roi calculation like you're talking about, if you canshow that that it also, and might I get my reps used to hatewhen I would say this is a pricing is a fandom objection. If they'retelling 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 italso 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 withpercurement 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 yourealize 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 gotthe numbers to back it up. Now, like you said, does it haveto be one hundred percent accurate? No, but to show that you'rethinking that way and then to actually you can even I've leveraged in the passesthat Hey, you know what, I think this model is right, Ithink this are ut but I would love to talk to your CFO. CanI get thirty minutes to see if I let's validate this right. And italso becomes a way for you to to get to those other stakeholders because you'rethinking about things that they care about. Your thinking about the value to thebusiness and if you can start to demonstrate that, then the deal sizes justget 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'retalking 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 enduser. It just won't happen. And the likelihood that that end user hasthe 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 ableto do it on their own, you know, because they're going to basicall I ran at buying them and they're thinking about it. That's what you'regoing to end up getting. Well, you can't sell the somebody who can'tbuy. At the end of the day, right, you can spend and init's really hard sometimes in be to be enterprised organizations to try and figureout, and there's a whole bunch of different ways to class find where theyare mobilizer. Are they a friend or they are talker? You depends onthe gun, depends on the sales mythology. At the end of the day youreally got to get to that person who has the authority to buy andand you can spend. I've seen reps spend countless cycles working on somebody thatisn't they maybe not even an influencer. They just happen to show up onthe org chart we always talk about. I always ask the reps find theguy with the swing line, Stabler right, it's off space reference for those thatdidn'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 inline in the org chart. So you're looking for that sometimes looking forthat phantom or chart just because this guy reports to one guy away from theCEO doesn't necessarily mean he's gonna be able to influence anything. So asking thosequestions I'm really understanding not just the org chart on the paper, so youhave some sort of map to go up, but understanding it, and I don'tknow more than three dimensions because there are other things that influence that andyou 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 getup 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 orcareer ending, depending if depending on how bad it goes. So you reallygot to get to the people who have, you know, the the steak inthe 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 sevenfigure deals that I've done in my career, you know there wasn't one of themwhere I didn't have that. You know, whether you call it theFox 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 bybuying your product. You know it's career changing for them. You know thatthe two million dollar deal there was a young first line manager who you knowwere 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 foranything that would, you know, put a feather in his cap and hesaw that in this product. And we work together and he knew the internalsthere, but you know, he didn't know how the company really bought thingsor what the CEO needed. And you know, we work together and youknow, would we built out, you know, a hypothetical production of it? We worked on the business justification of it. But you know, couldI have done it without him? Probably not. I'd probably could have gota k deal or Kal deal, but I couldn't have got a two milliondollar 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 itand it often has not been, as I think back. Has not beenthe power person, has not been the never buy for ever, but there'ssomebody who gets it I think it was somebody in an HBR article referred tothose as mobilized people that actually have the ability to kind of influence the internalorganization. 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 haveto trust the information they're given them, because I was used to say lookit when a customer, when a contact tells you something, don't believe ituntil you've heard it from three other places. So it's all about triangulation. Butif you can find that one mobilize, if you find that person who getsit, really gets it, has a vested personal interest, and Ithink that's key, then they can help kind of read the tea leaves ofthe Org Chart and how guide you on the steps that need to get youup into the organization. So the deal sizes stay large. Yeah, andI'm thinking through. I did a early in my career. You know,I half locked out. Yeah, it did a like a five million dollardeal with a fifty million dollar company. Wow. And and it was asimilar type thing where I had a ambitious first line manager who saw that ourproduct gave them a competitive advantage enormous competitive advantage to their customer. I thenwent 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 boardmembers, and it was this partnership that it happened. And if we wentstraight to the CEO, he had no idea what we did. He hadno you know, he couldn't tell us...

...different than, you know, thepeople next to us, and didn't want to spend the time to figure itout. 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 thinkthat's nearly as effective as it was a long time ago. Well, notwith I mean not with deal sizes, not when you can come into sevenfigures. 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 youmight get a referral into the CEO and the CEO if what I've seen overand over, he's going to he's going to refer you are and you needto talk to my vp of this or my vp of that. I gotalk to that person and what I've seen, unfortunately, is reps forget to purchasewhat we call the return ticket. Okay, I'll go talk to theseguys. I just want to make sure I have the opportunity to come backto you and get your perspective on it. A lot of them forget that lastlittle hook right, like you were at the top. They're going topush you into the or but you're going to make sure you can get backright. You're going to have that return ticket to get back to them andbring 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 morecomfortable going with a deal, you know, going with you specifically, and goingwith 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 ofyou know, just always get the next meeting after that meeting. But whenyou get that referral, getting the return ticket, you're not going to askwere 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 gettingit right. You just need the commitment. Will come back you when I havesomething 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 andthen I need your perspective. And so having that Hook, because it'sfunny. You can see, I've seen some really ultra high performers be ableto I mean some of these guys can just walk into the sea level orI'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 sellinga 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. Andthey don't, they don't do that return ticket and they end up getting stimiedlike it stalls because the CT is like, well, I talked to you becausethe bosses said I had to, but I don't necessarily see it right'syou know what I mean. So it's just that making sure, and weused to call it thinkin strategically, like don't don't forget where you've been onyour 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, becausethey don't. They want the users of it bought in. I mean evenany manager you know it would be smart enough to run it by the teambefore, 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 lotof money on a product that ends up, you know, not being used andthat just turns into waste it money. So that you know they want theirteam bought into it and then not just going to take some sales repsword for it. Imagine your board sets a target of twenty percent revenue growthin 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 managersand 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. Ido 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 thatI've seen several reps get their deals larger, and that's customer pressure. You mentionedgoing to a customer and I've seen you know, when you get intothose large deals and you're trying to sell. Let's say you're selling. We're makingthis up so nobody could upset, but it. Let's just say you'reselling 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 Fedexis want to buy. They don't want to bite, but you've been ableto show the Roi I've actually seen reps go out and get the top customersof their target customer and show them, Hey, this is what we're thinkingdoing, this is what it would mean to you as Fedex customer. Sothen that customer turns around and applies pressure to Fedex, right to your primaryand 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 pricingnegotiations or deals stall and you know like you can, you can validate thebusiness. You know return that your client, your clients going to see going andtalking to their customers to get their customers input can be a very effectivestrategy for making sure that you know you're getting that deal done and then thatcustomer 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 repup would typically make the mistake of either only selling to the integrators or onlyselling to the agencies. Now, the federal government doesn't really build anything ofits own. They're kind of like the administrators of what goes on they andthey contract out pretty much everything. So what I always did. I'd gointo the the agency and I'd explain the productivity benefits of our product over thealternatives, and then I would go to everyone who bid on their projects andI 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 toput this into your proposal, and sometimes they would just put it into theproposal 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 fortwelve 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 touse it. If they don't use it, they don't buy more. But Idon't renew maintenance. They don't. They're not a referral. Well,that's just said. I mean, if you can actually, I mean alot 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 abag of I'm look, I'm telling you, this is going to whatever increase yourrevenue and Christ your margin. This is I can show you this andand 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 powerseyes, whatever it is. And and it turns out in vast majority ofcases it's fear, like we're talking about a really big change right. It'sfear 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. Andso we're going out and talking to it and bringing those customers, their customersinto that dialog reduces that fear. I've seen it reduce that fear and isand, as a like I said, does take a little bit more timeand 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 thecontract, 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 wayof financing the deal for them either. Yeah, you know, especially whenyou're talking six, seven figures, or you're trying to get a multi yearagreement. And guess what you want as a sales rep. do you wantthem to pay or buy over five years? No, you want them to buyall at once. I commission check...

...needs you to buy now, becauseyou know how you get comped on it next day to add it to yourquote, which means you don't get paid forward, essentially, and you knowso 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 backand enterprise software. What you wanted them to do is prepaid maintenance. Youwanted them to you know, and remember run times. Yeah, and thatit 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 finda leasing company or a bank or somebody, and especially today, with interest ratesbeing so low and if the company has great financials, it's usually prettyeasy. Yeah, well, and there's so there's helping them find the outsidefinancing with is also I've spent a lot of time. And again this ismore 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 firstconversations 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 millionto get started right. So so we started talking to him and we gotto 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 wedid was we teamed up with other budget holders, other silos in the organizationthat 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 getmore people involved. Now again, it increases complexity in terms of number ofstakeholders. But if you can manage it effectively, you can help your target, you know, silo in your customer go find money from other areas inthe organization that are going to benefit from it. And then there's always theslush fund. Like I haven't run into a company yet where, if youcan, if you can make a compelling case at to the right person atpower, it's amazing how quick they can reallocate budget. Yeah, I meanbudget 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 someyou know, it's like I'm just looking right. It's that I'm just thatknee 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 onesall over the time. It's not. You know, when was the lasttime you heard a new objection? You know, the only time you hearthat is with miscommunication, that just don't understand what you're talking about. Andif 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 bigstuff, you know, how do you Amag Rize it over, you know, the life's time of the product. How do you depreciate it? Youknow, who would you go to and they'll see IFO is. They probablygot, you know, a stack of business cards of people who caught coldcall them trying to finance stuff for them. Exactly. I mean. And againthat 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'reselling to in these large organizations. Why not use them? I honestly thinkCFOs far under utilized. In complex as your own CFO, like get theminvolved 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 gotinternally and help them find the money, again, it reduces that fear andtheir perception of risk. Yeah, and I bet they would dig it becausethey're sitting around, you know, entering stuff into a spreadsheet all day andyou 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 atyou as, you know, some robber baron trying to you know, cheatright, overpaid and, you know, overstaked. Oh yeah, we hadhad one. This is totally in a side. I had a CFO whogot on me one time when I was an individual contributor about the movie hadshown 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 onthe backgrounds. Well, we don't, we don't pay for that. SoI was like all right, it kind of hit made wrong. I wasyoung, 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 withme and we got done with a day foot meetings and I said, allright, well, let's go down to the bar, we'll have a coupledrinks, we've got some dinner and then we get done with dinner in thebill comes. It's hotel prices. Right, so we've had a few drinks.If at dinner, this bill is, you know, five x what thatmovie in my room would have cost. And I just looked them and Isaid, Hey, I can do this every time I go on theroad, or you could pay for the movie in the room, pay forthe movies but include the CFO in the sales process. Yeah, and thatkind of my last one is, you know, similar as far as gettingpeople 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 partof 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 withoutit being just a presentation demo, which a lot of sales reps that theydon't know what to do outside of that or socialize right. Well, Imean that's more skin in the game rights that collaboration, especially today, whenall the stats show that buyers want to be collaborated with companies. Like thatcollaboration as well, especially if you're selling for a large enough forganization where offeringmarketing or you know, Co marketing or events and trade was like you're talkingabout, where that has like significant value to the people you're targeting. I'veseen deals actually increase in size as a result of that. It's usually nota you know, it's not a line item. It shows up in youryou know, in your product portfolio, but all of a sudden they werepushing you on price and you're like Welly, let's talk about a way to collaborateon this event that's going on in, you know, New York City orBarcelona, Spain, that's globally, you know whatever. And you cansee 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 andyou're putting in place ways that you continue to work together so you don't findyourself, 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 theywould having a hard time getting in front of this key technical decision makerwho like their product but hadn't committed to doing an enterprise deally. He wasbuying as needed and they were like, well, you know, the endof the year's coming up, we know there's multiple seven figures that they're goingto 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 yourmarketing department and say hey, we want to come in and do a videointerview with you and then we'll promote it through our channels. Would you beopen to that? And he was so flattered. Oh yeah, that,you know, they Wu in or you don't. You do you fly andyou could do it over the Internet. I'm not saying that you have tospend 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 doinga ten million dollar deal with this company. It was like, youknow, twenty percent of their revenue for the whole year because the guy allof 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 aswell as that personal brand and how it affects their organization. Right, becausepeople that work for and you like to see, I mean, unless they'regetting escorted out by the cops, you like to see your CEO Right getpromoted. You want to see them, you want to see them out therethat it builds pride in the organization. So if you can give them platformsto do that, I mean there's a great deal of value, I think, for both parties involved. And then again, it removes some of thefear 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 needcustomer involvement. And when you're promoting your prospects, it's not taking theylove to see their name in print, their picture on a website. Itlooks great on the resume. They gets their name out there, makes themlook their personal brand gets magnified. It's a great way of breaking the iceand keeping that rapport going through the deal process as you build up the countthe size of the deals. All right, that does it for this episode ofthe BB Revenue Executive Experience. Appreciate you guys listening with us when Ithank Brian Burns again for the time to do this collaboration, really enjoying theopportunity to talk to him and get his insights and kind of do a littleback 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 thatlink to the feedback form. Fill that out. We'll shoot your Gift Cardfor Cup coffee on us. And if again, if you're in the Denverarea, let us know at accelerate at value Prime Solutionscom love to meet youin person and buy that cup of coffee in person. Also, please shareout the podcast friends, family's, Co workers. You guys have heard mesay it before. More people that listen, the better off everybody is. Andplease always write a review for us on itunes. We use those againto craft the content of the show. Thanks again for listening and until nexttime, we have value private solutions. Wish you and yours nothing but thegreatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensurethat you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes for yourfavorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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