Noted sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer once wrote: “There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you—unless your potion is hard work.” Sure, hard work is important, but we’ve found something that can make sales both faster and easier.
That something: help from an inside partner.
Inasmuch as confidence is king in sales, a smart alliance with someone wiser than you will almost always take you farther. After all, Bond has his Q, and Batman his Alfred. Partnering with a former buyer from the enterprise you’re attempting to sell into can mean the difference between success and failure.
Let’s take a closer look at a few times having inside insights translated into big-time wins for organizations.
1. Insight into buyer’s past culminates in over $25 million in new deals for a data management platform
The client, an enterprise data management platform, received an RFP from a major pet supply retailer with an extremely tight deadline. Compiling a thorough proposal that accurately addressed the retailer’s needs within the allotted time frame would require additional support, so the sales team came to us to help get the proposal across the goal line in time.
We began by putting the client’s sales team in contact with one of our Emissaries: the retailer’s former CMO, who, as it turned out, was also the creator of the company’s data management program. Her authority on the subject and in-depth understanding of the department enabled her to clearly map out the prospect’s IT organization and identify the key players in the decision-making process.
That alone was massively helpful, but the retailer’s former CMO also managed to deliver a key piece of insight that the client—or any other potential vendor—couldn’t have had otherwise: the fact that the retailer had been burned by large organizations in the past, and so the company was actively looking to partner with smaller vendors. Our Emissary suggested that the seller employ a more customer-oriented approach and align with leaner vendors to meet that expectation.
The result? Our client closed a two-year deal worth just under $1 million with the major retailer—and then went on to generate over $25 million in new deals thanks to Emissary’s inside insights.
2. A personalized, one-on-one introduction from Emissary helps a SaaS company close a $200K deal with a major mobile provider
A leading content data platform knew that a major mobile provider’s content marketing function would benefit from using their services. What they didn’t know, however, was where to start. As a very large organization, this prospect’s content marketing was spread across the business, rather than falling under the purview of a single decision-maker, making targeting a tall task. Fortunately, we had an Emissary who had formerly been the prospect’s senior director of digital marketing and could put them in contact with the sales team.
Our Emissary got to work analyzing the SaaS company’s offering, and tracking the product’s features against the needs of the many departments within the target organization that could potentially use them. Our Emissary also pointed out which division to target, and advised the client to hone messaging around that division’s main priority at the time: improving middle-funnel metrics.
By refocusing the messaging around moving consumers from awareness to eventual product consideration and purchase, the client now had a winning strategy in place. All the sales team had to do now was deliver.
Which they did, thanks to the engagement’s final coup-de-grace: a personalized, one-on-one introduction between the sales team and the target division’s decision-maker, brokered by our Emissary.
3. Emissary helps data protection firm craft a winning pitch to land a $300K deal with a leading retailer
A data protection firm had their sights set on an electronics retail giant but was struggling to get a foot in the door. One of the firm’s greatest strengths, their wide selection of IT solutions, in this case proved to be a weakness, as it was difficult to pinpoint which offering would be the best fit for the electronics retailer.
Our Emissary, the retailer’s former senior director of IT operations, divulged that the company was in need of stronger security measures and advised the sales team to approach from that angle. After chartering a new direction for the firm, our Emissary outlined all the key-decision makers likely to be encountered along the way, going so far as to compile detailed personality profiles for each individual to assist the firm when selling.
This proved helpful once the sales team had broken into the account, as they were better able to understand and anticipate what each buyer wanted to hear in order to be comfortable signing the deal. They crafted their pitch with assistance from our Emissary, who revealed that most of the influencers in the room were detail-oriented folks more likely to be receptive to numbers and ROI than slick sales talk.
Finally, with the deal moving down the pipeline to pricing, our Emissary gave the firm some last minute-advice to help bring it all home: the retailer prioritized price above all else, so if the sales team really wanted to close the deal, they would need to offer their lowest price and stand by it—with no negotiations. Our client took this advice, and came away with a $300K deal as a result.
No matter how hard you or your team work, there will always be potential landmines within prospect organizations that won’t be visible from the outside. Aligning yourself with an informed former executive can help make even the largest, most complex deals much more winnable. Whether it’s providing insight into crafting a strategy with the right message, orchestrating that first, all-important, in-person introduction to a decision-maker, or helping create the perfect pitch, getting an Emissary on your team can give you the support you need to get the deal done.