Tue, 6 March 2018
Our guest on SBI TV is Ryan Leavitt, the Chief Revenue Officer for LearnCore. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur who knows how to drive revenue growth which is the lifeblood of an emerging business. I can’t think of a better guest than Ryan to share best practices in sales prospecting to fill the funnel.
Ryan and I discuss how to fill the funnel with real sales opportunities. Ryan shares his knowledge of lead production, specifically what percent of leads marketing produces versus what the sales team needs to produce on their own. And how prospecting and technology platforms are used to support prospecting efforts and produce sales leads.
This is a fascinating show where Ryan shares his prospecting methodology, lead cycle length, and his lead-to-opportunity conversion rate, in comparison to his competitors. Turn to the 11-minute mark of the video to watch how Ryan helps his sellers facilitate buyer investigation of their problems early in their purchasing process.
Matt and Ryan discuss how precisely Mike’s team makes this happen at LearnCore:
“Prospecting is all about discipline and setting goals. Your prospecting methodology won't matter if the team doesn’t put in the effort. It’ s a volume game, in which discipline is required for success. The biggest challenge of prospecting is finding the people that are going to put in that effort and are going to focus on it and be disciplined about it. What we do to find potential buyers early in the buying process on an outbound effort, is to look at queues that are common with our current clients and opportunities. And so, whether that's industries, whether that's shifting roles, whether that's mergers and acquisitions, or new product launches, those are all great ways to find the right buyers. The key question you need to answer is, “How are you going to get your 2,000 sales reps across the world to communicate the same message?”
Ryan Leavitt shares his advice on thinking through marketing productivity from the view of a Chief Revenue Officer:
“So, we try to look at productivity on a granular level. Sales cycle metrics are much more important when we start to dig into the industry, the lead source, and the size of decline in general. Because the sales cycles for inbound deals are going to be much shorter than the sales cycles for outbound bills. There's a reason that a potential buyer is searching there. They're educated and they're in a buying process. We need to make sure that our data is apples to apples. So, yes, sales cycle is very important, but we can't compare the sale cycle of a 500-person inbound company to a 500-person outbound company, or a 200-person company compared to a 20,000-person company. They're drastically different, but they came from the exact same lead source. So, we break it down into industry and company size, and from there we could start to optimize and look at the full picture. We look at lead conversion rates, opportunity conversion rates, sales cycle, average deal size, etc. After a period of time, we look at the success of the clients and bring it all the way back to how they came into the funnel to begin with.”
Marketing is going to contribute ~30% of the pipeline, which means sales needs to generate ~70% of the sales opportunities. Pipeline per rep varies too much without a standard prospecting process used by all. Lead quality and lead-to-opportunity conversion rates suffer when prospecting is left up to each individual sales rep. Skip to the 24-minute mark of the video to watch Ryan describe what competencies he looks for in a new sales rep candidate, and how he gets the new sales reps from day one to full productivity.