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Sales 2.0: Greg Brush, Vice President Of Sales And Customer Success, InsideView, San Francisco (Part 3)

Posted on Friday, Apr 1st 2011

By Sramana Mitra and guest author Sudhindra Chada

Sramana Mitra: Could we talk a bit more about what you measure in that process? Let’s say you have a qualified lead and that qualified lead goes down the funnel. What are the next few steps, how do you measure them, and what happens at each of them?

Greg Brush: The primary things we look for are the business need, the setup of the company, and the contacts. So, the basics of what would represent a sales opportunity. We are even willing to educate prospects if they are not savvy about what the application is. But if we sense there is a business need, if they have an outbound campaign or they have customer initiatives that are promoting a higher level of intimacy, then that represents a viable prospect for us. So, what we see is based on a certain set of attributes about the business opportunities that could exist. Then the LeadQual person will turn that into an opportunity promote it to the account executive, who will then have the conversation [with the prospect] and treat it as an opportunity.

SM: Is that the point where they are starting the process of demoing?

GB: The demo may even happen in the LeadQual stages. It could be an informational demonstration to help to educate the prospect on what our solution is. But then we typically see when we demo that there is a very high conversion rate.

SM: Is that a good idea to do the demo without determining whether there is a true qualified lead?

GB: It is very easy for us to do. Our product is easy to demo; we use WebEx.

SM: It takes a long time, right?

GB: It does take time, but we figured out a lot of it in the lead scoring and the earlier lead qualifications stages, so it usually happens in the early stages of an opportunity.

SM: The reason I am asking about this is I typically look at the demo as a step I would have the qualified leads [do] or have the sales force give to only the qualified leads where there is a business opportunity. I wouldn’t spend time giving demos to people who don’t necessarily have a business opportunity identified. I think you are saying something slightly different, which is why I am asking for a bit of clarification on your thinking behind that.

GB: I understand your point. There are a couple of supplemental points I would add.  First, it is very easy for us to do these demos, and when we do them, we see a high conversion rate. We have gotten efficient in qualifying what I would say is a lead.

SM: So, you are almost using the demo to qualify the lead and create an opportunity?

GB: That’s right. It works for us because our product is very elegant. It is a great product, and people love it. The quota-carrying salespeople immediately see the virtue of applications, so it is very much a selling strength for us. We look at what conversion rates are from presentation demo to opportunity, and it is very high. And again, we do a lot of the filtering of noise early on with Eloqua and with our implementation of Salesforce.com such that we can have a strong sense of where the products exist. We are fortunate in that we don’t have a complex demo. There are a lot of companies where just doing a demonstration is an ordeal, there is a lot of tailoring of the demo for the prospect for it to have a viable set up; with us, we don’t have that overhead.

SM: So, it is a quick, lightweight demo. Basically, at this point you have a qualified business opportunity. A business need [has been established], and you have already demoed the product to the lead. What is the next step?

GB: There are some fundamental project management nuances; if it is a small to medium business (SMB) account, then it could be a simpler sales cycle or a more transactional sales cycle where there are fewer constituents who need to be sold to. In the enterprise accounts, we have a much larger set of constituents that might need to be bought in. Then we use target account selling as a sales methodology to help engage appropriately. We look at what the typical sales cycles are, and we have balanced a buying cycle with our selling cycle so that it can be efficiently managed. We don’t over-process the sales cycle in the transactional model with the SMB, but we do look at more sophisticated types of opportunity profiling for enterprise accounts.

 

This segment is part 3 in the series : Sales 2.0: Greg Brush, Vice President Of Sales And Customer Success, InsideView, San Francisco
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