Welcome to Season 1 of 10/10 GTM: The Podcast for Revenue Leaders!
Our guest for Episode 9 is Tom Rowe, SVP of Sales at Chili Piper. Tom brings more than a decade of sales experience to the table. He’s worked at companies such as Caroo and Groupon, where he has held positions as an AE, Sales Manager, and VP.
In this episode, Ross talks to Tom about how to drive repeatability in the sales process by setting a firm agenda, always demoing on the first call, and never discounting.
Listen to the episode here, and get the key takeaways from our conversation below.
3 tips to drive repeatability in the sales process
1. Always set a firm agenda: Business deals happen when people are aligned, and agendas are designed to bring people together. They ensure your call goes in the direction and pace you want. Never kick off a call without first setting an agenda.
“I’m a firm believer that when you get on a call, you need to tell your prospect what you’re going to talk about, how long you’ll talk about it, and then before jumping into the content, you need to ask the prospect or customer what they want to discuss,” says Tom.
This is a crucial step in driving repeatability in the sales process because time is finite. Without an agenda, you may run out of time, skip through things, or dwell on topics too long. The agenda keeps you accountable and makes sure your meeting achieves what it aims to.
2. Demo on the first call: People are busy, and you can’t expect them to invest time in multiple meetings to get to the demo stage. Demo on the first call, every time.
Following a brief discovery discussion, show your prospects the software. This will help you figure out what the plan is moving forward, and allow them to see the capabilities of your solution off the bat — which is why they agreed to the call in the first place.
In some instances, this initial demo is all it takes to move the needle forward. Other times, such as when you’re working with Enterprise clients, you may have to do several follow up demos.
When you demo on the first call, you show your prospects you respect their time and are willing to give them what they came for. And from Tom’s perspective, this is essential:
“I’ve gotten to the first calls before, thinking I was getting a demo. Instead, I was dragged through 45 minutes of discovery. As you can imagine, my quality of responses weren’t what they would normally be because I knew they were just taking 45 minutes of my time to use against me on a second call a week later. It feels disingenuous, especially if the purpose of your call is to get a demo.”
3. Never discount: Tom’s third tip is to offer transparent, non-negotiable pricing: “At Chili Piper, we chose not to discount, ever. Our pricing is available on the website for all to see. Everyone gets the same deal.”
This creates pricing transparency, which ultimately means there are no winners or losers. Instead, everyone pays the same price. In addition to being fair, it also offers significant business benefits.
“If the average SaaS company has an average discount of 20%, and that client renews the following year, those discounts compound. And these companies aren’t winning 20% more deals by offering a discount. So by not exposing ourselves to this, it’s advantageous because our clients don’t try to negotiate for more when they renew.”
Rapid fire: Tom’s fast sales insights
In a rapid-fire Q&A session, Tom shares his insights with us on a wide range of topics:
What’s the main reason most teams miss their ARR goals? Compounding aggressive assumptions in every category. For example, assuming your win rate will go up by 10% or your display ads will yield 10% more results. People make the mistake of modeling the most aggressive version of every input, and that’s how you end up at 70% of your expected outcomes instead of 100.
What’s your favorite resource for revenue leaders? The most recent one I read is, “Obviously Awesome:How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, and Love It,” by April Dunford. The messaging about positioning in this book helps inform sales discussions — it’s very helpful!
What’s the number one challenge for revenue leaders in 2023? Uncertainty.
SMB, Mid-market, or enterprise? Mid-market is the best of both worlds. It mixes the pace of SMB with the creativity of enterprise.
What’s the most important org: Sales, CS, or Marketing? If you gave me 100 points to divide between these teams, I would give 33 to CS, 33 to Sales, and 34 to Marketing.
How do you unplug from the demands of leadership? My performance in my role has nothing to do with my identity. When I close my laptop at night, my wife, kids, and friends have no perception of me as a sales leader.
The road to successful revenue leadership is paved with . . . breadth of experience.
Tom is an accomplished Sales Leader, with more than a decade of experience. For the past two years, he has served as the SVP of Sales at Chili Piper, with the company actively pursuing its mission to build the best company to work for while striving to make the world a better place.
When Tom isn’t working, you can find him spending time with friends and family, fly fishing, traveling, golfing, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks.