Hey there 👋
After a (hopefully) restful long weekend, I'm guessing fellow founders, revenue leaders, and sellers are all thinking the same thing...
How do I hit my revenue goals in the back half of this year – despite this economic downturn??!! 🤔
One way I’m thinking about making it happen here at Accord (and would suggest the same to others as budgets continue to tighten and more stakeholders weigh in on deals):
Make THE MOST out of your pipeline.
Every. Single. Lead and Opportunity matters. More than ever. Are you doing everything in your power to make the most of your pipe?
At the beginning of each quarter at Accord, we dive into how many leads, SQLs, opportunities, and customers we generated last quarter, conversion rates between each stage, where the leads came from, etc.
We use this info to calculate how many leads/conversations we need to generate from each source, and how many opps are required in order to hit our ARR targets.
What I've learned from this exercise is that even small improvements can make a huge impact – especially if measured weekly.
In other words, don’t only focus on what you’re doing poorly. Look at where you’re already performing well, and how you could be doing even better! There's always room.
You might find that increasing your close rate by just 2-3% across all deals makes a difference in hitting your goals.
Here are a few of my personal favorite ideas for making the most of every lead and opp to hit your revenue goals during a downturn:
1. Respond to leads faster. Whatever your current response time is when following up with leads, can you make it faster? Time kills all deals – time kills all leads too!
👉 Tip: Use automation to help here, or have an SDR call the lead right away to get the meeting booked.
2. Make it easy to book a meeting with you. If you’re asking leads to jump through hoops in order to get a demo, then they’re already looking for something easier.
👉 Tip: Add an embedded calendar on your website that appears when a lead requests a meeting/demo, so they can book without leaving the page.
3. Lower the bar for having executive sponsors on deals. Having execs or senior members of your team involved in deals makes it easier to loop in more senior members of the buying team as well (and often leads to higher win rates).
👉 Tip: Add emails from an exec to your sales follow-up sequences – checking in on their trial/evaluation, offering support throughout the deal, etc.
Experiment to find what moves the needle on your deals. But don’t let valuable leads and opps go to waste if you can do even 1% more than you currently are. These small improvements compound every day, month, and quarter!
Fellow founders / revenue leaders / sellers:
What have you found to move the needle in terms of conversions & win rates lately? Would love to hear your advice – feel free to reply to this email :)
PS: My co-founder & bro Ryan + I are currently at our parents’ cottage in Ontario, hosting our marketing team to work on Q3 planning. Cheers to the new quarter! 🤠
In this newsletter:
- Advice for maximizing NRR (the new startup North Star!)
- Tips from Mosaic’s VP of Sales on effectively partnering with customers
- Resources for quarterly planning + staying up-to-date on the market
🌟 Is NRR a North Star metric for your team? (It should be!)
In today’s world, NRR is as important – if not more important – than new ARR. Your existing customers are your best source of revenue: maximizing customer retention and expansion means a much stronger business.
But who should own NRR, upsells/expansion, and customer relationships in your company?
We dove into this question with veteran revenue leaders from Figma, NYSHEX, and Shortcut in a masterclass on How to Maximize NRR – the New Startup North Star.
Here’s a sneak peek of their advice 👇
When deciding who should own NRR, upsells/expansion, and customer relationships at your organization, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
1. Create systems that drive the right behavior.
If your AM team owns the upsell, for example, be sure you’re tracking, forecasting, compensating, and motivating them in a way that drives them toward the number they’re responsible for.
2. Document everything.
Realistically, there will always be some friction and handoffs in the customer journey. By documenting your processes and context for deals and customer relationships, you’ll smooth out some of that friction and make your team’s (and your customers’) lives easier.
3. See things from your customers’ POV.
Everything you do should be driving toward how to make your customers happier and more successful with your product. Figure out what they need to be supported and realize value up front and throughout their journey.
Get more advice + examples of how Figma, NYSHEX, Shortcut & more structure their teams around NRR!
🎙 On the Podcast: How to Partner with Customers by Asking Great Questions
I talked to Mark Ripley, VP of Sales at Mosaic, on the podcast recently to uncover insights from his 20+ years of sales experience.
Listen to the episode to learn:
👂 How to ask better questions in your sales process
👯 How to empower your reps as a sales leader
🤝 How to effectively partner with customers
📚 What we’re reading (& listening to)
🙅 The Power of Knowing When to Say “No”: as we dive into H2 planning, deprioritizing and saying “no” is critical. Put all your focus into fewer activities to see a bigger impact.
🎙 All-In Podcast: a group of besties talk about tech, startups, economics, etc. – super useful for staying on top of what’s happening in the market.
Thanks for reading From Vendorship → Partnership! 👋 Feel free to reply & share your thoughts on this newsletter – I'll respond to every email :)
Ross Rich (CEO and Co-founder)
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