In Sales Training

Gong.io, Chris Orlob, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Today, we have Chris Orlob on the show. He works for Gong.io that provides data that help sellers become better at sales. In this episode, he’s dishing out top B2B sales trends they’ve seen in 2017 (some of which are going to roll over to 2018).

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Chris:

What Gong.io Does:

It’s the #1 conversation intelligence platform for sales teams. What they do:

  • Records sales calls
  • Transcribes them from speech to text
  • Analyzes them with machine learning

Benefits sales teams get from Gong.io:

  • People can figure out what’s working and what’s not
  • You can use data to drive sales effectiveness across the entire team
  • You can ramp new hires faster.

Whether or not you purchase a technology like this, become familiar with it because it’s probably the most impactful technology on the organization next to the CRM.

Top Trends in 2017:

Sales Quotas 

Since 2011, sales quota attainment has steadily been dropping year to year. It’s continuing to decline over time.

Annual quotas are being increased on average 7.5% a year.

So one one hand, there’s declining quota attainment and on the other hand, there’s this increased total quotas.

A correlation:

During the same time period, the VP of Sales average tenure has declined from 26 months in 2011 to 19 months in 2016.

The reason for these trends: 

There is a big and wide sales performance gap between the top 10%-20% of the performance on your sales team and the middle of the pack (80%-90% average performers who make up the rest of your entire salesforce)

The reason for the gap is in how they conduct their sales conversations. There is almost always a stark difference in how the A players conduct their sales conversations compared to their mediocre peers.

Sales leaders are blind to sales conversations.

Benefits of Understanding Sales Conversations:

Allows you to design a sales training program based on reality versus just generic.

Allows you to follow through to make sure sales training is being implemented in a live setting.

Talk to Listen Ratio

The talk to listen ration that leads to the most closed deals is different for each type of call:

  • Discovery – The highest converting talk to listen ratio is 46:54 (the rep talks 46% of the time and listens for 54%of the time)
  • Demo – The highest converting talk to listen ratio is 65:35 (rep talks 65% of the time and listens for 35%of the time)

Strategies for coaching:

1. Basing it on facts
2. Role playing
“Humans are learning machines. If they say sales is not a learnable skill is to go against human nature.” – Chris Orlob

Chris’ Major Takeaway:

For Sales Leaders:

Prioritize shifting your bell curve or closing the sales effectiveness gap and the middle of the pack as your number one priority.

For Sales Reps:
Read a lot of books. Implement everything you learn relentlessly and figure out what’s working and what’s not. If you have call recordings at your company, listen to your own recordings. Analyze what worked and what didn’t.

Episode Resources:

If you want to know more about sales effectiveness, check out Gong.io.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Think Fast Think Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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