Answering the question: what actually works on sales calls?
I was intimidated.
Within a few days of starting my new job at Gong.io, I was asked to meet on-site with a prospect who was knee-deep in a buying process with us.
It was up to me to move the deal to a solid next step (and eventually across the finish line).
I felt as if I were a toddler dropped onto a running treadmill.
It would be a huge deal (in terms of revenue and credibility) for our fast-growing startup. There was a lot at stake in getting this one closed, and my team was counting on me.
The pressure was on.
My level of confidence fluctuated up and down during the meeting with this potential customer. It was tough to get a read on these guys.
Sure, they were interested. But enough to make a purchase?
And in what timeframe?
Then I asked the timing question. If they decide to move forward, when did they estimate getting the deal done?
Surprisingly, their answer immediately relieved my doubts:
“If we decide to move forward, we’re probably looking to pull the trigger on this sometime in November or December.”
“Huh?” you’re probably thinking. Why did that response make me feel confident that I’d get the deal closed? It seems so counterintuitive.
After all, the word “probably” isn’t exactly strong, decisive language.
What You’re Going to Learn about Sales Calls
By the end of this post, you’re going to know why their “cautious” language restored my sense of certainty in getting the deal closed.
But that’s not the only surprising insight I’m going to reveal.
Let me explain…
A Sales Conversation Research Project
We analyzed aggregated, anonymized sales conversation data from 17 customer organizations as a way to conduct sales conversation research — to find out what’s working on sales calls (and what’s not).
The customers mainly consisted of high profile B2B SaaS companies in the mid-market range.
The goal was to identify various patterns, trends, and insights that are driving the most revenue and the highest win-rates at the sales conversation level.
We were able to surface 5 distinct “secrets” of high-yield B2B sales calls.
First, here are the details of how we went about this:
- We analyzed the recordings of 25,537 business-to-business sales conversations conducted on platforms like GoToMeeting, join.me, and Webex, averaging 43 minutes per call
- We first mapped the CRM opportunity outcomes to the calls that were analyzed
- Calls were then speaker-separated, transcribed, and cleaned
- Finally, we used Gong’s artificial intelligence engine to analyze the calls and transcripts, categorizing key sales behaviors and call events
Here’s are the five distinct insights we’ve discovered so far…