Flattening the ‘Speed to First Sale’ Graph
We’ve all seen the posts on Linkedin about the rise of ‘First-day Goodies’. I agree, there’s nothing better than turning up to a new job and having that Microsoft Surface Studio, or, new Macbook Pro. This shouldn’t overshadow one of the most important metrics: Speed to first deal i.e. ramp.
For salespeople, the first day, and subsequent days should be a little different. It’s more of a ticking time bomb, which is, how quickly can I get to my first deal?
You’ll notice a couple of anomalies of the above graph of 9 of our first reps. There’s a couple of things that those 3 right around the 50 day mark (person 1, 3 and 8) did very very differently to those who took significantly longer. Let me share some key ideas as to how to get there.
Dig Where There’s Already Gold:
Find out what’s working and copy copy copy.
Do. Not. Reinvent. The. Wheel. If there’s anything for you to replicate, anything for you to copy: Do it. Unless you’ve been expressly hired to open new channels/verticals then stop trying to dazzle by pioneering some new process or, doing things how you’ve always done it — find what’s been working and do your best to replicate. This is potentially a can of worms, but, as part of your research and investigation process into a company you should’ve already determined if their sales tactics/strategy/target markets/verticals/champions/decision makers are people with whom you have affinity. For example, I’d be rubbish selling into manufacturing or construction because I’m literally useless with my hands. Therefore, find out what is working, and optimise it to yourself slowly. Hound your support teams/product experts to truly partner to make up for your lack of knowledge and not reinvent the wheel. (Person number 1 did this)
Dig Where There’s Already Gold Part 2:
Crush existing opportunities
Unless you’ve got SDR/BD teams prospecting for you from scratch completely, if there’s been any deals left reeling by leaving parties, take them and over-service the HECK out of them — it is SO hard to resurrect deals that have been left in the lurch, but, if you can even convert 10% of those 15–30 deals in the lurch, you’ve potentially cut your ramp curve in half by catching someone halfway down the sales funnel as opposed to the very beginning. Dig where there’s already gold. (Person number 8 did this). To win these deals is all salesmanship, you’re not really required to demo product because, they already have been, they at least understand the strengths of product (partially). Challenger sale them, make sure they know you’re going to make up for the drop in communications by over-servicing. Give em’ free stuff, that’ll help.
Simply, do more.
Dump in the time, be front of mind without being obnoxious, get to a yes or no faster than others, knock 15 more doors, do 20 more meetings, send 100 more emails, make 50 more calls. (Person number 3 sent 791 emails in a single month). Simply: Do more than everyone else. This I know is a crazily time consuming task, it means 60–70 hour weeks, but $$$$$$$$$$$. If you’re putting this much time in, don’t be silly. I’ll only inject this much time in if there’s really meaningful rewards, if there’s not a great structure of incentive, or, you’re capped in just how much you CAN do obviously don’t. But, using that renewed vigour in the first few months can really pay off.
To flatten the ‘speed to first sale graph’ it takes some serious hustling, partnering internally to make up for the lack of product knowledge and taking some easy wins by picking up any deals that have been left in the lurch. Make money faster.
Austin is the US director of sales for the fast growing www.go1.com a learning platform that allows you to source the best courses from all over the internet.