We recently discussed the effect of meetingless selling on sales effectiveness. To make it a bit less abstract, let’s compare two B2B sales processes: classic and meetingless. The classic process is a series of synchronous meetings. The meetingless one has both synchronous and asynchronous interactions.

To set the stage, consider a typical customer journey:

The steps in the classic B2B sales process can be mapped to stages in the customer journey as follows [1]:

Time Conv Rate Avg Time
Search Discovery Meeting with Initiator 0 0.85 0
Discovery Meeting with Champion 14 0.85 12
Demo with Champion 7 0.9 18
Demo with Influencers 7 0.9 24
Demo with Decider 14 0.9 37
Evaluation Proof of Concept 28 0.8 62
Meeting to Address Issues from PoC 7 0.8 68
Meeting with Gatekeeper 7 0.9 73
Meeting to Address Concerns 7 0.9 79
Purchase Meeting to Discuss Proposal 14 0.95 92
Meeting to Agree on Price 10 0.98 102
Meeting to Agree on Terms 7 0.98 108
Final 122 0.25 108

The numbers in the Time column represent the number of days before and including the meeting. The Conv Rate column contains the fraction of meetings that lead to the next stage. Finally, the Avg Time column represents the average time it takes to reach that stage in the process. Your exact process may differ, but you get the idea.

Let’s now consider the meetingless version of the process:

Time Conv Rate Avg Time
Search Discovery Meeting with Initiator 0 0.85 0
Discovery Meeting with Champion 14 0.85 12
Meetingless Demo and Offer 14 0.9 24
Evaluation Proof of Concept 28 0.8 52
Meeting to Address Issues from PoC 7 0.8 57
Meeting with Gatekeeper 7 0.9 63
Meeting to Address Concerns 7 0.9 69
Purchase Meetingless Discussion of Proposal 7 0.95 76
Meeting to Agree on Price 10 0.98 85
Meeting to Agree on Terms 7 0.98 92
Final 101 0.31 92

We replaced the demo sessions delivered during the search phase in the customer journey with asynchronous interactions. At this point in the process, the seller is aware of the customer requirements and can make a targeted offer to solve the problem. This offer can be communicated asynchronously in the form of a personal video message, a custom demo recording, an ROI calculator, and other types of engaging and personalized content.

Instead of scheduling a series of demo meetings, the seller delivers the demo virtually to all stakeholders simultaneously. In place of one seller working sequentially, we get several virtual copies of him or her working in parallel. Agent Smith, anyone?

Similarly, to accelerate the process, upon successful completion of the evaluation phase, the initial proposal can be communicated and discussed asynchronously.  

We can now assess the impact of our changes.

The process win rate is calculated as the product of the meeting conversion rates. It increased from 25% to 31%. Not too shabby, but it gets even better than that.

The average length of the sales cycle was reduced from 108 to 92 days. If an opportunity takes less time to process, the same sales team can process more opportunities per quarter, the relationship known as the Little’s Law.

In summary, the volume of bookings per quarter is proportional to the win rate and inversely proportional to the average sales cycle length. The change in bookings can be calculated as

Increase in Bookings = (31/92 – 25/108)/(25/108) = 46%

Wow! Just wow! Is there anything else that you should be working on right now?  

Hard to believe? Download this spreadsheet, plug in your numbers, and see what you get. Here is the data you will need:

  • The number of interactions per opportunity
  • The conversion rate per interaction
  • The time between interactions  

A formal sales process definition is helpful but not required. If you do not have the data, no worries. I will be posting soon on how to obtain it. Stay tuned.

References

  1. Jacco J. van der Kooij, The Use of Remote Selling in Enterprise Sales, Winning by Design, 2020