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- A bi-weekly newsletter co-authored by our VP of Global Sales, Jonathon Illet, and VP of US Sales Frida Ottosson.

Every 2 weeks, they'll share the playbooks, tactics and learnings from managing a global sales team.

Finish each issue in 3 minutes or less. No spam - value only. 


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Pipeline generation was down 47% last year, according to this 2023 report by Ebsta and Pavillion. 

This means your managers have to be proactive rather than reactive, when evaluating deals at the later stage of the process. 

The key to success is keeping your process centralised. And a dashboard in Gong or Salesforce is the way to do this. 

Here’s a snapshot of the US dashboard, to give you perspective 👇

  • Deal warnings → helps managers to understand what could be potential blockers. 
  • ACV vs Sales Headcount → helps determine if there’s an opportunity to sell more seats. 
  • Notes → Outline action items/next steps, such as:
    • Number of active stakeholders
    • Buying champion(s).
    • Budget holder.
    • Signer.
    • Decision criteria.
    • Individuals/teams/regions that are on a trial.

The key thing to remember is that at this stage, the deal should pretty much be on track to close. It’s more about fine-tuning certain aspects or areas that could act as a delay to the outcome.

Bonus resources:

Stopping Revenue Leak and Slippery Deals with Shruti Kapoor, Head of International Business @Clari

How to Identify Risky Sales Deals and Improve Pipeline

I want to kick off with a pretty alarming statistic:

49% of businesses have seen an increase in the length of their sales cycles (according to a report from RevOps Co-Op).

It’s a wake-up call that the processes and strategies within the sales process need to be revised and refined. More specifically, how sellers are working with buying champions. 

If sellers can’t equip individual(s) to sell internally, the deal can lose momentum pretty quickly. 

Here are 2 ways you can finetune the strategy towards buying champions for your team, right now. 

1️⃣ Reinforce your champion’s vested interest in a deal 💡

In order to get the next yes in the sales process, tie the case back to the champion’s individual goal.

Maybe there’s a promotion on the line or a big project that’s part of their deliverable for the year. Use this information and link it back to their personal stake in the deal. 

That’ll make things easier to get other internal stakeholders engaged. It becomes a need that will help the organisation hit a particular milestone.

2️⃣ Make sure your champion is prepared 

It’s important to prepare - remember it’s a miracle if you can even secure thirty minutes. Your AEs have to make it count! 

It starts with covering even the most basic points with your champion. For example, ask your champion who will be on the call, and what their vested interest is. 

The champion also knows the personalities of the people joining the call. You’ll have some decision-makers that will be super direct and succinct, for example. 

Bonus resources:

The ultimate guide on working with buying champions

The state of MEDDPICC with Gina Ruscio

Working With Buying Champions with Nate Nasralla

Today I’m going to share how I approach early-stage deal evaluation with my team through coaching office hours

Anyone can show up - it’s totally optional. 

The aim of these sessions is to coach reps that have brought in deals that are in the very early stages. For example, they’ve just had the first call, and that’s it. 

Besides the top-level information of who the rep is talking to and what they’re talking about, I want to get the rep to understand the value of the deal. 

🗒️Note → This is paramount. Because if the rep can’t articulate the value in the deal, the buyer can’t either. 

In the sales cycle, so little time is spent with a buyer speaking with an AE 👇

If your buying champion can understand the value, they’ll be equipped to sell internally to other decision-makers. 

And once your rep has clarified the value, it’s about the next steps:

  • Should we go ahead with a demo? ✅
  • Who should we ask to attend the demo?  ✅
  • Based on the information we have, what messaging are we going to use? ✅

These next steps also act as a great exercise for reps to improve their discovery skills

My hope with these sessions is that the deals we lose - we lose them quicker. If reps are pursuing deals that aren’t going anywhere, it’s not an efficient use of their time. 

Plus, it means your reps can identify red flags on future deals, much quicker 🚩

Bonus resources:

Deal inspection using SPEE3D with Keith Weightman

Forecasting techniques and checklists

I thought I’d share my 3 focuses on how I’m going to achieve a better hiring and training process, in 2024 👇

1️⃣ Hiring process structure 

  • This process has enabled us to hire the very best reps out there. 
  • In this day and age, multithreading has become a vital skill for many sales reps.
  • Especially if you’re going after an ENT company - there’s just no way around it anymore other than to multithread 🧵
  • Being able to test this skill upfront is important. 

2️⃣ Qualities & traits

During the mock discovery call, these are the characteristics I’m looking out for:

For example: Is a candidate asking whether the problem they’re faced with is going to impact the ability to hit a quarterly target? 

3️⃣ Investing in an in-house sales trainer 

  • We’ve decided to invest in a sales trainer, meaning that our strategy can have a clear 🆚 a scattered approach.
  • It means we can plan on a monthly/quarterly basis, as opposed to a last-minute weekly basis. 
  • There’s a clear set of outcomes for the reps in terms of their training 🎯

And there you go - a sneak peek into part of my roadmap for hiring and ramping reps fast - in 2024! 

Bonus resources:

The Importance of High-Impact Coaching with Gabrielle Blackwell

Building Coaching Plans With Alli MacManus, Global Revenue Enablement Manager at Demandbase

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