How To Get Your Account Executives To Commit Better w/Michael Tuso @Chili Piper
Michael Tuso of Chili Piper shares valuable tips on how a sales executive can achieve sales commitment. Keep reading to find out more.
In this article:
- Why Sales Executives Are Not Good with Sales Commitment
- How a Sales Executive Can Get Commitment
- The Concept of “Selling Behind the Curtain”
- Be Proactive in Getting Feedback
Sales Commitment Tips for Sales Executives
What is Sales Commitment? This refers to the process of guiding prospects to the next steps in their buyer journey. To do this, a salesperson needs to ask a series of probing questions that will let you discover their needs, offer your solutions, and get them to commit.
Chili Piper is a company with a fully remote team whose goal is to build the future of B2B sales through buyer enablement. They enable their customers to make their buyer’s life easier throughout the buying journey.
Tuso admits that he loved being an Account Executive, so getting AEs to work towards sales commitment is important to him.
He’s passionate about coaching SDRs to become great Account Executives, all the while working with AEs to help them secure their role in sales overall. Tuso enjoys coaching, training, and getting hands-on experience with his sales team.
He also admits on keeping himself an active practitioner so he can continuously improve his skills and pass on his knowledge to other people.
Why Sales Executives Are Not Good with Sales Commitment
To get to the heart of the matter, we asked Tuso why a sales executive is unable to secure sales commitment. To him, it’s because a lot of times sales executives take certain phrases or actions as buying signals when there’s still an opportunity to dig deeper.
This opportunity often happens towards the end of the meeting with the prospect. Yet, we don’t always pay attention to it, so we miss it.
He said that many times, sales executives don’t go far enough in pacing for the future. This not only means getting the prospect to think about using your product, but also includes all the steps that lead to the demo and successful adoption.
As Tuso said, discovery and closing of the next steps should work together in tandem.
The Importance of Training for Sales Enablement
Another reason he sees why a sales executive is unable to secure sales commitment is the lack of proper training. That’s why he reiterated the need for SDRs and AEs to undergo training and coaching from their management team.
He also shared that he’s currently focused on the practice of getting commitment to the next step.
Tuso makes it a point to educate sales executives on what happens after a call and what the buyer’s perspective is. He teaches how a sales executive can shoulder the work so they can gain buyer trust and accelerate the deal.
Another hindrance that a sales account executive must overcome is fear. Some find themselves afraid to ask their prospect probing questions because they’re scared of the feedback they’ll get.
How a Sales Executive Can Get Commitment
We then asked Tuso how sales executives can resolve this problem and commit better. He shared with us that it comes down to the questions that sales executives ask.
This means asking the buyer questions that convey your desire to help solve their problems. In reality, buyers don’t mind it when you ask them questions as long as they know you’re trying to help them.
Tuso found that being open to prospects on why you’re asking them questions leads them to regard you as more of a professional. Then, you’ll be able to really guide them through the buying process.
The fact of the matter is, it’s very rare for a sales representative to close the deal after the first call. This is why there’s a need to guide prospects through the next steps of the buying process to get them to commit.
As Tuso said, coming from a place of empathy helps a lot. Though he does believe as well that the sales industry needs to take empathy a step further.
He shared the concept he’d love for more people to talk about is mentalizing. If a sales executive shows empathy and applies mentalizing, combined with good training, it’d make a lot of difference.
This means being friendly and helpful to buyers, but also guiding them to take the next steps towards commitment and closing.
The Importance of Having Open and Honest Buyer Conversations
Tuso also revealed that engaging the buyer in an open and honest conversation can help get their commitment.
For instance, after the meeting, you can ask for their thoughts on the products you shared.
- Find out what they care most about.
- You can also ask how they run their sales process to see how your solution will fit into or change it.
To avoid misunderstandings, you can even ask how you, as the sales executive, can know if their team is onboard.
There are so many questions you can ask, and prospects appreciate questions because no one else is doing it. They may even almost forget you’re a salesperson and see you as someone who’s simply really trying to help them.
When you ask the right questions, you can earn your buyer’s trust.
The Concept of “Selling Behind the Curtain”
We also asked Tuso about his concept of “selling behind the curtain.” He shared with us that “behind the curtain” was a phrase he came up with when he was training Account Executives.
Many times, salespeople are unaware of what happens behind the scenes, especially with larger deals. Selling behind the curtain is knowing what to do after getting off that initial call with the prospect.
It’s being well-versed with the process following that call, which includes:
- Knowing what kinds of questions you can expect from the buyer
- Finding out who you need to talk to in order to get their commitment
- What the role of the decision-maker is
- What the decision-maker cares about
- How the decision-making process goes for your prospect
- Figuring out your prospect’s needs and helping them fulfill those
The purpose of your follow-up call or meeting is to have an accountability check with your prospect. They appreciate accountability too, even if it seems daunting to you as a sales executive.
Always remember that getting those follow-up meetings with your prospect is essential for your partnership to move forward.
Be Proactive in Getting Feedback
How can a sales executive nail down getting commitment? Tuso’s number one tip is to be proactive in getting feedback.
He emphasized the importance of getting instant feedback from your manager instead of waiting to receive it. This will lead to a much better dynamic with your managers and team.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on specific areas in the sales process you’re struggling with. Whether that’s discovery or closing, it’s important to get external feedback.
For Tuso, it’d be great to see sales representatives be more proactive in seeking out feedback to get better.
He shared that this was a practice he used to apply when he was an Account Executive. As a result, it improved his work faster than his colleagues’ because he asked for instant feedback and applied what he learned.
As a sales executive, guiding prospects to the next step and getting their commitment can come as real challenges. That’s why it’s important to know the right sales strategy to apply so you can overcome the hurdles and meet your targets.
Remember these helpful practices and don’t miss out on applying them to your next buyer meetings!
What practices do you apply and avoid to secure your prospects’ commitment? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
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- Xant Team