Sales Knowledge Playbook: Ditch Workarounds and Boost Your Win Rate

Last verified May 20, 2021

How do you define a solid sales pitch? When something works more often than it doesn’t, we usually consider it baked. It’s easy to keep using what you know, but what if there’s a better pitch out there? What’s the best way to discover the kind of information you don’t even know you’re missing? In the end, what kind of sales knowledge do you actually need to become a more effective sales rep?


Identifying the knowledge you have to find the knowledge you need

If sales enablement is about making sales people better at their jobs, the first place to start is with research. Remember, there is no one size fits all sales pitch or process. A sales leader can give two reps the same exact CRM tools, messaging, and collateral and get wildly different results.

To boost a win rate, we have to take a look — on both individual and organizational levels — at where our metaphorical blind spots are. There are certain things we know to look for, like where in the process a rep often gets stuck. Are prospects bowing out after a demo? Are they making it all the way through to the contract stage and then backing out? On an org level, we have different data points, such as knowing that there’s a certain slide in a deck that routinely baffles prospects.

These are the pieces of knowledge you have. So what do you do with them?

It’s easy to create workarounds (“Oh, he’s not a great closer, let’s make sure we get another rep involved towards the end of the process”; “We’ll just breeze past that slide because it’ll make sense with more context”), but we mostly do that because we don’t really know how to fix the situation. This is where you can use the knowledge you have to find the knowledge you need.

For instance, if a rep is often getting stuck at the same place, using a conversational intelligence tool like Gong or Chorus can help you identify what it is about that step that’s blocking their win rate. A loss review can help give you the context around what happened in a specific case, but the knowledge you need is what happens in every case. This makes it easy to pick out trends, allowing the rep to identify and fix the issue.

If the majority of your prospects are getting hung up on a particular slide, the answer isn’t necessarily removing it or moving it to a different part of the deck; it might be the flow of the deck, or it might be the messaging. In this case, the knowledge you need is why it’s confusing. During the call, it’s fine to present and move past the slide even if the prospect starts asking questions, but make note of the questions he’s asking. It’s also fair to ask, at the end of the call, if he wouldn’t mind sharing his impressions of that slide now having the entire context. Does it make sense in retrospect or is he still pretty confused by it? Pay attention to what you say to clear up the confusion and report all of your takeaways back to your sales enablement and/or product marketing leaders. Your findings may allow you to help your entire sales organization by improving the standard deck — and they might even be the key to unlocking an issue that’s plaguing your overall brand positioning and messaging!

Workarounds may be the most expedient solution to fixing your win rate, but they don’t set your sales team up for success. Doing a little bit of digging can have a huge impact on your long term revenue goals. After all, if you can only control your side of the process, it’s better to leave nothing to chance.