Sales Strategy Mistakes and How to Fix Them


The Customer Experience Podcast, Jeremy Donovan, SalesLoft, sales strategy, sales success

The Customer Experience Podcast, Jeremy Donovan, SalesLoft, sales strategy, sales success

Your sales strategy is just as much science as art. The secret is to understand how to improve the way customers renew, buy, and get kept.

Jeremy Donovan, Senior Vice President of Sales Strategy at SalesLoft, the sales engagement platform that helps you understand your clients’ needs and respond in meaningful ways, is an expert in sales strategy.

His top level priority is all about the client ’s return on investment. A prospect should trust that you’re the right partner to help them achieve whatever their business initiative is.

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Then this episode is for you if this philosophy and approach resonates with you and if you re looking for insights gleaned from the data of billions of sales touches!

Jeremy walks through common mistakes in shares ideas and sales process and sales strategy to help you avoid or correct those problems.

Sales Strategy Mistakes and How to Fix Them

To listen to this episode and others like it, subscribe to The Customer Experience Podcast in iTunes / Apple Podcasts.

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And, naturally, I also embed a listing of each episode into its companion blog articles like this one.

Hear the conversation with pro Jeremy Donovan right here …

The Definition of Sales Success

The measure of success is whether or not a client buys. And then on the post side, it is heavily tied to renewal.

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It’s about achieving the results that they had been expecting (click here for an entire episode about client success metrics). The best measure of whether or not you deliver a great customer experience is if they renew. That to me is the best test of success.

There’s renewal and then there’s evangelized renewal. Those are.

In this video clip, Jeremy talks about pre-sale and post-sale customer experience …

Finding a Needle in a Haystack

SalesLoft is in how they do things, structured.

It begins with targeting accounts which have an ideal customer profile: geography, size, area, industry, etc.. You should think about things like other aspects and and their tech stack.

Within those accounts you want to find the people who you want to go after. There are a whole lot of data platforms you may use to spot them. Recently the data platforms seem to be converging, but Donovan’s favorite for years has been Zoominfo, also LinkedIn Revenue Navigator.

And then you drop those . After nearly a billion interactions with clients, SalesLoft has heard a lot about best practices. Everything is tuned by them based on what works.

Here are some sales cadence and email insights gleaned from analyzing those

A few tips:

  • One-word subject lines would be the best.
  • Saying”hello” and then the individual ’s first name is better than”hello” or”hi,” or just using their name alone.
  • Keep the body of the email as brief as possible, no more than about a hundred words. And do not use bullets.
  • Re: different sign-offs, Donovan utilized”Regards” for approximately 20 years, and lo and behold that is the second worst thing you can do.
  • The best closing is truly the word”Best.”

You also constantly have when to email, when to call, when to do a social touch.

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True Personalization Pays Off

From personalization, the authenticity can come in the early portion of the funnel. It’s okay to use thoughtful automation as it’s appropriate. But if you personalize around 20 percent of an email template, that contributes to a nearly 2x higher reaction rate.

This means true personalization in which you invest 5-10 minutes going through a prospect of social media and looking at what their company initiatives are, something that many machines can’t pull away.

Jeremy explains this process in this video clip …

Once you re participated in an opportunity, there is process that you will need to follow. People buy based on emotion and it is justified by them based on information and ROI. They buy from people who they know and like and trust.

In B2B, if they’re buying something, particularly if it’s something big, their job might depend on the achievement of that purchase. So they’ve got to trust that someone will be there for them.

Fun fact: video email gets you face to face sooner and more often in the sales process. It helps build that “trust, and like know ” that accelerates sales, increases conversion, and creates feedback. We wrote the book on it.

In this video, Jeremy explains how to distinguish yourself and your company by demonstrating value to prospects (not just telling them about value) …

Sales Strategy: What to Do

It’s critical to hand off all information from sales . That’s often broken and there is frustration on the client side because everything they shared with you through the presale process needs to be communicated to the next team.

Some companies are great at that handoff process. They may have a dossier that the account executive needs to fill out with queries that are prescribed to discover.

They hand off to the customer success people to be certain they are fully ramped, rather than asking the questions that earnings has already asked.

In this clip, Jeremy talks more about “the handoff” in our companies …

Sales Strategy: What Not to Do

Sometimes move or you need to re-categorize accounts around. Do it gradually, if you re going to do that. If of your customers move that ’ s going to break relationships. You are going to be creating an external problem, although you could be solving an internal problem.

As accounts come onboard, not with the existing 20, In case you have to do that, take action. If you attempt to change everything immediately, it will go badly.

Do it, if you absolutely must make a change. They will be more likely to understand, although the customer will be ticked. And then person has a year to deliver value.

Jeremy explains in this clip …

Don’t make a chasm between product and the customer. The product team needs access to get feedback. Do not make it tougher for them.

It boils down to providing folks that aren’t expecting it that really human touch. That’s the breakthrough experience. It’s about delivering price that is unexpected.

This post is based on an interview with Jeremy Donovan, Senior Vice President of Sales Strategy in SalesLoft.

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