This week, Jim Meyer, a sales professional on the Swarmsales platform, closed a deal that will end its first contract year as high as $250,000. Meyer will earn not only the milestone payments he made during the sales cycle, but the $100,000-deal commissions and ongoing commissions as revenue is reported on the deal each month. Meyer and the companies involved in the deal will tell you that this deal almost definitely would not have happened without Swarmsales. Neither Meyer nor the Swarmsales vendor company he sold for had ever heard of each other before this deal began.
Meyer wasn’t recruited, hired, trained, and given a territory on behalf of the vendor company. In fact, the solution he sold is made by a company that wasn’t ready to hire any full time sales staff. Likewise, Meyer wasn’t interested in relocating from Texas to California, where the seller company is located. And yet, Meyer had the perfect contact with a telco company that was looking for a solution to offer its subscribers. Without Swarmsales, Meyer would never have been able to offer this solution to his contact. The vendor company would have had to wait months or years until they could establish a sales office in Texas to begin cold calling and drop-ins at the telco company. And yet, here we are, congratulating all parties on a solid and lucrative deal.
This is what Swarmsales was designed to accomplish; bypass recruiting, training, ramping up, cold-calling, cold-emailing, and waiting. Moving buyers, sellers, and sales professionals directly to the introductory conversation with a decision maker is the goal. Swarmsales is, after all, a Sales-as-a-Service marketplace. There is value in this model for sales professionals and companies alike. Sales professionals are able to earn more commissions from a single relationship than they would through employment that restricts them to selling one company’s suite of solutions. Meyer and his $100k deal are the perfect example of how Swarmsales was made to work. A sales professional with solid contacts can familiarize her/himself with new solutions, and sell those solutions to their existing contacts without leaving their current territory or product offerings.
Like any two-sided marketplace, it requires that both sides access the marketplace on a regular basis, engage the other side of the marketplace, and develop solid communication. Below I’ll review the steps Meyer took to get this deal completed.
1. Reviewing Vendor Companies
Meyer began working on this deal by reviewing the various solutions offered by vendor companies on the platform. When a sales professional is at this first stage of the process, it’s important that s/he think critically about the needs of their existing contacts as they review solutions available to sell through Swarmsales. Meyer found multiple solutions that he believed could meet the needs or solve the pains experienced by his contacts.
Pro Tip: Even when you have nothing new to sell to a contact, keep yourself informed of their needs, pains, and challenges. This way, you can easily identify solutions for them, even just during casual conversation with other contacts. Being their go-to call when they’re investigating new purchases is the best position a sales professional could be in.
After browsing through battle cards and one-pagers, Meyer attended webinars for the solutions he wanted to sell. Meyer identified several opportunities for his contacts and got started right away. He contacted the Swarmsales Customer Success team to have them schedule calls with the vendor companies. During these calls, Meyer fleshed out specifics about each solution to determine if they were as well-matched as he believed.
Pro Tip: The Swarmsales Customer Success Managers work with both our sales professionals and our vendor companies. They are available to help you review your contacts, suggest solutions, coordinate calls, and more. Plus, since they work with our vendor companies as well, they are a great resource for you to access to pull data and brainstorm opportunities.
3. Submitting Bids
His next step was to submit a bid (essentially an introduction opportunity) to the vendor companies. This step is easily managed in the Swarmsales platform. Just complete the information, submit, and await approval to move forward!
4. The Introduction
Once each bid was accepted, Meyer worked closely with the vendor company to be sure they had a thorough understanding of his client’s needs. At this stage in the Swarmsales process, there is often a quick call or meeting to review each company’s needs and the timeline for completing a deal if agreed upon. The introduction was completed when the two companies met briefly via phone.
5. The Demo
With the intro complete, Meyer clearly defined the need of his client company and the revenue opportunity the vendor company’s solution would bring. Careful not to let the excitement fade, Meyer made sure to keep in contact with both parties until the demo was scheduled and completed. Meyer took the time to organize all the data he complied on the deal and its potential impact for each party, then shared it with them.
Pro Tip: Meyer created a detailed timeline at this stage. It gave both sides realistic expectations of the time frame in which the deal could close. It included a roadmap with decision criteria, technical steps to address, and a list of items that would need to be approved by legal teams.
6. The Pilot
The responsibility of a pilot rests largely with the vendor company. It’s up to them to establish how the pilot will be run, for how long, and what metrics will be used to determine success. Meyer respected the vendor company’s timeline for getting the pilot up and running, but he never backed so far away that he couldn’t prod them if need be. By allowing the companies to work together at this stage, Meyer allowed them to see what a working relationship post-deal would look like. Once the demo was complete and the data was in, both sides recognized this was a great fit.
7. The Close
Meyer completed the pilot phase having demonstrated the value of the vendor company’s solution and establishing a very clear metric of value to his buyer. The metric showed that for every day that his client didn’t purchase the OST solution, they would be missing out on well-defined revenue that could be generated by implementing OST’s solution. As part of the close process, Meyer worked closely with OST to deliver a proposal to his client. Once that was sent, he identified and communicated with each of the executives that had to sign-off in order to get the deal done. Lastly, Meyer worked with legal to ensure that there were only minimal adjustments needed to meet language requirements for both companies. With a signed contract and an executed purchase order, Meyer’s deal was done.
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