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ZoomInfo acquires Chorus.ai to bring intelligence to your most important conversations.

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The Data Behind Deal Velocity in 2020

December 10, 2020

Sara Howshar

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On this week’s Weekly Briefing, Jim Benton was joined by Marshall Robinson, VP of Sales at Housecall Pro to discuss how revenue teams are keeping up momentum at end-of-year, and the data behind deal velocity heading into 2021.

But before diving into the data, they got into the holiday spirit by sharing what makes this season so special, especially in this year when connection is all-important. They each shared how their families would reflect on the year past, and bring that gratitude with them into the next one.

This same expression of gratitude and reflection is carried on through their work.

Everyone has their own goal for their business. We’re here to help them reach those goals and meet their potential.

“Look we’re here to unlock the potential of every service professional,” said Marshall, sharing how Housecall Pro’s mission is to help. “Everyone has their own goal for their business. We’re here to help them reach those goals and meet their potential.”

In this year of changes, keeping that positive, helpful mission has seen a few changes. Jim shared a quick snippet of Housecall Pro’s vibrant culture when they were back in the office, and asked how Marshall is helping to keep that culture alive: “What’s worked and what’s next?”

“One thing that I’ll say,” said Marshall, “is that this hit us all really hard in March. We went from being in the office to being completely distributed and remote within 24-hours.

Our culture is so essential to us, and we convinced ourselves over time that we couldn’t make it work distributed. But of course, we did and we are. The biggest challenge for us is keeping up the energy. We used to get together in these giant sales rallies, which are hard to do in a [Zoom] grid.

So now we keep consistent opportunities for connections. We have team hangouts. Weekly sales roundtables. We kept the sales rallies running remotely. But we miss each other for sure.”

Keeping up the kinetic energy of virtual teams is a struggle every leader can relate to. Jim asked Marshall how he’s doing it.

“I empower those on my team who are a lot of fun to deliver that energy,” he said. “We have some individual reps on the team who are empowered to throw out competitions or a prompt like ‘whoever makes the most calls by noon gets lunch sent to them’.”

A little competition goes a long way, especially in sales.

There’s a particular standout competition at Housecall Pro: Virtual Sales Football.

“A couple of months ago, we decided to get everyone talking and collaborating cross-functionally. So we developed a month-long virtual football competition.” They assigned different points to different sales motions, and if someone got, say, a touchdown, they’d be able to use those points for Swag or a half-day off. “A little competition goes a long way, especially in sales.”

End of Year Deal Push #

We looked at how revenue teams are maintaining deal velocity at the end-of-year. We found that teams are moving to later stages faster - a 14% drop in days in the early stages means they’re meeting more, and moving to discovery sooner.

“During the holidays, it takes a little longer to bring everyone together,” said Marshall. “Many of our pros are essential services. So there hasn’t been any direct signal that they’ve been as impacted, and are in fact quite busy right now. So they’re not able to sit down and talk as much at the end of the year which matches the data here.”

The Weekly Briefing Powered by Chorus December 10 2020 Original

How Long Does it Take to Win a Deal?

End of Year Deal Push #

We looked at how revenue teams are maintaining deal velocity at the end-of-year. We found that teams are moving to later stages faster - a 14% drop in days in the early stages means they’re meeting more, and moving to discovery sooner.

“During the holidays, it takes a little longer to bring everyone together,” said Marshall. “Many of our pros are essential services. So there hasn’t been any direct signal that they’ve been as impacted, and are in fact quite busy right now. So they’re not able to sit down and talk as much at the end of the year which matches the data here.”

Deal Momentum Slows Towards the End of the Year #

We also saw that Closed-Lost deals take more time to get to close than their winning-counterparts. The time to close any deal has steadily ticked upward over time.

“The folks that we start seeing come through in December or at the end of December, it’s all pipeline,” said Marshall. “Our business is relatively transactional. In the weeks of the 24th and 25th, we get them ready to make the most out of the top of the funnel. And we try to make it just that much easier for those who’ve been in the funnel for a while to take that next step. We try to give them that one extra nudge to engage.”

If we can nail quickly what they were interested in, in their language, and tie that back to a particular part of their business, that’s how we can map that pain point.

Make Your Sales Calls Engaging #

The data that we’re pulling across the board is that our top reps are engaging people more.

“Engaging questions are open-ended questions with long answers,” said Jim. “And top reps from all our data seem to ask more engaging questions than others.”

Marshall lit up at this. “What we talk about a lot is that human beings have only 20 minutes of really good attention,” said Marshall. “So we try to make sure that we’re engaging them in the right way at the right time.”

Conversation Paths to Successful Sales Calls #

“Something we’re really proud of is that we take a lot of folks who haven’t necessarily sold before. Housecall isn’t just a place of great opportunity, we bring people in from other backgrounds to take a step into a sales career.

And one of the things we talk about is how do you build value quickly for our pros. We let them know that we have thousands of HVAC or whichever service professionals just like them. So we pivot quickly into what specifically caught the prospect’s attention. That person engaged with us because of a small subset of what we offer. If we can nail quickly what they were interested in, in their language, and tie that back to a particular part of their business, that’s how we can map that pain point.”

The Weekly Briefing Powered by Chorus December 10 2020 Original 1

How Many Engaging Questions Per Call?

Jim played a quick snippet of our Momentum launch that helps leaders understand the relationships that drive revenue.

“The only way we take that raw talent and help them on the path to being great salespeople is science. It's a process. It’s getting the right people, process, and platform in place to get where we need to go,” said Marshall. “This is the science piece and that platform piece. This can help us prioritize based on engagement metrics and not just a gut feeling.”

He continued by sharing how Housecall Pro is using science and data to build better sales processes.

“If I could tell a quick story about our first interaction - we were scaling to a point where we couldn’t just wing it anymore. We needed the science piece. Where Chorus helped us bridge that gap was we went from an unstructured demo to an incredibly structured sales deck that we were able to measure compliance by stage and by slide. We were able to keep 80% compliance. And we saw a 10 - 15 point jump in conversion and have been able to hold our ground.”

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