Why We Never Lose: Winning and Learning with Chorus

July 6, 2017 JT Fisher

Selling a sales tool

Sales development at Chorus is a unique experience. We sell to our kind ‒ other folks in sales ‒ which makes it easier to relate to their struggles. At the same time, our prospective customers know the tricks of the trade, so we have to be exceptional at understanding their needs and their buying journey. On top of that, our platform makes sales people better at selling, which necessitates a world-class experience, beginning with their first interaction.

But even with Chorus on our side, we are not infallible. Humans make mistakes. Here at Chorus, we recognize this aspect of human nature and have adopted the motto, “You win and you learn.” This shapes the way we approach failure and influences every action we take.

You win and you learn

Winning

An SDR’s role is to build a relationship with prospective customers and earn the right to ask for one of their most precious resources: their time. We define a win as gaining at least one piece of qualifying information from a prospect. The ultimate goal is to set qualified meetings for our prospect with our account executive team.

When one of our reps sets a qualified meeting, their call is immediately added to the “SDR Wins - Meeting Scheduled” playlist in Chorus for the rest of the sales organization to review. We go over highlights from these calls at our weekly SDR meeting on Friday afternoons. Celebrating wins is a great way to end the week on a high note.

Learning

Unfortunately in the world of sales development, the goal of setting a qualified appointment is more of an outlier than the norm. However, approaching each interaction as an opportunity to learn positively impacts our “win” rate. Our reps understand that, and have fallen in love with the process of getting better. Here are some ways we incorporate learning into our sales development process:

Finish our weekly team meeting with “aha moments”

“Aha moments” are key learnings. Throughout the week, we spend considerable time thinking about what we are learning, and we share our thoughts at our SDR meetings on Friday. We keep a running list of these “aha moments” and incorporate them into our processes going forward. The following week, we discuss how incorporating each key moment has made us more successful.

Direct Coaching

Chorus surfaces several insights from calls: rep versus prospect talk time, competitor mentions, objections approached, and next steps, among the few. We use these insights to scale coaching across the team in 1:1 sessions, team meetings, and comments by peers on the call directly. As a manager, I have access to valuable dashboards that make coaching very easy.

A treasure trove of learnings from all team members

Even before day 1, our SDRs listen to curated playlists from our account executives, past and present. A playlist is a highlight reel detailing best practices for fields such as discovery questions or value prop. Our reps can learn how an account executive identifies pain and handles objections by listening to just a few minutes of their calls. The beauty of using our product is that our SDRs do not waste valuable time joining each call; we streamline the learning process by listening to the key moments that our platform surfaces. This enables reps to ramp in a fraction of the time that I have experienced at other organizations.

Follow meetings set through the sales cycle

We find a lot of value in following the meetings with a prospect through the entire sales cycle (discovery all the way through to close). With the recordings readily available, we know exactly how Chorus is positioned with the specific prospect and we can customize our next play more effectively. Eventually, SDRs are able to set better, more qualified meetings.

Tag our product team in key moments

Customers and prospects are our best source of market research. Our SDRs are on the ground floor when it comes to understanding the needs of the market. When product ideas and enhancements come up on a call, we tag our product team in the recording so they can listen to that moment and hear, directly from the customer, the features that would make their life easier.

Make every play count

We have seen remarkable results with this approach to sales. Instead of our failures being lost for good, we take these losses as opportunities for growth. As a result, we have created a culture of falling in love with the process of becoming great, and it is paying off immensely.

How do you approach sales development? Leave us a note in the comments.

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Steve W. Martin, professor of sales strategy at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Bu...

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