I’ve been paying attention to some of the recent data about the sales process and keep thinking about the concept of Time to Value (TTV). I’ve heard of it before but never put much thought into it until now. Here’s a good description of it by the Baremetrics Blog. The main definition is the amount of time it takes a new customer to realize value from your product.
This doesn’t just relate to after someone purchases the product. It’s any aspect of the sale from the initial cold call or visit to the website, through the qualification phase, to demo and trial. The longer it takes for the prospect to realize value at any stage, the less likely they are to continue.
Time to Value in Prospecting and Cold Calling
I use the old school AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) model to help shape my communication and address the TTV at every stage of the sales process. We have seconds to get someone’s attention, which buys us time to get them interested, build desire, and then get them to act.
This is why subject lines and the first few words that come out of our mouth during prospecting make a difference; it’s what gets people’s attention and is why lengthy elevator pitches or starting e-mails with “I’d like to introduce myself to you” don’t work. No one cares about us. They only care about them or something relevant to them.
Take a look below at a screenshot of how I look at e-mails on my phone. If I don’t know your name, I look at the subject line and then first few words of the e-mail. If I can tell the e-mail isn’t directly related to me, I’ll most likely delete it before I even open it. Another red flag is when I see e-mails start with “I’m following up on my previous e-mail.” That automatically gives me the green light to delete your e-mail because if I didn’t care before I probably won’t care now.
Time to Value in Sales Qualification
Time to Value is also directly related to the qualification process. In Gong’s recent blog “55 Sales Tips & Techniques That Work Like An Absolute Charm In 2019” tip # 17 “Ask The Right Number Of Questions” talks about how the best reps ask 11-14 targeted questions during the qualification call EXCEPT when it comes to Executives. You have four questions you can ask Executives before the close ratios drop through the floor. That highlights the importance of TTV to Executives especially.
When it comes to demos, another one Gong’s posts “7 Elements of “Insanely” Persuasive Product Demos” found that the best demos don’t build up to a big reveal. Instead, they start with the outcome then back into it. This is another example of highlighting the importance of TTV.
We should all be actively thinking about ways to add value to the client or prospect as soon as possible. For Morgan and I, this means sharing some of our best content and tips during the initial steps of the sales process. We also start most of our training presentations with a Q&A session and dive right into tips and solutions before getting into the presentation. During our podcasts and webinars, we limit the intros and try to get right into impactful content.
Think about what you can do to hit someone with so much value upfront they almost have to pay attention to the rest of what you have to say.
Make it Happen!