On this week in sales we’ll be looking at; the counter intuitive science behind why salespeople avoid big opportunities, real-time virtual sales assistants on Zoom calls, the cutest dog in the world and much more!
Defy Partners leads $3M round into sales intelligence platform Aircover
The company aims to give sales teams insights relevant to closing the sale as they are meeting with customers. Aircover’s conversational AI software integrates with Zoom and automates parts of the sales process to lead to more effective conversations.
Zoom’s CTO Brendan – “One of the goals of launching the Zoom SDK was to provide developers with the tools they need to create valuable and engaging experiences for our mutual customers and integrations ecosystem,”
They created Aircover to be a software tool on top of video conferencing that performs real-time transcription of the conversation and then analysis to put the right content in front of the sales person at the right time based on customer issues and questions.
This means that another sales expert doesn’t need to be pulled in or an additional call scheduled to provide answers to questions.
Andrew Levy, CEO Airzoom – “We are anticipating that knowledge and parsing it out at key moments to provide more leverage to subject matter experts,” “It’s like a sales assistant coming in to handle any issue.”
Bigtincan share price has soared 50% higher in the past 6 months
Sales enablement software developer Bigtincan shares have soared over 50% higher (to $1.33, as at the time of writing).
Revenues for the year ended 30 June 2021 were up 42% (to $43.9 million). However, increased operating expenses meant that the company’s net loss increased year on year, from $12.2 million in FY20 to $13.9 million in FY21.
But the really big news came a few days prior to the release of the company’s results. That’s when Bigtincan announced that it was acquiring US-based sales coaching software developer Brainshark, Inc. for US$86 million.
Brainshark has been around since 1999 and already employs 180 staff. It has more than 900 corporate customers, including international brands like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) and Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM).
Bigtincan estimated that annual recurring revenues for the combined entities would reach at least $119 million by the end of FY22. By comparison, Bigtincan’s ARR at the end of FY21 was just $53.1 million.
Sales Enablement Platform Highspot Launches Highspot Marketplace
Challenger, Corporate Visions, Sandler and more than 20 leading sales organizations launch new Enablement Packages on the Highspot Marketplace.
Jake Braly, VP Strategic Alliances and Partner Sales, Highspot. – “Consistent rep performance unlocks repeatable revenue growth. Achieving it requires a prescriptive approach to positive behavior change and skill development,”
“In the same way that the App Store lets a user download apps, the Highspot Marketplace lets you download content and training packages from leading sales methodology firms directly into your Highspot environment. This is a huge win for both sales leaders and sales enablement teams that want to scale adoption of sales methodologies.”
Why Salespeople Avoid Big-Whale Sales Opportunities
Researchers published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that tests a framework of salespeople’s decision-making while prospecting.
The study is titled “Why Salespeople Avoid Big-Whale Sales Opportunities”.
Contrary to the intuition that salespeople gravitate toward big-whale sales opportunities, in reality they often avoid them. This new study integrates contingent decision-making and conservation-of-resources theories to develop and test a framework of salespeople’s decision-making while prospecting.
The researchers make three contributions to marketing literature.
- First, by showing that salespeople conduct rational benefit–cost analyses to decide what opportunity to pursue, they shed light on the tension underlying such decisions and challenge the intuition that salespeople gravitate toward large opportunities (i.e., big whales). The benefits can be intrinsic and extrinsic, while the costs can be explicit (e.g., resources such as time and effort) or implicit (i.e., opportunity costs).
- Second, the study demonstrates that salespeople use a calibration decision-making strategy (i.e., calculating expected benefits by accounting for conversion uncertainty) for solution selling at the portfolio level. Counterfactual analyses show that in solution selling, ignoring the calibration effect leads to serious under- or overestimation of conversion rates, sometimes up to 100%.
- Third, the findings about the contingencies of the calibration effect pinpoint important biases in salesperson decision-making. Specifically, when faced with high levels of conversion uncertainty, high performers and inexperienced salespeople perform much worse because their resource-conserving tendency makes them more sensitive to the costs associated with uncertainty.
Simulations reveal that when high performers or inexperienced salespeople believe their portfolio magnitude is large and conversion uncertainty is low, their quota attainment can improve by as much as 50%. These results call for further research to apply decision-making theories to personal selling when efforts are costly and resources limited.