Silverstream Software Increase Win Rates
I hired Michael when I was Director of Sales for the Western Region of SilverStream Software. Prior to his efforts, the region was working an incredible number of hours per week in order to make plan. The typical first sales appointment was a technical education on the features and functions of SilverStream’s Interactive Development Environment (IDE) and Application Server. Most meetings lasted 3 to 4 hours, covered over 120 PowerPoint slides and required a Sales Engineer (SE) as well as a Sales Representative.
Michael led the regional team through a few brainstorming sessions, which resulted in us quickly defining and reorganizing the sales material into three key reasons why the prospect should buy from SilverStream. For example, one of the value propositions identified was that SilverStream enabled applications to be built 2-3 times faster than competitive solutions. All the related product features were then identified and organized to support this point.
The result of Michael’s work was a one-page document that succinctly explained why a prospect should buy from SilverStream. Michael also revised the PowerPoint presentation into 40 slides that told the same “Why SilverStream” story. The initial sales appointment was revised into a 2-hour or less business value oriented discussion that the sales person could lead without the Sales Engineer’s involvement. If the initial meeting generated a qualified opportunity, then the SE was sent to provide an onsite technical demonstration that validated the presentation’s key value propositions.
The impact on the region was immediate. The first time the new messaging and sales strategy was used, we closed a $100k sale to a F500 company in less than 60 days. Sales in the region increased approximately 35%. The cost of sales was reduced, eliminating the need for 4-legged sales calls by allowing the sales teams to cover more opportunities, and by improving conversion ratios in the sales funnel. Michael also helped identify and fix a major product positioning issue that had a positive impact, worldwide.
Michael’s straightforward approach to developing effective sales strategies combined with a strong intellect, good communication skills, and unusual ability to see patterns of value in a forest of technical trees was exactly what we needed. The results speak for themselves. It is for these reasons that I would encourage you to enlist Michael’s assistance.