In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can change a sales organization in a significant way. We call it Sales Tech Game Changers.
This week I interview Garin Hess, Co-Founder & CEO of Consensus, whose technology solves the largest challenge in B2B sales: driving agreement across the stakeholders in the buying group with personalized demos. Experience an automated demo yourself here.
NANCY: WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 WAYS YOUR SOLUTION CHANGES THE GAME FOR A SALES ORGANIZATION?
Garin: Consensus is a SaaS application designed to reveal, engage, and drive agreement in the buying group. Our interactive demo automation platform assembles video timelines from smaller clips, so each stakeholder automatically learns in the most relevant way.
- It helps pre-sales (SCs) scale while keeping margins high. One presales leader inside a division of a large software company said he scaled his operation by approximately 43% without adding to head count.
- It enables the buyer by providing the internal champion with tools to effectively sell on your behalf. Instead of relying on an untrained champion to pitch your solution (which usually ends in disaster) your best pitch is automatically personalized to each stakeholder that engages with the demo.
- It automatically discovers and engages stakeholders as it tracks who the demo is shared with and how they engage. This shortens the sales cycle. Clients have cut their sales cycles by 68%.
NANCY: WHAT ARE THE TOP 5 THINGS YOUR SOLUTION ALLOWS SALESPEOPLE TO DO BETTER, OR FASTER THAN THEY CAN TODAY?
Garin: Use automated micro-demos to qualify, reveal, and engage buying groups before spending premium man-hours on in-person demos.
- Consensus helps presales and sales automate the 50% of wasted or ineffective demos that happen every day so they can spend their valuable time on calls that matter.
- Consensus helps you discover and engage all stakeholders in the buying group earlier so you’re not selling in the dark. You’ll get deals done faster.
- Consensus helps you discover misalignment across stakeholders in the buying group so you can lead them to agreement.
- Consensus provides analytics so you know which stakeholders are most engaged, helping you discover your champion.
- Consensus provides tools for your champion to sell for you and to track engagement inside their own organization
NANCY: DESCRIBE THE FIRST 30 DAYS AFTER A COMPANY PURCHASES YOUR SOLUTION.
Garin: You will likely get your first demo built during the sales cycle so you can deploy to your sales team on day one. We want your sales team to start using Consensus right away because we know they’ll see results. So we’ll train your sales and presales teams as soon as you can make them available.
You’ll continue to work on building out your library of automated demos. You’ll work with us to install and activate any integrations, such as Salesforce or MS Dynamics.
NANCY: HOW HAVE COMPANIES DETERMINED THE ROI OF YOUR SOLUTION?
Garin: ROI is measured in several ways:
- ]Time saved. Some customers consider that every minute spent in the automated demo is a minute their sales team can spend in quality conversations.
- Shorter sales cycles and higher close rates. One company did a split test the first 90 days and saw close rates increase 44% while sales cycles were cut by more than 60%.
- Engagement. Some customers check Demolytics® for # of views, video view time, and documents downloaded. Consensus demos get 4X typical video engagement.
- Discovery and engagement of stakeholders. How many stakeholders have we discovered through the platform? What is the share rate on the platform? Discovering even two or three additional stakeholders you didn’t know about can change the whole deal landscape.
NANCY: WHAT SHOULD COMPANIES DO TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR SOLUTION?
Garin: Make sure you have content that you can plug into the platform. Start thinking about this early and get some of it built during the sales cycle so implementation can launch immediately. This content could be in the form of screen recordings by sales engineers, webinars, marketing videos, customer testimonials, etc. Designate someone to oversee content but consider allowing all of your team to create content pieces with included tools, then choose the best content. Think of it as crowd-sourcing your content with your whole team.
Some may feel threatened by automation technology. Help presales and sales recognize this is not going to replace their jobs but instead is the mech suit to help them turbocharge how they enable buyers. It will instantly make them more valuable as well as improve their quality of life because they will be spending more of their time in high quality engagements.
Make sure sales and presales use it in as many engagements as possible to see the full effect.
NANCY: WHAT ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES IF SOMEONE WANTED TO LEARN WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK, WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING, AND PURCHASE CONSIDERATIONS?
Garin: Gartner is publishing some excellent content on Buyer Enablement. We coined this term ourselves several years ago, and it constitutes the strategy that guides our demo automation. An adequate (video) summary of the need for Buyer Enablement tools can be found here.
NANCY: WHO BENEFITS MOST FROM YOUR SOLUTION?
Garin: The companies that benefit most are those who are dealing with what is commonly thought of as “complex sales”. I like to say, however, there is no such thing as a complex sales, only complex purchases. In other words, is your product or solution hard to buy? If so, it’s a great fit.
While we’re currently focused on selling into SaaS, we have successful customers in many different industries. Consensus enables the buying group for any B2B sales process.
NANCY: WHY ARE YOU PROMOTING BUYER ENABLEMENT AS AN UMBRELLA CONCEPT FOR DEMO AUTOMATION?
Garin: We’ve been talking about Buyer Enablement for years now because it’s the largest unsolved problem in B2B sales. So many salespeople think of sales as what they do rather than what the buying group does. Yet who actually closes the deal? The buyer does. A salesperson has no power to sign the purchase agreement. So more technology needs to be designed to enable the buyer than the seller.
Think of it this way. Once every stakeholder in the buying group has what they need when they need it, then your deal closes much faster!
We’re excited to see that Gartner just came out with Buyer Enablement as a category they are researching and writing about. They say they coined the term. I’m not so sure about that. We’ve got the top spot for that term in SEO because we’ve been writing about it for a while. But we’ll let them think so because we want them to continue building this category.
We see Gartner and other analyst firms as doing research to solving group buying dysfunction and ourselves as the pragmatic technology approach to solving the problem.