Virtual Sales Talks: Keno Helmi, CRO Espressive – Forecasting with Confidence – MEDDIC on Salesforce
In this episode of our Virtual Sales Talks, we sit down with Keno Helmi, Chief Revenue Officer at Espressive, to talk about how the iSEEit Opportunity Management Tool has enabled him and his sales team to move away from deal reviews using manual tools which has greatly helped them reduce waste, inefficiency, inaccuracy and the amount of time needed to collate real-time information.
Find out more as Keno shares how iSEEit has empowered all stakeholders involved in a deal to be updated with real-time information, allowing them to forecast their deals for the quarter with confidence.
A full transcript of this interview is also available.
In today’s episode we cover:
- Introduction to Espressive
- How Did You Discover MEDDIC?
- How Did You Discover iSEEit?
- How Did You Manage Deal Reviews Before iSEEit?
- How Does iSEEit Benefit You as a CRO?
- How Does iSEEit Benefit Your Sales Reps?
- How Can Sales Leaders Successfully Implement MEDDIC or any Sales Methodology Across Their Team?
- Advice to Sales Teams Deciding Between a DIY Approach and a Tool like iSEEit
- Implementing MEDDIC on Salesforce
Introduction to Espressive
Keno Helmi: My name is Keno Helmi. I am the Chief Revenue Officer of Espressive. We market a digital virtual assistant for automated internal helpdesks – commonly known as a chatbot – but we like to think that what we’ve developed is a little bit more sophisticated than that.
How Did You Discover MEDDIC?
Keno Helmi: I was first introduced to MEDDIC at PTC. We developed MEDDIC so we could be consistent across the organization and what we needed to collect as sales reps and represent when we were forecasting our opportunities. What I find to be the most appealing about MEDDIC – it is the most efficient in terms of boiling a deal down to the fundamental items that you need to have your arms around in order to be able to forecast an opportunity with some degree of confidence or to face the fact that the deal really isn’t forecastable, and to move it out into next quarter or the quarter after when you’ve collected the information.
How Did You Discover iSEEit?
Keno Helmi: My trainer at PTC was Dick Dunkel, whom I’ve stayed in contact with through the years. He had gotten to know Andy Whyte when he was director of enablement at Sprinklr. Andy got in touch with Dick and said that he was writing a book about MEDDIC and Dick asked if I would participate in one of the interviews, which I did. Andy was the one who introduced me to iSEEit as a widget that we could incorporate into our Salesforce instance to operationalize our deployment of MEDDIC as opposed to using spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations.
How Did You Manage Deal Reviews Before iSEEit?
Keno Helmi: Prior to the deployment of iSEEit, our deal reviews were primarily manual – we used spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations. Also, because it was manual, the deliverables were frequently out of date and we didn’t have a very good way of enabling all the stakeholders who were involved in the deal on our side to extract what was relevant to their particular functional area, which could be the CEO, CFO, Head of Sales Engineering, Head of Marketing.
For example, our CFO doesn’t care about the Metrics, Economic Buyer and the Decision Process etc., He only cares about the the Paperwork Process. iSEEit has now enabled him to to just go into the app, click on the “P” to see exactly where we are with the Paperwork Process.
We’ve eliminated all the manual deliverables, we’ve enabled real-time update of all our opportunities, enabled every single opportunity to have a MEDDIC score and allowed for accessibility by all our key stakeholders so they don’t waste their time and can focus exclusively on the area that’s relevant to them.
How Does iSEEit Benefit You as a CRO?
Keno Helmi: The first thing it’s done is eliminated the need to review deliverables that are spreadsheet or powerpoint oriented. It was very inefficient. We would have to put one opportunity up, take it down. Put another one up, take it down, which was very cumbersome.
The second thing that it’s enabled us to do that saved us a considerable amount of time is identify very quickly if there’s a discontinuity between the forecast category and the MEDDIC score.
For example, if the deal is in “Commit” but the MEDDIC score is only say a 47, that doesn’t make sense. So this has trained the reps every single week to go into iSEEit on Salesforce and make sure that whatever has transpired between the last forecast call is accurately reflected in iSEEit, so they don’t have to answer an embarrassing question like that in the forecast call.
If the MEDDIC score was 47 last week and part of the reason is we knew who the Economic Buyer was but we hadn’t actually met with them yet, we can go into iSEEit and check those boxes off. This makes the MEDDIC score go up, which makes a lot more sense to immediately see “ok, it’s in “Commit”, the MEDDIC score is 80 – that makes sense.” and we don’t have to spend too much time identifying why.
How Does iSEEit Benefit Your Sales Reps?
Keno Helmi: The first that that it’s done is to serve as a checkpoint to be able to forecast the deal in the correct forecast category with confidence. The deal has to meet very specific criteria in order for it to land in a particular forecast category. So going into the forecast review, if I as a sales rep have’t accomplished all of those things, it informs me of what I need to do before the next forecast review to make sure that that the deal meets the very strict criteria that we’ve established.
The other thing that that really benefits salespeople is in allowing them to apply an empirical basis for how they represent the deal instead of a gut feel. Early days in the quarter, you would know that you’re going to hit a certain number for the quarter, but you don’t know exactly where that number’s going to come from. However, towards the end of the quarter, we don’t have that luxury of your gut feel being a basis for making the determination if the deal is going to happen or not.
This is where the iSEEit tool comes in so handy. It allows a sales rep to take their emotions out of their forecasting and to just look if they’ve met these criteria, yes or no, so they don’t have to think about what forecast category the opportunity belongs in. So ultimately how this manifests itself is in allowing both the sales rep and management to forecast our business with a level of confidence that would be impossible without the rigor that a tool like iSEEit provides you.
How Can Sales leaders Successfully Implement MEDDIC or any Sales Methodology Across Their Team?
Keno Helmi: There’s either a mandate coming from the top and you’re not really bought it – in which case it doesn’t matter which sales methodology you deploy, it will fail.
If there is buy in from the top and from the troops, then the second question is “Which sales methodology do we use and why?”
While the MEDDIC pillars are consistent in what they stand for across every single company and deployment, what varies is the level of detail under each pillar. So you need a tool that can accommodate the flexibility between corporate cultures and what MEDDIC means for them, to be able to add or remove criteria as the business evolves so that you can continuously refine the accuracy and predictability of opportunities.
What iSEEit has done for us is made that very easy to do. We deployed it very quickly, we’ve made modifications to it on the fly and it’s grown with us as our business has grown.
Advice to Sales Teams Deciding Between a DIY Approach and a Tool like iSEEit
Keno Helmi: In the absence of a tool like iSEEit, then you’re back to worksheets, spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations. They don’t update in real-time, they get lost, it’s not easy for multiple people who are in involved in the deal review to track where they are without a lot of labor associated with manually updating these things.
This is really critical as you get towards the end of the quarter where you don’t really have time or margin for error. Finding out Small, insignificant details like the person cutting the purchase order being on vacation on the the last day of the quarter is the difference between a deal getting done this quarter and next quarter.
So what you want to do is minimize the pain and effort needed to get that information updated in real-time to all the relevant parties associated with the deal review and that’s specifically what iSEEit has done for us. We’ve eliminated waste, inefficiency, inaccuracy and we’ve limited the amount of labor that’s needed for us to get that information in real-time.
I have nothing but an extraordinary experience with iSEEit. I recommend to all the people that are on the midst of a MEDDOC deployment. The number 1 question that I always ask people when they’re dealing with a package of any sort is – would you buy it again if you had your choice? In the case of iSEEit, the answer is absolutely and unequivocally YES.
Implementing MEDDIC on Salesforce
Click the link below to learn more about implementing MEDDIC on Salesforce today!
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