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30 Minutes to President's Club | No-Nonsense Sales

150: Navigating the nuances of a hero's journey (Adam Wainwright, Sr. Director of Sales @ Clari )

Wed Jun 14 2023
salessales cyclesales pitchrecap emailstechnical audiencenegotiation strategiessalespeople habitscustomer interactions


This episode covers various tips and strategies to accelerate the sales cycle, build momentum for a successful sales pitch, create effective recap emails, engage the technical audience, negotiate effectively, and improve salespeople habits and customer interactions.


Accelerating the Sales Cycle

Tips include using one long email chain throughout the entire sales process, visually impressing upon the buyer that progress is being made, creating a mini-map email to summarize critical steps in the mutual action plan, and more.

Building Momentum for a Successful Sales Pitch

Key points include creating a pain slide and getting agreement on pain points early on, presenting pain points in a narrative format, asking prospects to identify resonating pain points, and recapping conversations at the end of calls.

Creating Effective Recap Emails

Insights cover paying attention to reactions and including resonating points in recap emails, expressing gratitude and reminding of positive sentiment, highlighting potential business objectives, addressing how you can help based on positive responses, and more.

Engaging the Technical Audience

Strategies involve presenting key points to engage technical audience, cross off completed steps on a map, sending specific emails after technical validation, creating capstone moments with sales engineers, and more.

Negotiation Strategies

Insights include aligning with strategic goals and communicating ROI, discussing trade levers transparently, finding compromises, identifying common trade levers, and encouraging crispness in salespeople.

Salespeople Habits and Customer Interactions

Key takeaways cover being concise and getting to the point, avoiding breaking email threads unnecessarily, answering implementation questions appropriately, attaching to customer priorities, and more.


  1. Tips to Accelerate the Sales Cycle
  2. Building Momentum for a Successful Sales Pitch
  3. Creating Effective Recap Emails
  4. Engaging the Technical Audience
  5. Negotiation Strategies
  6. Salespeople Habits and Customer Interactions

Tips to Accelerate the Sales Cycle

00:00 - 06:49

  • Use one long email chain throughout the entire sales process
  • Visually impress upon the buyer that progress is being made
  • Create a mini-map email to summarize critical steps in your mutual action plan
  • Include owners, dates, and explicit callouts for actions that need to be done
  • List action items and deliverables upfront in killer recap emails
  • Bullet the top three things you solve for the prospect using their words
  • Ask if there was anything missed in the email
  • 'Send me some information' objection handling tip: acknowledge the request, offer relevance, and ask if they had something specific in mind
  • 'I have a problem' objection handling tip: tell a story of your own and ask when they realized it was a problem
  • Anchor every meeting with a Y statement to set the tone and align expectations for outcomes
  • Chapterize content in emails to help recipients quickly identify important sections even if they don't read the entire email
  • When negotiating with legal counsel, send two versions of contracts - one with red lines for negotiation and one clean version ready for acceptance

Building Momentum for a Successful Sales Pitch

06:30 - 12:48

  • Creating a pain slide and getting agreement on the pain points within the first twelve minutes helps build momentum for a successful sales pitch.
  • Presenting the pain points in a narrative format that shows how they are interconnected and compounding is more effective than just listing them.
  • Asking the prospect to identify which pain points resonate with them helps prioritize which ones to focus on.
  • Recapping the conversation at the end of the call and getting confirmation from the prospect helps solidify understanding and set up next steps.
  • Using playback, restating what the prospect said, can help gauge their level of agreement and inclusion in the recap.

Creating Effective Recap Emails

12:28 - 18:47

  • When creating a recap email, pay attention to the other person's reactions and include what resonates with them.
  • The recap email should start with expressing gratitude for their time and reminding them of positive sentiment.
  • Include a quick recap of what was learned on the call, followed by two or three bullet points highlighting potential business objectives.
  • Address how you can help based on their positive responses during the call.
  • End the email with a call to action or request for input to move forward.
  • Provide a simple sequence of events to guide them through the process.
  • In the next call, focus on anchoring the purpose and aligning everyone on specific tasks to be done.

Engaging the Technical Audience

18:27 - 25:02

  • Present four key points to the technical audience to engage them in the meeting
  • Cross off completed steps and show two or three blocks down on the map
  • After technical validation, have the sales engineer send a specific email to continue striking off steps
  • Create a capstone moment by sitting down with the SE for a readout after the technical call
  • SE sends an email to the customer with a table showing green fit status and time to deploy
  • AE communicates with the DM while keeping the technical recipient CC'd
  • Send a new SOE with strikeout for each completed step, potentially leading to commercial negotiation
  • Use Green Dot and explain why it's a good fit for the customer during proposal phase

Negotiation Strategies

24:43 - 31:08

  • Aligning with the CEO's strategic goals and communicating ROI to stakeholders.
  • Transparently discussing trade levers that can influence pricing proposals.
  • Finding compromises in negotiations to meet both parties' needs.
  • Identifying common trade levers such as MSADPA, multi-year contracts, growth factors, voice of customer, and accelerated timelines.
  • Encouraging crispness in salespeople by breaking bad habits.

Salespeople Habits and Customer Interactions

30:43 - 35:31

  • Salespeople should be concise and get to the point, as executives appreciate it.
  • One bad habit salespeople should break is never breaking a healthy, well-engaged, multi-threaded email check.
  • Breaking email threads can lead to losing time and missing important information.
  • Avoid breaking email threads unless it makes strategic sense or involves bringing in someone new.
  • Don't hurt any baby birds by breaking email threads.
  • When customers ask about implementation, don't over or under answer. Ask them how much detail they would like.
  • When someone gets promoted, attach yourself to their priorities from their first 90-day plan instead of just promoting your product.
  • Top takeaways from this episode with Adam Wainwright include gaining yes momentum in discovery calls, doing a play-by-play recap at the end of the first call, sending a recap email with key points learned and next steps, and ending technical validation calls with an email from the sales engineer confirming low effort deployment and outlining next steps.