February 3 by Carlos Torres

The most important day of the year in America is upon us. A day that causes the entire country to stop what they’re doing and to pay attention to only one thing. A day that young children will remember forever and will tell their grandchildren stories about. Yes, you might have guessed right. I’m talking about the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 50 is just a few days away and tons of preparation is in motion for the largest sporting event of the year. But it’s not only just a football. There are actually huge similarities between the Super Bowl and the super sales deals that your sales reps are chasing after. Might sound a little crazy, but trust me – the synergy is there.

Let’s take a look at what the Super Bowl and your super sales have in common:

We asked Sales leaders, executives & more what their thoughts are on the upcoming sales trends and must-have tools for 2016. View the Top Sales Trends of 2016 from Apttus here.

A Strong, First Impression is Everything

Come super Sunday, millions of people around the world will tune in to witness of the great juxtapositions in sports: 22 of the best athletes in the world will dress up and show off their arm bands, make up (eye black to be exact) and unnecessary towels wrapped around their waist, only to use their elite natural gifts to beat each other up for three glorious hours. As a player, a common mindset is that if you feel good, you will play well. Hence the hundreds of different colored cleats or gear many of these athletes wear. It’s also an intimidation factor – can you imagine a 250 pound man with a dark visor running straight at you? Yea, something you don’t want to envision. “But why must these modern day gladiators wear makeup?” you might ask yourself as you ponder whether the use of the word “juxtaposition” was used correctly. Well, the answer is simple: Because first impressions have been, and always will be the key to success.

Making a strong first impression is as important to the Second string Quarterback wearing eye black as it for your top performing sales reps. It only makes sense. If a prospect is going to invest time on your product, make sure you give them enough of a reason to make them want to come back. That means body language, confidence, and overall appearance are a gateway to increase your odds of closing the big deal. A great way to leave an impressive first impression is being easy to work with right off the bat. If a prospect requests a quote and proposal for your products and services, respond to them as quickly as possible because as we all know, time is money. Giving them an accurate quote that meets all of their needs in a timely fashion showcases your tier one customer service, but also a solid first impression. If it takes you days or weeks to provide a quote, it may be time to invest into CPQ software

Storytelling is an Art – For the Superbowl & in Sales

For the past couple of weeks you’ve probably been hearing the same Super Bowl storyline over and over again: how Peyton Manning is actually older than Ruth Gruber, and how Cam Newton is an alien lifeform sent here from Krypton to do one thing and one thing only: to conquer the world through dabbing (that’s a dance move for anyone born after 1980). The storyline is spectacular, which only adds to the suspense for Sunday’s game. Millions of fans across the globe will watch the big game, not because they love a good football game but because they love a good story, and this year’s Super Bowl is just that.

Your prospect isn’t much different. The best sales teams don’t just pitch their products. Instead, they pave the way to inform you how their solution will improve your daily routine. One of the most common sales mistakes is going on and on about how great the product’s functionality is – that’s an approach you want to avoid. Use storytelling to explain the value prop of your product and to make your pitch real. In a sense, your top sales rep isn’t much different from your local Kindergarten teacher: they both know how to captivate an audience, and they both have the ability to paint a portrait with their words. Storytelling isn’t just for your local sports journalist; it could also be the different between a good sales org and a great sales org.

Sales & Marketing Alignment is Key

The super bowl has turned into a celebration of all things American. From the fact that we see 250 pound men hit each other for 3 hours, to those one minute theatrical productions we call commercials that sell us chips and beer, the super bowl has evolved into a global spectacle that allows the rest of the world to witness the grandeur of American exceptionalism. And for the select fans that love Super Bowl commercials, they get to witness the very best Sales and Marketing departments in the world go head to head for their loyalty.

In order for that beer company to sell their beer, they need to know their target demographic, and they need to find a cool, quirky way to sell their product. So what do they do? The Sales and Marketing departments come together and generate a way to convince millennials that their beer is fun, unique and quirky, just like them. The Super Bowl is a prime example of what happens when two departments, who usually work in silos at times, work in unison for one goal.

The same is relevant to the million dollar deals in your company. The biggest deals of the year for sales reps do not close solely on their solo efforts – it involves other teams as well, one of them being the Marketing team. With the help of thought leadership collateral, reference calls, customer stories and case studies, and events (the list can go on and on), Marketing resources can dramatically help a sales rep close a deal when both are tightly aligned.

How Will You Reach Your Sales Number in 2016?

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