How Flow State helped JATO Dynamics adopt a fresh sales methodology and increase growth

JATO
Improved renewal rates

Improved
renewal rates

Improved deal control

Improved
deal control

Improved forecasting accuracy

Improved
forecasting accuracy

JATO Dynamics is a leading global provider of automotive business intelligence solutions. With a focus on research, analysis and data-driven insights, JATO Dynamics helps automotive businesses navigate the complex landscape of vehicle specifications, sales strategies and market trends.

The company has been an industry leader for decades, but the last few years introduced significant challenges.

When the pandemic first started, many of JATO’s core customers decided to temporarily shut down. Others were much more budget-conscious, carefully considering any business costs and outlays due to increased economic pressure.

At the same time, competitors were introducing new services at different price points. As business began to return to normal, JATO found itself in a much more competitive market space.

John Purkis was appointed Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at JATO in 2022, with the objective of introducing a culture of sales excellence. This meant turning JATO into a more proactive, customer-centric outbound organisation, rather than being purely reactive and relying on renewals.

John spent the first couple of months in what he describes as “osmosis mode”, immersing himself in all layers of the sales organisation and getting feedback on what was working (and what wasn’t).

As he got a better understanding of the different hurdles the sales team faced, John wanted an outside perspective. “It’s one thing to bring my thoughts and opinions in but, when you have a credible third-party source that does this as part of their wheelhouse, it makes a lot of sense for us to look at that as a collective.”

While John planned to hire a Head of Sales Enablement to build an in-house capability, he knew it would take time to find the right candidate. Rather than waiting, John brought in Flow State to start the process as soon as possible.

Having seen Aaron and Raff’s work in other global businesses, John was confident they could provide the necessary expertise.

As an international business, having a consistent sales approach was vital.

“We have salespeople in over 35 different markets,” explains John. “With that comes different cultures, languages, sensibilities, experiences, styles and capability levels. Trying to equip everyone in the same way with the same foundational elements was very important as part of the sales journey.”

To break down any silo walls, Flow State began by organising workshops with sales leaders from the different divisions and regions. The workshops were designed to spark collaboration, define their capabilities and assess the general health of the sales organisation.

As Flow State helped the sales leadership team get a deeper understanding of the foundational pillars of sales excellence and the company’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to them, it was easier to see where they needed to focus their time and efforts.

Just as importantly, the workshops brought the teams together. Sales leaders who’d previously been entrenched in their own way of doing things were now collaborating in ways they’d never done before, working together to identify issues and revitalise their approach to sales.

Including other business functions in the training, such as marketing and sales operations, helped all relevant teams understand where the company ranked on its level of sales excellence for each of the 12 pillars and established a foundation to build on.

Over the course of the workshops, it became clear that there was an unrecognised need for fresh frameworks. This led to the second phase of the engagement, where John and the Flow State team worked together to identify where they could make the biggest impact on pipeline and performance.

Thanks to the previous workshops, the sales leaders had already recognised and bought into the need for a new sales methodology.

The sales team had previously used the ‘SCOTSMAN’ system, a rather dated approach that no longer met their needs. After careful consideration, John and the Flow State team decided to implement MEDDIC as a global opportunity qualification methodology, with the end goal of increasing both opportunity quality and velocity while also shortening the sales cycle.

From there, Flow State trained the entire sales organisation as well as the account management organisation on the skills and techniques required to execute MEDDIC to a high level, so that they could confidently use the framework with both new and existing customers.

Through in-depth coaching, Flow State helped the teams understand how to embed MEDDIC into their pipeline reviews and establish a common language around deals and pipeline.

Want to learn more about MEDDIC and how it can benefit your sales teams? Check out this interview with Dick Dunkel, creator of the MEDDIC methodology.

To be successful, any sales enablement training has to take those different personalities and preferences into account.

This can be challenging, particularly when carrying out online sessions with international teams. Aaron and Raff successfully tailored their approach to appeal to all participants, with plenty of interactive elements and different techniques to keep everyone engaged.

Along with the training for the front-line sales teams, there were also separate sessions for sales leadership. In these sessions, Flow State taught managers how to reinforce desired sales skills with their local teams through a range of guided coaching exercises.

“It’s one thing to train a sales force on a new tool, methodology or skill,” says John, “But it’s then down to the line management to really follow that through with coaching and make sure it becomes a habit in the way they’re working.”

Both the sales reps and the more seasoned managers were open to new ideas and approaches. Flow State laid out the specific benefits of the new methodologies, making it easy for everyone to see the real gains of trying a new technique.

By showing a clear pathway to improvement, Flow State was able to tie what they were teaching to better sales performance and future progression within the organisation.

John was particularly impressed at how Aaron and Raff worked together. “The two of them complement each other very well in terms of their styles, personalities and ways in which they can look at a business. Aaron’s passion around the actual training, the coaching and the delivery is very engaging and motivating... Raff is a little bit more measured and provides a different way of positioning some of the content, which resonated a lot with the sales leadership. It was a really good dynamic between the two of them.”

Flow State went the extra mile, delivering far more than simply training. For example, they created MEDDIC deal scorecards, allowing sales managers to look at live pipeline in every team and region and assess its health in a far more precise and objective way than they’d been able to previously.

By providing teams with a better understanding of their deals, the scorecards were a valuable asset that immediately started influencing live deals in the pipeline and showing the teams which deals they should be focusing on for the best outcomes. As a result, sales forecasting accuracy also improved in the following weeks and months.

Aaron and Raff played a key role in driving adoption of selling best practices in each region, joining pipeline reviews to observe and provide feedback to the sales teams and managers. Flow State also carried out weekly deal clinics; sessions where Aaron and Raff observed managers coaching their teams on MEDDIC.

By ensuring that the managers across the business — whether they were in LA, Tokyo or somewhere in between — properly understood the new framework and how to implement it in their teams, Flow State laid the groundwork for lasting change that would benefit the business for years to come.

Thanks to John’s different initiatives, the company has been able to go from strength to strength. The managers and teams continue to run regular pipeline and MEDDIC reviews, which John believes has significantly improved pipeline and long-term forecast accuracy.

To keep engagement high, John has introduced MEDDIC ambassadors, which soon became a cross-geographic network where people from different regions can share insights and compare best practices.

People use the same consistent language around sales, indicating that the methodology has truly been embedded into the business with great results. “It’s no surprise that those at the top of the leaderboard are the MEDDIC champions,” explains John.

With that common language and common foundation, combined with a growth mindset, the sales organisation continues to hit its objectives.

By having a structured and repeatable process for engaging with a prospect company’s decision-makers and champions, renewal rates have dramatically improved this year, with many customers committing to the business with multi-year agreements.

The business is also forecast to hit its year-on-year growth targets, part of which is down to new business delivery.

Looking back on the experience, John found Flow State’s approach to be agile, innovative and customer-centric.

“Would I recommend people to use Flow State? 100%. Anyone looking to bring in third-party sales enablement support should check them out.”

Rather than just using the same framework for everyone, Aaron and Raff took their time to understand their client’s needs and tailor their service accordingly.

“It’s a customised approach and attention to detail, that’s key,” says John. “They want to go above and beyond, to build long-term partnerships with businesses as opposed to short-term wins... They’ve left a good impression, not only within the commercial organisation but also the wider business as well, within marketing and HR operational effectiveness.”

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