How Flow State helped Seismic’s sales team level up

SEISMIC
Reflecting on the benefits

Improved
win rates

Improved deal control

Improved
deal control

Improved forecasting accuracy

Improved
forecasting accuracy

Seismic is certainly no stranger to sales. As the number one global sales enablement platform, the company has helped thousands of businesses optimise their sales process. By providing teams with the right tools, content, skills and insights, Seismic enables reps to grow their pipeline while saving hundreds of hours each year.

As regional vice president of sales, Charles McGiffen looks after the mid-market team in Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Responsible for revenue in those regions, Charles pays close attention to how the team performs and whether they’re hitting their projected revenue numbers.

On the sales development side of things, Caradog Emanuel manages the international sales development teams. As a senior director of sales and revenue development, his job is to generate opportunities and pipeline for the business.

When Caradog was brought into Seismic just over three years ago, he was given a clear objective — to scale and mature the sales development operation. Since then, he’s grown the team from 10 to 25 people and promoted close to 25 SDRs into different parts of the business.

However, as experienced reps make way for fresh faces, it’s essential that new team members get the chance to acquire all the skills they need to excel. Likewise, as successful SDRs join Charles’ team, they need a good sales process to follow and the ability to enhance their skills to be world-class enterprise salespeople.

One of the reasons behind Seismic’s success is its commitment to ongoing sales training.

After reviewing his team’s skills, Charles identified where there was room for improvement. “Given the competitive market, we’re encouraging the team to listen with both ears in the early stages, to understand where you are in the sales process or the conversation.”

Charles decided to bring Flow State in to carry out additional training. With Flow State’s comprehensive training and coaching curriculum, Charles was able to work collaboratively with Aaron and Raff to identify the specific modules which would elevate his team’s skills.

For Caradog, the goal was to reenergize the team and give them some new ideas about how they go to market. Although the team is a similar size to last year, the targets are higher than ever, and Caradog was interested in how he could take the team’s performance to the next level.

“The idea was simple,” says Caradog. “How can we add a bit of an extra spark? How can we give these guys some new ideas about where to focus their efforts and time? How can we make a bigger dent into our pipeline goal for the year?”

Having followed Aaron’s content on LinkedIn for over a year, Caradog already knew what to expect and was confident that Flow State was the right team for the job.

Every aspect of Flow State’s training was specifically tailored to Seismic, designed to have the biggest possible impact on both teams and their performance. With various practical exercises, role-playing and Q&A sessions, the training helped participants learn new skills, internalise them and put them into practice.

Even with Seismic’s position as the market leader in sales enablement solutions, they were still able to benefit from Flow State’s industry expertise and fresh perspectives on global sales best practices.

For example, part of the SDR training covered how problem statements can be used to improve cold outreach. By opening the call or email with a relevant problem statement, highlighting the problem’s impact on the prospect and then following up with a question, you can quickly grab the prospect’s attention. By the end of the training, everyone on the team knew how to find the right statements and use them effectively.

“It’s a very simple methodology and everyone on the team can now build that in,” says Caradog. “Off the back of that, we’ve made a repository with all our personas, problem statements, impacts and questions for our cold calls and emails.”

The training also showed how the team could better leverage their knowledge and experience. “Our team of SDRs speak to more people in the market than anyone else,” says Caradog. “They have more insight than some of the most senior leaders into what the market is talking about because they’re speaking to so many people daily.”

Flow State showed the participants how to use that expertise, not only to create more relevant problem statements but also to change their mindset and self-belief.

“We are the market leader,” explains Caradog. “We coined the term ‘sales enablement’ back in 2010. Aaron helped us realise that we need to dial up the confidence by 30%, maybe even 40% when we’re engaging with prospects because we’re the biggest and the best.”

For Charles’ sales team, Flow State carried out a two-day boot camp focused on discovery skills, champion building and deal qualification. As a result, the team is now more confident to qualify hard at the beginning of the sales process.

For example, there’s now a greater emphasis on qualifying out to qualify in, rather than wasting resources where there’s no business case or no problem to solve.

The team was also able to immediately benefit by using the training content and presentation material in their conversations. As a result, the team has better deal control and the win rate has improved, which has been reflected in their sales conversations. Rather than being feature-function, these conversations are now based on outcomes, whether that’s a percentage of revenue, a percentage of cost efficiency, a percentage of risk mitigation, etc.

The sales team are now all using that narrative in the way they engage with prospects, with positive results. “We’ve got a lot of win reports where the differentiated buyer experience has been reaffirmed by the champion and, probably more importantly, the person they bought from.”

Caradog found the sessions extremely relevant and well-delivered. “I couldn’t be happier with how the training went. It was clear that Raff and Aaron had prepared well. They’re both very affable, they both know how to hold the room and keep everyone engaged. For two eight-hour sessions across two days, that’s definitely tricky. But they did a superb job and left us with some ideas that we've built into our go-to-market strategy for this year.”

Charles was similarly impressed with how engaging and interactive the training was. “It wasn’t a case of them turning up and walking through a series of slides. There were lots of periods to test the team and verify their understanding... The whole team was very grateful.”

As a result of the training, the teams are now more confident in terms of how they speak and engage with prospects, leading to better results from their cold calling and emails.

A month after the initial training sessions, Flow State returned to carry out an additional refresher session and ensure that the teams had successfully implemented everything they’d learnt. Seismic is also planning to bring back Flow State for additional training, taking a deeper dive into the intricacies of the sales process.

Caradog recommends Flow State to any sales organisation looking to get the most out of their sales teams. “Companies like Salesforce, Outreach, Cognism... Organisations that are well-established names within the market and who are aiming to incrementally grow with the same amount of folks. Flow State is great at helping teams like that freshen up how they go to market and give them a new perspective.”

For Charles, getting an outside perspective is an essential part of sales training. Flow State complemented Seismic’s internal training by bringing their experiences and sharing the different conversations and engagement they’d seen on different channels.

“It was a perfect fit,” explains Charles. “It’s always nice to get a fresh pair of eyes, especially with people who are out there seeing and speaking to people daily on what’s relevant, especially with the change in the economic climate. Things change quickly, so bringing in that outside expertise, it just helps the team perform better.”

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