Synthego retools with a simplified and aligned approach to revenue growth.
how do we maintain and grow our marketshare?
Synthego Corporation, a genome engineering biotechnology company, found themselves swimming in technical end user content and presentations for their buyers in science and technology. Like many companies who offer advanced technology solutions, they believed that focusing on technical details, features, and benefits was a good way to impress and influence decision makers in highly complex industries.
Add to that, Synthego lacked a strong overarching narrative to unify their conversations with buyers. This meant that their sales and marketing teams were telling very different stories to their buyers, with no common, agreed-upon language, using borrowed, inherited, and recycled conversation and presentation techniques. “There was no strategy or thought behind it,” said Harrison Waid, former Senior Director of Commercial Enablement at Synthego.
Their old approach left too many buyers confused and deals stalled, and the Synthego team was in the dark on exactly why, where, and how their messaging wasn’t working.
The enablement team knew that this challenge was surmountable with the right skills approach and messaging methodology that would bring sales and marketing together, plus the right tech stack to operationalize, track, and measure every touch. So Waid and Lory Tan, Director of Commercial Enablement, set about to find the right training partner.
the vetting process
Enter the selection criteria matrix. Waid and Tan knew that choosing the right vendor was of critical importance. They didn’t want to leave the decision up to gut feeling or personal rapport. Instead, Tan built a highly comprehensive selection criteria decision matrix to evaluate potential training vendors—and with it, she put over 30 companies through their paces to win the Synthego business.
Tan explains how they evaluated potential partners:
- “We knew that we wanted sales and marketing to be a holistic conversation; we wanted our managers to feel supported, and we as an enablement team to have the support we needed.”
- We valued the idea of continuous learning and reinforcement over time. It was a big plus for Corporate Visions to be integrated with Highspot and our LMS.”
- “I wanted the vendor to use their own sales technology when selling to us. It’s exactly what we expect our sellers to do. You must be able to use your own terminology and methodology in the actual sales conversation with me. And if the salesperson themself couldn’t do it, then how would I have expected our sales team to do it?”
- “Then, if you didn’t respond to my cold call online activity within a 24-hour time period, you were immediately eliminated. This cut about 30 percent of the pool that I looked into. Then they had to follow up with the discovery call within a week to week and a half.”
- “Finally, if a seller couldn’t sell me within the first discovery call or within the actual process itself, you were eliminated.”
Synthego and Corporate Visions hit the ground running. “We immediately integrated our training into everything we did,” Tan said, including sales meetings (where sellers rotate regionally to share success stories using their new skills and messages), regional meetings, business reviews, and weekly Friday trainings.
Synthego credits Sales Manager Training as instrumental to their ability to transform their team. “Your managers are going to be the reason why skills and methods are adopted or not,” Tan said. “You have to make sure that your managers are adequately trained and supported to coach those skills.”
Due to their investment in supporting their managers, “we had buy-in from our managers right from the get-go,” said Rachel Llanas, Senior Director of Global Sales. “That was a powerful way for us to get exposure and reinforcement. We solidified this approach together as a management and leadership team.”
Along the way, the Synthego team had to overcome some cognitive dissonance. Tan points to a moment in training that changed everything about the way their sellers pursued renewals and expansion with their customers, who comprise 70 percent of their revenue.
“Our collective group was there when Why Stay [customer retention messaging] versus Why Evolve [customer expansion messaging] was brought up. There was a moment where the entire room went silent as the facilitator explained the difference,” Tan said. “We realized that all we’d been doing was sending out a Why Change [customer acquisition] message, inadvertently teaching our customers to leave us because we weren’t giving them a Why Stay or a Why Evolve message. It was a shocking moment for all of us to realize it’s not just about our Why Change message.”
The Synthego team also got much clearer about their Why You message [their unique selling proposition]. Tan explains, “Our strategy team and marketing team together used the Value Wedge concept to define our USP more powerfully. We realized that what we were saying was our USP—other people could do that, too. Methodically going through our key capabilities together was eye-opening. We asked ourselves, is this really what we can stand behind in a way that no one else can? We had always presented our capabilities as technical information. But when we defined it as Synthego’s four characteristics of value, this made it more concrete for our sellers and our buyers. Now we can defend the business.”
Synthego’s success metrics are already impressive, just 12 months into their adoption and rollout. Their last 10 hired sellers cut their time to fifth deal by 60 percent. Time to close has gone down by 15 percent. Win rate has gone up by 12 percent. And they eliminated one entire step in their sales cycle.
“It’s no small feat to reposition or change your messaging across everything you do,” Llanas concludes. “We’re building out our team a little bit more to support the kind of growth we want to see. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there.”
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