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What I Learned About Metrics While Swimming With Sharks


Last week we posted about what we Learned About Sales People While Swimming With A Shark. Again if you missed TopOpps’ Drive Conference in NYC. you should definitely be sure to checkout what they do and plan on attending next year! While there were many highlights including panel leaders Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group and Steve Richard of VorsightBP. Of course the biggest hightlight was Mr. Wonderful himself, Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank.

Last week we talked about his insights into what makes a powerful sales person. This week we want to share how he and his fellow sharks determine if someone is worth their time and money. He defined it as The Shark Tank Metrics for Success

According to Mr. Wonderful, there are 3 primary things

The Sharks want to see from an entrepreneur pitching to them:

  1. Entrepreneur MUST be able to articulate their opportunity in 90 seconds or less. When I think about relating this to sales it’s a no-brainer. A good sales person must be able to articulate value in 90 seconds or less. I would further define “value” by meaning the real pains your product or service solves, not surface pains and most definitely not an “Elevator Pitch”. Additionally within those 90 seconds you should be able to articulate a specific customer use case that relates to your prospects’ real pains.To be honest, I would even suggest that a sales rep may not even have 90 seconds. It’s probably closer to 30-60 seconds.  If you want to test this theory, the next time you interview someone ask them to pitch you the product or service they have loved selling the most. Pull out your watch (or phone), and time them.
  2. Entrepreneurs MUST be successful in convincing investors that they are the right team to execute the business planFor us that means being able to demonstrate your expertise. It does not mean bad mouthing the competition, but it does mean being confident in yourself, your product/service, and your sales teams. Again you will not only want to demonstrate you are the thought leader in the space but also have the compelling stories from customers who will verify you are the thought leader in the space and that you helped them solve their problem(s).
  3. Entrepreneurs knew their numbers and had a comprehensive understanding of their business models.  If you are a sales rep, you better know your numbers from your prospects’ perspective. The numbers we are discussing when it comes to selling can be lots of things… ROI, pricing, discounting. However there is another part of “knowing your numbers” you must be aware of. In the sentence above change the word “comprehensive” to “confident”. When you state numbers in a wishy-washy way the sharks smell blood in the water and will devour you!  You must not only know your numbers, but you must also state them confidently without flinching.

So how do you think you would do in The Shark Tank?  Better yet, look at your SDR Team, Inside Sales Team, and Field Sales Team. How would each member on your sales teams do? Would they survive or would it be a blood bath?!

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