• You are here:
  • Home »
  • Archive: September, 2019

Archive Monthly Archives: September 2019

Donald C. Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, podcast

TSE 1192: Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Donald C. Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, podcastThe time has come to bring some changes to The Sales Evangelist podcast. The TSE podcast has been around for six years and over time, we’ve been mentioned in a number of magazines including Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Forbes, HubSpot, and others.

This all goes back to you for sharing the content with your friends and for helping us grow over the years. The podcast continues to evolve to adapt to the needs of the industry. Starting this October, there will be a couple of changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast. 

Humble beginnings

The podcast has been around for a long time and it’s because of your support. We kept on going and pushing forward because we have the passion and drive for it. The TSE podcast started with two episodes a week: one 10-minute tip and one with a sales expert who’d give us advice. We then jumped to doing podcasts three days a week and later on, to five days a week. The team grew and the quality of content improved.

We started without getting paid but in time, opportunities and sponsorships came along.

The six years presented great chances to learn from the best in the podcast industry and I’ve had the privilege of emceeing the Podcast Movement, the world’s largest podcast gathering. I met many podcast leaders who are very successful in the podcast space. The interaction taught me to keep improving the quality of the content to differentiate from the stiff competition in the industry.

Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast 

The stats and community have spoken. The majority of listeners listen to two or three episodes a week, saying that they don’t have time and there are too many to keep up with all the episodes produced.

We have decided our episodes from five a week to three a week. Of the three episodes, two of them will be 30 minutes long and will include guests. The Wednesday episodes will be 10 minutes long and will be a little different. You can send in your questions, concerns, and challenges, and we will address them in the podcast. It is also a miniseries with a combo of interview, journalism, and storytelling. This will start in October and the first series is about the Accidental Seller and why 41%-43% of salespeople fell into sales. The next series will be about some of the most successful bestsellers in history and what made them so compelling.

The episodes will go live on Monday and Friday mornings at 2:30 AM EST.

Our friends from Australia can listen to the podcast after they get off of work. Our listeners in Europe can get access to it a little bit earlier. As for our great listeners from California, you can have your early morning grind while listening to our podcast.

The podcast will also have a new look starting this October.

We’re putting more focus on the storytelling aspect and research for our podcast. You can listen to the episodes on Pandora, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and iHeart.

The websites will also have some changes. It will be easier to receive a notification whenever a new episode loads. You can also opt-in to get emails and recaps of your favorite episodes.

In time, we’ll also dive into YouTube. We are planning on repurposing our content to put it on YouTube.

“Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast” episode resources

You’ll start seeing these changes starting this week. You’ve all helped us grow and we want to know your thoughts. Don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Wanting to learn and hear more about sales? This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter.

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. One of the great books right now is Sales Management Simplified by Mike Wineberg, do give that a go.

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1189: How to Nurture No into YES

TSE 1190 How to Nurture “No” Into “Yes”

A good salesperson knows how to nurture “No” into “Yes”. Hearing No in the sales world is common regardless of what you sell or to whom you’re selling to. When you hear a no, you can’t just back down and give up. You need to get back on track and fix it. 

Craig Klein is based in Houston and he works in the energy business. He used to make deals with large oil companies and the deals would take a year or more to close. With that period of time and the level of complexity of every sale, he sought help from others. 

He began Sales Nexus to address that inefficiency. Today, his company helps other businesses to grow and aims to help everyone in the community give their fair share of making their community a better place to live. 

No is difficult to hear 

Craig was trained by Dave Blanchard for awhile. Dave does executive training and he talks a lot about our need to be right. Humans as we are, once the idea is planted in our head and we start dreaming about it, the idea becomes real. If that idea is taken away, we end up getting hurt. 

It is the same with sales. We meet our clients with big plans for closing the deal but when we turn up, we are told no and that hurts. There’s a lot of burnout in the sales position because sales reps tend to make many phone calls and end up getting No. The thing about it is that when we hear No, we tend to take a step back and sometimes, we don’t ever make a step forward again. 

Nurture “No” into “Yes”

Salespeople need to learn to be a bit aware of themselves and to focus on the customers’ needs, not on what they need. It’s also important to realize that sometimes, the prospects say “No” not because they don’t want to do business with you. They may be tied to a contract to your competitor or now may not be a good time. 

The primary way to nurture “No” into “Yes” is to have a sales strategy that makes you stay engaged with the prospects and build relationships over time. #Relationships

It’s not efficient to just focus on who you can close this month, it’s also about focusing on the people you can close deals with in due time. 

Stay in touch 

For every No you get, you make sure to take their name, their email address, their phone number, and keep it somewhere safe. You always have to write down everything you have learned from this customer including their budget cycle and their needs. Then, you create a system that allows you to keep connecting with time and getting them engaged. Check them out every once in a while and ask them how they’re doing. Let them know that you’re there. 

Meanwhile, you can find somebody else who is ready right now. Just keep nurturing and keep moving forward. 

Change your mindset that you will close every deal you have because that won’t happen. Instead, think of every appointment as a way of establishing a relationship based on trust. Resonate to them that you came not just to close but to understand what their needs are. 

Salespeople are like doctors. Physicians don’t sell their service in a way that’s too in your face. They diagnose their patients and examine what is something wrong with them. They then show you the patients how they can help with the problem. 

The same is true for salespeople. We examine their problem and we show them how we can help. You don’t sell the product the moment you meet them. You warm them up and figure out what they need first before presenting your options. 

The automated email drip campaign 

Craig’s Sales Nexus Platform uses an automated email drip campaign in order to stay in touch with their potential customers. They take every lead and put it into their system and into an automated email drip campaign. The potential clients don’t just get generic emails, they get personalized email depending on what they need. 

When the time is right for them, they’d click on the link to their site and they’ll be notified by it. This is their time to give them a call and ask them if anything has changed. 

One of Craig’s clients used the auto-drip campaign and things have been better for them now. They used to have sales reps call chiropractors all day long but these professionals are busy and they don’t look at their phones most times of the day. Then they started putting the chiropractors’ name on the system, they searched for their needs, and on the things they focus on.

They are then placed on their appropriate auto-drip where they get emails that are relevant to their needs. When they interact with the emails, the company is being notified and they get to start pitching again. The auto-drip system allows them to build relationships with prospects without compromising their sales rep’s manpower. 

There other ways to do it. Some are using the typical marketing system and sends out weekly or monthly emails to their list. Others also hire someone whose job is to focus on making mails and sending them out. 

“How to Nurture “No” Into “Yes”  episode resources 

Reach out to Craig Klein by visiting his website. Check out the site to get downloadable PDFs on how you can organize your customer list to send the right emails to the right people. 

Wanting to learn and hear more about sales? Don’t hesitate and connect with Donal via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a 12-module program for salespeople like you to improve your pitches and presentations. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1189: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

TSE 1189 Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

Pulling profits out of a hat is something that salespeople are raving about. But how do you go about it? 

Brad Sugar has been in the teaching business for 26 years and now has coaching offices in over 80 countries. He’s also a published author with 17 books in his name. He appreciates being able to help others grow their business and keeps expanding his business to be able to help more people improve their sales. 

One of his recent books is Pulling Profits Out of a Hat: Adding Zeros to Your Company Isn’t Magic 1st Edition. This book teaches companies how to get multiple growths instead of percentage growth. As salespeople, challenge yourself to multiply your growth. If your company grew by 15% last year, make it an aim to grow it 15 times more this year. 

The starting point is to believe that your business can multiply and have the right attitude in getting it there. 

Pulling profits out of a hat

Every business person is a business owner. Whatever your role is, whether it be a salesperson or a sales leader, you have your own section of the business.  

Set your goals and be specific about them. What are the goals you want to achieve two times, five times, and so on? There are five core disciples mentioned in the book – strategy, business development, people, execution, and mission. You need to start with the strategy. 

Strategy

Strategy can be broken down into four main points: 

  • Leverage
  • Scalability
  • Opportunity
  • Marketability

We define leverage as doing the work once and getting paid for a long-term basis. Bill Gates, for example, understood leverage. He made software once and he sold it forever. These days, Microsoft doesn’t sell software anymore. They make you pay for it every single month. Steve Jobs understood leverage after he got fired from Apple. He bought Pixar and found ways to sell a movie repeatedly in various formats. They sell their products and they set their businesses up in a way that customers buy it over and over again all the while making a lesser effort in selling it.

Salespeople find this challenging because they’re not wired to do this. They are trained to do sales one at a time as opposed to the marketers who do multiple sales at a time. The selling one at a time mentality kills the business. A salesperson should remember all his strategies, from the short-term to the medium-term, and the long-term. Don’t go directly to the long-term strategy where you build your reputation with social media and create content. Start from the short term goal of picking up the phone and making a call.  

Scalability 

Brad defines scalability as the next sale should cost less and is easier to sell. Salespeople need to keep building, to look at what the product or services they’re selling, and how they’re selling it. Work the scales into your program and go backward. Think of ways of how you can continually make money month after month. 

Set goals that are based on the market and the opportunity size and not based on your own needs, desires, and previous results. #SalesSuccess

Marketability 

Look for products and services that are easier to sell and check their marketability. Zappos has a good market. It sells shoes and many people want shoes. They want shoes now, they want shoes next month, and they want new shoes just to look good. The market is rich and they have a product that’s easy to sell. 

Sales, marketing, and customer service all have to go hand-in-hand. This is easy if you don’t want to grow your business but if you want to grow your business exponentially, you need to have a great sales system, a great marketing system, and a great customer service system. 

Break down the marketing to the most granular loads and work backward from there because that’s how you get good results. You don’t leave the basic steps of doing the call even when you’ve already made it to the building connection phase. 

Continue getting at least 20 connects a day or whatever number you’re supposed to reach as a sales rep. There is no limit on how many you must do but there is a limit on how little you must do. 

Testimonials and rankings are two of the most important things in marketing today. Find ways to make people give you testimonials and ask them to rank you.

Value 

Another thing that would help you be better in pulling profits out of a hat is to add value. Keep learning because you can only ever own as much as you’ve learned to make. It’s also important to make sure that your sale is made before you turn up. 

In real estate for example, when somebody calls asking for an appraisal, do not just send them an e-mail. Make it more personal and let them know why you’re the company for the job. Send them a box filled with the magazine where testimonials of your customers are found. Deliver it to them as fast as you can. When the prospect gets the box, they’ll think you’re a genius and they’ll want to work with you because you aren’t just an email. You are as visible as the testimonials in the magazines show. This is how you make the sale before even showing up. 

“Pulling Profits Out of a Hat” episode resources

Always continue learning and never wish life were easier. instead, wish that you were better. If you get better at sales, then life gets easier. If you get better at marketing, and marketing gets easier. Connect with Brad in his social media accounts. He is in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also visit his website Brad Sugars and ActionCoach.

You can also ask Donald any of your sales concerns via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 Modules and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.  

 

TSE 1188: 3 tips to improve Closing

TSE 1188: 3 Tips to Improve Closing

Johnny-Lee Reinoso, Donald C. Kelly, Closing

For organizations looking to expand their footprint and extend their reach, these 3 tips to improve closing will help them achieve those goals.

Johnny-Lee Reinoso operates a sales and marketing firm called C Level Partners that helps organizations expand their footprint, gain new clients, and move in the direction of their goals. He believes that sales is everything. His experience from the management side, from the individual side, and from the sales rep side gives him a unique multi-level vantage point.

1. Listen to understand

The biggest challenge Johnny-Lee consistently sees is that sellers listen to reply rather than listening to understand. He recently carried out a DILO, or a “day in the life of” exercise with a lean, mature team that all suffered from the same problem. They all listened while waiting for the opportunity to explain why their company was so great.

Sellers master the art of articulating their value, but before we win in the marketplace we have to master the art of listening. We’ve all heard it before, perhaps in the saying, “Telling is not selling.”

But if we truly applied this truth to our everyday behaviors both in and out of business, we would know exactly how to articulate our value proposition to become the solution that the prospect needs.

2. Exhibit empathy

In many cases, the discovery call that precedes the demo doesn’t actually help the seller understand the challenges the seller is facing. In order to understand the problems they are trying to solve, you must listen and develop empathy for the pain they are feeling.

Empathy helps us understand why people do certain things and how they end up where they are. When you care about helping people, you’ll be able to support them while they tackle the challenges they face.

When we ask questions that lead them down the path of discovery, our prospects will outline exactly what they need and how you can help.

Empathy acknowledges how the existing challenges affect the company’s bottom line and understands how important it is to consider shareholder value in the face of problems.

Empathy cannot be rushed.

When you communicate that you’re with them in the challenge, you’ll become a trusted advisor.

You cannot begin the work of solving a problem until you understand several things.

  1. You must understand the challenge and how the prospect got where he is today.
  2. You must understand whether he seems himself getting out of the situation.
  3. You must understand how impactful it is for the business if he doesn’t get out of the situation.

Once you build empathy and understand those three things, you can begin the next step of prescribing.

3. Prescribe with confidence

There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and you must prescribe solutions with confidence.

An arrogant person might immediately say, for example, “I have exactly what you’re looking for.” Arrogant people don’t listen.

When you do step 2 right and you have empathy and understanding, you’ll find yourself in the position of a therapist of sorts. Like a therapist, you have to be welcoming, calm, and professional.

Therapists don’t say, “Wow, you’re messed up.” They also don’t say things like, “I’m exactly what you need to solve your problem.” Instead, they operate with confidence, saying things like, “I’m so glad you took the first step. I’ve dealt with similar challenges before and I know we can get where you want to be.”

Therapists become trusted advisors. They communicate that they are looking out for the patient’s best interests.

Confident sellers must do the same.

Pay attention to tonality

Tonality is critical to communicating the right level of confidence. Be enthusiastic. Be happy and excited that you’re speaking with a credible person.

Recognize the two different kinds of buyers: technical and economic. Technical buyers are people who can use your service but can’t make the decision to buy your service or product. Economic buyers make the ultimate decision.

There are two different ways of closing those two kinds of buyers. Because you can only engage a technical buyer for a certain period of time, you’ll eventually have to divert to the economic buyer.

Know how to ask questions like this: “I know you’ve been looking to address this challenge for quite some time. Is it common in your organization to bring the CFO in at this point to make the final decision?”

You must sniff technical buyers out early in the sales process.

Never ever give a proposal to someone who can’t buy.

Using phrases like “this is what we have been doing,” and “working with companies like yours,” communicates confidence. Eliminate phrases that include “I think,” or “it should.” #Tonality

Confidence

Passion is extremely contagious. You have to know when to elevate a pitch or speak faster or slower. Johnny-Lee is a firm believer that tonality creates the environment. Because prospects who are on the phone can’t see you, they are still picturing something. They are picturing whether you’re tall or short, aggressive or not. They can picture you, and it’s your job to make sure they picture you as a trusted advisor.

Confidence comes from studying your value proposition. You have to understand your value proposition. You also have to readily know what your value proposition has done in the workplace. That means knowing the stories and the case studies.

People are sold auditorily, visually, and kinesthetically. Tell your stories with passion, with conviction, and with numbers because people love numbers and percentages.

Don’t share numbers if they haven’t shared their stories and their challenges with you first.

Acquire

Don’t admire what other organizations and colleagues and sales leaders are doing. Acquire what they’ve been doing, and exceed the expectations you’ve set for yourself.

Instead of comparing your personal and professional life to the people around you, humble yourself and ask questions of those who achieved those levels of success. That will help you build a roadmap to success in all areas of your life.

“3 Tips to Improve Closing” episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Johnny-Lee, email him jlr@reinosoglobal.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register!

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also share this with your friends and colleagues.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1187: How do I deal with Unresponsive Inbound Leads

TSE 1187 How Do I Deal With Unresponsive Inbound Leads?

There are tricks on how to deal with unresponsive inbound leads. Dealing with people who come to your website and who give their phone numbers and emails but don’t want to talk to you doesn’t have to be difficult. It is true that many who visit your site want the freebies and they ghost you for reasons you can’t comprehend. 

The sales reps are frustrated because the appointment is not getting through, nor are the emails, or the calls. 

This happens because we’ve conditioned the buyers this way. We’ve taught them the concept of opt-in. They give us their emails for emailed permission-based marketing and we call them or mail them to get an appointment. Other companies are doing this as well and buyers know the pattern and are now looking for ways around it. They often give a bogus email address or an old one that they no longer check making it next to impossible to get in touch with them in the first place. 

Deal with unresponsive inbound leads 

There are two ways to deal with unresponsive inbound sales. The first one is connected to marketing. Examine what you’re offering to the prospects and extend your offer beyond your freebies. They may not be ready to purchase yet and they just want to review your offer so give them something else they can munch. Include another link to something else within your gift. Try to put an invite to your webinar. They can click inside the opt-in to see what the webinar is all about. Engage them further and nurture them into actual leads. 

Give them something a little bigger, perhaps a one-on-one free consultation session or your phone number. Turn the opt-in into a strategy session to be able to talk to your prospects. 

For qualified leads, engage them further by giving them more information. They will qualify themselves and they will give you their phone number and have a conversation with you. Once they go to your webinar, they become converted leads which allows you to give them a pitch or offer your product for 15% off. 

Give the prospects what they want in order to get what you want. #SalesTips

Give them the piece of content and education on the webinar to get the conversion going. As a salesperson, deal with unresponsive inbound leads by giving them what they want first.

You can also use a thank you page as a dual opt-in or a webinar sign-up page to further turn your unresponsive inbound prospects to interested prospects who want to learn more about the business. 

Stop the old school strategy 

Deal with unresponsive inbound leads by letting go of your old school strategies. Stop sending a generic email which contains the usual information about the company, the features and benefits of the product, or the invite for a phone call or appointment schedule.  

Emails such as these are long and asking them for a phone call at the end of it is a huge jump. 

Shorten your email and change your subject line. Go for simpler yet impactful opening such as, “Did you get the download for this or that?” The recipient will see your name, your signature, and all the other necessary information and he is bound to answer a resounding Yes. They need to recognize you as an individual. 

This is when you ask! 

Ask your question when they’ve already responded to your previous mail. If they reply with a Yes, ask them for a phone call to answer any questions they might have. If the prospect shows interest and gives his phone number then quickly respond by giving a phone call. The key is to follow up right away. 

Have a 2-step strategy for prospects who are not ready to buy right away. Make it your goal to make them reply to you before you ask them to have the sales talk with you. Remember that buyers these days are cognizant of opt-ins so warm up to them by using this 2-step strategy. 

If you’re doing insight sales and you’re responsible for all inbound sales, you might want to ask them what prompted them to download the content. Do what you can to engage them in a conversation. 

“How Do I Deal With Unresponsive Inbound Leads?” episode resources

Build stronger value and have more meaningful conversations with your prospects. Close more deals and challenge yourself to go out and do big things every single day. 

For sales concerns, you can connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 modules and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound

 

Company Culture, Purpose, Josh Levine

TSE 1186 Write Your Company’s Obituary: Identify or Rediscover Your Company’s Purpose

Having to write your company’s obituary sounds a bit morbid but there’s a good reason why doing this is important. One result is that doing so will help you identify and rediscover your company’s purpose. 

Josh Levine is a culture company strategist and works with technology, social enterprise organizations, and firms to help them improve their work. His goal is to make the employees love what they’re doing by building strong relationships, higher trust, and deeper engagement. 

Josh published a book called Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture That Employees Love. It talks about all his learnings for the past 10 years in advancing the idea of company culture as a strategic advantage. It defined what culture is and gives people the tools that they need to improve the culture. 

Write your company’s obituary 

This was a tool that Josh’s mentor used and many clients would react negatively upon hearing it. There is more to sales than just putting the product out there and selling it. It’s more than just the numbers. Doing business isn’t only about the money; it’s also about understanding what you are trying to do with your company and with your life. 

This is also about knowing your own purpose and helping the organization discover its  ‘why?’ 

Imagine that your business closes its doors after 30 years. Don’t think of the reason why it shut down. Your goal is to write down two or three short paragraphs about why your company will be remembered and will be most missed. This will give you the opportunity to see what you achieved that made the difference. 

Josh’s team works with a board executive team and leadership peers together. They make teams write because what matters isn’t just the end result. They also consider the kind of language, the words, and the phrases used together. 

Obituary exercise

Don’t stop short of the fantastic. When you start writing your company obituary, you need to go beyond how far you think you can make it. 

The point of the exercise is to come up with your achievements and look for the possible ways that you’re going to achieve those. 

Josh had a client who said that they would solve poverty. It’s a far-fetched goal and impossible to do but it didn’t keep them from aiming to do so. When the discussion happened, the team thought of how to make it work and figured out that their technology connects communities together. The community that works together will solve poverty. With that, their previously written achievement of solving poverty now sounds plausible. 

Define your purpose

Next, you have to define your purpose. The company’s values are the hows and the company’s purpose are the whys. Businesses and companies need to figure out the why behind what they’re doing. You won’t be able to find your purpose if you’re thinking about this quarter’s return or this quarter’s sales number. 

As a sales leader, you can help define the purpose by shaping the culture of your company according to the company’s vision. You can help strengthen the team and find the values and purpose of the company over time. 

Components of a company’s culture 

There are six components mentioned in the book Great Mondays. The first three are as follows: 

  • Purpose
  • Values
  • Behaviors

The first two define the company’s purpose and values. The third component is the behaviors. Behavior is the center point of culture and is what you are trying to adjust to help people make better business decisions. 

The next three are the following: 

  • Recognition
  • Rituals
  • Cues

Recognition and rewards have been used in businesses. These are effective strategies in aligning behaviors to build and strengthen the synapses of culture. Your goal is to spread your culture and share the behaviors. 

Keep reminding your peers why they’re in the business and getting the people back to the top of the pyramid. Love what you and find something that you believe in to make everything worthwhile. 

“Write Your Company’s Obituary” episode resources

Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture That Employees Love is available on Amazon. The purpose of the Write your company’s obituary exercise is laid out in the book. 

You can download the supporting materials for free at free@greatmondays.com. You can also sign up for newsletters, one minute Monday, and case studies.  We will e-mail you all the necessary information for building cultures that matter. 

Connect  with Josh Levine via Twitter and LinkedIn. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

For sales concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Listening, Meetings, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1185: Why Do Salespeople Talk So Much?

Listening, Meetings, Donald C. KellyWhen I asked The Sales Evangelist community what they wanted to know about sales, one of the questions that emerged was, “Why do salespeople talk so much?”

It annoys a lot of people, primarily because if you talk too much, you’re probably listening too little. 

Persuading people

Somewhere in the growth of the sales industry, sellers convinced themselves that talking would persuade buyers to make purchases. We believed that if we talked more, they’d hear us more and they’d more likely believe us. As a result, they’d say “yes” more. 

Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. 

Many people don’t realize that the greatest salespeople listen more than they talk. You’ve likely heard the adage that you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk. 

If you pay attention, you’ll likely discover that the best salespeople are those who use their speaking opportunities to ask questions. They seek to understand their buyer’s perspective and to stimulate conversation that helps them gather important information. 

Stimulate the buyer

Let’s go back to the scenario we discussed earlier in the week. If someone owns a car that costs them a lot of money every month for repairs, you could ask that person questions to help him realize that he has a problem. If you walk him through the math and help him understand how much that amounts to every year, he may find that he could be driving a much newer car for the same price.

Good sales reps will ask questions that will help him realize the problem on his own. 

  • Why are you spending that much money on your car?
  • If I could show you how to spend one-fourth of that amount and get a reliable vehicle and still have money to save, would you be open to learning more?

He’ll likely be willing to at least learn more. 

Features and benefits

Without even discussing features and benefits, you’ve inspired him to consider his situation. You said nothing about the radio, or the seats, or the transmission, or the exterior of the car. You helped him persuade himself to explore the possibilities.

Many sellers dislike the awkward moments in meetings when things get quiet. Each side wonders what the other is thinking and, as humans, it just feels wrong for us to sit in silence. We assume the buyer is thinking something negative. 

A Harvard study found that when people talk about themselves, it triggers the same pleasure sensations as food or money. The study also found that volunteers who were offered a chance to earn money by answering questions about other people passed up potential earnings in exchange for a chance to talk about themselves. 

Why do salespeople talk so much?
We’re more comfortable talking about ourselves because we’re confident about it. The conclusion is that sellers who want to fill an awkward silence will likely talk about themselves.

Meeting prep 

Sellers who prepare for meetings would more likely understand the situation and the buyer and his company. As a result, they’ll be more confident in their understanding of the customer’s challenge. They’ll ask appropriate questions that help the buyers travel down the path to making a decision. 

Write some thought-provoking questions prior to the meeting. Challenge your prospects’ way of thinking. If you feel awkward about a specific question, you should probably ask it anyway. 

If your prospect seems to be avoiding a topic, see if you can find a way to bring it up anyway. The conversation will either progress toward conversion or your prospect will decide he isn’t ready for change. 

Study the customer and his company. Learn about the potential problems they are facing and figure out a way to solve them. 

“Why Do Salespeople Talk So Much?” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Janet Clark, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Process

TSE 1184 Sales From The Street: “The Heart Flow Sales Process”

Janet Clark, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Process

Sales is a process and every salesperson has to master the heart flow sales process before expecting results. 

Janet Clark’s company, The Freedom Shift, is a sales matchmaker. Janet matches high-ticket salespeople with coaches and consultants who want to expand their sales team. She is also helping the coaches with their lead generation and figuring out their qualified leads because this part of marketing can be difficult. 

Before she built her company, Janet started in corporate sales selling B2B. She built sales organizations for big telecommunications and internet-based companies. It was only five years ago that she started selling high-ticket transformation programs for top-level coaches and consultants. 

B2B selling and transformational selling

In B2B selling, a salesperson is selling somebody in a corporation and spending somebody else’s money. Their decision is still laced with emotion but it’s more of making the right decisions so as not to lose their jobs. 

In transformational selling, a coach or consultant is selling to a company owner who makes a decision to invest in himself to reach a new level of personal growth. A coach or consultant talks to a person who spends his own money. There are a lot of emotions involved in making the decisions of doing high-ticket investments yourself. 

The key to connect with people is to reach them from the heart, hence the heart flow sales process. Every letter in the word Heart Flow stands for one of the steps in the sales process. 

Factors to consider 

Two things need to happen before someone invests in a high-ticket program. Number one, the prospect has to know that the program works. They need to feel a level of trust in the person delivering the program. The second factor is for the prospect to consider whether the program will work for him.  

Marketing and the qualifying piece answer that question. Talking to the prospect about the program and how good it is alone wouldn’t result in a closed deal unless the conversation goes deeper and they figure out where their fear is coming from.

The Heart flow process is not hardcore selling and it’s not manipulative. 

Most people need a push and not manipulation. Sometimes, they need to borrow the confidence of the salesperson in order to make big decisions. There is a fine line between being confident and pushing somebody a little beyond their comfort zone and doing something manipulative. 

People who make investments need to see results and they won’t get the results they want when you bring them in the program in a coercive way. 

The Heart Flow Sales Process

Heart 

Heart Flow is divided into three sections and as mentioned earlier, every letter stands for a step in the process. 

  • Hello
  • Explain
  • Ask
  • Recap
  • Teach

Hello is the greeting. It’s when you sit with your clients and figure out who they are. This is where you build rapport. Next, is to explain how the call is going to go. Set the stage right away and do an agenda before the call. It is important to take the prospects through the process in order to steer them in the right direction. 

Ask, because fact-finding and interviewing are two important parts of the sales process. Learn to ask the right questions and the typical objections in the program you are selling. When you realize that the person is not a qualified prospect, you go to the next section. 

Recap the things that they’ve said to ensure that they know you’re listening and absorbing the information they gave you. 

Teach is the transition point where you start giving them some information. It’s important to teach them something that they’re not aware of and give them that eureka moment. Teaching them little things that they don’t know or might have known in a way that is an Aha! Moment. 

Flow

The next section is Flow. 

  • Feeling
  • Layout the offer
  • Own the silence
  • Wrap it up

Feeling is asking them how they feel about what you’ve said. This step makes them reflect on the things you’ve said and respond accordingly. This brings you to the next section, layout the offer. 

This is where you explain to them that what you just taught them (in the Teach step) is incorporated in this program. Layout to them the elements and the components that make the program work. It’s more of the benefits and results of the program rather than the times of the day you’re going to do the coaching calls. 

Own the silence and don’t make the mistake of owning the talk after you’ve laid the offer. It’s important to mute yourself and let them come up with what they’re thinking. 

The last step is to wrap it up. Answer their questions and move forward into getting them into the program. There is science to the sales process and a way that it needs to flow. There’s also an art to sales so that every person brings their own artistic way of doing the process. The heart flow sales process allows you to be creative but still keep the process flowing so that you can stay on track. 

Refrain from reading a sales script and do it in a natural format but in a guided way. 

Sales should be a normal conversation with people where you’re helping them through the process of making a decision. #SalesHacks

“Sales From The Street: The Heart Flow Sales Process” episode resources

As a salesperson, make sure that you’re doing this for the right reason and not just to make a commission. Connect with Janet Clark. You can find her on Facebook, High Ticket Sales Collaborative or visit her site, The Freedom Shift. You can also shoot her an e-mail if that’s more convenient for you. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

For sales concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound

 

Sales Demo, Digital Footprint, The Sales Evangelist, Greg Dickinson

TSE 1183: Modernizing the Software Demonstration

Sales Demo, Digital Footprint, The Sales Evangelist, Greg Dickinson

Modernizing the software demonstration can help prospects better understand your product value and keep your digital buyers connected to your product throughout the buying process.

Greg Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Omedym, which is “my demo” spelled backward. He’s trying to help businesses utilize today’s latest and greatest technologies to augment and improve the digital demo process. 

Product experience

Most sellers can point to a personal experience in which a bad product experience eliminated a vendor from consideration in the buying process. 

People tend to have different processes and sometimes the more junior players are the ones that are giving the top-of-the-funnel demos. If you ask your team members to each give a demo, you might find yourself wondering if each person is selling the same product. The demos can be that different. 

Digital buyers

Buyers are more digital than they were five years ago, which is the biggest challenge in the software demo industry. The average software buyer spends 5 percent of the buying process with the sales team. So if you think about the “request a demo” button on your website, it’s your first interaction with a potential buyer. For most companies, that button generates a pop-up form, and the bounce rate in the industry is 85 percent. 

People at the top of the funnel want to learn a little more about your product. Maybe they read some content about your product and they want to see a video. When a form pops up, your digital buyer leaves your website. 

Sellers, ask yourself as a buyer whether you tend to fill out forms in this situation. If the answer is no, why do you expect your own buyers to do so? Instead, websites tend to hold demos hostage by scheduling them or exchanging them for an email. 

Your prospects want to engage and understand your product. Modernizing the software demonstration can help your prospects get the information they need to make a decision. 

Inside sales

The going research suggests that buyers want to see the product you’re offering within the first two minutes of an interaction. Your solution sounds great, and it solves a problem they are struggling with, so they want to see the product. Typically, the inside salesperson will insist on asking a bunch of questions and booking a discovery call and then a demo. By the end of that 3-week period, you’ve lost the buyers’ attention. 

In response, some companies have allowed the inside sales rep to give the demo, but that usually doesn’t work. The inside sales rep wasn’t trained to do demos, and she may not have the skillset to do them. 

Demos are more than a “show up and throw up” proposition. They are hard. 

Your customer wants to feel like he’s in control of the sales process. He wants to see what he’s buying. 

Video demos

Greg said that even the companies who are posting one- or two-minute videos to demonstrate their products aren’t getting a good response because they are effectively spraying-and-praying. They generate four or five snippets that they hope will address their buyers’ questions. 

Greg’s technology allows you to create your best demonstrations, and then interact with the software to get a personalized demonstration. 

If you want to know whether the software can do parallel workflow, the software will bring you to the right asset and the right section to find that answer. Instead of searching through 10 or 15 separate posts, the user can find the content he needs. 

The average watch time for a business tech buyer is just over two-and-a-half minutes, so allow them to ask a question and see a relevant demo. 

Build a picture

Think of your typical buyer’s team. It isn’t just one person. It’s usually multiple people with different points of view and different ideas of what’s important in the software. 

If you can allow your customers to ask questions and then have the streaming of the video and the demo to that person at that moment, it’s much more impactful. Perhaps more importantly, Greg’s software records all the activity so that the marketing and sales teams know the buyer’s intent. 

  • What was Donald’s interest?
  • What did he watch? 
  • How long did he watch? 
  • What questions and follow-up questions did he ask? 

Once you gather this information, you begin to build a picture of Donald. The self-guided demo allows the seller to understand what Donald’s interests are so he knows what to talk to Donald about. 

New world

Your customer wants to talk specifically about how you can help ease his pain. Whether you call it the consumerization of the business buyer or the Amazon effect, people are used to buying things a certain way. That attitude doesn’t change when we’re at work. 

Buyers want a certain part of the sales cycle to be self-guided. Then, when they are ready to engage with sales, they want to begin with the topic that interests them rather than starting all over again. 

Digital footprint

Buyers can get their data in a million different places just like sellers can use the Internet to learn about buyers. We’re losing the ability to influence buyers because we’re spending less time with them. 

If you don’t provide a digital means for the disconnected independent buyer to stay engaged with you in the digital world, when it comes time to make the purchase, he may not remember all the aspects of your software. 

If you’re selling software, keep it in front of your prospect. Give him the opportunity to constantly validate your value as he’s making the decision criteria. 

These tools don’t replace sellers, but they augment them by creating a digital footprint that helps the buyer stay connected with you. He can get the information he needs based upon where he is in the buyer’s journey. 

Uber, for example, provides the same service as a taxi cab, but it created a better buying experience. Uber made it easier and removed the friction, so it won the market. 

The challenge for digital buyers is the same: your sales process hasn’t changed so we’re making the buying process harder. It’s why our win-rates aren’t as high. The buyer doesn’t have the information he needs to make a decision. 

Buying team

In many cases, you’ll never meet with the entire buying team. It might be true that you only met with about half of them, so they are anonymous to you. 

Now, those buyers are in a Friday meeting and someone is presenting all the information about your product. Wouldn’t it be great if that buyer had seen portions of the demo on his own? You can’t always be last. 

Instead of figuring out whether to be the first impression or the last impression, strive to be the impression. Give that buyer a chance to consume your demo content by modernizing the software demonstration. Record that demo, make it available to the buying team, and use a technology that allows them to find topics within the demo. 

The team isn’t going to spend 90 minutes watching, so help them find the topics that are pertinent so they can spend 10 minutes learning about your product. You’ve had a chance to touch a buyer you never would have touched. 

Buyer’s perspective

Greg’s tool works for anyone who sells a product, and Omedym believes that the product experience, the demo, and the product engagement are part of the buyer’s journey. It’s one of the most important aspects of the buying process. 

Starting with the top-of-the-funnel demo to the sales demo and the scripted demo, video is playing a very pertinent role. Omedym focuses on software because you truly can’t be everything to everyone. 

Take a different perspective and figure out how modernizing the software demonstration can help your buyers buy. 

“Modernizing the Software Demonstration” episode resources

You can connect with Greg at Omedym.com, or on his LinkedIn. He welcomes feedback and conversations because he learns from the information.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Relationships, Rejection, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1182: How To NOT Ruin Relationships When Selling To Friends

Relationships, Rejection, Donald C. Kelly

Have you ever wondered how to not ruin relationships when selling to friends? This can be difficult because you would still want to keep the relationship even when they’ve said no. 

This isn’t a unique struggle, it’s common to most salespeople. Perhaps the products could be beneficial to your friend or family so you want them to try it. You have a moral obligation to at least explain some ways to fix their problem without turning it into something bigger. 

Solve the true problem 

Assess whether what you have is truly a solution to their problem. You can’t sell a car to your friends when they already have one that is running in perfect condition. Even when you’ve told them about the new features of the car you’re selling, they’re not going to get one because they have a good car that runs just fine. What you presented to them isn’t a solution because there wasn’t a problem in the first place. 

It is important for you to seek out whether there is a problem and figure out what it is before you present your product. 

Be genuine 

Do not present a solution that would benefit you; rather, give them a solution that would benefit them. 

Perhaps their car needs fixing and they are spending way too much for the repair. This is a great time for you to share the features of the car you’re selling. If they don’t have the income to purchase it, then help them get the income by looking for a credit union. 

That genuine heart helps build trust and your friends will potentially lead you to other people with similar problems. The people you’ve helped will come back to you and buy from you again later on.  

Do not pitch something to your family or friends because your sales manager told you to do so. Don’t approach them with the mindset that they’ll buy your product because they feel guilty. 

Consider your approach 

Always set the rules before you play the game. Consider your approach and be straightforward. Because they are the people you are close with, you have the benefit of honesty from them. Before you make your pitch, remind them that if they are not interested, there’s no need to beat around the bush and that the relationship stays the same regardless of their choice.

Once they understand that, then you can move on with your pitch. Put emphasis on the fact that you are willing to help with their problems. If their car isn’t working well and they are spending too much for repair every week, tell them that they can go to another car salesperson. You are merely giving them options on how they can address their problems. 

Don’t approach them like you would any other clients. Instead, approach them in a loving way. People recognize trust and love and if you use that approach to your friends and families then you’ve unlocked one great strategy on how to not ruin relationships when selling to friends

No isn’t always a No

Many salespeople keep selling even when the person has said no. This happens a lot because in sales, it is about the numbers and others take it to another level. As a salesperson, you need to have a threshold.

Most sales reps, however,  see a list of names to reach out without knowing who these people are or their concerns. They see names and they see numbers automatically. They don’t look at the names as individuals who might be facing some personal issues at the moment. 

Studies have shown that 92% of salespeople give up after getting a NO without realizing that 60% of consumers say no four times before saying yes. Some say no because they are busy or they aren’t a fit for what the salesperson is offering. 

If someone is in the right market and they fall under the criteria of your ideal customer profile, then they do have a problem that you can solve. You have a moral obligation to at least explain it to them, and not just once. 

Change your approach from someone who just wants to set an appointment and talk about the product to someone who wants to help them and educate them to overcome a challenge they are facing. 

Build relationships

The Sales Evangelist, for example, is virtually everywhere and we’ve been sharing a stream of content on a regular basis. We are found in every platform where our ideal customers may be. We are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. People may have not expressed their interest now but they are individuals that we can follow up and put into other sequences for us to reach out. 

If they aren’t ready to buy this month, then connect with them and ask them if they are willing to receive educational information. If no, then let them go and if yes, then look for ways that you can continue educating them. 

Don’t pitch them the product when they’re not yet ready to get it but maintain a relationship and to do a follow-up after enough time. Remember to stay in touch. 

Nurture that relationship until such time that it picks up. 

A portion of that 60% who said no to you will eventually make a yes if you stick around and pitch in the perfect timing. So, build a relationship with those individuals in a loving way and be present in whatever means or platform they like to digest your content. 

“How to Not Ruin Relationships When Selling to Friends” episode resources

The Sales Evangelist records podcasts regularly. Some of our contents are answers to questions sent to us by salespeople. If you have concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Leaders, The Sales Evangelist, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1181: 3 Things Leaders Do To Hurt Sales Rep Relationships

 

 

Sales Leaders, The Sales Evangelist, Donald C. Kelly

Sometimes, there are 3 things leaders do to hurt sales rep relationships and most times, they do it unintentionally. This is especially hard because sales leaders and sales reps spend a lot of time together. A bad leader can negatively affect how a sales rep makes his sell. While a good leader helps how sales reps can improve their sales. 

Marc Levine founded his ImprovMySales business four years ago. The company is dedicated to creating wonderful and profitable places to work. Before this business venture, Marc was part of a sales team as a national account executive and technology and professional services. For the last 16 years, he has been developing leaders and teams, teaching people communication skills, selling services to certain companies including Citibank, Prudential, and Best Buy.  

3 things leaders do to hurt sales rep relationships

There are probably more, but let’s focus on just the three things for now. 

  • A leader does not create a psychologically safe environment
  • The leader forgets about humanity 
  • The leader is emotionally unintelligent

August has been a leadership month and people have been talking about the important things to become a good sales leader. This involves setting a vision and becoming a good coach. It’s about creating a culture where sales reps can thrive and succeed. 

When a leader fails to create that safe environment, the sales relationship takes a hit. 

By definition, psychological safety was a term coined by the social psychologist, Amy Edmonson. Google did a two-year study and analyzed the qualities of its most effective teams. The results of the study have shown that teams promoting psychological safety produced better revenues and their team members stayed in the work longer than others. Psychological safety is a team norm that says it’s safe to take risks, to be vulnerable, to ask for help, and to disagree with the rest of the team. 

When you do, you won’t be ostracized for disagreeing but instead, you’ll be honored and validated. 

An environment where sales leaders can thrive

As a parent, when your kid doesn’t understand something, you want your kid to feel safe to come to you and ask for help without getting embarrassed. The same is true in sales. As a leader, you need to develop a team where your members can be honest and can come forward when they don’t understand something. 

You want your team members to come to you about their problems early on in the sales cycle rather than at the end of it where the deal is falling apart. This is the essence of psychological safety. 

It’s an environment where people can ask for help, be vulnerable, take risks, and be supported 

Create a psychologically safe environment 

This doesn’t happen overnight. It happens when your sales reps come to you asking for help and instead of reacting, you validate and support them. Do it a couple of times for the team members to realize that you want to help them. 

Sales leaders also need to stop blaming the team members. Blame and accountability are two different things. 

Blaming makes the blamed feel bad and threatened. It’s when sales leaders bombard the reps with questions like: 

  • Why didn’t you hit the quota last month?
  • What are the reasons why you lost that sale?
  • Why aren’t you doing this?

These questions foster negativity. Accountability helps you raise the team’s standard without making the reps feel bad. It’s more like saying, “Hey you didn’t hit your quota last month and I know you’re disappointed. Let’s talk about what happened that may have contributed to this and let’s figure out the solutions.” Build an environment where your members can be comfortable in having a dialogue. 

As a sales leader, you also need to admit your own mistakes. Research shows that when you admit your mistakes, the people around you will come close and will open up about theirs as well. 

There’s power in vulnerability and when you use that power, you will see your sales team come closer and open up to you. 

Leaders forget about humanity 

The next in the list of the 3 things leaders do to hurt sales rep relationships is forgetting about humanity. 

Salespeople are like stand-up comedians. We go out there showing confidence knowing that we’re going to be rejected. We are a fragile group. When sales leaders remember the humanity of the people on their team, the members tend to go above and beyond. The members put in incremental efforts. 

Sales leaders also need to stop making the team members like little versions of themselves. Every member is unique with their own set of skills and strengths. Forcing things that you do well onto them will make them feel resentful. Instead, honor their strength. Validate the things that they do well to make them feel excited and engaged. Make them feel heard and understood. 

Remember that you are working with human beings who have hopes and fears. and get scared. Honor that part of them. 

Build strong relationships with your sales team

Sales leaders need to build strong relationships with their team and practice emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman wrote in his book Working with Emotional Intelligence that people with emotional intelligence are more successful in their careers than those who are just relying on pure intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and regulate your own feelings to understand and empathize with the feelings of others. As a sales leader, you need to be aware of your emotional triggers to be able to manage them. If you fail to develop that, you can easily be overtaken by your emotional triggers and start to judge your team. 

These triggers tend to show up again and again and these are no surprises. 

Some of the triggers are when your sales rep didn’t hit the quota or when someone in your team isn’t adapting to the new technology, and when someone’s not putting something into the CRM.

So, list your triggers and think of all the situations and the people that trigger the fight, flight, or freeze responses.  

The sales team and all its members are the backbones of an organization. We want them to feel empowered and we can’t make that happen if we don’t provide them an environment where they can thrive and if we keep blaming them. Have conversations with them and make them feel good so that they’d want to produce for you. 

“3 Things Leaders Do To Hurt Sales Rep Relationships” episode resources

Connect with Marc at improvmysales.com or reach him at (718) 637-7890. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound

Inbound, LinkedIn, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1180: Can I Classify My LinkedIn Leads As Inbound Leads?

 

Inbound, LinkedIn, Donald C. KellyWith all the focus on social selling, it can be difficult to determine whether you can consider referrals and connections that result in LinkedIn leads as inbound leads.

If a prospect connects with your content which leads to a conversation and then an appointment, can that be considered an inbound lead?

LinkedIn connections

You’re likely among those sellers who understand that your LinkedIn profile is your personal profile. You cherish it and treat it with respect. You post thoughtful content and share impactful videos and write articles and long-form blogs. You’re creating content that your audience can engage with. 

If those prospects end up in your direct message as a result and that leads to a conversation, that’s an inbound lead. Though it might not qualify as inbound in the traditional sense, you’re engaging in the same activities. No matter who creates the content, it’s an inbound lead. You could even give it a unique KPI name like “social media lead” or SML.

Converting leads

If I connect with 15 or 20 business owners today and 10 of them reconnect with me, the result is 10 new social media leads. I can nurture them by creating videos, posts, or articles and tying the content to my new prospects. 

Ideally, those people will engage in a conversation.

I recently connected with a woman on LinkedIn who later posted a good piece of content. She mentioned me and others she had recently connected with using a “shout out.” Turns out all the people she mentioned continued to engage with her on LinkedIn

I’ll watch her content now since I had a positive interaction, and I might eventually decide to engage with her company. She’s nurturing us as prospects.

Engaging content

Then, once you do, be intentional about connecting with those who interact with your content. Work to connect with your second- and third-degree connections. 

Try this simple paragraph:

Thanks so much for commenting on my post today, James. Permission to connect here on LinkedIn?

Usually, when you connect immediately, they’ll appreciate your outreach. You can start a conversation that may lead to further interactions.  Now you’re getting more contacts off your ideal customer or prospect. 

Blur the lines

Imagine you have a targeted list of prospects that you’re trying to reach. You’re making phone calls to named accounts and you’re connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. 

If you separate your prospects into different categories, you can optimize them. 

I recently connected with someone on LinkedIn who became a social media contact and then a social media lead. When the prospect asked about sales training for a team, it led to an initial appointment. 

That connection would haven’t happened without engaging content on social media and our interactions there.  

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Proposals, Conversion, Adam Hempenstall

TSE 1179: Business Proposal Trends in 2019

 

Proposals, Conversion, Adam HempenstallWhat are some of the business proposal trends in 2019 that you’ve used and that have worked for your industry? Trends change so often that we have to keep track of all the changes to be in the loop because what’s new today may be old news tomorrow. 

Adam Hempenstall has been in the web design business for almost 20 years. He started doing basic websites and brochure sites before the company transitioned into a custom software company. They started building CRMs for different companies and have now invested full time into improving their proposal tool known as Better Proposals.  

Business proposal trends

The most important thing is that you’re not just seeing a transition from the old school PDF method but the clients’ reluctance to change. There is, however, a massive shift towards people opening proposals using their phones.

Proposals need to be web-based these days. It has to do with what everything else is doing. They’re not just documents anymore, they’re experiences. Clients should be able to read the proposals by the time that you’ve sent them. 

Aside from that, proposals should be sent quickly. Based on the observed data, there’s a higher rate of conversion for proposals that are sent within 24 hours compared to proposals sent in 3-4 days. The other important thing is trying to understand your client most. 

From the data and stats Adam’s company is running, they’ve observed the following business proposal trends in 2019 that work:

  • Convenience over quality
  • Being quick in sending proposals 
  • Caring about your client

Convenience over quality 

People favor convenience over quality. This is apparent in the number of people watching videos on YouTube instead of going to the shows. Live shows mean better quality but people would opt to watch it on YouTube because it means that they can watch it immediately. 

People want things the way they want them. For example, you’ve sent a proposal and the client is reading it in his train ride because that’s the time that he allocated for it. The client is not going to sit there and zoom in through the 15-page PDF proposal you’ve sent. That is not convenient for him. He’s probably going to skim, get bored, and close it down. He’ll make the decision over the price and all that effort of making the proposal is going down the drain because you’ve sent it in a format that isn’t convenient for him. 

To beat your competitors, you want to stand out when you’re sending proposals. You don’t want to send the same ones that others are sending. This is especially true if you’re selling software, marketing, or anything with digital elements. You want to show your prospects that you are at the forefront of technology. 

Track proposals

If you tell your prospective clients that you can make their website better and more responsive, you won’t send them a proposal in PDF form. Instead, you send them a web-based proposal and put a tracker in it. 

This will allow you to see the activities that your prospective client is doing. You’d see that your client has opened the proposal and that he’d spent a good amount of time reading it. 

You can give him a call half an hour later to just check in on how it was. You’re in a good place to speak about it because it’s still fresh on his mind. 

You can’t do that with PDFs but you can do it if you use web-based proposals. 

Adam and his team made a high-end proposal for a furniture company. The proposal was great but they didn’t have another meeting with them. After six months, the company randomly opened the proposal and Adam got a notification that they checked the proposal. Adam shoots them a quick message just asking how things are going and if they were able to find a solution to the problem that they were trying to solve last year. The company replied saying that they weren’t able to appreciate the value of the proposal then but are now willing to talk about it. 

This is what tracking can do; this is what a notification can do. 

It’s equally important to repeatedly follow up after a proposal, but not up to the point that you’re putting it on them. 

Just being there and being consistent is enough. 

Sending proposals quickly

We’ve all had a time where we’ve completed a proposal quickly and had a good overturn deal. There have also been times that we’ve procrastinated and done other stuff instead of doing the proposal and when you’ve finally done it, your client has already gone with the other guy. 

Adam’s company looked at the actual data of real proposals that people send through their software platform a few years back. Using the raw numbers, they tried to figure out different factors that affect proposal conversion. You can see the study on betterproposal.io/reports in both 2018 and 2019. They found out that sending the proposal within 24 hours after the initial meeting converts 25% more than if you send it in 2-3 days. 

In Adam’s company, they meet their clients on a neutral ground. They have their meetings in top-end hotel lobbies because it’s comfortable and you can talk to the prospective client freely. When he leaves, you get to stay, order yourself another drink and write the proposal right then and there. It gets difficult when you give it a few more days because by then you remember very little of the meeting. 

All those little things that you forget from the meeting were important to the client and if you wait more days before you write the proposal will lose you the deal eventually. 

These include the following:

  • The actual words they used
  • The phrases they used
  • The expressions they made
  • The body language they gave off

All those things that you remember within a couple of hours will be forgotten within a day. 

Write your proposal immediately after your sales meeting to increase the chances you’ll win the deal. #SalesProposal

Care for your clients 

This part doesn’t have anything to do with the proposals. It is more of what happens before the proposal, and it’s doing good discovery. 

You can’t write a good business proposal for a person or a company if you don’t do good discovery. You can have the experience but that will only help you so far. You need to ask questions and you need to dig in and get them to reveal as much as they can. 

You need to understand what they are trying to achieve.

Scratch beneath their surface-level problems to figure out their fears and help them find the solutions. You’re changing the proposal into a personal level and by then, it’s not only the surface-level solutions of the problems you’re proposing. 

You are sending them a proposal that truly addresses their deeper concerns. 

Care about them, care about the situation, and do what you can to get the truth of their situation. 

So, ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to get a little bit uncomfortable. 

Trying out the three suggestions mentioned above will make your proposals better. Instead of sending PDFs, send a web-based proposal and save yourself lots of time. It’s also convenient and it’s a conversion booster. Aside from that, web-based proposals are cheap. 

“Business Proposal Trends in 2019” episode resource

Sign up to Better Proposals website and see hundreds of templates. They also have contracts and other things you can check. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Marketing, B2B, Bill Bice

TSE 1178: B2B Sales Optimization

 

Marketing, B2B, Bill BiceB2B sales optimization requires a longterm commitment to creating quality content that will grow your audience and increase your success.

Bill Bice, CEO of  boomtime, said he was born to be an entrepreneur, launching his first business when he was 14. He loves to talk about sales and marketing because it makes the biggest difference in business. 

Data and marketing

As business owners, we all know that we have to spend money on marketing, but it’s tough to do if you’re not seeing the ROI. For Bill, marketing is about data, which allows you to understand what’s working. The difficulty occurs when you have too much data because it can be difficult to gather valuable insights that help you improve marketing.

Smaller companies often have more freedom to bring their sales and marketing together. In larger companies, the two disciplines are separate, and they are often at odds. Marketing isn’t doing the support work the sales team needs and each blames the other for lack of performance. 

In smaller companies, the CEO or entrepreneur can decide to tie the two together. 

Bill calls himself a big fan of the challenger sales approach, which resulted from research done in Fortune 500 companies. The concept of using key insights to drive a sales approach creates sales optimization in smaller companies. It’s a perfect example of tying together marketing and sales so that marketing generates insights that truly help sellers. It creates better opportunities which result in better success. 

B2B sales optimization

To begin with, businesses must be better at 

  1. capturing leads 
  2. following up on those leads
  3. staying top-of-mind with that larger audience that we’re building 

In any complex, high-value sale, a content-driven approach to marketing is the perfect way to optimize the sales process. 

Then, if you’ve done the hard work of taking care of your customers, they’ll tell others about your business which creates referrals. Now the goal is to amplify that effect, 

How do we make word-of-mouth work even better? 

Capturing leads

Micro-commitments are the most effective part of capturing leads and in doing B2B sales optimization. Your website was once a replacement for the Yellow Pages, and a way to get people to pick up the phone. Now, the most important piece of information for a prospective client is an email address.

If you ask for the prospect’s name, you’ll reduce conversion by 20%. If you ask for the phone number, you’ll reduce conversion by 60%. Every additional field you add reduces conversion by another 8%.

Ask for the one thing you really want from the prospect, which is an email address. You have to be willing to do something that is really hard in order to get those referrals and capture those leads. 

You have to give your best stuff away for free. Give away your deepest and best expertise in exchange for the really valuable thing, which is the email address. #CaptureProspects

The traditional battle between sales and marketing centers around what makes a qualified lead. All we really want is to get people to follow us on LinkedIn and to get the prospects’ email addresses. If we grow our audience in those two places and we’re constantly sending people back to our website with high-value insight, that creates success. 

What’s actually hard to do is the day-to-day work in the trenches, because it’s the consistency that makes this work. 

Marketing mistakes

There are B2B sales optimization mistakes that marketers commit. The first on the list is talking about themselves. Nobody cares. 

Are you talking about the problems your target audience struggles with, and are you helping them solve those problems?

Of the content you provide to your prospects, 90% should be entirely focused on the problems your audience is having and the insights you bring that they can’t get from anywhere else. 

The good news is that if you have a niche in the marketing your company serves, then hundreds of those companies will share the same problems. 

CEOs struggle to find those insights because they are running their own businesses. Your marketing department must take advantage of that. You must train your sales team to use a key-insight driven approach. 

Secondly, you must commit to this kind of approach in your sales and marketing. You should plan for at least a year. It won’t be a miracle fix. 

Test and iterate

All forms of content work. Whether you use video, white papers, or checklists, you must test each idea to determine what’s best for that particular segment of the target audience. Even with the explosion of LinkedIn, most B2B sales optimization organizations aren’t leveraging it the way they could. 

The whole point is to grow a new audience and LinkedIn is the easiest way to get your word out to a larger audience of exactly the right prospects. 

Avoid being salesy. Be there to help your network. Use your key insights to drive interest in what you’re doing. Share insights with consistent posting. 

Get the executive team involved in building the audience. Then, turn those connections into opportunities for the sales team. 

Bill’s team sends 40-50 connection requests a day, and they follow up on each one of those accepted connection requests with a recently-written article by that executive that tackles a problem and shows your audience how to solve it. 

Following up on leads

Everybody wants more leads, but most companies generate all the leads they need. The easiest thing to do is to follow up on the leads you already have. 

Most sales teams aren’t very good at using the CRM so they aren’t capturing leads. No follow-up exists. 

Bill’s team created a process that requires going through email boxes of everyone who is client-facing and capturing those email addresses. Add those people to your CRM and then apply a nurturing campaign that follows up on every single lead. 

Sellers tend to focus on things that will create a commission in the next 60 to 90 days. When you get a prospect that may take 6 to 12 months to close, you may see a tendency to drop those. Put a system in place to capture those leads and follow up with them. Use that data to understand when they are interested so you can assign a salesperson to them when they start paying attention. 

Lead follow-up represents the lowest-hanging fruit in most B2B organizations. Think of the number of people you meet at trade shows, and then figure the number of leads that actually get added to your CRM. They are all valuable prospects, but some may not be immediately valuable.

CRM

Bill dislikes the fact that CRM systems are designed for sales managers, but his team uses Pipedrive. He does appreciate the fact that modern CRMs integrate email systems so that you can see all the email interaction that’s happening within the company.

The more your company automates around CRM, the more likely the sellers will actually use it. Make it a tool that actually makes their lives better rather than just a tool that tracks what they are doing. 

In an ideal world, sales managers will work to uncover objections and help the sellers be more effective. 

Top-of-mind

Once you put some real effort into building a larger audience, it will begin to grow organically because you’re giving them social currency. Word-of-mouth works best, and we want to amplify that. The best way to do that is to give the audience that already knows you — current clients, past clients, and prospective clients — the tools to create referrals for you. 

If you’re giving them insightful and helpful content, the next time the issue comes up while they are having lunch with a peer, they’ll have the perfect thing to talk about. As your audience shares your content, you’ll get organic growth. 

Getting started

Everyone is terrified at this piece because actually doing it is the hardest part. Other than in early-stage startups, companies will struggle to accomplish this unless they tag a dedicated resource. Hire a large enough team to make it happen. 

In Bill’s case, they don’t do the writing themselves. They hire people who are already in that market, who understand it well, and who don’t have to be trained. That kind of approach works consistently to develop a steady flow of high-quality content. 

It’s a combination of well-written content with good insights that match the company’s tone. 

Coming up with ideas is the easy part. 

Send an email with a single link and a catchy headline. Drive your audience back to the website. Link all those articles together so that you create a trail of crumbs and you can see what really interests them. Your reader should never reach the bottom of the blog article and not have a next place to go. 

About us

The second most visited page on almost every B2B site is the About Us page, but 99% of the time, that page includes a boring list of executives and bios. It doesn’t sell you on the company. It doesn’t take you to the next natural place that you should go to. 

You’re trusting your prospects to figure out where to go but you really want to control that customer journey and tell the whole story. Managing that journey improves the capture rate of leads. 

Many customers choose companies who have a face on the business. They will choose you because there’s a real person behind the business who cares about them as a client. 

No quick fix

The number-one battle we face in marketing is that there’s no quick fix. This approach works, but it’s a long-term commitment. If you apply it all through your sales team, you’ll create a dramatic trajectory for your company. 

The challenger sale reports that 53 percent of why customers buy from your company traces to the sales experience rather than the product, the price, the service, or the delivery. The key is how they are sold. 

“B2B Sales Optimization” episode resources

Bill loves to talk with business owners and marketing directors about sales and marketing. You can connect with him at boomtime.com, or on LinkedIn

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Inbound Leads, Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1177: Our Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work Than Good Sales

Inbound Leads, Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

Often, you hear salespeople say, “Our inbound leads are causing more work than good sales.” It’s always on the question of who should follow up on inbound leads and how to go about it effectively.

Many small organizations are having a hard time utilizing their inbound strategies effectively. We don’t have all the variables and all the situations within an organization. Still, we can assume that there are three people on a sales team. 

The sales team

Assume that a sales team is composed of three people: the marketing person who does almost everything, the junior assistant who helps with content creation, and the outsourced person who does the marketing strategies. Among the three, who should follow-up the lead? 

Not all leads are created equal. This means that before deciding who will follow up the lead, the lead should be evaluated first.

You don’t want your salesperson pitching to a lead that in the end would go to another competitor. 

Do a pre-qualification 

Do a pre-qualification in your organization to know if the people you are going to have the conversation with are ready to consider the deal. Set a benchmark and rules for what you consider a marketing quantifiable lead. Consider the following questions: 

  • What is considered a sales qualified lead?
  • What is the KPI of your organization? 
  • How many new inbound leads do you want to get per quarter/per month?
  • How much money do you want to generate from those leads?

The answers to those questions will lead you to your ideal customer. It would also help you identify the triggers that qualify them to be a marketing quantifiable lead and a sales qualified lead. 

The work is far more efficient because when a lead comes in, your salespeople can vet them and follow the pre-qualification factors you’ve set to see if the lead can generate new business for the organization. This is also helpful in maintaining your current customers. There’s no time wasted in sifting through leads and trying to figure out which one works and which one doesn’t. 

Create a system

Create a system to efficiently manage the workload. The marketing team can do the pre-qualification to increase the odds of the lead being converted into something real. Whenever a lead comes in, let marketing take a look at it and check the website and the title of the person. 

Then let the intern or junior marketing rep take over the other tasks like looking into LinkedIn, HubSpot, Marketo, or other platforms you have to find the data that you can transfer into your CRM. 

You can then sign that into the sales team for it to become a sales qualified lead. The system prevents wasting time on people who aren’t real prospects. 

Marketing can help fix the problem of having to go back to the beginning of the funnel and pre-qualify the leads again because they’re not yet ready then. 

  • Fix your content
  • Develop a good strategy
  • Make a drip campaign for people who are not yet ready 
  • Separate the marketing qualified lead and your sales qualified lead

Website leads matter

The sales team sometimes takes for granted the leads that they didn’t hunt for. A good example is leads coming in from the websites. Salespeople have this notion that they can get more of those so they ignore them. It’s the mentality that since they didn’t work for it, it doesn’t mean much. 

You must recognize that the organization spent thousands of dollars to get that lead. The organization paid for the marketing and the sales rep to produce content on your site. You have writers and you have graphics on your site. You have all the different infrastructure to make sure that your website functions. 

It is disheartening when a sales rep doesn’t take that into consideration when a lead comes in via the website. 

Whenever an inbound lead comes in, it is best to use your flow process to follow-up particular prospects. It should be written and put in your company’s playbook so that everyone can read it and use it with every inbound lead that comes in. 

Follow-up right away 

A stat from insidesales.com said that a lead that’s contacted within five minutes is 100 times more likely to convert than leads that are followed-up 90 minutes later.

When a lead comes in, follow up right away. You’re more likely to convert than if you wait. #SalesHacks

Strike while the iron is hot. 

Do a quick research and evaluate whether the person is real, see if it’s a true marketing qualified lead, and toss it over as a sales qualified lead if it ticks all the boxes. 

The sales team can take a quick visit to the person’s website, check their LinkedIn profile, and the pages they’ve visited on your site. 

Tools like HubSpot and Active Campaign allow you to see where they’ve signed up and the number of times they’ve looked at the pages. You can then use these data to have a meaningful conversation with the prospect leads. 

Focus on the people that matter

Include in your flow process the phone call and email for the first time then do the same things a day later. Connect with them on LinkedIn and share some of their content for seven full business days. 

Do the same things that you would do with a cold person. Nurture the lead and try to grab his attention. Even if they’re not ready now, then at least you can toss it back into the marketing pool and revisit it another time. 

With the right system and by focusing on the people that matter, your work is going to be minimized but the return is going to be much higher. Filter your inbound leads and let the marketing do the review. Recognize the good ones and toss them over to the sales reps to reach out and convert. 

“Our Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work Than Good Sales” episode resource

Email Donald for more questions or connect with him via LinkedIn.

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. Our next semester begins mid-September. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If this episode answered your concerns about why your inbound leads are causing more work than good sales then don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. 

Jamie Shanks, Donald C. Kelly, Social Selling

TSE 1176: Specific Account-Based Sales Development Best Practices For The Modern, Social Sellers

Jamie Shanks, Donald C. Kelly, Social SellingFrom account selection to sales plays, Jamie Shanks helps sales professionals understand and adopt best practices for the modern, social sellers.

Jamie is the CEO of Sales For Life, which is the de-facto standard in modernizing account-based sales motion. The company specializes in social or digital selling. It evaluates how you sell today and infuses modern digital sales activities into your process. 

Account-based selling

Account-based selling refers to focusing on a set number of accounts, whether it’s organized by territory or strategic value. Instead of relying on inbound leads or channel leads, you must go outbound.

Jamie named his book Spear Selling based on a sales analogy of fishing: inbound efforts are a little like fishing with a net because you can’t choose the fish that land in your net. When you fish with a spear, you swim in the deep water and choose the whales you’re going to hunt. 

Typically, companies focus on account-based motion because they need to increase their average annual contract value (ACV) or lifetime value (LTV). 

Adopting an account-based approach

Companies often get the very first step wrong, which is account selection. Many companies use what Jamie calls wallet-share based thinking. When he was working with a company in the health and wellness space, an account exec pointed to Peloton as a company he was focused on connecting with. When questioned, the AE mentioned that one of the company leaders was a bike enthusiast who thought it might be a good fit. 

The truth is that the health company has no more strategic connection to Peloton than its competitors do. In fact, if they went through the data of relationships, they might discover that the competitors have greater social proximity to the account. That means you may devote 8 months trying to win this account to find that there’s a hurdle you didn’t account for. 

Getting the account selection process right is half the equation.

Companies that ask their sales professionals to build a list of accounts will likely find that they stack ranked companies based on revenue, number of employees, and market share potential. They didn’t think about the fact that people buy from people and relationships matter. 

Sales is a game of relationships. If you could reverse-engineer your existing advocates and customers and identify which accounts have the highest social proximity, you’ll have an advantage that your competitors can’t take from you. 

Account-based models

A centralized model looks at the equation and asks how certain sales resources like inside sales, BDRs, SDRs, and LDRs can mine the total addressable market. It maps green-flag accounts based on relationships, opportunities, and strengths. They could be referrals, partners to your existing customers, or others you’re connected to. Red-flag accounts are those where your competitors have relationships, strengths, and opportunities. 

The decentralized model seeks to identify those accounts that a company already has connections to. The idea is that the company can activate those accounts faster than the competitors can. 

Companies might go with the centralized model because it uses the $20-an-hour inside sellers to do the work instead of the more-expensive AEs. They might choose the decentralized model because they want everyone in the field to be able to unearth the total addressable market of their area. Each person is CEO of his own territory.

Account selection is a skill that everyone needs to master.

Modern digital sellers

The modern digital seller selects accounts based on relationships or social proximity and then plans those accounts using four pillars. 

  • Triggers
  • Referrals
  • Insights
  • Competitive Intelligence

These sellers build a war room or a simple one-page document that outlines the compelling stories that they can share with their audiences. When they target the accounts, they’ll use digital technology like video or LinkedIn to share insights and monitor buying engagement.

Use account segmentation to think about how much time you’ll spend on every account. Apply Pareto’s Law realizing that you’ll spend 80 percent of your time on 20 percent of your accounts which will yield 80 percent of your return. You won’t spend the same amount of time on every account.

These sales concepts have existed forever, but you’ll accelerate your momentum because digital technology allows you to identify who cares, who you should focus on, and how you can move the deal through the cycle more quickly. 

Digital sales

Social selling includes elements like LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook, but those aren’t the only elements. Modern digital sellers use any available technology to aid in the sales process. 

Companies that engage in digital account-based selling might go through the following steps:

  1. Map the total addressable market.
  2. Map the accounts that exist within each vertical.
  3. Which accounts do we not have but have open opportunities?
  4. Which accounts have we never spoken to?
  5. Of those companies we’ve never spoken to, where do we have a competitive advantage like a trigger or a referral?

If they use tools like LinkedIn to map the social networks of their customer base, they can determine whether anyone knows someone at those companies. Together with marketing, the account executives can storyboard to create a series of sales plays, which might include social media or digital tools.

They can use LinkedIn to communicate with key executives and invite them to an event because they know that conversion is twice as high with physical meetings as with virtual ones. They are using digital tools to bring customers into the analog world. 

Sales play

Sales plays are no different than football plays. The play seeks to achieve a certain result. The seller needs a first-down. Digital sellers might use video, emails, phone calls and other tools to tell the story of them versus their competitors. 

Your goal at an account is to activate the account. The activation cycle is the number of plays that you’ll run against that account. In that time, you’ll either qualify them or replace them. You cannot call into this account forever.

The best account-based teams have a defined activation cycle. Let’s assume it’s 90 days. If you don’t activate within 90 days, you’ll replace it with an account that has a great relationship opportunity. 

Sales plays exist inside that cycle. You might have three to eight different stories you tell along that 90-day journey. Those sales plays or touchpoints are organized as cadences and sequences. 

If you want to win the biggest and best accounts in the world, most companies aren’t coming inbound. You have to tell compelling stories to push them off their status quo. 

Build a series

Once you’ve identified your targets, you must build a series of plays and stories that make the person actually care. 

  • What are three to eight different things they want to know about? 
  • Do they want to know about market trends?
  • Do they want to see a real-life video of customer experience?
  • Will they want to know where they stand compared to their competitors?

What does the future hold for your customer? Think about the customer and develop a series of stories before you start hammering away at the phone. #StorySelling

Get started using all of the available tools. Jamie calls LinkedIn Sales Navigator one of his favorite. There are 500 million people on that platform. He calls it the world’s largest party.

“TSE 1176: Best Practices For The Modern, Social Sellers” episode resources

Grab a copy of Jamie’s book, Spear Selling.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales Training

TSE 1175: TSE Certified Sales Training “How to Succeed As a BDR”

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales TrainingWhether you’re learning it for your own work as a BDR or you’re preparing to help another seller, there are five important keys to help you succeed as a BDR.

If you’re looking to move to the next level as a seller, The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program group coaching program allows you to train at your own pace, either alone or as part of a group. The next semester begins this month. 

Drink your own Kool-Aid

Make sure you understand the product or service you’re selling. In fact, I recommend that you actually use it yourself. If it’s an enterprise software SAP or something large like that, you won’t likely buy it for yourself, but you should understand how the system truly operates. Know how it will help the customers you’re pursuing. 

If you’re a BDR, you’re probably not chasing every single customer. You’ll probably have a territory or a certain kind of client. Look at industry reports to understand your customers and how your solution will help. Ask previous clients why they like your solution so much.

It will also help you speak their language and be more confident in your conversations. Know the problem that you’re able to solve for your buyer.

Be intentional

BDRs must make sure to follow their company’s process, and then they have to go a step further. They must know their ratios. 

  • How many conversations does it take to get to a demonstration?
  • How many demonstrations do you typically do before you land a sale?

Keep track of these numbers. Email me and I’ll share my own prospect tracker with you. 

When you have these numbers, sales becomes more of a science. Each day, you can specify how many new opportunities you want so you can get to a demonstration. 

You won’t be as successful if you aren’t intentional. 

Listen

Become an expert at listening. Listen to the things your prospects say as well as the things they don’t say. 

Read case studies, find out what some of your current customers are doing, and understand their problems. If you listen closely, you’ll begin to notice when they aren’t telling you the real issues. Be a silent expert.

Ask tough questions

Sellers sometimes want to appear knowledgeable, so they talk a lot. Instead, focus on the caliber of questions that you’re asking. 

Make a list of these questions you can ask your prospect. Also, prepare a list of follow-up questions. If, for example, your prospect says that he already has a solution in place, you must be prepared to respond to that. Maybe something like this: “I’m not here to break up great relationships. I do, however, know that contracts end and that people typically will look for new vendors. Would you be open to see if we could benefit your organization?” 

Lead with the intro, “Out of curiosity” to soften the edge on a question like, “Why are you waiting until next year to change?”

Make sure you find great opportunities for your team.

Personalize your approach

Take advantage of video to personalize your approach. Depending on the type of business you’re in, use a tool like BombBomb to make a simple video to the prospect and include this in your flow process. 

If you’re sending emails and reaching out on LinkedIn, your personalized videos will help you stand out among the other BDRs. Personalized videos will help you connect with the right clients and produce better results. 

Outwork yourself

Compete against yourself. If you did 15 appointments last week, set a goal for 17 this week. Push yourself. Don’t compete against your teammate’s goals. Constantly seek to improve.

Success will naturally come if you constantly out-hustle your previous performance.

“How To Succeed As A BDR” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Failure, Brad McDonald, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1174: Why Do You Say That Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson?

Failure, Brad McDonald, Donald C. KellySellers get knocked down plenty of times, but sometimes failure is the greatest sales lesson.

Brad McDonald works with Sandler Systems which has 250 franchises around the world that help businesses grow by improving their sales processes. 

Failure

Brad’s 28-year career in the U.S. Navy taught him that failure could mean the difference between life and death. When he transitioned from the Navy to the sales world, he realized that many of his attempts were going to end in failure. He had to change the paradigm. 

The things he perceived were failures — having people hang up on him or cancel an appointment — weren’t really failures. 

Along the way, he learned to embrace failure. 

Gumballs

You must make a lot of sales calls in order to get to yes. On the other hand, if we see the sales calls that ended in “no” as a failure, that will feel bad. 

Brad uses a gumball analogy to explain it. If you want a green gumball from a gumball machine, and there are multiple colors inside, there’s a good chance you won’t get a green one. When you put the quarter inside, there’s a good chance you’ll get a different color. 

Imagine you’re making prospecting phone calls, or cold calls; the most dreaded form of prospecting. If you make 10, 20, or 30 calls, you’ll eventually get someone who wants to talk, just like you’ll eventually get a green gumball. 

You’ll also likely get an orange gumball which might represent a buyer who wants to talk more to see if there’s interest. If you view every orange gumball as a failure, you won’t be very likely to keep going while you wait for the green ones. If, on the other hand, you understand that you have to get the orange gumball out of the way in order to get to the green one, you can embrace it.    

Process of failure

Brad came from a culture where sailors did what he told them to do and they didn’t say no. He was surprised to find in the sales world that prospects aren’t always honest and they don’t always respect his time. And they certainly don’t feel compelled to follow his orders. Initially, all those things felt like failures. 

Failure mimics the stages of grief which are disbelief, fear, despair, anger, and acceptance. 

Brad refers to the “ok, not ok principle.” He came to believe that he needed to be ok being not ok. 

He needed to not seek to meet his emotional needs in a sales call. Many sellers get emotionally involved in their sales calls and that’s one of the five big conceptual roadblocks in sales. Head trash gets in the way. We get excited when we’re about to make a sale and we stop doing the things we need to do. 

Sales activities

Brad learned along the way that his focus on outcomes and results was wrong. He was excited when he made sales and dejected when he wasn’t. He discovered over time that focusing on things he could control, like activities, made more sense. He started doing the things he knew would make him more successful and he tracked those things. 

Brad focused on his tonality, his demeanor, his body language and other things that were well within his control. 

Conceptual issues

Brad believes that all sales problems come in one or two categories. 

  • Tactical. What do I say, When do I say it? How do I say it?
  • Conceptual. Relating to the beliefs we have between our ears.

Most tactical problems have a conceptual basis. In Brad’s case, he came out of the Navy where he didn’t fear much of anything into a setting where he was afraid to make a cold call. The fear was a result of the beliefs he held about sales.

The conceptual issues are these:

  1. The need for approval. The problem occurs when you want to be liked more than you want to make sales.
  2. The BUY cycle. How do you buy things? How do I treat salespeople when someone is trying to sell something to me? We tend to sell the same way we buy. If you tend to comparison shop, you’ll be more forgiving of buyers who do the same.
  3. Negative scripts. Many of these originate in childhood. Examples are the idea that you shouldn’t openly talk about money. Also, very few of us were raised by parents who hoped we would grow up to be successful sellers. 
  4. Emotional involvement in the sales process. It’s ok to have a love for your prospects, but you must also have the mindset that you don’t need anyone. Instead, find something that’s mutually beneficial.
  5. Money concept. Your very first memory of money has a relationship to how you feel about money now. When Brad made his first big commission check, he felt guilty for earning so much money. He had a money concept issue. 

Changing beliefs

Changing your own beliefs will take time. It’s a process. 

For his own therapy, he sat down each Sunday and wrote about his sales experiences. Those articles helped him process the emotional aspects and taught him to have honest conversations with his prospects. 

Salespeople can benefit from journaling about their own experiences, about the perceived failures, and about the head trash. 

“Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson” episode resources

Grab a copy of Brad’s book, The Art and Skill of Sales Psychology, or email him at mcdonald@sandler.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Closing, Albert Alexander, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1173: Three Great Closing Questions

 

Closing, Albert Alexander, Donald C. KellyThere are three great closing questions that salespeople often ask because everyone in the sales arena wants to make sure that we’re closing effectively. The answers to the three great closing questions will help salespeople close like a pro. 

Albert Alexander has been a partner in a construction equipment sales company that makes parts for excavators and bulldozers for 11 years now. Albert does all the marketing, inside sales, and digital marketing for the company. 

Closing questions

Often, sales reps are good at finding prospects and having a talk with them. Things change, however, when they’re turning them into leads. There are challenges in closing. 

Sales reps have this predisposed idea about how they purchase that gets in the way when they try to close a deal. Albert’s company grows 70% every year and that’s because they stick people to a process

For other sales reps, they stop in the middle of the process and it stops the action of the process moving forward. It could be because of the fear of rejection or any other reason, but the end result is the same. It halts the closing process. 

Imposing your buying style 

There are many decision types and processes that they take. For this reason, sales reps should know their customers through their pains and needs and be completely open to the different decision styles they have. Sales reps should remove their own fears and worries of rejection from the sales process and focus on their customers instead. If they do that, they can be empathetic to the needs of the clients. 

Say, for example, the client’s million-dollar equipment is not working and it needs a $50,000 part that the company sells. For the sales rep, the amount is huge and so he’d say, “I understand you need to think about it,” but that’s not the case for the client. The client is willing to spend $50,000 for his million-dollar equipment to work, but because the sales rep put his purchasing decision in the process, the entire closing will take a hit. 

Sales reps need to change their perspective or their purchasing styles and decisions when closing a deal. Sales reps need to learn to think like the clients they’re talking to instead of imposing their fears, views, concerns, or buying styles to their clients. 

Make a good logical decision for and with somebody, even when they’re concerned. Remind them of the things that are logical and that matter. 

The first step to close a deal is to put yourself in that person’s shoes better and eliminate the fears and worries. 

Closing styles 

We all have closing styles and the first one is the assumptive close. It’s extremely easy and it’s when sales reps choose and assume the next information that you have to collect and continue down the process. It’s almost like assuming that everything’s good and done after they’ve spoken with the client. 

This works for Albert’s company. They’ve implemented the assumptive process and it improved their closing deals to 25%.

So, their sales reps ask the following questions: 

  • Hey, where did you want me to deliver that?
  • When did you want that delivered? 
  • How did you want to pay for that? 
  • Is it going to be a Mastercard or wire transfer?

Most sales reps think that closing is an event and it shouldn’t be. They think that they have to ask questions and shake hands. That’s not how it works. 

If they investigate, build rapport, and lay out the solution that’s logical and emotionally fulfilling, sales reps can assume the next information and assume. Closing is not an event, it should be a natural thing. Sales reps should do all the work upfront and the closing is part of that.

Dig into the objection 

In the case of objections during a close, it’s often not the truth and just a reaction. Sales reps should dig deeper to overcome the objection. 

In Albert’s industry, there are five reasons that clients use to decline. 

  • Time 
  • Money
  • Price
  • Value
  • Quality 

Our sales reps dig deeper by feeding either of the top reasons why clients object to a deal. They wait for their response and try not to be pushy. They just make a conversation and wait because people have different buying styles. Some people like to think about it before saying yes, and some others just agree immediately. 

After the assumption, sales reps should dig deeper into their objection to see the real issue and not just the surface-level problem. In that way, you can give a solution to the real objection. 

A good sales rep is the one who can talk well and has the tenacity to understand and get down to the reasons to investigate. 

Being able to compensate with somebody doesn’t lead to a sale, you need to have a purpose and process. 

Utilize technology 

Sales reps can connect with a customer in a building effect of value. While sales reps are closing, they can talk to their clients in the process. In Albert’s company, their sales reps would send their clients’ invoices while talking to them on the phone. They also email and text pictures of what they’re going to get. They do these things while they’re closing the clients. People love how attentive the sales reps are in the whole process. 

When their sales reps close, they strive to make the clients feel like family. It’s different when clients get all the information they need while they are talking to the sales reps. 

So, utilize technology and use text and video messaging while closing because these things make them less guarded. 

Closing 

Don’t think that closing is an event

It has to be a process that sales reps are moving forward through. As a sales rep, you need to cover all the bases because everyone is the same and the sale is the same. There are different variables but you can sum them up to a few things that you can master. 

Don’t complicate it and know that you’re closing from the very start. 

Three Great Closing Questions” episode resources

Connect with Albert in his site, ConEquip.com. You can also listen to their podcast at Sellingforlife.com where they share ideas of the entrepreneurial journey. Their company has gone from zero sales to 30 million a year. They’ve become experts in Google marketing and ad words. 

You can also connect with him on his email at al@conequip.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It is a 12-course program to help sales reps and sales teams to improve their skills in finding the right customers, to know the activities and strategies that work, and how to ask the right questions to build a strong value and close business deals. Simply go to thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse to get the first two modules for free. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible. Enjoy the free 30-day trial and explore the thousands of books they have today. 

I hope this episode has been fun and helpful to you. Please review and leave us a five-star rating on Apple Podcast. You can also hit subscribe and share our show with your friends and colleagues. 

If you can, please provide your review and rating on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, and other platforms where you consume this podcast. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald C. Kelly, Inside Sales, Outside Sales

TSE 1172: Should I Start Off With Inside Sales or Outside Sales?

 

Donald C. Kelly, Inside Sales, Outside Sales

Are you new to sales and asking yourself the universal sales question, “Should I start off with inside sales or outside sales?” Many share the same thought and I have five things to help you figure out a better way to go.  

Inside sales vs outside sales 

Every company is different, however, inside roles typically have the SDR (sales development rep) or the BDR (business development rep). Depending on the company, these may be different roles done by different individuals. 

The business development reps may be the ones finding new prospects for the business. For some companies, the sales development reps are focused on the inbounds. When the sales come in through marketing or via the website, the sales development reps will get more information making them the first line of contact with the SDRs. They talk to potential clients, qualify them, and set them up for appointments. 

An inside sales rep who’s also doing outbound tasks has a lot of work. The upside to outbound sales is getting a bigger commission than the person who’s doing solely inbound tasks. 

The business development reps need to qualify people, follow up, and make sure that they know their company’s products and services to have meaningful conversations with potential customers. 

For other companies, this doesn’t matter. 

If you’re on inbound sales then your job is to generate opportunity whether it’d be through cold calling or setting up appointments for outside sales reps. If you’re on outbound sales then your job includes taking the first appointment, having a deeper discussion with the prospect, and building value with the prospects. You need to dive in and understand their needs to be able to go to the most important parts of the sales process which are the pitch, presentation, and closing the deal. 

Inside sales first 

If you’re new to sales, the best path you can go is inbound sales. Here are the reasons you need to consider why. 

The decision of whether to go to inbound or outbound sales depends on the complexity of the product or service you’re selling. Consider a B2B sales scenario in which you’re selling a product with a certain level of complexity (computer software or something from the medical industry). Coming right out of college, you may not be used to such a level of complexity. Doing outside sales and having to develop the ability to sell the product and talk about it convincingly is not the easiest route. 

This scenario will be different if you’re selling a simple product. You can easily up your game, learn everything about the product, and sell it in no time. 

So, the first thing you should do is to evaluate the complexity of the sale that you’re doing. If the product is something that you’re not familiar with, learn as much as you can about the product first before you consider doing outside sales. 

Industry

The second thing to consider is that each industry has different ways of doing things. 

Take for example a government-based industry. The deal size for government-based industries can go from $30-$150,000 and the sales cycle can run from 6-18 months. If you’re not knowledgeable about how that works, then you’re not going to last. You need to know what the industry is and make sure that you understand how it works. 

Going to the inside gives you the opportunity to learn things and understand the lingo and the processes of the industry. 

One thing I’ve learned from doing inside sales for the government is that every city government typically has a buying cycle anywhere around the October timeframe or sometime during the summer. Typically, a sales rep’s job from January to June is doing demonstrations. You can’t expect to close deals on those months. The government-industry has long sales cycles and new sales reps need to understand that before jumping into the game. 

Sales cycle 

Outside sales are good if you can close your product within 30 days but if it takes longer than that, then you need to rethink your decision. 

Sales are like hunting or going on an adventure into a new world. #SalesQuotes

It’s better to have a guide to be able to make the right decisions. In the same sense, inside sales provides a team that will guide you along the way. You’ll know the proper ways of doing things and get more help from the mothership. This is something you won’t have if you do outside sales working as a lone ranger in a remote territory without a support system. 

Doing inside sales for a long sales cycle is best to get all the proper help before going off on your own. 

Business acumen 

Being new to sales or coming straight out of college means not having a strong understanding of the business. You’ll end up being one of those traditional sales reps that everyone’s making fun of, not the sales reps who is making value. You become the order taker and you’ll have a difficult time closing deals. 

You won’t be authoritative because you won’t feel confident. 

When you’re in inside sales, your job isn’t to close deals. Your job is to understand the challenges, to understand and create opportunities, and to know how to find the right people. #InsideSales

The knowledge you get from inside sales will help you ease into the outside sales. If you do some ride-alongs, you can jump on some demonstrations with your account executive. Being an inside sales rep gives you the chance to hear what your account executive is doing and why she is doing that. 

You have the chance to learn from their demonstrations and apply those learnings to your demonstrations when you start on your own. This will help you build your business acumen. 

You’ll be able to hear your seniors when you’re on inside sales the way I did before with Heather Barkley. 

She was one of the seniors in the bullpen when I was starting out and she gave me so much knowledge. Sometimes, she’d pull me out and explain the way things work. Her teachings helped me to frame my message as I was reaching out to prospects. 

Mess up and learn 

Being new in sales, you are bound to make mistakes. When you’re on inside sales, your quota may not be as large as the ones on outside sales. 

There are a lot of expectations for someone in outside sales but in inside sales, you have some room to mess up. 

If you are on outside sales and you’re getting all these qualified opportunities but you don’t know how to close these individuals, you’re not assertive enough, and you didn’t go through the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. You’ll eventually lose the opportunities. 

When that happens, you have a higher chance of getting kicked off the team because you’re not qualified. 

Diverse learning 

Another great reason why you need to start in inside sales is the chance to meet every department and learn from different individuals. Being in inside sales allows you to understand and learn many things. You understand marketing messaging and how they communicate with sales. You also know where the accounting department is coming from and you learn about the challenges that departments face. 

Additionally, you learn in customer service that the best types of customers are the ones who don’t complain, who use the system, and more. 

All these things will make you a better outside salesperson in the future. 

Go inside first, at least for six months for you to learn the ropes. If you’re on the outside when you’re not prepared, you’ll end up frustrated. 

Before you answer the question, “Should I start off with inside sales or outside sales?” consider these things first: 

  1. Complexity of the product
  2. Type of industry
  3. Sales cycle
  4. Your business acumen
  5. Your room for error

“Should I Start Off With Inside Sales or Outside Sales?” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It is designed to help sales reps and sales teams to improve their skills in finding the right customers, to know the activities and strategies that work, and how to ask the right questions to build a strong value and close business deals. 

To see how helpful it can be, simply go to thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse to get the first two modules for free. Take a bite and have a feel of the course. 

You’d want to be a savvy salesperson and Audible can help you do that. Enjoy the free 30-day trial and explore the thousands of books they have today. 

I hope this episode has been fun and helpful to you. Please review and leave us a five-star rating on Apple Podcast. You can also hit subscribe and share our show with your friends and colleagues. 

If you can, please provide your review and rating on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, and other platforms where you consume this podcast. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound