Have you ever thought to use AI to increase sales? In today’s society, the application of AI is apparent throughout many industries, including sales. 27% of global consumers say that AI can deliver better service than humans, 38% believe AI will soon improve customer service, and 73% of global consumers are willing to utilize AI if it makes their lives easier.
Chad Burmeister is a cofounder of Sales Ex Inc. Their company is rooted in the idea that AI can increase revenue, eliminate repetition, and make selling more efficient and effective.
Growing up, Chad had always been at the cutting edge of technology and was always looking for ways to make people’s lives more efficient.
Chad is officially releasing his book, AI for Sales, this Thanksgiving, November 28th along with Stu Heinecke’s Get the Meeting. If you buy both books on Amazon and send them a screenshot, you’ll get a dozen VIP conference codes for next year to attend events such as Sales 3.0 and AISP. With the codes, you’ll get a20% – 85% discount. Chad is encouraging everyone to read the books and meet the authors at the conferences.
Chad has seven virtual sellers who are commissioned, salespeople. The team has set up a daily data poll for these virtual sellers with a company called Lead 411. The data is fed into their CRM and the CRM goes through their email bot, a virtual assistant named Marissa Brown. They create preconfigured emails that filter through these virtual assistants so multiple batches of emails can be sent every day. The AIs are preprogrammed to have a “conversation” akin to what you see on a chat feature. When a person responds, the AIs can communicate with the prospects.
The chatbots can also set up meetings and appointments. The AIs chatbots are configured to know when to schedule an appointment. It knows when you’re out of the office or if you have time for a meeting.
One simple questions have about a thousand variations, such as the cost of a service or a product. The AI knows what to listen for and offers a very simple answer. It then replies with the cost, along with a link to your calendar so the prospect can set up a meeting.
As the business owner, you need to teach the AI to respond in a way that gets the highest level of conversion. If you are a BDR (Business Developer Representative)assigned to pulling data from a CRM and pushing the send button, then your job might be in jeopardy. However, most BDRS are doing more than just pulling data. They are also pulling relevant lists, and doing research. Additional tasks include figuring out which people to send emails to, writing a good email, and leaving a voicemail as needed.BDRs are responsible for a complex system of outreach.
Chad’s tools called BDR.AI executes 50 to 100 connection requests per day through LinkedIn and get over 100 emails a day on the same platform.
By using this software, they get five to fifteen meetings a month. As a result, the organization can work more efficiently. The AI allows the BDR more time to do other tasks. This would include getting on the phone to connect with people personally. This enables them to understand their customer’s needs and show a more personal interest to the prospects. The tools let the bots and humans do what they do best.
Tokyo, for example, pushed a 4-day work week and the results have shown about a 40% increase in productivity. That increase can be attributed to the use of AI in their respective industries.
Salespeople can do more with their day than just sitting in their offices, making appointments and making calls. They can now spend time with their families or take the Friday off to just improve their quality of life.
In the virtual world, somebody always gets to play God. While it’s true that salespeople can use AI to increase sales, there are also downsides in using it. Let’s consider the trolley car example and put yourself in the conductor’s shoes. As you’re going down the tracks, there are five people on the right side and one person on the left. You can’t stop the train so you have to pick a side to do an emergency stop. Many people would say to choose the left to minimize the damage.
However, let’s say the five people are wearing an orange jumpsuit and the one on the left is your child. In this scenario, there are many solutions and a million points of data to consider. Mathematician Chris Beal says it would take a very long time before we could put all that information in the system. He further added that the AI can only get to a certain point and then it’s up to us to make the final decision.
We tend to let the bots make the decision for us but think of the trolley dilemma. In hiring, the bot would go to the more qualified candidate. But who really determines the qualification?
In small companies, a decision like this is easy. It’s much more efficient to get a bot who can do a better job at a lesser cost. The same isn’t true for bigger companies where more political decisions are involved.
Chad believes that there will be a need for people to help companies make decisions about the ethical use and deployment of AIs.
AIs are helpful but you need to assess where they can be of help. It’s imperative to know your top three pains to be able to find the right solutions. A lot of companies get their lists wrong the first time because they fail to consider their ideal customer profile.
Always go for your target list to get the right people and give these lists to your reps. This keeps them from wasting their time looking for unqualified prospects.
Joe, the head of product from Inside View, says they can go into companies and take a look at their CRM to analyze all the closed deals Their best customer profiles are revealed after analyzing the transactions that have already happened.
These customers renew, they purchase when upselling is offered, and they pay on time. On the other side of the coin are the clients who don’t pay and don’t renew. Your goal as a sales company is to go after the best customers.
This is the area of AI that helps companies grow. It’s the ability to look at data and change the trajectory of the organization by leading sales reps to the right customers.
Salesdirector.AI is doing a great job of utilizing AI to improve its sales force. Their bots send messages by text and ask a series of questions pertaining to your sales schedules and appointments.
AIs are programmed to be efficient. It can go through huge amounts of data using a fraction of the time. By using AI, you can give your salespeople the tasks that they can focus on such as building trust and rapport as well as building human to human connections.
Reach out to Chad at SCALEX.AI. Use AI to increase sales and to always stay ahead of the game.
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This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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Is it possible to have a “perfect day” in sales? Phone calls from prospects just as soon as you walk into the office … demonstrations are set … proposal reviews are awesome; everything is smooth sailing.
What would it take to have that perfect day in sales? Do we have control over any of the elements? I think so.
In this episode of The Sales Evangelist, I will share something valuable that I learned over the weekend that can help us all accomplish the perfect day in sales. [0:00]
There was an awesome older lady in our congregation who recently passed away. During the eulogy, her daughter shared a story about her mom who was, apparently, quite a perfectionist.
She always looked great. Everything was always on point.
One day when the daughter was leaving for school, the mother noticed that the daughter had only ironed the front side of her skirt. As the daughter explains, she didn’t see any reason to iron the back of the skirt because she was going to be sitting down at school, nobody was going to see it. It just didn’t matter.
Her mother disagreed and told her, “Perfection is not an accident.” [02:46]
She was right. If you want something to work out well, it isn’t going to happen by accident. The perfect job, the perfect marriage – the perfect day in sales – do not happen by accident. You have to do something to make it work.
None of us will be perfect but we can get close. We can get results if we put in the work.
Michael Phelps, for example, imagined in his mind the perfect swim meet before every competition. He knew what it would feel like to win – to have the perfect race. He practiced for perfection and it is no accident that he became the best swimmer in the world. [03:33]
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Usain Bolt, Mother Teresa … They are all arguably the best in their chosen fields because they put in the work.
Imagine the most amazing appointments and demonstrations on the schedule. Proposal reviews, closing calls, deals closing left and right … It can happen. It won’t be perfect, maybe a few will need to reschedule, but it will be pretty darn close. [04:56]
Certainly, you’ve noticed the sellers in your organization who always seem to have the perfect day; everything always seems to work out for them. How do they do it?
They are prepared. They know that the perfect day in sales will not happen by accident.
Do all you can now to have appointments for next month. Maybe that means going early to the office to respond to the leads that came in overnight and get ahead of the competition. Make the calls. Make the follow-ups.
Do the work so the results will come. The perfect day in sales will come.
It takes time and it takes sacrifice. You have to be willing to sacrifice the ‘now’ to earn enjoyment later. [05:25]
I could spend my entire lunch break chit-chatting with my buddies in the break room every day, or I could give up one or two of those days and focus on returning emails or reaching out to folks on LinkedIn instead. [06:40]
We just published our 1,000th episode. That is five years worth of content and we’ve been fortunate to be covered by Huffington Post, Hubspot, and Entrepreneurial Magazine.
Some people might think that we just got lucky. But in truth, it happened because we put in the work. When this first started, I also worked a full-time day job.
I used my lunch break to schedule podcast interviews. Then, I would find park my car near a spot with good WiFi and record interviews with my guests over Skype.
I could have easily decided that it was too time-consuming or too much work. I could have chosen to hang with my buddies over lunch. Instead, I made the necessary sacrifices and it paid off. [07:04]
As a salesman, I became of the top performers in my company. Again, not because I was lucky or because management liked me more.
It was because I went to work early, I studied the sales content, I understood the sales process. I learned from the different departments and I made sure I knew what was happening in the industry.
To educate myself, I studied past deals and read case studies. I knew what the directors wanted and I knew what my competition was doing. I called more people and set more appointments. [08:26]
My company and my podcast aren’t perfect but we are striving for it every day. We put in the work towards reaching the perfect result, the perfect company, the perfect podcast.
Put in the hustle. This is not a New Year’s Resolution type thing that lasts a few months. It has to be a desire. You have to want to achieve the perfect day in sales.
If you don’t know where to start, look for the people in your group that are succeeding and ask them for advice. If you can’t find anyone like that, come to me. I am always more than happy to share what I’ve done, what I see clients do, how I help people, etc. [09:07]
It is going to take work. It is going to take sacrifice.
Thank you to Evelyn Terry. She was an amazing woman. Perfection doesn’t come by accident. Evelyn left a legacy and a fire burning.
This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.
They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.
This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
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Getting that first appointment with executives is definitely a tough nut to crack. So many salespeople end up not doing it at all out of fear of failure or they do it and they do it all wrong. Our awesome guest today, Ben Favier, is here to share with us some secrets in landing sales appointments with high level executives.
Ben has over 15 years of sales experience handling B2B and B2C sales, mostly with enterprise software sales. He has then decided to share all the sales tools, techniques, and tactics he has learned over the years through writing his recent book, How to Obtain Sales Appointments with Executives: Proven Steps to Land the Initial Sales Appointment with High-Level Decision Makers.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Ben:
Why another sales book?
Ben presents tactics, techniques, strategies, and mindset for the initial step of getting the first appointment with an executive, which he hasn’t seen in other books out there.
Ben says dialing for dollars is one of the biggest mistakes people make in trying to set up an appointment. Why? Because it’s not going to work. Eventually, you will get burned out.
How to change to a business management consultant mindset:
Salescopy writing and effective cold calling techniques
Some resources you can tap into:
Some ways to obtain sales appointments with executives:
Sometimes they’re not going to give you their email address for fear of getting hammered by email. Then you can send something through fax like a fax software service so you can easily fax from your computer.
Ben’s Major Takeaway:
Keep reading. Get mentors. Don’t just keep dialing for dollars without knowing what you’re saying. Get that training. Keep studying and going to seminars and you’ll get there.
Connect with Ben Favier on LinkedIn
Get Ben’s book How to Obtain Sales Appointments with Executives
Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.
Think about more ways than just picking up the phone for you to utilize business. Attention span of clients nowadays are so short.
You’re probably using a calendar invite to book appointments. Now, if you find it to be a little clunky, try using this tool: Assistant.to
What Assistant.to can do for you:
Now, if you already have Sidekick installed and then you send this calendar invite embedded in your email, you will then see that the prospect opened it and clicked on it. Then you can track that stuff and view where they’re accessing your email from and when they’ve opened it.
Are you using other tools to set your appointments? Let me know. I want to learn what you’re using and how is it working for you. If you’ve already tried assistant.to, tell me about it. Drop me an email at email@example.com or better yet, join our private Facebook group and we would love to hear from you!
We have all heard it before that people buy from those they know, like and trust! Yes, I totally agree with this statement as well, but there is one problem HOW? How does one build relationship with a perfect stranger to the point where they know, like and trust you? Well, this is why I’m doing this episode.
After really thinking about this topic, analyzing my past business/personal relationships, I came up with three ways we can easily build relationship with others to get known, liked and trusted. Now, obviously strong relationships takes time and effort but doing these three things will help you see incredible results.
Smile more with your prospects:
There is something contagious about having a smile on you face. Studies show that when you smile, others will naturally return with a smile. A smile also makes you look more excited and confident in what you are doing. This translate to the prospect that you are passionate about your offering, thus generating a sense of curiosity in the prospect to learn more. Now, I’m not telling you to go out and smile like a circus clown. But a nice warm smile will go a long way to help prospects take down their defensive guards.
According to the great Wikipedia, “Mirroring is the behavior in which one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another”. So how can mirroring help you get known, liked and trusted from your prospects? Well, people tend to like others who they feel a connection with, someone who is like them. When you mirror, it reflects that you are in sync with others and are like them in some way.
This subconsciously allow the prospect to open up a bit more. However, don’t get the idea that you should copy every thing the other person does, but pay attention to the mood of their body language and reflect that in your posture. If their legs are crossed, you should cross your legs as well. Maybe a hand gesture on their face or the tone of their speaking. There are many different ways you can do this. Try it with family members and friends and see how much fun it is.
This is also a very simple thing you can do and it relates very closely to the idea of mirroring. Essentially it shows that you are human and can sympathize with them. So many times well meaning sellers go into a meeting so cocky that it becomes a turn off. They put themselves above their prospects and makes the prospects feel inferior. Many times this happens when the sales person start using buzz words and terminology that the prospect does not understand. And once that happens, the meeting with be over and the sales persons will be dismissed with a statement live “leave some literature and I will get back to you”.
Don’t be that type of seller! Speak the prospects language. Explaining your product or service in away that relates to their business. Give examples that tie to their industry, success stories of companies like them. Before you meet with them, do some research via LinkedIn (social media) and see if you have anything in common. This is a great way to take down the barriers that prospects have up initially.
Overall, the more people feel you are relatable (like them), the more they begin to trust and open up to you. Doing these simple activities of smiling more, mirroring your prospects and being relatable, you will increase you chances significantly to being known, liked and trusted. Try it and let me know how it works for you. Drop me am email at Donald@thesalesevangelist.com. You can also join in on some of our other sales conversation in our private Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers. Either way, I can’t wait to hear from you. In the mean time, remember to DO BIG THINGS!
One of the big plagues for sellers is taking notes or updating accounts in their CRM (Customer Relations Management). Many of us love to visit with clients and prospects to learn their challenges, but when it comes to taking notes or writing a recap of what was discussed it is torture! I have heard my fair shares of “logical reasoning” (aka excuses) why sellers have tough time doing this.
Here are a few of the common ones that I came across:
My personal gripe with taking notes was that it took me away from actually selling. I wanted to be out there visiting with client, doing demos, networking, you know really doing sales stuff! Over the years though, I came to realize that I was totally wrong! Taking effective notes is a key part of any sales process. In this podcast episode I go more in depth about this.
Here are some reasons why I started taking effective notes:
Why Note Taking Is So Important:
Easy Ways To Take Notes:
Well I hope that this is able to help you as much as it helped me. All the excuses that I have heard are no longer valid. I saw amazing results from my efforts to properly tack key information.
Another benefit is that it also allows for your supervisors to easily review account information without the need to bother you on next steps or why the account is not moving.
Remember to GO OUT AND DO BIG THINGS!
It’s GAME TIME! Using your time wisely is very important. In this episode I talk about the importance of scheduling your time properly with your prospects. As a salesperson, how you schedule your appointments is important. You need to take in consideration when the decision maker is available or when they are ready to go over a proposal. Use your resources wisely and your calendar is powerful.
Use your calendar and schedule time to listen to my podcast and improve your selling skills!
Listen to this episode by clicking below.
Not getting enough appointment with your prospects? Well fear not, I am here to tell you the secrets of getting more appointments and eventually convert those prospects into clients. The secret is not how many times you have called them or even how many times you email them, but the secret is how do you stand out from your competitors.
In this episode I will teach you THE SECRET into getting you in communication with that decision maker. I share with you my experiences when applying this secret and how it can help you.
Here is what you will learn:
Life is about thinking outside of the box and how you can make it your own.
Click below to listen to the episode