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Aaron Ross, The Sales Evangelist, Entrepreneur

TSE 1204: “Impossible to Inevitable”

Aaron Ross, The Sales Evangelist, Entrepreneur

How can salespeople turn the impossible to inevitable

Aaron Ross is the author of the book Predictable Revenue and a proud father to nine children. The book Predictable Revenue is called the sales bible of Silicon Valley. It changed how the fastest-growing sales teams are designed. The book talked about outbound prospecting which can be a very predictable way to drive appointments and if you have predictable appointments, you can create predictable revenue. It also talks about sales specialization instead of letting the sales reps do the prospecting. Managers must break the sales team into specialized groups to assess where they excel. 

Impossible to inevitable  

His new book called From the Impossible to Inevitable is the growth bible. It’s more for C-levels: the managers, executives, and the leaders who understand the few key reasons why a company gets stuck and won’t grow. The book answers three questions:

  • Why aren’t you growing as fast as you can?
  • How can you grow faster?
  • How do you keep it up?

This book touches on sales models and expands to lead generation. From Impossible to Inevitable will teach you the ways of the fastest-growing companies in the world such as SalesForce and Twilio. The first section of the book is called Nail a Niche as it addresses the hard truth that most companies are not ready to grow and that’s the reason why they don’t grow as much as they want. 

You can’t paddle downstream if you’re not even in the stream. 

Nailing the niche

When beginning a business, there’s the tendency of selling everything to everyone. But that doesn’t work. What it does to you is that you either have no customer or you have a bunch of customers who are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. An entrepreneur may sit back and ask which of the customers are easiest to close, or who is the audience that really needs me? It is important to define who needs you. 

Aaron was part of Salesforce, where he built an internal sales program. He left the team in 2006 and did what he wanted to do, like going into adventures and other things. Aaron also worked in a venture firm, then on a thing called Unique Genius, then on CEO Flow. 

He needed to focus on a niche and figure out where his expertise lies so that he could deliver the most value for his customers. He then thought of outbound prospecting. I wasn’t the general sales consulting.

For us salespeople, this can take a lot of testing, talking, and experimentation with companies to get the right package and the right pricing programs before you nail your niche and start to grow faster. Sometimes it can take a long time because we have all these unrealistic expectations on how fast it should happen. 

Do it as Twilio does it

Twilio is a platform company that provides a bunch of technologies. Twilio is used by many companies that build software or iPhone apps to power their message alerts and phone calls. For example, Uber uses Twilio to make an Uber phone call and text because it’s difficult and time-consuming to build it themselves. 

Simply put, Twilio is a platform that companies can use to do many things. The challenge when you are marketing something like Twilio is that it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact help it can offer to a company or a client. 

A salesperson must paint a specific picture for people to get it. Twilio researched to get into the minds of their customers, to understand and build empathy with their customers. 

The common corporate value which is to walk in the shoes of your customer is something that Twilio really lives by. The company put much effort into walking in their customers’ shoes to know what they want and what they are looking for. 

Salespeople need to remember this value at all times, whether you’re writing an email or making a call. You need to know what they need to get your message across. Another secret of Twilio’s success is to let all their employees have a taste of what it’s like being the customer. 

Specific targeting

Turning the impossible to inevitable is also a result of specific targeting. You need to be more specific in choosing your audience. It’s important to talk to fewer people that are relevant to your products or services. 

Having fewer people to talk to doesn’t decrease your number of opportunities. Your goal is to become the big fish in the small pond and specific targeting is the perfect way to do that. It’s harder to change your products and services but you can do the easier part: you change your targeting instead. 

Types of leads

Lead generation is the main driver for your growing business. There are three kinds of lead generation: seeds, nets, and spears. The seeds are relationship-driven leads, these include referrals, word of mouth, and friends/families. Since these are relationship-based leads, they are faster to close and with a higher rate. The downside is that it’s more difficult to generate. Word of mouth is hard to grow. 

The second type is the nets. These are marketing. You are casting a wide net which means you’re broadcasting one too many. These leads include a podcast, billboards, or online marketing. You get more leads in terms of quantity than in quality. 

The last type is spears which are prospecting. It’s when you have typically a targeted list. It’s smaller in number but you get better opportunities out of it. 

Businesses almost always start with the word of mouth but as you start to grow, you will want to venture into content marketing and prospecting. As a company, you need to know the kind of leads that bring in clients. Figure where you excel and put more effort into that first before you move on into other types of leads. 

Pick the one that’s right for you at first and do more of it. Do not do all the three leads at once unless you’re a huge company with millions of funding. It might take years for you to figure out what works best, it might take years for your sales design team to come up with a plan that works, but it’s all worth it in the end. 

One section in the book Impossible to Inevitable is a lesson from Mark Roberge, the CRO of HubSpot. He has hired hundreds of people and the number one thing they look for when hiring is coachability. It’s an individual’s ability and desire to learn and their ability to connect, change, and adapt. 

Companies who are expanding and hiring people should look at the coachability of a person. Aside from that, as a company, you also need to know the kind of roles you need. 

Small steps

If you are a startup business, start with the basics. The CEO starts selling, then he hires a junior person to do prospecting and appointment setting. After a few months, you can promote that person to closing or you hire a closer. You look at your company and you see that there are now two people selling, the CEO and the newly hired close. You also have the junior person to do the lead generation. 

Think of smaller steps instead of going too quickly and hiring the wrong individuals in the process. 

The social media is always surrounded by stories of fast success but the reality in sales and in business is that it takes years before you get to the top. 

Everyone is struggling especially entrepreneurs because it’s your job to struggle and solve problems. So the next time you are discouraged, just remember that many others are in the same boat. #Entrepreneur

“Impossible to Inevitable” episode resources

Connect with Aaron Ross on LinkedIn and check out his website Predictable Revenue. 

You can also reach out to Donald for your sales concerns and interesting stories via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

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.

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 to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at 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.

Jeet Banerjee, Lead Generation, Digital Marketing

TSE 926: Lead Generation Through Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing options will always exist for business owners and people in sales. Digital marketing, however, can be a more cost-effective way to grab people’s attention and guide them down a path to purchasing.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Jeet Banerjee discusses how lead generation through digital marketing can help you bring customers into your funnel.

Jeet is a serial entrepreneur who wrote the book Limitless Thinking: How One Young Entrepreneur Found Success With No Degree, Experience or Money, and he’s a digital marketing expert and a TEDx speaker. Share the tips you hear today with your team to make your process easier.

Digital marketing mistakes

Digital marketing is the concept of using technology as a medium to promote a business, concept, idea, or service; basically, anything that needs promotion.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that everyone is their ideal customer. That really means you don’t know who your customer really is.

Jeet launched a company years ago to help students get into college, and he knew so much about his ideal customer that he could tell you what he’d be doing on a Friday night.

Jeet believes you have to get that specific. He also believes that the more specific you are, the more successful you’ll be.

You aren’t leaving other customers on the table when you do that. You’re simply making your process easier by focusing on the people who are more likely to buy from you.

Once you’ve done that, you slowly scale out. Then you can try to convince the random guy on the street to become a customer.

Know where to start

Once you know your customer, you know where to start. You go where your customer is.

If your ideal customer is a private practice doctor, what digital marketing medium is this doctor who owns his own practice using? Is he on Facebook? On doctor forums? Reddit? What is he doing with his time?

Figure that out, and go there first.

There are a few different ways to figure out where they are spending their time.

  1. Offer your product free to a select group of ideal customers in exchange for a conversation about them. Ask where they spend time, what they do, and what their hobbies are.
  2. Go to forums like Reddit, discussion boards, or other forums and post a question. Use the same questions above.
  3. Use Google to search for surveys and articles that address your customer group.

Collect the data to get insight into where you should dig deeper.

Launch your digital marketing strategy

Once you have data, use the feedback your customers gave you.

Keep in mind what they said about marketing and colors and approaches, and then create a campaign. It might be a video, photo, blog post, or whatever you think will work.

Don’t rely on one thing. Try several variations to see what gets the best reception and what’s profitable.

There’s no silver bullet to digital marketing.

It’s true that content is still king, but it has become tougher to really succeed because you have to compete with sponsored ads. Consumers will see those before they see your content.

Also now everyone knows that content is king, so it’s more competitive. You have to elevate your game even further.

Create great content that people will organically share themselves. Once you do that, you’ll have your own audience and your own consumers sharing it for you.

Focus on content that’s shareable, not necessarily content that’s buyable.

Find the right people

You have to put the right product in the hands of the right people.

You can’t put a football in a tennis player’s hand, but if you put a football in Tom Brady’s hands, you know what he’s going to do with it.

You don’t have to create multi-million dollar content. You’ll get massive results if you create content that hits home and put it in the hands of the right people.

Make sure you’re authentic as well. Don’t copy your competitors simply because they are having success with their own campaigns. Establish your own voice.

Your voice will get lost, and you’ll inadvertently point to the other company because your voice sounds so much like theirs.

There will always be people who hate your “voice” and others who love it. Be authentic and be you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

“Digital Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Jeet at his website, Grab a copy of his book Limitless Thinking: How One Young Entrepreneur Found Success With No Degree, Experience or Money

Click here to see his TEDx talk If Not Now, When? and connect with Jeet on LinkedIn.

This episode is also brought to you in part by, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Veronica Romney, Sales and Marketing, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 718: The Secret to Selecting the Perfect Digital Marketing Firm to Help Increase Sales

Veronica Romney, Digital Selling, The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyThinking about social selling and hiring a digital marketing firm to do it? Not so fast, though.

Today’s guest is Veronica Romney and she’s going to shares with us some insights about what you should do and know before selecting a digital marketing company.

Veronica is the President and CEO of LoSoMo, Inc., a digital marketing agency specialized in location-based services. They help drive businesses both online and offline to bring as much relevant business to your physical store or online office.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Veronica:

The Power of Smartphone

  • It can personalize what you’re doing.
  • Everything you do will leave a digital footprint and this will change the behavior of your devices.
  • When you do a search on your phone, it’s going to localize and personalize things for you.

Biggest Mistakes People Make with Digital Marketing:

  • Underestimating what you can do
  • Underestimating what social media can do.
  • Not understanding that everything we do is trackable
  • Failure to select the right digital marketing firm

Common Red Flags to Look for in Some Digital Marketing Firms

1. Word-of-Mouth

There is no certification for SEO experts. Word-of-mouth is not as reliable unless you get that referral at the right time and at the right place.

2. Companies that only do services for one industry can duplicate their efforts.

Work with someone who only do it for a specific industry. Most companies that only work for one industry are notorious for recycling their work. They could send word-for-word copies and that could put you in danger of plagiarizing content. Or they could copy another company’s website and things could get messed up.

3. They claim they have 97% client retention rate.

Be careful to read the fine prints. Because if you leave before the year, they could take your website from you. And your website could disappear.

Characteristics of a Good Digital Marketing Company:

1. They ask you, what is going to change between now and 2-3 months from now?

If you have a reason for this, is it worth that business?

2. They build a tech relationship that is consultative and education-based.

Strategies for Selecting a Digital Marketing Firm:

  • Be aware that your business is your arena. It’s your choice to do your business.
  • What digital marketing agencies can do is to just help you.
  • Evaluate the agency whether they have hunger in what they do.

Veronica’s Major Takeaway:

Every single thing is trackable. There is nothing hidden behind some curtain of mystic. There is data behind every product in your hand.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Veronica on LoSoMo, Inc. or send her an email at Follow her on Twitter @vromney.

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