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Category Archives for Pipeline

Retail, Sales From The Street, Sales Reps

TSE 1170: Sales From The Street: “Teach Them How To Educate”

Retail, Sales From The Street, Sales Reps

Derek Badala frequently travels with sales reps to teach them how to educate the customer in an effort to solve problems. As the director of sales at Synthax, he is always on the road traveling with sales reps and training them to become another version of himself — a skilled sales leader, influencer, and consultant. 

Technology and education

Being in the audiovisual industry, it could be said that technology and education are their biggest challenges. Making a sale is difficult, especially with new products. You must understand everything about the product and its application. Everybody is trying to get a sale and trying to close deals fast without asking all the necessary questions. With the competition in the market, there’s not enough time to learn about the new product and how it can be applied to the prospects’ problems.

Derek focuses on educating the sales reps and covering all the ways that the products can be used, and less on the features and benefits. He’s working to find ways that his products can make the clients’ lives easier. 

Sales reps must not skip this educating stage and must learn the product and its application to the lives of the client. Too much excitement over a deal that hasn’t happened yet may cause the deal to fall apart. 

Skipping steps

Derek had a client who was excited about getting a product from Digigram that would provide background music to stores. Neither the client nor the sales reps understood all the things about the product and its services. They got ahead of themselves and weren’t able to prepare the details that the client needed. Instead, the company should have better studied the client’s needs to know exactly how the products fit. 

When reps skip steps, it can cause deals to fall apart, which can negatively affect your pipeline. #SalesPipeline

Their company also sells widgets that clients can buy in retail stores. It’s difficult to educate salespeople in retail stores about the product because they have their personal favorites and they immediately suggest those products. It’s a challenge to tell them about your product and make them answer the customers’ questions.

When customers aren’t given enough information about a product, they often buy something that they’re not happy with. They are boxed into thinking about this particular product that salespeople in the retail store like. This is always a challenge. 

Trade shows 

Derek’s company does a lot of trade shows where he teaches classes on audio networking, and how to do audio over IP net. He also teaches classes on how to choose the right audio interface for musicians so that they won’t be sold products they don’t need.

The company’s goal is to educate the market and the customers through webcasts, webinars, and a whole lot more. 

Lunch and Learn 

The company also does a lot of lunch and learn while traveling. While the internet is an efficient tool in disseminating information, there’s still nothing more effective than getting in front of people and teaching them. Buying them lunch and then educating them about your products in a graceful way is very effective. 

Derek travels with many sales reps and while traveling, he continues to teach them how to educate others as well. They attend sessions and they learn from him by example. Instead of telling them a litany of features and benefits of certain products, Derek tells them a story. 

It is important to have success stories to tell about the products. Share little nuggets about the product to catch the clients’ attention. 

Competition 

The industry is growing and with it, competition grows as well. With every product line added, there’s new revenue being added into the business. Even when a company experiences growth, it’s still hard to miss that others are growing as well. 

There are competitors out there who are as good as, if not better than you. Regardless of the competition, we’re now seeing more resellers who are interested in knowing more about the products they sell. 

Derek’s company has grown since he joined in 2017 and he has seen a lot of improvements. They’re now seeing great improvements in the Ferrofish brand as it’s now being used for Broadway shows, the Superbowl, and for broadcast.

It’s always a battle to be on the top line funnel. You always plant sales and cultivate the leads to turn them into closed deals. 

Be the best listener 

In sales, it is important to be the best listener. One of the biggest mistakes in sales is owning the talk. You want to know more about the customers to be able to present solutions to their problems. You need to listen to them and see how you can help. 

After listening, you need to ask questions and listen to their responses. These steps are more important than presenting your clients with the features and benefits of the product. 

“Teach Them How To Educate” episode resources

Stay connected with Derek via his LinkedIn account. You can also visit the company website, RME-USA.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 Training Sales Program. It is a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or 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. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Pipeline, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Coaching

TSE 1157: The Pipeline Hoax

Pipeline, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Coaching

 

The American dream or the pipeline hoax? The American dream is about owning a home or a piece of property that belongs to you. But homes are expensive and not everyone can afford the American dream. In the year 2000, people who shouldn’t have qualified for home-ownership started owning homes and this occurrence caused a worldwide crisis. 

The housing crisis connects to sales in two ways: greed and improper qualification. Bankers wanted to get more mortgages so they could sell these mortgages to the secondary market. The problem with this is that people who were getting houses were not qualified for the mortgages they got. The bankers did whatever it took to get people through the door. When prices went up, these homeowners fell short and eventually lost their homes. 

Sales pressure

As sales leaders, you face this situation often. You need to bring in the dollars, and you’re judged based on how much money you can help the company make. Sales reps are expected to have as many deals as possible in the pipeline. This is where the hoax comes in. 

Salespeople sometimes mask leads in later stages of the pipeline as opportunities. These deals don’t close because the people were never truly qualified. They don’t have the money or the time frame. 

Sellers are marking leads who are investigating, doing research, and window shopping as though they are opportunities. The sales reps may have 50 of these deals but only 10 truly qualified people. The sales reps keep adding these people to the pipeline because they’re told to add opportunities. The quality decreases because they’re adding leads instead of real opportunities. 

Similar to the housing crisis, the sales reps report these numbers to you. As the sales leader, you present it to the VPs and they make decisions based on the potential revenue sources. When the time comes for the revenue to start coming in, you look bad, the VPs look bad, and the company looks bad. As a result, someone is getting fired. 

This situation causes a crisis within the organization. Sales leaders take the fall because they’ve been deceived by the sales reps who try to sell leads as opportunities. 

Consistent education 

As sales leaders, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the pipeline hoax doesn’t happen again. Yelling at your sales reps won’t solve the problem. What you need is consistent education. 

One-on-one coaching time 

One-on-one coaching time with your sales reps is critical. Make sure to establish a distinct definition of a lead versus an opportunity. Don’t assume that sales reps know this because it’s in the sales handbook or in the orientation. Play it safe by reiterating it to the sales reps so that the quality of your leads won’t deteriorate. 

Watch the internal culture. Numbers are good but they must be the right numbers. Teach them that a proper lead is someone who shows interest, has the budget, and has a specific timeframe. Sales reps must be able to gauge this information in their business conversations. 

Give the sales reps a rundown of the important steps in the process. Print them and put them on their desks to keep the culture focused on quality. 

Sales leaders can talk about all these things with their sales reps in one-on-one meetings. Discuss these subjects with them, see how they take on deals, and don’t be afraid to identify and fix the problems. 

Role-playing 

Role-playing is another excellent method for educating your sales reps. 

  • Have your sales reps do a role-play of how they talk to their clients
  • Have your senior sellers who excel in their jobs demonstrate how they qualify their leads properly
  • Point out how and what should happen or how they go about getting the proper information. 

Doing all these things protects you from falling into the hoax. 

Re-education is the answer to an organization’s problem. When the sales reps aren’t asking the right questions and when they don’t understand what leads and opportunities are, they’ll bring in numbers that look crazy at the end of the quarter. 

Foster the proper culture in the organization so your sales reps will bring in the right numbers and close more deals. 

“The Pipeline Hoax” episode resources 

Take care of your sales team and help them improve. Learn more about that with The Sales Evangelist Certifies Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, asking the right questions, and closing a great deal. There are 12 modules in all but 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! 

Check out Audible as well and its thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Go to audibletrial.com/tse

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Rob Kall, Cein, Quality of Sales Leads

TSE 1043: 5 Ways to Measure the Quality of your Leads, Pipeline, and Sales Talent

Rob Kall, Cein, Quality of Sales LeadsWhen you’re scaling an organization, it’s important that you’re able to measure the quality of your leads, pipeline, and sales talent. It important for business owners as well as sales reps, because simply adding people to the organization won’t necessarily result in more sales.

Today Rob Kall talks about the numbers that we might not be measuring and the importance of that data in helping your organization grow and improve.

Although they aren’t commonly measured, these data are the true drivers of your organization’s success.

Soft things

Many sales leaders believe that the solution to any sales struggle is to throw more bodies at it. Though that option may work sometimes, it comes at a cost.

Eventually, you’ll find that you aren’t getting that much more out of the machine despite the added personnel.

In response to that problem, Rob and his company spent a lot of time looking at how you can move to tangible measurements instead of making decisions based upon gut feelings.

They have identified 5 metrics to improve your company’s performance.

1. Lead quality

Leads are not created equal. If I have 1,000 leads and a 2 percent conversion to close, that’s a super easy way to measure.

But if I get a referral from my rich uncle, that’s probably a much easier sale than calling someone who has never heard of my business or product.

We fail to pay attention to these factors, but they are important. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to determine.

Begin by creating a baseline.

If you find that of 1,000 leads you generated in the last period, you were able to generate 20 sales, you can measure a 2 percent conversion.

You can also evaluate your leads by industry and location.

Once you understand those conversions, you can identify the leads that are not likely to close and stop wasting your time on them.

2. Prospecting effectiveness

Prospecting results in a lot of “no” responses.

The only thing that really matters is engagement. As a rep, you must get a certain amount of engagement every day.

Some people do it with sheer numbers. Others send fewer contacts but they personalize the ones they do send.

Whichever approach you use, make notes every single time an activity results in something. When you do, you’ll begin to recognize patterns.

Your numbers might look great, but if the outcomes aren’t there, those numbers don’t mean as much.

3. True pipeline

Rob points to a concept he calls a critical deal.

Some companies do pipeline reviews on a weekly basis but others do it on a daily basis. It’s a chance to see how well deals are progressing.

Consider the following three factors:

  • Is it a big deal that matters? If it’s a $500 deal when typically your deals average $10,000, you probably shouldn’t even look at it. Is the significance there?
  • Is it a deal that is unlikely to close? Consider the probability.
  • Has something happened that would make you think it’s less likely to close? If you’ve had no communication with the customer or other indications that the deal may stall, consider those.

If these three factors aren’t there, you probably should focus on other deals. Move the critical deals forward and think about your deals in a structured way.

4. Product knowledge

On the rep side of the issue, reps must have product and industry knowledge. When you’re just starting out, you won’t have as much knowledge as those who have been there for years.

How well does this rep know the industry and the product? How does he compare to other reps?

Those with the best product knowledge won’t necessarily be the best performers. You can’t possibly know every single factor of the industry.

You simply must know enough to be credible. Those who haven’t reached that minimum threshold will struggle until they do.

Consider also closing ability or the ability to look at the last part of the deal.

When you get to the last stage of a deal, what happens? How often do you win? You’ll see patterns if you track this rate.

Does one rep have more of a killer instinct?

5. Engagement ability

If you are able to generate a lot of engagement, you’re probably a good communicator. You’re probably good at providing valuable information to the prospect.

Instead of measuring how the prospect responds to it, measure how much engagement the rep is able to generate.

Technology

The reality is that your sales team probably includes a few people who don’t have the right product knowledge and a few people that don’t have valuable leads.

You may have a few areas where your marketing team is spinning its wheels.

When you start addressing some of these shortcomings, you start to see amazing results.

By fixing the one thing that’s screwing you up, you unlock the potential for your sales organization.

Team mood

As a sales leader, you probably have a gut feeling about your team’s morale. You know whether they are optimistic or not.

When negativity is present, it will affect your team’s ability to sell. It will also affect your retention and your on-boarding.

Though no product is perfect, there are frequently just one or two things that are causing grief.

  • How do they feel about the materials they have?
  • How do they feel about coaching?
  • What kind of competitive pressures are they feeling?

You’ll likely identify multiple areas of improvement that will help your team perform better.

Limiting factors

Many limiting factors don’t simply add up. They multiply.

If you can improve it a little bit, even if you can’t perfect it, you’ll get results from that thing. If the rep doesn’t know the product, train him. If the team doesn’t feel good about the commission plan, explain it.

If your product isn’t ready for market, figure out what you can do to improve it.

“Measure the Quality of your Leads, Pipeline and Sales Talent” episode resources

Connect with Rob at cien.ai. It’s a reference to doing things 100 times. You can also connect with him personally on LinkedIn @RobertKall.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

This episode is also 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.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, SDR, Business Development,

TSE 1037: How Can I Become a Great Sales Development Rep

Donald Kelly, SDR, Business Development,The people who find opportunities and qualify prospects for your organization are vitally important to your success, so today we’re discussing how to become a great sales development rep.

In my own experience as an SDR (some organizations call them inside sales) I discovered that the SDR role primarily prepares sellers to work in outside sales. It’s a position designed to keep you hungry and to transition you to outside sales where you would learn to find your own opportunities.

I wanted to get out of the SDR role, but I had to prove myself first in order to meet my goal of becoming an account executive.

This episode of The Sales Evangelist is a reboot of a 2017 episode, but all the concepts apply to SDRs today.

The following 5 steps helped me succeed as an SDR.

1.  Learn the rules.

If you’re an SDR you have to understand the rules that govern your work. It’s also important to recognize the two different objectives that SDRs must address.

  • Set appointments.

Setting appointments involves finding people, listing information, and booking meetings.

  • Create more opportunities.

Creating opportunities demands more of your effort because it demands that the SDR qualify the individual and to do a little more digging and a little more prep prior to the AE taking over the account.

For a complex sales process, qualifying people ahead of time decreases the chance that the appointments will flop. When the SDRs clearly understand their objective, they will be more likely to succeed in their efforts to generate new opportunities.

2. Plan wisely

Some sellers use a “dialing for dollars” approach, and there’s nothing wrong with that technique if it works effectively. In my own experience, I found that setting specific times to prospect helped me be more successful because there were certain windows of time where my efforts worked best.

I discovered that the best time to make phone calls was between 8 and 10 a.m., then again between 12 and 1 p.m., and finally between 4 and 5 p.m. I strategically called during the times when I knew they’d be most likely to answer.

Then, I used the windows of time in between to send emails and engage in other outreach activities.

Don’t be governed by your role as a seller. Instead, you govern your role.

3. Learn from effective SDRs.

Determine which SDRs are doing really well in the company and mirror what they do. You’ll learn terminologies, tactics, and strategies that you didn’t previously know.

Be open to learn from others who are successful in the role. Try things that look worthwhile and disregard the others. Be a sponge, and if you see a better way of doing something, just try it yourself rather than correcting their efforts.

Check your ego at the door.

4. Move beyond “no.”

When a prospect tells you “no,” don’t read too much into it. He isn’t insulting your family line; he simply isn’t ready for what you’re offering.

Set rejections aside and move on to the next prospect. If he isn’t ready right now, put him into a drip campaign and stay in touch with him until he is ready for what you’re offering.

“No” also helps you disqualify people so you can focus your efforts on those prospects who are ready for what you’re offering.

5. Disqualify people.

It sounds counter-intuitive, because as an SDR, your job is to put numbers on the board. When we get greedy for numbers, however, problems often occur. We’re so hungry to schedule something so we can meet our KPIs that we get desperate and let everyone pass through the process.

Oddly enough, when you seek to disqualify, you’re better able to qualify the right people.

If the person doesn’t meet the qualification, don’t pass him on to the next level. Being selective improves your odds of success throughout the process.

Bonus: Sit with your AE.

If you’re setting appointments for an AE, sit down with her regularly so you’ll know where your focus should be. Are there certain industries you need to focus on?

By working together, you’ll both be aligned to achieve success.

“Become a Great Sales Development Rep” episode resources

Grab a copy of The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

This episode is also 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.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Create Out Of Love, Johanne Wilson, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Little Haiti

TSE 1036: How To Have A Constant Flow of New Customers

Create Out Of Love, Johanne Wilson, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Little HaitiOne of the biggest challenges in business is keeping that constant flow of new customers in the pipeline.  How you brand yourself and your company is imperative in producing growth and recurrent revenue.

Johanne Wilson is co-founder of a Florida-based design agency called COOL Creative. COOL stands for Create Out of Love. Their branding comes from a creative and design standpoint.

Challenges in sales

Every company experiences challenges when it comes to sales. Understanding those challenges and learning effective ways to overcome them can increase your sales. It can also clarify your target audience and reveal how to best go about reaching them.

Find effective ways to pitch so you can have a healthy flow of clients and client work. When you do, you’ll create active, recurrent clients that return again and again.

From a fashion standpoint, offer enough product and keep it updated and fresh. The customer will keep coming in to purchase product and will create recurrent revenue.

Change product release times and inform the customer of new releases to keep him engaged..

Strive for constant communication with the customer in order to drive sales.

Solutions to challenges

Maintain consistent growth within your business.

On the agency side, COOL Creative developed a growth plan that would move the sales needle.

For example, making an investment in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program provides tools for creating an effective growth plan.

Johanne realized that she was spending too much time on client work and not enough on the sales side of her business. As the business leader, she realized she was spending a lot of time on design because she was comfortable with it. She was not investing enough time in the sales side.

She learned that in order to be a good business person, you have to become a good sales person as well.  You must familiarize yourself with the aspects of the business that you aren’t comfortable or familiar with.

Prioritizing sales

On the fashion side, pushing more on advertising, marketing, social, communication, and partnerships with influential people like celebrities can all help drive sales. Right partnerships can lead to other agencies funneling clients your way.

Work smarter, not harder. Identify the areas that need more attention and push toward making those a priority.

As an entrepreneur, Donald neglected the sales facet. But once he made sales a priority, everything else fell into place.

As a business leader, sales is a necessity.

Nobody knows your business better than you.  Nobody can sell it better than you.

It can be hard to let go of the things that got you into business in the first place. Identify the areas of business that aren’t as strong. Invest more time and energy into those areas.

Business will become healthier and you will be able to serve clients better.

Understand your clients’ issues and the strategies you will use in solving them. Then attach a price tag to those solutions.

When you and the client see amazing results from something you helped him with, it’s rewarding. Bringing a client’s idea to life or bringing a business objective to life makes it all worthwhile. Create Out of Love (COOL) speaks for itself when these instances occur.

Results of changes

Growth is always a good indicator for having made positive changes.

You don’t have to do anything drastic: small changes can have big rewards.

What are you focusing on? If your head is always down working on the deliverables, which is important, you must make sure there is a strong person on the sales side to keep the engine moving.

Speaking to the creative entrepreneur, don’t forget why you are in business. While it is the creative piece that got you started, you have to get good at the business side, too. This includes sales, accurate bookkeeping, and meeting with other professionals to make sure that the business stays in good standing.

“Constant Flow of New Customers” episode resources        

You can reach Johanne Wilson online at www.coolcreativeinc.com.  Here you can link to the online shop, Instagram @CoolCreativeinc, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If you put in a lot of hard work in 2018 but weren’t able to close many of your deals, we can help you fix that. We have a new semester beginning in April and it would be an honor to have you join. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/CST.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

This episode is also 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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Business Referrals, New Customer, Prospecting, Stacey Randall

TSE 1023: Generating Business Referrals…Without Asking

Business Referrals, New Customer, Prospecting, Stacey RandallWhen you bring value to customers and care for your clients, you’ve taken an important first step toward generating business referrals… without asking.

Stacey Brown Randall considers herself a contrarian in the sales world, because she believes that if you’re asking for referrals, you’re doing it wrong. She helps small business owners and solopreneurs generate referrals and she dispels myths about referrals.

She didn’t set out to focus on referrals, but after her first business failed, she discovered that business owners have to figure out how to touch business development every day. You also have to figure out the ways in which you’re willing to do it.

Tons of options

Sellers have countless options for bringing in clients and prospects to their pipelines, but they have to be options that the sellers are willing to do day-in, day-out.

When her own business failed, she asked herself what went wrong.

Although there was more than one mistake along the way, she realized that she never figured out how to fill her pipeline consistently. She never found an activity she was willing to do on a regular basis.

She researched and found that referrals offer an amazing way to bring in clients, and they’re often quicker to close. They also trust you before they ever meet you, and they are less price sensitive.

Everything about referrals is just better.

Referral piece

Stacey was determined to figure out the referral piece when she launched her second business, but all the information she could find said you had to ask for referrals.

To her, asking for a referral felt like a second-cousin to a cold call. She didn’t want to do it.

In order to help her second business be successful, she decided to figure out how to generate referrals without asking. Once she did that, she moved into teaching other people how to succeed in the same way.

Referral mistakes

Referrals are not about you.

If you ask for them, or make them part of your marketing plan and develop promotions around them, you’re making the referrals about you.

Stacey discovered that the sales process has three buckets: prospecting activities, marketing activities, and referral activities. What we do to generate referrals looks different than what we do compared to prospecting and marketing.

When I’m in prospecting mode, I’m looking for someone who will say yes within 30 days. With marketing, it’s a little more long-term but there is always an ultimate mindset.

Referrals, however, require different activities and a different mindset. The biggest mistake people make is treating their referral process like part of the prospecting effort. Or, they think about it like marketing and make it promotional and gimmicky.

Great work

If you’re going to hand off the client at some point, you have to make sure it’s a great process and great client experience.

Nobody refers to crappy work and no one refers a choppy customer experience. That’s a foundational piece, and none of these suggestions will work if you aren’t referrable. You must do the things that make people want to refer you.

The most important person in a referral process isn’t you and it isn’t your prospect; it’s your referral source. You must understand who is referring you.

Action steps

Begin by pulling out your list of clients, at least from the last two years, and figure out how those clients learned about you. (Pull data from as many years as you’re willing to do the work for.)

You may have this information in your CRM, or you may have to do some digging.

Determine who those people are that already referred you in the past, and begin there.

You’ll likely realize that you don’t have that many, and you’ll probably discover that you haven’t been intentional about building relationships with those people.

Figure out what you’re doing to take care of your referral sources.

Because sellers often get paid on commission, it’s tempting to move quickly from one client to the next. Sometimes sellers don’t recognize that it’s a lot of work to constantly seek the next big win.

Instead, sellers can spend their time doing activities they enjoy doing for people who know that they truly care. Then, the sellers can watch clients drop in their laps.

It saves a tremendous amount of time and money.

Your job

No one wakes up in the morning thinking about ways to make your job easier. They aren’t thinking about how they can refer you.

Your job is to make sure that you’re doing outreach to referral sources and that you’re being memorable and meaningful.

You want to use the right referral seed planting language so that you move into their subconscious. When you take care of people, they naturally want to take care of you back.

We want to be the person who is constantly giving to them so they think about us in a different way. When an opportunity arises, we want them thinking about us. It’s all about how we take care of people.

Top of mind

When you know who your referral sources are and you focus on them, you start to notice and develop patterns about those sources.

When Stacey was a business and productivity coach, she noticed that her niche happened to be working parents. Their world was her world. Her previous business failure gave her a unique perspective she could share.

She initiated a touchpoint that included “off-guard holidays.” In order to be meaningful, she sent Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts to her top referral sources.

She sent a Wonder Woman water bottle to the moms reminding them that they are heroes. It didn’t include Stacey’s logo and it wasn’t about her. It was about her client.

Those clients have never forgotten who sent that bottle. They were seen and recognized.

That effort can’t be a one-and-done. The touch points must accumulate over time.

Clients will always think about you in return when you’ve thought about them first. Anything you do must be all about them.

Planting seeds

Begin by using the word referral when you’re talking to your clients. When someone sends you someone, send them a hand-written thank you note that thanks the referrer by name.

It’s noticeable because it’s a thank you note that you took time to write.

Then, when people ask how your business is going, use the opportunity to plant a referral seed. Consider this: “You know, I on-boarded three new clients last week who were referred to me. I love receiving referrals because it tells me I’m doing something right with my business.”

Be honest, but plant the idea of referral. The seed may not always fall on fertile soil, but eventually, it will.

Aim for the 30 percent who will actually refer you.

Like the other steps, it must be a consistent effort that builds on itself. We’re seeking to create a habit for how our clients will behave.

“Generating Business Referrals…Without Asking” episode resources

You can connect with Stacey at staceybrownrandall.com where you can figure out your skill level at generating referrals by taking her Referral Ninja Quiz. The quiz identifies three different levels, and it will help you determine whether you should learn more about referrals.

Her website includes all kinds of free content to help you figure out how to move to the next level.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is also 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.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

 

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Confidence, Salespeople

TSE 1012: You Are Important As Well!!!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Confidence, SalespeopleIf you find yourself hesitant to tell people that you work in sales because you think anyone can do it, today we’re discussing the fact that You are Important as Well!!

The year was 2011. I was a recent college graduate working for the first company in my professional career. I was attending a fine dining networking event when I ran into an old friend.

The old friend, it turns out, had decided to take on Wall Street after graduation and was now the head of finance for a multinational company in Miami. It sounded like he was doing great.

“Hey! Donald! It’s great to see you! What are you doing these days?!”

I clammed up because I didn’t want to tell him that I was in sales for a medical company. I was ashamed of saying I was a sales rep because, early on, it felt to me like anyone could do sales. [0:00]

Change your mindset

It took me awhile to realize that not just anyone can do well in sales. And I want to help you change your mindset, too. I want you to understand that you are important as well!

Many professional careers – medical, law, finance – require college degrees. They are critical jobs with important tasks.

Sales, however, doesn’t carry the glamour it once did. Many of us don’t even wear a suit to work anymore. Rather, it is believed that anyone who can “sell” can get a job in sales. We sit behind a computer and make phone calls … we are pushy people, bottom feeders, and we lack the ability to do anything else. [03:19]

That is how I used to feel. Now I know better.

Money

In sales, we have an unlimited level of income. After executives, sellers earn the highest incomes.

  • As a salesperson, it is your job to bring money into the organization.
  • Money is the lifeblood of any company, even for non-profits.
  • Finance, HR, tech, even the CEO – none of them can do their job without money.
  • The company cannot grow without money.

Every department needs money but only sales can deliver it. [04:38]

Certain jobs, like sales, are an asset to any company. Other positions – ones that earn a paycheck every week without bringing money into the firm – are liabilities. [06:21]

Salespeople are so important to the bottom line. The information we have is needed in board meetings because everyone wants to know what the sales pipeline looks like.  They need to know. [06:52]

Education

Sales can be an easier field to get started in because it doesn’t require a lot of technical training.

It is why I do this podcast. It is why I offer training and how I am able to help companies, and their sales teams, do better.

Understanding individuals, understanding the industry, and understanding the sales process is all part of training. It increases our education.

Schools are now spending time and effort to offer sales training as a degree because they recognize the power of the sales role. They recognize how critical sales is to any organization.

The prestigious capabilities of sales is returning and it is exciting. [07:33]

Believe in yourself

I am ashamed sometimes for ever doubting myself but I learned from it. I learned and I improved and I was able to perform better as a result. Now I understand what I am truly capable of bringing to an organization and I understand how valuable I am.

Have the strong and firm knowledge and belief that you are important. Listening to this podcast, for example, shows that you have taken an interest in learning something new. Improving yourself improves the entire profession. [09:19]

I was fortunate enough the other day to be thanked by a regular listener who credits this podcast with helping him succeed. He took some of the things he has learned from our guests and from the books we’ve recommended and is currently enjoying a sales incentive trip for doing so well in 2018. [10:00]

Recognize that you are important.

You are a professional sales rep with a skill that many people do not have. Work for a company that validates your contributions and offers a product or service that you feel strongly about.

Keep learning and keep growing. Earn that unlimited income.

I want you to be successful and to find more ideal customers. Build stronger value, close more deals. Do more each and every day. [10:56]

“You are Important as Well!!” episode resources

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

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.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Glenn, Donald Kelly, CRM, Best CRM, Sales Automation

TSE 979: Sales From The Street: New World for CRM and Mirroring Pipeline Stages

Alex Glenn, Donald Kelly, CRM, Best CRM, Sales AutomationSales constantly evolves. As technology and tools change, we have new processes and strategies available to us.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we hear from Alex Glenn about the new world for CRM and mirroring pipeline and how it can help us be more effective in our sales processes.

Alex runs automateddata.af, a place where customers can grab working automations for their businesses. The platform crowdsources solutions and wraps them up into a usable format for those in sales, marketing, and customer success.

Developing CRM

CRM has seen a bit of a shift over the last few years. Instead of being software that costs thousands of dollars and requires a great deal of training, your CRM must be more agile now. [3:51]

CRM must work with your existing tools as well as the dashboards you regularly use for work. It must be easily accessible and easily connectable.

Most founders are also coming around to the idea that CRM should serve as all-in-one solutions.

It’s very convenient for people to access the information they need without having to lead the dashboard they already work in.

Best software possible

The first issue must be finding the best possible software for each process. [7:46]

You want to conduct outreach — either cold emailing, cold calling or LinkedIn prospecting. Then you want to manage that person or that prospect using CRM.

You’ll need post-conversion like signup, demos, and other options, and you’ll need nurturing touchpoints like email, and phone calls. Then you’ll need post-sale drips and one-to-one messaging.

The problem is that all of that can’t exist in one tool, but several tools are trying to accomplish all or 75 percent of it.

The “all-in-ones” represent themselves that way because they cover most of these activities, though many of the components will be somewhat bare bones. [9:20] There are issues with each of them that limit your capabilities.

Automation

Customers need to have timely messages that are appropriate for their specific situations. All-in-ones won’t ever be the best solution because they won’t be able to give you everything you need at every step.

Google Apps is global now, and many people in the tech and startup scenes are using it because there’s so much collaboration possible. [11:55]

But if your cold outreach system isn’t talking to your CRM and talking to your website, then you can cause a lot of confusion because you might be messaging someone in LinkedIn while you’re sending emails at the same time. It can make your efforts seem disorganized.

You need a tool that syncs your pipeline stages.

(Click here to access the video of Alex navigating some of these tools.) [17:47]

Benefits

This capability allows small organizations to do really effective cold outreach. You may have gotten slapped for cold outreach before because you were sending too many emails or you got blacklisted. That doesn’t mean cold outreach doesn’t work.

That may result because you weren’t using the right platform or because your setup was wrong. The second possibility is that you weren’t doing it well. Perhaps you weren’t nurturing them effectively. [33:18]

If your pipeline stages aren’t in sync through the different outreach systems or the different tools that you’re using, you could create a poor customer experience.

Whether you use a system like this or an all-in-one system together with a cold outreach system, make sure your pipeline stages are clearly outlined.

Know what’s going on at each stage. Make sure each tool is being updated based upon where the customer is and how he interacted with your tools.

“New World for CRM and Mirroring Pipeline” episode resources

You can connect with Alex at automated.af and email him at team@automated.af. Automated hopes to build out so that it will offer something for everyone.

Check out the tools Alex mentioned in the episode:

  • persistiq.com for sales engagement with a clean interface
  • user.com for automation software to track customer engagement
  • useorca.com to find and engage new customers.

You can also view the screenshare here.

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 and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

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, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Dave Costa, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 889: Sales From The Street-“Talent vs. Performance”

Dave Costa, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, LinkedInWorking with a talented group of people doesn’t guarantee success, because talent and performance are altogether separate. Sometimes sales leaders find themselves leading a team whose performance doesn’t equal its talent. When potential is left on the table, how do you teach your team the value of talent vs. performance?

On today’s Sales From The Street, Dave Costa shares how he encourages his team to improve every day, and why — in the battle of talent vs. performance — talent alone isn’t enough.

Dave works in software sales in the human capital management space, and he defines success for his team as improving every single day.

Talent isn’t enough

Talent can only care you a certain distance. It’s true in sales just like it’s true in sports.

Number-one draft picks falter more often than not because they don’t understand the need to create opportunities that help them continually improve.

Dave calls it mental management. He says that when you deal with extremely talented people, the skillset isn’t the problem. Although there is always room to improve, the challenge is motivating them to make an extra call or set an extra appointment.

He refers to it as mental warfare, and he said many reps fail because they get out-worked or out-hustled. Sales leaders, then, must master the art of discovering what drives your sales reps to push through; it’s the art of hitting that nerve that drives them.

At the end of the day, no one regrets doing one more set at the gym. People who push themselves are always glad they did.

Funnels aren’t sexy

Many reps get so caught up in trying to close what’s currently in their pipeline that they lose sight of the top of the funnel.

Dave calls prospecting a decision you make every single day to achieve a result. He stresses focusing on whether you’ve achieved the result you needed rather than sticking to metrics only. Did you get the result you needed to push yourself farther and hit your goals? 

Your prospecting controls everything:

  • How much is in my pipeline?
  • Can I close more deals?
  • How stressed will I be?
  • What will my results look like?

Performance matters

The mental warfare becomes a factor when sales professionals hear “no” before they hear “yes.” Without the right mental game, you’ll be overtaken by the highs and lows. You’ll collapse under the stress.

There will be days when others succeed while you struggle, but you must rise above your circumstances. No one else will do this for you, so you must make it happen.

For Dave’s team, the move to change its mindset has impacted its overall growth. The team’s averages have increased by 2 meetings per rep per week. For an entire team, that’s 16 adds per month, and those numbers can pay huge dividends.

When we push ourselves to set one more meeting or make one more dial, that deal could be the one that changes your year, or even your career.

In sales, we’re often in a position to make life-changing money or to do things that change our situations. If you take the mindset of constantly improving every single day, overall success will come.

Push yourself to be impressive in everything you do. If you’re not, what’s the point of doing it?

“Talent vs. Performance” episode resources

Dave would love to continue this conversation with our listeners on LinkedIn.

You can connect with us at The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

Grab your free excerpt of the book here, and view the SlideShare that explains many of the leadership principles you need to stop being subservient to your customers. If you prefer, download the SlideShare so you can refer back to it.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Sales Evangelist, Sales Goals, Planing, Cold Calling, Donald Kelly

TSE 845: TSE Hustler’s League-“Three Things”

The Sales Evangelist, Sales Goals, Planing, Cold Calling, Donald Kelly

 

 

 

When your pipeline is empty at the end of the month despite phone calls, emails, and appointments, you may find yourself wondering how you missed quota. You can, however, prepare for next month to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On today’s episode of TSE Hustler’s League, we talk about the fundamentals that will help you achieve your goals and three things that can help you have a healthy pipeline.

Planning

For many sales professionals, planning is non-existent. You show up at work on Monday and do the same things you’ve always done: make some calls, answer some emails, connect on social media.

You expect that those activities will produce connections, but perhaps you’ve lost sight of the fact that your buyers aren’t sitting in their offices waiting for you to call.

You must plan.

Too many sales professionals rely on “voodoo selling,” which is based on guessing and hope other than planning and strategies. They leave the office at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon to party with co-workers instead of working until 5 and pursuing last-minute connections before the weekend.

Create sacred time. Devote one hour a day on social media efforts. Strategically focus on prospecting and dedicate time to it every day. Do not, however, be so rigid that you refuse to schedule a demo during that time. If that’s the one time the prospect is available, you’d be crazy to miss it.

Schedule some calls in the morning, some in the afternoon, and others in the evening.

Focus on your strategic list of prospects — your Dream 100 — and pursue those customers during your outreach time.

Reserve time at the end of each day to research companies for the next day.

Outworking

Sales professionals who want to be successful have to take control of their lives and their careers.

Look for opportunities all the time, and don’t stop working simply because the workday ended.

You should strive to be seen as the industry professional to everyone you interact with; to be the professional who brings value to your industry.

You don’t have to be on your phone 24/7 but be willing to pursue after-hours communication.

Don’t coast, and don’t avoid challenges. Create a blog post after your kids go to bed. Outwork what you did yesterday.

Referrals

Many of us have clients we’ve worked with for years, but we’ve lost our sense that they can help us grow our businesses.

Research your current clients to see who they are connected to on LinkedIn.

Don’t sleep on your referrals.

“Three Things” resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels and all industries improve. It’s an opportunity to share ideas and interact with other sellers from around the world.

Also check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading because I believe so strongly in the message it has to share. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

We’re so convinced that you’ll love the book that we’re providing a free excerpt to our listeners here.

Finally, check out the newest podcast in the Sales Podcast Network, Video Jungle Podcast. The podcast will help you learn how to use video to sell your product and how to differentiate yourself from the competition using video.

Audio provided by Free SFX.