Sales Process Archives - The Sales Evangelist

Category Archives for Sales Process

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

TSE 1183: Modernizing the Software Demonstration

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

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

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

Product experience

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

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

Digital buyers

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

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

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

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

Inside sales

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

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

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

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

Video demos

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

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

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

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

Build a picture

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

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

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

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

New world

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

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

Digital footprint

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying team

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

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

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

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

Buyer’s perspective

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

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

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

“Modernizing the Software Demonstration” episode resources

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Relationship Selling, Decision-Makers, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1168: Selling In Europe vs. Selling In The USA

Relationship Selling, Decision-Makers, The Sales EvangelistEvery sales transaction differs from the others, but when you’re selling in Europe vs. selling in the USA, it’s important to understand the differences in culture.

Christine Schlonski works with entrepreneurs who have a negative view of sales. She helps them redefine their view of it so they can sell with ease, grace, and confidence and also ask their price. In short, she helps them makes sales, which is simply an interaction between people, fun. 

Fear of selling

Christine points to the depiction of sales in movies, coupled with bad sales experiences that we’ve all had. Subconsciously, we don’t want to be like these people. Women especially struggle to ask for what they truly want because it feels salesy or pushy. They often assume because they’re good people that buyers will line up to buy. 

It’s possible to ask for the sale in a natural way but movies never depict sellers in a positive light. It’s likely that a movie about a seller who sells from the heart and brings value would be boring. But sales truly could be like that. 

Set the expectation and then make the offer. Then consider what’s a go and what’s a no-go. How can we work together? 

Sales differences

Sales in the U.S. move quickly, while people in Europe like time. Realize, too, that Europe isn’t a single country, and sales differ across those countries. In France, for example, sales involves numerous decision-makers, and French people love meetings. Where Americans look to make things happen, you cannot simply show up with an offer and a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. 

Germans exist between those two extremes because they want to be a bit more efficient. Still, though, they cannot be pushed or pressured into decisions. 

Relationships are still the key to all sales. The decision-maker needs to feel comfortable in the relationship and feel as though he is making a good decision. 

Typically, larger companies have more complicated decision-making processes. They often have male leaders and sometimes one of them will block the process because of politics or a need to be right. 

Selling in Europe will never be a one-call close. 

Unique preferences

Christine had experiences in the past where her work with a global company selling high-ticket events over the phone was negatively affected by her American colleagues who were perceived as being pushy. The prospects assumed that her sales process would operate the same way, so they weren’t interested.

For companies who operate in different countries, training sellers to understand the cultural differences can present a challenge. Begin with the simple understanding that no two people are alike. Even without the cultural differences, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution because we’re all human with unique preferences. 

Consider yourself as an example. How would you want to be treated during a call? What’s important to you?

Then, be open to cultural differences and be aware of misunderstandings, but understand that it isn’t a case of the prospect not liking you.

In Christine’s case, she learned to operate as though any “no” in the process was always her fault because she hadn’t managed some part of the process correctly.  

She understands, too, that if she calls into the U.S. she needs to operate with the correct urgency because it’s what they expect. 

Small talk

Sellers in the U.S. are pretty good with small talk, but in the U.K., for example, talk about the weather can be important. Some people perceive that as a waste of time, but you must adjust to the person you’re speaking to. 

Adjusting the conversation to your audience doesn’t demand that you be fake. Pick something that’s meaningful to you that will bring the other person into the conversation as well. 

Suspend your own thinking toward the customers’ needs. Accommodate them.

In the U.S., for example, people don’t give a true answer to the question, “How are you?” Instead, they’ll say, “I’m fine.” In other countries, they’ll be more likely to answer honestly. 

Approach with the desire to serve their needs. 

Expectations

In my own negotiations with a prospect for TSE Certified Sales Training Course, I discovered during the negotiation process that many buyers from eastern Europe want to ensure that they are getting the best deal. A  friend who is also from eastern Europe told me that they’ll often expect to be able to negotiate down a bit. So even if you have a fair price, they may expect you to adjust it. 

In this case, I made the adjustment because it was a win-win opportunity. 

Depending on the products you sell, the price level, and who your negotiating partners are, maybe you set something in place that you can add to the program rather than adjusting your price down. Add value without dropping the price. It gives them a feeling of a win. 

Businesses are always trying to get the best deal, regardless of culture. 

Authenticity

Be true to yourself and be authentic. If you have a great product, begin with a connection. Small talk can feel superficial, so you must communicate that you’re not only interested in a sale. 

“Selling In Europe” episode resources

You can connect with Christine at her podcast, Heart Sells, where she interviews successful entrepreneurs who have overcome sales challenges and who operate from the heart. She seeks to showcase that sales can be fun and that anyone can learn sales. You can also find her at christineschlonski.com

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Twitter:

 

Establish relationships with prospects so they don’t feel as though they are simply being sold to. Instead, offer them an invitation to buy. #RelationshipSelling

 

Hear More About:

 

Social Media:

 

Sales Process, The Sales Evangelist, Erin Pheil

TSE 1163: How Leaders Sabotage The Sales Process

Sales Process, The Sales Evangelist, Erin PheilSales leaders sometimes make mistakes that compromise deals, so understanding how leaders sabotage the sale process can help us avoid the same mistake. 

Erin Pheil is the founder of The MindFix Group, a company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, high-achievers, and high-performers eliminate their biggest mental roadblocks that hold them back and keep them from achieving what they’re capable of. 

Head trash

Some sales leaders have very specific definitions of what a sales leader is. For Erin, anybody who is in charge of guiding the people in making the right decisions and who is doing sales for a company is considered a sales leader

Many sellers read books and work with experts to improve their skills in sales. They keep learning, and then they show up on calls. They often show up to these calls prepared, but also with head trash. They’re showing bits and pieces of their old mental programming and outdated beliefs that aren’t helpful in closing deals. They go to the calls and they try to combine new knowledge and strategies that their coaches have taught them with their old beliefs. 

When things go wrong, they don’t blame themselves. They blame the technique and the process, or even the people they hired. They don’t look at their head trash and suspect that they might be the ones sabotaging the process. 

Blaming the process, techniques, and tactics instead of examining how they’re screwing things up sabotages the sales process. 

Accepting blame

It takes courage to accept blame because it’s human nature to blame somebody else. It takes courage to stop, pause, and hold a mirror to yourself and ask how you’re contributing to the challenges that you’re experiencing. It’s much easier to project outward and place the blame.  

Head trash commonly appears as the need for approval or the need to be liked. Sellers will show up to a sales call and, instead of focusing on guiding the prospect towards the right decision, they operate from an underlying need to be liked. This goes beyond having a bond and rapport. It’s more of wanting to be approved. A person with that need often sabotages calls just to be liked. 

They get nervous, they make concessions, and they apologize, which shifts the whole frame of conversation. Being liked becomes the more important outcome. 

Self-doubt 

Money block and old programming from a salesperson’s childhood also have a negative impact on sales calls. 

For example, a client raised to believe that she isn’t supposed to talk about money in the household where degree and certificates are the next big things had a huge block in her sales process. Since this particular client had no degree, she ended up questioning her ability and wouldn’t bring up the pricing until the last minute, or until the prospect asked for the price. This client had old head trash on the concept of pricing and money so that often the price in her head was different from the price that came out of her mouth. 

Even with constant reminders here and there, she just couldn’t do it. It just wouldn’t come out of her mouth the right way. 

This is what head trash is. You show up with a plan and all the right information, but your old pieces of programming, beliefs, and thoughts sabotage and compromise your ability to make a productive call. 

Figure your patterns 

The first thing to do is to figure your patterns. Knowing your patterns brings awareness to your calls. You must pinpoint where in the process you’re having your patterns of resistance and frustrations. 

Create a list of the areas where you keep repeating some patterns that you know do not serve you. It might be telling the same jokes, doing what you’re not supposed to do, or not talking about the money even though you have to. 

The buyer might think that you’re hiding something or you have some trick up your sleeves. Before you know it, you have already sabotaged your opportunity. The same is true if you keep talking to your client without giving him the time to speak. It scares the prospect off as well. 

Consider a salesperson who can’t even have an intro opportunity because she can’t stop talking. Her problem clearly exists at the beginning of the process. 

This is a perfect example of a pattern of people who can’t stop talking. They don’t listen because it has been ingrained in their minds that they should keep talking so that someone will buy from them. They feel the need to show off and prove their expertise in order to be respected. 

Changing patterns

After listing the patterns that you observe, ask yourself, “What would I have to believe to be true in order to keep acting this way?

What we believe determines how we act. 

If you believe that talking about money is wrong, then you’ll probably act in ways in accordance with that belief. A lot of these beliefs are in the back of our heads and most of us might not believe them to be true. But even if a tiny part of us holds true to that belief, then we’ll act according to those beliefs. 

What you get from asking that question for each pattern is a list of old pieces of head trash, programming, and beliefs that you’re still carrying around that are sabotaging your sales process. 

Set aside time to implement the two things mentioned here. First, identify the patterns and second, come up with a list of what you’d have to believe to be true. This will open your mind and make you see things that you didn’t realize are impacting your close rate and your success as a sales leader. 

“How Leaders Sabotage the Sale Process” episode resource

Learn more from Erin and visit her website mindfixgroup.com. Check the hour-long training video that explains how your head trash is impacting your actions and behaviors and causing you to sabotage things. There are also case studies and stories of real people who have overcome their challenges. 

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

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, creating strategies that work, and asking the right questions to close powerful deals. You can go to The Sales Evangelist and see the first two modules for free. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, the awesome library with thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Goo to audibletrial.com/tse

If you find this episode helpful, give us a ravishing review and rating on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Andrew Tarvin, Donald Kelly, Humor, Sales

TSE 1108: How to Use Humor In The Sales Process

 

Andrew Tarvin, Donald Kelly, Humor, SalesHumor takes away tension and sellers who use humor in the sales process can increase efficiency and improve effectiveness.

Andrew Tarvin realized over the course of his career that you can’t be efficient with humans. Instead, you must be effective. His experience in stand-up comedy revealed that improv demands the same skills necessary to be an effective leader. He explored the intersection of humor in the workplace and fell in love with the subject.

He observed that it’s strange to think that companies pay him to teach employees to have more fun. He notes, though, that it’s missing from the workplace, and he addresses the issue in his book, Humor That Works.

Strategic humor

We know that humor relieves stress and that it’s overall a good thing. We do not seem to know how to deploy humor strategically. Rather than simply using it for the sake of fun. we must use it to achieve a specific result.

How do I use humor in the sales process to build rapport?Can I get people to pay attention to what I’m saying with humor? Will humor relieve my own stress in the sales process?

We tend to think work must be strictly business. In actuality, though, you’re still dealing with humans. Humor inspires people to connect and let their guard down.

Would you rather?

Andrew calls it a stupid question, but he wonders whether people would rather do something fun or not fun? Of course, people will say they’d rather do something fun. And if work is a little more fun, they’d probably be more likely to do the work.

If you could make interactions a little more enjoyable, people would be more willing to engage in them. Even if the work you’re doing is serious in nature, like the Red Cross, you’re still working with humans.

Humor happens to be one of the most effective means of engaging people. It’s something different that people enjoy.

Working with the FBI

The FBI has a group called the office of private sector where agents work to build relationships with senior leaders at private companies. If the FBI can develop strong relationships before there are problems within companies, they can more readily identify problems when they emerge.

They want to set meetings with people but you can imagine how people respond when they hear from the FBI. Andrew worked to teach them how to use humor to build rapport.

The agents learned to build rapport despite the intimidation factor.

Boring meetings

If you hold an initial meeting that bores your attendees, they won’t want to attend the next time you invite them. If people get value out of your meetings and enjoy attending, they’ll be more likely to attend future meetings.

Humor isn’t what you do. It doesn’t replace the work. It’s simply a matter of presenting information that someone needs in a way they enjoy consuming it.

Engaging strangers

Sales reps face many different hurdles when engaging prospects or new people. One of the greatest difficulties is making a great first impression and building rapport when they meet people for the first time.

Within existing sales processes, a number of challenges exist. The average person sends and receives more than 100 emails per day, with many spending up to 80 percent of their time in active communication.

Many sellers present information to help the buyer purchase rather than sharing information that will help develop a relationship.

Asking questions

Andrew points to a sales presenter named Phil Jones who says that sales is simply earning the right to make a recommendation.

Think of it as a visit to the doctor. Before the doctor gives a diagnosis, he asks questions and ultimately gives a prescription. Imagine if you went to a doctor who gave you pills before you even told him what was wrong. You’d assume he was a quack and you wouldn’t trust him with your health.

The same scenario is true in sales. If the seller doesn’t even know anything about you, how will he address your challenges?

Enjoyable process

Since the seller and the buyer are both humans, see if you can make the process a bit enjoyable. Then, discover whether you can be on the same side.

Ian Altman wrote a great book called Same Side Selling that encourages sellers to solve problems without trying to trick buyers into buying something.

Understand that humor is broader than comedy. Make the process a bit more fun to get people to pay attention. In your outreach, what are you doing to introduce a bit of humor?

If it’s true that people buy from the first person who provides them value, recognize that humor adds value.

Fun

Andrew got a cold email from a guy with a regular pitch. He ignored it like he does most cold emails. About a week later, the guy followed up with a gif of John Travolta from Pulp Fiction with his coat over his arm looking confused.

There was no text with the email because it wasn’t necessary. He didn’t need to point out that he had emailed just the week before.

Another seller started each cold call by acknowledging that this was a cold call and the person on the other end of the phone could hang up if he wanted to. Some of them did, but many others allowed him another 60 seconds because of the humor.

Capture attention and build intrigue.

Connections

Humans are seeking different connections and one way to build rapport throughout a conversation is small talk. Instead of asking the typical questions, ask slightly more interesting questions. Instead of asking “What do you do?” ask, “What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on the past few months?”

It changes people’s perspective and then their response. Then, drop relevant facts throughout the conversation, like whether you’re a nerd or an introvert or from Ohio. If you offer this kind of information as part of a smaller group, you’ll have an instant connection to anyone else who is also from Ohio.

Humor doesn’t only help during the introduction part of the sales process, either. It can help improve understanding about ideas and it can lessen the awkwardness of the money conversation.

You decide

Even if you work for a company that doesn’t allow humor, the company can’t control how you think. There are benefits to using humor to increase sales and get better results.

Additionally, though, you can use humor to help you enjoy your work more. You’ll be more willing to do your work and you won’t dread Monday.

It comes down to a choice. You decide how you do your work every day.

Andrew’s book provides 10 strategies for using humor in the workplace, and the 11th strategy, a bonus one, is perhaps the most important.

It develops a humor habit.

“Use Humor In The Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Andrew at humorthatworks.com, where you’ll find a bunch of free resources and a newsletter. You can also grab a copy of his book, Humor That Works, which teaches the what, why, and how of humor in the workplace.

Connect with him directly @drewtarvin on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Drew also recently discovered that he still has a Myspace page from 2008.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

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 allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. 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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Social Selling, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Carson Heady

TSE 1086: Why Social Selling is the New Sales

Social Selling, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Carson Heady

Social selling is the new sales because it utilizes all the techniques and tools that we’ve always enjoyed as sellers in order to help us build better relationships.

Although nothing will ever replace the face-to-face relationships that sellers have with their clients, social selling is a valuable tool. Today Carson Heady shares what he has learned over a 17-year sales career about prospecting and relationship building and how social selling helps with it.

Social selling

Social media can help you find the right person to talk to that can help you connect with the right people, get a meeting, and stay top of mind. It’s a great compliment to the business relationships we should already be forming.

Social selling isn’t a replacement for the things we’re already doing. It’s the application of the tools that enable us to get insights or see what customers and their organizations are thinking, doing, and talking about.

When I first started using social selling, I was guilty of blasting a bunch of messages on LinkedIn and pitching people there. I quickly realized that wasn’t social selling.

Social selling equates to brokering relationships but you’re doing it online. It isn’t sending mass emails to people sharing everything that you have to offer.

Results

Salespeople are interested in results, and Carson said that after studying reports about social selling, he has determined that it amounts to standing apart, being unique, and finding a way to differentiate.

Social selling is a very targeted and specific effort to cast a wide wide net to reach maybe 30 people in a single organization in hopes that you’ll land a single meeting. That effort resulted in one of the larger deals in Microsoft.

Relationships

Carson suggests following business journals and using Sales Navigator to help in your efforts. Following the trades to stay aware of new C-levels that join the organization.

Last year, Carson was the first to the table when a new C-level joined a company he was connected to and now Microsoft is helping to drive change within that organization because of the relationship.

The relationships drive the deals forward, and those relationships wouldn’t exist without the strategic utilization of social selling.

Innovate

We’re all just trying to do something different. We’re trying to get a response or a meeting by setting ourselves apart from the others who came before us and failed. We aren’t just sitting on the phone reaching out to people.

We have so much technology at our disposal that we have to be careful to be focused and tailor our efforts. If we don’t, we’ll likely suffer from diminishing returns.

Our past approach of “spray and pray” doesn’t work anymore.

You have to embrace the probability of success. In the past, people were willing to send out hundreds of notes with the understanding that they wouldn’t get a whole lot of reception.

Consistent

If you want to connect with a C-level at an organization, you don’t just go after them. You’ve got to start a few levels below where you’d like to end up. Once you’re able to talk to someone who is receptive, you can use that momentum internally to get in front of the right audience.

But you must be consistent in your approach. Prospecting never ends. You must revisit those prospects.

Not surprisingly, many clients don’t reply immediately like you’d like them to. Be persistent and reach out to the same folks, but change your messaging.

Offer a compelling reason for your prospects to respond.

Be aware, too, that you may catch someone on an off day. The prospect may be sick or he may have missed the email. He may be busy.

Be adaptable with your process. There are a lot of things that we believe are good philosophies as sellers, but when we try them for a bit they don’t work the way they want to. So we discard them. We tweak things a bit and we adapt.

Concise

Sometimes we send long elaborate emails in hopes that we’ll get a reply. Truthfully, sometimes we get the best responses from emails with only one sentence. People are busy and they don’t have time to read a 3-paragraph message. If you’re specific and you offer a single task, they can more likely respond.

Emails are not intended to close the sale. It helps you grab attention. Don’t try to sell an enterprise solution within a few sentences of an email.

Trying to sell in an email amounts to skipping steps in the sales process. You’re jumping straight into the second or third date without wining and dining the prospect.

Connection

When you’re seeking to connect with multiple people in an organization, your approach will depend on what you’re looking to accomplish. It will also depend on your unique connection to that person.

If you’re searching for a job, don’t reach out with questions about a job or an opportunity within the organization. Instead, try this: “I saw that we have mutual synergies and I’m looking to parlay my experience into your industry. I’d love to sit down for 10 minutes to pick your brain and get some advice.”

Determine your unique connection to that client and then approach using that angle.

When Carson reached out to 30 people in a single organization, he got replies from about 11 of them. Of those responses, he got one response that pointed him to a certain person in the company. He pursued it and landed one of Microsoft’s larger deals.

Your chances of getting a reply are small to begin with. Make sure you put your best foot forward. Reach out to all of the people who have a vested interest in what you’re doing.

Needs analysis

Our process exists for a reason. When it goes awry, and when we get overzealous, we skip steps and we put too much information out there initially.

Sometimes your connection can just be to share an article and engage in a real conversation rather than always sending a message about “following up.” You can also share or retweet the other person’s content as a way to engage.

There is no single bullet that fixes all. Be cognizant that there are a lot of tools that exist that will help you succeed.

The sales process is vital, just like it’s vital that we only use social selling to get a meeting.

Stay top of mind so your connections continue to see you. If the prospect knows that he owes you some information, it may stimulate the conversation to continue. It’s a non-threatening way to follow up.

Relationships are everything. If you lead with the goal of adding value you never have to worry about your sales numbers.

“Social Selling Is the New Selling” episode resources

You can connect with Carson on LinkedIn or Twitter, and you can grab a copy of his book, The Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America. You can also check out his blog, The Life and Times of Carson V. Heady.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

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 allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. 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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small Business

TSE 1042: 3 Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small BusinessVery often, sales reps find themselves frustrated and hemmed in by the mistakes small company sales leaders make.

I had a conversation last week with a sales rep who was frustrated because his company had no real plan or guidance for how it would achieve the owner’s vision. The owner expected Herculean efforts by the rep, but eventually the rep stopped performing and left the company to escape the pressure.

In many cases, unless the owner corrects the mistakes, the cycle starts all over again when a new rep joins the team.

Honeymoon

Many of us in small organizations understand the excitement of entering a new role only to discover that the reality was different than the idea you bought into. The sales rep I mentioned was never good enough to accomplish what the boss was hoping for, because there was no plan in place to help him succeed.

Because the rep wasn’t as successful as the boss expected, he was moved into a different role. The rep continued in a sales support role, but his demeanor changed. His excitement disappeared. He wasn’t giving as much of himself to the company because he was discouraged by all that had happened.

Eventually he left the role and moved into a much better position.

Missing plan

Entrepreneurs certainly have the freedom to set their own vision for their companies. It’s their responsibility to establish where the organization will go, but they must also determine how it will get there.

Imagine an owner who sets a goal to make $1 million. He wants the best sales reps to come into his organization and help him carry out that plan.

He hires a successful sales rep from another company where there is already a proven sales process and proven guidance to help him succeed. The owner expects the sales rep to execute at the new company the same way he did at the previous one, except there’s no structure in place.

If the rep didn’t take the sales job expecting to have to reinvent the wheel, he’ll likely be frustrated by the lack of any kind of process. If he’s a new seller, he may not have the resources or the experience to help build a sales process from nothing.

As a result, he’ll be frustrated and burned out quickly because he doesn’t have the necessary tools to be successful.

Without a change in the owner’s approach, every sales rep who walks into this same situation will likely end up leaving.

Mistake 1: Failing to find the best customer

If you don’t identify the best potential customer for your business, the sales rep will constantly have to switch gears in an effort to pursue different prospects. He’ll struggle to gain traction because he’ll be chasing too many possibilities.

He likely won’t have any idea what works and what doesn’t, because he’ll be spread too thin.

Have a clear definition of the customers you’ll pursue, and how you’ll connect with them. If you haven’t already determined who your ideal customers are, give your sales reps additional time to figure out which customers are worth pursuing.

Mistake 2: Failing to understand basic metrics

If you aren’t tracking certain metrics within your company, you’ll have no way to determine which efforts are working and which ones are not.

Begin by determining which KPIs you’ll use to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales reps.

  • How many deals they close?
  • The number of appointments they set?
  • How many demonstrations they schedule?
  • How many contacts they locate?

I recommend you focus on outcome-based KPIs. It’s ok to track the day-to-day activities that produce important outcomes like demonstrations scheduled or deals closed, but I wouldn’t judge your employees on those metrics.

Avoid measuring vanity numbers like the number of calls made and instead evaluate meaningful numbers like the number of appointments that resulted from those calls.

Determine what kind of realistic result your rep should be accomplishing. Should he be closing $6,000 worth of deals each month? Once you know that, you can help your reps ramp up.

Mistake 3: Failing to guide your team

Once your team has an understanding of the ideal customers and how to find them, you must give your team a clear expectation of what to say.

Prepare your team for the questions they must be prepared to answer and the objections they’ll likely hear. Develop resources like downloads or podcasts or articles that will help your sales reps educate themselves. Accumulate resources that your reps can share with your prospects.

If you don’t help your sales reps succeed, they will move on to another company. Then, you’ll find yourself in the same mess again.

Don’t make these same mistakes. Develop a plan to help your team succeed.

Check out the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for help building a successful team and an effective process.

“Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make” episode resources

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 allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

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. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Process, Dealpoint, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 976: How To Not Make Your New Sales Process JUST Another Flavor of The Week

 

Sales is one of the hardest jobs in any organization. Sometimes optimism keeps sellers from recognizing the truth of the situation because they are focused on commission.

On today’s episode, we’ll talk to Tom Williams, CEO of DealPoint, about getting buyers and sellers on the same page as part of a new sales process. When organizations put buyer-centric processes in place, prospects feel heard and deals close faster.

Misalignment

Tom’s journey with DealPoint started when he was a sales manager overseeing a team of sellers. [1:07] He discovered that there was a misalignment between how his sellers perceived the process was going and how the buyers perceived it.

He spent a lot of time thinking about how he could use processes to bring the two sides together.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the seller has happy ears because he wants the sale to happen. In many cases, sellers are naturally optimistic people, so they view situations differently.

The other big issue is that the buyer himself doesn’t understand where he is in the sales process. [2:44] Especially in the case of large organizations, the buyer may not understand all the steps required for approval, so he may not anticipate the roadblocks.

It’s important to understand both processes: the buyer’s process and what the seller is hearing about the buyer’s process.

Flavor of the week

Many companies change their sales process frequently because they are trying to address problems with the existing one. [3:48]

There’s a statistic that says you can spend as much as you want to put a sales process in place, and it might survive for 6 weeks, or even as long as 90 days. Eventually, though, your team will likely return to the old way of doing things, largely for two reasons:

  1. They don’t think the managers are putting a lot of effort into it, so it’s rep-driven.
  2. The managers aren’t seeing success because they didn’t implement the correct kind of process for their organization.

If it’s option 2, you should absolutely change the process so that you aren’t harming your sales team. If it’s option 1, there are things you can do to make sure your sales team is on board with the process so that everyone makes more money.

Building processes

Begin by looking at how your team implements your existing process. In Tom’s case, he discovered that his team saw the existing sales process as an extra job; little more than paper-pushing. [5:19]

At one point, he was withholding commissions until his team filled in SalesForce. He had tried all kinds of incentives and nothing was working.

Even then, they were filling in the SalesForce fields but doing the bare minimum.

The buyer and the seller have to be getting some value out of the process as well.

Make sure the process is flexible enough to support different types of sellers. Although you’ll always have a scripted component for your sellers, you’ll be holding your top sellers back if you insist that they use a script.

When you sell it to the reps, clearly outline the benefits. [7:05] Make them understand how the sales process will help everyone involved. Provide statistics that quantify the improvement you’ve seen as a result of a sales process, and they’ll be happy to follow it.

Help them understand that it’s in their best interest to adopt the new sales process.

Help the buyer

Your new sales process should include a mutual action component so that buyer and seller are negotiating. [10:56] Neither party wants to invest a lot of time in a deal only to see it fall away.

Once the champion has acknowledged that this product or service will definitely solve her problem, buyer and seller must decide how they are going to make this plan happen.

As you build the mutual action plan, the buyer, seller, and sales manager can verify that the plan is on track and that triple reinforcement can make sure the process is embedded into the funnel.

If there’s a step you aren’t aware of, it can cause a late-stage failure, which can damage your deal as well as your reputation.

Sales coaching

Management must be on board with the new sales process in order to keep it from feeling like the flavor of the week. [14:09] If the managers aren’t fully on board, the reps will immediately sniff that out and they’ll perceive the process as a waste of time.

Some teams use leaderboards to motivate their sellers, but if it’s used in a negative way, it doesn’t bring all the boats up. If, on the other hand, you’re sharing successes and challenges, it can help your team understand why the leaders are succeeding and how they’ve overcome their challenges.

Embed your sales process into the daily routine. [17:46] Fight against your team’s tendency to wait to input all their information on Friday afternoon when it isn’t as fresh in their minds.

Collaboration between buyer and seller brings the process into the forefront. For example, have the buyer fill in a form that provides the data you need so that you get more accurate data.

DealPoint

The idea of DealPoint is to get sellers and buyers on the same page. [20:09]

A long sales-cycle-gone-bad wastes time for both buyer and seller, often resulting from miscommunication or errors in the process.

Very rarely do circumstances change in the 10th month of the process that wreck the deal. Usually, it’s a problem that could have been sniffed-out in month two to save everyone a lot of time.

Doing so also builds up the seller’s credibility, because if the seller identifies quickly that the deal isn’t working out, the buyer will respect his handling of it and he’ll be willing to come back to him later with a new challenge. [20:47]

DealPoint gets the buyer and the seller on the same page. It brings both teams together with a visual timeline and conferencing and file-sharing capabilities that they can access at any time.

They can view milestones and post things like meeting notes, and it keeps everyone on track.

The question of “what is the next step?” drives a lot of business and it causes a lot of deals to crash because there wasn’t a clear next step. [22:08]

DealPoint is that single location where buyers and sellers can understand the next steps and keep the decision moving forward.

“New Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Tom and learn more about DealPoint at dealpoint.io or Tom@dealpoint.io. He enjoys talking about sales processes and he’d love to geek out with you for 20 minutes to talk about your process. He’s also active on LinkedIn.

This episode is 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 salesevangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also 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.

TSE Hustler’s League

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. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review 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 it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Process

TSE 972: How To Get Salespeople Not To Skip Steps In The Sales Process

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales ProcessOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the value of following every step in the sales process, and how you can prevent your sales team from skipping steps in the process.

Sales processes aren’t intended to add burdens to your role as a sales leader, but should actually free you and your team to be even more successful in your roles.

Detail

In the context of military operations and aircraft safety, it’s easy to understand why details matter. It’s easy to understand why the people involved have to prioritize safety by following checklists and double-checking equipment.

It’s not as easy to understand why every single step in a sales process matters, but it’s absolutely true that the small details can impact our outcomes. Although skipping steps in the sales process won’t kill us, it will absolutely affect our success.

If we find that we’re struggling to close deals, it may be because we aren’t following a detailed cadence process.

Our decisions to skip steps can stem from overconfidence or pressure to close a deal from those in authority over us, but skipping steps will eventually impact our sales process.

Diluting the process

Just as it does for the military, a decision to overlook small details can impact the team’s ability to accomplish the larger mission.

Imagine a sales manager who oversees 10 deals that are scheduled for demonstration. She has statistics that show that about 60 percent of the deals will close, so she forecasts that.

Of those 10 deals, though, not all of them are weighted the same.

Five went through the complete sales process, and five of them didn’t, maybe because they were repeat customers or they came to the sales rep as a warm lead. The sales reps might have assumed it was ok to skip qualification.

In other cases, if the sales process feels cumbersome, they may be tempted to skip steps that they deem unnecessary.

Avoiding skipping steps

Make sure your sales reps understand why the steps in the sales process are important. Review the sales process with them in a one-on-one setting to make sure they are accurately following the process.

Ask appropriate questions:

  • How many deals are you working right now that will close?
  • Of those deals, how many of them have followed every single step?
  • Ask sales reps who are successfully using the sales process to share some of the things they have learned throughout the sales process.

If one member of your team is having great success with demonstrations, ask him to share how he is successfully converting effective leads into clients.

Ask another team member who successfully moves people from leads into prospects to share how she does it.

Allow your team to benefit from the experience of their peers and give everyone on the team an opportunity to participate.

Use graphs

I saw a suggestion on Hubspot recently that helped me when I was a software sales rep working with complex sales scenarios.

Use graphs to outline each stage of the sales process and what must happen along the way. It provides a visual map that your team members can follow when a new prospect appears.

Graphs provide a repeatable process to look at throughout the process. Knowing how to move the deal forward will help your team successfully interact with the buyers.

Following every step will ensure that, by the time you get to the presentation, you’ll have all the information you need to successfully address your prospect’s challenges and struggles.

Your system will work best if people actually use it.

Roleplay

Have your team roleplay scenarios, and include scenarios in which someone is trying to pressure your team members into skipping steps. Address how they would make sure to follow every step in the process.

Your team members may worry that they will lose deals if they insist on following every step, but those people who refuse to follow your process won’t likely close anyway. They may be just looking for quick info.

Those people who want to make a great decision will appreciate your attention to detail and they’ll view you as professional if you stick to the process.

Sell them on the idea that you’re doing this to help them make sure they make the very best decision.

“Steps In The Sales Process” episode resources

This episode is 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. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also 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. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review 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 it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Michael Wills, Donald Kelly, Sales Training, How to do a salesprocess

TSE 971: How To Develop A Sales Process That Works

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk with global sales team leader Michael Wills about how to develop a sales process that works.

Many sellers have no real sense of direction, but they expect to be successful despite the lack of a plan.

Defining a sales process

A sales process provides a way for you to communicate with a buyer in a systematic way that is successful and repeatable. A single success doesn’t mean you have a sales process. It needs to be measurable so you can confirm results and grow.

To start, recognize that you’re doing something well, but there are no doubt areas that you can improve.

Figure out who exactly your buyer is.

Find out these things:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • How do they work?
  • How can you communicate with them effectively?
  • What’s my industry?
  • What’s the norm?

Be able to understand and document that information, which will give you a path. Once you have that path, you can figure out the processes to execute.

If you have someone who has had internal success, do a Q&A with him and figure out what his best practices are and build processes around those ideas.

People who aren’t led systematically will create their own strategies, which isn’t necessarily a positive thing. The process facilitates the execution of a strategy.

Dangers of operating without a process

If your team doesn’t have a process in place, you won’t know whether the team is selling to customers that you don’t necessarily want to do business with. You won’t know if the team is selling in a way that is unprofessional or inappropriate. Finally, you won’t know how consistent each person is in the process.

It’s important that you don’t let people operate on their own because you can’t grow around that system.

The sales process must be built around the way the buyers buy. When you truly know who you’re going after, you can understand their way of purchasing.

It’s also really important to understand where your buyer fits within the decision-making process because you’ll have different processes for different levels of people.

The method of communication and the information you share differs based on authority and timeline.

Fundamental parts of a process

Begin by understanding that your buyer knows 50 to 60 percent of what she needs to know because she ever talks to you for the first time. Knowing that frames the picture for you to jump in and be further down the sales process than you would have been without that knowledge.

Begin by talking about the client’s industry and situation. Use her language and previous client experience to bring value. You can share information, share best practices and share things you understand about the challenges her organization will face.

By doing that, you become a trusted person.

Today’s buyer needs value early. By sharing that value, you become trusted, and that person will share your information through the organization.

You can share solutions and then concrete details about how other clients have solved these problems.

Building a pipeline

Build a pipeline of prospects that are interesting to you.

Choose an industry you have a little bit of insight into and that you’re comfortable with. It’s important to understand the language of the industry.

Use the Internet to learn about the industry and the company itself. Determine hot topics and find out the things they are posting.

Instead of referring to it as cold calling, we should call it smart calling because we’ve done the research and you know who you want to talk to and why you want to talk to them.

It’s a lower conversion rate but it’s a great way to build your pipeline and gain some real opportunities.

Customization

Find the right level of customization for your prospecting.

Using a first name in an email is critical, but so is the information you find through your Internet searches, posts, product launches, and any other information that demonstrates that you’ve done some work.

Value

You can’t discuss value until you understand the industry you’re working in.

Use the experience you’ve gained by working with an earlier client to quantify benefits for your potential clients. Through your discovery process, talk to the prospect about the current situation and how your product or service could help them operate more efficiently or have capabilities they didn’t have before.

It’s “back of the napkin” stuff that doesn’t require an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s specific information that will be relevant to your prospect.

When a prospect agrees to meet with you, they already know a decent amount about your product. If you initiate the conversation talking about value, and you can quantify that value, it’s a different conversation.

Being consistent doesn’t mean you never tweak your process, but consistency is the only way to track whether your process is working or not.

It’s critical for salespeople to know what they do well and to understand why they do the things they do.

“A Sales Process That Works” episode resources

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.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Knuckle Dragging Sales, John Crowley, Donald Kelly, Sales Rep, Medical Sales, Sales Coaching

TSE 969: Sales From The Street: “Knuckle Dragging Sales”

 

John Crowley, The Sales Evangelist, Knuckle Dragging SalesOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to John Crowley, author of Knuckle Dragging Salesabout the difficulty of sales and a return to simple ideas about selling.

John helps sales professionals build a personal brand so they can increase their visibility and their earnings.

Knuckle dragging

John said he has gotten a lot of feedback about the title of his book, both from people who love it and those who hate it.

Although the phrase has a negative connotation, for him it refers to a much simpler time when people hunted and gathered or they starved and died. In sales today, you either persist and win or you quit and fail.

That doesn’t mean that you bash your buyers over the head using brute force sales tactics that result in cease-and-desist letters.

He says the de-evolution revolution will bring us back to simple techniques that work.

Choosing sales

Many people mistakenly assume that if you have an outgoing personality, you can succeed in sales. Many of them are lured by the possibility of earning six or seven figures, but they fail to realize that very few sales professionals will successfully reach that level.

John acknowledges that he initially chose sales because of the money, but a long-time mentor who had been in sales for a long time told him that sales had evolved.

After 20 years, he no longer chases after the money. Instead, he focuses on giving back to people who are trying to pursue the same ultimate goal that was initially pursuing.

Helping people

John schedules free mentoring sessions every Monday and Friday to advise young or struggling salespeople. He spends the entire day talking to people who lost their previous job or who are seeking a new one.

John does it to give something back to the industry that has given him so much, and it fills his own bucket to help other people.

He intentionally bookends his week with those sessions because they are as encouraging to him as they are to the people he’s talking to.

When you see someone’s life or business change as a result of something you were able to help them with, that’s the payoff.

The path to one sale

Every seller knows that you have to endure a lot of “no’s” and punches in the face before you land that one sale. When you land it, though, it’s like a drug for the seller. She wants more of it.

John said the most successful sales reps he has ever crossed paths with weren’t those who had to bat a thousand all the time; they were content with less. But they love the feeling of those successes and they love the selling process.

Most companies have a formal sales processes in place, but John has found that the confusion emerges when new sales processes get layered on top of existing sales processes.

As a result, he intentionally didn’t create a formal sales process because what he’s actually advocating for is basic human behavior.

Knuckle Dragging Sales

The book begins with a reflection encouraging readers to evaluate why they chose sales in the first place.

It focuses on mindset and asks the question, What are your goals?

The second half addresses execution and outlines specific tactics that will differentiate sellers from their competition. It also shares ways to add real value for customers.

Salespeople love the fact that they can plug these different tactics into their company’s existing sales processes, allowing them to try new approaches without confusing their existing processes.

John said he has heard from countless sellers who read great books and then tried to implement the new ideas into their existing processes. When they did, they ran into trouble trying to combine the two.

His book seeks to help them add tactics without confusing the existing process.

Importance of planning

Planning isn’t only important for sellers: it’s the key to most of our success in life.

Without a plan, you don’t know what you can expect. When you go into a sales call, there are 99 different routes the process could take, and developing a plan or framework helps you have the resources to successfully navigate the path.

Many sellers get into trouble when they try to force the buyer into a specific sales process rather than adjusting the sales process to the buyer’s journey. That’s why you need a plan.

A fluid plan can move with the buyer and help her mentally get where she needs to be, but it helps the seller always identify what the next steps are in the process.

Platinum rule

The golden rule tells us that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. The platinum rule tells us to treat them the way they want to be treated.

Corporate America is brutal and the politics are exhausting. Sales results in frequent rejection, which is grueling for anyone.

Sales is truly the hardest profession on the planet, and eventually, the corporate sales grind will affect you. Your mindset truly dictates your success.

John said helping others succeed, and asking nothing in return, has been the best way to personally stay positive.

The move toward positivity will be different for each person.

Different is better than better

Companies often try to create a mold. They want the same type of person with the same personality who can give a canned talk. To a certain extent, that’s valuable in learning your job and becoming a product expert.

But those sales leaders who stop copying the leader and find a way to be comfortable being different are the ones who are authentic and successful.

Whether you choose to stand out because of how you dress, how you talk, the sales aids that you choose, or how you follow up with your leads, you want to find opportunities daily to stand out.

Learn the business

Remember one thing: your product isn’t for everyone.

If you learn your customer’s business, the dollars will follow. If you learn how your customer makes money and loses money, you become a real asset to them.

John said it took him two years to figure out how his customers made money, but once he did, he didn’t have to continue cold calls anymore.

The easiest way to accomplish that, he said, is to ask your customers if you can simply observe their businesses. He spent hours following them around and asking really good questions to understand how their industry operated.

It requires a lot of time, and you won’t actually be selling anything, but the rewards at the end will be worth it.

“Knuckle Dragging Sales” episode resources

Grab a copy of John’s book, Knuckle Dragging Salesto gain more insight about the basics of sales. He put up a page just for our listeners where you can get a free ebook PowerPoint template.

You can also connect with John from that page as well.

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.

The Hustler’s League

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.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Jeff Propp, Maximizer, Donald Kelly, Sales Process

TSE 958: Fundamentals Of An Effective Sales Process

Jeff Propp, Sales Process, The Sales EvangelistOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking to Jeff Propp of Maximizer about the fundamentals of an effective sales process.

Jeff is the head of revenue for Maximizer CRM, one of the pioneers in the CRM industry. It’s a boutique company focusing on smaller midsized businesses in a crowded CRM marketplace.

Sales process

Sales isn’t about being charismatic or being a smooth-talker.

There aren’t a lot of barriers to entry in sales but there are a lot of barriers to success.

If you don’t have a process by which you as a seller enter into a relationship with the buyer, it won’t go well. You must have an understanding of prospects’ needs, goals, wants, and desires.

You must establish trust and then develop a mutually beneficial contract, and it can happen quickly or slowly.

The majority of people who are successful in sales adhere to a process.

Many new and struggling salespeople don’t have sales processes, and they face common struggles as a result.

Methodology

Jeff has seen salespeople get into trouble frequently by cutting corners. You have to go slow in order to go fast.

Take time to understand the root causes that are the catalyst for your customers’ desire to seek change.

It’s tempting to be anxious to pitch but start by understanding their business, their processes, and the stakeholders you’re working with.

Your process must be consistent, that’s understood, that’s simple, and that you have deliverables to support and that they are aligned with your company values.

Sometimes people accidentally eliminate the customer in the process and they forget to think about how the customer is buying.

Skipping steps

Closing is the fun part of selling so it’s tempting to hurry toward that part of the process.

Some stages may feel like “rubber stamp” stages, and sellers can get frustrated at those points in the process. Continue to be deliberate and methodical even though it sounds boring.

If you don’t eventually invest in a sales process, your business won’t scale properly. People will go rogue and do their own thing. It’s also impossible to forecast if you don’t have some kind of process in place.

It’s also important to have predictability in your revenue and your budgets. You must have some idea where you’re going to end up financially, and that will be tougher to do without a process in place, especially with larger teams.

Additionally, different customers will have different experiences if your process isn’t consistent. There will be a lack of consistency.

Consistent customer service keeps customers loyal to the brand.

Developing a process

The best practice for those who don’t have a process in place would be to hire a team that can help you practice and learn sales processes.

If you don’t have the budget for that, there are dozens of great books that can help you begin. You can go through the book together as a team.

The most important aspect is practicing as a team. Anytime Maximizer has a new initiative or process, they use role-playing to execute it.

If you can get into a course with materials that allows you to practice the things you’re going to be doing, that’s a great help.

Likewise, if you’re a new seller working in a company that doesn’t offer sales training, consider finding a mentor or a coach. It could even be someone in the company who is already doing well for himself.

Find podcasts and blogs you can engage with and other resources you can take advantage of. Audiobooks are a great tool as well. Learn to self-develop.

Make your interactions with people about them. Check out how much you’re asking compared to how much you’re telling. Great salespeople know the answers to the questions but the act of being curious creates trust and goodwill.

The spirit of reciprocity comes back to you when you put other people first.

“Effective Sales Process” episode resources

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or find him at the Maximizer switchboard. If you DM him or leave a voicemail, he’ll get back to you.

Grab a copy of the book SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers.

This episode is 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. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also 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 and provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

“The Sales Evangelist”

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review 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 it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Process, Donald Kelly, Sales Fundamentals

TSE 957: Sales Process 101

Sales Process, Donald Kelly, Sales FundamentalsWhen I worked for a corporate organization, I had to call executives and convince them to consider our product. I had no direction for the conversation. Until I got sales training, I didn’t know what to stay to get them to the next step.

That map is known as a buying process or a sales process, and we’re going to give you the fundamental basics a sales process should have.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re going to help you determine whether you have an effective sales process and what you can do to develop one.

 Sales process

You probably have some sort of process in place and it’s probably working to some degree. But would it benefit you to tweak it? Do you feel like you’re not closing enough deals?

Maybe it’s the way you’re presenting things or maybe you’re working in a company where you don’t have anything at all. Instead, you’re just winging it when you communicate with customers.

If you feel like you’re walking in the dark, that system won’t help you hit quota and you won’t be able to scale.

I want to give you basic sales processes that you can apply.

What is a sales process?

A sales process is different than a sales philosophy. Your philosophy is the belief that you have or the things that you value. It’s the values you present to your customer.

There are certain things you believe in that you’re unwilling to cut corners on.

Your sales process is the steps that you take in order to help a prospect go from an interested prospect to a paying customer.

What do you do at each level? You need to establish repeatable steps so that you aren’t making it up every single time.

Without a process, your sales will be agonizing and it will never scale.

Identify your existing process

If you don’t have a process or you have a process that is outdated, visit with each of your sellers to find out what they are doing to bring brand new prospects to the point of purchase.

What steps do they follow?

Why are they using those steps?

Some of your sellers will be doing things well and you can share those effective steps with your entire group. If you have this discussion as a large group, people will most likely give the answers they think they are supposed to give instead of the steps they are actually using.

Involving the sales team in building a sales process will give them buy-in.

Share commonalities

Once you’ve discovered what each person is doing, share the commonalities you found and what seems to be working best for the team.

Find out how your prospects buy. You can have a prospect on a call or you can simply research.

Once you know what works and what the buyer wants, you can develop a process that is in line with what the buyer wants. Your job is to tweak your process so that it falls in line.

Types of processes

There are many types of buying processes but there is something specific that must happen at each stage.

Determine what must happen at each stage. What things must we do in order to be effective?

If we skip steps, we get to the close before the buyer has addressed all his objections and uncovered all the needs. You’ll skip basic qualification steps.

Some companies use a top-down approach and some use a checklist of things that have to be accomplished. My door-to-door sales operated that way because we didn’t have a long closing process.

Flowchart approach usually exists with big-ticket items and b2b selling where your process evolves based upon the buyer’s behavior.

The approach requires adjustments at each step of the process. You must be moldable.

The more complex the sale, the more people you’ll have involved in it.

If you don’t have a process, create one. If you have one, tweak it.

“Sales Process 101” episode resources

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.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Tyler Sickmeyer, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 941: Build Enough Value Before You Try To Close

Tyler Sickmeyer, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistThe process of building value begins early in the buying journey. Sales professionals talk a lot about building value, but the truth is that value looks different to everyone.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we have a candid conversation about value — and why it’s important to build enough value — with Tyler Sickmeyer, founder and CEO of Fidelitas Development.

Defining value

People define value differently.

The word value suggests something of worth. It’s how people measure the desirability of something. It’s the answer to the question, “How bad do you want it?”

Because people are different, they will place different amounts of value on things.

This truth shows up all the time on TV shows where people go garage sale hunting or “picking.” One person just wants something out of the house, and it’s a bonus if they can get a little money out of the deal. The other person recognizes an opportunity to buy something of value and flip it to make money.

Value is a matter of perception.

Finding a fit

Your product or service probably won’t be a good fit for everyone.

Tyler’s company recognizes that, and Fidelitas uses it to field the right sales team and to find the right clients.

To avoid wasting people’s time, the team strives to have honest conversations early in both the hiring process and the buying process to make sure the fit is a good one.

The team recently passed on a project that was beyond the scope of its expertise because it didn’t want to tackle work that would create headaches and potentially tarnish the brand.

Tyler believes that acknowledging limitations and pointing the client in the direction of a team who is a better fit is a form of building value. By saving the prospect a lot of time and headache, they built value for the prospect.

Value creation

Any time you take on a project that isn’t ideal, you’re missing an opportunity to find something that is ideal because you have a finite amount of resources available.

We’ve all made these mistakes, and Tyler calls it “drinking your own Kool-Aid.”

When you ignore your instincts and take on clients that you shouldn’t take, it creates headaches for your team and can bring toxicity to your culture.

Tyler found that those tended to be the lowest-paying clients who treated his people poorly, so they’ve learned now to fire those clients if they misbehave.

Better yet, they have very clear conversations ahead of time to set expectations.

In the midst of sharing what makes Fidelitas such a great agency, they make sure to ask, “Why would you be a good client?”

Wrong incentives

When you have a sales team that is incentivized incorrectly, a team that is trying to hit unrealistic numbers or that has been set up for failure, you’ll damage your brand.

If, for example, you accept a client that isn’t a good fit, but you justify it because you want the sale, you’re entering dangerous territory.

If the sales process goes badly, they’ll tell other people. Though you might eventually refund their money to compensate for the trouble, they won’t get back the time they lost in the process.

The result will often be people who are anti-evangelists to your brand because their experience is so bad.

Focus on quality over quantity.

Most people shop for cars on Sunday because they know the dealerships are closed. They aren’t going to be “sold to.”

After the sale

One of the big questions to ask is what happens after the sale. Once we’ve made our first payment and committed to this purchase, what will the relationship look like?

Look for someone who is invested in you after you swipe your credit card.

Things will always go wrong because we’re human. But when something does go wrong, what will the process of fixing it look like? Who will have the decision-making power to make things right for us as customers?

Don’t leave your customers feeling as though they are shouting into the wind. Treat your customers well.

Remember this overall: if your product or service doesn’t perform well, and it makes me look bad in front of my clients, you’re likely going to have a big problem on your hands.

Onboarding questions

Two questions to consider:

What do our wins look like? What does a win look like for you and for your boss? Those aren’t always the same thing.

Sometimes you’ll know what’s needed for the brand, but your boss will need vanity metrics that are different. Being a good partner is doing both things.

Do you want a vendor or a strategic partner? If you’re simply looking for a vendor, Fidelitas probably isn’t the right partner for you. If you’re simply looking for five Facebook posts on a regular basis, you can most likely find this service cheaper somewhere else.

Think of it as two kinds of agencies: a Wonderbread factory and an artisan bakery.

One team will offer you off-the-menu options with add-ons to address your pain points. The other will customize a strategy and solution; a customized approach that positions it as your strategic partner.

If you just want a Facebook page or a website, you can find that somewhere else. We’ll help you understand why we’ve chosen the strategies that we’re using.

Fidelitas wants to work with clients who value their insights.

Strategic partnerships

Focus on strategic partnerships rather than just vendor relationships.

Figure out how you can add value. Adding value includes things like taking your team on a road trip to visit the client and get to know their needs. You aren’t being paid for that, but it will help you address their pain points.

If you can give something that the client didn’t pay for, and exceed their expectations with superior service, you’re providing value, and you’ll take your relationships to the next level.

“Build Enough Value” episode resources

You can find Tyler’s podcast, Lion’s Share Marketing Podcast, on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and anywhere that you’re listening to this podcast. Learn more about marketing wins and brand marketing strategies.

You can also find him on Twitter and you can email him at Fidelitas’ website.

This episode is 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.

This episode is also 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.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Podcast, Closing The Deal

TSE 935: TSE Hustler’s League-“Closing Is Too Much”

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Podcast, Closing The DealIf you’ve been following the show for a while, you know that The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sales professionals of all levels. Today we’re discussing the occasional mindset that tells us that closing is too much.

On today’s episode of TSE Hustler’s League, I’m going to share some of my training with you from David Hoffeld’s book, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal. I’m going to address the idea that closing is too much.

Sometimes as sales professionals we get the idea that closing is a big obstacle that we simply can’t overcome. We fail to understand that closing is easy if you follow basic principles.

Incremental commitments

In the opening of the show, I talked about a salesman who asked for permission to put a billboard in someone’s front yard. This story was the basis of research that David reported in his book.

In 1966, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reported that researchers visited neighborhoods asking residents if they could place a large billboard in their yard that encouraged people to drive carefully. The billboard obstructed the house, and only 17 percent of the participants agreed to the sign.

Then researchers visited a separate neighborhood and asked the same question, but this time they got 76 percent participation.

What’s the difference?

In the second neighborhood, researchers had previously visited each of the houses asking for permission to place a small 3-inch sign with the same message in the front window of the home.

Those neighbors who agreed to the smaller sign were more likely to agree to the larger sign later.

Sometimes we do to our prospects what the first salesman did in this story. We talk to them about their challenges and their pain and then we ask them to purchase a $10,000 software program.

Start small

We’ll be discussing the sales process in November, but for now, is there a way you can break your larger commitments into smaller ones to make it easier for your prospect to engage?

You must have some kind of commitment in mind at the end of every call.

When I did do0r-t0-door security system sales, we started by asking people if we could put one of our small signs in their yard. Most people agreed because it was an easy way to deter burglaries.

Beyond that, we would continue our conversation about security systems and discuss what they liked about their existing system. Then, we would ask if we could see their existing system, and we would share value with them about security systems.

We ended up sitting at a table with them discussing security and the challenges they face.

Very often, we were able to convince them to install one of our systems or to switch to our company. We succeeded because of incremental commitments.

Get to yes

Figure out a way to get your prospect to say yes to something. Maybe it’s an initial meeting. Then it’s a demonstration. Then it’s to get their colleagues involved.

Commitments at each stage of the process make a huge difference.

If you end a phone call with a prospect by simply saying, “Talk to you soon,” you haven’t given your prospect any homework. You’re going to have a tougher time closing deals because you aren’t offering incremental commitments.

Examine your process

Are you providing incremental commitments along the way to your prospects? Are you giving homework or giving them opportunities to say yes to little things that will lead to bigger things?

If the brain is accustomed to saying yes, it will more likely continue to say yes along the way.

I want to help you improve your sales process so you can increase your close rate. If you and your team need help, check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

“Closing Is Too Much” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits.

Don’t let your CRM be unruly 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.

This episode is also 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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

I mention software that we use likeprospect.io and likeMaximizer CRM because I know they work and I want to help you.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Inbound Leads, Prospect.io, Maximizer

TSE 917: Why Your B2B Inbound Leads Are Not Closing

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Inbound Leads, Prospect.io, Maximizer

When your marketing department rounds up good inbound leads for your sales reps, but your sales don’t increase, it can leave you confused. If the leads are highly qualified, it can leave you confused about why your b2b inbound leads are not closing.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the common reasons that your b2b inbound leads are not closing.

When you’re spending large amounts of money on marketing campaigns only to find that the deals aren’t closing, it can leave you frustrated and confused. Today we’ll address why that happens.

Failing to contact your inbound leads

Your organization may be structured so that your sales reps spend about 60 percent of their time on outbound and 40 percent of their time on inbound.

Very often, though, we’re finding that sales reps aren’t closing their inbound leads.

Last week, I mentioned the importance of calling immediately after the buyer makes contact.

If I’m doing research and I find your website, and I sign up and give you my consent to reach out to me, I shouldn’t have to wait 24 to 48 hours to hear from you.

Put yourself in my shoes. I’m not going to sit here and wait for your company to respond to me.

There are many other companies out there, and I’m making contact with multiple vendors at the same time.

The people at insidesales.com shared that, when you get a lead, it’s imperative that you call that lead within the first five minutes. The lead is interested and ready to talk to you.

The truth is, though, that only one in four internet leads are contacted, which could be the primary reason why your sales reps aren’t closing enough deals. They may not be reaching out to the prospect enough.

Inbound flow process

Even if your sales reps are making that first call, they may not be calling additional times after that.

Studies show that reps average between 1.3 and 2.1 call attempts, and that probably isn’t enough. You, as a sales manager, need to give them a flow process to follow.

Your sales reps want more inbound leads, but that doesn’t mean that they know how to handle, guide or close those leads. It’s your job to give them a roadmap and show them the ropes.

What are the steps to your flow process once a lead comes in?  Will they make a phone call? Send an email? Reach out on LinkedIn? When will we leave a voicemail?

Some people call this a cadence, but you need to have something that nurtures that lead for 14 days. You must have multiple attempts because your buyer isn’t sitting and waiting for your company to call back.

Your customer has reports to take care of, a business to run, errands to run, meetings to attend, and a personal life to attend to. If you call me once and I don’t call back immediately, it doesn’t mean I’m not interested.

 

Being pushy

Many people avoid calling multiple times because they say they don’t want to be pushy.

While it’s true that buyers hate when sellers are pushy, there’s a difference between being pushy and nurturing a lead.

Usually, being pushy involves repeatedly calling a cold lead who isn’t interested in what you’re selling. You’re trying to sell something that I don’t even want, and you’re badgering me.

The difference is customer intent.

If I have expressed to you that I’m interested in your product or service, that’s not the same as a cold lead. I’ve given you permission to contact me, so you have my consent to try to reach me more than once.

Even if your lead is reaching out to other companies, that doesn’t mean the other companies are the best fit. It means you need to contact him and show him that your company is the best.

Statistics show that it takes a minimum of 8 to 12 contact attempts within 10 to 14 days to connect with a prospect. Eight to 12. Now refer back to the statistic that said that most sales reps are making 1.3 to 2.1 attempts.

It’s not enough. You’re leaving so much on the table and throwing away money.

Finding your prospects

Don’t rely only on one kind of contact when reaching out to your leads.

Take advantage of where your contacts are. If they’re on LinkedIn, reach out on LinkedIn. If they’re on Twitter, reach out to them on Twitter.

Add those steps into your flow process. Make the phone calls and send the emails. Drop something into the mail.

Do whatever you need to do to grab the prospect’s attention because your competition is doing the same thing.

Once you get your prospect’s attention, your job is to pull that prospect out of the “dating pool” as quickly as possible so that he isn’t going around looking.

Figure out why your prospect opted in. Determine what part of your messaging he responded to, and wrap your very first contact attempt around that message.

Marketing and sales have to work together to communicate about these things so that sales knows what the prospect responded to. Educate both your sales and marketing teams about the details of the prospect.

When your teams have that kind of alignment, you’ll be likely to close more of your inbound leads.

Make sure your messaging resonates totally with their intent.

 

“B2B Inbound Leads” episode resources

This episode is also 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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

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.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, Sales Leader, Sales Leader

TSE 910: TSE Hustler’s League-“It’s All Backward”


TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, Sales Leader, Sales LeaderIf you find yourself thinking that your clients just don’t get it, the problem may not be the prospect. It may not even be the product. The problem may be the way you and your company are selling your product. If your sales process is designed all around you, that means your prospects aren’t being considered. Your sales process is backward.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we’ll discuss the signs that your sales process is backward, and what you can do about it.

If your prospects don’t have a chance to share how they are buying or to have their own inputs, they may be confused because you didn’t take time to learn from them. Even if you think you listened, I’m going to show you in this episode how we’re not listening.

Getting it wrong

Selling involves much more than just listening to the prospect, which of course you have to do.

Our new semester of TSE Hustler’s League will begin in the fall, and we’re going to address business development. We’re going to show you how you can find more prospects and how you can court them.

But we’re also going to do something radically different. We’re changing up the curriculum from what we’ve had in the past.

Some things will be the same, but one of the foundational ways we prospect will change. We’re overhauling because we have been getting it wrong.

Before you skip to another episode, answer this question: In your buying process right now, what does your CRM say? What is outlined?

Many of you may have adopted what I’ve taught, while some of you may never have adopted a sales process, but most look like this:

  • Find the prospect.
  • Do the discovery.
  • Propose a presentation or demo.
  • Convert.
  • Close.

That’s the process we’ve taught for a long time, and though it’s good, it’s not great. We’re going to take good and make it great.

Flip a switch. We’re going to change from only looking at you.

I can’t take credit for this. My good friend Kevin F. Davis taught me this, and I recommend his book, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top. 

Stop looking only at outcomes

These are actionable things that the sales reps are doing rather than actionable steps that the buyer is doing.

When it comes to prospecting, you’re looking for customers. It’s a one-sided effort.

When a problem emerges on your sales team, you’re addressing it from the standpoint of the seller, after the problem has occurred.

  • Did the seller make enough calls?
  • Did the seller send enough emails?
  • Did the seller do enough outreach?

Those are good things to measure, but we should tweak them to focus on our buyers.

For example, what is the buyer doing at this point in the process? Is he researching? Is he analyzing? How can we focus more on what the buyer is doing?

Is your buyer responding to some existing discontent? If so, do you use content that addresses his discontent in your outreach?

In last week’s example of selling chairs, how do you know that your prospect needs to change at this time? How does the prospect know that he needs to change at this time? Is he currently discontent with the chairs he has?

You must create pieces of content that educate your buyer about solutions to his discontent. The goal is to get him to agree to an appointment.

Change of philosophy

Give your sellers the foresight, the knowledge, and the tools to help your prospect make a decision.

Maybe instead of discovery, you get your prospects to share information about their problems or their needs. You want the prospect to be part of the process.

How can your sales team help your prospects share information?

Instead of sitting down with your sales rep to figure out whether she made enough cold calls or sent enough emails, role play and focus on the buyer. Figure out how you can get the prospect to agree to more appointments with you.

This is how you align sales and marketing. If we have a holistic plan about recognizing what we need to address for our buyers, we’ll tackle it with our workshops, our webinars, and our podcast episodes. Everything we do will focus on the different stages.

That effort will guide the prospect, and because we’re focused on the prospect, we’ll guide him through every step of the buyer’s journey.

Next steps

When you move the buyer to the demonstration, you won’t think of it as you giving him a demo. Instead, think of it as him attending a demo. It’s tailored to him.

Allow your buyer to share concerns. Personally, I like to do this early in the process, so maybe around the discovery portion where he is sharing his challenges. If I can help overcome the fears, it will make my presentation easier.

Once you’ve addressed the challenges and agreed to the terms, he’ll commit to you. Once he does, you want to address expectations. Did you deliver results? Is the buyer seeing an improvement as a result of your product?

Once he is satisfied, he has come full circle, and he will refer you to others.

I want you to win because if you win, I win in the long run.

In the long run, you’re going to tell your friends about the podcast. Your friends are going to tell other people. They’re going to leave a rating and review. Our show is going to grow.

Some of them are going to come onto the website. They’re going to see our content. They’re going to see the information. They’re going to say, Donald, I want you to come and train our team. It’s going to happen, so I am here to help you.

I am here to help you find more ideal customers. I want you to build stronger value. I want you to close more deals, but beyond all of that, I want to challenge you every single day to go out and do big things.

“It’s All Backward” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase sales. Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Video Jungle podcast. Learn the ins and outs of the video industry and how it can help you stand out from your competition. To listen to the Video Jungle podcast go to wherever you enjoy your shows and search video jungle.

The Sales Evangelist offers a business development service that develops cold leads for your business. We’ll generate a list and hand it off to your team who can work to close deals. Email me for more information.

If all of this sounds great to you but you still aren’t sure how to start, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights.

You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Sales Evangelist, How To Sell, Donald New Seller

TSE 872: 5 Sales Myths Crippling New Sellers

The Sales Evangelist, How To Sell, Donald New SellerMany of the practices that new sellers use are ineffective. They don’t help your efforts, but you use them because other people said you should. Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’re tackling the sales myths crippling new sellers.

Though there are countless myths that we pass down and cling to, we’ll address the top five myths that new sellers tend to adopt.

1. You must have the gift of gab.

It absolutely isn’t true that sellers must be big talkers. It isn’t true that you have to be good at improvisation and talking to anyone.

Although none of those are bad things, they aren’t required to be successful in sales.

The truth is that the seller who listens well has the best odds of success. Rather than bulldozing your prospect by talking, give the prospect a chance to explain what he needs.

2. It’s OK to lie.

Many times we buy into the idea that the ends justify the means.

We believe that if a questionable decision leads to a good outcome, it wasn’t necessarily a bad choice. Imagine stealing food to feed a hungry family.

When sales professionals lie or stretch the truth to convince prospects to engage with their service or product, the choice almost always backfires. When prospects realize you aren’t honest, your relationship will be short-lived.

We’re seeking to grow our business and build an empire.

When you’re honest, you’ll gain loyal customers who will refer you to other people.

3. You only have to make a few calls.

When you’re prospecting, you’re turning over stones. You’re searching for people who are interested in your product or service.

Ask any seller at a thriving organization and you’ll discover he is making many phone calls.

The first time you reach out to a prospect, she may not be ready for your product or service. You will reach voicemails and executive assistants who keep you from accessing the prospect.

Not every phone call will lead to a conversation, but you must be willing to make them.

Understand that the more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to find prospects who need what you’re offering. The more shots on goal you take, the more chances you have of scoring.

4. The phone is dead.

Selling over the phone may be more challenging than it once was, but that doesn’t mean the phone is dead.

You’re going to make tons of calls. Like any other form of outreach, it requires a great deal of effort. Whether you’re using email, LinkedIn, or regular mail, you have to invest effort in order to produce results.

I think of outreach as a campaign. If I use all of the methods together in a well-rounded outreach, I’m more likely to reach people who are interested in my product or service.

Your job is to figure out how to be effective over the phone. Perhaps it means calling at certain times, using a particular message in your voicemails, or using other means in addition to the phone.

Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

5. One sales process works better than the others.

Everyone has an opinion about which sales process is best.

Truthfully, developing a sales process is a little like baking an apple pie. Your process will likely include the same basic ingredients as everyone else’s. The method or process will be different, but the general rules will be the same.

You might use a different kind of apple or a little more cinnamon, but the results won’t be too far off.

Try a bunch of different pies. See which is the best. Put your full effort into the experiment to see which one is best.

If The Sales Evangelist method is the best for you, let us know; we’d be happy to work with you to continue growing in your business.

Whatever you do, grab your prospect’s attention, build value, and help him reach the decision that’s best for him. Overcome the sales myths crippling new sellers.

“5 Sales Myths” episode resources

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.

Grab your free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint for all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

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 to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

SaveSave

Dale Dupree, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn, Social Selling

TSE 836: Make Social Selling A Part of Your Day to Day Life

Dale Dupree, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn, Social SellingIf you don’t already make social selling a part of your day, you should. The millennial generation has connected everyone on social media. Using those platforms to sell should be a natural progression for all sales professionals.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking with Dale Dupree, the Copier Warrior, about using LinkedIn as part of your sales process.

Create Curiosity

Your social media pages are your own personal web pages. Your goal is to make sure that people who visit your page can tell what you’re all about.

Make sure they can accomplish the things you want them to accomplish when they get there.

Spark interest for your connections. Create something of value.

If you can create undeniable curiosity, you’ll fly through the sales process in ways you never have before.

Dale recalled a customer who walked away from a 20-year relationship with another company to do business with him.

The customer told him that no one had ever created the kind of curiosity that he had. No one had ever made the sales process enjoyable like he did.

Avoid Pitching

When you first reach out to someone on social media, they’ll likely visit your profile and decide whether to connect with you.

If the very first thing you do after connecting is pitch them, you will have blown an opportunity.

It won’t matter that you have a cool product that no one has ever heard of because you will have blown your chance to connect.

Pitching them should never be the very first contact you make. You’ve built no credibility.

Social media is purely an outreach piece.

Build Community

Dale did the same thing with his LinkedIn community that he does with his in-person sales community.

He created content that motivated people to interact with him. He went local with his outreach and targeted people around him the same way he would with traditional prospecting efforts.

His social media platforms allowed his connections to view his bio and his work history, and learn more about him and his business.

He posted regularly about the connections he was making with people to promote the idea of fellowship.

He boiled it down this way:

Don’t neglect the less-obvious employees in any company either. Rather than simply connecting with the decision makers, connect with the people they work with as well.

Share Stories

People love a good story, so articulate yours well. Tell them how you got where you are. Ask them to share their stories.

It creates interest, and it encourages people to get to know one another.

Don’t be sales-y.

Salespeople are the enemy because there are a million of them, and you’re just one more in the crowd. Your prospect already has plenty of them.

Make people smile. Have fun. Get familiar with the people on social media.

If you do it well, when they meet you in person for the first time, they’ll know you as “the LinkedIn guy.”

Make social selling a part of your day.

Episode Resources

You can connect with Dale at CopierWarrior.com. You can also find him on LinkedIn and other social media platforms as well.

Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based upon research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.

Once you’ve applied the concepts you heard here today, message me or email me and let me know what your results were.

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.

The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. To learn more, email us at SPN for more information.

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.

 

 

Psychology, emails, prospecting, cold email

TSE 791: The Psychology Behind Sales Emails

The Sales Evangelist, Email, Prospecting, Ryan O'DonnellSending emails is a prerequisite for sales professionals, but how do you generate emails that reach the right person at the right time in the right place?  In this episode of The Sales Evangelist, Ryan O’Donnell will explain the psychology of emails and teach us how to create a more targeted approach to emails.

We don’t have a crystal ball, and we can’t tell what our prospects are thinking, so we can’t skip the important steps of prospecting and research.

Creating a targeted approach to emails:

  • Use data to qualify or disqualify your existing prospects.
  • Divide existing prospects and customers into segments and use those segments to create targeted communication.
  • Use variety. Personalize some of your communication and automate others.
  • Be intentional. High-value clients might motivate you to personalize more than smaller clients.
  • Take note of effective emails that come to your inbox and employ the same strategies.
  • Don’t allow your emails to become monotonous.
  • Use each part of the email to drive the reader to the next sentence.

Different things motivate different people.

Sometimes a question in the subject line will work best. Other times, the company name or the recipient’s name will work.

Some people check email on Sundays to clean out their inboxes before the coming work week.

Track what works best so you can make your process more efficient. Streamlining your process will free up additional time, which will compound over the life of your career.

You’ll have more time to devote to other steps in the process.

Email mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t send an email with Re:Re:Re:Re: because it has been sent back and forth so many times. Change the subject line.
  • Don’t use a deceptive subject line.
  • Don’t automate your emails to go out at the same time on the same day every week. It will become obvious that they are automated.

Episode resources

If you’re interested in learning to use email more effectively but you aren’t sure where to start, contact Ryan O’Donnell at ryan@replyify.com or ryan@sellhack.com. Ryan will provide you free access to one month’s worth of services to give you a jump-start on emailing.

When I was a seller like you, I initially didn’t have formal training. Once I got proper training, I discovered that it greatly improved my sales skills, and I wanted to share those principles.

The Sales Evangelist Hustlers League is a group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels improve their sales skills and close more deals. We’d love to have you join us. Go to thesalesevangelist.com/hustlers for more details.

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales Process

TSE 730: TSE Hustler’s League – Make Your Prospects Commit to the Next Level

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales ProcessDo you know why deals are slowing down so much?

That’s because there are no commitments at each level.

Today, I’m sharing another snippet from one of our training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League.

Clients Are Evaluating You

At the end of the process, what can you do to get them to commit to the next level?

Be able to make them commit to move on to the next step.

Make Your Prospects Commit at Each Stage of the Process

At each stage, give them something they can commit to. For example, give them a white paper or a video link or anything that would give them value, which they could apply to their own process.

Then ask them if you could do a follow up after they’ve consumed the content you offered them. This will let you know, they’re committing to you at each step.

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Tired of PowerPoint decks? Use Prezi Business and your presentations will never be the same.

Chris Dials, VmWare, Donald Kelly, COO

TSE 693: VMware’s Secret to an Effective Sales Process

Chris Dials, VmWare, Donald Kelly, COO

In this episode, I was privileged to interview Chris Dials, VP of Global Operations for VMware, where he leads the company’s go-to-market operations worldwide —an 800-person global team that serves 5,000+ sales professionals, 75,000+ partners, and 1M+ customers.

A senior high tech leader with a 20-year history of leading operational transformation, Chris’ mantra is as follows:

imperfect progress outplays delayed perfection every time.

Today, he offers us a look into a unique side of sales. One many salespeople rarely get a chance to learn about.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Chris:

Dealing with Imperfect Progress

“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”

Chris encourages his people to chase imperfect progress:

  • Drive momentum plans every 30 days that provide value to stakeholders.
  • Be innovative and constantly take big challenges. But it’s also okay to fail.
  • A permission to fail: Chris awards individuals that thought out-of-the-box and sometimes failed but failed fast and learned from those things.v

Pipeline Management Center of Excellence:

A concept that brings together a group of individuals. It starts with a process first.

Make sure you have the right processes in place to be able to manage your pipeline.

At VMware, now they have a global process on how to manage their pipeline. They measure on consistent KPI’s and metrics on the quantity and quality of their pipeline.

Once the standards are in place, the people working on that will disband and go on to a different type of Center of Excellence.

At VMware, they’ve set up 15 different centers of excellence across sales operations, marketing operations, partner operations, and professional services operations.

Strategies You Can Apply to Your Business:

1. Understand what you need to predict your business and how to forecast it.

2. Agree on a common process.

3. Leverage your CRM system and an analytics tool.

4. Reduce the manual processes but provide the most predictability for your business.

5. Think out of the box. Be creative. Go for the big things.

6. Listen to the people in your team.

The Biggest Challenges They’re Facing

1. Scaling – Set up your organization first.

2. Bringing people on – Get someone to change your people’s mindset.

Reducing Expenses

Centralizing people into central operational hubs

3 Types of Roles in an Organization:

1. Transactional

2. Center of Excellence

3. Business Partners

How Sales Teams Can Build Stronger Partnerships

  • Have strong business partners.
  • When you start adding value, partners see the value and need of an operations person to make sure they’re constantly looking three quarters out to ensure the health of the business.
  • Sales operations need to be the connective issue to your marketing organizations, IT organizations, and HR organizations.

Chris’ Major Takeaway:

Think out of the box. Things are rapidly changing in any industry. Go and make sure you provide incremental progress. Do it frequently. Smaller movements of the needle make a big difference over time. And start to think about imperfect progress.

Connect with cdials@vmware.com.

Episode Resources:

Tired of the same, old PowerPoint decks? Use Prezi Business and your presentations will never be the same. Tell your story the way you want to tell it.

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales, TSE

TSE 675: TSE Hustler’s League-“Speed Up The Purchase”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales, TSE

The TSE Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Each semester, we focus on a theme. And for this semester, we have two tracks – business development and building value.

Check out our first track if your goal is to increase your win rate while if you want to focus on finding opportunity and lead generation, check out our business development track.

In this episode, we talk about the idea of increasing scarcity and how to apply that into your presentation. This is a snippet taken from one of our past sessions over at the league.

Here are the highlights of today’s episode:

How You Can Apply Loss Aversion Inside Your Sales Process:

  • Loss aversion is the human tendency to avoid losing things.
  • The desire not to lose something is greater than the desire to gain something.
  • Take a snapshot of this in your deeper discussion with your prospect and utilize this later on as you present your solution.
  • Utilize the same information to build up urgency or the reason to do something.
  • Tell a story of another client who used the same product or service where they had to lose something to gain more in the long run.
  • As you end your presentation, insert two sentences which you recommend for them to start off with.
  • Tie all this back into giving the buyer the control over his decision-making.

Use of Time-Related Words:

These are some words you can use to increase urgency:

  • Now
  • Fast
  • Quick
  • Hurry
  • Rapidly
  • Close
  • Approaching
  • Never
  • Seconds
  • Again
  • Over
  • Instant

For example:

“When you fix it, you will never see any issues like this again.”

“Your website speed is going to be in seconds. It will be fast and quick.”

Words like these cause the mind the to think urgently about time, thus improving the person’s likelihood of converting.

Be mindful and make sure you’re incorporating words that encourage or push the buyer to think urgently.

Is there something you can do to help the client recognize scarcity and urgency?

Episode Resources:

Check out our Facebook Group, The Sales Evangelizers

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

Donald Sherer, Donald Kelly, The Sales Assembly Line

TSE 658: Step-by-Step Instructions on Implementing a Sales Assembly Line

Donald Sherer, Donald Kelly, The Sales Assembly LineIt’s not easy to sell… but having a process to follow will help streamline things for you.

Today, we talk about the idea of an assembly line for your sales process.

Donald is a New York tax attorney turned entrepreneur. He sold his first company which he created with his mom and did it out of bootstrapping.

He is the Co-Founder and CEO of CrossBorder Solutions, which he grew into one of the world’s largest tax software companies. Donald has also written a book, Assembly Required. It talks about this whole concept and how to implement it.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Donald:

The Traditional Sales Model

  • The sales person goes out on the road, sets up appointments, does the presentation, builds a relationship, does the paperwork. Sometimes, he even takes care of the customer at the end of it.
  • Mathematically, it’s almost impossible to scale this type of operation. It’s expensive and it’s ineffective.
  • It’s works very nicely when working with early adopters in the beginning when you’re launching your product. But it’s not a scalable model.

The Power of Scaling

If you don’t scale your sales operation within the first four years and become the market leader, you’re going to fail. So one company in any market actually succeeds. Most companies fail because they’re not able to scale it.

The Sales Assembly Line

Assembly line is a tool used to mass-produce things. It has 3 principle concepts:

  1. Specialization

You have people that have set roles over and over again. You don’t have people that play many roles.

In sales, you set up an SDR (sales development rep) whose role is only to set appointments. Have someone else specialize in doing research and another one doing the calling.

If you have a very skilled worker, don’t let them do anything else but their where their skills at. Let your account executives don’t do anything but close. And if they don’t close in three months, the client goes to an incubator professional who keeps them warm. Then send it back to the salesperson.

  1. Best Practice

Determine what the best practices are through A/B testing. What is working in the sales environment? Then make sure every person along the line is doing the thing that works every time, repeatable, over and over again. Once you have a repeatable sales process, now you can scale.

  1. Control

Don has built the sales assembly line software (available at www.assemblysales.com) which they use rather than a traditional CRM process. The key is to have multiple different people playing multiple singular roles along the line.

What about commission?

If you’re specializing, you can optimize the commission structure. By breaking up your roles, it allows you to target your commissions properly and keep more internally for the house.

Should the VP of Sales have control of everything?

  • Don doesn’t think the VP of Sales should control the whole thing. Since they often lead not just with knowledge but they lead with their people.
  • Instead, the marketing group controls the SDR and the callers. The VP of Sales controls the account executives. Then put customer success and upsells under VP of Customer Success.
  • Nobody actually has control of the entire process.

Predicting Your Sales

Look at sales as a mathematical equation:

Number of demos x close rate x price = Your sales for any given quarter, month, or year

So if you have 100 demos and a close rate of 10% at $15,000 then that’s what you’re going to make on a monthly basis.

When you have enough impression, usually it stays the same. So you can predict what your sales is going to be on any given time period.

Donald’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t go door-to-door to sell. Use a web meeting software like WebEx or GoToMeeting to do your sales. It allows you to see enough client and do value. If done right, the close rate with a web meeting client is higher than with a door-to-door meeting. It’s much easier to build relationships over the web if done correctly.

Episode Resource:

Know more about Donald and if you’re interested in his assembly line software, visit www.assemblysales.com. Connect with him through email at donald.scherer@assemblysales.com.

Play Bigger by Al Ramadan, et al.

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

Join the TSE Hustler’s League (Due to recent strike of Hurricane Irma, we’re pushing back our schedule to October 5, 2017.)

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.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

 

Meir Ezra, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 656: You Need a Better Sales Process!

Meir Ezra, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSales process – this is something that new and struggling sellers have.

Today’s guest is Meir Ezra and he shares with us why you too need to have an effective sales process in place and how to actually do that. Meir runs different businesses around the globe. Back in Israel, he has taught companies how to become successful. Then he started in North America five years ago, teaching people how to really make it.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Meir:

Why many sellers don’t have a process:

  • Not knowing why it works and why it doesn’t
  • Not knowing when each step has been completed and when to go to the next step

How to get started in creating a process for your business:

  • Each step has to have an exact end phenomena.
  • Understand the end result.

What you should be looking for is the end result of each step and not the step. Understand what you really need to achieve in each step, then figure you what you need to do.

Meir’s 6-step sales process:

  1. Contact the person.

End result: The person trusts you and is willing to talk to you.

One indicator that a person trusts you is when the person will initiate a subject without you probing.

  1. Handle all possible antagonism.

The client may have had problems with salespeople before or with your company or a similar company or product. Find out what the person thinks about salespeople and the subject you’re handling.

  1. Find the problem and agitate it.

Find out the person’s “ruin,” and once you’ve found the problem, make it bigger.

  1. Make the person understand that you possess the solution for their problem.

Create the mystery. You don’t really tell a customer the in’s and out’s of your product in order to create mystery. And that mystery is your glue between you and the product.

  1. Close the deal.

Present the agreement, sign, and pay.

  1. Handle the resistance.

After the purchase, in 80% of the cases, there will be questions, resistance, disagreements, etc. So be ready to handle that resistance.

*The reason people don’t close is they skip one of the steps either by not completing them or by not doing them at all.

Measuring Each Step

You have to be able to measure each step.

For example:

  • In contacting the person, there are a number of agreements you need to count. How many things did they agree with you on?
  • When you find the ruin, measure if you have the ruin or not.

5 Steps in Handling Objections:

  1. Acknowledge. Listen patiently and fully understand. Ask as many questions as you can.
  1. Accentuate. Make it bigger.
  1. Make the person right. When you do this, they have nothing else to push against.
  1. Wait. The moment they have nothing to fight about, do nothing. Then wait for them to say something.
  1. Restore the agreement. Tie it back into the real reason the client wants to buy and restore the agreement.

Meir’s Major Takeaway:

Do the sales sequence. Look at the end result of each of those steps. The salesperson that doesn’t close at least 90% of the qualified prospects is not a salesperson.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Meir through email at meir@meirezra.com.

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Account Based Selling, Brandon Redlinger

TSE 334: Sales From The Street-“Account Based Selling”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Account Based Selling, Brandon RedlingerToday, we discuss the idea behind account-based selling. I’m bringing in Brandon Redlinger who’s giving us insights into the challenge they had with account-based selling, what they did to overcome that, and the results they’re seeing right now.

Brandon is part of the team at PersistIQ, an outbound sales platform that helps salespeople become more effective by focusing on the most important activities. Brandon underlines the fact that the best sales reps are good at building human relationships so they’re helping sales reps find that balance between automating things and bringing the human element back to the actual communication side of things.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brandon:

Challenges they faced with account-based sales:

Selling at an account level being a new concept so there is not a huge amount of resources on account-based sales

How they faced the challenge:

  1. Fully dive into it and talk to other people.

Talk to other sales leaders who are taking the same approach. Figure out what they’re doing and bounce ideas off each other and implement them.

  1. Using technology aligned with account-based sales development

Once you have the strategic approach, add the tools and technology to really help you get there. Your strategy needs to be aligned throughout the entire organization.

Steps in getting started with account-based approach:

  1. Make sure it’s the right approach for your organization.

Make sure account-based makes sense of your business and economics.

  1. Get buy end from the entire organization.

If marketing is still targeting individual leads, then you can’t get the flywheel cranking and get the account you’re targeting up and running as quickly as than if you get the entire organization on board.

  1. Build your target accounts.

Take a look at your current customer base and what your biggest accounts have in common. Define that account and drill down from there.

  1. Build a persona for each of the decision-makers.

Have a different message and value proposition for each one of these people. There may be more than one department involved in the decision-making process.

  1. Start selling.

Call, send an email, do social selling, send in whatever over a certain amount of time at a specific cadence. Work all pre-qualified accounts until they close.

Factors for the great results Brandon has seen in their company:

Bringing the human element back to sales.

Brandon’s Major Takeaway:

Make sure that targeted account selling is right for you and your business. Make sure it’s aligned throughout the entire organization so you won’t be wasting your time, energy, and resources that could set your business back. Make sure it’s economically right for your business.

Episode Resources:

Reach out to Brandon through email at brandon@persistiq.com or check out more about account-based approach on their blog www.persistiq.com/blog or follow them on Twitter @PersistIQ.

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.

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Salesforce, Increasing Sales, Donald Kelly, Justin Roff-Marsh, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 321: Embrace The Machine! Radically Improve Your Salesforce With This New Model

Salesforce, Increasing Sales, Donald Kelly, Justin Roff-Marsh, The Sales Evangelist Today, you will learn about an interesting concept about eradicating commission as part of the business model. Say what? Okay, hold your horses now. Our guest today has a pretty interesting perspective on eradicating commissions that you might want to tune into, plus more!

Justin Roff-Marsh is the Founder and President of Ballistix, a sales management and marketing consultancy where they build sales functions for organizations either from scratch or go into organizations and re-engineer their sales environment to look more like a production environment. Serving clients in the US, Australia, and the UK, they’ve worked with clients across these three continents over the last 20 years.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Justin:

The use of the word “process” in the formal sense:

Most organizations do not have a process but a bunch of people running around trying to sell stuff.

Core components of a successful sales environment:

  1. Start at the end, work backwards.

Figure out what activities generate sales and the various activities that contribute to sales which make the bigger contribution.

  1. Meaningful, selling conversations/interactions

These are the primary drivers of sales volumes. For field sales, the primary driver is the number of times of face-to-face conversations with potential customers. For telephone sales, the driver force is the volume of telephone selling conversations with prospects.

  1. Division of labor

To have people focus on selling, they have moved activities to customer service and engineering handling the following areas:

  • Transactional
  • Looking after existing accounts
  • Processing repeat transactions
  • Generating proposals and quotes
  • Handling issues

This takes away 60% of their work

  1. Prospecting and lead generation
  • Categorized under their Promotions subset of marketing
  • Promotions team generating almost 100% of the opportunities salespeople are prospecting

The repercussions of outsourcing your prospecting:

  • Economic incentive for both organization and provider to come up with a quick fix
  • It’s unproductive, you turn to telemarketers and the organization gets dissatisfied with the quality of sales opportunities generated
  • Provider works away from the work due to costly staff turnover
  • Incentives are wrong if you outsource this to someone else
  • Organizations have to figure out how to do this themselves

The idea behind doing away with commissions:

  • Figure out what people are worth and pay them their market value.
  • If you pay people on a piece rate, they end up competing with one another and the process ends up tearing itself apart.
  • Fosters division of labor and team-based approach selling

Justin’s Major Takeaway:

Read Justin’s book, The Machine: A Radical Approach to the Design of the Sales Function

Eliminating commission is a consequence of applying division of labor itself, not as a primary.

If all you want is incremental improvements, take 1-2 ideas from them but if you’re looking at sales and recognizing that you can’t achieve your growth objectives for the organization by scaling your sales function in its current form, then stop looking for worn-off fixes and read the book.

Episode Resources:

Get in touch with Justin through his blog at www.salesprocessengineering.net.

Ballistix

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.

Join Today!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sales Process, Sales Checklist, Prospecting, Closing Business

TSE 297: Do You Know What You’re Doing?

Sales Process, Sales Checklist, Prospecting, Closing Business Sometimes as sales professionals, we kind of just go off the cuff when we’re selling.  We don’t know what the next steps are. We don’t actually know what we’re doing. And that’s usually because of the lack of effective planning and having a process in place.

In sales, we just want to get from point A to point B even if we ignore the process and miss important things along the way that seal the deal. Well, it’s important that you have a plan and that’s what I’m going to teach you today – a simple checklist that you can easily implement.

The Seller's Checklist

[optin_box_hidden][/optin_box_hidden][optin_box_code]

 









[/optin_box_code][optin_box_field name="headline"]The Seller's Checklist. Everything You Need To Do In Order To Close Your Next Deal[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name="paragraph"]PHA+R2V0IGFjY2VzcyB0byB5b3VyIGZyZWUgY2hlY2tsaXN0IG5vdyE8L3A+Cg==[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name="privacy"]We value your privacy and would never spam you[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name="top_color"]undefined[/optin_box_field][optin_box_button type="0" button_below="Y"]Get Instant Access![/optin_box_button] [/optin_box]

  1. Social selling
Find the ideal customer. Make a list of your Dream 100. Make a good, solid connection on social media whether it be on Twitter or LinkedIn. Find something about them or their business.
  1. Have the appointment.
Have a reason for the appointment.
  1. Set the rules before you play the game.
Set the rules properly before you play the game. Have an agenda or plan to find out what they want to accomplish and what you want to accomplish in this meeting. Make sure you have a clear next step commitment between you and the prospect.
  1. Start establishing value.
Is there a challenge that the prospect has? Can you help them recognize the problem? The goal is to help them make the decision themselves. Listen and ask questions to recognize their problems. Offer great education and make sure that by the end of the session, the prospect knows their problem, they’re willing to do something about it, and you’re able to better position yourself as someone who can solve their problem.
  1. Find out if they have the money.
Make sure they have the dough. Don’t be afraid to talk about money. If they really recognize the problem and that something has to be done, they will make a way to find money.
  1. Find out when they can make the investment.
Be the individual who can help them solve their problem. As an expert, it’s your job to offer the solution to them and help guide them in making that decision because they trust you now.
  1. Figure out the decision maker.
Find out who is involved in this process or maybe different individuals involved in the decision-making process. Find out who makes the decision and when in the budget cycle are they going to make this decision. Find out their internal process for making a purchase.
  1. Do the presentation.
Provide exactly what you can do. Show them what you can do.
  1. Ask for the business.
Once you’re done presenting and you’ve established your value, it’s time for you to ask for the business. This checklist is something you can follow. But I highly recommend that you establish your own and customize it. Make it according to your own business. Just be sure you have something that you can use and follow that will serve as your process map or guide to help you help them make that decision.Episode Resources: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.

Join Today:

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sales process, Prospecting, Business Management, Charlie Perry, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 198: Sales From The Street- “We Doubled Revenue With A Sales Process”

Sales process, Prospecting, Business Management, Charlie Perry, The Sales Evangelist Podcast Today I have the opportunity of interviewing a good friend of mine, Charlie Perry. Charlie has had a very impressive career in the sales and marketing world. Spending a bulk of his time in the entertainment industry.

Charlie’s biggest sales challenge. 

Charlie’s biggest sales challenge was when he came into a new company as a manger and realized that the sales and operations team did not have an effective process to acquiring and on boarding new clients. Charlie then went to work to fix this challenge. Here is how he did it:

  • Meet with the group as a whole and learn what they thought was going on
  • Individual interviews with team members to learn of their responsibilities
  • Met with client and potential clients to learn what they want in a company like his
  • Outline a process with campaigns to change the culture of the offices he was running
  • They also implemented a process to learn why they won deals and lost deals
  • Charlie focused on being “hard on the process” and “soft on the individuals”
  • Everyone knew what they had to do and either did it or excused themselves.

Charlie also found out that every salesperson needed to be doing one of five things:

  1. Searching for prospects (Using whatever source they desired)
  2. Contacting those leads (Social media contact, email or picking up the phone and calling them)
  3. Help with the proposal process
  4. Assisting with the delivery of the product…in their case was putting on live shows
  5. Following up

The more you know about what you’re selling, the better chances you have of seeing success.

Charlie’s results 

One of their smallest offices went from $3million to $6million per year in revenue. As a whole, the company’s revenue jumped from $25M to $60M by following an effect sales process.

Major take-away

Have a plan and work it!

Stay in touch with Charlie

charlieperry48@gmail.com

Connect with Charlie on LinkedIn

 

Sales Process, Selling, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 123: Sellers with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue

Sales Process, Selling, The Sales EvangelistHaving an effective process is crucial in sales. Today, Greta Schulz talks about sales processes, why you need to have them, and how are you going to be able to stick with them.

Greta Schulz is an entrepreneur, consultant, and a motivational sales speaker.  She is the founder and president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting firm that provides sales training programs to small businesses. Having an extensive experience in sales, marketing, training, and sales management, Greta primarily helps people to stop selling.

For several people sales somehow ends up being a negative experience for them. Greta seeks to be able to shift that mindset in people, teaching entrepreneurs and salespeople the beauty of giving customers the option of saying ‘no’ as a doorway to better opportunities.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Greta:

Greta’s coolest experience when she was the customer comes from the purchase of her first BMW.

  • Getting people to come to the conclusion of buying without force
  • Changing sales interaction through asking good questions

Sales process, defined:

  • It is not memorizing scripts
  • An outline of what you’re doing and where you’re going while injecting your own style and personality

Why people don’t use a process

Poor communication as a huge problem:

  • Listening for an opportunity to close

Key principles of a sales process:

  • Setting ground rules to make people comfortable and give them an option to say no
  • Ask neutral, engaging questions until you get down further

Bringing up price in the process:

  • Less with cost, more with emotion
  • Price is subjective
  • Get their issues on the table first and find out how these affect them
  • Paying for nice vs. necessary
  • Bringing up money either too early or too late

The right place to talk about money: after issues, before proposal

Giving them a range of prices:

  • To give them an idea of where you are
  • To get their reaction

Staying disciplined to the process:

  • A process always allows you to know where you are.
  • Having motivators to stick with it
  • Knowing that you achieve success at the end of the process
  • Having confidence in each step of the process

The importance of being in control of the process

  • You are in control since you’re asking the questions.

Current projects Greta is working on:

Sales Success Kit – everything Greta teaches in a box (CDs, DVDs, workbooks, cheat sheet pad, online training, etc.)

To find out more about Greta, visit www.schulzbusiness.com

Greta’s Major Takeaway:

Set those ground rules at the beginning and make sure that you let people know that NO is okay.