Category Archives for Strategy

TSE 1193: What are the 6 Critical Steps to Developing a Successful Sales

TSE 1193: The 6 Critical Steps To Developing a Successful Sales Strategy

Sales strategies aren’t born from thin air; rather, there are six critical steps to developing a successful sales strategy

Lance Tyson is an author and speaker who runs his own training company. Tyson Group has been ranked by Selling Powers as one of the Top 20 sales organizations in the world. It has been operating for 15 years and invested in Dale Carnegie Training in 2010. They work in the sports entertainment industry and one of their biggest customers is the football team, the Raiders. They coordinate with the sales team to sell premium tickets, sponsorships, suites, and others. His team also works with Michael Jordan’s company and several tech companies where they coach, train, and consult with sales teams. 

Lance isn’t just teaching; he is also out there grinding and doing all the sales work that his salespeople are doing. 

Six steps to developing a successful sales strategy 

Attitude, perseverance, and grit aren’t part of the steps. These things must always be present but let’s think of outcome first. In some cultures, the word relations isn’t great and it’s often overused. We prefer the term rapport.

This is one of the three outcomes you need to go after. Partner rapport with credibility. While rapport gives you influence, credibility gives you people’s trust. The third one is showing a level of understanding. These three are the beginning of the steps to developing a successful sales strategy which is the following: 

  • Connect
  • Evaluate
  • Diagnose
  • Prescribe
  • Dialogue
  • Close

The six critical steps to developing a successful sales strategy 

Connect

We talk about connecting with others all the time but the conversation of connecting is different today. You may be trying to deal with a level of preoccupation by the buyer. You have to connect with people via text, email, or voicemail and talk to people to build rapport. The fragmented conversations can be broken down and taken to connect step to overcoming preoccupation. This will lead to building rapport, credibility, and a  level of understanding. 

Evaluate

When you go to your doctor’s appointment, one of the first things they do is to evaluate you. The same is true in sales. We evaluate our prospects to determine whether they’re interested or not.

Other businesses call this assessment while some refer to it as an opportunity. Whatever you call it, it’s the step where salespeople deal with the inherent objection of disinterest.  

Diagnose and Prescribe

This is where salespeople make an educated guess. Ask yourself what they need most and do not forget about creating a level of comfort. A lot of salespeople walk in the door and make assumptions based on their grand experience, they then ask a few questions.

You need to talk to the clients through their feelings and their thoughts. You need to look at their past, their present, and the future to make a good diagnosis. After the evaluation and diagnosis, you make a prescription. 

Dialogue and Close 

After getting your prescription, your next step would probably be talking with your doctor and asking questions so as to get a clear understanding of your health problem.

In the same manner, after giving your prescription as a salesperson, your next step is to have a dialogue to overcome any form of objection. Ultimately, having every question answered, your next step is to close. 

Researcher or salesperson

The biggest challenge right now is the confusion that most salespeople are stuck in which happens in the connect step. Inside sales reps are responsible for prospecting. You can’t trust everything that’s written on LinkedIn and you can’t just get somebody without fact-checking what their bio says.

This creates a problem for sales reps because they often feel like they don’t have enough information to move forward. Thus, the confusion of whether to spend more time on researching about the prospects or looking for prospects to pitch. 

It gets harder because it takes at least six touches to get in contact with a target and another six to get an appointment. Salespeople are now trying to cheat the process and just connect because they’re exhausted. 

Many sales reps these days just sell their whole service in one move. They’d say it’s free and without obligation. This is a mistake that many salespeople make. Instead of getting on the phone and pouring it out in one go, sales reps must be patient and sell one piece at a time. 

If you can’t sell time, you can’t sell your products or services and that’s what people in sales lack: time.  

Getting better in evaluation 

We do a lot of sales assessment and we do predictive index studies on people to see where they’re weak and to know where to start on their training. We’ve seen that salespeople are often not good facilitators. What most salespeople do is spray and pray. They start asking questions right away without getting into the introduction stage of presenting what’s going to happen in this meeting. 

Salespeople can evaluate better if they learn how to facilitate and set things up better. Sales isn’t just about asking questions, it’s also about facilitating the meeting well and making good set-up. Evaluation is a back-and-forth process. You ask questions and they answer, all the while maintaining a good grip on where the conversation is going. 

On prescribing

There has to be a level of dramatization in prescribing. Salespeople need to make prospects understand that reason why they want what they want. Dramatize your pitch the way they want it. 

You are trying to overcome doubt in the prescribed step. So, describe your products and your services in a way that answers a few questions. Don’t just state facts. Learn to become a storyteller because that’s how you make them listen. 

Remember the six critical steps to developing a successful sales: you connect, then evaluate, then diagnose. After these, you make the prescription, have the dialogue, and close. Take your sales per process and see where you are and where you’re potential customers are. Make sure that both of you are on the same spot, if not, take a stop and go back or move forward.

“Steps To Developing a Successful Sales Strategy” episode resources 

Connect with Lance Tyson on Twitter, LinkedIn, and his website, Tyson Group

Don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1189: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

TSE 1189 Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

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

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

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

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

Pulling profits out of a hat

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

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

Strategy

Strategy can be broken down into four main points: 

  • Leverage
  • Scalability
  • Opportunity
  • Marketability

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

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

Scalability 

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

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

Marketability 

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

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

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

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

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

Value 

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

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

“Pulling Profits Out of a Hat” episode resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.  

 

Company Culture, Purpose, Josh Levine

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

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

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

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

Write your company’s obituary 

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

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

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

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

Obituary exercise

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

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

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

Define your purpose

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

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

Components of a company’s culture 

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

  • Purpose
  • Values
  • Behaviors

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

The next three are the following: 

  • Recognition
  • Rituals
  • Cues

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

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

“Write Your Company’s Obituary” episode resources

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

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

Connect  with Josh Levine via Twitter and LinkedIn. 

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

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

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

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

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

Lauren Cohen, Small Business

TSE 1104: What Are The Secret Scale UP Success Strategies?

Lauren Cohen, Small BusinessThe same secret scale up success strategies that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses to the next level will benefit individual sellers who recognize their territories as their own business.

Lauren Cohen works with foreign investors to find the right business opportunities, make the right investments, and get and keep their visas. She discovered along the way that many of these people didn’t pay a lot of attention to their business structures and that the same was true of American business people.

7 Steps Scale Up Success Strategy

Lauren characterizes her role as creating a GPS for your business, but you have to have a destination. You can’t tell your GPS that you don’t know where you’re going.

These 7 areas of a business’ foundation can result in disaster if they are overlooked.

  1. Funding in capitalization. Without the right capital, or if you’re under-funded or under-capitalized, it doesn’t matter how great your business idea is, you’re going to fall apart.
  2.  Business planning. If you don’t have a business plan and an exit strategy, you don’t begin with the end in mind.
  3. Branding and marketing. Building your brand is part of your foundation but it doesn’t exist independent of all these other elements, and marketing is part of branding.
  4. Legal and compliance. Without a legal structure in place, which so many business owners don’t have, you’re risking your family and everything you have.
  5. Financial and taxes. Everyone knows what that is all about.
  6. Operations and systems. Without systems, you can’t repeat your success.
  7. Insurance and licensing. If you don’t have insurance and someone sues you, you’ve got nothing to protect you. Without the right licenses, you can be shut down.

Know your area

You cannot be an expert in every area, so Lauren’s number one tip is to stay in your lane. You don’t know what you don’t know. Figure out where your gaps are and then allow someone who is an expert to oversee the process.

She suggests a 3-step process to assess your company.

  • Assess
  • Diagnose
  • Deliver

Diagnose the issues and then fill the gaps you identified in the process.

Exit strategy

Lauren related the story of a client who wanted to exit her business within five years so she needed an exit strategy. She needed a strategy to get from where she is to where she needs to be.

She wants to sell to one of four parties but she doesn’t want to sell at a discount on her dollar. Rather, she wants to sell at the highest possible dollar amount. In order to do that, she needs to increase the profits.

That’s where the various elements of branding, compliance, taxes, operations, and all these other components become important because they will help the business owner get more value at the time of exit.

Funding and capitalization

It sounds crazy, but if you ask someone to invest $100,000 in your business, they are going to laugh at you. If, on the other hand, you ask for $5 million, they’ll suddenly believe that you’re serious. The problem is that there’s no ROI for $100K.

The cost of obtaining the money is so high that it’s not even worth it for them to pursue it.

Financial and taxes

This one is easy. If the IRS is after you because you haven’t paid your taxes, get them filed. You may pay penalties but at least you’ll be up-to-date.

Legal and compliance

Legal and compliance include your corporate record books, which everyone should have. Some companies don’t even have the corporate entity which is a whole other story.

Make sure you have a corporate record book that’s affiliated or associated with that entity. Hold a meeting each year and record the minutes in that record book.

Reflect all the changes to shareholders and bank accounts in your records.

She estimates that 70 percent of businesses don’t keep their record books up to date. If you try to sell your business or you end up in litigation, you’ll need that book.

Building and scaling

It’s vitally important to have all of these considerations in mind as you’re building and scaling your business. If you find a potential strategic partner who wants to help you build your business but he discovers that you don’t have all your contracts in place, the deal will fall apart.

If you have the wrong documents, you’re potentially setting yourself up for liability.

Don’t try to do this alone. Consult with a professional. Everybody avoids hiring a lawyer or a professional for fear of getting the bill at the end. But it’s better to get the bill now than to get a larger bill later.

“Scale UP Success Strategies” episode resources

Grab a copy of Lauren’s book Finding Your Silver Lining In the Business Immigration.

You can take a copy of her quiz at showmethemoneyquiz.com. It’s quick, free, and fun and it will give you access to schedule a call with her. You can also find her on Facebook @scaleupcheckup or on LinkedIn @scaleupcheckup. You can also reach her directly at (866) 724-0085 or info@scaleupcheckup.com.

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.

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