Phil Sweeney worked in sales while in college because he enjoyed talking with people and problem-solving. Now, just two years after graduating, Phil is still working for Negotiatus, a fast-growing tech start-up business he first joined while in school.
There were only a handful of employees when Phil first signed on. Now they are at 60 employees and Phil is loving every minute of it.
It was exciting, as a salesperson, to have totally green fields ahead in terms of being able to work with, and sell to, any company. Phil had to quickly learn how not overextend himself.
He had to learn how to hone in on the ideal customer profile. He had to understand who had the biggest need for the platforms he offers.
When Phil first joined the sales team in its infancy, the company really could sell to everyone. It was a huge undertaking. They were also faced with the challenge of being a new company with little success to promote.
They were shooting from all cylinders to determine where the biggest impact was in terms of the types of companies that they were attracting. From there, they were able to focus more and more on those types of clients.
Phil dedicated blocks of time to the task. For 2-3 hours each day, he would not take any calls, schedule meetings, or go anywhere.
Ideally, using blocks of time outside of selling hours, Phil would focus solely on who he was going to call the next day. He used many of the brilliant resources now available such as Sales Navigator, to find the people he needed to find and to learn more about them prior to the call.
Now that he is part of a larger sales team, he is having conversations not only within sales but also with success teams and operating teams to understand, in their opinion, which clients have been the most successful and easiest to work with.
When selling to everyone is possible, it is easy to find yourself going nowhere fast. It is hard to know the correct verbiage for each industry. Selling in the medical industry, for example, is much different than selling in the automotive industry.
It can be hard to land a good appointment until you narrow your focus to the industries that work best for your company.
Success begins when the teams can focus and then specialize across multiple industries. Phil believes it is important to identify as an expert in whichever field or department you are selling to.
Only then can you hone in on the pain points in order to solve those problems.
Phil is closing sales now within 1-2 weeks of his first meetings because he has established himself as the expert in the field with the ideal solution/product. The need for his product is real and he is positioned to offer the main solution to satisfy that need.
First and foremost, Phil recommends setting goals and dedicating time to the task. Most salespeople work in teams, so use that to your advantage. In Phil’s team, they announce the number of new contacts, for example, that they hope to reach in the next two hours; it is written on a whiteboard for all to see – and then they get to it.
At the end of the time period, they check in on each other. Did they get it done? Or do they need to work longer? They hold each other accountable.
Get familiar with the industry. Share tips and resources. Google Alerts, for example, is an excellent tool to stay on top of specific topics in a particular industry which can help you at every stage of your pipeline.
Put in the time at the top of the funnel and it will pay off when it comes time to close the deal.
In this manner, Phil’s sales team is leading the pack with a 115-150% quota attainment on a month-to-month basis. As a company, they have seen month-to-month revenue growth between 15-30%.
Everything is measured by the week or the month; even the hourly way of team progress is measured. It all resets to zero at the end of each period, so don’t hang your hat on a certain closed deal or a really good day of selling; stay humble.
You’ve got to start each day mentally fresh and hungry again.
Additionally, Phil is part of The Sales Evangelist Facebook group and would love to connect with you there.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth. Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.