The Sales Evangelist

Building a sales engine with Lisa Magnuson Every salesperson wants to build a sales engine that will improve their business, earn massive deals, and generate future sales. In this episode, we’ll talk about how to move toward these goals. 

Lisa Magnuson’s whole career has been in sales, specifically in sales management and sales leadership. Sales has always been Lisa’s passion and getting into Clorox, which is used in homes and businesses around the world, is where she experienced closing big deals. 

The struggles in generating sales 

There are several struggles companies face when trying to generate sales. During a crisis, the most difficult phase of the sales cycle is prospecting which is hard enough without added pressures.  During a time when everyone is already cautious, you have to be careful about coming off as self-serving. Just conducting regular business can isolate potential clients. This is a concern that is applicable to both BDRs and SDRs. No one is exempted. 

Lisa is an expert when it comes to knowing the right strategies you can use to prepare your team to get through a crisis. There are mindsets you can incorporate in your process to make sure you hit the ground running when we get back to the new normal. 

Building your sales engine

Regardless of who you are, we were all left feeling that elements of our lives were cut short. This pandemic has affected all of us and we are trying to figure out how to pivot and thrive amid the challenge. The best way to do that is to serve and offer a hand to someone else. 

The focus should be to keep the dialogue  going. All the stages in the prospecting process are important. The mantra for this time is “lead with your heart, then offer a hand”. That’s how you build your sales engine. That “hand” may look like a valuable idea you got from one of your customers or clients and you’re able to pass it on to others. You need to keep it simple and interesting for your clients. You can drop a message inviting your prospects to a virtual coffee and talk about the idea that may resonate with them and you go from there. There are also other things that you can do to land opportunities that are worth five times more than your normal contract size. 

Do more soft prospecting 

Sending an email template to people you have never met before is hard prospecting. Soft prospecting is sending out emails to the people you know and already have a personal connection with. Take the time to reach out and ask how they’re doing. Once you know the kind of help they need,  you can lend a hand by sharing what is working for your other clients. Give them an opportunity to receive this information to see if it resonates with their goals. 

When soft prospecting, just remember:  

  • Lead with your heart
  • Offer a hand
  • Relate to their sales challenges
  • Give them a possible solution
  • Offer to engage in a way that makes sense 

Maintain your sales engine

Because of the coronavirus, many salespeople are having to deal with the disappointment of cancellation and postponement. We may not be landing the deals we thought we would but this doesn’t mean we should stop the push to find new opportunities.
Lisa’s new book, The TOP Sales Leader Playbook: How to Win 5X Deals Repeatedly, talks about sixteen plays to build those 5X deals, many of which can be done right now

Scoring your opportunities

You can continue scoring your opportunities without any customer interaction. Decide on the characteristics of your big deals and score them. Gather your account team together and work on a strategy. This is the time to do research. If you want big deals, there is a need to do more than the usual. 

Part of the strategy for growth is relationship mapping. Know the key decision-makers and players who will be involved in the deal and make soft connections with them. Use LinkedIn and other social media to find common connections. You can set yourself up for the big deals right now by investing your time in making those connections and building your network.

The 4 parts to Lisa’s book include: 

  • The sales leader
  • Methodology
  • Execution
  • Culture

Sales leader

Lisa’s book is primarily for sales leaders and account quarterbacks. Sales leaders take the lead in looking out for the big deals. Big deals can be messy and they don’t follow your normal sales process.  A leader and quarterback know how and when to move forwards and backward as needed. The sales team needs direction. The sales leader’s role is to tie all the information together to ensure that the message and goal is clear for everyone.  

Develop your methodology 

Salespeople may have a distaste for methodology and process but these are important resources for a sales team to embrace. Your methodology is your company’s way of going after the big deals and these include:

  • Identifying the deal
  • Scoring the deal
  • Relationship mapping
  • Doing a SWOT analysis
  • Building a strategy
  • Doing a competitive analysis
  • Creating the blocks 

Your methodology plays a big role in making sure your sales engine generates big deals in a way that’s duplicatable. 

Execution and Culture

Execution means that you commit to the plan and work it. You’ve already laid out your methodology and you’ve done account strategy planning. It’s time to execute the plan. 

Lisa knows if her client has a “big deal culture” or not. Companies tend to talk about their big deals, share their stories, and show off new virtual walls and logos. Salespeople stick with these companies because they feel the fulfillment of their success and they feel well-compensated and included within the culture. Does this sound like your company? Everyone should feel they are celebrated in the wins and a loss means a lesson learned together.  Behind every deal there is a team that works together, from executives to account managers to sales managers to sales reps. 

The importance of scoring

Scoring is very important because big deals take a long time due to their complexity. Sales leaders need to be able to identify which deal is worth paying attention to and which teams to designate to each project. Lisa’s scoring tool has eight criteria which include evaluating the customer’s and account team’s commitment.

Build your own playbook

Lisa interviewed 41 sales leaders to build her playbook. She asked them about their priorities, their challenges, and they’re methodology. Through the knowledge she’s gathered, you’ll have the structure to plan your own playbook. Also, as suggested by one of her interviewees, Lisa has included yellow flags and red flags that you might want to look out for as you go through your scoring process. 

Lisa estimates that a 5X deal can take around 9 months to close.  Use these months to work your playbook to move the team toward a massive close.  If they know in advance how to pre-call, account plan, strategize, map out interactions, do the scoring, etc you can cross the finish line together.  It’s worth the effort. 

How To Build A Sales Engine That Will Land Massive Deals – Repeatedly” episode resources

Sales, whether you are a rep or a leader, is all about finding opportunities and committing to a process that will close a deal. Lisa can help. Visit Lisa’s site, Top Sales. 

If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald about it. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.donaldk4.sg-host.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

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

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

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