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Aaron Ross, The Sales Evangelist, Entrepreneur

TSE 1204: “Impossible to Inevitable”

Aaron Ross, The Sales Evangelist, Entrepreneur

How can salespeople turn the impossible to inevitable

Aaron Ross is the author of the book Predictable Revenue and a proud father to nine children. The book Predictable Revenue is called the sales bible of Silicon Valley. It changed how the fastest-growing sales teams are designed. The book talked about outbound prospecting which can be a very predictable way to drive appointments and if you have predictable appointments, you can create predictable revenue. It also talks about sales specialization instead of letting the sales reps do the prospecting. Managers must break the sales team into specialized groups to assess where they excel. 

Impossible to inevitable  

His new book called From the Impossible to Inevitable is the growth bible. It’s more for C-levels: the managers, executives, and the leaders who understand the few key reasons why a company gets stuck and won’t grow. The book answers three questions:

  • Why aren’t you growing as fast as you can?
  • How can you grow faster?
  • How do you keep it up?

This book touches on sales models and expands to lead generation. From Impossible to Inevitable will teach you the ways of the fastest-growing companies in the world such as SalesForce and Twilio. The first section of the book is called Nail a Niche as it addresses the hard truth that most companies are not ready to grow and that’s the reason why they don’t grow as much as they want. 

You can’t paddle downstream if you’re not even in the stream. 

Nailing the niche

When beginning a business, there’s the tendency of selling everything to everyone. But that doesn’t work. What it does to you is that you either have no customer or you have a bunch of customers who are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. An entrepreneur may sit back and ask which of the customers are easiest to close, or who is the audience that really needs me? It is important to define who needs you. 

Aaron was part of Salesforce, where he built an internal sales program. He left the team in 2006 and did what he wanted to do, like going into adventures and other things. Aaron also worked in a venture firm, then on a thing called Unique Genius, then on CEO Flow. 

He needed to focus on a niche and figure out where his expertise lies so that he could deliver the most value for his customers. He then thought of outbound prospecting. I wasn’t the general sales consulting.

For us salespeople, this can take a lot of testing, talking, and experimentation with companies to get the right package and the right pricing programs before you nail your niche and start to grow faster. Sometimes it can take a long time because we have all these unrealistic expectations on how fast it should happen. 

Do it as Twilio does it

Twilio is a platform company that provides a bunch of technologies. Twilio is used by many companies that build software or iPhone apps to power their message alerts and phone calls. For example, Uber uses Twilio to make an Uber phone call and text because it’s difficult and time-consuming to build it themselves. 

Simply put, Twilio is a platform that companies can use to do many things. The challenge when you are marketing something like Twilio is that it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact help it can offer to a company or a client. 

A salesperson must paint a specific picture for people to get it. Twilio researched to get into the minds of their customers, to understand and build empathy with their customers. 

The common corporate value which is to walk in the shoes of your customer is something that Twilio really lives by. The company put much effort into walking in their customers’ shoes to know what they want and what they are looking for. 

Salespeople need to remember this value at all times, whether you’re writing an email or making a call. You need to know what they need to get your message across. Another secret of Twilio’s success is to let all their employees have a taste of what it’s like being the customer. 

Specific targeting

Turning the impossible to inevitable is also a result of specific targeting. You need to be more specific in choosing your audience. It’s important to talk to fewer people that are relevant to your products or services. 

Having fewer people to talk to doesn’t decrease your number of opportunities. Your goal is to become the big fish in the small pond and specific targeting is the perfect way to do that. It’s harder to change your products and services but you can do the easier part: you change your targeting instead. 

Types of leads

Lead generation is the main driver for your growing business. There are three kinds of lead generation: seeds, nets, and spears. The seeds are relationship-driven leads, these include referrals, word of mouth, and friends/families. Since these are relationship-based leads, they are faster to close and with a higher rate. The downside is that it’s more difficult to generate. Word of mouth is hard to grow. 

The second type is the nets. These are marketing. You are casting a wide net which means you’re broadcasting one too many. These leads include a podcast, billboards, or online marketing. You get more leads in terms of quantity than in quality. 

The last type is spears which are prospecting. It’s when you have typically a targeted list. It’s smaller in number but you get better opportunities out of it. 

Businesses almost always start with the word of mouth but as you start to grow, you will want to venture into content marketing and prospecting. As a company, you need to know the kind of leads that bring in clients. Figure where you excel and put more effort into that first before you move on into other types of leads. 

Pick the one that’s right for you at first and do more of it. Do not do all the three leads at once unless you’re a huge company with millions of funding. It might take years for you to figure out what works best, it might take years for your sales design team to come up with a plan that works, but it’s all worth it in the end. 

One section in the book Impossible to Inevitable is a lesson from Mark Roberge, the CRO of HubSpot. He has hired hundreds of people and the number one thing they look for when hiring is coachability. It’s an individual’s ability and desire to learn and their ability to connect, change, and adapt. 

Companies who are expanding and hiring people should look at the coachability of a person. Aside from that, as a company, you also need to know the kind of roles you need. 

Small steps

If you are a startup business, start with the basics. The CEO starts selling, then he hires a junior person to do prospecting and appointment setting. After a few months, you can promote that person to closing or you hire a closer. You look at your company and you see that there are now two people selling, the CEO and the newly hired close. You also have the junior person to do the lead generation. 

Think of smaller steps instead of going too quickly and hiring the wrong individuals in the process. 

The social media is always surrounded by stories of fast success but the reality in sales and in business is that it takes years before you get to the top. 

Everyone is struggling especially entrepreneurs because it’s your job to struggle and solve problems. So the next time you are discouraged, just remember that many others are in the same boat. #Entrepreneur

“Impossible to Inevitable” episode resources

Connect with Aaron Ross on LinkedIn and check out his website Predictable Revenue. 

You can also reach out to Donald for your sales concerns and interesting stories via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

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. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

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Donald Kelly, Business Development, Sales Leader

TSE 762: The Main Reason Why You Feel Your Leads Are Not Qualified!

Donald Kelly, Business Development, Sales LeaderQualified leads are some of the most important things to salespeople. However, often times when leads come in, they are not qualified effectively.

Today, I’m sharing some business development concepts to help you get to the next level of success. You will learn my most leads seems they are not qualified. Listen and learn more.

So you get a lead then you think they’re not ready. They have no money, they have no time, or they’re still using other systems. Marketing is giving us all these “leads.” And you see, there’s a misalignment here.

Make Things Clear

First, make sure you define what you’re looking for from the get-go.

Just let your business development rep get you appointments.

That’s just their job. It’s the closer’s job to educate the customers. This way you get to have a more qualified lead.

Again, really define to your business development reps what they’re doing. You need to clearly explain them what kind of leads you want so you get better, more qualified leads

Are you just setting appointments with anyone in your ideal customer profile?

Or are you really qualifying and getting someone a lead on a silver platter?

To get yourself better at getting better leads, check out The Sales Development Playbook if you’re trying to build a pipeline or trying to build some processes in place.

Or if you want to figure out how you can attract qualified companies into your pipeline, check out Donald Miller’s book, Building a Story Brand.

Episode Resources:

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

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Mark Fortune, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Sales

TSE 698: Power of Local Leads & How To Get More

Mark Fortune, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, SalesSometimes we go far and wide finding prospects when we have folks right in our own backyard. There is power in getting local leads. Today, you’re going to learn how to find them and get them.

Our guest today is Mark Fortune and he’s going to teach us how to gain local leads. Mark owns a small business marketing agency based in Arkansas. They work with small and local businesses. They put in marketing systems, strategies, and campaigns to help them grow the business. He does this through the Duct Tape Marketing System. Mark is the author of Local Lead Generation Book for Small Businesses.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mark:

Why Target Local Businesses

  • They don’t have the time, money, or bandwidth to compete with the bacon guys. But they can pinpoint far more accurately. You can actually compete with the big guys.
  • Most business owners tend to jump from one tactic to another in just a wee. They just see what sticks but they don’t really get the results they’re after.

Biggest Mistakes People Make When Getting Local Leads

1. Trying everything at once.

Don’t just try all social media platforms or you will just end up losing focus.

2. Not knowing who they’re talking to

Small businesses get so excited about trying to generate leads that anybody with a pulse becomes their targeting strategy.

Figure out your best customers.

What you need to do is sit down for a minute and think about who your best customers are.

Most businesses come from word of mouth and referral as a start. So think about who those clients are and what’s common among them. Use that the proxy to your targeting as you go out and generate more leads. Use your best customers as your example.

Consumers are in control these days.

Consumers can find out pretty anything about what they want right at the tips of their fingertips. But they’re still human. So don’t try to rush them into a relationship when they didn’t have the chance to evaluate or educate themselves about you.

Steps to get started with targeting local businesses:

1. Spend time upfront getting to know your customer.

Build that relationship. Understand what makes their business tick, what their vision is, and what they’re trying to achieve.

2. Apply what Facebook offers as a tactic to the needs of the prospects.

This needs to start with the client. Understand what they’re going out with, what they’re trying to do, and what they’re trying to get done. Then figure out the best way to help them get there.

Online or Offline?

  • Understand first where your customer base is today. Are there win back opportunities with, say, return customers or last customers? Are there referral opportunities?
  • Stop treating referrals as happy accidents.
  • Be consistent.

Why another book on local businesses:

  • Mark co-wrote the book with other consultants with similar businesses.
  • It’s a practical guide to helping people generate more local leads.
  • Don’t read the book chapter by chapter and but jump from one topic to another as you try to figure out from one chapter to another.

Strategies for getting referrals:

1. Be referrable.

Make sure you do what you do well. Deliver on your promises. And you’ve got to get good reputation.

2. Have a plan and a process for asking for referrals.

Educate your referral partners on what you’re going to do with that referral when that comes in. Understand that people get nervous as they’re putting their personal credibility on the line if they refer you to somebody. You’re trying to give comfort to your referral partner that they feel credible and positive about referring you out.

3. Be consistent.

Reach out to folks every week, whether it’s two people or two hundred. But never stop mining for those referrals. They’re going to be the cheapest cost to acquire leads you get.

Content Marketing

Whether it’s a blogpost or an infographic or whatever, continue to publish new content and post it on different channels. This lets your target market know that you’re out there and that you can solve the problems they’re after.

Branding and Presence

Be sure to update your posts. Maintain that online presence to make sure your customers sees you the way you want to be seen.

People Like Connecting With You

Small businesses have to have a personality and it has to come through in your marketing. Take a video tour of your business. Run some contests. Support local community causes.

Strategies for local businesses:

1. Put the customer first.

Focus on solving problems. Localize your approach. Local may not mean geographically. It may mean before going to a sales call, you’re going to understand everything you can about the company and the people you’re going to be dealing with. Do your homework.

2. Listen as much as you talk.

Go to a sales call with the intent of listening. Seek to understand before you’re understood. Figure out what you can do to help the companies. But sometimes, you might not be able to. It’s better to quit early and move on rather than waste everybody’s time.

Mark’s Major Takeaway:

Make marketing a system and it’s the only way to success over the long run. Focus on it and be disciplined. On the sales side of things, just listen. Listen to your customers and what they’re saying because there are nuggets in there. You will find pain points and points of value that you turn into your advantage.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Mark on www.fortunemarketinginc.com and check out his book Local Lead Generation Book for Small Businesses.

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

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Prospecting, Donald Kelly, Found.ly, Lead Generation

TSE 659: Sales From The Street-“Finding New Leads Made Easy”

Prospecting, Donald Kelly, Found.ly, Lead GenerationFinding leads is one of the biggest hurdles many sellers go through. Trying to do outbound sales is so time-consuming!

But what if you had a software that can help you with prospecting? What if you had a tool can free your hours from doing cold-calling or scraping profiles on LinkedIn?

And I’ve found that in Found.ly.

It’s a tool that I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with. This episode is not sponsored by them but as you know, I make sure I share with others whatever tactics, strategies, or tools that have worked for me.

How Is Your Prospecting Going?

It’s a common scenario that a company pays a sales rep and they usually have a very simple job – just to close deals. That would require you going out, hunting, networking, finding, prospecting, cold-calling, using social media or any type of media. But it’s hardly effective.

Having a Sales Assembly Line

Small businesses may not have enough resources to have a full sales assembly line where you have people doing specific roles doing prospecting, closing, customer success.

How You Can Use Found.ly in Your Sales Process:

  1. Understand your ideal customer. You must know who you’re going after.
  1. Put that into the profile be that Linked, Twitter, or Quora. Put your info inside the search criteria.
  1. Found.ly hunts, pulls, and verifies email addresses for those individuals. They have a bunch of algorithm in the software that’s able to pull the data you need.
  1. Now that you have say, 500 email addresses, you can set up an automated email sequence within Found.ly.

Benefits of Using Found.ly:

  • It finds the email addresses for you.
  • They verify the leads for you before you get a chance to go in and do all the digging.
  • Now, you’re able to qualify your leads and do research then have a meaningful conversation with them.
  • It kicks off the sequence for you so your emails are sent automatically.
  • They have a mini CRM so you won’t have to cumber up your existing CRM. And only once qualified as an ideal customer, then you can convert them over.

With Found.ly, it saves you a huge amount of time, now you only have to focus on your one thing – closingYour productivity increases. Your opportunity to close is going to be amazing!

Check out Found.ly and tell me what you think.

Episode Resources:

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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Lead Generation with Podcast, Nicole Holland, Donald Kelly

TSE 636: A Powerful Lead Generation Strategy Your Company Hasn’t Considered Yet

Lead Generation with Podcast, Nicole Holland, Donald KellyPreviously, I’ve talked about how podcast guesting could actually help you in your sales process. But you might have brushed this idea aside so it bears repeating. Who knows? It could be where magic can happen.

So today I’m bringing in Nicole Holland and she’s giving us great insights into getting leads and business development opportunities through podcast guesting. It’s about finding those shows that are aligned with your message and that their audience desire what you offer. Most importantly, it’s about sharing your value to their show.

Nicole is the host of two awesome shows, The Business Building Rockstars and Get Guest Ready. She helps subject matter experts increase their visibility exponentially through podcast guesting to create great impact, influence, and income. Find out why industry superstars consider her a genius in what she does!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Nicole:

Lessons from Nicole’s coolest sales experience when she was the customer:

  • Recognize all the little things people do when they’re representing their businesses.
  • Acknowledge somebody’s passion for what they’re doing.
  • It’s all about helping the clients make the best decision for themselves.

How podcast guesting can grow your brand or business:

  1. Getting quality leads

By getting on podcasts, you get to build intimate relationships with listeners. You get to share about your value or journey.

  1. The right podcasts are the ones your ideal buyer is listening to.

Understand where your buyers are spending their time, who they’re listening to, and what they’re listening for. Discover that pain point that you can solve for them. When you’re so clear on how, that’s the magic!

It’s not for everybody! Or is it?

  • If you don’t think it’s going to work or you don’t enjoy it or you don’t really value connection and engagement, it probably won’t work.
  • But in terms of the industry, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. There are people who need your help and they are podcast listeners.
  • As soon as you can build that reputation of being a great guest, it’s so much easier to grow with the industry and be that go-to expert.

Nicole’s systems for running an online business:

Insights into writing eBooks:

  1. Consider a checklist.

A checklist may be more effective sometimes since it doesn’t require the prospect much investment of time and money.

  1. Your audience may not be ready for it yet.

Are they willing to invest in reading your eBook? Did you give them enough value to the point they’re compelled to read your stuff? Oftentimes, people offer eBooks too soon and so a lot of automated sales funnels don’t work.

  1. Know who your buyer is.

Just change the language sometimes to “free report” or webinar. It basically depends on your audience. Think about instant audio download. Know your audience first and look into how you can disseminate your content in a way that they feel it’s irresistible.

Why having an avatar matters:

  • You have to be clear in who you really want.
  • You want to attract people who are happy to pay you.
  • Know who it is you really love to work with or that’s going to get the most value and become a great evangelist for you.
  • This keeps those trolls away.
  • The more you’re able to accept yourself, the more people that love you are going to be attracted to you.

Nicole’s Major Takeaway:

Be you! When you and bring your own magic and your own personality and your own way to the forefront and you’re not trying to fit into anybody else’s mold, that’s where you magnetize your people.

Episode Resources:

Checkout Nicole’s website interviewsthatconvert.com/tse and get a checklist about how you can guarantee a yes from any host whose show you’re going to be on

The Business Building Rockstars

Get Guest Ready

Acuity Scheduling

Zoom Video Conferencing

Simplero Email Marketing

Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

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Manny Nowak, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 486: 40 Effective Ways To Generate Leads

Prospecting is an essential part of selling. Salespeople and business owners know this but but they still fall short of doing it right.  Today’s guest is Manny Nowak who’s going to show to us some effective ways to generate leads. He has actually created an eBook on 40 Plus Ways to Find the Gold of New Business.

Manny is a coach that works mostly with CEOs and businesses in the “under $20 million” market and he also works with a lot of professionals, teaching sales-based strategy tactics and coaching from a technology standpoint. Manny Nowak, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Manny:

Manny’s advice on prospecting:

  1. Look at what’s working for you today.

Take a look at your customer base. How did you find them? What worked? Look at your customers you’ve won and figure out where they came from.

  1. Would it still work?

Once you’ve figured out what’s worked for you, ask yourself, would it still work and should you still continue doing it?

Effective ways to generate leads:

  1. Networking events

Find 5 people in that event that have a potential for working with you. Start that relationship in the networking event. Real success is if you can get an appointment but leave that to the other person. Then move these people down to step 2 which is about how your sales funnel works.

  1. Email list

Have a good email list. There are also services that can do an email for you. Set up lead pages to generate email addresses. The last thing clients that you meet at networking events want is a spam message. So the next time you’re in an event, ask if you can send them a quick follow up email which tells them it was great meeting them.

  1. Referrals

A lot of salespeople are afraid to ask for referrals. If you have a customer that you’re doing a great job for you and they love you, ask for a referral. Also, make it as easy as possible for them to give you a referral. Mention some names or specific departments from where they can give referrals.

  1. Seminars

Utilize seminars in two different ways. Invest in your business. Come up with a simple topic and put up an event. Rent a conference room or get one of your clients to share with you to set up an event where you can invite 20-25 people and teach them something about what you do or something they need to know. You may charge people a nominal fee to come to your event. Another way is to go to events and spend your time in seminars. You may be sitting next to a potential buyer and afterwards you can have a relationship with. This is the time that their defenses are down.

Manny’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t try to do everything and don’t lose your focus too quickly. Measure them and have a timetable to make sure they work.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Manny Nowak through email at manny@mannynowak.com or visit his website www.mannynowak.com.

40 Plus Ways to Find the Gold of New Business.

Get a free version of Manny’s book on www.coachmannytip.com.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

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The Sales Evangelist; Donald Kelly; Donald C Kelly; LinKedIn

TSE 127: The Need for LinkedIn Recommendations & How To Get Them!

Donald on Bench With the rise of social selling, LinkedIn has become a powerhouse online for sales professionals to find potential business opportunities, and grow their network. However, with such an overwhelming sea of profiles, how do you distinguished yourself so that opportunities can come to you as well? During in this episode I share why LinkedIn recommendations are so important and how to get them.

Here are few reasons why you need to have them:

  1. They showcase your expertise and validate what you claim you are good at
  2. Offer instance reference and credibility
  3. Elevates you for possible promotion opportunities
  4. Helps you stand out to potentially interested parties
  5. Here are the four main things you should do to write powerful recommendation.
  6. 1. Attention grabbing:

Just like with emails or blog post, it’s important to grab the attention of you readers right away! You want them to read your recommendation and not just pass over it right? Well, have an amazing attention grabbing one-liner at the start of your recommendation.

Say something like….“Talented is an understatement when talking about Jim’s work.”

or “One of the best designers I ever worked with”

2. Identify who you are and establish your credibility:

Think like the reader, they are reading your recommendations to evaluate the person you are recommending. Since they may not know the individual you are writing the recommendation for, it’s important for them to know you are a credible source right off the top. What qualifies you to write this recommendation? Here are a couple examples:

“I had the honor of working for John while he was managing the North American division of Global IT”

“For 7 years, David served as our account executive, while his company was contracted as our IT vendor”

3. State a specific reasons why you are recommending the person. Support that recommendation with a reason (stats) that tells a story (people love stories)

There is nothing more disappointing than to read a recommendation, which is it expected to offer key information or insights, but leaves you empty because it’s bland without the suitable points of recommendations. To avoid this with the recommendations you write for your friends and colleagues, make sure to incorporate the following:

  • Offer a brief story that gives meaning to your recommendation
  • Be specific and use metrics or statistics if applicable
  • Offer a glimpse of the personality for the individual you are recommending
  • Keep your recommendation short and concise (under 200 words)

Here is example you can refer to

“David is a genius when it comes to photography! I hired David two years ago to take some pictures for our companies new website, but I had no clue what exactly to do to pull off a professional modern feel. He understood our dilemma, sat with us, listened to what we wanted, shared some ideas and came back with more some awesome concepts. We went with some photo concepts he recommended based on our desires and saw amazing success! Our home page is now more eye-catching, our conversion rate has increased 30% and we receive compliments daily from clients and visitors. David’s creativity and his keen ability to exceed his clients expectation separates him as a photography genius in my book. If you are looking to for a high quality creative, professional photographer for your business, I would highly recommend you use David, hands down the best.”

4. Encourage them to take actions on what you recommended them this person for.

The final part of your recommendation is to encourage the reader to take action on what you are recommending. However, remember this is not a sales pitch just an simple one sentence encouragement would do. Here are a few examples:

“I thoroughly recommend that if you think Barbara might be able to help you or your business, that you pick-up the phone sooner rather than later-you will not be disappointed.”

“I would recommend her to anyone looking to have a professional website created.”

“If you are looking for a quality sales professional for your organization, I encourage you take a look at Richard.”

Now that you have a better understanding of why LinkedIn recommendations are so important and how you can do them, start writing recommendations and increase your social selling factor. The more you do, the better off you’ll be able to gain new opportunities and start doing BIG THINGS.