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The Sales Manager's Guide

TSE 1287: The Sales Manager’s Guide To Greatness! 

The Sales Manager's GuideYou may have been a top salesperson, and still continue to be, but that doesn’t always qualify you to be a top sales manager. Both have very different skill sets and require mastery in very different skills. 

Kevin F. Davis is the author of the book The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading your Team to the Top. Kevin started his career in sales at an entry level position and worked hard to become a general manager. His new role gave him the opportunity to train and coach 250 sales people and directly manage the sales team and sales managers. 

He also founded TopLine Leadership, Inc. where they have offered sales coaching and leadership workshops to corporate clients and groups of sales managers for the last 27 years. Other books Kevin has written include Getting into your Customer’s Head and Slow Down, Sell Faster.

On writing the book 

There aren’t a lot of books written about how to effectively manage sales people so Kevin wrote his books to help fill this void in the marketplace and to offer support that was sorely lacking. Research has shown that up to 80% of all sales managers in North America don’t get the training they need in order to be successful. Their company may not have a budget for it or they offer management training that is too general to solve the specific problems of their sales managers. 

Not enough time 

Managers have to spend the majority of their work day answering emails, dealing with interruptions, going to meetings, and answering questions from their sales team. With this constant activity, they are too overwhelmed the distractions to coach their salespeople.    

The self-serving bias  

Most salespeople think they’re better than they actually are. We tend to overestimate our capabilities and underestimate our weaknesses. The result is a sales team who think they’re better than they are and don’t fully appreciate the mistakes they may be making. Because they aren’t being coached, they don’t know they’re making mistakes and end up perpetuating existing problems. Unfortunately, salespeople are getting a lot less feedback from overtaxed sales managers. Because they are so busy, managers tend to wait for a sales rep to come and ask questions instead of being proactive. An opportunity to coach comes from approaching the sales team with critical questions throughout the entire sales process. Kevin points out that the salespeople on the team who appear to be  the least needy are probably the people who need coaching the most.

According to Kevin, a great sales rep who has mastered  their sales role inhibits that individual’s success as a sales manager. As sellers, we love to take charge of a situation and work it through to have a successful outcome. Once you become a sales manager it can be tempting to jump into a conversation a sales rep is having with their client. This can send a message to the team you don’t trust their process and destroys an opportunity for valuable coaching following that meeting. Kevin further added that the sales people who report to you are your Number One customers so you should care about how to make them the most effective they can be. 

From being task-oriented to people-oriented

One attribute of a great sales leader is recognizing the importance of sharing time between tasks and coaching their team. Sales managers need to be able to focus on their salespeople and connect on a professional and personal basis. 

As a sales manager, it’s your job to ensure that your salespeople are with you and they know what the team is trying to accomplish. While it’s good to be task-oriented, it’s equally important to be people-focused. Kevin mentioned the valuable lessons he learned from the story of Beth Comstock (now the vice-chairman at General Electric) about how important it is to focus on people and not just be a task-master. 

Understand the buying cycle 

The sales forecast is a misnomer. The sales forecast should be a buying forecast. It is important to understand the customer’s buying process to maximize the sale. Sales managers need to be able to recognize when a buyer is purchasing differently from the way the sales rep is trying to sell. Oftentimes sales reps sell faster than the customer wants to buy. The buying process focuses on improving the accuracy of the forecasts instead of depending on the guesswork of sales. The key to this is by asking the right questions. One example would be to ask the sales rep, What are the buying criteria in order of priority?  When a sales manager asks the right questions, the sales rep knows what to ask the customer. 

Managing sales people requires a completely different set of skills from selling. If you’re looking to get promoted, set a goal to become as masterful at  leadership as you are selling.

“The Sales Manager’s Guide To Greatness!” episode resources 

Connect with Kevin Davis via his website and you can also follow him on Twitter (@kevinfdavis) and LinkedIn accounts. 

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

This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble for free now at www.crmble.com/tse. This course is also 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.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

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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.

Failure, Brad McDonald, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1174: Why Do You Say That Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson?

Failure, Brad McDonald, Donald C. KellySellers get knocked down plenty of times, but sometimes failure is the greatest sales lesson.

Brad McDonald works with Sandler Systems which has 250 franchises around the world that help businesses grow by improving their sales processes. 

Failure

Brad’s 28-year career in the U.S. Navy taught him that failure could mean the difference between life and death. When he transitioned from the Navy to the sales world, he realized that many of his attempts were going to end in failure. He had to change the paradigm. 

The things he perceived were failures — having people hang up on him or cancel an appointment — weren’t really failures. 

Along the way, he learned to embrace failure. 

Gumballs

You must make a lot of sales calls in order to get to yes. On the other hand, if we see the sales calls that ended in “no” as a failure, that will feel bad. 

Brad uses a gumball analogy to explain it. If you want a green gumball from a gumball machine, and there are multiple colors inside, there’s a good chance you won’t get a green one. When you put the quarter inside, there’s a good chance you’ll get a different color. 

Imagine you’re making prospecting phone calls, or cold calls; the most dreaded form of prospecting. If you make 10, 20, or 30 calls, you’ll eventually get someone who wants to talk, just like you’ll eventually get a green gumball. 

You’ll also likely get an orange gumball which might represent a buyer who wants to talk more to see if there’s interest. If you view every orange gumball as a failure, you won’t be very likely to keep going while you wait for the green ones. If, on the other hand, you understand that you have to get the orange gumball out of the way in order to get to the green one, you can embrace it.    

Process of failure

Brad came from a culture where sailors did what he told them to do and they didn’t say no. He was surprised to find in the sales world that prospects aren’t always honest and they don’t always respect his time. And they certainly don’t feel compelled to follow his orders. Initially, all those things felt like failures. 

Failure mimics the stages of grief which are disbelief, fear, despair, anger, and acceptance. 

Brad refers to the “ok, not ok principle.” He came to believe that he needed to be ok being not ok. 

He needed to not seek to meet his emotional needs in a sales call. Many sellers get emotionally involved in their sales calls and that’s one of the five big conceptual roadblocks in sales. Head trash gets in the way. We get excited when we’re about to make a sale and we stop doing the things we need to do. 

Sales activities

Brad learned along the way that his focus on outcomes and results was wrong. He was excited when he made sales and dejected when he wasn’t. He discovered over time that focusing on things he could control, like activities, made more sense. He started doing the things he knew would make him more successful and he tracked those things. 

Brad focused on his tonality, his demeanor, his body language and other things that were well within his control. 

Conceptual issues

Brad believes that all sales problems come in one or two categories. 

  • Tactical. What do I say, When do I say it? How do I say it?
  • Conceptual. Relating to the beliefs we have between our ears.

Most tactical problems have a conceptual basis. In Brad’s case, he came out of the Navy where he didn’t fear much of anything into a setting where he was afraid to make a cold call. The fear was a result of the beliefs he held about sales.

The conceptual issues are these:

  1. The need for approval. The problem occurs when you want to be liked more than you want to make sales.
  2. The BUY cycle. How do you buy things? How do I treat salespeople when someone is trying to sell something to me? We tend to sell the same way we buy. If you tend to comparison shop, you’ll be more forgiving of buyers who do the same.
  3. Negative scripts. Many of these originate in childhood. Examples are the idea that you shouldn’t openly talk about money. Also, very few of us were raised by parents who hoped we would grow up to be successful sellers. 
  4. Emotional involvement in the sales process. It’s ok to have a love for your prospects, but you must also have the mindset that you don’t need anyone. Instead, find something that’s mutually beneficial.
  5. Money concept. Your very first memory of money has a relationship to how you feel about money now. When Brad made his first big commission check, he felt guilty for earning so much money. He had a money concept issue. 

Changing beliefs

Changing your own beliefs will take time. It’s a process. 

For his own therapy, he sat down each Sunday and wrote about his sales experiences. Those articles helped him process the emotional aspects and taught him to have honest conversations with his prospects. 

Salespeople can benefit from journaling about their own experiences, about the perceived failures, and about the head trash. 

“Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson” episode resources

Grab a copy of Brad’s book, The Art and Skill of Sales Psychology, or email him at mcdonald@sandler.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.

Sellers, Sales Coach, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1162: How to Effectively Coach Struggling Sellers

Sellers, Sales Coach, Donald C. Kelly

Sales leaders must help their teams perform at peak levels, so they must start by understanding how to effectively coach struggling sellers

I’ve seen this kind of coaching done badly in the past, and I’ve walked my own team members through these struggles. I’ve developed tips of my own and I’ve learned from Mike Weinberg’s book Sales Management Simplified

Questions to ask

All sales reps and sales leaders endure dark moments where nothing seems to work out. Despite the fact that we’ve been selling for years, we endure periods where we simply can’t close. Very often, when that happens, there are several key things we must address.

These situations don’t develop overnight, and they usually result from slippage in certain areas. Begin by answering the following questions as honestly as you can. You’ll never find improvement if you’re dishonest about your situation. 

  • Does the struggling seller have a desire to succeed and thrive in sales? If he doesn’t have the drive to succeed, no amount of training or coaching will help.
  • Why is this particular seller on my sales team? Did you inherit this seller? Did you hire him?
  • How did the seller get into this situation? What signs did you see along the way? 
  • What has been done to fix the problem? What steps has the seller taken? What steps have you taken?

One-on-one meetings

If you aren’t already holding them, schedule one-on-one meetings with your sellers. I’m a big believer in this method because these leadership meetings offer opportunities to connect with our team members. 

One-on-one meetings with sellers provide time to fine-tune and fix micro-problems before they become huge cracks that jeopardize the stability of our organizations. #SalesCoaching

These can be monthly, or weekly, but quarterly isn’t frequent enough.  

As you work with a struggling rep, you can determine the things that stopped happening. Did he stop planning his prospecting? Is he failing to manage his time? Does he fail to establish a plan for his activities?

If you aren’t engaging in one-on-one coaching, you won’t know what’s happening with your team. When you recognize the problems, you can implement solutions and guide your team members to the right solutions. 

These meetings should be knee-to-knee, eye-to-eye if possible. 

Conducting one-on-one meetings communicates to your reps that you care about their success. When you take time out of your schedule to share suggestions and guidance with your team members, it’s meaningful to your team. 

If something is important to your sales reps, it must be important to you. One-on-one meetings help you determine what’s important to your team members. 

If the rep is really struggling, you can increase the frequency of your coaching sessions. 

Changing mindset

When I was a sales rep selling software, I changed my mindset so that I considered myself the entrepreneur over my territory. Mike Weinberg suggests that you do the same by establishing a business plan for your territory or area.

Whether you’re a BDR or an inside sales rep, begin by determining a goal for yourself. For struggling sales reps, help them to create their own goals and then to establish a plan to follow. Including them in the plan gives them accountability. 

Begin with small goals over the next three months of the quarter. Consider what your financial goal will be. Then determine exactly how they’ll accomplish that. Identify the existing customers that you’ll engage.

Establish a time frame in which your rep will accomplish that goal. Remember to include consequences. Ask your reps what a fair turnaround would be. Then ask your reps what should happen if they don’t meet their stated goals.  

Very often your reps will establish tougher consequences for themselves than you might have set. 

Desire to improve

When you have a sales rep with an obvious desire to improve, bend over backward for that person. Move mountains for her. If she is taking advantage of coaching and she establishes an awesome business plan, reward her efforts. Find other resources that will help her succeed.

Get her books or send her links to relevant podcasts. Meet with her when you can, and email her when you can’t meet. Check in through the day and throughout the week. 

When your sales reps thrive, your business will improve and your company will grow. 

It’s far cheaper to help your sales reps improve than to begin the hiring process over again because you need successful sellers. #SalesTraining

On the other hand, if your sellers don’t have a strong desire to succeed, and they won’t dedicate the effort to improve, then it may be time to remove them from your team. 

In my own case, I had sales leaders who believed in me and who recognized my drive to improve. They coached me through my struggles and helped me get where I am today. 

Re-evaluate

Once you’ve worked through the plan over the course of 30-90 days, if your rep still isn’t improving, you must identify why. If you’ve done the one-on-one coaching and you’ve helped her create a sales plan, you may have to put her on probation. It can be an informal program, but you must establish a marker that she will hit within that probation period. 

Usually by this point, if the rep truly wants to succeed, she’ll show signs of improvement. Eventually, she’ll have to work on her own and prove that she can hit milestones without other people’s assistance. Without that ability, she’ll eventually have to move on. 

The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program helps sellers improve by identifying problems and developing solutions to address them. Many individual sellers choose our program for themselves because it’s worth the cost of the training to increase their success rate. 

“Effectively Coach Struggling Sellers” episode resources

Grab a copy of Mike Weinberg’s book Sales Management Simplified

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.

Stress, Fatigue, The Sales Evangelist, Dana Cavalea

TSE 1160: How To Deal With Stress, Fatigue, Burn Out & Lack of Creativity

Stress, Fatigue, The Sales Evangelist, Dana Cavalea

Sales is a year-round activity with no off-season and no breaks, so it’s important for sellers to understand how to deal with stress, fatigue, burnout, and a lack of creativity. 

Dana Cavalea is the former Director of Strength & Conditioning and Performance for the New York Yankees. Coach Dana, who helps companies optimize performance and productivity, wrote a book called Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion By Accident.  

He became a coach after realizing the tremendous difference that coaches made in his own athletic career, and how they helped him overcome bumps in the road. 

Opportunity knocks

Dana, who originally hails from New York, chose to attend school in Tampa because he knew it was near where the Yankees conducted their spring training. When he got the opportunity to join the team as the guy who handed out towels and cleaned the weight room, he jumped on it. 

Within a few years, he earned a paying job as the director of strength and conditioning and performance, and the team won a championship during that time. 

He discovered, through that experience, that many executives, CEOs, and sales teams wanted to know how athletes prepare to compete at the highest levels. How do they deal with injuries and fatigue and the obstacles they face during a season? How do they keep showing up every day in the face of fatigue and burnout?

Individual protocol

People assume that high-level musicians and athletes feel good every time they perform, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re tired a lot, but they don’t tell themselves that. They understand that fatigue is part of life and that you’re going to have days where you don’t feel great. The goal, Dana said, is to have fewer of those days and more of the days where you do feel great. 

To do that, Dana coaches people to focus on a couple of simple things that affect performance.

  • Hydration
  • Sleep

These factors can inhibit the way you function overall. To address them, you must have an individual routine specific to your needs that helps you perform at your best every single day. 

Some players like music that pumps them up, and other players like music that calms them down. Each person must have a routine and protocol that is based around their needs. 

But how do you get there?

You get there by testing things. If you sleep for six hours but wake feeling tired, that may mean that you need more sleep, or that you need to understand your 90-minute sleep cycles better. We must perform each day and test different things like the food we eat to determine what makes us feel better. 

How do I feel?

Begin by asking yourself the question, “How do I feel?” Phrased that way, the question takes you out of yourself and gives you a moment in the midst of all that you have going on to consider how you feel. People listen to a million different podcasts and listen to two or three books at a time, and we’re so busy that we don’t take time to think about how we’re feeling. 

We’re working to create a self-awareness that is super important in determining the strategies that will help you overcome your struggles. 

Sometimes we underestimate the impact of stress on our bodies. Sports are very competitive, as is business. Sales is extremely competitive. You must prepare and train to compete. 

The key is to keep your energy up by hydrating, sleeping, fueling, and training. Then, fill your mind with good stuff to crowd out the doubt and fear. 

Sports have a defined starting and ending point, but sales continues all year, quarter after quarter. There’s no break because each year leads into another. 

Expectations

If we do well this year, what will the people around us expect from us moving forward? They’ll expect us to do better. So now we’re constantly trying to push our threshold. Although what we did last year was good, it’s not good enough for this year. Expectations shift.

Some people, though, get comfortable playing things safe, and doing “just enough.” They don’t want to do more than they’re already doing because they know it will simply shift the expectation higher. 

People fear success almost as much as they fear failure. Sometimes, they sabotage themselves in order to avoid the pressure of accomplishment. 

Leaders can help their sales teams overcome these struggles by being honest. If a salesperson has hit his numbers for the month and he has a pending deal that he could close this month but he’s holding it for the next month, his leader must remove the need for the seller to impress him.

Creating clarity

Dana heard an interview with Mariano Rivera in which Rivera said his career changed when Yankees manager Joe Torre called him into the office and explained that Mo would always be his guy. As long as Torre was with the Yankees, he wanted Mo by his side. That freed Mo to relax and do what he was best at. He was freed from the need to prove himself. 

If you can reduce the need to prove yourself because you’ve validated yourself, you’re in a great position. When a manager does that for his team, it’s like glue for the team. 

Dana puts his clients on a morning walk routine that includes a 30-minute walk with no technology. It forces them to be by themselves without the defense of jumping into the phone. Without distractions, they can think about the things they actually want. They get the clarity of evaluating their current situation and their own performance. They have time to ask themselves questions about how things are going. 

Taking ownership

You may find that you have a leader or manager who isn’t leading in the way you need her to. In that case, it’s up to you to tell her what you’re struggling with, where you need help, and how she can support you. You can also ask for clarity around the work you’re doing. 

When you have the conviction to seek clarity without fearing the conversation, you’ll invite more clarity. 

Dana often encounters people who exude confidence. He calls it their birthright because it’s so natural to them. They know exactly what must be done in order to succeed. In most cases, though, your team will include really intelligent people who simply haven’t experienced enough success in order to feel confident. Coaches can navigate their sellers to achieve small, frequent wins that stack up and build confidence. 

Sellers can acquire confidence even if they don’t naturally have it.

On the other hand, Dana sometimes encounters finance people who allow the market shifts and trends to impact how they feel about themselves. He reminds them that the market will do what it will do, so these people must avoid being reactive to the external environment. 

Striking out doesn’t make you a loser, and losing doesn’t make you a loser. 

Dana got this advice some time back: People can either love it or shove it. Not everyone is meant to work with you and you’re not meant to work with everyone. That’s just the way it is. 

Starting point

Nobody leaves the gym feeling worse than when they got there. They leave feeling glad that they went. Training is your starting point. 

Not all sales are equal. Don’t compromise yourself in the process of making a sale. Some sales aren’t the right ones and they’ll be a death sentence for your company. 

Sales is a hustle and a grind, so you must approach every day with a vision of what you’re trying to create. We’re quick to judge ourselves against other people. 

Sales is a relationship game. If people know, like, and trust you, they’ll open up to you. If they don’t, they’ll be closed to you. Relationships take time and they aren’t one-sided. 

Burnout and stress are perspective-based. Stress is the result of pressures you put on yourself, and stress over time leads to burnout. 

If you try to be perfect, you’ll ultimately fail. Hit singles. Don’t try to hit home runs. If you hit a single every day, you’ll get a run on the board and another man on base. 

Create a healthy process for yourself and then execute every day. 

“How to Deal With Stress, Fatigue, Burnout” episode resources

Connect with Coach Dana at danacavalea.com or access his YouTube channel for more content. Grab a copy of his book, Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion By Accident.

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.

 

Sales Coaching, Motivation, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1158: The Actions High-Growth Coaches Use To Motivate Their Teams

Sales Coaching, Motivation, The Sales Evangelist

While proper mindset is important, the actions high-growth coaches use to motivate their teams to allow those teams to succeed in sales.

Sarah Wirth works for EcSell Institute and studies sales leadership. Along with her team, they look at the coaches in the organizations they work with knowing that great coaches help teams to achieve better results. 

Sarah travels the globe studying different teams and applying the best practices they can teach to sales leaders. Their research-based teachings on best practices are grounded in fact rather than opinion. 

Misconceptions about coaching 

One of the common misconceptions about coaching relates to the timing of team meetings or sales coaching. Most sales leaders do team meetings weekly thinking that getting everyone together via phone makes the team effective. Based on the study, however, the best sales leaders have their meetings once a month rather than once a week. The monthly meeting is much more interactive and educational than the weekly kind of communication. 

Sales reps want an interactive educational team meeting where they can hear what the other departments are doing. They also want to hear and learn the best practices used by others in the company. They don’t want to sit and hear all the updates of what’s going on, because those things can be sent and read via mail. 

Instead, sales reps want a certain level of engagement and content to share during meetings. This content is difficult to achieve when you meet every single week. A longer time frame gives birth to more stories and more experiences to share, which results in meaningful and substantive conversations where everyone on the team learns things. 

Learning from experience 

Sellers like to learn the best practices, so they listen to podcasts. They want to learn from people from different fields who bring radical and neat insights that they’re not aware of. 

The interviews and surveys of salespeople reveal that they don’t want to hear the biggest deals. Instead, they want to hear how to get big deals. They want answers to the objections they encounter and tips to make presentations that help them win deals. They want to hear and learn the stories of how others became successful. 

It’s more of knowing what they did and how they did it. 

Salespeople want to be the best version of themselves. They aren’t into sales because of charity. They are in sales because they want to help their families and their clients. 

Most sales leaders are promoted to their position because they were good salespeople. They go from the bottom to the top without getting any formal training, education, and information on how to become good sales leaders. They learn from experience, and that’s why they become successful. Unfortunately, they don’t know how to transfer all these learnings to their peers so their team can be successful and achieve better sales. 

Motivate the team

There are three actions high-growth sales coaches use to motivate their team

  • Team meetings done in the right frequency and format
  • One-on-one meetings with each of the team members
  • Feedback on what they’re doing well and what they can improve

These three are effective ways to help salespeople grow and improve their skills. 

One-on-one meetings 

One-on-one weekly meetings with each team member are as effective as doing one-on-one meetings every other week. Aside from the frequency, it is also important to follow a consistent structure. 

The best sales leaders start their meetings with personal updates in the life of the salesperson they are talking to. They talk about how their family is doing, and if they’re working from home, sales leaders ask for updates on their projects. Sales leaders spend a few minutes connecting with their team members as people. They show that they care not only as a sales producer but also as a person. 

The coaching and mentoring from one-on-one meetings change a salesperson’s motivation and attitude towards his work. It ignites a fire in him that helps the team meet its sales goals. Even books can’t do this because no matter how good the contents of the books are, the pages can’t hear their ideas or challenge them with questions. There is no substitute for talking through what’s going on in their sales territory or getting their input on the strategies that they’re pursuing. 

Asking imploring questions during one-on-one meetings breeds in-depth conversations that are helpful for both parties to grow. 

Do one-on-one meetings with your salespeople either weekly or bi-weekly depending on what works best for your team. 

Give feedback 

Give your team members feedback on their selling skills regularly. After successfully closing an important deal with your salespeople, debrief them, and discuss what you saw in their selling skills. Talk about what aspect they did well in the presentation and point out the things they can improve. 

There is no better time to improve your team’s skills than seeing its members in action. When you see them do what they do best, you can talk conceptually around them. You can coach them on how to answer objections and even do roleplays to address different situations. 

When you travel with your salespeople and see them in selling situations, you also learn how they interact with their customers, build rapport, present information, answer questions, direct conversations, and figure out the needs of the customers. You have the first-hand experience and you’ll know how to assess them on the things they’re doing well and how they can improve. 

This is also a great opportunity for the salespeople to receive coaching from their leaders. They can see the things they need to work on from your perspective. This is beneficial for them and for the business. 

Your team members may have the tendency of reporting only the good things that went down on a deal, excluding the challenges and how they addressed them. They may tweak the information they give you. When you are with them, you get to see them and give them the corrections and guidance they need. Sales leaders can also point out the effective things their salespeople did during the sales call. They can then repeat what they did in their future deals. 

Career discussion 

Career discussion is critical to a salesperson’s motivation as well as his career longevity on the team. Many sales leaders shy away from doing this because they don’t have specific paths for their salespeople. 

There often isn’t a specific role that salespeople can be promoted to. Sometimes, salespeople don’t have goals other than being individual performers. They like to be in sales and not in other roles such as managers. 

Based on research, a salesperson tends to make progress toward his career development goals and stay with the organization longer if the manager helps him make progress. Aside from that, salespeople tend to be motivated when they receive help from their superiors. 

Management often doesn’t talk about things like this to its employees, causing them to feel stuck in whatever position they are in. It kills their motivation to achieve more in their careers. 

Ask your salespeople how they feel about their careers or what they potentially want to do. You can’t assume that they’re doing okay; instead, draw the answers from them. Sarah Wirth and Bill Ekstrom’s book The Coaching Effect was the result of a career development discussion that Sarah did with him. He asked Sarah about her longterm big picture goals and she said that she’d like to write a book. It wasn’t anything serious for her at that moment. It was merely an idea. Fast forward to when they started really doing it and it happened. 

Go outside your comfort zone 

Another effective action that sales leaders can do is to get their team members outside their comfort zones. 

Help your sellers be comfortable with discomfort. If you can get them outside of their comfort zones, they’re more likely to learn, grow, and develop. #SalesTeam

Most of us want to be on the safe side and gravitate toward what we know but this is not helpful if we want to grow. The same is true for your team members. New roles or situations force your team members to learn, grow, and get better in order to handle the new challenges. Get your team members outside their comfort zones on a regular basis, especially if you see them starting to stagnate and get comfortable in their roles. 

 

The Actions High-Growth Coaches Use To Motivate Their Teams” episode resources

Learn more about connecting with your salespeople today. Visit Ecsell Institute’s website to learn more.  

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 read more books to become a savvy salesperson and sales leader in Audible, your online library that houses over a thousand books. Register now to get a free book and a free 30-day trial by typing in audibletrial.com/tse

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, designed to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills in finding the right customers, identifying the activities and strategies that work, and asking the right questions to build strong value and close business deals. Get the first two courses for free at thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse

Which of the three actions have you tried in your team? Tell us about it in the comment section in Apple podcast. Your rating is equally appreciated, too. Share this with your colleagues who are using other podcast platforms as well including Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald C Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Leader

TSE 1155: When Should I Promote Someone?

Donald C Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales LeaderYour company continues to grow and you need leaders to guide your team, so you’re considering the question, “When should I promote someone?

Because of your company’s growth, you need leaders and you need managers. So who should you promote? What do you look for in the people who will lead your teams? What characteristics or habits should they possess? 

Developing leaders

Even if your business isn’t growing at breakneck speed, you may need to focus on developing people who can lead when the time comes. The last thing you want to do is keep people in the same position for long periods of time without any opportunity for growth. They’ll get tired and burn out, and then they’ll look elsewhere for growth opportunities. Make sure you’re always looking for ways to create and develop leaders internally. 

The qualities necessary for leaders in your industry may differ from those of other segments, but for sellers in general, the following guidelines offer a good start for identifying potential leaders. 

Seller doesn’t equal leader

Your employee might be a spectacular seller, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to leadership. Furthermore, if you have a particularly gifted seller on your team, you may not want to remove him from that sales role. 

It’s tempting to believe that your best closer can become a sales leader and train all your other sellers to close as effectively as he does. And it might be true that he can. But it might also be true that he loves selling and he doesn’t want to spend his time conducting one-on-ones or creating reports. 

If your team members aren’t interested in leading, don’t force them. Let your sellers do what they do best for your company.

Look for these traits as you ponder when to promote someone.

1. Sellers who want to lead

When you begin your search, look for sellers who actually want to lead. If one of your team members talks frequently about leading or climbing the corporate ladder, consider giving him the opportunity to do it. If he is ambitious and goal-oriented, he might be just the leader you’re looking for. 

I recently met with a BDR that a client of mine hired, and the guy was passionate about his work. He strives to go above and beyond the call of duty, and he wants to work his way into a leadership role. He wants to contribute to the organization, but he isn’t power-hungry. He understands that great leaders don’t threaten the people above them because they aren’t competing to take their jobs. 

Prepare your replacements as you consider other opportunities you’ll compete for. 

2. Sellers with a proven track record

Desire isn’t enough to be a successful seller. You must also have good results behind your name. 

You’ll note that I said above that you should not necessarily remove your top seller to turn him into a sales leader. The exception is when that seller is the best candidate for the job and when she wants to do the job. 

Recognize, too, that a top performer won’t necessarily be the only team member with amazing results. Consider the top five sellers on your team and then decide whether any of them possess leadership potential. 

Consider whether they have any desire to train other sellers, and take note of a “lone wolf” mentality that suggests they don’t want to share with others. Make it your goal to develop a nurturing leadership approach in which team members help one another. 

3. Sellers who don’t volunteer to lead

Keep in mind that some sellers may not volunteer to lead, but that shouldn’t necessarily exclude them from consideration. If they have the framework, the talents, and the characteristics of a great leader, challenge them to step out of their comfort zone. 

In the book Sales Management. Simplified, Mike Weinberg recalls a CEO who believed it was his responsibility to stretch people like a rubber band: to the edge of their capabilities without breaking them. 

They may not recognize their own capabilities, but your job is to help them see what they are capable of. 

4. Sellers who are problem-solvers

Too often, sellers fall into the trap of complaining about their work situations. Instead of looking for ways to improve things, they look for mistakes. That negative outlook shows in their results.

Look for sellers who are problem-solvers as you seek people to promote. Typically, they’ll be your best sellers because they make it a practice to solve problems for customers. If you find a seller like this among your team members and promote him, he’ll set an example of problem-solving for the rest of the team. 

You’ll have less to worry about because they’ll solve the problems before they get to you. Surround yourself with leaders who can think for you and take care of things so you can focus on other issues. 

5. Sellers who are willing to work

Your leaders must be willing to work hard. This doesn’t mean that they work 18-hour days, because it’s very possible to do great work in less time. Instead, you want leaders who can plan and accomplish things. 

Watch for the people on your team who show up for work early or who listen to podcasts to learn more. Be aware of the people on your team who dedicate time and effort to develop themselves. 

This isn’t about developing a culture of staying late every day, but rather a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. For me, I’m a family guy, and Mondays and Fridays are my family days during the week. If I need to stay late, I’ll make it happen around those commitments. 

6. Sellers who are developing themselves

As a bonus, look for people on your team who are investing in themselves. Find those people who are reading books or seeking events to further their training or signing up for webinars that will help them improve their skill set. 

If your team members are seeking to improve without you telling them to, you’re well on your way to finding an amazing leader. 

Help your team members get to the next level and transition into roles that challenge them. 

When Should I Promote Someone? episode resources

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.

Obstacles, Sales From The Street,

TSE 1154: Sales From The Street – “Shoot the Donkey”

Obstacles, Sales From The Street,Sellers often face obstacles in their sales process, and the need to remove them is sometimes referred to as the need to Shoot the donkey.”

Will Batista has worked on several presidential campaigns and other political campaigns throughout the country. He recently led a state ballot initiative to change Nevada’s constitution and now he is now working in the energy sector, particularly in the communications and investor relations of the company. Jonathan Diaz works in the university setting where he serves as an adviser and he also teaches classes. 

Shoot the donkey 

This phrase originates from an article that Will discovered while he was looking at political media companies. Shooting the donkey means removing obstacles in your course.

In the movie Patton, based on true events, the characters were heading up a mountain but there was a donkey in the way. Failure to get the donkey out of the way would put them in a dire situation resulting in casualties, so they sent out some of the guys to move the donkey. Nothing worked so the general said, ‘Shoot the donkey!’ 

Remove the obstacles 

When we were in college, our obstacles were our beliefs. We didn’t believe in ourselves as much as we should have. There are times that we don’t give ourselves credit when we should. This is true in sales as well. You might not trust your sales ability and you keep telling yourself that you’re no good at it. This idea is difficult to overcome but it’s imperative that you get through it because it’s the only way for you to become successful. 

For example, back in college when we were selling water, the first obstacle that we had was that we spent a lot of money to get a booth and to get all the water, and eventually get my money back. In order to do that business at a bigger scale, we needed more people, so we went to Idaho Falls and that’s when we did a better job. 

The third time, we ran out of water and we could have given up, but we didn’t. Will went to Sam’s club and got ice and made it happen. 

We succeeded on a small scale. We didn’t make hundreds and thousands of dollars but it was proof that when you put a desire into action, you can make it happen. 

Fear of obstacles

Sometimes we fear obstacles and see them as a negative thing because they do have a negative impact at that moment. There is, however, an opportunity for growth and change in every obstacle, and the ability to tackle problems in a different way. It is a great time for a change and to challenge your ability to think differently. 

The water selling was very basic but year after year, we saw that we’re not doing so great and that became an opportunity to improve the process. Obstacles are typically not good things, but they are opportunities for us to grow and to think critically so that when we are faced with another problem in the future, we will be able to overcome the challenge. 

In politics 

A lot of times when you are trying to get something done, there are always goals that you need to meet. Will was thrown into the fire in his first year working as field staff in Reno because he had no experience recruiting volunteers or meeting metrics.

He had to learn the ropes quickly and the obstacles he faced were the goals that were being imposed on him. He had to find ways to meet the goals regardless of whether he had volunteers or not. 

Will needed to get into these gated communities but he couldn’t get in. Sometimes, they’d follow another car and find a way to get to the individuals and voters to get their contact information. He had to do whatever was necessary to meet their goals. They had goals in mind and they focused their actions to meet the goals. 

Obstacles will always be there but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. 

Another challenge was getting people into the office to make the calls for the campaign so sometimes, Will had two phones going at the same time. He’d be leaving a message on one phone and talking on the other. Hustling is when you do what you need to do to hit your goals.

For students

John advises students of three main things as they seek the best fit: 

  • Identify their interests 
  • Identify their skills and abilities
  • Determine their values, or the things that are important to them 

For students, the biggest obstacle is the parental control or familial influence. Students now are pressured with the idea that they need to choose a major that will provide them with stability in the future. Many are being pushed into taking courses that they aren’t interested in, courses that they aren’t good at, and courses that are not even aligned to their values. 

John tells his students that for them to shoot the donkey, they need to remove the barrier and talk to their parents. They need to choose the major of their choice because, at the end of the day, it’s them who will go through all the studying and not their parents. 

John helps the students remove the barrier of parental control to see the other options and areas that can work for them. 

Removing barriers

A typical challenge in sales is the people. Sales leaders manage sales teams and often they feel like they don’t have enough qualified workforce or that they don’t have enough people with qualified sales experience. Sales leaders overcome this obstacle by trusting the skills that people bring from all different walks of life. 

If you are experiencing a barrier in your sales, and you’ve hit a plateau even when you already have a very good team, try to think outside the box. Bring in somebody from outside of the organization who can break down the barriers that your current sales team cannot. 

Whether it’s in politics, in the corporate world, or in sales, people often fail to recognize the skills that people from other industries have. It’s time to break down that barrier and start looking outside your comfort zone. 

Keep it real without being rude. Give real feedback without being demeaning. You don’t want to waste time so it is important to make the choice that you really want. 

“Shoot the Donkey” episode resources

Connect with Will in his LinkedIn account or email him in batista.wilfredo@gmail.com. You can also reach John via his email jondlazas@gmail.com and johndssj@gmail.com

Whatever role you are playing in your industry, I challenge you to go out and look for the challenges that are in your way. Remove the challenges, make the hard decisions, and make things happen. 

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 has been fun and it’s brought to you in part by Audible. It has thousands of books and it offers a 30-day trial and a free book when you sign up. Just type audibletrial.com/tse and start discovering the books to become a sales savvy. 

The episode is also brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It is a helpful tool for sales leaders and sales reps in improving their skills. It teaches you how to find better prospects, how to have meaningful conversations, and what questions to ask to close deals. Check out the program now and get the first two modules for free. 

Visit thesalesevangelist.com/freecourse to find more information about the program. 

If you like this episode then tell us about it, give us your good review and rate us on Apple podcast. You can also find us in Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Sales Evangelist, Leadership

TSE 1150: How To Show Your Team You Care!

The Sales Evangelist, LeadershipSome sales teams complain about everything from marketing to CRM and comps, but if you develop the ability to show your team you care, you’ll overcome the negativity and establish a great work environment.

I’ve worked as a sales rep, as a sales leader, and as a consultant, so I understand that complaints are a normal part of the sales process. In some organizations, though, the sellers don’t complain as much because they believe their managers care about them.  

Imperfect selling scenario

It’s tempting to believe that sellers who don’t complain work in better environments. Even if they don’t get great leads, and if they don’t have the best CRM, or if their facility looks outdated, some sales reps enjoy what they do and they enjoy the people they do it with. Because the management cares about their welfare, the sellers are able to enjoy their work.

Although your CRM and your environment are important, culture plays a vital role in helping sellers thrive. In a subpar culture, typically the focus remains on numbers alone. 

Sales leaders

During the month of August, we’ll focus on sales leadership and the principles that will help sales leaders succeed so their teams can succeed. Of all the things you could possibly do to encourage your team, investing time in them ranks the highest. 

Just like a relationship with your husband or wife, the relationship probably won’t survive unless you spend time together. Nice gifts and other symbols of affection won’t overcome a lack of time together. The same is true for your kids.

Don’t base your relationships with your sellers on shiny new CRM or an awesome facility. Instead, demonstrate that you care about their success by dedicating time to help them improve their performance.  

One-on-one

Prioritize one-on-one meetings with your sales reps. Although sales leaders get bogged down by countless things that demand their time, you must invest time in the things that truly matter. Log it on your calendar so it won’t get pushed aside. 

In my own sales journey, when my own leaders prioritized one-on-one time, they were able to help me overcome challenges that were hindering my success. It also made my sales leaders seem human and it helped me see them as something other than a boss. I see her as a trusted friend and someone I can respect. Leaders who jump into the trenches with you have the authority to guide you. 

When my sales leader stopped investing in one-on-one time with me, my sales performance declined, not because I wasn’t doing my part, but because I was able to draw motivation from her experience and example. 

Share priorities

Be aware of your team members’ priorities and make sure that the things that matter to them matter to you, too. If my sales rep is engaged to be married, I need to be aware of her priority. I can support her priorities by making sure that she’s earning enough money to pay for an amazing wedding. I must make sure that, during our one-on-ones, I’m helping her figure out how to accomplish her goals. 

Better yet, if I know of someone who owns a wedding venue, I can consider connecting the two of them. As a leader, I can provide guidance and resources to help her achieve her goals. 

If my leader is willing to prioritize the things I value, I’ll do the same in return: whatever is important to her will become important to me. Whatever she needs me to do in order to be successful, I’ll be willing to do it. 

This kind of relationship isn’t intended to be manipulative or controlling. Instead, it’s a natural by-product of the leader’s care for the seller.

Go on-site

Once a month, or on a recurring basis, free your schedule to do site visits with your reps. Don’t go with the intention of taking over the meeting. Evaluate her progress and ask her afterward what she did well and what she might have done better. Help her improve as a seller. Demonstrate to your sellers that you value them enough to share your time. 

Give them room to make mistakes and room to grow. 

In Jamaica, families frequently send their 10-year-olds to the grocery store to shop for the family. That doesn’t happen often in this country. The opportunity helps children learn from their mistakes and gain valuable experience.

Give room for failure

Don’t jump down their throats when they make a mistake in the midst of a deal or when an opportunity flops. Guide them. Let them know you care. Talk to them and coach them. Then give them an opportunity to try again. 

Acknowledge improvement and give your team members room to lead and coach others when they find success. Show them how to become trusted individuals. 

“Show Your Team You Care” episode resources

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sandler, Mike Jone, LinkedIn, Social Selling, Prospecting

TSE 1125: Harnessing LinkedIn to Develop a Consistent Stream of Quality Leads

If you’re not already harnessing LinkedIn to develop a consistent stream of quality leads, you’re missing out on more referrals, possible testimonies, and a powerful prospecting tool. 

Mike Jones owns and operates a local Sandler Training franchise where he works with sales leaders and salespeople in those cultures to develop nontraditional ways of prospecting and selling. He has the privilege of seeing best practices and working intimately with sales culture. He loves the experience of moving between industries and geographies to see what the consistent themes of success are. 

Utilizing LinkedIn

Sellers must take advantage of LinkedIn, but many people use it wrong. 

They often don’t understand LinkedIn’s power to get to the right person. It’s difficult to connect with the right person, but LinkedIn gives people the ability to determine who they need to be talking to. 

There is power in connections. If you aren’t using it to find the right people in the organizations you’re connecting with, you aren’t using it to its full capabilities. 

There are two kinds of prospecting. 

  • Active prospecting, which includes developing daily behavioral metrics about how many conversations you want to have, how many appointments you want to have, and how many existing clients you should be reaching out to. Activity always precedes outcome. If I can dial in my activity and monitor it and compare it to a monthly revenue goal, that allows me to make strategic behavioral changes. Whatever outcome you’re seeking, you have a system perfectly designed to give you that outcome. If you want a better outcome, analyze what you’re doing from a behavioral standpoint in order to achieve that outcome. It’s a form of prospecting that provides real-time decisions, and it gets immediate results. 

 

  • Passive prospecting doesn’t provide immediate results. If, for example, you work 250 days a year and your prospecting system requires you to send out 10 emails, either directly to a prospect or a contact in LinkedIn, asking for an introduction. Over a year, that’s 2,500 prospecting attempts every year. In today’s business culture, it works and you’re missing an opportunity if you aren’t seizing it. 

Thinking about now

Sometimes, as sellers, we get so focused on the now that we forget to focus on the future. In the early days of my sales career, I was guilty of it, too. Every phone call you make doesn’t have to result in an immediate close. 

We may even make the mistake of prospecting to convince people, and that creates a lot of pressure. Instead, identify what kind of prospect is in front of you. 

There are four distinct mindsets that prospects have. 

  1. They have a need they know about. 
  2. They’re comfortable and they aren’t making any changes.
  3. They are willing to make changes in order to have a better return on investment.
  4. They’re arrogant. 

We can only help number one and number three. Numbers two and four will communicate with a salesperson differently. Instead of trying to convince, try to determine which of the four you’re dealing with. It will help you understand whether they’re open-minded about it. 

Prospect’s mindset

Don’t give up too early. When a salesperson reaches out to a prospect, they’re trying to change the prospect’s mindset and alter what they believe. 

Be consistently persistent. Develop a cadence that falls somewhere between “I’m bugging someone” and “I’m ineffective.” Prospecting takes time and sellers must stop looking at their monthly revenue as the barometer for success. We do it because we think that’s how the game needs to be played. 

Realize that your individual metrics and your revenue are important, but you don’t get a pass on your prospecting simply because you hit your revenue. Failure to prospect will impact you months from now. You must manage your calendar to make sure you can service the people you’re selling as well as your future prospects. 

LinkedIn content

LinkedIn is a huge tool for marketing and it’s designed to help people think and share different ideas and insights.

When we look to give back, we’ll get stuff in return. The more you give, the more the people who want your help will come to you. 

If you’re a giver and you’re prospecting, you’re giving so much great information. They’ll keep coming back to you. 

Introductions

Many salespeople don’t do enough to leverage their connections in order to get introductions, which is probably a better word than referral. Probably 20 percent of your clients will provide an introduction without being prompted to. They like to connect people. 

At the same time, there are probably the same number who don’t like doing it. The 60 percent in the middle will do it if someone asks them to. We just have to become proactive and make it part of our process.

The best time to ask for an introduction is when the prospect realizes that he got his value and he’s happy. If you’ve already found a process that works, don’t change it. But if you aren’t having success asking for introductions, wait until the buyer realizes what they have in value. 

It also probably depends on the type of product you’re selling. 

Team behaviors 

Figure out what behaviors your team should be doing and build some healthy accountability around those things. It’s easier to coach people who have individual belief systems and business acumen. Based upon metrics, you can give unique instruction to each person. 

Make sure to have a direct line to the decision maker in the company you are pursuing, and build it around a story. In other words, figure out a common connection to the person you’re trying to connect with and use that. That connection is much more likely to be successful than cold outreach will. 

Don’t wing it. Use your KPIs and other metrics to get prepared. Good sellers won’t sabotage their efforts or be lazy. They’ll want to do something that will help them earn more money. 

Finally, get your life “why-dialed in.” Figure out why you get out of bed in the morning, because that’s your source of power. If you don’t have your life “why-dialed in,” you’ll go through the motions and it will be mundane and boring. 

Evaluate your patterns and habits. Are you getting the habits and outcome that you’re looking for? Sales is a purposeful, predictable event. If you’re serious about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you can track and measure your output and change it. 

“Harnessing LinkedIn” episode resources

You can find Mike on LinkedIn or you can connect with Sandler Training by The Ruby Group. Visit Sandler Training to connect with someone in your own area. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Take advantage of a 30-day free trial, including a free book of your choice, at audible.com/tse.

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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Outbound Sales, Alex Berg, Curiosity

TSE 1114: Assessing Curiosity To Optimize The Performance of Outbound Sales Reps

Outbound Sales, Alex Berg, Curiosity

 

Asking questions and learning about the client is an accepted part of sales, but the key is assessing curiosity to optimize the performance of outbound sales reps.

Alex Berg, who has a consultancy in curiosity quotient selling, focuses on leveraging mutual curiosity. He said it isn’t so much the case that sellers aren’t thinking about curiosity, but rather that they are thinking about it too tactically.

Learning about clients

Most sales methodologies are a bit too complicated and don’t really require that much detail. Sellers don’t need to write down 27 questions before they sit down with clients. They simply need to learn enough to ask intelligent, informed questions.

Stephen M.R. Covey wrote a book called Speed of Trust that reports a significant correlation between the development of trust and the pace of decision making. In other words, if you really want to accelerate your sales cycle, build trust. And the fastest way to build trust is to demonstrate curiosity.

Types of curiosity

Alex distinguishes between social curiosity, which is about people, and technical curiosity, which is about how things work.

If you’re in a transactional sales environment, you must focus on getting a decision made quickly. So too much open-ended curiosity could be detrimental.

Begin by assessing what kind of sales organization and what kind of sales process you’re engaged in. You also must know what sort of clients you’re selling to.

Then, assess your individuals and your organizations to determine whether you have the right characteristics to thrive in a particular sales environment. From there, you can assign or hire people based on their ability to deliver on those requirements.

Assessments

As an individual, a certain degree of introspection will help you determine whether sales even makes sense for you as a career. There are many assessments available that can help you determine whether you’re epistemically curious with a general thirst for knowledge or perceptually curious with a desire to solve problems and fix things.

If you’re epistemically curious, you’re well suited for long sales cycles, complex selling, and larger deal size. If you’re more focused on getting it done today, you’ll benefit more from a transactional sales environment. You’ll get more satisfaction from quick decisions.

Leverage strengths

Once we understand where people’s strengths lie, leverage this information in the sales environment and then coach your team accordingly. The most important part of the sales process is the initial discovery. That’s where you’re qualifying the prospect.

The thing you have the most control over is how you spend your time.

Determine whether you even have a solution that makes sense for the prospect.

If we can get a little better at driving rapport and a little better at collecting information, we can reduce the sales cycle. Imagine what it would do to your bottom line if you could shorten it from 6 months to 3.

Creating questions

You must begin by learning enough about the client to ask intelligent questions. Your leadership must also have a mindset that encourages curiosity.

Make appropriate risk-taking acceptable. Many companies will say they want to develop a curious organization, but then they don’t act that way. They focus more on mitigating risk than on allowing reasonable risk.

Ask the tough questions that aren’t always comfortable. Don’t necessarily show up with a list of 15 questions. Instead, develop a list of the five most important questions and then focus your attention on those.

Mindfulness

Before you get on the phone with your clients, eliminate all distractions. Turn off your notifications on your phone so you can really listen to what the other person is saying.

Don’t simply go through the checklist. Focus on asking better questions.

Realize, too, that if you learn from situations that you view as a mistake, then they aren’t truly mistakes. They are learning journeys, and they aren’t negative experiences.

By demonstrating your interest in your prospect, you develop rapport, make the sales cycle more efficient, and hopefully shorten it.

Injecting curiosity

Individual sellers can begin by learning the tools to become more curious. The big win, though, is when companies try to inject more curiosity into their organizations.

Companies that are too internally focused and not client-centric make poor decisions. Alex recalls working for a company who sent a rep to get a deal signed by a prospect who was in the hospital following a heart attack.

The key to long-term success is delivering great value to your clients. In order to do that, you must conduct yourself in a way that communicates your intent to deliver the best possible outcomes.

Arm your people with tools to conduct themselves that way. Leverage technology to make sure your reps have the information they need at their fingertips.

Judging intelligence

People judge our intelligence and empathy by the questions we ask. As a seller, it’s better to approach a client and ask about the issues that are most critical to the company’s growth.

Communicate to the client that you aren’t throwing out a blanket solution. Base your proposed solution on what the expressed needs are.

Come prepared. The primary reason clients become dissatisfied with sellers or that they don’t buy is because the seller didn’t care about them or their businesses. This seller deficit disorder happens when we propose solutions that aren’t informed by knowledge about the client.

We must make it painfully obvious that we understand the client’s perspective so our solution feels like something uniquely designed to solve their problems rather than something off-the-shelf.

If you’re a sales manager working inculcate more curiosity into your sales organization, offer tools that help your client and your salesforce be more curious. Then, when your people use them and find success, celebrate that and give them the opportunity to share their stories.

Embed ambassadors in your sales organizations. Don’t forget this is about mutual curiosity.

When you think you know enough about your clients, ask one more question.

“Assessing Curiosity to Optimize the Performance of Outbound Sales Reps” episode resources

You can connect with Alex via email at alex@cqselling.com or on his website at www.cqselling.com where you can schedule an interview or a phone call. You can also call him at (770) 330-6221. Check out his article, Crushing Quota: Why Curiosity Matters.

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you.

Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Leaders, Sales Manager, Donald Kelly

TSE 1062: Sales Leaders, Stop Falling For The Reactive Trap

Sales Leaders, Sales Manager, Donald Kelly

Sales leaders who neglect their own workload in an effort to help their sellers solve problems will find themselves falling behind, so it’s vital that sales leaders stop falling for the reactive trap.

You hired your sellers to handle their assigned responsibilities and to solve problems. When your sellers distract you with problems, you’ll have less time to focus on sales plans or strategies. You won’t have time to conduct meetings or create reports because you’re trying to keep deals from falling apart.

Distracted leaders

In his book, The Sales Manager’s Guide To Greatness, Kevin Davis talks about all the ways that sellers can distract their sales managers from their own workload. The problem with this kind of distraction is that the sales leader’s responsibilities are to grow the department or the business.

The business will suffer if sales leaders aren’t freed to do their own work.

Additionally, you’re teaching your sellers bad habits and cheating them of the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.

This is why many leaders feel stretched too thin.

Limited growth

Sellers who never learn to solve their own problems will limit their teams’ productivity. Your team will never have extraordinary growth because you’ll always be limited by your own ability to solve everyone else’s problems.

The sellers will never learn to solve problems, and they won’t learn to focus on solving problems for their customers. Instead, they’ll focus on features and benefits.

Additionally, they won’t be able to function as well in your absence, which means they will struggle any time you aren’t available. So what will happen if you decide to take vacation?

Improving sellers

Sellers will only improve if they learn to solve their own problems and handle their own accounts. As each rep learns to handle his assigned responsibilities, you’ll be freed to focus on other things that will improve the team as a whole.

You may be tempted to think that you’re helping your sellers accomplish more, but the truth is that they’ll never learn to manage their own schedules and their own time if you consistently help them manage it.

Kevin points out that your involvement won’t likely encourage them to use their time for other tasks. Realistically, your sellers will simply be freed to do things like check social media or email.

Forty percent of sellers don’t like prospecting, so they won’t likely do it if they don’t have to. They are likely bringing you problems they don’t want to handle themselves.

Teach problem-solving

Kevin suggests asking two questions of your sellers:

  1. What have you done to solve the problem so far?
  2. What do you think ought to be done?

Your sellers likely have basic problem-solving skills; otherwise, you wouldn’t have hired them. If this isn’t the case, you might have to start by making sure you have the right people on the bus.

Perhaps we’ll discover that the rep didn’t really qualify the prospect in the first place. Maybe the rep isn’t talking to the decision-maker.

Assuming those things aren’t true and that the buyer suddenly backed out of the deal, you must discover what caused the problem.

Root cause

Coach the rep to ask questions that get to the root cause of the change. Teach your rep to use the 5 whys to figure out why the prospect changed her mind.

It’s tempting for sales leaders to try to “save the day” and be the hero. Instead, you need to teach your seller to act as a guide to the prospect and teach your seller how to frame the customer as the hero of the situation.

Consider identifying team leads who can help your sellers when they encounter problems. Maybe a senior sales rep can help answer questions or coach your sellers in weekly sales meetings.

Schedule coaching sessions where you can teach your team members how to use these techniques to identify why their deals are disintegrating. Help them identify the common objections so they’ll be prepared when they encounter them.

Build replacements

No doubt you hope to be promoted someday and you’ll need someone to take over your role so you can advance.

Allow them to be part of the dialogue when you’re addressing issues in your area. Provide reassurance that it’s ok to try things and make mistakes.

If you have a hard time saying “no” to your sellers, make yourself unavailable to them. Insist that they begin working on the problems themselves. If they make a mistake, you can still step in if you must, but give them a chance to try solving the problems.

Take the time to coach your sellers. Make sure you give commands, give guidance, and give them room to run on their own.

Whether you’re a sales rep, a sales leader, or a business owner, use these concepts to improve your efficiency and your output.

“Stop Falling For The Reactive Trap” episode resources

Grab a copy of Kevin Davis’ book, The Sales Manager’s Guide To GreatnessYou’ll be glad you did.

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, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 1057: Be Willing To Let Them Mess Up!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Sometimes business leaders find themselves wanting to make sure that their team members get everything exactly right, but unless you’re willing to let them mess up, they’ll likely never learn.

Perfect situations don’t exist. Imperfection is a factor in life, but it’s also where our growth happens.

Maintaining control

Control often gives us the sense that we can force everything to work. As a result, we avoid letting our team members try things their own way because we fool ourselves into believing that our way is always the best.

In my own story, I landed an appointment with a huge organization, and I invited the CEO of my small company to go along. I wanted his support, but I also wanted to show my boss that I was working hard. I wanted him to see the opportunity I had landed.

Most importantly, I wanted him to support me through the unknown parts of the appointment. If I found myself struggling in the conversation, I knew he could help me out.

Turns out he took over the whole show. Instead of acting as a ride-along on my appointment, I was the tag-along.

I had been talking to the client for months, so he felt a little bit ambushed. I had promised him one thing and then given him something completely different. Instead of a meeting with a sales rep, he found himself sitting in a meeting with an executive that he wasn’t really prepared for.

My plan

I imagined myself leading off the meeting and asking for his input along the way. I didn’t imagine it becoming his return to the glory days.

Because I wasn’t operating from a playbook, there was no real structure. The deal did close, but it was challenging.

If you find yourself asking why it’s a big deal, the problem was that it eroded my confidence as a seller.

Sometimes, because CEOs and entrepreneurs started out selling their own product or service, they have a tough time letting that go. They see a problem and they address it themselves because it’s how they operated before they hired sellers.

My CEO misunderstood my request for help and he took over the meeting instead.

In a previous episode, Kevin Davis talked to us about the challenges that sales managers often face, and the book he wrote, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, that addresses many of those issues.

Learning process

When I finally had the opportunity to go on meetings myself, I fell into a habit of mimicking what I had seen my CEO do. I shared the same stories, even though they weren’t my own stories, but I hadn’t gained an understanding of the problem I was trying to address.

Because there wasn’t any substance to my conversations, my opportunities started falling away. I wasn’t having a problem keeping things in my pipeline, but I was struggling to get them to close.

The old adage of the butterfly struggling to get out of the cocoon applies here: the struggle makes the butterfly stronger. If you were to cut open the cocoon so he could easily slip out, he would never develop strong wings that would help him fly.

You’ll never set the vision for your company moving forward if you’re busy doing the work that you hired your sales team to do.

A better option

We should have developed a gameplan before going into the meeting. By deciding who would say what and how we would build rapport, we could have avoided the awkward meeting with the client.

My CEO could have reviewed the questions I was planning to ask to ensure that I was properly prepared. Then, he could have assured me that if I got into trouble, he’d be there to help.

That scenario would have allowed me to at least try running the meeting.

The sooner you prepare your sales team to operate on their own, the more room you’ll have to grow your company.

Coaching is the correct answer. As you grow a more experienced sales team, you can add to is, and you can create repeatable success.

You will have to let them mess up. That doesn’t mean you ignore any train wrecks that are happening, but you can help them understand where they went wrong so they won’t make the mistake again.

Specify roles and responsibilities before the meetings so your team will learn to fly on their own.

Helicopter manager

Sometimes, in the role of coach, it’s tempting to give your team members the correct answers so they’ll learn more quickly. Don’t do it.

Helicopter managers tend to erode the team’s confidence and they actually lengthen the learning process by creating people who rely heavily on their help.

When they discover the answers on their own, the learning will be more meaningful.

Send us your stories about helicopter managers so we can all learn from the experience.

“Let Them Mess Up” episode resources

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Ian Wendt, Door-to-Door Sales, Summer Sales, Fear and Mental Toughness

TSE 1019: Sales From The Street: “Fear and Mental Toughness”

fear and mental toughness, Ian WendtSalespeople need mental toughness to weather all the ups and downs of the industry, as well as the pressures and difficulties when things aren’t going well.

Sometimes clients choose another seller. Sometimes a customer ends the relationship. In other cases, we do everything we’re supposed to do, and the deal still won’t close.

Today Ian Wendt talks with us about one of the most difficult moments in his career and how he got through it and continued his journey.

Teaching instead of selling

Sales is full of challenges, and it requires a certain amount of self-motivation. For Ian, though, the greatest challenge was when he decided that he didn’t want to knock on doors.

He realized that while he was really good at selling, he was even more valuable as a teacher. He needed to find a way to make himself valuable enough that he could teach other people how to sell and how to be mentally tough, which was what he was really passionate about.

It’s sometimes tough for people to build a sales career that doesn’t involve knocking on doors. Finding a way to make the transition felt daunting to him.

He was haunted by the fear of what would happen if he couldn’t make it work.

Ian shared a quote from the book Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins that goes like this:

“Most people don’t even start if they don’t have a guarantee.”

That was Ian’s mindset at the time of the transition.

Pulling the trigger

Ian decided to sell for one more summer, and his regional manager used him to do some training. When Ian went to certain offices, those groups started seeing huge spikes in their performance. He was helping them close significant deals and move the needle.

He started tracking his results so he could demonstrate his value.

Ian asked for the opportunity to run a training program, but his leadership told him there was no such position available in the company.

If, however, Ian could prove the value in his training, the company would consider creating one.

Ian is a big believer that you don’t negotiate until you bring value, so that’s what he set out to do. He was determined to produce something he could negotiate with.

Tracking results

Ian started tracking the offices, reps, and leaders that he was training. He tracked their metrics and their increases and the improvements in their completion rates for about three months.

He visited about 11 offices and trained more than 60 reps.

Once he had a binder full of information, the leaders called him in to ask what he was doing. They were seeing improvements and they wanted to hear how he was doing it.

He got the leadership on board and he created a pitch for his proposed training. They jumped on board with his idea and moved toward getting started.

Unseen struggles

One of the biggest struggles for Ian was that he wasn’t directly selling anymore. He was investing his time and efforts into these offices and these other sellers, so he wasn’t selling a ton of accounts.

He got a few sales, but he went from making a lot of money to making very little. Ian overdrafted his account at least four times, which was unheard of for him.

He was battling the stress of the downward mindset.

As a result, he now teaches that stress is the number one factor in negativity and negativity is the one thing that will destroy a sales career.

Those reps that operate in fear can be completely debilitated.

What if?

What if I’m moving the needle but this doesn’t pay out? Or what if I have nothing to show for all my work? Worse yet, What if I don’t make enough to live off of?

Ian lived with exactly that fear during the summer he spent training other sellers. He was plagued by the internal debate over whether to return to the regular sales or to keep trying to develop his training idea.

Results

Ian put himself in a position to do work that he loves. Now he’s over all of the training and content creation for his entire company, and he gets paid really well for it.

He’s grateful every day that he was able to create his own future. He recently spoke at a conference where he reminded the audience that sales will always be hard. But, he said, if you can master it, you can really control the outcome of your life.

You can find a way to do work that you love and position yourself to look forward to the work week.

He loves the opportunity to share what he has learned with other people, and he loves being surrounded by people who are constantly trying to develop themselves.

“Fear and Mental Toughness” episode resources

Ian is in the process of developing a consulting and coaching program. In the meantime, he’s doing some side work with individual organizations and people.  Connect with Ian via direct message on Facebook @ian.wendt, LinkedIn @ianwendt, and Instagram @iwendtster.

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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never, ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Steve Richard, Execvision.io, Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, 5 common mistakes

TSE 1003: 5 Common Mistakes Sales Managers Make When Coaching

Steve Richard, Execvision.io, Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, 5 common mistakes

In our work with sales reps, sales teams, and sales managers, we encounter many people who believe that sales coaching doesn’t work, but many of them fail to realize that there are 5 common mistakes sales managers make when coaching.

Steve Richard, founder of ExecVision, shares how to avoid those mistakes, and he suggests you start by recognizing that there’s a difference between coaching and training.

Coaching

Training is teaching someone to do something new that the person doesn’t know how to do. Coaching is helping someone do something that they do know to the point of mastery.

If we expect a rep to embrace a certain behavior, we have to train him. If we don’t, that failure is on us. Then, after we’ve trained him, we have to overcome the “forgetting curve” which is a function of our brain’s tendency to purge information.

Coaching is the act of training iteratively, focusing on the person, and repeating that behavior until it becomes second nature, like tying a shoe.

Consider whether your organization is struggling with any of these mistakes.

1. Failing to define what good looks like.

We must give our teams a definition of what a call should look like. Include the key things you want them to say, the behaviors you want them to exhibit, and give them a target.

Give your team members total clarity on what you want them to do. [06:11] Develop consistency among your team members so you can hit bigger numbers.

Also, build a team of people who will identify these steps. Include managers, senior executives, and representatives from operations, enablement, and sales. A varied team can ensure that these decisions aren’t being made by people who haven’t made calls in a while.

Check out the book Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance for clarification about metrics. Learn the difference between activity metrics that you can control — things like making phone calls and sending LinkedIn connection requests — and objectives like having conversations with people which you have less control over.

Aside from simply giving your team members goals, give them a roadmap to achieve them. [08:32] How many activities should they achieve in a week to achieve their goals?

Many organizations have salespeople who are “unconsciously competent,” which means they don’t know why they are successful. Though it’s not bad, it’s impossible to scale. You can’t pair a new employee with someone who is “unconsciously competent” and expect her to learn the right way to do things.

2. Neglecting to train because of time.

Most every sales leader intends to coach his team. [10:26]

Managers typically know they have to be more consistent as a team, and they know that the way to do that is through coaching. But they also universally say that time is the thing that prohibits them from doing it.

They have the greatest of intentions, but something always gets in the way.

3. Misunderstanding how to train correctly.

It’s shocking to think of the amount of money that is spent on sales rep training. Sales managers, however, typically receive very little training. Many of them have never been taught to coach the right way.

Think, for example, of a sales manager who observes a call and then immediately launches into constructive feedback. Basically, he tells you all the things you did wrong.

When the sales rep hears it, his system sends a hit of the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers the “fight or flight” response.

The sales rep either defends himself by digging in his heels or he puts up a wall and stops listening. In either case, it’s not good.

Instead, try the model that Jim Kennan recommends: observe, describe, prescribe. Leave the judgment on the shelf.

Listen to the call. Recount what the rep did during the call. Then ask a question that prompts the seller to figure out what he could have done differently to improve the call.

People value more what they can conclude for themselves than what they’re told. 

4. Lacking observable moments.

If sales reps can’t listen to recordings of their calls, they’ll have no way to improve their performance. [18:45] They will only have vague ideas of what they think they did during the call.

During the 80s, the Japanese beat us in the auto industry because they were continually improving their operational efficiency.

Adopt the continuous improvement mindset that served the Japanese so well.

5. Making training ad hoc.

Your organization’s training must be habitual. It must be part of the rhythm of the company.

Make your training such a part of the process that it becomes the gospel.

It can be as simple as listening to 5 minutes of a call with a rep and asking for reflections. It will do good things for your company.

Instead of feeling like sales managers have to do all the work, involve the sales reps in their own development. Run call-of-the-month competitions where reps submit their best call every month with written commentary.

Give people an environment in which it’s fun to learn and improve.

“5 Common Mistakes Sales Managers Make When Coaching” episode resources

Connect with Steve via email or call him on his cell phone at (202) 302-3193.

Check out ExecVision’s Call Camp that breaks down real sales calls like game tape to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. It’s a free webinar that shares practical advice with sales reps, managers, and leaders to improve their effectiveness.

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.

They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.

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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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, and share with your friends!

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.

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.

Jereshia Hawks, Sales Funnel, Sales Consultant, Donald Kelly

TSE 939: Sales From The Street: “Ditch The Funnel”

The traditional funnel works in a lot of industries for many sellers. It’s always true, though, that no single industry is exactly the same.  In some cases, sellers have to find a different way to operate. Jereshia Hawk had to ditch the funnel.

Today on Sales From The Street, Jereshia Hawk shares how she shifted her mindset from exchanging time for money to helping people find a solution to their problems.

Jereshia calls herself a corporate dropout, having left a job as a pipeline engineer to become an online income strategies coach and consultant. She teaches a simple way to sell services online.

Finding “worth”

Jereshia left a large corporate pipeline project because she wanted women of color to have a voice at the business table. She believed that entrepreneurship was an economic equalizer, but she compared her early efforts to “throwing spaghetti at the wall” to see what might work.

She launched two coaching programs at ridiculously cheap prices and then doubled the price every time she sold it. When she reached the point where no one bought it, she was heartbroken.

She called it a new concept that people would pay her for something that wasn’t tangible. It was a foreign concept that people would pay for intellectual property.

She didn’t understand the value exchange and how to adequately price for the value and transformation she was providing.

Imposter syndrome

Jereshia forced herself to decide whether this was simply a hobby or something that she was truly going to invest in.

She decided to develop a recipe; to implement a strategy that would help her find future success.

She realized she was struggling with imposter syndrome. Jereshia didn’t believe she was qualified to charge money for a service, and she also didn’t believe that people would actually pay her for it.

She realized that she had to shift her mindset.

Mimicking others

Until she shifted her mindset, she was trying to sell everything under the sun. She mimicked the things that helped other entrepreneurs be successful.

She had opt-ins, membership sites, digital products, trip wires, upsells and all kinds of content.

Then she realized that there had to be a simpler way. She realized the funnel wasn’t working for her.

She flipped the funnel, and instead of focusing on finding a bunch of leads and coaxing them through a funnel process, she worked to solve a single problem well.

Jereshia worked to solve a problem that people needed help with at a higher price point.

Warmup

In a traditional funnel, you warm up your audience.

Jereshia wanted to simply figure out how to sell something consistently.

The best way to do that, she realized, was to focus on one core offer and learn to sell that really, really well. She focused on solving just one problem.

Then, she picked just one person in her target market, picked one problem to solve, and packaged a single process that became her signature service.

That’s when the game changed for her.

The outcome

After she changed her process, she got an offer of $9,000, where before she hadn’t been able to sell a $900 offer.

Over a six-month period, she grew her offer to $9,000, and six people bought it.

She offered a six-month mastermind teaching business owners to break through the six-figure mark.

Jereshia booked more than $60,000 in sales in one month, and that created the cash cushion that allowed her to quit her job.

Lean launch

She created a process involving basic sales psychology and the three core stages of awareness.

Once they develop awareness and realize they have a problem, they begin searching for a solution and ultimately they evaluate who they will buy from.

To address that, she created Facebook live videos based on those three stages of awareness and structured those videos over the course of two months. She used those videos to warm up her audience.

She believes that anyone earning less than six figures should begin with a more lean approach to selling and should return to business basics. Advanced funnels work, but if you don’t have a solid enough offer, it will be tough for you to land those deals.

The lean launch is a really solid foundation for any service-based business.

She now helps customers package their programs and services and she walks them through the entire four-step process to package their offer, price it, position it, and then profit from it.

“Ditch The Funnel”

If you’d like to connect with Jereshia and hear more about her signature service, check out her live 90-minute crash course which breaks down her methodology and strategy. Learn more about Jereshia at her website, jereshiahawk.com, or connect with her on Instagram, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms.

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.

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.

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.

Maximizer, CRM, The Sales Evangelist

TSE Blog 024: 7 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Company’s CRM

Maximizer, CRM, The Sales EvangelistFirst things first: your company needs a CRM. But before you leap into something new, keep in mind these 7 considerations when choosing your company’s CRM.

Your company’s CRM extends through the entire organization. Without it, you won’t be able to communicate effectively, and the disconnect will affect your customers’ experience.

The CRM you choose will allow you to centrally maintain important data that every department in your company requires access to: marketing, sales, HR, and accounts payable. Without it, the challenges are enormous.

Unfortunately, many small businesses discount the importance of CRM and use Excel spreadsheets to track their activities. Some keep notes in a variety of different silos that make it difficult to track all the efforts that have been made.

If you don’t already have an actual CRM, you need one.

When you’re in the market for a CRM, don’t make the mistake of choosing the cheapest or simplest option. Even if it’s your first time choosing a CRM, use this list to help you choose the best one for your company.

1.  Your CRM should be customizable.

The sales process looks different in every industry. Your buyers will buy differently and follow a different buyer’s experience than buyers in other segments of the market.

You must be able to customize your CRM to match your buyers’ needs.

Customization allows your team to organize their sales processes, and their KPIs, based upon the way your buyers buy. It also speeds up your close rate significantly because your salespeople can carry out activities in the order that makes buyers most comfortable.

Additionally, if you can add fields that are relevant to your industry, it often gives your team ownership in the process and increases the chances of successfully adopting the CRM. It isn’t always the best idea to buy a CRM that is specifically designed for our industry because the program might limit your capabilities.

When you can find a CRM that is agnostic and provides flexibility to the users, it helps the team perform better and sell more.

 

2.  Choose a CRM that is easy to use.

It seems self-explanatory that if your CRM is hard to use, your team will avoid it. If the process slows them down unnecessarily, it may be difficult to convince them to fully embrace it.

  • Does your CRM have drag-and-drop capabilities?
  • Is it easy for your team to add notes or information?
  • Is there a mobile application so you can access information virtually?
  • Can leaders create reports easily?

Your team must be able to record important information gathered during appointments, so they must have an easy-to-use CRM that allows them to record information quickly, from anywhere.

When you have to make important decisions about your prospects and your sales funnel, your CRM must make it easy for you to gather what you need.

3.  Your CRM must allow integration.

Fortunately, many CRMs offer integration capabilities now that allow you to combine the power of all your sales tools. These may be native integrations, or they may be powered by Zapier.

If a CRM doesn’t allow integration, it won’t work effectively for your team. Your CRM should allow your team to send mail through Gmail or Outlook and those communications should be automatically added to the deal or contact.

Integration is a huge time saver for your team given that most of our communication with prospects happens via email.

Additionally, you should be able to integrate into your marketing platform. This capability will help your marketing team make important decisions about buyer behaviors.

  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • How do they interact on our website?
  • Can we use lead scoring to our benefit?
  • How can we convert marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads?

This capability will help develop effective marketing campaigns as well as making sure the sales team gets the right leads.

Finally, your CRM should integrate with sales automation platforms like prospect.io and LeadIQ. It should integrate with your financial software and with other crucial software you use to run your business. It should allow you to add custom APIs.

4.  Find a CRM that offers training.

Although it’s important to find a CRM that is easy to use, it’s also important to find one that offers some level of training, such as online videos, webinars, FAQs, or customer service reps who will help your team get started.

If your CRM sits on the shelf unused, it isn’t helping your company.

Can the company work with your sales team to get you started using the CRM as quickly as possible? The time that your company invests into learning the CRM represents time taken away from the business.

Consider a CRM that doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel but that can give you the shortcuts and guidance you need to use it effectively.

5.  Consider how your management will be involved with the CRM.

If management doesn’t use your CRM, the sales team will be less likely to use it. Your management must be involved with the CRM.

Leaders must take an active role in using and referring to the CRM. This will give them a pulse on the sales process and will help them understand the health of the clients and the performance of the sellers.  

This information will be crucial as leaders seek to coach sellers to perform to the best of their abilities.

6.  Your CRM should be user-friendly for all departments.

Your sales success depends on the team’s ability to use your CRM well. If Client Success needs to post the close of a new deal, how easy is the transition from prospect to customer?

What milestones exist to ensure that onboarding is successful?

Is there a workflow process that will track payments?

Can marketing monitor the success of the client to later use for testimonials?

Organizations realize the need to break down silos and improve communication through the entire organization, and the CRM can play a major role in that capability.

7.  Your CRM must be able to grow and scale.

As your team grows, you must have a CRM that allows you to purchase additional licenses as you need them without having to purchase more than you require.

A CRM that requires you to purchase more than you need is wasteful.

Additionally, you must have the ability to retract licenses as well. When people leave your team, you must be able to deactivate their licenses, ideally without having to involve customer service.

Consider your industry.

These aren’t the only important considerations when choosing a CRM, and the requirements will largely shift based upon your company’s industry and needs.

These are simply guidelines that most companies should consider as some of the most common needs companies have in their CRM.

To be sure you’re getting the right one, gather your end-users and department heads to seek their input about capabilities and features. Have a discussion about workflow and the buying process.

Is there a single CRM that can help you maximize your success?

I’ve used many CRMs over the years, and I love Maximizer, Pipeline Deals, and Hubspot CRM.

Remember as you make your decision that your organization must be able to communicate well, and they must be willing to use it.

Your CRM is about growth.

Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Sales Success, Donald Kelly

TSE 902: Numbers Alone Can’t Coach

Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Sales Success, Donald KellySales numbers won’t tell you much about your sales team. They might tell you who’s struggling and who isn’t, but they won’t tell you where the problems lie. Numbers alone aren’t sufficient to help you coach your sales team.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the role numbers play in coaching a sales team, and how sales managers can improve in their own roles while they help their sales reps improve in theirs.

Think of it like a golf game. If you don’t know how to improve your swing, you’re going to repeatedly be frustrated by the game. You’ll only improve when someone helps you improve your specific techniques.

Realize, too, that my scorecard might tell you what kind of golfer I am, but it won’t help you coach me on my golf swing. The same is true of sales.

Look beyond the numbers

As a sales manager, before you do anything else, you should sit down with your sales reps and work to identify strong and weak areas. Until you identify the problems, you won’t know what to correct.

In my own sales career, sales coaching helped me truly improve my sales techniques. If my coaches had only looked at my numbers, they wouldn’t have known whether the problem was my script or my phone calls or my emails.

He can see that I’m not closing enough deals, but he doesn’t know why.

Sales managers that dig deeper can determine whether I’m struggling when prospects bring up objections or during my demonstrations.

Help sales reps perform better

You may recall during our episode last week that we suggested that your sales team is your customer. You should invest in them and guide them because they’ll make your job easier.

Kevin Davis, author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, shared that the Sales Management Association published a paper in 2015 that indicated that coaching accounts for less than 8 percent of sales managers’ workload.

Most of the time is spent responding to emails, reviewing numbers, focusing on customers or prospecting. You shouldn’t be locked up in meetings all day. You should be working to improve your sales reps.

Shoot to spend at least 25 percent of your time improving your sellers. Give them suggestions about improving their messaging and their dialogue.

Kevin also spoke about the book called Extreme Ownership, which talks about leadership within the Navy Seals. It discusses our tendency to think that we’re doing everything right, and any problems are the fault of someone else. We fail to see our own role in the problem.

Accept responsibility

Your job is to bring people into the organization. You have to find customers and solve problems for them.

While there will certainly be things outside of your control, like businesses that close, you must take control of your funnel.

It isn’t marketing’s fault that you don’t have leads, because you could be doing other things to generate leads. Make sure you’re doing the things that are in your control.

Look at the numbers to find out what they are doing wrong, but look beyond the numbers, too.

Be willing to accept responsibility for the things that are within your control. Don’t blame others and don’t wait for others to fix the problems.

“Numbers alone” episode resources

Today’s episode is brought to you by Maximizer CRM, 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.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, which teaches you how to utilize video to stand out from your competition. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

Leave us a review 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.

Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast

TSE 900: Where We Came From And Where We Are Going!

Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast

We have produced 900 podcast episodes!

Today on The Sales Evangelist we’ll celebrate our 900th episode and share the impact the podcast has had on our business, as well as some highs and lows. We’ll discuss where we came from and where we are going.

It’s humbling to think about. Twenty episodes a month designed to provide quality content that can help you and your sales team perform better in your sales.

We’re so thankful to each of you for emailing us, messaging us, and sharing how the podcast is helping you.

In preparation for this episode, I went into our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers, to find out what people would like to hear about.

How does the podcast impact your business?

The podcast made the business.

My suggestion is to encourage each of you to consider operating a podcast.

There are 550,000 podcasts.  Podcasts exist in every niche you can think of. There are also people who want to digest the content you’ve produced. And there’s still plenty of room.

Only 44 percent of people have listened to a podcast. Forty-nine percent of listening happens at home. Twenty-two percent of podcasts are consumed while driving. Sixty-nine percent of podcasts are consumed on smartphones, and 31 percent occurs on desktop computers.

You can listen while you do other things like mow the lawn, walk the dog, or drive a car.

Podcasts span all generations.

I stumbled onto podcasting when my friend Jared Easley invited me onto his podcast. There were a few sales podcasters out there at the time, and I wasn’t entirely sure I could stand up to their audiences.

The podcast led to coaching, which led to speaking. I was trying to find my niche, and I decided to focus on sales. I added sales consulting next, which includes sales team training, and then online courses and workshops. Finally, I added The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program.

The podcast provides leads and conversations that connect us to other people.

What do we not already know?

We’ve recently started pushing Instagram a lot. We’re going to start sharing more content on Instagram TV at least once or twice a week. We’ll share videos, sales strategies, and other content that helps you learn who I am and improve your sales skills.

We also plan to introduce a YouTube channel, which should emerge during Q4.

The other thing is that we have a Sales Podcast Network which includes three podcasts, and a fourth on the way.

The first is this podcast, and the second is a podcast called Sold, which is a narrative interview with executives who talk about experiences they’ve had with salespeople.

They talk about the things they like and the things they don’t like, and they give us ideas about emailing, prospecting, building value, and connecting.

Sold will follow a seasonal schedule with breaks between the seasons.

The third podcast is Video Jungle. It’s an affiliate podcast that gives you an understanding of the video industry and helps you understand how you can make your brand stand out using video.

The fourth podcast is still in the works, and we’ll share more details about that later.

We are growing this podcasting space, and the whole network will relate to sales.

Can you share success stories?

When I was a software sales rep, I met a guy during my lunch break to interview him. The guy was mentioned in Forbes magazine for the 30 Under 30 feature.

When I met with him, I discovered an opportunity for the company I was working with to help the company he was working with.

His company needed a secure place to store documents.

Although it didn’t turn into a sale, the podcast gave me a foot in the door of that company and it made it easy to connect with the decision-makers.

Another success story happened early on when I was trying to develop coaching. I created the sales page and a guy reached out to me from Tokyo. He was working with manufacturers because something changed and he needed to do sales despite the fact that he’s a tech guy.

The prospect Googled sales coaching and found my page, which led to a relationship as a coaching client. He did a world tour, and I was coaching him throughout his travels.

He’s out of the sales role and still in communication with us today, but we were able to help him get through the process.

When I discovered we had downloads all over the world, I started the semester approach to TSE Hustler’s League. As a result, I had people join from Europe and other places around the world.

It was cool enough to have people in this country join us, but it was especially cool to know that people were staying up late in different time zones to be part of the group.

It was humbling to know that our podcast was impacting people and their businesses all over the world. We were helping them with sales in different markets and different cultures.

I have multiple stories like that about our ability to impact people all over the world just because people listened to the podcast. It has been powerful to track their individual progress and see how they are improving.

Finally, I wanted to find speaking opportunities and I was contemplating leaving my regular job. About that time, the company I worked for changed their model so that it benefitted the company but not the sellers.

Basically, they were going to pay my commission over the course of several years instead of paying a lump sum, which benefitted the company but not me.

I realized that the house always wins, and I decided I needed to become the house.

After I left the company, I got my first paid speaking gig, and the fee was equivalent to the amount I lost when my company changed its model.

That convinced me that this was validated and I was headed in the right direction.

Was there a time you considered ending the podcast?

The podcast wasn’t working properly at one point, and it completely crashed.

I didn’t know what to do, and I was afraid no one would be listening to the podcast after this. I didn’t see how we could thrive after that.

A few weeks passed and I wondered if it was worth all the effort. I got comfortable not doing the podcast. I was anxious, and a month passed before the site was restored.

The thing that caused me to resume the podcast was the number of people who rely on the podcast and who have benefitted from it.

During that time, listeners contacted me to ask when it would resume. I still needed to provide for my family, so I needed to do something to revive the podcast.

That made me dig my heels in and focus on overcoming the challenges. We all have obstacles, but if we stop every time things get difficult, we’ll never accomplish anything.

I stayed up one night for 24 hours to get it up and running, and we were back better than ever.

As a natural byproduct of delegating some of the tasks, I was able to focus on things that mattered. As a result, the business continued to grow.

When I tell you to get rid of menial tasks, I tell you that because it has worked for me. As we’re growing and developing, I continually find more tasks that team members can help me with.

I don’t need to do it all, and it benefits my team when I ask them to help me with those tasks.

What do you want to hear on episode 1,000?

We’re 100 episodes away from number 1,000 and we’d love to hear what you’d like us to address on number 1,000.

It would be cool to interview some of you who have been around for a long time and hear how you’ve seen the podcast grow. I’d love to hear your feelings about the show and any ideas you might have.

Why do you do what you do?

The whole team at The Sales Evangelist wants to help you find more ideal customers, to help you build stronger value when you meet with those customers, and to give you the guidance and coaching you need to close more deals.

My challenge is to go out every day and do big things.

“Where We Are Going!” episode resources

TSE Hustler’s League is a 10-week group coaching program that costs $150 a month. The program is designed to help sellers of all levels and all industries increase their sales performance. We have a new semester starting this fall, and we’d love to have you join us.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

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.

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.

Christie Walters, The Why and The Buy Podcast, Sales Caoching

TSE 898: What Role Does A Sales Coach Play In A Growing Organization?

Christie Walters, The Why and The Buy Podcast, Sales Caoching

Christie Walters believes that sales is an act of service. She defines coaching as the secret sauce for all top performers. Coaches take on different forms, and Christie believes that the best coaches operate from the performer’s perspective rather than their own.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Christie Walters, co-host of the podcast The Why and The Buy, explains how coaching can help you find better ways to accomplish things and help you overcome barriers to success. She answers the question, “What role does a sales coach play in a growing organization?”

She calls coaching powerful and transformative, and she relates that she worked with her own coach for 10 years before becoming one herself.

Career shaping

Good sales coaches help you identify your own goals and your own internal struggles.

The outside perspective a coach offers can help you fine-tune your life and your work. Coaches help us recognize our blind spots and the self-limiting beliefs that are holding us back.

Coaches don’t necessarily indicate that there’s a problem. Very often, companies bring them in to initiate big change.

Coaches help you design the future of your life instead of allowing your future to happen to you.

Growing organizations

Organizations typically engage coaches when they are trying to move to the next level.

For sales leaders, in particular, it’s easy to get so busy managing out and up that you forget to manage down. If you’re managing down, you’re often not coaching along the way.

What percentage of your time is spent nurturing your people?

It’s really more than sales processes, which are important to success. It’s also more than sales training, which will largely look the same for every person in your organization. Sales coaching relates to the individual person because each of us has unique struggles.

Coaching, together with training and leadership, can exponentially change the trajectory of your team.

Personalized coaching

It’s difficult for sales managers and leaders to step into the personal level with their employees, but it’s a powerful tool for success.

There must be a personal element for each person’s processes, and the path to success won’t look the same for everyone. Simply mimicking others’ success won’t work because each salesperson has a unique personality.

Although there is value in parroting what you see and hear others doing, that cannot be your long-term plan. If you’re new to the industry, it’s ok to copy what others are doing, but develop your own techniques and your own authentic approach.

If you aren’t selling from an authentic place, you might have small successes, but you won’t be ultimately successful.

Initial coaching

Christie said that although she is often hired by companies, she serves individuals. She strives to help people discover themselves and their own tendencies so they can tie those things to their own work performance.

It’s about getting the individual deeply connected to the work he’s doing and about helping him understand his work as a service. He’s serving the people he’s selling to, and he’s supporting other things he loves by working.

What drives you on a day-to-day basis?

The first meeting will help you figure out what drives you, what blocks you, and what your blind spots are. Christie views coaches as accountability partners for their clients, and she notes that too many salespeople aren’t their own champions.

She also stresses the power of a single negative thought and the power it has to spiral to more negativity. When salespeople learn to channel that frenetic energy into something that serves them instead of draining them, they’ll change their sales performance.

Common struggles

Every salesperson will eventually struggle, and every company will eventually face transition.

Coaches come in all shapes and sizes, but there are three elements to success for every organization.

  • Build a solid culture which starts at the top.
  • Create training programs that allow people to carry your culture into the marketplace.
  • Coach your salespeople to avoid drift inside your organization.

Be a champion for your salespeople and consider hiring a sales coach to transform your team.

“What Role Does A Sales Coach Play?” episode resources

Connect with Christie Walters on LinkedIn, or on her website, ChristieWalters.com. Find her podcast The Why And The Buy,  and listen to an earlier conversation between Donald Kelley and Christie Walters on episode 87 of her podcast. You can also call or text her at (770) 687-6678.

Today’s episode was also brought to you by Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and making your brand pop using video. If you want to stand out, use video. Video is everywhere, and it can help you improve your presence. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

If you think you might benefit from more stories like these, 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. We’re beginning a new semester this fall, and we’d be honored for you to join us.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 897: 15 Great Sales Coaching Questions You Should Ask

Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist

As a sales manager, your focus must rest largely on your sales reps rather than your customer. You must win your sales reps over in order to get them to perform at their peak. Do that asking great sales coaching questions and building strong relationships.

On today’s episode, we’ll discuss how to help your sales team perform to the best of its abilities. We’ll cover 15 great sales coaching questions you should ask.

Questions to ask

1. Which part of the sales process is most challenging?

If you’re setting a lot of appointments but not a lot of demos, something is falling short in your process. Maybe you aren’t building value. If I can sit down with a sales rep and discover where the issues are, you’ll help your sales rep perform better.

2. What inspires you?

A leader knows what inspires his team. If you aren’t sure, ask.

3. What are the specifics of this particular deal?

Seek the specifics of every deal. Find out the challenges and the criteria in order to find out how great the deal really is. If you train your sales team to seek specifics, they’ll learn early to ask the important questions.

4. What have you tried so far?

When a sales rep comes to you with a challenge, don’t get into the habit of solving their problems for them. Don’t give him the answers. Help him solve the problem himself and teach him to be a problem solver.

5. Why do you think that didn’t work? 

Teach your sales reps how to evaluate a problem and determine why the solution didn’t work. Don’t let them just walk away from a failed attempt. Determine what went wrong.

6. What led to that assumption?

If your seller is assuming he lost a deal because the buyer didn’t have money, find out what led to that assumption. Teach them to go deeper.

7. Why do you think that happened?

8. What could you have done differently?

Give your sales rep a chance to do a post-game review, and give her an opportunity to be a leader who analyzes the process to figure out what went wrong. Help them take ownership so they’ll find a better option next time around.

8. Why?

If your seller tells you that a prospect is ready to buy, ask him why he believes that. If he tells you what he believes the customer’s issue is, ask why he believes that. Teach your team the 5 Whys to get to the heart of every issue.

9. What do you need to do to achieve this?

10. What are you willing to commit to?

During a one-on-one meeting, when a rep tells you her goals, ask for the long-term strategy that will get her there. Help her realize that she may have to come in early or work late to accomplish the goal. She may have to be creative.

11. When should we reconnect to see if you accomplished this?

Just as we follow up with our customers, we must follow up with our sales reps to make sure they are on track. If we check in regularly, we can keep them from straying from their mission.

12. What will keep you from your goal?

Help your sales reps anticipate the obstacles they might encounter. Especially when they report crazy numbers they are trying to achieve, help them be realistic by guiding them to predict struggles they might encounter.

13. Which metrics or KPIs are you working on?

When you know what your sales reps are working on, you can identify the places they excel. If one rep excels in prospecting and another excels in demos, put them together so they can help each other in the weaker areas.

14. What did you learn from the deal you lost?

We all fail sometimes. It doesn’t mean we’re a failure. It simply means we have some learning to do in one particular area. When we honestly address the core challenges, we can truly learn from our mistakes moving forward.

15. What successes did you have this week?

We need to celebrate wins with our team, but it seems that not enough sales managers do this. They need to know that we value their wins and that we care about their careers and their progress. They need to get wins and then celebrate them.

When you can teach your team to take ownership of the sales process, they’ll have more buy-in and they’ll be more committed to success.

When the team knows that you’re invested in their success, they’ll feel valued, and it will create the same bond that it does with a traditional customer.

Keep an open mind and an open door with your sales reps so they’ll feel comfortable coming to you.

“Sales Coaching Questions” episode resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is our online group coaching program designed to help sellers who have been selling for years as well as those who are new to sales.

Last semester, we focused on building value, and we’re beginning a new semester in the fall. To find out more or to apply, visit the Hustler’s League.

If you’d like to learn more about video and how to include it in your sales process, 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. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

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.

Leave us a comment about the questions you use when coaching your own sales team.

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley provides a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect and want from sellers. I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can learn how to sell by leading rather than supplicating yourself to the buyer.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Just Catamarans Inc., The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Thomas Chambers,

TSE 854: Sales From The Street:”Communicate”

Just Catamarans Inc., The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Thomas Chambers,

Every sales professional knows the challenge of convincing a customer to choose your organization over your competitors’. We all understand the value of learning to communicate in order to be successful in business.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, Thomas Chambers shares the challenges he faces in his role as VP of sales for a yacht brokerage. He discusses the need to communicate often with customers and sales agents, and his belief that there’s no such thing as too much communication.

Finding balance

In Thomas’ industry, the sales agents are 1099ers: independent sales reps who “eat what they kill.”

Sometimes, though, agents put a lot of work into a transaction and get nothing from it because the loan doesn’t close for some reason.

He compares his industry to the real estate industry, in which sales don’t happen in a day. In fact, the entire process can take 6 months to a year.

There’s a balance, then, to keeping employees accountable to their goals, and encouraging them when they struggle. They have to keep their eyes on the long game, and develop patience and perspective.

Communicating frequently

Because half of Thomas’ employees are in different locations, he instituted weekly sales meetings to keep everyone on the same page. It gives his team a chance to discuss pipelines, boat listings, marketing initiatives, industry events, and relevant news.

The meetings give his agents a chance to communicate consistently, and to provide feedback.

The meetings have increased his agents’ trust in his leadership and grown the relationships.

He also prefers sharing ideas as they occur to him rather than waiting for their weekly meeting. Additionally, he is able to help them focus on increasing their online footprint.

As a result of their collaboration, many of his agents have started their own YouTube channels and improved their online presence.

“Communicate” resources

You can connect with Thomas and Just Catamarans at justcatamarans.net. You can also find the company on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m so convinced of its message that I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out.

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.

Annoying Co-worker, Office Worker

TSE 792: How To Deal With That Annoying Co-Worker On Your Team

Your job is hard enough without an annoying coworker distracting you from your work. In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss how to handle an annoying coworker when you’re simply trying to find new prospects, close more deals, and build more value.

Every sales team, no matter what you sell, has dealt with someone like this.

Perhaps he isn’t trustworthy. He coasts instead of working hard. He gossips and distracts others while they are trying to work.

Seek to understand.

Steven Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  suggests that we first seek to understand other people before we seek to be understood ourselves.

So what does that look like with an annoying coworker?

Ask her to lunch or to coffee. Ask about her sales experience and what’s going on in her life. Try to understand who she is as a person.

She probably isn’t intentionally being annoying. She might not even realize she’s doing it.

Be a leader.

Establish a standard of working hard and staying focused, and that expectation will spread through your sales team.

More importantly, the annoying team member may discover that he’s in the wrong place. If everyone else is working and he doesn’t want to, he might decide to move on.

Ultimately, too, hiring managers may better understand how to choose future team members.

If you’re a sales leader, identify people on the team who aren’t thriving and figure out how you can coach them. How will you protect the team if your team members don’t improve after they’ve been given the opportunity?

Don’t be the annoying coworker.

If you aren’t thriving and you aren’t motivated to improve, look into your why.

Maybe you aren’t cut out for sales. Perhaps you’re in the wrong industry or you’re selling the wrong product.

Don’t stay stuck in the wrong place.

If you have a coworker like this, tell her about this podcast where we provide sales training to sellers of all levels. Tell her about The Sales Evangelist Hustlers League where she can learn from other sellers in an online group coaching format.

We want you to build stronger pipelines, close more deals and do big things.

Karim El Gammal, Donald Kelly, Sales Plan

TSE 766: Developing an Effective Sales Plan

Karim El Gammal, Donald Kelly, Sales PlanKarim El Gammal is a sales leader who knows how to develop an effective sales plan. He likes to help software companies develop innovative sales strategies and maximize channel-profitability.

He managed to achieve $3M in recurring revenue at Vodafone, in 18 months. Karim also grew the Cambridge Education Group sales team from 1 to 10 people, remotely from Boston, and was one of the key players in creating the Stafford House digital brand.

Currently, Karim is building a sales team in NY, at STRV – software development company.

As an entrepreneur, Karim was featured on Gimlet Media Startup-Podcast after being on the winning NY StartupBus in 2017. He is currently building Phishly to help large companies detect social engineering attacks and avoid getting phished in the future.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Karim:

The Power of Having Clear Goal and Plan

  • A team should follow a clear path. There should be clear direction and strategic planning. Otherwise, an organization can’t function properly.
  • This should be team collaboration mindset.
  • Give your sales reps full ownership so they can have a clear picture of the bigger plans.

3 Major Pitfalls Why Sales Plans Fail

1. Bad Data

IBM estimates $3.1 trillion of the yearly cost of poor quality data

When data is transferred from one department to another, it could burn thousands of dollars on running the wrong campaigns or wrong target audience.

2. Aligning the Company’s Objectives Across the Board

The company has to have a mindset as a company of having the right data and apply best practices across different departments.

Generate better inbound leads by talking to your marketing team. Then figure out a plan together. Share feedback, best practices, and align goals together to make it easier for everyone.

3. Tracking

Take time to step back and analyze the data on a monthly basis. Figure out what you’ve done wrong and what to do better next time. Then track that data to reach the higher level.

Elements of an Effective Sales Plan

1. Pick a niche market and build traction.

When you track to create something to everyone, you end up creating something for no one. Think about how big is the market, what products are sold, value proposition, and competitive advantages.

2. Target customer

Who’s your target customer and why? Consider your geographic information, target channels, budget and measuring the budget. All these info will help you create your customer profile that will qualify your leads and manage your funnel more effectively.

3. Conversion versus customer fallout.

Think about your competitive advantages or are you missing on important features? Sales reps must report every single feedback in the CRM. The seniors should verify questions and analyze data before sharing the feedback with the product and marketing teams. Transferring the right data at the right time is also crucial.

Karim’s Major Takeaway:

Understand your value within the organization or wherever you go. It’s essential to grow your career.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Karim on LinkedIn and Instagram or reach out to him thru karim@strv.com.

STRV

Check out 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.

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 742: Three Sales Principles I Learned While Visiting Jamaica

The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyToday, I’m sharing with your some sales principles that learned while I was on a vacation to my homeland, Jamaica.

You see, the average salary in Jamaica ranges from $149,000 to as low as $16,667 (Jamaican dollars). Now, imagine living off out of that much. Say, US$500 a month?

It’s not easy but they make it work anyway. So how are they able to do it?

Jamaica has been known for the quality of education they provide to students. But the major challenge is being able to translate people’s education into opportunities in the real world.

Principle #1: When life gives you lemon, sell it and buy food.

Jamaicans are very creative and crafty. Whatever they’re going through, even challenges, they make sure they have a good time.

Music is everywhere in Jamaica. Everyone is out playing music. You’ve got to take whatever life gives you, be happy, and use it.

People in Jamaica don’t complain or whine too much about their situation.

If you have a tough situation in your life, figure out to make it work. That’s the idea!

As a sales professional, you may be dealing with difficulties right now, but take what you have and make it work – at least for now. The key is having this kind of mentality.

Jamaicans are sellers. Everywhere they went, they’re trying to sell. They find a way to create something even from nothing.

Principle #2: Outwork everyone including yourself.

As a sales professional, the most important thing you need to outrun is your yesterday. Your yesterday is not who you are, but who you were. Today, is going to be who you are. What kind of person do you want to be? Sure, you’ve probably closed $5,000 worth of sales yesterday. But today’s another day. You need to close $6,000 to outbeat that person – and that is yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to other people. Compare to your yesterday, however, and outbeat that.

Principle #3: Be happy. Be content with who you are and with life even if it’s not in your favor.

$500 here in the U.S. will only take you so far, even in Jamaica. But people there are happy. They take care of themselves and their loved ones. There are many things for you to look forward in life. There are things more important than money. No one should take your happiness away from you. Your loved ones are always something you can go back to, your grounding source. So be grateful for what you have.

Episode Resources:

Check out Episode 737 for more sales tips and strategies!

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

 

Coaching, Sales Coaching, Sales Manager, Alan Allard, Donald Kelly

TSE 741: How to Coach Top Performers

Alan Allard, Sales Coaching

We all know it, 80% of the business is coming in from 20% of the sales teams. But sometimes, we don’t necessarily focus on those top performers. What would that do for an organization if they could get their top performers to sell 5% more? Learn how you can coach top sellers to perform even better!

Today’s guest is Allan Allard and he helps top-performing sellers continue to sharpen their skills. Allan used to be a psychotherapist. But he soon found out that most of patients he had who were all dealing with depression and stress were actually salespeople.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Allan:

What is a top performing seller?

According to Allan, he defines a top performer as someone who is excelling in their industry in their company.

Factors why salespeople are not able to perform at the top of their game:

Wrong industry

  • Ask yourself, are you the right person in the right industry and selling the right product or service?
  • Sometimes, salespeople are in the wrong industry and performing on the average, but when put in a different industry, they begin to excel.

Mindset

  • Mindset is the general attitude and your approach to life and this is the key to being a top performer. It’s how we feel about ourselves.
  • If you are confident and know you can accomplish any goals, you are ahead of the game.
  • Changing your mindset will take you to the next level.

Feeling one-level down than your clients

  • You’re not coming from a “one down” position but from an equal position where you have tremendous expertise and power.
  • Realize that you have something your customers don’t have. So sit down and be comfortable with yourself. Top sellers have enough confidence and security because they feel equal to their prospects.

Doing what you’re told and failure to ask tough questions

  • People are scared to rock the boat and they want to please people. This is a common challenge for many people to get rid of this deep-seated belief and subconscious mind of “I”m not good enough.” or “I’m not talented enough.”
  • For that inner roar to come out you have to feel that you have the right to roar and there’s an appropriate place and time to do that.

The Biggest Challenge Top Sellers are Facing:

  • Top sellers don’t have anyone challenging them. Every one is in awe of them because they’re spectacular.
  • Many managers are so confident the sellers are going to bring in the numbers anyway so they leave them alone to do their thing.
  • But they’re not challenged to get to the next level. Nobody is giving them any feedback. They need to be challenged. High performers have unique needs.

Why focus on high performers?

That’s where you get the fastest results. They already know how to sell and they’re already motivated.

Things top performers need coaching on:

1. Exploring your shadow self.

Top performers are usually very hard on themselves. So they need to learn how to accept themselves and embrace themselves on deeper levels. 

Help them acknowledge and explore their “shadow” self – that part of ourselves where we want to hide from everyone, including ourselves.

2.Thinking more holistically about your success or 360-degree success.

High performers are often really good at what they do because they’re neglecting other areas in their life. Over time, they’ll end up in a not so good place and deeply regretful.

Allan’s Major Takeaway:

High performers have far more potential that’s untapped. As a sales manager, you need to have a bigger vision for that person. See more than they see in themselves and be able to bring that out. As a top performer, just think of your accomplishments like you’re just scratching the surface.

Episode Resources:

www.allanallard.com

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

 

Sales Coaching, Group Coaching, Donald Kelly

TSE 740: What Is TSE Hustler’s League?

 In this episode, I share with you some FAQs about the TSE Hustler’s League, an online coaching program for all types of sellers. Have an accountability partner and see yourself expanding your knowledge and getting the leads you deserve!

What is the TSE Hustler’s League?

Whether you are new in sales or have been selling for a while and want to improve your sales hustler, TSE Hustler’s League is a specialized coaching program where each semester is 12 weeks long and designed around a theme.

January’s semester will be focused on Business Development. We meet once a week for about 45 mins and go over the theme and how to improve your skills. And each week further focuses on a particular topic.

What happens in the Hot Seat?

We will also put you in the Hot Seat where you get to share your challenge to the whole group, which listens to you live on the call. They take notes and they ask clarifying questions. And most importantly, they give you feedback. They’re sellers coming from other industries but they have similar experiences in their organization and they can give you insights. These are insights coming from different and new perspectives which are very helpful.

When and where is the meeting done?

The sessions are live and held weekly at noon EST. It’s done over a webinar platform so you can watch it or listen to it wherever you are. And if for some reason you can’t make it that day, you can go ahead and watch the recording that will be posted later that evening.

In the membership section, you get to have a username and a unique password to get lifetime access to the semester’s content.

Are sessions required?

Sessions are required but there are exceptions to the rule. Of course, we all know we’ve got to hustle so if you need to take an appointment, go ahead. What we like to see is that people come to each session and implement the goals we give at the end of the sessions and practice these principles. This is where you will see results.

What is an Accountability Partner?

When you join the program, you’re given an accountability partner and I personally follow up with these individuals. They’re not necessarily in the same industry as you but they’re someone that can keep you accountable.

Goals are set and the end of each meeting where the accountability partner will then follow up with you before next week’s session. The whole point of this is you have someone other than you, myself, or anyone in your organization who can keep you accountable. You can do this via video, phone call, or email. It usually lasts for 5-10 minutes.This is what makes TSE Hustler’s League so powerful because of this accountability aspect.

How much does it cost?

The investment is only $112 per month and over the three months, the total cost is $336. You get all the basics and all the things you need to become a better seller. You can pay upfront or simply pay monthly. We have flexible payment options. This is not a money-making machine because we intended to create this to help all sellers. 

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

Sales from the Street, Sales Coaching, Donald Kelly, TSE

TSE 729: Sales From The Street-“I’m a Sales Coach”

Sales from the Street, Sales Coaching, Donald Kelly, TSEDo you feel you’re taking too much? Or that you’re not being laser-focused on the market that you serve?

Today, our guest, Cynthia Barnes, is a B2B, women sales coach. She’s back here on the show today to talk about a struggle she face, how she overcame it, and the results she got.

Cynthia Barnes is a Metro Detroit-based executive sales and leadership coach and thought leader. As a visionary and intense leader of highly successful sales teams, Cynthia has learned that the key to reaching the Top 1% is a high level of precision combined with relentless execution.

Cynthia is Founder and CEO of Barnes Sales Institute, an executive sales coaching firm for women sales professionals and the driving force behind the National Association of Women Sales Professionals— a national sales organization that provides professional development and advocates for the advancement of women sales professionals.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Cynthia:

Cynthia’s biggest sales struggle:

  • Not being crystal clear on the target market she serves and the services she provides
  • Trying to service customers in the level they expect you to service them even if it’s actually not your expertise (For instance, they expect you to to do marketing even when you’re expertise is in sales)

Strategies Cynthia Did to Overcome Her Struggles:

  • Cynthia is a darn good sales coach. So she knew she needed to be able to stay in her lane.
  • This takes humility and conviction, knowing that you are good at what you do.
  • It takes focus to say you’re not going to do something else.

Focusing on the Right People:

  • Stay in your lane and the right people and the right opportunities are attracted to you because you’re in your lane, your silo, your own vertical.
  • For instance, Cynthia only coaches women sales professionals. She doesn’t coach men and B2C clients. She is a B2B, women sales coach.
  • When you brand yourself as an expert in your field, there’s not enough “manpower” to handle all the people that reach out to you.

Cynthia’s Major Takeaway:

Do what you do and do it really well. Be crystal clear on your messaging, who you are, what you serve, and who you serve. Then the right people will come to you.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Cynthia Barnes on LinkedIn or send her a message at hello@nawsp.org

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

 

Sales Coaching, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 612: Four Fundamental Areas You Should Start Coaching Reps In

Sales Coaching, The Sales Evangelist PodcastCoaching problems? Basically, it all comes down to the situation the seller is in at a particular time. They may be having a tough time with cold calling or closing the deal. In each of those situations, tailor your sales coaching towards the benefit of the individual.

Account Executives versus SDR’s

First, it’s important to differentiate account executives and sales development reps. Account executives are people who call in to get the lead and close the deal. Sales development reps (SDR’s) are those who prospect and guild opportunities that your account executive is going to close.

If you’re a small organization, I recommend you split these roles up where the SDR can focus on SDR work while your account executive focuses on closing and then the client success team focuses on advancing and upselling as well as in managing the account.

Here are four key areas sales leaders can focus on particularly when coaching sales reps.

  1. Opportunity management and opportunity development

This comes down to prospecting and most people tell me who are working in small businesses say they’re getting 5-10% of their leads through inbound. This means a lot of the businesses are not coming through your inbound process or you may not have an effective inbound marketing strategy right now. You, therefore, have to get business by actively going out and developing opportunities.

Make sure your sellers know where to find people whether through cold calls or social media or networking events. Find the ones most beneficial for your team. Coach your reps on how they can improve on this.

  1. Actual phone conversation

If a large portion of your business comes down to talking on the phone, make sure your reps understand what they say. Utilize proper wording, messaging, scripts, and giving feedback. The script works well especially for newbies but these should only work as a guide in terms of what to say. They can memorize it but they still need to make it their own. During your coaching sessions, do some practice run or role plays. Get them to talk on the phone and record the conversation. Practice is key.

  1. Value creation

This is focused on the question-asking skills and the capability of having meaningful conversations. However, this is an often overlooked area. Write down the top 15-20 questions you could ask your prospect in your sales process. Sit down with your team and write down meaningful questions and practice those. Utilize your personality, emotions, and facial expressions (even when you’re on the phone).

  1. Actual account management

This involves having a plan of how you’re going to help the account to advance and grow. Have a plan or process to help the person give you referrals or figure a way you can generate more business opportunities for them. Find a way to upsell them on one of your higher-end product and coach them on how they can do that.

Episode Resources:

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook

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.

TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 590: TSE Hustler’s League-“Tell Me More About The Group”

TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastToday I’m going through some questions concerning the TSE Hustler’s League that came in and I’m going to answer them here.

Why did I create TSE Hustler’s League?

I was working in a company that did not have any type of support. We didn’t have any training. Imagine the frustration of trying to make money but you’re not. No one wants to be in that situation. However, I was fortunate enough to be in another organization where they had us get into some formal training process and my sales performance skyrocketed.

Training is Costly

Then I got the opportunity to join this Fridays Special Sales Training Group where we met every Friday morning. We had a trainer and he went over a specific topic and pain for that day. It was something about being in a group even if you already know those concepts and principles. But participating in a group can help so much because you get reminded of these things and take them and apply them.

Moreover, sometimes we would find ourselves dying out and becoming mediocre. Being a part of a group like this was a mindblowing thing for me because I learned something new every single week. This was a pretty expensive group at 7k per person.

Great Training You Can Afford

As I built TSE Hustler’s League, I realized there are other sellers out there working especially for small companies who don’t have anything and I feel so bad. So I thought of providing a way for folks who cannot afford my coaching are able to take part in group coaching.

Through the TSE Hustler’s League, I’m able to do a group training and they have access to peer-to-peer learning where members are able to help each other by answering questions and you also have accountability partners.

Getting Started with the TSE Hustler’s League

  1. When you come into the group, you have to qualify to come in. You fill out a registration form which we will review.
  2. You and I will have a 15-20-minute conversation and we both feel it’s a good fit.
  3. We get you all the information so you can proceed with the payment and get access to a portal so you can watch a little video to walk you through the portal.
  4. Then you will get an assigned accountability partner. This person will be your guide in the same way that you’re their guide. Each week after we do the training, you make goals and share them. With that goal, your accountability partner keeps you accountable and follows up with you before the meeting.

Over the past four semesters, I’ve been able to work with individual sellers and I saw what worked and don’t as well as people who are going to make it and those who will not. So we make sure we aligned the right individuals and if folks qualify after speaking with me, they become part of the group.

How much does it cost?

The semester costs $330. Each semester runs for three months so it’s about $110 per month. People, in fact, tell me to raise this price but I intentionally want people to afford it so they can get access to so many information and strategies that I didn’t get before. So I want to make sure that price is not a barrier because I want to give folks the opportunity to improve and get to the next level.

When do we meet?

We do our meetings on Thursdays. For this upcoming semester, it’s going to be Thursdays at 12 EST. If you can’t make the session for some reason, our sessions are recorded so you can locate them in the portal to get access to them. Then you can report to your accountability partner as to your goals for the upcoming week.

Is there a way to communicate with other members?

Yes, you can connect with people on the call or jump into The Sales Evangelizers Facebook group. This is another platform for you to ask questions.

How does the hot seat work?

One member gets the chance to sit down in this figurative seat where you’re able to ask a particular question or share a challenge you’re going through. Then the other members are able to give their advice, feedback, and thoughts.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League. We have a new semester coming up and we’re going to focus on closing rate and being buyer-centric.

The Sales Evangelizers Facebook group

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.

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Richard Smith, Refract, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 578: How to Use Technology to Better Coach Salespeople

Richard Smith, Refract, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistCoaching is an important piece in sales but you have to make sure you’re equipped with sufficient data so you can better analyze and coach effectively. Today’s guest is Richard Smith and he shares with us how you can use technology to better coach people.

Richard has been in sales for almost ten years selling SaaS solutions to SME’s and organizations. Currently, he is the Co-Founder and Head of Sales at Refract.tv, a UK-based technology company that specializes in sales coaching and feedback technology for calls, demos, and emails. He is passionate about sales development and changing the broken culture and mindset towards sales coaching.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Richard:

Coaching as a human-to-human experience

Technology is not here to replace the role of a sales coach. Coaching is a very human-to-human experience. Instead, technology is used to enhance the overall experience of coaching sales people and to take the impact of coaching to a completely different level.

The importance of using technology to make coaching effective:

  1. Overcoming time barrier.

Today, coaching no longer has to be done where you have to sit next to a sales rep but you can do it when you’re commuting on the way to work or when you’re sitting at the airport or while you’re doing your administrative tasks.

  1. Measurability

The actual challenge in coaching is the lack of any level of measurability. Without having strong measures in place to show the performance of your sales rep and you’re not able to see the notable difference, it just becomes a waste of exercise as managers don’t have a real way of tracking, measuring, and looking at its impact. Using technology, you’re able to measure the impact of coaching as well as see how individuals and teams are improving as a result of that coaching.

About Refract.tv

Refract.tv focuses on the interaction between two people and get managers the ability to get closer to understand what that interaction looks like so reps are able to better initiate valuable conversations.

They provide insights into how their reps perform in sales conversations through recorded sales calls or looking at how they would react in certain sales situations. The managers are then able to give feedback on those interactions and share best practices.

  • What are the things the sales rep says to the prospect that resonates well and what things do not resonate?
  • What are the key and missed opportunities on the sales conversation?
  • How can salespeople best handle objections and how they can better understand how to handle common objections they get?

How they can help sales managers:

  • To get managers closer to understanding how salespeople interact with prospects
  • To address the mistakes made on those interactions and show them what “good” looks like

Remote Coaching

Coaching doesn’t have to be this face-to-face experience. More and more people are now working remotely. As a result, the time managers have to coach their people in person almost doesn’t exist anymore.

You can still then add significant value as a sales manager to the development of your rep by embracing technology.

Even with geographical barriers, coaching can be done more regularly than you’ve experienced before if you sat in the same office with that sales rep since you’re now able to coach whenever you have time and the availability.

Coaching Sales Teams of All Sizes

Nobody should be exempt from sales coaching. Coaching is the single, quickest way to get more out of your existing team. Technology can have varying levels of impact depending on the size and geography of the team.

Great Strategy for New Reps

Build up libraries of best practice interactions and best practice sales calls and have those ready and available from day one of that new sales person coming on board and you can significantly reduce the ramp time of your new rep since they’re able to learn quicker and get confident quicker.

Richard’s Major Takeaway:

Start to take coaching more seriously than you are doing now. Most sales team prioritize making more sales or getting sales teams performing better than they are now or increasing your close rates. But the only way to do that is by taking coaching more seriously and getting coaching built in to be a cultural part of your week. If you can do this across your sales team, you’re going to get powerful results long term than just ordering your team to make more dials or send emails.

Understand the importance of coaching and put some time aside on your calendar every week or even every day to do a little bit of coaching with your sales reps. The more you do it, the more results you’re going to get and you will have a higher producing team.

Episode Resources:

Learn more about Richard on www.refract.tv or shoot him an email at richard@refract.tv. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter @richard_refract.

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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.

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Stephanie Chung, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, High Ticket Sales

TSE 571: Developing The Skills of High Ticket Selling

Stephanie Chung, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, High Ticket SalesHow do you actually sell high-ticket items when you know you won’t be able to buy them yourself because they’re too expensive? Hmmm… Today’s guest is Stephanie Chung, a business coach, and an entrepreneur, and she is going to teach you how to get past the challenges of high-ticket selling, specifically overcoming that mindset you’ve instilled in your head over the years.

Previously, Stephanie has been an executive and a sales professional selling jets, perfect for our topic today. Regardless of how much you’re selling, you’re going to get some great insights from her. Stephanie helps individuals and businesses bring more money into their top line sales focused on leadership, communication, and high-ticket selling.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Stephanie Chung:

Lessons from Stephanie’s coolest sales experience when she was the customer at a car dealership:

  • Touch base with your customers all the time.
  • Show the customer you care and you want to help and you become top of mind.
  • Sales is not just about closing the deal but the customer experience. into closing the deal.

Biggest challenges with selling high-ticket items:

  1. Controlling your own financial beliefs

We all have our own financial beliefs but It should never pop up in the sales conversation. How was money discussed in your home? Most likely, you’re brought up in a way that you will be discounting the product or you’ll be offering freebies. When that creeps up, control it.

  1. Using a “one size fits all” approach

Buyers have a process as well so make sure you’re coming to them correctly in a way that they’re comfortable throughout the entire process. If you communicate with everybody based on how you prefer to be communicated with, that puts the burden on the buyer and they’re going to shut you down eventually.

  1. Lack of training

People need to be trained on things other than just your product. This gives them a disadvantage when talking to a customer because all they know are the things pertaining to them and then you try to squeeze people into your product or service whether it works for them or not because you only know one side of the equation.

  1. Lack of investment in sales training or coaching

The main job of sales is to bring the money in. If you’re expecting them to bring in worth thousands and millions, aren’t they work training? There is a skill to sales so people have to be trained on it. Being a good people-person is not enough. There is a psychology and a neuroscience behind the buying decision-making process.

  1. Knowing the numbers

People have to have business acumen and understand the business part of what they do. Your salespeople need to know the numbers you’re trying to hit as a company so they can understand the business they’re in and what’s driving the business and where the business is trying to go.

How Stephanie got into selling airplanes:

Stephanie was a military brat who grew up on active military bases and around planes. She eventually got into sales and recruited into private aviation selling jets.

Her challenges:

Selling to high net worth individuals so she had to grow and adapt and learn and get used to being around wealthy and smart people

Greatest lesson:

You cannot bring your financial beliefs into the equation. You have to act like you’ve been there.

The Neuroscience Behind Asking versus Telling:

  1. When you ask someone a question, there’s a dopamine effect that the brain starts to produce so they start to feel good.

The more people talk about themselves, you not only get information but also, it allows the person to feel they like you because you made them feel special by asking the questions and listening to them.

  1. The brain can process up to 3,000 words per minute.

We can talk no more than 300 words per minute while the brain can process up to 3,000 words per minute. You should be asking questions so they’re doing the talking and your brain has the opportunity to listen but then also be thinking, exploring, digging deeper, and asking more questions to get better clarity on what they’re saying.

Stephanie’s Major Takeaway:

Make sure you always have the training, the knowledge, and the coaching. Always be out sharpening your game and your skill set because it’s a competitive market out there.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Stephanie on www.StephanieChung.com. Her book, How to Profit Like a Girl: A Woman’s Guide to Kicking Butt in Sales and Leadership can be downloaded for free at www.profitlikeagirl.com.

Check out Summit on Content Marketing on May 22 to June 02, 2017. This is an online event that will be participated by over 100 speakers, including me!

The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top by Kevin F. Davis

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.

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ROI, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Leader

TSE 570: TSE Hustler’s League-“Comparing Apples to Apples”

ROI, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales LeaderHere’s another snippet from one of our training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League. This is actually part two of last week’s episode where we talked about demonstrating ROI’s. Today, we’re going to show you how you can apply this to your own sales process.

Strategies for Demonstrating ROI’s

  1. The purpose of the initial meeting is to figure out the budget they’re working with to give you an understanding.
  2. In the next meeting, you have to be able to build value, understand what their main challenges are and what they’re trying to do. And then put their ROI based on that.
  3. Based on initial assessment, come back with an ROI figure. With that financial calculator, you can come back initially and be able to be more specific with ideas you can support them with.
  4. Allocate resources to see what the true ROI would be for you. Maybe they can have a team member that can get to the proper figures or evaluations you need.
  5. Be upfront and truthful with them regarding the initial cost they could incur. Bring as much as you can to the table.

Understanding The Three R’s

  1. The Strategic R

This is your strategic return on investment which refers to decisions the company has to make for regulatory compliance or to avoid the risk of becoming non-compliant.

The second type of a strategic R refers to the decisions they make in favor of a strategic decision. For example, the company is creating a new product line to get more market share and you find out that’s their goal, then you can build the case around that strategic R.

  1. The Hard R

You often see this in a lot of B2B transactions such as the financial impact your customer will acknowledge or quantify. A vast majority of B2B business decisions are based on this. For instance, how do you come up with a project that has hard returns that you’re able to follow the flow of money and identify areas that are going to impact.

  1. The Soft R

This is what most salespeople lead with. Although harder to quantify, they’re still important. For instance, Facebook and Apple made a soft R business decision, offering to pay egg-freezing for their employees in order to increase the retention rate of women employees. What they realized is that many companies in Silicon Valley have women working who end up leaving the company due to the work situation being hard on a family.

They know people are going to work hard and long for them by providing these incentives. These are soft R’s because it can be hard to measure that. The soft R can be appealing and good but make sure you lead with a hard return, something they can see figures on and then supplementing it with a soft R.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Think about the three different types of R’s in your business. What are your strategic R’s? What are some of the compliant stuff you must do? Think about some of the hard R’s and some of your soft R’s.

Episode Resources:

Join our group at 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.

Joe Gianni, Donald Kelly, Swagger: The

TSE 553: How I Became The #1 Sales Producer At A Billion Dollar Company In 6 Months!

Joe Gianni, Donald Kelly, Swagger: The "Way of the Sway" to Sales and Life Success,Imagine becoming the number one sales producer at a billion dollar company in just 6 months. How do you even do that? Well, lucky you because today we have Joe Gianni on the show and he’s going to tell us exactly how he did it.

Whether you’re new to sales or in a sales leadership role or even when you’re not in sales yet, you can still take principles from his experience and apply them into your life to see remarkable success.

25 years ago, Joe started his sales training and leadership training company. He had a unique way of building sales forces and individuals, took it to market, and it was picked up by major players across industries. Joe is also the author of the book, Swagger: The “Way of the Sway” to Sales and Life Success, which has recently just been released but is now gaining positive reviews and recognition.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Joe:

A lesson from Joe’s coolest sales experience as the customer:

We, as sellers, are dream-makers. We help other people make their dreams become a reality which is a unique calling.

The impetus behind writing his sales book:

  • Sales is what he has the most passion about and it’s what his multi-million dollar company is built around.
  • Right out of college, he wasn’t interested in finding a job but he had a mission to find a mentor knowing he was going to start his own business someday so he really needed to learn how to sell.
  • Joe’s mentor has a unique insight that revolves around transcending the traditional development of a salesperson which is heavily steepened skill and sales process training in order to develop the belief system of an individual that enters the world of sales and how to leverage that into a way that enables them to quickly master fundamental skills and become a master executor of those skills. Writing his book was, therefore, his way to get this out there on a global level.

Why so many sellers never become top producers:

  • They are not properly developed. They themselves don’t even know what’s missing. .Most of them look for shortcuts.
  • There is a formula that is missing in the sales discipline which is to help people understand that the biggest producers in every industry are not being adequate or ample at fundamental skill sets but one’s mind has to be ready to take that journey.
  • You have to take a journey from within your own thinking. Get out of your own way so you could do the things you need to do when it comes to mastering the skills, that you would not do them without the right mindset or core belief structure.
  • Sales is a good 80%+ mindset, proper belief and convictions and about 20%-25% on the skills and process side.
  • Most people never become masters of the fundamental skills because they’ve never become a master of their own thinking first.
  • Understand that both mindset and skills are critical to achieving success in anything. You have to dream and think about the bigger business.

Joe’s Secret: Fundamental Training Mixed with Belief Training

If you want to kick your sales force’s productivity to the next level, you’ve got to kick their belief system to the next level first. They have to have a bigger conviction of who they are and who they want to be in life first then you can teach them fundamental skills. (That’s why they haven’t mastered those fundamental skills yet!) They have to understand the need to become the best at whatever those fundamentals are for their sales profession.

The formula is to develop the right mind structure first and then leverage that mind structure to become a master of the sales process.

Joe’s strategies to become the #1 top performer in a billion-dollar company in six months:

  1. Seek out the top producers in the company.
  2. When you found the best, shut up and listen to them very intently about what they did and how they did it.
  3. Ask them good questions about how they qualified or how they presented or close or handle rejections, etc. Take mental and copious handwritten notes.
  4. Ask them what they believe about themselves, the industry, and their clients and prospects.
  5. Look for that belief set and then duplicate that so you mirror these people in skill and strategy as well as in belief and conviction. When you can do that then you can duplicate that success at an extraordinary pace.

Joe’s Major Takeaway:

Walk with swagger and the path to swagger is a discovery path you can take anytime you’re ready to discover your own thinking and what you’ve come to believe about yourself, your self-efficacy, and career sales and really truly refine that and develop powerful thoughts, powerful beliefs and convictions and then go back to the fundamentals of your trade as if you just started today. Master those fundamentals with the right mindset.

Episode Resources:

Get connected with Joe Gianni on LinkedIn or visit his website at www.2logical.com.

Check out Joe’s book,Swagger: The “Way of the Sway” to Sales and Life Success

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi

MasterCraft Wakeboard Boats

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.

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Petra Foster, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 544: Sales From The Street-“Raise Your Price”

Donald Kelly, Petra Foster, The Sales Evangelist PodcastDo you sell your services by the hour? As entrepreneurs, business owners, or sales individuals, we’re okay with charging the lowest rate possible usually because we’re afraid we might lose the business if we charged them too high? But what if you could charge a higher rate and still earn that business every single time?

Today’s guest is Petra Foster, a Client Enrollment Strategist, and she’s going to share with us some insights into charging the right price which you can take to your business.

Petra helps salespeople to position themselves as the premium brand that commands high rates. Most of her clients start from at least $3,000 by creating packages that command the value. She also helps them master sales techniques so they get an immediate yes and take full payment right on the first call.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Petra:

Strategies for selling high ticket items:

  1. Sell based on value not on price.

People think they need to charge their services by the hour so they’re selling based on price and not on deep-lasting transformation.

  1. Build your brand.

People need to position their offer and who they are in the marketplace. Being a brand is all about having a perception.

  1. The selling starts on social media.

The sales actually begin’s when someone sees you on social media. You need to be able to educate people  on their problem, that their problem can be solved, and that you’re the only person that can solve their problem.

  1. Focus on their problem and how you can solve it.

When you post on your social media platforms about your prospect’s problem as well as your solutions, that would heighten their problem and they would already pre-select themselves and book a call with you because they’ve already been pre-sold.

What happens when you focus based on hourly rates:

  • No commitment from the client so the person may not turn up every single day
  • You’re more likely to get missed payments.
  • You’re charging based on price and not on the transformation your clients go through
  • There is no end goal and no set milestones of what the person can expect when they work with you.

Why you need to sell high premium package price:

  1. Commitment

People take you more seriously. When someone is charging by the hour, what they paid is not a big deal for them and they won’t take your coaching seriously. If you charge a premium price, they’re going to turn up on time each session, they’re going to pay you one time.

  1. Results

They also get fast results and they’re going to be engaging with you more. Hence, they’re more committed because they have invested several thousand of dollars to work with you.

  1. Trust

When they pay you premium, that means they have to trust you and they need to hire you in order to achieve their dreams and their dreams are worth much more than $100 or $500.

Effective ways to find high-caliber clients:

  1. It’s not your business how much money someone has.

Your job is to educate people on their problem and not to know how much money someone has. That is not your business. Once you educate people and you’re offering so much value, then you will be attracting high-caliber people who are willing to pay whatever you ask.

  1. Continue using social media.
  1. Go to local networking events.

All you’re doing is solving a problem. You are a problem-solver first. Then when you’re able to connect with your audience on an emotional and deep level, they will pay you.

Strategies to make your packages irresistible:

  1. Understand who your target market is.

Understand what you like and the type of people you want to work with and the personalities you like. So understand who you are as a human being and what lights you up.

  1. Have an extremely compelling marketing message.

Have an emotionally charged message that clearly states who you are and what results you can give to your clients. Don’t be afraid of giving a very clear promise so you can attract people who want that solution straight away.

  1. Have a seamless sales process.

Get someone on social media to go through your pre-qualifying phase and book that consultation with you.

  1. Know how to have collaborative sales conversations that end with a yes or no.

You never want to get responses like they need to think about it or they need to speak to their partner about it but you want them to have a clear yes or no on the call.

Strategies for having a seamless process in place:

  1. Start with your brand (what you want people to think and feel about you)
  1. Know how to book consultations based on what medium you use to deliver your message.
  1. Prequalify your prospects.

They should go through an application process before they even speak to you. And you decide whether you want to speak with that person or not.

  1. Have a specific call structure.

During the call, don’t just wing it. You have to have a specific structure right from the moment they say hello all the way to the end.

Petra’s Major Takeaway:

Stop charging by the hour. Believe that you have ideal clients out there that want to pay you high rates. You’ve got the training, the experience, the expertise. You are worth so much more than what you are charging for right now. Don’t make it a big deal. Charge what you want and then know exactly how to sell.

Episode Resources:

Get in touch with Petra on www.petrafoster.com/podcast and download her eBook, How to Create and Sell Premium Packages to find out about the exact system she uses for her clients to sell premium packages.

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi

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.

TSE 536: How to Develop an Unstoppable Drive to Sales Success

Dre Baldwin, Donald Kelly, Sales Motivation, The Sales Evangelist PodcastStill making excuses? I’ve got to tell you man, just stop. Our guest today is someone you can definitely draw inspiration from.

Dre Baldwin is an overseas professional basketball player having played through eight different countries in the course of nine years. After graduating from Penn State University, Dre has written books and has done a few TED Talks. He has created programs designed for both athletes and non-athletes and does coaching/ consulting and professional speaking.

From a 6’4″ student who had no innate basketball skills whatsoever, Dre figured he had to put in extra hard work and discipline he needed to be successful and now he’s sharing the resources which he never had.

Now it’s your turn. No more excuses.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Dre:

How Dre developed his skills to be adequate on the court:

  • Doing different than what others are doing (Dre practiced even at a time no one was practicing)
  • Showing up every single day to work on his game not thinking he would be discovered by any recruiter

Strategies to develop your passion and be better:

  1. Force yourself to be that motivation.

Use other people’s stories to motivate you and which you can use for your own purposes. Listen to their interviews. Read magazines on them. And just take any piece you can use for your own motivation and inspiration.

  1. Find out the one thing that makes you get up each day.

The success in life is basic. There are no secrets. It’s something you already know. Just figure out what you’re willing to do and throw yourself into it. Something that really motivates you and inspires you to get up and do even if there was no money attached to it when you achieve it.

[Tweet “Just figure out what you’re willing to do and throw yourself into it”@DreAllDay ‏]

  1. Stop saying lies to yourself.

A couple of common lies people tell themselves are:

I can’t do this because ________.

I need more information.

  1. Put in the hard work and discipline over and over again.

Success is not a matter of what you’ve done or what you’re doing today but what you continuously do over and over and over again. It’s not an object but a habit. It’s a discipline.

  1. Take action and stop talking your way out of action.

Stop second-guessing yourself and going back to gathering information. If information was all that any of us needed to be successful, then all of us would have been successful by now. Internet is free and widespread. You’ve got access to any information. So it’s not the key to getting anywhere. The is key is taking action. Unfortunately, people talk their way out of action.

[Tweet “If information was all that any of us needed to be successful, then all of us would have been successful by now”@DreAllDay]

How Dre’s pro-career started:

In 2005, Dre joined an exposure camp, which is like a job fair for athletes. You play your sport with other people to prove that you can play professionally to an audience of coaches, agents, scout managers who are brokers in the sport.

Dre took a video of the exposure camp but he had to market the video by sending a VHS copy of his video to an agent. Dre landed an agent who negotiated his first playing situation in Lithuania in 2005.

Dre took the video from a VHS tape to be put on a CD and then on YouTube, being his first YouTube video.

Strategies for your social media approach:

  1. Serve the under-served.

When Dre saw people who watched his video were asking more questions and pieces of advice, he decided to film everything he does and put it on YouTube so anybody can make use out of it. There were no athletes posting training content on the internet before Dre started doing it in 2006.

  1. Share value and don’t just do it for the money.

Dre was already posting hundreds of videos before any Facebook ads even existed. People see through you. Be who you are because people can tell. There will be people who go against you but that’s okay since you’re sharing something important enough for people to pick their side.

Dre’s Major Takeaway:

Each one of you has one competitive advantage and one one competitive advantage that can never be duplicated or taken away from you – your individuality as a person. Be who you are and if you can do that and be able to share your life and what’s going on with you, the more people understand who you are about. Get clear on who you are as a person and then start sharing yourself with the audience you want, which you won’t know until you start being yourself. People can choose until they see the real you.

Episode Resources:

Get to know more about Dre on his website DreAllDay.com or connect with him on Snapchat and Instagram @drebaldwin and Twitter @DreAllDay.

Watch Dre’s YouTube channel and TED Talks

Check out The Trailblazers Podcast by Stephen Hart

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.

Determination, Passion, Sales Success; Donald Kelly

TSE 532: What’s More Important To Succeed In Sales? Determination or Passion?

Determination, Passion, Sales Success; Donald KellyDetermination and passion are two different things in terms of your success in sales. Does success in sales come down to passion or determination? Do you possess both? Or do you only have one of them?

A healthy combination of both

Passion is defined as a strong emotion while determination is a process of establishing something by calculation or research. Personally, I believe a healthy combination of the two is required for you to succeed in sales.

Passion without Determination

Passion is your desire for something. And so let’s say you want to do something that you’re passionate about. But, if you don’t have the determination or a sense of work ethic behind it, nothing happens. While passion is your emotion, determination ties back to action. Determination is the work ethic side of things. Hence, there has to be a combination of both.

Determination without Passion

What happens when you have determination in something you don’t have a passion for? I had a personal experience of this where I wasn’t really passionate about the product but I was so determined to sell it. Since I didn’t have passion in the product, I didn’t last too long working with the company. Hence, without passion, you won’t have the drive for it.

Passion + Determination = SUCCESS

If you’re able to combine passion and determination in your work and you’re consistent in doing it, then you’re going to have a much better chance of being successful. Without one or the other, either one could die out so quickly.

Your Call-to-Action:

Examine yourself to see where you fall into place. Do you have passion? Do you have the determination?

Strategies for finding passion in your product:

  • What can you do to find passion in your product?
  • Try to see what impact it can bring to someone’s life. What impact does the product have in your life when you use that product?
  • Read client testimonials or chat with your clients about your product to help you gain that passion.

Strategies for getting that determination:

  • Get an accountability partner, join a mastermind group, or get a coach to help keep you accountable.
  • Set that goal then put a process or plan in place.

Episode Resources:

Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen

Get a free audio book 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 Kelly

TSE 529: Sales From The Street-“Confidence from Coaching”

Donald Kelly On today’s episode, my wife, Cristina, is joining me to facilitate this show while I take on the guest role as I speak about the sales struggles I had. We actually had a recent conversation on some of the struggles I had with sales so we decided to bring it here on the show.

Main challenges I faced:

  • CONFIDENCE in what I was selling and talking to people
  • Fear of taking action
  • Fear of asking appropriate questions without offending people

Strategies I used to overcome these challenges:

  1. Ongoing training

Sales training can only get you so far, it’s important to sustain all the things you learned by joining a group of like-minded people. This helped me refine my skills and this is why I created the TSE Hustler’s League because the key is consistent, ongoing training.

  1. Coaching

Coaching and training are two different things. Training is more of telling, while coaching is more of guiding and encouraging. It involves asking the appropriate questions to help people learn and think about ways they can act and perform as opposed to telling them all the answers.

Benefits of coaches:

  • They guide you along the path.
  • They serve as your accountability partner so you can have actionable things to implement.

Results I gained from doing these strategies:

As I got into the software space, I started closing $30,000 deals which gradually got bigger. I was now asking the appropriate questions. I had a coach to guide me and I obviously saw results.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Having that personal one-on-one coaching will build your confidence and push you to the next level. I highly recommend that you get some kind of coaching.

Episode Resources:

If you would like a copy of How To Become An Effective Sales Coach (the PDF I mentioned in this episode), send me an email at donald@thesalesevangelist.com. Put in the subject like, “Sales Coaching Guide”. 

Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen

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.

David Brock, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 501: Sales Manager Survival Guide By David Brock

David Brock, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast How do you become effective as a sales manager (especially when you’re in this new role)?

Boy! A survival guide could surely come in handy so you would know the things to avoid and the things you should improve on.

Today’s guest is David Brock who’s going to give us an overview of his book, Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons from Sales’ Front Lines, which is designed to help sales managers best guide their team, help their team members become more successful, maintain the business side of things and still have fun, and help them lead their former peers.

David runs a number of businesses including Partners in EXCELLENCE. This is a boutique consulting company where they work with different companies to help them get to the next level of performance in terms of company growth or expanding customer reach.


Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

David’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer.

Why another book on sales management:

  • Front line sales managers are one of the most important jobs in selling, yet they are least understood where there is least investment in developing people.
  • Not too many resources for sales managers.
  • This book is focused on front line sales managers and how they can maximize the performance of each individual in their team and their team as a whole.

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Key challenges of several front line sales managers:

  1. Lack of knowledge about their job

Sales managers just don’t know what their job is and they don’t know how to do it as effectively as they should. Being a top-performing sales rep doesn’t always equate to being a great sales manager.

  1. Not moving fast as a sales manager

Your job is to change things and maximize the performance of your people but not until you figure out who they are, what they’re doing, and what you need to be changing. Otherwise, this could be wasteful or harmful action.

How to get started as a sales manager:

  1. Figure out who your people are.

Spend time with your people. Get to know who they are and what their jobs are. Understand where they’re performing and where are the opportunities to improve their performance. Figure out who your customers are.

  1. Figure out how things get done in the organization.

Find out what’s going wrong. Then drive the change. Figure out the 2-3 things you need to do to start improving performance.

How to identify the right processes:

  1. Have a current sales process.

Your process must be able to move the customer through their buying cycle and help them reach a decision. Make sure your people are using your process.

  1. Figure out the roadblocks.

Identify the things that are standing in the way of your team’s performance (ex. training, tools, business processes, etc.)

  1. Understand the core processes, core tools, and skills development areas you can leverage to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

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Key metrics to focus on:

  • Determining the smallest set of metrics that determine people are on track
  • Walking backwards and identifying what drives revenue and quota performance
  • Critical leading metrics and call metrics
  • Identifying critical activities that drive revenue
  • Tracking goals every week

Strategies for leading your former peers:

  • Be very clear about the expectations and boundaries.
  • Recognize the difference in between these roles.
  • Recognize that you may have to have tough conversations with your best friends.

Strategies for sales coaching as a new leader:

  • Embed coaching into each of your conversations.

Coaching is not just an evaluation but it should be embedded in your daily activities. Help people figure out for themselves how to be better at a particular area.

  • Take formal training on coaching to really understand how to effectively coach.
  • Spend at least 50% of your time coaching your people.

Business management tips for new sales leaders:

  • Understand the business strategy.
  • Translate the company’s business strategy into the activities salespeople do on a day-to-do basis.
  • Get things done through your people.

Make sure they understand:

  • Their job
  • Their performance criteria
  • What they expect
  1. Work with your people on a day-to-day basis

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David’s Major Takeaway:

The front line sales manager role is one of the most rewarding jobs as well as one of the most challenging jobs. Recognize the importance of your contribution to the organization and your role in shaping great young salespeople in moving them forward. Take great joy in seeing people develop and seeing people accomplish things.

Episode Resources:

Sales Manager Survival Guide by David Brock

Connect with David Brock on LinkedIn and Twitter @davidabrock.

Check out www.partnersinexcellenceblog.com

Check out Kwame Christian’s Negotiation for Entrepreneurs Podcast

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc


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

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 497: What Are The Main Factors That Negatively Affect The Performance of Really Good Sales People?

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast No matter how good you are as a salesperson, there are times when you could fall into situations that could pull you down. So it’s vital for you to be able to figure out a way to fix those problems and move on.

Today, I’m going to share with you some insights and comments I got from members of The Sales Evangelizers Facebook group where I asked about the main factors that negatively affect the performance of a really good salesperson.

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  1. Head trash

It’s the psychological thing where you tell lies to yourself that you even start believing it. And when you’re in so much doubt and negativity, you just have to keep going. Get your head right. Set the strategies in place to perform better and get better results.

  1. Lack of confidence

When you don’t believe in the product/service you’re selling then you’re not going to sell. Find something you’re truly passionate about because your customers can sense that.

  1. Lack of effective communication

Without effective communication whether it be within your organization or with your customers, you’re not going to perform well. Having a poor working environment will also hugely impact your performance.

  1. Procrastination

Holding things off won’t make you close any deals. Stop making excuses. Find ways to get things easier and be more productive.  Have automated solutions. One good example is creating proposals where it can take away so much of your time that causes you to lose your motivation and pull you back from closing deals. Using PandaDoc is your answer to a quicker way of creating proposals.

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  1. Lack of focus on your why

Having a purpose is vital so whenever roadblocks come your way, you’re going to be motivated to push yourself harder. Have your purpose at the forefront of your mind. Having your why gives you the motivation to prevent you from getting burnt out.

  1. Forgetting the basics

Complacency is dangerous. When you get complacent, you tend to start skipping steps. And when you skip steps, you start messing up.

Episode Resources:

Simon Sinek’s Start With Why

TSE 454 interview with DJ Shri

Join our Facebook group The Sales Evangelizers

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals for your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. It integrates well with other CRMs such as Salesforce. Pipedrive, and HubSpot. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

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Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

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

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Science of Selling, Donald Kelly, David Hoffeld, Sales Training

TSE 481: The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

Science of Selling, Donald Kelly, David Hoffeld, Sales Training Are you still using the same selling strategy that you used some 20 years ago? You can’t just sit there and wing it anymore thinking that those old school technologies are going to win clients over.

You can no longer guess your way to success nor should you even wait for a guru to tell you what works because you need to sell based on the science of selling if you really want to be 100% effective.

Today’s guest is David Hoffeld, author of the book, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch Influence Decisions and Close a Deal. David is the CEO and Chief Sales Trainer of a research-based sales training firm, the Hoffeld Group. They literally read scientific journals and apply the studies into the real world of sales.

He shares with us the great things he has learned from studies and experiences about the importance of science in sales.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

Why understanding science is important in sales:

When 800 salespeople were analyzed on real sales calls,

  • 63% regularly behaved in ways that drove down performance
  • 37% were consistently effective

Why?

Because we’re getting in the way of sales. Meaning, we sell in ways that obstructs how the brain is wired to be influenced and to create buying decisions.

What is science in sales?

This means creating a questioning model based on how the brain works. All of us can get better by understanding the science that reveals how our brains make choices. Align how you sell with that science to be more effective and to better serve potential customers.

Are salespeople still necessary?

We still need interpersonal relationships especially for complex sales because interpersonal relationships matter. People still buy from people. Human interaction is still essential.

Two methods for sales influence: How does a brain make a choice?

  1. Peripheral route

This is how you build rapport and trust. These are factors that shape perception heavily.

  1. Central route

The message of the salesperson. What are the key things people must commit to so they buy your product or service.

*Both routes are happening simultaneously called parallel processing so they’re heavily influencing every sales call. It’s the foundation of what going on “behind the scenes.” Learn how to leverage both and you become really effective at selling.

People buy based on emotions.

It’s how we create preferences. Emotions influence our perception. Decades of research can now tell us how we can ethically sell to people’s emotions.

How to change the buyer’s emotional state:

  1. Ask for opinions.

Harvard research found that when people answer opinion questions, the pleasure centers in their brain lineup, naturally putting them in a more positive emotional state.

  1. Talk about topics rich with positive emotions.

Inject positive emotions into your sales conversations.

  1. Focus on voice inflections.

Research shows that voice inflections help people feel positive emotions that people respond more to one another. This is called emotional cognition.

How to convey value effectively:

  1. Look for the distinct value.

Find out how your product or service is different than a competitor and in ways that matter to your buyers.

  1. Reduce the persuasiveness of your competitors.

Leverage distinct value to neutralize your competitors.

Ask for strategic commitment.

You don’t just leave a sales call, you ask for a commitment. Commitments are not just continuations, but look at what commitments are to be made for a buying process to occur.

The 6 Why’s that Help Align Your Sales Process With Getting Commitments:

  1. Why change?
  2. Why now?
  3. Why your industry solution? (Why can’t they create it on their own?)
  4. Why you and your company?
  5. Why your product or service vs. other options?
  6. Why spend the money?

Get commitment to these 6 why’s by strategically injecting these why’s into your sales process. Help your potential customers make these commitments to help them make buying decisions.

The future of sales:

The best days of sales are in front of us because of science. For the first time, we have objective evidence based on our buyers to align how we sell. Most sales is opinion-based. Without real data, you’ve got to come with your A-game and you’re just guessing your way to success.

David’s Major Takeaway:

There is a science to selling and the way something is presented shapes how they perceive and whether or not they will be acted on. The closer your way of selling is aligned with how the brain makes buying decision, the more effective you will be. Anyone can get better at selling by adopting these behaviors. Embrace this science and you can get better!

Episode Resources:

Check out David’s book, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch Influence Decisions and Close a Deal

For more information about David and his awesome work, visit www.hoffeldgroup.com

Connect with David on Twitter @DavidHoffeld, YouTube, and LinkedIn

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

Join this semester of TSE Hustler’s League where we will be focusing on building value to your customers.

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.

Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 477: Managers Need to Authorize Messing Up

Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, The Sales Evangelist As salespeople, one of our biggest challenges is a mindset that holds us back because of fear. Today, I’m sharing something to help sales managers take the fear away from their sales team so they keep on hustling. It’s all about taking on that mindset that you’re going to do whatever what it takes no matter what.

Know your why.

What motivates you? What is something that pushes you? Whether it’s to buy a home for you and your family or start a family or be a top performer in your industry, this is your year to start it right.

Be consistent and persistent.

Don’t just start like everyone else and then just quit after the first couple of weeks. Consistency and persistence are key factors in accomplishing goals. Do the hustle and do those big things.

Fear is NOT Real.

Fear is something so limiting and the truth is that it’s not even real. It’s not a physical thing. It hasn’t happened yet but because of our limiting belief, it pulls us back from taking action.

Ways to Overcome Fear:

  • Stop putting pressure upon sales reps to do what is right, do their best to perform, and bring in revenue; otherwise, they would be afraid of doing what is wrong.
  • Take fear away from them. We learn the most when we make mistakes and mess up. Without giving them the opportunity to make mistakes, they’re going to be always afraid.
  • Through failures, we’re able to fix those things and find solutions for them. Scientists even recognize that they’re still going to mess up because it allows them to go forward.

Your call-to-action:

Give them an incubator, which is a place where they can mess up and grow and learn from them.

Tell your new reps that you don’t expect them to get everything right, that it’s okay to mess up but you don’t want them to make the same mistake twice.

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.

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.

 

Duncan Lennox, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, Sales Training

TSE 434: This Is How You Coach

Donald Kelly, Duncan Lennox, The Sales Evangelist PodcastCoaching plays a very important role in building a very efficient sales team. It’s also typical scenario in most organizations that competent, highly effective salespeople get promoted into sales managers. However, being a great salesperson doesn’t mean you automatically become a great sales manager as well. That’s the whole reason coaching is imperative, not only for salespeople, but also even for sales managers.

This is another interesting conversation today as Duncan Lennox shares a handful of great insights who to coach, what to coach, and most importantly, how you can effectively coach your sales team.

Duncan Lennox is the CEO and Co-Founder of Qstream, a sales performance platform that combines mobile, software, and science to help organizations measure and manage the skills of their sales force by adapting to the way their customers need to work.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Duncan:

Duncan’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer at a car dealership

How sales managers can be more effective in sales coaching:

  • Ability to use data in your coaching

Gather more data about what the sales reps know so you can tailor your coaching conversation and drive more to the specific needs of individual sales rep.

  • What data can you use:
  1. Data around the sales rep’s actual skills and knowledge (from practicing scenarios or a trial environment where they can work with prospects)
  2. Observe data (sales managers go on sales calls with the rep and capture data on how confident and proficient they are)
  • Consolidate data together and out of that deliver insights on who needs the help and where they need the help so sales managers can have directed coaching conversations

Factors that limit companies from having effective coaching sessions:

  1. Everybody is busy.
  2. Managers have larger teams.

Average team size is 6 reps per coach but many organizations are larger than that so sales managers have to divide their time among them.

  1. Pressure to focus on very short term opportunities.

Coaching is often focused on very short term deal opportunities and not going into longer term development of skills that could have a much bigger impact.

How can you make those conversations more efficient and more directed and much more personalized to each rep so people can use their time more efficiently?

  1. Promoting rock star sales people to become sales managers

Being a sales manager is a totally different job than being a sales rep. While that manager has tremendous experience that they could draw on to help their team, they don’t know a lot about how to coach, who to coach, and where the coaching is needed.

Strategies for sales managers to better improve:

  1. Coaching the coaches.

Many sales reps are more successful and happier staying as sales reps. But a number of salespeople need to get into the sales manager role. However, companies need to recognize this transition into a new role through coaching them to being better coaches.

  1. Technological support

Companies should assist sales managers by providing them new tools and technologies that enable them to gather data quickly and easily

Front-end: Combination of mobile enabling, easy access and easy-to-use to capture things quickly and easily

Back-end: Data gathering and crunching and analyzing all the data and numbers to provide real insights

More about Qstream:

Focused on the capabilities of the sales force to help them and managers understand their strengths and weaknesses and get better in their weak areas through:

A 3-minute daily experience: Combining neuroscience, psychology, game mechanics and big data all squeezed into a 3-minute experience

Virtual selling scenarios:  Reps choose what to do next and they learn and see their strong and weak points

Game Mechanics: Scoring points and competing with peers to increase engagement and building a consumer experience for the sales rep

Tailored experience: The experience is tailored to each individual rep so time is not wasted on things they already know or have mastered

Results:

  • Short, enjoyable experience so it’s not taking a lot of your time
  • Increased proficiency levels
  • Improved average quota performance to 20-30%

Duncan’s Major Takeaway:

Management is all about solving problems that are in the way of the people on your team. Help them remove these blocks through data-driven coaching. Also, scale by leveraging data gathered on the actual capability of the rep. At the end of the day, add value  for the rep rather than creating obstacles in their way.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Duncan on www.qstream.com or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @qstream.

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Entreprenure, Sellers, Improve Sales, New Clients

TSE 413: Sales Strategies From A Successful Entrepreneur

Entreprenure, Sellers, Improve Sales, New ClientsAs a seller, you need to think and act like an entrepreneur. So I’m bringing in an entrepreneur today to share with us some trick, strategies, the right mindset, and things she has done to help improve her sales so that you too can improve your sales.

Ivy Slater is an entrepreneur where she helps business owners (with an affinity to women business owners) to really build their businesses to earn the money they want to support their families and have the life they want to live.

A working mom for 24 years, Ivy has managed to both raise her two kids well and run a successful business at the same time. So it was never one after another, but a matter of doing an improv. Moving from the printing industry to the world of coaching, Ivy is a living proof that while making bad decisions can be inevitable, how you correct your course is what ultimately defines your success.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Ivy:

Why women have a harder time in sales?

  • Selling themselves

Women need to understand that what they sell is the results that their clients walk away with.

Why many people are scared of money:

  • Fear of losing money

The idea is not to make perfect business decisions but make the best decision you can make in the moment, keep things moving forward, and course correct.

  • Deciding based on emotions

All of a sudden, they see it’s their money and not business money. You have to look at it as business money. Put aside a certain amount of money in your business and running it as a business and make business decision, not emotional decisions. Instead, decide based on these questions:

  • What is your best course of action?
  • Will you get something further down the road?
  • What are the best steps you can take now?

The Power of Understanding Your Numbers:

  1. The numbers tell you the story.
  • Track your numbers and if they’re set up to work towards your financial goals the numbers will tell you the story.
  • How many times do you follow up? If you only follow up once or twice, you just may lose a deal.

The power of course correcting a bad decision:

Listen to Ivy’s story where she never got payment on a job (we’re talking about $60K down the drain!). But through the course correction she made, she was able to make back in work and profit $80K because she had put into effect a plan of her next steps

Strategies for following up:

  1. Create relationships.

Following up is more than just sending an email. The greatest client is the one you build a relationship with. Think outside the  box and get creative with it. Invite them to events.

  1. Bring value.

Stop thinking about yourself and think of how you can bring value to others. Get yourself out of the equation. Take a step back and focus on them. Open your ears and just listen.

How to leverage speaking to help grow your business:

  1. Teach a point based on the business you’re in.

Speaking elevates your status in a room. When you can share and teach something, your status is being elevated as a teacher. Now they look for you for information. They want to engage with you as opposed to you chasing after people.

Ivy’s Major Takeaway:

The more you take steady consistent action,, the more results you will see in your business. Do three pertinent activities everyday that will move your business forward. Take those baby steps consistently you will see Mt. Everest behind you and be ready for the next adventure.

Episode Resources:

Check out Ivy’s book, Conquer Your Fear of Money: A Woman’s Guide to Business Success

Get Ivy’s free report and just go to www.slatersuccesscoaching.com/ROI.

Connect with Ivy Slater on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Create interactive presentations that customers will enjoy and remember. Get a full demonstration of Prezi and see the power it has in action. Just go to www.prezi.com/TSE to help you tell more compelling, value-driven stories to your prospects.

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Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Donald Kelly, Gonzalo Salinas

TSE 399: Sales From The Street-“What Type of Sales Dog Are You?”

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales PodcastThis week’s episode on Sales from the Street is another interesting one as we talk about how different dog breeds actually relate to certain characters in your sales team. Our guest today, Gonzalo Salinas, shares how he overcame a major challenge by understanding what kind of sales dog each member of his team was.

Gonzalo Salinas is the Sales Manager for a litigation support company where they provide services to big law firms or solo law practitioners offering code reporters, videographers, process servers, interpreters, legal translations, and just about anything related to the litigation area.

Listen in to this episode and find out what type of sales dog you think you are!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Gonzalo:

Major challenge Gonzalo faced:

His training methods as not being a good fit for everyone in his team

A step closer to his resolution:

Gonzalo came across the book, Sales Dogs by Blair Singer

A brief story behind the book:

Blair was the number one salesperson at Xerox back in the 80’s and always competing with him was Robert Kiyosaki, who later published his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Robert realized  how important selling was so he called his friend, Blair Singer to his friend and asked if he could publish a book about sales on his book collection; hence, the book Sales Dogs was born.

Realizations Gonzalo got from this book to overcome his challenge:

  1. Every single salesperson is a different breed of dog.

Five different types of salespeople:

  • Chihuahua – The Tech Guy : This one knows everything about the product or service. The prospect has a big level of certainty about them talking about the product or service so they will buy
  • Rottweiler – The Closer : This the one who will bite your neck. They’re aggressive and they go everyday out there looking for a close.
  • Basset hound – The Persistent One : This is the persistent guy who will call you a year or two later. And maybe four years later, clients will buy from them for being persistent.
  • Poodle – The Socialite : This one will do a sales presentation wearing an Armani suit, driving a Maserati, and telling clients they’re doing them a favor by giving them sales presentation. This person has mastered their social skills. People buy from them because they feel important just by having lunch with this salesperson.
  • Labrador – This is the one that will become your friend and who will care about creating a relationship. They don’t care that much on the close but will create such a great relationship, will follow up properly, will follow steps of the sales process, and clients will place on you a big level of trust that they will become your clients forever.
  1. As a general rule, you always have your main breed and a secondary breed.
  • Main breed – 80% that fits your personality
  • Secondary breed – 20%
  1. Make 2-mm changes in every training you provide to your salespeople.

Understand that each of you team members are completely different breeds of dogs.

Results Gonzalo got from tweaking his training:

Increased sales in 90 days by 18%

Gonzalo’s Major Takeaway:

Focus on creating a relationship. The closing is mandatory next step of a great relationship.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Gonzalo through his website www.GonzaloSalinas.com and send him an email.

Sales Dogs by Blair Singer

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Please support us in our Indiegogo campaign, a movement to inspire others to Do Big Things. Simply go to www.DoBigThings.net.

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Do BIG THINGS, West Palm Beach, Florida, EMKO, Donald Kelly, Travis Thomas, The Sales Evangelist, LIVE YES AND

 

Unconsidered Needs, Sales Training, Donald Kelly, Hustle

TSE 375: TSE Hustler’s League-“Insights Mean Nothing Without A Solution”

Unconsidered Needs, Sales Training, Donald Kelly, HustleHere’s another snippet taken from one of our training sessions at the TSE Hustlers League. This week I focused on the idea of creating unconsidered needs and how you find those things. This all boils down to the concept of adding value. It means providing information your prospects don’t know that are needs which they probably don’t recognize they have.

Best ways to find unconsidered needs and use them to your advantage:

  1. Looking at the problems you have solved.

Look at the clients who came on board and some of the unique things or underappreciated things that they saw from using your product or service.

Is there something the prospects have not recognized or are overlooking that you have seen multiple times?

  1. Think about your business and write down the last five deals you closed.

Look at simple things your prospects are doing now, things you’ve learned in the process, or underappreciated things the prospect mentioned to you. Then position yourself as a person that brings uniqueness to the table.

  1. Don’t share an unconsidered need that you don’t have a solution to.

It’s worse if you have an unconsidered need and you don’t have a solution for it. You can’t just provide facts and not be helpful to your prospects. Share that unconsidered information first in your pitch, not later.

  1. Add a story.

Tell a story that has a similar challenge as your prospects that they can relate to. There’s a powerful emphasis when you can add story.

Major takeaway:

Your goal is to help them break the status quo and provide them with information that they don’t know can benefit them.

Episode Resources:

Please support us in our Indiegogo campaign, a movement to inspire others to Do Big Things. Simply go to www.DoBigThings.net.

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.

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Do BIG THINGS, West Palm Beach, Florida, EMKO, Donald Kelly, Travis Thomas, The Sales Evangelist, LIVE YES AND

 

 

Andy Paul, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 364: Sales From The Street-“Part Two-Tailored Coaching”

Andy Paul, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales PodcastThis is Part Two of Sales from the Street with Andy Paul who graced our show last week and talked about different strategies for lead generation.

Today, he talks primarily about what sales managers can do to be able to cater to sellers using the unique strengths of people in their team.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Andy:

Dealing with scripts:

  • Process-driven versus flexibility
  • An issue on quantity versus quality
  • At the end of the day, it’s still a person talking to a person
  • Take advantage of the strengths of people in your team.

Strategies for managers:

  1. Coach your people.

Your first job is to coach your people because your success is completely dependent on their success.

  1. Manage the people, not the metrics.

It’s all about managing your people to make them more effective so their metrics improve.

Andy’s Major Takeaway:

Play to your strengths. Automation is good but these processes and tools don’t actually take the place of actual selling. Get yourself in a position where you can play to win.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Andy thru email at andy@zerotimeselling.com  or on LinkedIn and Twitter @zerotimeselling

Check out Andy Paul’s podcast Accelerate!

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

 

Complacency, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 342: Complacency In Sales Performance

Complacency, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastComplacency is a bad thing when it comes to selling. Unfortunately, a lot of salespeople can fall into a trap that can prevent them from performing better.

Even if you’re doing well with your sales, the last thing you want to do is be complacent. You need to continually grow. You need to do better. You need to push yourself.

Once you become complacent, the momentum is gone. When that happens, you start to digress and start making less money than you typically would.

What is complacency?

  • Feeling of uncritical satisfaction with one’s self or one’s achievement
  • Where you are comfortable with where you are

Here are 5 reasons why many salespeople become complacent:

  1. Your manager is not paying attention to them.

Sometimes our focus can be geared more towards the under performing salesperson that we lose sight of the top performers and this could cause them to be complacent. Find one who’s in a complementary industry where you can push each other or find mentors to help you with.

  1. They’re doing too good.

Stick to a checklist. This is what successful people, athletes, and entrepreneurs do. They follow the fundamentals and they master them.

  1. They don’t have goals.

When you don’t have any goals or you don’t have a why and just come to work and doing it without any goals or desires, you’re not going to increase. You have to have a purpose to be effective in sales.

  1. They have no challenge.

Gamification is important to continually challenge the team. Put up a contest of challenge within the organization. Find someone else or other top performing individuals that can challenge you. Join a mastermind group like TSE Hustlers League and have the opportunity to be challenged by others and get that push you need.

  1. People have the mentality of “I know what I’m doing.”

If you start doing so well and you think you no longer have any room for improvement, you could eventually run in circles and run out of steam.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

If you’re a leader in the organization, make sure you have coaching with the people on your team. Sit down and talk to them and see what drives and pushes them.

Episode Resources:

www.podcastmovement.com

Kevin Kruse’s book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

Keith Rosen’s book Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly