Sales Enablement - The Sales Evangelist

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Rodrick Jefferson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1110: What Companies Get Wrong When It Come To Sales Enablement

Rodrick Jefferson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Many people get sales enablement wrong because they have different concepts and ideas about what it actually is.

Roderick Jefferson began his sales career as a BDR, then an AEE, and finally moved into sales management. He discovered that he enjoyed sales more than he enjoyed closing deals. So he stepped into sales training.

Now, through his company Roderick Jefferson and Associates, he breaks the complexity of sales into practical ideas through scalable and repeatable practices.

Sales enablement mistakes

Sales enablement helps develop the right conversations the right way with the right tools. Ultimately, it seeks to decrease time to ramp or increase productivity and revenue.

Many companies make mistakes implementing their sales enablement.

  1. They fail to establish consistency and parameters.
  2. Many wait too long to hire sales enablement consultants.
  3. They assume they need a consultant or a resource without realizing they need both. One can help you lay the groundwork that you can hand off to another.

Many companies aren’t really sure what they need. They know what isn’t working and they treat enablement like IT. But those who do sales enablement aren’t the fixers of broken things. They aren’t sales scribes or sales support. They must be sales partners.

Training vs. enablement

A difference exists between training and enablement. Roderick believes that training applies to animals while enablement applies to humans.

Enablement is woven into the fabric of the company. It literally has to be one of the top five initiatives of the overall success of the company. It also must have specific time-bound and measurable deliverables, metrics, and KPIs.

Measurements

Some of the sales enablement measurements have changed. We used to talk about butts in seats, headcount, and NPS scores, but those things don’t carry water.

Sales enablement now focuses on different questions.

  • What’s the completion percentage of certification or accreditation?
  • What’s the average deal size?
  • Collateral use infrequency?
  • How much new pipeline is being created?
  • What’s the number of closed deals?
  • What’s the product mix?
  • What’s the quota attainment percentage?
  • What’s the time to revenue?
  • What’s the win rate?

Many of the old measurements aren’t definitions of success and they won’t help move the needle forward for sales.

Biggest mistake

Companies aren’t tying their goals, their sales processes, or their sales methodology to figure out where they fit into their buyer’s journey. They are trying to make their buyer fit into their processes, methodologies, sales stages, and CRM.

They must step back and reverse engineer their process and document what the buyer’s journey looks like. They must also figure out where to fit in multiple touch points in the buyer’s journey.

Sales enablement must be in place before you need it. By the time you need it, it’s already too late. If, for example, you’re planning to hire more people over the next year, you must have the content ready for them. You must have a process for onboarding.

Without these processes in place, you’ve essentially planned to fail rather than ensuring success.

Rethink ICP

Rethink the ideal customer profile. Start thinking instead about the ideal employee profile. From an enablement perspective, you start to get a feel for new hires and who is going to be a rock star. Instead of doing that after the hire, Roderick focused on working with HR resources around talent acquisition.

Consider what a rock star looks like especially in the context of where the company is going. Then take that job description to HR and explain what you’re hiring toward.

Sometimes sellers do well by accident because the prospect happened to need their product or service. In that case, they become simply order-takers.

When we fail to measure, plan, or structure our efforts, we don’t optimize. Imagine if every organization operated that way. It’s the detriment of the sales industry.

Supply chain ensures that you hit your markers and that sales leaders don’t move the goalposts. If you’re in the red zone about to score, you don’t want anyone to move the goal post.

Resource vs. consultant

Many companies don’t want to pay for consultants but they want help connecting the dots. It’s important to use resources and consultants because what one lacks, the other brings.

Roderick’s team brings templates to their clients so they don’t have to recreate the wheel. The process includes four stages.

  1. Infrastructure build and augmentation.
  2. Established sales enablement team.
  3. Sales leadership and coaching.
  4. Sales-focused metrics.

Hope

Instead of hoping that marketing does its job and that the customer buys, institute a clear process instead. Remove hope at every stage and rely on the process that focuses on your buyer’s journey.

Enablement is an ongoing conference rather than a single event.

“Sales Enablement” episode resources

You can connect with Roderick on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, or you can email him directly with questions at roderickjefferson.com.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

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Byron Matthews, Miller Heiman Group, Sales Training, Sales Enablement

TSE 891: Sales Enablement – A Master Framework to Build, Coach, and Lead Your Most Productive Sales Team

Sales Enablement means different things to different people, and though the definition varies widely, it’s one of the fastest growing trends in the world of B2B selling. More than 59 percent of organizations report having a devoted sales enablement effort, but only 34 percent are achieving their goals. It’s vital, then, that organizations develop a master framework to make their sales enablement more effective.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Byron Matthews, CEO of the Miller Heiman Group, shares his company’s findings on sales enablement and the trends we can expect to see in sales enablement.

The growth has been so explosive, in fact, that sales enablement effectiveness dropped off in 2017, largely because so many organizations were wading into the concept. The learning curve that resulted brought down the overall numbers in terms of effectiveness, but those numbers should rebound quickly.

Why sales enablement is exploding

When sales enablement emerged as a concept, it was limited primarily to larger companies. Now, organizations with teams of 5-10 people are investing in sales enablement, largely because of the tremendous innovation on the buyer’s side of the transaction.

Effective sellers need more than just sales training and CRM systems. The relationship between the buyer and the seller has dramatically changed and sellers need new content services to keep up.

Byron stresses that more informed doesn’t mean better informed. But, he said, only 23 percent of buyers even look to a salesperson as a source of information. More than half of buyers engage a salesperson only after they’ve decided on a solution.

Sellers must provide value, insights, data, and meaning to the buyer. Because buyers rarely seek out sellers, you’ll likely have to be very creative to figure out what their needs are.

Once you understand their needs, you should seek to inspire them and add value.

Sales professionals as content marketers

If engagement is lower, then the stakes are higher. So where are buyers finding their information?

Organizations realize that customers are looking to digital channels, so they must focus on their content to make sure that the messaging is effective.

Companies must thoroughly understand what is happening with their sellers, to include the challenges they are facing. All of the company’s stakeholders must put together a roadmap and plan the way ahead.

The amount of change requires sellers to adopt a more holistic view of performance and what drives it. The effort requires training, technology, and content, overlaid with a plan to move forward.

This “steering committee” design results in a tremendous amount of buy-in across the organization because each segment can see the importance of its own role in the effort. No one wants to be the weakest link.

On the contrary, when a sales plan lacks transparency, individual components lack buy-in, which results in delays and failures.

The future of sales enablement

Sales roles are certain to adapt in the near future, as will the sales model design.

The growth of technology and AI in sales will reduce the tedium in the process, and free people to focus on the larger components of sales rather than the tedious pieces. The net result will be a redeployment of resources across the sales industry.

The other change is a shift from EQ to IQ. In past years, emotional quotient was important for building relationships and dealing with people. Now the focus is flipping to analytical information as sales professionals learn to work in a data-rich tech environment.

The biggest challenge, Byron said, is that companies are reluctant to make the change quickly because changing the selling model is risky. It’s true, though, that the companies that move boldly into the change are seeing the best results.

“Sales Enablement” episode resources

Grab a copy of Byron’s book, Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip, and Empower a World-Class Sales ForceThe book emerged after Byron’s company realized the incredible demand for information about sales enablement, and it offers insight into best practices, examples, and frameworks for success.

Make sure you also grab your free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic way to learn what buyers are thinking and how to sell the way they want to buy.

Also, check out the Video Jungle podcast to discover how to use video to take your sales to another level.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program that will connect you with sellers from all industries all over the world. We’re accepting applications for our next semester this fall, and we’d love for you to join us.

Check out our Facebook page, The Sales Evangelizers, for a taste of what our online coaching community is like.

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David Kerr. Sales Enablement, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 721: How Octiv Can Help Sellers Save Time and Increase Profits

David Kerr. Sales Enablement, The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyLooking for ways to enable your sales team and boost your productivity? Think Octiv.

Today, I’m bringing in David Kerr, the CEO of Octiv. He was a former Groupon executive. He shares with us valuable insights into how you can revolutionize your sales, and what their company offers so you can increase your profits in less time.

Octiv automates and digitizes sales documents for sales professionals or marketing professionals to help them make sending documents much easier as well as speed up the sales process.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

How Octiv Works

  • Create a proposal using PowerPoint, Word, or PDF and put it as an attachment.
  • Send it to Octiv.
  • It integrates with a variety of your back-end systems.
  • It assembles your document seamlessly so it’s available online.
  • When the prospect opens it, you get a notification.
  • You begin to engage and collaborate with your prospect.
  • Workflow is automated so it goes to the appropriate folks that need to sign the document.

Can Small Businesses Use it Too?

Yes!

Reasons People Don’t Use Productivity Tools:

  • Fatigue from using sales applications – The average sales rep interacts with about 8 and 1/2 different technologies in order to get their sales done.
  • The concept around change management – Technology is not the end all and be all solution.

How Octiv Is Tailored Towards Marketing:

  • You can integrate with different marketing solutions including Marketo,Eloqua, etc.
  • Marketing can automate the creation and personalize their documents.
  • You can automate your presentations as well and update them.

David’s Major Takeaway:

Think about the change management piece. How are you enabling your sales team with training, technology, behaviors, and tools? Ensure you’ve got accountability across your sales team.

Episode Resources:

Connect with David Kerr on Octiv and follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

KiteDesk, Predictable Revenue, Prospecting, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 508: Building Predictable Pipeline With Sales Development

KiteDesk, Predictable Revenue, Prospecting, The Sales EvangelistPredictable revenue is what everybody wants but nobody wants to do the work to get. My guest today, Sean Burke is going to share with us some relevant strategies and principles you can implement to help you see predictability in your revenue.

Sean is the CEO of KiteDesk, a sales development platform that helps sales teams create a predictable pipeline.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Sean:

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Strategies for creating a predictable pipeline:

  1. Have an account target.

Identify the companies you want to sell to in the sense that they should meet a range of revenue you could earn by earning their business. Don’t sell for everybody. The more detailed you can get, the better you can determine the personas of the companies.

  1. Send the right message to the right persona.

Any large B2B company usually has 6.8 decision makers so your message should be able to match each of those personas.

  1. Use metrics.

Measure the emails you send and see which ones resonate. Measure the call scripts you use. Measure the tactics you use that get the best results.

  1. Consistency is key.

Like a curve, it can go up and down and over time, the waves of results start to normalize out to almost like flat line. Do this regularly to your personas and this is your conversion rate into qualified opportunities. Then you start to get predictable and start raising your percentages, for instance, from 15 meetings to 17 meetings. Then you can fine tune all the knobs accordingly.

  1. See the gaps in between and tweak as necessary to increase the outcomes.

Once you’ve figured the conversion, the average deal size, the average time, find the gaps in your processes that you can tweak to increase conversion, etc.

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How to get started with a new sales development team:

  1. Marketing decides who to go after.

They define the criteria for an ideal client profile and load that into the system to be able to create a list every week.

  1. Marketing starts the process of defining the messaging then translate it into sales language.

This is where marketing and sales start to come together. Marketing then has to take it from marketing language to sales language where they have to find a message that’s going to create action.

  1. Marketing makes messaging sales-ready and tests it.

Have a baseline number and run a different messaging track for a different group (but same profile of the personas)

Important note: Create the bridge between marketing and sales to make it right. Marketing wants to control some of the messaging but sales can help refine it. The point where they come together is where real magic happens.

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Criteria for Hiring a Sales Development Rep:

  • Sacrifice
  • Confidence
  • Likability
  • History of sales (having a family with sales background)

 

KPI’s for building predictable revenue:

  1. Lead conversion funnel

Number of meetings booked

  1. Content
  • Emails opened and replied to
  • Phone scripts
  • Entirety of the steps (number of actions it takes to get a meeting) –  If you can drive down the action from 8 steps to 4, you get more productivity and it means your messaging is working.
  1. Lists created and number of qualified meetings

Comparing different lists and identifying which messaging works

  1. Analytics

Other strategies for increasing productivity in your SDR team:

  • Sense the feel of the SDR room and always make the room fun and positive.
  • Focus on delivering value.

Sean’s Major Takeaway:

It’s a process. If you’re not willing to commit to excel and be disciplined in this, then it’s not worth starting. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re willing to commit to doing this and doing it well and be patient with it.

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Episode Resources:

Connect with Sean on Twitter @SeanHBurke and LinkedIn and check out www.KiteDesk.com.

If you have any questions for Sean about sales and sales development, post a question on Quora.

Stop sending boring proposals and check out PandaDoc, the future of documents. Sales teams who have adopted it have seen a 30% increase in their sales productivity. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

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.

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

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Split Testing for Sales, Stephanie Melish, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 473: How To Apply A/B Split Testing – Traditionally Reserved For Online Sales – To The Traditional Sales Process

Split Testing for Sales, Stephanie Melish, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Are you sure your prospects understand the message you’re trying to convey? Here’s an awesome way to help you figure it out. The idea of split testing is usually associated with the online space but my guest today, Stephanie Melish, is going to teach us some great insights into how split testing can be so useful in growing your sales or business even when you’re doing it traditionally.

Stephanie is a professional speaker and a certified business coach. She helps individuals or businesses improve their lives and increase their bank accounts while doing it. Learn more about how you can incorporate split testing even when you’re doing traditional sales.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Stephanie:

What is Split Testing?

Comparing versions A and B which are identical except for one variation that may affect the end result or the user’s behavior.

Version A can be what you’re currently doing and Version B is modified with only one variation.

Why you need to split-test:

So you will know what makes your prospects respond to more and to make sure your prospects clearly understand your message.

Strategies in using split-testing to your sales process:

  1. Focus on the area that doesn’t feel to be working.

Identify the areas you’re struggling with and where you don’t think you’re at your peak performance. There are different places that you can try split-testing such as your value proposition or even your email subject lines. Have a variation of it to figure out which version people respond to better.

  1. Only change one variation at a time.

You can’t change everything. Only change one variation at a time.

  1. Identify your end goal.

Know what you’re trying to accomplish to be able to identify how you’re going to test it and to test its effectiveness.

  1. When you find what’s working, stick to it.

Be smart enough to know when is the right and appropriate time to use it in the sales process.

  1. Keep testing it until you hit the number you’re trying to pull in.

How long to test it actually depends on your desired results. Or keep testing until you can evaluate it.

  1. Know what really works for you and your industry.

Be bold but test out to see what works well for your environment and for your business to make sure it fits your industry.

Stephanie’s Major Takeaway:

It’s okay to try out new things to discover what works. Even you know it works well, still try to test it to see if there is a better way to do it. Always be evolving and improving because there is no limit to your growth. You never know when a shift is going to happen so you always want to be on the tip of your toes learning, evolving, and doing something that’s different.

Episode Resources:

Know more about Stephanie on www.stephaniemelish.com and follow what she’s doing.

Read Stephanie’s article on Forbes, Why You Need to Apply Split A/B Testing to Traditional Offline Sales

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.

www.bombbomb.com

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.

 

Outside Sales Rep, Inside Sales, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 411: What Makes Someone A Successful Outside Sales Rep?

Outside Sales Rep, Inside Sales, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastAre you struggling with managing your outside sales team? Or are you someone who’s struggling with approaching new people face-to-face, doing cold calls? Outside selling is a common problem of its own and today’s guest, Robert Hartline, is a total genius who created a solution for this. Robert runs a company called Call Proof, an app for outside salespeople.

How does this work?

The tool takes all those listed in your call log made from the mobile phone and thrown into the cloud. They match it with their own clients and prospects and then give salespeople an easy-to-use tool to locate who they’re going to visit it’s easier for salespeople to route to the closest prospects and see more people throughout the day.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Robert:

Inside Sales versus Outside Sales:

  • Challenges of outside selling: Traffic, scheduling, resources
  • Different skill sets between sitting behind the desk and correspond to emails and find prospects and handle leads versus talking to strangers, walking in and straight-up cold calling
  • It’s easier to reject someone on the phone than when you talk to the person face-to-face.
  • You have to realize that a lot of people don’t sit behind the desk all day.

What makes someone successful at outside sales?

  1. Ask them to tell you about their morning ritual.

A good salesperson has a good morning ritual they stick with. When they incorporate getting up early and working out, they are already above everyone else. People who exercise and care about themselves are willing to do the difficult things.

  1. Have a mentor or somebody you can shadow.

Most sales interactions only encompass 8 different objections as to why someone will not buy your product. Salespeople who can close everything know how to answer these particular objections each and every time. You have to find a person who knows how to answer those. Beg or borrow time from that top salesperson, even pay him if you had to or take them to dinner. Don’t try to recreate the sales wheel.The data is there. They must be doing something you should emulate. Take notes. Record everything.

  1. Practice.

Once you’ve listened to the master, you have to practice. Before practicing on real life people, practice by yourself and with yourself or ask a cousin, a friend, or someone else to come over while you practice with them. Ask for feedback. Don’t waste your valuable leads with not having the right practice.

Strategies for practicing:

  • Don’t practice with your co-worker without a third party.
  • Someone has to be the customer, someone has to be the salesperson.
  • Practice back and forth with one other party.
  • The third person is the witness to call you out.
  1. Take a buddy with you to serve as your accountability partner.

Take a buddy with you where you do one cold-call and your buddy watches and listens without saying a word. Then flip roles. This will help drive and push yourself to go out there and keep pushing through.

  1. Always do a follow up.

Follow up is king. Every interaction you have with a prospect means you’re creating a task to do something later. You never walk away from a prospect without some kind of a promise or action.

Robert’s Major Takeaway:

Do the follow up. Don’t wait to call your prospect and follow up later. You have to get to it now or it will just go away.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Robert on Twitter @hartlinerobert or send him an email at robert@callproof.com.

Get the Call Proof app now and see the wonders it can do with the way you do outside sales.

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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TK, ToutApp, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 300: Is Sales Enablement Working For You?

TK, ToutApp, The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyThe concept of sales enablement is pretty much becoming a buzzword in the sales world today, but what is it exactly?

Mr. Enablement here is going to give us great new insights into that. TK is the founder and CEO of ToutApp, a sales success platform where they offer a one stop shop for customers to prospect more, close more deals, and manage smarter – all this plugged into Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce, and more as one streamlined sales process.

Today, we talk more about sales enablement, how it can help any sales organization enable their sales team and achieve greater success, and how it has taken the sales training process into a whole new level.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with TK:

What is Sales Enablement?

  • Adding a specific person dedicated to making sure the sales team is successful
  • Traditionally, people spend on sales training. Today, the landscape has evolved.
  • The version 2 of sales trainers where they figure out the systems and processes put into place so training is reinforced and every rep is following best practices and winning
  • Sales enablement doesn’t have to be a dedicated person. It could be a role that someone hones.

Drivers that create sales enablement:

  • A sense of “tools fatigue”
  • A need to look at these things as a whole to come up with the right set of tools and processes to make a rep successful

The right candidate for sales enablement:

  1. Prior sales experience
  2. Empathize with salespeople in their day-to-day lives
  3. The ability to look at the things you can give to reps to increase win rates and close deals faster

Good sales enablement vs. bad sales enablement:

The best sales enablement people treat their sales people as their customers trying to constantly figure out how to make their lives easier.

The role of customers in the sales enablement process:

  • Think about your customer as a sales enabled person or the different segments of a sales team.
  • Figure out what their needs are and how it differs.

What the ToutApp can do for you:

  • Bakes in your sales process into the software so it helps the rep navigate the sales process
  • Helps define key individuals so you can focus your efforts and not waste time
  • Streamlines emails
  • Integrates different platforms into the sales process
  • Live Feed – tells you exactly what’s going on in your sales process
  • Bridges the disconnect between marketing and sales to achieve overall success

 

TK’s Major Takeaway:

Do you have a piece of paper or document that clearly codifies your sales process? (Where you know the stages you go through and how you move from one stage to the next) That’s the first step of sales enablement. Then pick tools to scale that for the rest of your team.

Episode Resources:

Check out their website www.toutapp.com or email TK directly at tk@toutapp.com. Whether you’re part of a SMB or a large enterprise, I highly recommend you check out their software and see how they can help you and change the way you do things around more effectively, more productively.

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.

Join Today!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sales Enablement, Donald Kelly, Sales Hacks, Sales Tips, Email Templates

TSE 273: Sales Enablement “Gmail Email Templates”

Sales Enablement, Donald Kelly, Sales Hacks, Sales Tips, Email TemplatesToday, I will share with you a very effective sales enablement tool with Gmail to help you speed up the amount of emails you send. This way, you will be able to work more effectively and focus on the more important things. Work smarter, not harder.

What is Sales Enablement?

It means utilizing technology, means, or processes to enable your salespeople to sell better.

One thing that will help you enable your sales is the use of Email Templates and you can actually utilize Gmail for canned email, a tool-click process where it enables you to send out emails more efficiently.

So how does it work?

  1. Open Gmail.
  1. Click on the Gear icon in the upper right hand corner.
  1. Choose settings and click on Labs tab.
  1. Find “canned responses” and click the radio button to enable it.
  1. Scroll down and click save.

Now you may compose an email. If you want to use a canned email, just click on the bottom right hand corner of your email.

One thing I’ve learned from Kevin Kruse during our last conversation back in TSE 266 is the importance of batching the time spent in sending emails. Instead of spending a lot of time composing emails, simply create canned emails to help you shorten the amount of time you’re sending emails in half or even more.

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.

Check out Kevin Kruse’s book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

Check out the interview with Kevin Kruse on TSE 266

Join Today! 

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

 

80/20 Rule, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Mike Kunkle

TSE 251: How To Address Pareto’s Law With Your Sales Team

80/20 Rule, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Mike Kunkle A CSO report suggests that 13% of salespeople produce 87% of corporate revenue. Let’s try to tackle this as we bring in the mad genius, Mike Kunkle, as he shares with us today some reasons for this widening gap, what you can do to close this gap as a seller, and how managers and executives can move this into the middle of the bell curve.

Mike is the Senior Director of Sales Enablement for Brainshark, a sales enablement software provider. His current focus is on the internal aspect of the company – onboarding, training sales reps and managers, ensuring that they have the knowledge, the skills, the processes in place, the systems and tools they need to find, sell, and serve buyers who are looking to improve sales readiness and sales productivity at their companies

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mike:The Sales Evangelist Podcast , Donald Kelly

The reasons for the large gap between top performing sellers and the rest:

  1. The general human performance gap

Sales is like an Olympic sport that requires knowledge, skill, practice, dedication to hone your craft and to be the best. And there’s a smaller number of people who truly excel at anything who are on the far right side of the bell curve. So it’s not natural for everybody to be a great performer in a large organization.

  1. We accept that the first reason is unchangeable.

Hence, we don’t work hard enough to move the middle of the pack or support the bulk of the middle performers in selling more effectively.

Strategies in Mike’s company to close the productivity gap through a multi-pronged approach:

  1. Use of the Brainshark Sales Accelerator in their learning cloud:
  • For onboarding and training to organize everything.
  • To serve up the right content to their sellers at the right times of the buying and selling process
  1. Solid work with buyer personas.
  • They are able to better understand their market and the buyers they work with and incorporate that into the way they sell.
  1. Reworking sales onboarding to be more effective.
  2. They implemented a very buyer-oriented, consultative, and outcome-focused sales methodology.
  • This seeks to align the buying and selling processes
  1. 2016 initiatives to maximize and raise the level of effectiveness of the team and the sales leaders alike

How managers and executives can address this disparity:

  1. Study top producers and the middle producers carefully.

Do your best to determine what differentiates the top from the rest. Not everything that the top producers do is scaleable across the entire salesforce.

  1. Teach managers the content first.

Sales managers are sadly often ignored. Prepare them to do a more effective job in coaching and help them understand effective pipeline management practices and performance management.

The differentiating factors among top performers:

  1. Great job at discovery

A great sales performer is able to quantify the negative implications of the current state or the way the buyer is measured. Then work with them over time to provide solutions that address those implications and then deliver compelling business outcome.

  1. The ability communicate and create value.
  2. The ability to hustle.
  3. Positive attitude.
  4. Being aggressive

Marinate in this Zig Ziglar quote which Mike cited:

“You get what you want in life by helping enough other people get what they want.”

Strategies for improving as an underperforming seller:

  1. You need to commit to learning and to the discipline, the organizational skills and the mastery of the craft.

Maximize all the resources the company provides. Step up to the plate, do the work. Make the effort and ask for help.

  1. Have the mindset of wanting to succeed, open to learning, and open to coaching.

How you can help an underperforming seller:

  1. Get their commitment to be open to training and coaching.
  2. Help them create a buyer-focused mindset.
  3. Have a plan.

Where is your market? Who are your contacts? Are they the right ones? How do you plan to approach them?

  1. Walk them through the process of approaching, lead generation, managing through the pipeline.

Mike’s Major Takeaway:

Focus on the buyers and their problems, the implications for not solving them, and the outcomes you can help them achieve. Then you will have a better chance not only in making a sale but also in differentiating yourself from the pack.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Mike on Twitter @mike_kunkle and on LinkedIn

Check out his blog at www.mikekunkle.com

Check out Mike’s SlideShare on Sales Onboarding

Brainshark website

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly