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Enjoyable Sales Process

TSE 1299: Keys to Making the Sales Process ENJOYABLE for You and the Customer

Enjoyable Sales ProcessThe sales process is a journey that can vary in the amount of time invested. Regardless of how long it takes, it’s within your control to make it enjoyable for you and the customer!  

Tasha Smith is with Emerge Sales Training and they help entrepreneurs become great at selling. Their goal is to make the journey enjoyable for both the sellers and their customers. Tasha’s company wants to ensure that the selling experience is in line with the sellers’ values and personalities. They offer one-on-one coaching with entrepreneurs to figure out what their best offers are, how to unlock their superpowers, and how they can communicate in an honorable way. They call it good human sales. 

Unfortunately, not all salespeople are selling with the buyers’ best intentions. Some are tricking them into a one-sided experience where they win and the buyers don’t. However, when you’re selling for the benefit of the consumer, then you elevate the transaction for you and them. 

Leveling the playing field 

As a salesperson, ask yourself this question, “What is it about the sales process that makes it unenjoyable?”  When Tasha coaches a new client, they start with the opposite of what they want to create and then reverse engineer the process backward. There are several reasons why a sales transaction can be unenjoyable:

  • The customer feels like there’s going to be a bait and switch.
  • The customer feels the pressure to buy.
  • The decision to move forward feels confusing and overwhelming.
  • The process is boring.
  • The customer has to work really hard at connecting the dots.

Your job as the salesperson is to keep these things from happening and making it a great experience for the customer.  If it’s great for the customer, it’s great for you. 

Tasha has some tips on how to make the sales process enjoyable. To begin with, we need to make our sales process customer-centric. The goal is to have high conversion but in a way that feels more effortless because you’re both having fun. The dictionary’s definition of
“close” is “unite.” We need to start thinking about what our customers would prefer the interaction to look like. If they like how the conversation goes, then they are more likely to engage and convert higher. Customers are more responsive if they see you as a stable individual, trustworthy individual who offers hope.  

Set up an appointment

Setting up an appointmentis a very common step in the sales process but the details can often be overlooked. Salespeople can get caught up in closing with speed because they don’t want to lose a sale. The downside to this is that we can overwhelm a potential customer or miss critical details. Our sales process should be more consent-based.  We need to ask our customers if they would be interested in meeting, if our product sounds helpful, and if they’d be open to moving toward a solution to their problems.  We need to go beyond just pulling out our appointment book and filling a time slot.  

Putting in a little extra effort is a great step in earning your customer’s trust. Your job as a salesperson is to guide them and to give them the control to purchase. Giving someone the choice to say no makes them feel better and they are more likely to stick around until the end of the sales process. This simple shift can send a closing percentage through the roof because you’ve removed the stress from the customer. 

Restate the agenda

Let your customer know how much time you’re expecting to be with them and stick to it unless the customer wants to talk longer. Make sure you ask your customer if the amount of time is acceptable. Let your customer know you’ll be talking about your company and going over your most popular packages and offerings. If the customers like what you have to say, they are likely going to move forward through the sales process but assure them they get to make that decision in their time frame. 

By this point, you’ve eliminated the fear of risk for your customer. Through this process, you’ve offered trust, compassion, stability, and hope which are all qualities people are looking for in a transaction.  Sales reps don’t just sell products.  You’re leaders and problem solvers. 

Discovery process 

The discovery process can feel like an interrogation and that leads to an unenjoyable experience. Even when it’s a well-meaning person who is trying to get to know you, it feels like whatever they ask is going to be used as ammunition. Many sales trainers even call discovery questions “bullets in the gun.”  Who wants to do business on the receiving end of that?  Sales reps need to remember that the purpose of discovery questions is to personalize the experience for the customer. We need to be able to connect the dots for the customer and to make it easy for them to see how the transaction works. Make sure the questions are first and foremost clarifying for the client. 

Answering questions can get boring unless the right questions are being asked.  For example, if your product will help their health, ask about their health goals, their goals for their families, and discover what they’ve already done to meet those goals. Ask them what they know about your company so you’re not repeating information they already know. Then, offer a solution that will impact their quality of life. People don’t move forward because they want a better life. 

Personalize the features and benefits

Now that you know their goals and how your services are going to impact their overall quality of life, personalize the features and benefits. Do this by offering “have you ever” scenarios. Find that common ground that allows for an easier conversation. When it’s easy, both of you feel energized and you can respond in ways that are relevant to your customer’s needs because both of you have the ability to pay attention. The harder the conversation, the less mental bandwidth you have in listening and being present in the moment. 

As a salesperson, it is important to prepare your mind before you talk to people. When Tasha starts her day, she thinks, “Whose prayers can I answer today?” It feels good to be the answer to someone’s prayer. It is important to have fun and convey that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Your confidence, belief, and enthusiasm can be contagious so let others experience the fun too! Be a person who is enjoyable to interact with.  The more enjoyable we are, the better we are going to be in sales.  You can be a good person and be successful too. 

Keys to Making the Sales Process ENJOYABLE for You and the Customer” episode resources 

If you want the template, you can go to emergesalestraining.com/sep or you can email at tasha@emergesalestraining.com and she’ll respond in person. 

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 now for free 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. 

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

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

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

Close deals using videos with Doug

TSE 1268: How To Close More Deals Using Videos Throughout The Sales Process

Close deals using videos with DougClosing deals using videos is now becoming a very effective tool in the sales process. As a salesperson and entrepreneur, we’ll talk about how you can incorporate videos into your sales goals. 

Doug Davidoff works with companies in the B2B space around customer acquisition and success programs. They examine a company’s sales structure to figure out how to build it in a way that’s scalable, repeatable, high probability yield, high-margin, and high-growth.  Because of this, a sales team can get more done in less time. 

The beginning 

Doug started working for the company when he was just 16 years old, around the same time when he got his driver’s license. Back then, they were focused on traditional sales advisory sales training. For the last seven years, they’ve been looking into the holistic process of customer acquisition. Every three years, they reinvent themselves in an effort to make it easier for companies to work with ease and efficiency. 

It was difficult when they first started using videos. They were among the first companies who were utilizing this new tech and there were only a handful of examples they could use as a reference. Doug came up with the idea of making videos the same way as he made webinars, breaking them down into 3 sections. Next to blogging, it was by far his greatest accidental discovery.

If you decide to work with videos, know that it may not yield immediate results.  Closing deals using videos isn’t easy. Doug didn’t start with video thinking it would enhance the process. There is a lot of divergences when it comes to what people know about using video, what they are looking for, and what they want to accomplish.  Because of this, initial conversations were hard because it was hard to tell a client the specific impact on their sales. Nowadays, with more history, easier to see that video is very effective. 

Creating the videos 

Doug began creating a 20-minute long video for a presentation and later went to an hour, sometimes longer, as needed. Doug’s colleagues advised that prospects wouldn’t watch videos that were this long but Doug wasn’t to be deterred. As Doug gained a greater skill set and his videos improved, the more the videos were shared among key people within the companies he was targeting. This sharing process enabled Doug’s team to know who the key figures, influencers, and decision-makers were within these companies. They began seeing that people were watching their videos even before they got to their kick-off.  These prospects were watching and using their videos to socialize and share various ideas. This was how they decided to use their videos in segments that could be dropped in each part of the sales process, from market development to customer acquisition. 

The video sales process

How a customer is moved through the video process largely depends on how the customer finds Doug.  The first video is typically post-discovery where they let their prospects watch any number of videos that are connected to solution pages. 

They’ve also tried running a couple of campaigns where they connect to prospects who are difficult to reach by giving them shorter versions of their videos. They ask these recipients to share their top three biggest challenges and Doug’s team then sends a 2-4 minute video that addresses these challenges. This strategy is used during the pre-discovery and discovery process, needs assessment diagnosis, and so on. 

Using videos in sales

Doug has been told that videos won’t work in sales but he’s proven this isn’t true. If you are a salesperson presenting a topic consistently, you can save time by putting that presentation into a video.  If you prefer initial contact to be live, you can still utilize video in the follow-up. Doing a concept video is also encouraged.     

With great editing, the best thing about the video is that you get to be yourself, without mistakes. You can also send the video before the sales call and then ask them what part of the video had the most impact on them. This will give you an idea of what you can do for the next steps and you’ll be able to gauge if the video was watched at all. If they did watch the video, the conversation will show you how to prepare for any follow-up conversations. 

When you offer a video, your prospects are able to watch you at their convenience. It gives them time to think and prepare for your call as well. 

Prospect conversions using videos 

Doug doesn’t claim the videos are the only thing that leads to closing a sale but it is a great indicator.  Video helps to detect how serious someone is about starting a buying journey. Even when people don’t watch the video, you can do more by investigating further: Maybe they don’t believe the video is working. Maybe their problem isn’t a huge concern. Maybe it’s not a good time/ Maybe they’re in the middle of a crisis that needs to be addressed first. 

Videos give you information about the buyer. It allows you to gain greater insight and use your time more effectively. When you free up time, you’re able to close more deals. Doug found out that people loved the video strategy. It is difficult to get people on the phone but Doug’s team saw how these videos could get beyond CFOs. As people got to be a part of how they got the information, meeting opportunities grew. 

What should be in the videos 

There are three videos that everyone must-have. The first video is the Problem Video Challenge. When you help a client understand what the problem is, it helps to separate you from your competition. How they define the problem determines how they’re going to behave. 

This first video is all about communicating the real problem, why it’s a problem, and why it’s so hard to solve.

The second video is the Story Video. It’s both yours and the clients’ story, with the client being the origin of that story. In the second video, you address how you’re going to solve the problem. You can have multiple problems and story videos depending on who you’re talking to and what the context of the situation is. 

The third video is the Three-Minute Brief. It’s a video where you need to have multiple versions. This video is where you’re going to lay-out everything including the action points you want to talk about and how they can impact your client’s goals. 

Video is definitely a medium you can use to become a more flexible salesperson. The more you do the better you will get. 

“How To Close More Deals Using Videos Throughout The Sales Process” episode resources

Get in touch with Doug. Visit his site and his blog. You can also drop him a message on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

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

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

We have a new semester beginning this March and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

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

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

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

Rylee Meek, Social Dynamic Selling, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1201: What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?

Rylee Meek, Social Dynamic Selling, The Sales EvangelistMany sellers appreciate how social dynamic selling works well. It’s effective and has connected more than 2 million consumers to their clients. 

Rylee Meek grew up in a small town in South Dakota but is now residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lived in a town with very few opportunities but at the age of 15, he already had that drive to start earning money. Rylee got a job at a pizza joint and made a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. He dove into the entrepreneurial world at that young age. His family made a significant amount of money from network marketing and that impacted his path. He met many like-minded people who directed him to the right books to read. It was his initial step of taking that entrepreneurship role. 

He then started working with a network marketing company instead of proceeding to college. At 19 years of age, he was able to get his   BMW but then he realized that his income came solely from the effort and from working up to 17 hours a day. So he started to do things differently. He worked for Prudential but then he wanted to work and sell to more people and not just family members and friends. He proceeded to take another job selling home remodeling.

Rylee clearly remembered what the manager told him on that interview, that the job is 85% negative but he needs to focus on the 15% that’s positive to make it through. Until now, Rylee still believes in focusing on the 15% because that’s what matters. Getting 85 Nos to get 15 Yeses was all it took. 

Network marketing journey 

Rylee invested in several network marketing ventures and met many challenges along the way. At one time he became homeless after putting much of his money into a business in Mexico. The government shut down their company and he needed to come back to the states. He spent some time thinking of the things he could do next. He was invited to a pitch presentation and that helped his wheels spinning. His first presentation was done a few months after and he made $2.1 million in sales. They then started recruiting, hiring, and training. When everything worked out well, Rylee stepped back from presenting and started doing coaching, training, and teaching their sales reps. 

Reaching the masses

Rylee was earning well and could take his products to the masses but he didn’t have any passion for his products. While there are many businesses who have so much passion for their products but do not have the vehicle to take their products to the masses. 

He thought hard and brainstormed on all of the things that they’ve been doing right with their company from the coaching to selling their products and services. Rylee wrote everything down and that gave birth to what is now the social dynamic selling system.

Social dynamic selling works well

The core of social dynamic selling is dinner seminars. Invite people and give them a nice steak dinner. You then establish the presenter as the authoritative figure in that industry to gain the trust of the guests. After giving the pitch, you can ask them for an appointment and meet with them the following day to close the deal. 

Creating a message is important. It is an atmosphere where you’re sending an invitation directly to your potential clients to come over to listen to your presentation and craft that into multiple different verticals. 

It takes a little bit of money to make this happen and your product has to have a decent enough margin for this to work. 

Rylee’s team uses direct mail. Many may say that this method is archaic but they had a higher return on investment using direct mail. It beat all the other kinds of marketing including Facebook, Google, and SEO. The response they get from direct mail is crucial in any campaign. Regardless of the method that you’re using, you need to know and track your numbers to be able to see if you’re allocating your funds properly. 

Direct mails

The competition of using direct mail has dwindled today because of the massive amount of junk mail that people get. Companies tend to forget that they are many ways for you to not make your mails appear like junk such as addressing people by their first and last name. 

Social dynamic selling works well if sales reps learn their numbers and not just the art of selling. As a salesperson, you need to know how effective you are and you will see this with your appointment rate, closing rate, and stick rate. 

There are so many components involved in any successful campaign and the first step is knowing your ideal clients. Use the tools available today to figure out your true customers. After that, you can demographically and geographically identify the best area to target those people. Choose the venue according to the result of that targeting. The next step is to craft the message and to create an invitation that’s compelling enough for the potential clients to take action. Everything must be consistent from the crafting of the message down to the day of the event and the actual sale. 

The whole process has a flow and you can’t rush it. 

Always think of your target audience and create the event with their convenience in mind. Do an early dinner for potential clients aging 50 years old. For retirees, you can do breakfast. The rule of thumb is to offer something up the moment they come to the venue because that’s when the law of reciprocity kicks in. 

The goal in every event is not just to sell but to get to know the potential clients and earn their trust. You can do that by creating a fun and laid back environment. People want to buy but you need to create that environment that allows them to make the buying decisions instead of pressuring them just to make a sale. 

Social dynamic selling works well, there is no question about that but you need to follow the process. 

Remember, the first step is knowing who your clients are and it all goes from there. 

“What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?” episode resources

Reach out to Rylee by visiting his website, socialdynamicselling.com. You can also visit his other site, workwithrylee.com. You can schedule a strategy call with him or with one of his team members. 

If you any sales concerns, you can also shoot Donald a message on his LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a training program designed to help sales reps improve their skills in making sales and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Demo, Digital Footprint, The Sales Evangelist, Greg Dickinson

TSE 1183: Modernizing the Software Demonstration

Sales Demo, Digital Footprint, The Sales Evangelist, Greg Dickinson

Modernizing the software demonstration can help prospects better understand your product value and keep your digital buyers connected to your product throughout the buying process.

Greg Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Omedym, which is “my demo” spelled backward. He’s trying to help businesses utilize today’s latest and greatest technologies to augment and improve the digital demo process. 

Product experience

Most sellers can point to a personal experience in which a bad product experience eliminated a vendor from consideration in the buying process. 

People tend to have different processes and sometimes the more junior players are the ones that are giving the top-of-the-funnel demos. If you ask your team members to each give a demo, you might find yourself wondering if each person is selling the same product. The demos can be that different. 

Digital buyers

Buyers are more digital than they were five years ago, which is the biggest challenge in the software demo industry. The average software buyer spends 5 percent of the buying process with the sales team. So if you think about the “request a demo” button on your website, it’s your first interaction with a potential buyer. For most companies, that button generates a pop-up form, and the bounce rate in the industry is 85 percent. 

People at the top of the funnel want to learn a little more about your product. Maybe they read some content about your product and they want to see a video. When a form pops up, your digital buyer leaves your website. 

Sellers, ask yourself as a buyer whether you tend to fill out forms in this situation. If the answer is no, why do you expect your own buyers to do so? Instead, websites tend to hold demos hostage by scheduling them or exchanging them for an email. 

Your prospects want to engage and understand your product. Modernizing the software demonstration can help your prospects get the information they need to make a decision. 

Inside sales

The going research suggests that buyers want to see the product you’re offering within the first two minutes of an interaction. Your solution sounds great, and it solves a problem they are struggling with, so they want to see the product. Typically, the inside salesperson will insist on asking a bunch of questions and booking a discovery call and then a demo. By the end of that 3-week period, you’ve lost the buyers’ attention. 

In response, some companies have allowed the inside sales rep to give the demo, but that usually doesn’t work. The inside sales rep wasn’t trained to do demos, and she may not have the skillset to do them. 

Demos are more than a “show up and throw up” proposition. They are hard. 

Your customer wants to feel like he’s in control of the sales process. He wants to see what he’s buying. 

Video demos

Greg said that even the companies who are posting one- or two-minute videos to demonstrate their products aren’t getting a good response because they are effectively spraying-and-praying. They generate four or five snippets that they hope will address their buyers’ questions. 

Greg’s technology allows you to create your best demonstrations, and then interact with the software to get a personalized demonstration. 

If you want to know whether the software can do parallel workflow, the software will bring you to the right asset and the right section to find that answer. Instead of searching through 10 or 15 separate posts, the user can find the content he needs. 

The average watch time for a business tech buyer is just over two-and-a-half minutes, so allow them to ask a question and see a relevant demo. 

Build a picture

Think of your typical buyer’s team. It isn’t just one person. It’s usually multiple people with different points of view and different ideas of what’s important in the software. 

If you can allow your customers to ask questions and then have the streaming of the video and the demo to that person at that moment, it’s much more impactful. Perhaps more importantly, Greg’s software records all the activity so that the marketing and sales teams know the buyer’s intent. 

  • What was Donald’s interest?
  • What did he watch? 
  • How long did he watch? 
  • What questions and follow-up questions did he ask? 

Once you gather this information, you begin to build a picture of Donald. The self-guided demo allows the seller to understand what Donald’s interests are so he knows what to talk to Donald about. 

New world

Your customer wants to talk specifically about how you can help ease his pain. Whether you call it the consumerization of the business buyer or the Amazon effect, people are used to buying things a certain way. That attitude doesn’t change when we’re at work. 

Buyers want a certain part of the sales cycle to be self-guided. Then, when they are ready to engage with sales, they want to begin with the topic that interests them rather than starting all over again. 

Digital footprint

Buyers can get their data in a million different places just like sellers can use the Internet to learn about buyers. We’re losing the ability to influence buyers because we’re spending less time with them. 

If you don’t provide a digital means for the disconnected independent buyer to stay engaged with you in the digital world, when it comes time to make the purchase, he may not remember all the aspects of your software. 

If you’re selling software, keep it in front of your prospect. Give him the opportunity to constantly validate your value as he’s making the decision criteria. 

These tools don’t replace sellers, but they augment them by creating a digital footprint that helps the buyer stay connected with you. He can get the information he needs based upon where he is in the buyer’s journey. 

Uber, for example, provides the same service as a taxi cab, but it created a better buying experience. Uber made it easier and removed the friction, so it won the market. 

The challenge for digital buyers is the same: your sales process hasn’t changed so we’re making the buying process harder. It’s why our win-rates aren’t as high. The buyer doesn’t have the information he needs to make a decision. 

Buying team

In many cases, you’ll never meet with the entire buying team. It might be true that you only met with about half of them, so they are anonymous to you. 

Now, those buyers are in a Friday meeting and someone is presenting all the information about your product. Wouldn’t it be great if that buyer had seen portions of the demo on his own? You can’t always be last. 

Instead of figuring out whether to be the first impression or the last impression, strive to be the impression. Give that buyer a chance to consume your demo content by modernizing the software demonstration. Record that demo, make it available to the buying team, and use a technology that allows them to find topics within the demo. 

The team isn’t going to spend 90 minutes watching, so help them find the topics that are pertinent so they can spend 10 minutes learning about your product. You’ve had a chance to touch a buyer you never would have touched. 

Buyer’s perspective

Greg’s tool works for anyone who sells a product, and Omedym believes that the product experience, the demo, and the product engagement are part of the buyer’s journey. It’s one of the most important aspects of the buying process. 

Starting with the top-of-the-funnel demo to the sales demo and the scripted demo, video is playing a very pertinent role. Omedym focuses on software because you truly can’t be everything to everyone. 

Take a different perspective and figure out how modernizing the software demonstration can help your buyers buy. 

“Modernizing the Software Demonstration” episode resources

You can connect with Greg at Omedym.com, or on his LinkedIn. He welcomes feedback and conversations because he learns from the information.

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.

Rejection, The Sales Evangelist, Cisco Terreros

TSE 1165: Why Getting a No is Not Such a Bad Thing and How to Accept it!

 

Rejection, The Sales Evangelist, Cisco Terreros

Some people aren’t into the idea of rejection but actually, there are positive reasons why getting a no is not such a bad thing. 

Francisco Terreros is a co-founder of Felkrem, a full-service sports marketing agency focused on two core services. First, they represent professional footballers/soccer players in their careers both on and off the field, and secondly, they sell brands and reach the players’ demographics through sports and marketing. They are FIFA agents and marketers who do sales every day. The sell to parents and kids they want to sign to their firm as well as to teams and sponsors. 

They are selling their experience as sports marketers to brands who want to capitalize on their understanding of how to navigate and reach their target demographics. 

Their company is surviving, thriving, and growing rapidly despite the competition in the industry. Felkrem is dealing with the athletes’ professions and their dreams. 

Getting no as a sales rep

Sales reps have been in this situation once or twice in their careers as salespeople. It’s difficult to hear the rejection, and much more difficult to accept it. But why do we get a no and why is getting a no not such a bad thing

A seller’s job depends on his ability to get a yes, so naturally, a no for an answer is a hard pill to swallow. 

Lions are the kings of the jungle. It’s their natural instinct to turn their chase into actual food. They have their hunting strategies matrixed down that when the prey gets away, they don’t just give up. They walk and find another kill. They also don’t necessarily go for the biggest and the fastest one. They change their game occasionally and go for something else. 

As sellers, we need to think like lions. It is our instinct to turn the potential sales opportunities into yeses. Our game must also be matrixed so that when we hear no, we don’t walk away dejected. Instead, we walk away with a new plan in our head. We should learn to walk away and get the next one. We need to understand that no is part of the process and it’s going to help us figure out what we must tweak to get the yes. 

Overcoming this is a hard job because our lives depend on the yes. ‘

The sales process is a numbers game and our closing rate of yes comes before several nos. Your sales career will change once you realize that and calculate how many nos you need to get a yes. Simply put, a no means one step closer to the yes. 

Back to the beginning 

We must all begin learning the basics before we become successful in our craft. Cisco got an internship with the sponsorship department in a major league soccer team in his area. He was assigned to support the sponsorship team. He took pictures of activations, set up banners in the stadium, and met with clients at the game to let them into the gate. He was a secretary but he needed to be more. He started coming in two hours before his shift and observed. With his notepad in hand, he listened to the sponsorship guide sell and he took notes to understand the process. Weeks later, he asked for more and he was given a list of people. He started calling and calling and got zero yeses. 

Years later he realized that all those nos taught him something since they got him closer to the job. The nos helped him understand himself and his techniques and what he needed to do to change the no into a yes. 

Cisco wouldn’t have been able to understand that it’s all a system and a process if he didn’t start with the basics. 

The hungry lion 

The analogy of the lion is perfect for this subject matter. After missing their prey for a couple of times, a hungry lion is more zealous than ever to catch another one. A hungry lion is persistent and patient in an intelligent way, not in a desperate way. 

We need to help our team understand that. Teach your team to think like hunters and that the no is a way for them to become hungrier. Not desperate; just hungry. Desperation can be felt a mile away, so don’t be that desperate seller who tries to oversell. Be hungry and be patient. 

A seller’s desperation is a puff of wind that clients don’t want to inhale. It’s also good to take a mental note that clients can hear your desperate sound even in a phone conversation. When your voice drops and your tone shifts, your client will start to zone out. Pay constant attention to how you sound and how you deliver your pitch. 

Turn that no to a yes

Cisco had a seller call him in the past for a pitch and his voice and tone were giveaways to his desperation. Cisco helped him understand the process of no and he asked the seller to count the nos he got before he had a yes. A week later, the seller talked to Cisco again but now with a triumphant voice. He said that he got 33 nos before he had a yes. Those 33 nos are no longer awful experiences because those are the setbacks that got him to a yes. 

Knowing the nos is the beginning. Doing something to lower the no-to-yes ratio is the next step. You do that by identifying where the gaps are in your pitch or in the presentation and you fill those gaps. 

‘Check Me’ partner  

Accepting no is a difficult thing but this process is a continuous one. Even if you get better at getting yes, you’ll still face some nos along the way. It’s better to have someone who’ll be on the journey with you. Find someone who can check you and get you back to reality when you’re facing a slump. It can be your co-worker or your business partner. It can be another team member or your boss. It can be anybody who can get you back to your feet. Teach them to remind of you three things:

  • What did you learn?
  • What can I do better next time? 
  • The no means you’re one step closer to the yes.

Be reminded of those three things to overcome the depression and dejection that come with the no. So, go and find yourself a ‘Check Me’ partner. 

This can be applied to basically every aspect of our lives because our society fosters a culture of positivity and negativity. People have high emotions of happiness and low emotions of sadness. This contrast is good because you won’t be able to feel the satisfaction and elation that comes with happiness if you haven’t experienced something bad. 

At the end of the day, rejection is a necessary evil to achieve heavenly success. Your no is one step closer to your heavenly staircase of success. 

We don’t have to become an expert in overcoming rejection but we do have to understand the tools to help us overcome the rejection. 

Learn to turn your awful nos to beautiful yeses. 

Why Getting a no is not Such a Bad Thing and How to Accept it!” episode resources 

Connect with Cisco in his social media to be inspired. Follow him on Instagram or shoot him a mail. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. The program has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

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! 

If you’re a reader and loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

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Sales Process, The Sales Evangelist, Erin Pheil

TSE 1163: How Leaders Sabotage The Sales Process

Sales Process, The Sales Evangelist, Erin PheilSales leaders sometimes make mistakes that compromise deals, so understanding how leaders sabotage the sale process can help us avoid the same mistake. 

Erin Pheil is the founder of The MindFix Group, a company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, high-achievers, and high-performers eliminate their biggest mental roadblocks that hold them back and keep them from achieving what they’re capable of. 

Head trash

Some sales leaders have very specific definitions of what a sales leader is. For Erin, anybody who is in charge of guiding the people in making the right decisions and who is doing sales for a company is considered a sales leader

Many sellers read books and work with experts to improve their skills in sales. They keep learning, and then they show up on calls. They often show up to these calls prepared, but also with head trash. They’re showing bits and pieces of their old mental programming and outdated beliefs that aren’t helpful in closing deals. They go to the calls and they try to combine new knowledge and strategies that their coaches have taught them with their old beliefs. 

When things go wrong, they don’t blame themselves. They blame the technique and the process, or even the people they hired. They don’t look at their head trash and suspect that they might be the ones sabotaging the process. 

Blaming the process, techniques, and tactics instead of examining how they’re screwing things up sabotages the sales process. 

Accepting blame

It takes courage to accept blame because it’s human nature to blame somebody else. It takes courage to stop, pause, and hold a mirror to yourself and ask how you’re contributing to the challenges that you’re experiencing. It’s much easier to project outward and place the blame.  

Head trash commonly appears as the need for approval or the need to be liked. Sellers will show up to a sales call and, instead of focusing on guiding the prospect towards the right decision, they operate from an underlying need to be liked. This goes beyond having a bond and rapport. It’s more of wanting to be approved. A person with that need often sabotages calls just to be liked. 

They get nervous, they make concessions, and they apologize, which shifts the whole frame of conversation. Being liked becomes the more important outcome. 

Self-doubt 

Money block and old programming from a salesperson’s childhood also have a negative impact on sales calls. 

For example, a client raised to believe that she isn’t supposed to talk about money in the household where degree and certificates are the next big things had a huge block in her sales process. Since this particular client had no degree, she ended up questioning her ability and wouldn’t bring up the pricing until the last minute, or until the prospect asked for the price. This client had old head trash on the concept of pricing and money so that often the price in her head was different from the price that came out of her mouth. 

Even with constant reminders here and there, she just couldn’t do it. It just wouldn’t come out of her mouth the right way. 

This is what head trash is. You show up with a plan and all the right information, but your old pieces of programming, beliefs, and thoughts sabotage and compromise your ability to make a productive call. 

Figure your patterns 

The first thing to do is to figure your patterns. Knowing your patterns brings awareness to your calls. You must pinpoint where in the process you’re having your patterns of resistance and frustrations. 

Create a list of the areas where you keep repeating some patterns that you know do not serve you. It might be telling the same jokes, doing what you’re not supposed to do, or not talking about the money even though you have to. 

The buyer might think that you’re hiding something or you have some trick up your sleeves. Before you know it, you have already sabotaged your opportunity. The same is true if you keep talking to your client without giving him the time to speak. It scares the prospect off as well. 

Consider a salesperson who can’t even have an intro opportunity because she can’t stop talking. Her problem clearly exists at the beginning of the process. 

This is a perfect example of a pattern of people who can’t stop talking. They don’t listen because it has been ingrained in their minds that they should keep talking so that someone will buy from them. They feel the need to show off and prove their expertise in order to be respected. 

Changing patterns

After listing the patterns that you observe, ask yourself, “What would I have to believe to be true in order to keep acting this way?

What we believe determines how we act. 

If you believe that talking about money is wrong, then you’ll probably act in ways in accordance with that belief. A lot of these beliefs are in the back of our heads and most of us might not believe them to be true. But even if a tiny part of us holds true to that belief, then we’ll act according to those beliefs. 

What you get from asking that question for each pattern is a list of old pieces of head trash, programming, and beliefs that you’re still carrying around that are sabotaging your sales process. 

Set aside time to implement the two things mentioned here. First, identify the patterns and second, come up with a list of what you’d have to believe to be true. This will open your mind and make you see things that you didn’t realize are impacting your close rate and your success as a sales leader. 

“How Leaders Sabotage the Sale Process” episode resource

Learn more from Erin and visit her website mindfixgroup.com. Check the hour-long training video that explains how your head trash is impacting your actions and behaviors and causing you to sabotage things. There are also case studies and stories of real people who have overcome their challenges. 

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 is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, creating strategies that work, and asking the right questions to close powerful deals. You can go to The Sales Evangelist and see the first two modules for free. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, the awesome library with thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Goo to audibletrial.com/tse

If you find this episode helpful, give us a ravishing review and rating on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

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Kyle Morris, Donald Kelly, Lead Sift

TSE 1131: The Importance of Data in Sales

Kyle Morris, Donald Kelly, Lead SiftSellers that don’t have good data will struggle to repeat their success so we must recognize the importance of data in sales.  

Kyle Morris operates a company called SifData which features an application that sits on Salesforce to help companies track job changes.  

Defining data

Sales reps are very intuitive. They understand things well and many people assume that anecdotes and data are the same. They assume that, because they closed a deal with a company similar to the one they are interacting with, the information constitutes data. Because a tactic worked previously, they may assume that they can use that information as data moving forward. 

In other words, they assume that if a tactic worked once, it’s solid and they should continue using it. 

Kyle points out that the plural of anecdote isn’t data. We must stay objective and make decisions based upon actual information rather than sticking our finger to the wind to determine which way it’s blowing. 

Data is objective information about people, companies, or whatever your data set is that helps you make informed decisions. One of the easiest ways to identify the companies that could buy your product is by identifying the companies that have already bought your product. Figure out what’s common among them and then use that as a template to decide who to sell to in the future. If you’re selling to companies that are unique, you might find another market that also has that same commonality.  

Data problems

The two biggest problems common to data are that companies use data sources that are inconsistent and that they have too much data that isn’t actually valuable. 

Consider Uber as an example. If you’re trying to sell to Uber, some sellers might consider it enterprise while others view it as mid-market since they only have a couple of thousand employees. LinkedIn might reflect that the company has 35,000 employees, including drivers. If companies aren’t careful about where they are choosing data, it can create confusion. 

Be consistent about where you get data, even if it isn’t perfect, because you’ll at least be consistently wrong. Limit the number of resources you use to make classifications, especially for things like territories or number of employees or revenue. 

Many CRMs have a full page of information that reps never use. It doesn’t add value and it actually becomes a burden to them. Approach this with the same mentality you use when designing your website: what’s above the fold is critically different than what’s below the fold. It’s impactful where things are placed, and if reps have a bunch of unnecessary information at the top of the form it burdens them. 

If the reps don’t absolutely need it, then remove it. Streamline your process. Develop a discipline around reducing the amount of noise that your reps see based on the information they need. If the data won’t actually impact how they work through the sales process, it should be removed since it won’t actually move the needle. 

Guesstimation

Donald Miller says that if you confuse, you lose. We cannot confuse our reps. If we do, they’ll likely go back to what they’ve always done before, which is guesstimation. 

Imagine driving a truck built in 1965 versus a fighter jet built in 2019. The truck likely has a stick shift and two buttons for the radio, so almost any person can use it to get from point A to point B. Put that same person in a fighter jet with a million buttons and they won’t understand how to move forward. 

Sales reps must be able to execute and they shouldn’t be asked to fly a fighter jet if all they really need is a 1965 Chevy. 

Additionally, more data points mean that some operator has to maintain those fields. You must make sure the information is accurate because inaccurate data will make your CRM less valuable. Again, if that happens, your reps will start using anecdotes to make decisions again. 

Cry wolf

All those unnecessary fields will prompt your reps to fill them in, which will become cumbersome. If it isn’t a useful data point, they may just plug something in to fill the blank so they can move on. Your reps must be able to trust the fields that are on the page. 

Make the process simple and easy to engage. Remove as much as you can from the page layout so that your reps are only interacting with data that moves the needle. 

Everything can’t be critical. You can’t have 10 tier-one problems with no tier-two problems. You cannot cry wolf and represent that everything is vital.  

Kyle recalls his operations team once telling him that they needed a new field to be added to the CRM. He insisted that the team could add one field if they could identify two that could be removed. He said that it forces them to be intentional about the information they gather. 

Words are currency. You must make sure the process is easy. Find ways to break down barriers.

Effective data

Kyle said he’s a fan of using very specific people in very specific roles. Sales reps are most effective at building rapport, identifying pain and need, and closing deals.If you’re using your sales reps to collect data, you’re probably spending more money for it than you need to. And just as you would never ask your data-entry person to close deals, you probably shouldn’t ask your sellers to crunch data. 

Businesses may think they are being efficient by asking sellers to multi-task. They may figure the seller is already going to be on the site anyway so he can just collect the data. Consider the brain change that must take place in that situation. Sales reps must change their entire thought process in order to shift gears into data collection.

Switching back and forth can be tedious because it requires different muscles. Allow the people who are better at data to handle data. 

Every minute your seller isn’t selling results in money down the drain. Keep your opportunity costs in mind. 

Refresh data

Establish a process to refresh your data. As your company continues to accumulate accounts, you must track which ones are good or bad. Make it part of your cadence and establish a date on which you’ll refresh data. 

Consider hiring a team overseas to log into your Salesforce and identify the accounts that haven’t been updated in the past year and then refresh the data. Then track when the fields were updated. 

Also monitor duplicate accounts in your CRM which pollute your database. But before you can start eliminating duplicate accounts, you must work to ensure that you’ve prevented the problem of new duplicates. Duplicates create more mental overhead for your reps because two reps may be unknowingly working on the same account at the same time. It’s wasted energy that could be focused toward closing. 

Don’t assume that anecdotes and data are the same thing. Be sure, too, that you pick a single source of truth and stick with it. There’s no perfect data source, but at least be consistently imperfect. Allow your sellers to trust what they are working on. 

Importance of Data in Sales” episode resources

You can connect with Kyle Morris on LinkedIn or send him an email at Kyle@sifdata.com.

You’re a savvy salesperson who wants to learn and grow. Check out Audible for thousands of titles, plus a free 30-day trial, plus a free book. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.

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. 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.

 

 

Chris Perry, Sandler Training, Price War, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1121: Your Price Is Right: How to Stand Your Ground Against the Lowest Bidders and Protect Your Margins

Chris Perry, Sandler Training, Price War, The Sales EvangelistWe’ve all encountered price wars against the lowest bidder, but today we’re going to talk about how you can stand your ground, protect your margins, and earn the price that you’re worth and how that will help you grow your business.

Chris Perry works with Market Sense, a Sandler Training franchise, that helps business attract, assess, hire, and onboard world-class salespeople.

Great ideas

There are lots of great ideas in the world. Many businesses have built things that they are excited about and proud of, and eventually, others notice that they are making a lot of money doing it. So they jump into the game.

Suddenly options exist where they didn’t before, and consumers, whether they are B2B or B2C, don’t know how to differentiate between them. Many of them fall back to the cheapest option.

If we fall into that trap, the buying process becomes all about price, and we’re forced to trade dollars for deals. We must cut our prices, and that’s a slippery slope. It’s also a great way to go out of business.

Consumers will treat you like a commodity if you allow them to.

Money mindset

Attitude makes a big difference in this scenario because the salesperson’s mindset plays a huge part in the price. Human beings are trained to seek deals and discounts. Chris’ company runs a lot of assessments on salespeople and they’ve discovered a lot of what they call money tolerance issues.

We all grow up with different relationships to money, with some of us believing it’s rude to talk about it. Others are taught to pinch every penny, while still others believe there is always more money available. Whether it’s conscious or not, we have a bunch of recordings playing in our heads. Those recordings impact our money conversations.

If, for example, a seller grows up believing it’s rude to discuss money, he’ll be less comfortable talking about it. He’ll likely wait until the last possible moment to address cost, because he assumes the prospects are uncomfortable talking about it, too. Waiting until the presentation to discuss price can be a recipe for disaster for sellers.

Sellers who believe that $500 is a huge purchasing decision, but who are selling $50,000 solutions, will be nervous about the price discussion. They’ll sweat a little extra, and the prospects will see that anxiety and they’ll assume the seller doesn’t believe in the product. They might also perceive that there’s room to negotiate the price.

Recognizing value

The key is to change the way you perceive your value so you don’t undersell yourself or your product. If you do, you’ve already lost before you even get started. You must believe in yourself and your product.

The truth is that it’s hard to change someone’s mindset. People won’t generally understand their worth simply by listening to a podcast, no matter how good it is. Chris recommends that you begin by acknowledging your mindset. Figure out which relationship you have with money and then leave it in the car.

When you go on a sales call, your relationship with money shouldn’t matter. Focus instead on the prospect and figure out her relationship with money. That’s the conversation that matters.

Behaviors

There are many aspects to behavior: having a goal, developing a plan to accomplish the goal, and establishing activities that get you to those goals. But with regard to budget discussions, we must be more consistent in knowing when and where to discuss pricing.

We’re typically mentioning it too early before we’ve helped the prospects understand the value, or too late when they’ve already got some idea of what they should be paying. Many sellers are winging this aspect of their sales process.

Have a plan. Develop milestones for your sales process. Have an idea of things you have to check off before you move to the next step. If you could establish just a bit of organization, if you could figure out the key steps in your sales process, you could map it out and figure out where the budget discussion should fall.

Then stick to your guns. Don’t allow the prospect to pull you into a discussion you aren’t ready to have yet. Many people routinely argue that the prospect is always right, so we must follow where they lead. Your role is to help your prospect, so you have to explain that it’s irresponsible to sell something or provide a quote without understanding what he needs.

Sales conversations

In a world where prospects see all alternatives as basically the same, with price as the only differentiator, the one thing that remains within our control is how we sell. Our sales conversations make a huge difference. If we’re doing like many reps and choosing the “showing up and throwing up,” option, dumping features and benefits and then giving a price, we’re missing an opportunity.

Differentiate by slowing down and asking good questions. When the prospect asks for a price, push back a bit in a compassionate, professional way. Ensure that you want to make sure you’re both a fit before moving forward to price. The prospect will appreciate your effort to understand his world.

Pricing objections

In a scenario where you aren’t the cheapest option, what should you do? This is likely where most sellers could use a little help. We know our product or service but we don’t know the prospect’s world. But the prospect is evaluating us on how we fit into their world.

In that sense, the prospect is best equipped to resolve those objections. We have to ask the right questions to get to that discussion.

So once we’ve run our sales conversation, asked the right questions, sought to understand the prospect’s world, and talked a little bit about budget, it’s important to acknowledge the issue of price.

“Hey, Donald, you know, I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to talk with you about your world and how our services might help, but we’ve got a problem. My guess is you’re probably going to be talking to other folks to see how they might help as well. I get it. I’d probably do the same thing. The problem is if you compare us on price, I can almost guarantee we’re going to be the highest bidder. So my question is for you, if you were me, would you still put together a quote?”

If they agree to a quote, ask this: “What do you need to see from someone to compel you to pay a premium?” Now we’re figuring out what the prospect needs to see to make it worth paying more. Chances are the prospect hasn’t thought about this before, so now he’s selling himself on value.

If the prospect says no to a quote, then you can acknowledge that perhaps you aren’t a fit, but you can still ask what the prospect would need to see in order to make a decision based upon something other than price.

Continuing the conversation

Now, whatever the prospect says, you’re continuing the conversation. If they need on-time deliveries or fantastic customer service, you can continue the discussion. You’ll move from being an order-taker to a problem solver. You’ll also sound confident in your discussion because you aren’t desperate.

These things won’t work if you don’t believe in your product or if your pipeline is anemic. Having a full pipeline cures most ailments. If you don’t absolutely need this deal, your technique can be a lot stronger.

Don’t try to do this on the fly. Sit with your manager or someone on your team and practice this stuff. Practice fielding tough questions. Practice handling pricing objections. Then practice handling conversations where the prospect immediately asks about the price. If you do, when you find yourself in these scenarios, it’s second-nature rather than something you fumble through.

“Protect Your Margins” episode resources

Sandler Trainers are worldwide, so you can always look for a local office to help you. If you’re in Austin, connect with Chris at their website, ms.sandler.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn to see the videos and articles he shares there.

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.

 

Outreach.io, Mark Kosoglow, Donald Kelly, OniChannel

TSE 1119: Sales From The Street: “Omnichannel Outreach”

Outreach.io, Mark Kosoglow, Donald Kelly, OniChannel

We consume information from a variety of platforms, so we have to connect with prospects from different angles using omnichannel outreach. We have to find our audience where they happen to be listening.

Mark Kosoglow is the VP of Sales at Outreach, a sales engagement channel, and he’s explaining today how sales reps can include omnichannel outreach in their efforts. His passion is developing people and creating a winning, fun, positive atmosphere where people are inspired to do their best.

He said if you are going to have a hard worker, they have to enjoy work. That doesn’t mean you have to enjoy what you do. It means you enjoy working and you’re likely always tinkering around the house. His dad taught him that if you make people’s work easy, they’ll work hard for you. To that end, he tries to make people’s work easier so they’ll work harder.

What is omnichannel?

Consider the following questions as you’re considering what omnichannel is.

  • Do you answer the phone when someone calls?
  • Do you reply to every email you receive?
  • Will you sometimes engage with people who contact you on social media?
  • Will you sometimes talk with people who stop by your home or office to sell something?

That’s omnichannel. As humans, we engage with people in many different ways depending on our mood or their approach or the channel.

The point of omnichannel outreach is to meet people where they are. People have preferred methods of communication, and by limiting yourself to a single channel you’re excluding a large number of people. You’re missing out on a growing audience.

Overthinking omnichannel

Many people don’t understand how to use omnichannel. With social, for example, if I’m targeting you on social media, I’d begin by following you. Then I’d read your posts and engage in activity to let you know that I’m interested in you as a human and in the things you’re doing. After I’ve built an online social relationship, the person I’m targeting should understand a little bit of why I’m interacting with them.

At that point, you can reach out with a value pitch or something that helps people understand what you’re offering.

As humans and nonsellers, we do this kind of stuff all the time very naturally, but then when we bring it to our careers and the way we make money, we get weird about it. We do stupid stuff that we would never do as a normal human. But the truth is that if you engage professionally on social media the same way you engage on your personal pages, you’ll be a great social seller.

Beginning with omnichannel

Sales managers who hear this may wonder how to introduce these concepts without disrupting the success their team members are already having. Admittedly it’s difficult to introduce change while trying to avoid disrupting the status quo.

At Outreach, the teams begin with a hypothesis like, “I believe that by engaging with our top 10 accounts that we can create more meetings.” It’s specific and measurable. Then they create a plan to go do that.

Maybe set up a strike team of your best reps or a cross-section of different kinds of reps and have them run the same process. Then, using KPIs, measure their results against the control results. If there’s a lift, then people will be happy to move to the new techniques.

Realize that you cannot have people who conduct activities in different ways. There must be a workflow and process in place to ensure that you’re measuring the process rather than the ability of the individual. In the end, you must have the guts to make a decision.

The only sellers who should balk at this kind of change are those that live in the exact house that they want, who are driving the exact car that they want, and they are happy coming into work. If a seller fits that description, he’s likely already making $10 million a year or he is lying to himself.

Tracking results

Sometimes our tracking processes do a fantastic job of motivating our activities, but they produce such a heavy cognitive load that teams spend more time managing them than they do in their sales activities.

Mark equates sales to plate spinning, where you spin up a couple of people on Monday, and then spin a couple more on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday, but you have to return to the Monday people to keep them spinning. The problem is that you can only spin so many plates at a time.

Technology allows you to add a motor to the stick that will keep the plate spinning until the motor runs out of gas. Technology helps you administer and run the system, and Outreach does exactly the same thing.

Personalize

Even if you’re automating a system, you can build out processes that allow you to be personable. Include a first step that involves research to discover two or three specific things about your prospect. Then include those in your CRM and write an email based on those things you found. The first step should not be an automated email.

Even if you send an automated email to 10,000 people and get 100responses back, you will have burned out 9,900 people by sending a generic email. Take your time and send personalized messages to a select group of people.

Organization size

Outreach works with single seller startups and huge companies like Adobe, Microsoft, and Amazon. The tool is meant to be flexible. The sweet spot is probably from 100-500 users; a company that is seeking to really nail down their scaling strategy. It’s for those companies who can’t afford to rely on the top 20 percent to carry the load for the other 80 percent.

Your company must have a much more operational system driven way of selling.

One of its secret sauces is its integration with SalesForce and Dynamics so that every action is logged into the CRM automatically. The tool uses a feature called Amplify that involves complex, futuristic machine learning.

Machine learning

As an example, the average percentage for out-of-office replies is 17 percent. So 1 in 5 of those responses will likely include the date the person will return, and the name and phone number of someone else in the organization who may even be higher in the organization. And most reps probably delete those emails despite all the good information that’s in them.

You’re 46 percent less likely to book a meeting with someone if you contact them a second time when they’re out of the office. Pair that information with the fact that the majority of those emails will include the contact information for another person on the team. Outreach has created machine learning that can read out-of-office replies.

It reads the date of return in the email and offers an option to pause all communication until the recipient returns. It also notifies you of the other team member’s contact information. With one click, you can address these issues.

From the company’s origins, they scanned emails and discovered 73,000 phone numbers in the email signature blocks. Of those contacts, only 23 percent of those were added to CRM by the reps. Seventy-seven percent of those were never captured.

In 9 out of 10 deals, you end up talking with the person who was originally listed on that out-of-office email. And considering how much less likely you are to book a deal if you contact the person again while they are out of office, it’s damaging your efforts if you don’t read the out-of-office email.

This helps you be more personable because you’re not contacting the person continually while he’s on vacation.

Multiple channels

If you aren’t contacting people on multiple channels, you’re limiting your ability to succeed. But don’t go willy-nilly spending half your day on LinkedIn. It’s a waste of time. Create a defined experiment with a hypothesis to test against, measure it, and see if you can get better at what matters by doing something different.

If you can combine those two things, you can potentially improve your performance in two weeks.

“Omnichannel Outreach” episode resources

You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn, where he’s fairly active. He doesn’t do Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. You can also connect with him at outreach.io to book a demo and experience world-class inbound lead handling. Within two minutes you get a personalized email from a rep, and within 15 minutes, large companies get a phone call from a rep.

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.

Andrew Tarvin, Donald Kelly, Humor, Sales

TSE 1108: How to Use Humor In The Sales Process

 

Andrew Tarvin, Donald Kelly, Humor, SalesHumor takes away tension and sellers who use humor in the sales process can increase efficiency and improve effectiveness.

Andrew Tarvin realized over the course of his career that you can’t be efficient with humans. Instead, you must be effective. His experience in stand-up comedy revealed that improv demands the same skills necessary to be an effective leader. He explored the intersection of humor in the workplace and fell in love with the subject.

He observed that it’s strange to think that companies pay him to teach employees to have more fun. He notes, though, that it’s missing from the workplace, and he addresses the issue in his book, Humor That Works.

Strategic humor

We know that humor relieves stress and that it’s overall a good thing. We do not seem to know how to deploy humor strategically. Rather than simply using it for the sake of fun. we must use it to achieve a specific result.

How do I use humor in the sales process to build rapport?Can I get people to pay attention to what I’m saying with humor? Will humor relieve my own stress in the sales process?

We tend to think work must be strictly business. In actuality, though, you’re still dealing with humans. Humor inspires people to connect and let their guard down.

Would you rather?

Andrew calls it a stupid question, but he wonders whether people would rather do something fun or not fun? Of course, people will say they’d rather do something fun. And if work is a little more fun, they’d probably be more likely to do the work.

If you could make interactions a little more enjoyable, people would be more willing to engage in them. Even if the work you’re doing is serious in nature, like the Red Cross, you’re still working with humans.

Humor happens to be one of the most effective means of engaging people. It’s something different that people enjoy.

Working with the FBI

The FBI has a group called the office of private sector where agents work to build relationships with senior leaders at private companies. If the FBI can develop strong relationships before there are problems within companies, they can more readily identify problems when they emerge.

They want to set meetings with people but you can imagine how people respond when they hear from the FBI. Andrew worked to teach them how to use humor to build rapport.

The agents learned to build rapport despite the intimidation factor.

Boring meetings

If you hold an initial meeting that bores your attendees, they won’t want to attend the next time you invite them. If people get value out of your meetings and enjoy attending, they’ll be more likely to attend future meetings.

Humor isn’t what you do. It doesn’t replace the work. It’s simply a matter of presenting information that someone needs in a way they enjoy consuming it.

Engaging strangers

Sales reps face many different hurdles when engaging prospects or new people. One of the greatest difficulties is making a great first impression and building rapport when they meet people for the first time.

Within existing sales processes, a number of challenges exist. The average person sends and receives more than 100 emails per day, with many spending up to 80 percent of their time in active communication.

Many sellers present information to help the buyer purchase rather than sharing information that will help develop a relationship.

Asking questions

Andrew points to a sales presenter named Phil Jones who says that sales is simply earning the right to make a recommendation.

Think of it as a visit to the doctor. Before the doctor gives a diagnosis, he asks questions and ultimately gives a prescription. Imagine if you went to a doctor who gave you pills before you even told him what was wrong. You’d assume he was a quack and you wouldn’t trust him with your health.

The same scenario is true in sales. If the seller doesn’t even know anything about you, how will he address your challenges?

Enjoyable process

Since the seller and the buyer are both humans, see if you can make the process a bit enjoyable. Then, discover whether you can be on the same side.

Ian Altman wrote a great book called Same Side Selling that encourages sellers to solve problems without trying to trick buyers into buying something.

Understand that humor is broader than comedy. Make the process a bit more fun to get people to pay attention. In your outreach, what are you doing to introduce a bit of humor?

If it’s true that people buy from the first person who provides them value, recognize that humor adds value.

Fun

Andrew got a cold email from a guy with a regular pitch. He ignored it like he does most cold emails. About a week later, the guy followed up with a gif of John Travolta from Pulp Fiction with his coat over his arm looking confused.

There was no text with the email because it wasn’t necessary. He didn’t need to point out that he had emailed just the week before.

Another seller started each cold call by acknowledging that this was a cold call and the person on the other end of the phone could hang up if he wanted to. Some of them did, but many others allowed him another 60 seconds because of the humor.

Capture attention and build intrigue.

Connections

Humans are seeking different connections and one way to build rapport throughout a conversation is small talk. Instead of asking the typical questions, ask slightly more interesting questions. Instead of asking “What do you do?” ask, “What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on the past few months?”

It changes people’s perspective and then their response. Then, drop relevant facts throughout the conversation, like whether you’re a nerd or an introvert or from Ohio. If you offer this kind of information as part of a smaller group, you’ll have an instant connection to anyone else who is also from Ohio.

Humor doesn’t only help during the introduction part of the sales process, either. It can help improve understanding about ideas and it can lessen the awkwardness of the money conversation.

You decide

Even if you work for a company that doesn’t allow humor, the company can’t control how you think. There are benefits to using humor to increase sales and get better results.

Additionally, though, you can use humor to help you enjoy your work more. You’ll be more willing to do your work and you won’t dread Monday.

It comes down to a choice. You decide how you do your work every day.

Andrew’s book provides 10 strategies for using humor in the workplace, and the 11th strategy, a bonus one, is perhaps the most important.

It develops a humor habit.

“Use Humor In The Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Andrew at humorthatworks.com, where you’ll find a bunch of free resources and a newsletter. You can also grab a copy of his book, Humor That Works, which teaches the what, why, and how of humor in the workplace.

Connect with him directly @drewtarvin on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Drew also recently discovered that he still has a Myspace page from 2008.

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.

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.

Joe Sweeney, Donald Kelly, Understanding People

TSE 1074: Sales From The Street – “Understanding What Makes People Tick”

Joe Sweeney, Donald Kelly, Understanding People

Human behavior plays a huge role in sales and understanding what makes people tick is one of the most important concepts sellers in all industries should seek to learn.

Joe Sweeney has worn a variety of different hats over the course of his career, but he loves human behavior and he says it’s the key to success in sales.

Buyers

You must understand why someone would buy your product. Joe’s philosophy, as described in his book Networking Is A Contact Sportis that networking, business, and sales are about giving and serving rather than getting something.

People ask about the number one mistake that salespeople make, and it’s believing that the process is about us. We think it’s about our product. It’s not.

Joe gives talks all the time and he starts by saying, “You don’t sell anything. What we do is help people get what they want.”

Instead, sellers tend to take the opposite approach and we talk about ourselves and our product. But your buyer doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is whether your product can solve his needs and relieve some of his pain points.

Criticism

Joe said he spent a portion of his life criticizing other people because he represented a lot of high-net-worth people who did stupid things.

When, for example, he encountered a woman outside a hospital dying from emphysema and smoking a cigarette, he made the connection. The pleasure she got from nicotine was greater than the pain she experienced from emphysema.

The takeaway is to get good at understanding what makes people tick without criticizing them. All human behavior makes sense, even when we don’t.

  • Don’t be critical of their actions.
  • Understand people’s needs and wants.

Keep everything simple.

3 Common Needs

Although we could all likely point to hundreds of needs, we really have three basic, common needs.

  1. We need to belong to something bigger than ourselves.
  2. We need to love and to be loved.
  3. Finally, we all want to know that our life has meaning and that we’ve made a difference.

The greatest sales companies in the world have understood that.

Perhaps our greatest need is the first one: the need to belong to something bigger. It’s counter-intuitive today because with all the social media we falsely believe we’re all connected but the truth is that we’re less connected than we’ve ever been.

Stated another way, we’re more isolated now than ever.

Need to belong

The company that really understands this concept is Harley Davidson. Its number one competitor is BMW which far surpasses Harley, but Harley outsells everyone.

The Harley Ownership Group, or HOG, makes its owners part of something bigger. It’s about belonging.

Remember the old TV show Cheers? Its tagline captures this desire. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

In this technology world, we pretend that we’re connected to a massive network but we aren’t.

Need to be loved

Coca Cola marketed to this need with the ad about teaching the world to sing. It was kind of a kumbaya moment with people holding hands singing together.

They portrayed the feeling that if you drink Coca Cola, you’d feel all this love. Coca Cola understood the Maya Angelou quote: People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. People will never forget the way you make them feel. 

Joe asks his groups, “What are you doing to answer the needs of these people? The belonging needs and the love needs.”

Need to make a difference

We all want to know that our lives have meaning, and Mastercard captured that with the ad campaign that assigned prices to different products.

Fishing poles, $29. Worms, $3.25. An afternoon fishing with your teenagers, Priceless.

Most of us approach the sales process with the sense that we have to tell people about our benefits. Instead, we should take two steps back and work to understand what makes people tick.

Understand needs

Work to understand your buyers’ needs. The greatest companies do it and I recommend that your listeners do the same.

If you’re going to be really good in sales, you should wow people.

If you sell office furniture, what would differentiate you from the competition?

Find something personal, and then do something memorable. Little things in sales mean everything. #BeMemorable

Imagine that you have a customer who likes Egyptian art. At the close of your interaction with the customer, hand him a piece of Egyptian art that you printed out. It cost you nothing, but none of the other competitors will have done that.

Making money

Joe suggests that sales isn’t about making money. Although that’s a by-product of sales, it’s really about creating an environment where we can service people. You can do the same thing in education and in government.

Morph your sales job into a servant leadership role.

Joe’s sister-in-law told him that she always assumed that business was a bunch of greedy people trying to make money. There was a negative energy around sales.

Joe reframed it as a positive thing and created a forum where people can serve each other and get what they want in life.

Daniel Pink wrote a book called To Sell Is Human all about humanizing sales. I needed that as a young seller when I was guilty of seeing CEOs as something other than human beings. I didn’t see a woman who runs a business and has two kids in middle school.

Sales development

Joe said he hates networking and what it represents. We tend to think of an alpha male chasing someone down with a business card. It’s about understanding pain points and needs and then responding to them.

Many salespeople are too aggressive and competitive because we feel the pressure. Instead, we have to reframe networking and sales.

It’s not about us, but that’s a tough concept in this narcissistic culture.

Joe suggested using a 5-10-15 process in which he holds a minimum of 5 meetings, 10 pieces of written correspondence, and a minimum of 15 phone calls.

It’s less about the numbers and more about the system. Your listeners could start with a 2-4-6 system. Make a plan that keeps you accountable to yourself.

We’re basically all independent contractors and this kind of system will create internal accountability.

“Understanding What Makes People Tick” episode resources

You can connect with Joe at joesweeney.com/networking where you can access inexpensive online training programs. They can help your listeners move the needle in their business and sales lives but also in their personal lives.

You can also grab a copy of his book, Networking Is A Contact Sport.

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.

 

8 Best Practices for Managing Your Sales Pipeline

Two months ago, I was put in charge of managing my company’s sales pipeline.

Goodness, did I have a lot to learn.

The health of a company’s sales pipeline is critical in generating, understanding and predicting revenue. For a small, yet fast-growing company like mine, this affects not only the roles of the sales team but leadership throughout the organization as they seek to pre-emptively forecast capacity and hiring needs. For larger companies, the implications are just as important.

The sales pipeline is one of the most crucial fountains of data that any company has and is an important indicator of the health of the company’s growth engine. To manage it poorly would be unwise.

During these last two months, I’ve spent hours diving into research, evaluating data sets, reviewing platforms, and consuming as much information as I could stomach. By no means do I believe I have mastered the art of pipeline management, but I would love to share a few key insights I have learned from others, as well as a few I have found to be true from my own personal experience.

Without further ado, below you’ll find eight best practices for managing your sales pipeline.

1.    Simplify Sales Stages

If it seems obvious, it’s because it is. Yet numerous teams struggle with this tactic. In order to most effectively manage your sales pipeline, and to simplify your team’s jobs as effectively as possible, it’s essential to keep your stages as smooth as possible. There’s just no getting around it!

Changing structures and systems is difficult in any organization – especially if leadership has a “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. But simplification of the sales pipeline is too valuable to brush aside.

With each unnecessary stage, your leads and opportunities are increasingly prone to stagnation and distraction. Not only so, but with extra fluff in the sales process, there is a risk of flawed perspective from the salesperson. What I mean by this is, if the stages aren’t stripped down to accurately align the decision-making process of the buyer with the internal selling process, the salesperson can easily become too caught up in the steps themselves and forget to focus on what really matters – guiding the prospect to move forward. And, as many of us have experienced, prospects tend to pull away with the slightest hint of misalignment.

All of this – stagnation, distraction, and misalignment – translates to lost dollars. And that is a language everyone can understand.

Note: While researching the alignment of sales stages with the buyer’s journey, I found an interesting alternative to the traditional stages used by most companies. The stages were flipped to entirely reflect the stages of the buying decision rather than internal processes of organizations. The model, created by Mark Sellers, is geared more towards B2B companies.

Naturally, I took interest in this given that the company I work for provides SEO, PPC and CRO for B2B companies.

The funnel is called the BuyCycle Funnel, and the stages are as follows:

Source: Image Courtesy of Mark Sellers

Another key reason to simplify your sales stages leads directly into best practice number two….

2.    Shorten Your Sales Cycle (Within Reason)

As a general rule of thumb, shorter sales cycles are more desirable. They lead to revenue faster, allow for increased sales velocity, and are far less of a headache for everyone involved. Everyone is striving for a shorter sales cycle.  

And it makes sense inherently.

People prefer transparency over the obscurity, structure over chaos, and the concise over the drawn-out. But, the length of your sales cycle should never be secondary to the quality of the touches within it. Speed should not be forced upon the sales process, but rather should be a natural byproduct of having your stages simplified to the mere essentials ( Point #1).

In the wonderful world of B2B sales, cycles move at a pace that put glaciers to shame. Speeding up processes, therefore, needs to be done with gentle care. The metric, I believe, should be based on competitive standards.

If we are adopting a different mentality, it’s imperative to always consider what the buyer is experiencing. Then, we must be aware of the fact that they are likely going through similar sales processes with other companies. If we speed up our processes too much, we may begin to seem less credible than our competition and lose valuable trust.

Let me explain. In my case, we offer custom proposals that include a detailed audit of our prospects’ websites and a high-level, tailored solution. This is the next step after our “intro call.”

Typically, it takes a couple of days after the intro call to build out this strategy and present it. If I wanted to speed up the sales cycles just for the purpose of speeding it up, I could put other things on hold and knock out an audit the same day. But, my assumption is that that wouldn’t help. In order to build out a solid game plan and thoroughly understand the search engine landscapes our customers exist in, we must spend an appropriate amount of time doing our research. By the same token, our suggestions and recommendations would doubtfully be taken as seriously with a significantly shorter turnaround time.

Further, if your prospects are exploring 3-4 different companies (which they are), then you might be left with a lengthy “in limbo” period after you’ve completed your proposal and the customers are waiting for other proposals to come through.

It is a best practice to keep sales cycles brief, but only by keeping the stages to the essentials. Don’t overhype speed over the process.

3.    Add Value at Each Sales Stage

I cannot stress the importance of value enough. At any point in the sales process, your prospect should know what the next action is, and what they are going to GET from taking that action.

Value is a principle in marketing, as well as in sales, and is rooted in human psychology. I like to think of it as the “exchange factor.” Humans make moves when they see the benefit for them. They are willing to give when they get. Basic stuff.

However, in order to get to the primary exchange (i.e. the sale itself), there must be a pattern of “micro-exchanges” along the way. On an introductory call, the client GETS valuable information about offerings that help them move along in making an educated decision.

In the proposal stage, the client GETS a free audit to help them wrap their heads around their current search marketing tactics. You get the picture. Without a clear understanding of what is to be received at each step, people are unmotivated to move forward.

And unmotivated prospects are lost deals.

4.    Analyze Sales Performance by Stage

According to a study by Vantage Point, only 23% of sales managers analyze the efficiency of pipeline movement specific to individual stages when evaluating sales reps’ effectiveness.

What is the sales pipeline if not a sum of all its parts? In order to truly get an understanding of strengths and weaknesses in a sales process, you must be observing from the perspective of stage-to-stage movement, in addition to the movement as a whole.

It is in the granular detail that we see trends for which stages happen to be the most stubborn, which stages the majority of your clients fall off during, or which stages are causing trouble for the cycle as a whole.

In order to make the necessary changes, you need to understand exactly where the breakdown is and what is causing it – something that is difficult if you’re only looking at the cycle as a lump sum.

This granularity in separating stage performance also makes way for the next best practice…

5.    Test Everything!

I am a salesperson surrounded by marketers – and I couldn’t be more thankful. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the team here, it is the understanding of the value of testing. No decision our team makes is ran on a whim.

EVERYTHING is backed in data.

But, in order to accumulate data, we must run rigorous tests. And in order to improve at a steady pace, we need to run numerous and strategic tests. Which we do. All the time.

My goal for myself in this new role is to treat the pipeline with the same level of dedication and professionalism that our clients expect of us. In order to make educated, data-backed decisions, I need to be running rigorous tests as well. Breaking down performance at a stage-by-stage level provides great opportunity to test theories at a smaller level and get quicker insights into the results of those tests.

Currently, I am running a test on the impact of bringing in department directors on my proposals. Last week, I began testing the floor for minimum pricing to find any psychological thresholds at different dollar amounts.

Keep in mind, there is always a test you can run to better your sales efforts. And it’s okay to overlap tests. Many aren’t going to be conclusive after one week. Heck, many aren’t going to be conclusive after a month! However, keep testing so you can keep learning and adjust to find exactly what your targeted audience is looking for.

6.    Know Your Numbers

Similar to the running tests is being able to understand and interpret data. Data is the foundation of success in the modern day. As boring as numbers may seem (I’m a right-brained person, myself), you just have to know how to work with them.

What is your lead qualification rate? How long does it take a lead to go from qualification to proposal given? How long does it take a deal to close? What is the lifetime value of an average customer? These numbers are absolutely crucial in understanding and predicting revenue implications from a sales pipeline.

Software companies have caught on to just how valuable this information is, and there are now plenty of choices for sales software to help in understanding and visualizing data. At Directive, we use a platform called Rekener, which has been a solid implementation for us (no, this isn’t a paid plug).

This tool allows us to see the pipeline movement by stage in terms of percentage moved and days required to advance from one stage to the next. We can also see overall “scorecards” for the performance of an account executive based on criteria we tell it to track. Additionally, it shows average close rates and helps us build solid projections for expected revenue won, which is crucial information for the data-driven sales professional.

7.   Make Lead Scoring a Priority

In larger organizations, lead scoring is absolutely essential. You can get by without automated lead scoring as a smaller company, but once your leads start flowing from all that SEO you’ve been doing, you’ll want to check out a lead scoring solution.

In the end, all of the sales data in the world will tell you that the most effective sales teams prioritize certain prospects over others. You’re not going to turn every lead into a deal, so why not help yourself out by spending your time where it will make the most impact. For an incredible read on the subject, check out this article by Francis Brero.  

8.    Monitor Your Activity

Last, but certainly not least, get in the habit of monitoring where your time goes. This is one of the hardest things that I have had to do since starting this job. I consistently felt that the days were vanishing before me, and although the entire day felt stacked to the brim, I could rarely tell you how much of my time was spent where.

It’s a difficult thing to quantify, but time is the backbone of success in any role – especially sales. Without tracking how much time goes where, it is impossible to set benchmarks for activity, prioritize high-impact activities, and truly know where your reps should be investing their energy. Luckily, there are tools to help. A couple I discovered in my research are SuperOffice and Salesmate.

Honorable Mentions – Additional Tips to Keep in Mind

Below, you’ll find additional tips I’ve discovered to be helpful. They didn’t make the official list, but they are definitely worth trying out for yourself.

  • Don’t be an island! One of the best ways to maintain consistent performance in your sales pipeline is to get as many eyes on it as possible. Have weekly meetings or daily check-ins with your sales team and review the state of the pipeline together. Take ownership of training all parts of the sales team in best practices throughout all stages to make sure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
  • Strongly encourage post-sale follow-up. It’s been proven time and time again, sales reps that keep in touch with their closed deals end up selling more deals in the long run. People change jobs all the time and having a good relationship with internal champions goes a very long way. In my eyes, it should almost be another stage in the pipeline.

Creating, refining, and managing a well-oiled sales pipeline is a battle that is fought daily. However, with a mind armed with data, a spirit ready to test and conquer obstacles, and a team united in a singular pursuit – it’s a battle that pays big bucks to fight.

 

Author Bio: Jonathan Verstegen – Account Executive at Directive

Jonathan Verstegen, along with his colleagues, seek to develop a consistent, repeatable model for sales development for leading B2B and enterprise search marketing agency, Directive, headquartered out of Irvine, CA. Jonathan is motivated by competition and the never-ending pursuit of personal development.

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small Business

TSE 1042: 3 Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small BusinessVery often, sales reps find themselves frustrated and hemmed in by the mistakes small company sales leaders make.

I had a conversation last week with a sales rep who was frustrated because his company had no real plan or guidance for how it would achieve the owner’s vision. The owner expected Herculean efforts by the rep, but eventually the rep stopped performing and left the company to escape the pressure.

In many cases, unless the owner corrects the mistakes, the cycle starts all over again when a new rep joins the team.

Honeymoon

Many of us in small organizations understand the excitement of entering a new role only to discover that the reality was different than the idea you bought into. The sales rep I mentioned was never good enough to accomplish what the boss was hoping for, because there was no plan in place to help him succeed.

Because the rep wasn’t as successful as the boss expected, he was moved into a different role. The rep continued in a sales support role, but his demeanor changed. His excitement disappeared. He wasn’t giving as much of himself to the company because he was discouraged by all that had happened.

Eventually he left the role and moved into a much better position.

Missing plan

Entrepreneurs certainly have the freedom to set their own vision for their companies. It’s their responsibility to establish where the organization will go, but they must also determine how it will get there.

Imagine an owner who sets a goal to make $1 million. He wants the best sales reps to come into his organization and help him carry out that plan.

He hires a successful sales rep from another company where there is already a proven sales process and proven guidance to help him succeed. The owner expects the sales rep to execute at the new company the same way he did at the previous one, except there’s no structure in place.

If the rep didn’t take the sales job expecting to have to reinvent the wheel, he’ll likely be frustrated by the lack of any kind of process. If he’s a new seller, he may not have the resources or the experience to help build a sales process from nothing.

As a result, he’ll be frustrated and burned out quickly because he doesn’t have the necessary tools to be successful.

Without a change in the owner’s approach, every sales rep who walks into this same situation will likely end up leaving.

Mistake 1: Failing to find the best customer

If you don’t identify the best potential customer for your business, the sales rep will constantly have to switch gears in an effort to pursue different prospects. He’ll struggle to gain traction because he’ll be chasing too many possibilities.

He likely won’t have any idea what works and what doesn’t, because he’ll be spread too thin.

Have a clear definition of the customers you’ll pursue, and how you’ll connect with them. If you haven’t already determined who your ideal customers are, give your sales reps additional time to figure out which customers are worth pursuing.

Mistake 2: Failing to understand basic metrics

If you aren’t tracking certain metrics within your company, you’ll have no way to determine which efforts are working and which ones are not.

Begin by determining which KPIs you’ll use to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales reps.

  • How many deals they close?
  • The number of appointments they set?
  • How many demonstrations they schedule?
  • How many contacts they locate?

I recommend you focus on outcome-based KPIs. It’s ok to track the day-to-day activities that produce important outcomes like demonstrations scheduled or deals closed, but I wouldn’t judge your employees on those metrics.

Avoid measuring vanity numbers like the number of calls made and instead evaluate meaningful numbers like the number of appointments that resulted from those calls.

Determine what kind of realistic result your rep should be accomplishing. Should he be closing $6,000 worth of deals each month? Once you know that, you can help your reps ramp up.

Mistake 3: Failing to guide your team

Once your team has an understanding of the ideal customers and how to find them, you must give your team a clear expectation of what to say.

Prepare your team for the questions they must be prepared to answer and the objections they’ll likely hear. Develop resources like downloads or podcasts or articles that will help your sales reps educate themselves. Accumulate resources that your reps can share with your prospects.

If you don’t help your sales reps succeed, they will move on to another company. Then, you’ll find yourself in the same mess again.

Don’t make these same mistakes. Develop a plan to help your team succeed.

Check out the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for help building a successful team and an effective process.

“Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make” episode resources

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.

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.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We 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.

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, Confidence, Salespeople

TSE 1012: You Are Important As Well!!!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Confidence, SalespeopleIf you find yourself hesitant to tell people that you work in sales because you think anyone can do it, today we’re discussing the fact that You are Important as Well!!

The year was 2011. I was a recent college graduate working for the first company in my professional career. I was attending a fine dining networking event when I ran into an old friend.

The old friend, it turns out, had decided to take on Wall Street after graduation and was now the head of finance for a multinational company in Miami. It sounded like he was doing great.

“Hey! Donald! It’s great to see you! What are you doing these days?!”

I clammed up because I didn’t want to tell him that I was in sales for a medical company. I was ashamed of saying I was a sales rep because, early on, it felt to me like anyone could do sales. [0:00]

Change your mindset

It took me awhile to realize that not just anyone can do well in sales. And I want to help you change your mindset, too. I want you to understand that you are important as well!

Many professional careers – medical, law, finance – require college degrees. They are critical jobs with important tasks.

Sales, however, doesn’t carry the glamour it once did. Many of us don’t even wear a suit to work anymore. Rather, it is believed that anyone who can “sell” can get a job in sales. We sit behind a computer and make phone calls … we are pushy people, bottom feeders, and we lack the ability to do anything else. [03:19]

That is how I used to feel. Now I know better.

Money

In sales, we have an unlimited level of income. After executives, sellers earn the highest incomes.

  • As a salesperson, it is your job to bring money into the organization.
  • Money is the lifeblood of any company, even for non-profits.
  • Finance, HR, tech, even the CEO – none of them can do their job without money.
  • The company cannot grow without money.

Every department needs money but only sales can deliver it. [04:38]

Certain jobs, like sales, are an asset to any company. Other positions – ones that earn a paycheck every week without bringing money into the firm – are liabilities. [06:21]

Salespeople are so important to the bottom line. The information we have is needed in board meetings because everyone wants to know what the sales pipeline looks like.  They need to know. [06:52]

Education

Sales can be an easier field to get started in because it doesn’t require a lot of technical training.

It is why I do this podcast. It is why I offer training and how I am able to help companies, and their sales teams, do better.

Understanding individuals, understanding the industry, and understanding the sales process is all part of training. It increases our education.

Schools are now spending time and effort to offer sales training as a degree because they recognize the power of the sales role. They recognize how critical sales is to any organization.

The prestigious capabilities of sales is returning and it is exciting. [07:33]

Believe in yourself

I am ashamed sometimes for ever doubting myself but I learned from it. I learned and I improved and I was able to perform better as a result. Now I understand what I am truly capable of bringing to an organization and I understand how valuable I am.

Have the strong and firm knowledge and belief that you are important. Listening to this podcast, for example, shows that you have taken an interest in learning something new. Improving yourself improves the entire profession. [09:19]

I was fortunate enough the other day to be thanked by a regular listener who credits this podcast with helping him succeed. He took some of the things he has learned from our guests and from the books we’ve recommended and is currently enjoying a sales incentive trip for doing so well in 2018. [10:00]

Recognize that you are important.

You are a professional sales rep with a skill that many people do not have. Work for a company that validates your contributions and offers a product or service that you feel strongly about.

Keep learning and keep growing. Earn that unlimited income.

I want you to be successful and to find more ideal customers. Build stronger value, close more deals. Do more each and every day. [10:56]

“You are Important as Well!!” episode resources

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.

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.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales Process, Dealpoint, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 976: How To Not Make Your New Sales Process JUST Another Flavor of The Week

 

Sales is one of the hardest jobs in any organization. Sometimes optimism keeps sellers from recognizing the truth of the situation because they are focused on commission.

On today’s episode, we’ll talk to Tom Williams, CEO of DealPoint, about getting buyers and sellers on the same page as part of a new sales process. When organizations put buyer-centric processes in place, prospects feel heard and deals close faster.

Misalignment

Tom’s journey with DealPoint started when he was a sales manager overseeing a team of sellers. [1:07] He discovered that there was a misalignment between how his sellers perceived the process was going and how the buyers perceived it.

He spent a lot of time thinking about how he could use processes to bring the two sides together.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the seller has happy ears because he wants the sale to happen. In many cases, sellers are naturally optimistic people, so they view situations differently.

The other big issue is that the buyer himself doesn’t understand where he is in the sales process. [2:44] Especially in the case of large organizations, the buyer may not understand all the steps required for approval, so he may not anticipate the roadblocks.

It’s important to understand both processes: the buyer’s process and what the seller is hearing about the buyer’s process.

Flavor of the week

Many companies change their sales process frequently because they are trying to address problems with the existing one. [3:48]

There’s a statistic that says you can spend as much as you want to put a sales process in place, and it might survive for 6 weeks, or even as long as 90 days. Eventually, though, your team will likely return to the old way of doing things, largely for two reasons:

  1. They don’t think the managers are putting a lot of effort into it, so it’s rep-driven.
  2. The managers aren’t seeing success because they didn’t implement the correct kind of process for their organization.

If it’s option 2, you should absolutely change the process so that you aren’t harming your sales team. If it’s option 1, there are things you can do to make sure your sales team is on board with the process so that everyone makes more money.

Building processes

Begin by looking at how your team implements your existing process. In Tom’s case, he discovered that his team saw the existing sales process as an extra job; little more than paper-pushing. [5:19]

At one point, he was withholding commissions until his team filled in SalesForce. He had tried all kinds of incentives and nothing was working.

Even then, they were filling in the SalesForce fields but doing the bare minimum.

The buyer and the seller have to be getting some value out of the process as well.

Make sure the process is flexible enough to support different types of sellers. Although you’ll always have a scripted component for your sellers, you’ll be holding your top sellers back if you insist that they use a script.

When you sell it to the reps, clearly outline the benefits. [7:05] Make them understand how the sales process will help everyone involved. Provide statistics that quantify the improvement you’ve seen as a result of a sales process, and they’ll be happy to follow it.

Help them understand that it’s in their best interest to adopt the new sales process.

Help the buyer

Your new sales process should include a mutual action component so that buyer and seller are negotiating. [10:56] Neither party wants to invest a lot of time in a deal only to see it fall away.

Once the champion has acknowledged that this product or service will definitely solve her problem, buyer and seller must decide how they are going to make this plan happen.

As you build the mutual action plan, the buyer, seller, and sales manager can verify that the plan is on track and that triple reinforcement can make sure the process is embedded into the funnel.

If there’s a step you aren’t aware of, it can cause a late-stage failure, which can damage your deal as well as your reputation.

Sales coaching

Management must be on board with the new sales process in order to keep it from feeling like the flavor of the week. [14:09] If the managers aren’t fully on board, the reps will immediately sniff that out and they’ll perceive the process as a waste of time.

Some teams use leaderboards to motivate their sellers, but if it’s used in a negative way, it doesn’t bring all the boats up. If, on the other hand, you’re sharing successes and challenges, it can help your team understand why the leaders are succeeding and how they’ve overcome their challenges.

Embed your sales process into the daily routine. [17:46] Fight against your team’s tendency to wait to input all their information on Friday afternoon when it isn’t as fresh in their minds.

Collaboration between buyer and seller brings the process into the forefront. For example, have the buyer fill in a form that provides the data you need so that you get more accurate data.

DealPoint

The idea of DealPoint is to get sellers and buyers on the same page. [20:09]

A long sales-cycle-gone-bad wastes time for both buyer and seller, often resulting from miscommunication or errors in the process.

Very rarely do circumstances change in the 10th month of the process that wreck the deal. Usually, it’s a problem that could have been sniffed-out in month two to save everyone a lot of time.

Doing so also builds up the seller’s credibility, because if the seller identifies quickly that the deal isn’t working out, the buyer will respect his handling of it and he’ll be willing to come back to him later with a new challenge. [20:47]

DealPoint gets the buyer and the seller on the same page. It brings both teams together with a visual timeline and conferencing and file-sharing capabilities that they can access at any time.

They can view milestones and post things like meeting notes, and it keeps everyone on track.

The question of “what is the next step?” drives a lot of business and it causes a lot of deals to crash because there wasn’t a clear next step. [22:08]

DealPoint is that single location where buyers and sellers can understand the next steps and keep the decision moving forward.

“New Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Tom and learn more about DealPoint at dealpoint.io or Tom@dealpoint.io. He enjoys talking about sales processes and he’d love to geek out with you for 20 minutes to talk about your process. He’s also active on LinkedIn.

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 salesevangelists.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.

TSE Hustler’s League

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.

Chirag Gupta, Start Up, Process, Co-Working

TSE 974: Sales From The Street: “Document Everything”

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Chirag Gupta, founder of NoD Coworking, about documenting processes and how it will help your organization become more efficient and more profitable.

Chirag has been an entrepreneur since college, and his coworking space in Dallas has achieved profitability, a goal many startups never achieve, largely as a result of documenting processes.

Multitasking

Like many entrepreneurs, Chirag initially found himself wearing many hats. He discovered that operating that way isn’t profitable, even though it’s a means to conserve cash. It simply isn’t sustainable.

He realized he was working long hours without delivering the best possible experience to his customers.

Chirag discovered a book called Work the System, which helped him understand that juggling all aspects of the business prevented him from running the business.

You can work in your business, or you can work on your business, and the difference between the two is subtle.

Once he discovered the difference, he understood the need to begin documenting processes, specifically those for sales.

Getting your life back

In the early days of the business, each transaction was unique. Chirag negotiated with every client instead of establishing a specific membership process.

Because there was money coming in, he didn’t immediately recognize the need to document processes for his business.

When he did, he felt like he got a huge chunk of his life back.

Beautiful concept

The idea for NoD emerged when Chirag was in Chicago working in a coworking space on an idea for a social networking app.

He discovered that he was encountering other successful Internet entrepreneurs, angel investors, and mentors, and he realized what a powerful resource it was.

He decided that his second business, after his Internet startup was thriving, would be a coworking space.

When the Internet startup died, he returned to the idea of the coworking space.

He moved back to Dallas and started running meetups with the startup community simply to make new connections. He was looking for networking opportunities among the tech startup community.

At one point he was running five different meetups using a vacant office space.

One of the guys in a meetup insisted on paying him to use the space. He could see the vision and the value of a coworking space in that part of the city.

Documenting processes

Process is key for everyone.

Chirag learned that once you write something down, you can test it and measure it and tweak it and optimize it. If you don’t write it down, it’s hard to replicate or scale.

He started by documenting the process for lead generation. Once he had written down the individual steps, he was able to see new insights and find ways to streamline the processes.

Processes have helped him trust that his customers are always getting the same consistent process that his team developed. The result has been amazing growth for his company. His profit has roughly doubled as a result of the effort.

As an added benefit, the company is getting more five-star reviews because they’ve streamlined the processes.

“Steps In The Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Chirag at ChicagoGupta.com, and you can find all his social media information there as well. Check out NoD Coworking to learn more about his coworking space in Dallas.

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.

TSE Hustler’s League

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.

Michael Wills, Donald Kelly, Sales Training, How to do a salesprocess

TSE 971: How To Develop A Sales Process That Works

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk with global sales team leader Michael Wills about how to develop a sales process that works.

Many sellers have no real sense of direction, but they expect to be successful despite the lack of a plan.

Defining a sales process

A sales process provides a way for you to communicate with a buyer in a systematic way that is successful and repeatable. A single success doesn’t mean you have a sales process. It needs to be measurable so you can confirm results and grow.

To start, recognize that you’re doing something well, but there are no doubt areas that you can improve.

Figure out who exactly your buyer is.

Find out these things:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • How do they work?
  • How can you communicate with them effectively?
  • What’s my industry?
  • What’s the norm?

Be able to understand and document that information, which will give you a path. Once you have that path, you can figure out the processes to execute.

If you have someone who has had internal success, do a Q&A with him and figure out what his best practices are and build processes around those ideas.

People who aren’t led systematically will create their own strategies, which isn’t necessarily a positive thing. The process facilitates the execution of a strategy.

Dangers of operating without a process

If your team doesn’t have a process in place, you won’t know whether the team is selling to customers that you don’t necessarily want to do business with. You won’t know if the team is selling in a way that is unprofessional or inappropriate. Finally, you won’t know how consistent each person is in the process.

It’s important that you don’t let people operate on their own because you can’t grow around that system.

The sales process must be built around the way the buyers buy. When you truly know who you’re going after, you can understand their way of purchasing.

It’s also really important to understand where your buyer fits within the decision-making process because you’ll have different processes for different levels of people.

The method of communication and the information you share differs based on authority and timeline.

Fundamental parts of a process

Begin by understanding that your buyer knows 50 to 60 percent of what she needs to know because she ever talks to you for the first time. Knowing that frames the picture for you to jump in and be further down the sales process than you would have been without that knowledge.

Begin by talking about the client’s industry and situation. Use her language and previous client experience to bring value. You can share information, share best practices and share things you understand about the challenges her organization will face.

By doing that, you become a trusted person.

Today’s buyer needs value early. By sharing that value, you become trusted, and that person will share your information through the organization.

You can share solutions and then concrete details about how other clients have solved these problems.

Building a pipeline

Build a pipeline of prospects that are interesting to you.

Choose an industry you have a little bit of insight into and that you’re comfortable with. It’s important to understand the language of the industry.

Use the Internet to learn about the industry and the company itself. Determine hot topics and find out the things they are posting.

Instead of referring to it as cold calling, we should call it smart calling because we’ve done the research and you know who you want to talk to and why you want to talk to them.

It’s a lower conversion rate but it’s a great way to build your pipeline and gain some real opportunities.

Customization

Find the right level of customization for your prospecting.

Using a first name in an email is critical, but so is the information you find through your Internet searches, posts, product launches, and any other information that demonstrates that you’ve done some work.

Value

You can’t discuss value until you understand the industry you’re working in.

Use the experience you’ve gained by working with an earlier client to quantify benefits for your potential clients. Through your discovery process, talk to the prospect about the current situation and how your product or service could help them operate more efficiently or have capabilities they didn’t have before.

It’s “back of the napkin” stuff that doesn’t require an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s specific information that will be relevant to your prospect.

When a prospect agrees to meet with you, they already know a decent amount about your product. If you initiate the conversation talking about value, and you can quantify that value, it’s a different conversation.

Being consistent doesn’t mean you never tweak your process, but consistency is the only way to track whether your process is working or not.

It’s critical for salespeople to know what they do well and to understand why they do the things they do.

“A Sales Process That Works” 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.

 

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.

Prospecting, Value, Networking

TSE 952: Value Prospecting

Prospecting, Value, NetworkingOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about value prospecting and how we create opportunities when we help people recognize the value in the products or services we’re offering.

In 2009, I went on a school trip to Santa Barbara to connect with industry and learn more about the world of startups. One morning, we were scheduled to leave the hotel at 9 but a friend and I had ventured out to find breakfast, and there was no way we were going to make it back in time.

As we were walking back to the hotel praying we’d make it on time, we passed a guy loading plywood that had fallen off his truck into the road. We stopped to help him, and when the job was finished, we asked him for a ride to our hotel.

He gladly gave us a ride, and we made it back in time.

Skipping steps

Now imagine if we had run up to random cars in the intersection knocking on windows and asking people to give us a ride back to our hotel.

Do you think people would have been willing to do it?

They probably wouldn’t have, but since we helped the truck driver meet a need, we delivered value to him. He trusted us because we helped him and he saw that we weren’t a threat to him.

He was more than willing to reciprocate because we had helped him first.

LinkedIn

Many of us do the equivalent of knocking on windows and asking for rides when we connect with people on LinkedIn. Instead of looking for ways to deliver value or pointing out how our product or service could benefit them, we jump in an go straight for the sale.

If we begin by delivering value to them, just like we helped the surfer truck driver load plywood, we would find ourselves with high-quality prospects who are like to reciprocate.

You’ve probably seen an outreach of some sort where a seller explained to you that his company has been in business for 15 years and he’d like to set an appointment with you to talk about his product.

It just doesn’t work.

Instead, go to your prospect’s LinkedIn or the company’s website to uncover a challenge the company is facing or a problem you can help solve. Focus your outreach on the prospect.

Provide value

Congratulate him on a new position as CFO. Then send him a link to an article like, “10 Things New CFOS Wished They Knew Before Landing the Job.”

If your company helps CFOs and you have software that can help him be successful, now you’re delivering value. You’re loading plywood in the back of his truck.

Continue your flow process, and after you’ve built value, go for the ask. Tell him you’d love to see if there is an interest because you’ve worked with other CFOs just like him and this software has benefitted them greatly.

You delivered value and you came as a friend. You built the relationship and then you extended the invitation.

Numbers game

The alternative is that you send a thousand emails out talking all about yourself and your product. You might find a couple of people who raise their hands to say they are interested, and maybe they’ll even buy from you.

Think about the time you wasted. You sent a thousand emails for one appointment.

Instead, if you load wood into the back of their trucks and build a relationship first, then you can use your cadence process, together with prospect.io, to connect with people who are more likely to convert.

Students

The message was the same for the students I spoke to this week in Idaho. Some of them will connect with alumni a week or a month before graduation hoping to find help getting a job.

They won’t likely be successful.

If, however, they build relationships with us over the course of time and help us load plywood into our trucks, then they’ll be at the top of our list when they need something from us.

Be the person who builds value.

Do what you know

As sellers, many of us know this stuff, but we don’t do it.

If people always did what we knew was best, we’d be the healthiest people on the planet. Sellers don’t always do what we know, but if we did, we’d improve our results.

I’m here to remind you to take advantage of the knowledge that you have. As you reach out today, determine whether you’re building value and whether you’re creating opportunities for yourself and your buyer with value prospecting.

“Value Prospecting” 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 and provide training and strategies that you can implement 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.

CoVoideo, John Simpson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 944: Sales From The Street: “Video Cold Outreach”

Your prospects are inundated with cold communications every day. Your job is to make sure that your communications don’t wind up in someone’s spam folder. Personal communication is an important part of modern-day sales, and video cold outreach is an important tool.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, John Simpson, Director of Business Development at Covideo, talks to us about the value of video cold outreach.

Why video?

How sick are you of boring emails?

How many unsolicited emails end up in your spam folder?

The most important part of prospecting is building trust and helping the person on the other end of the email realize that you’re authentic. Being able to put a face with a name is a game changer.

Video is a strong value-add if you do it as part of your sequence. It’s not true, though, that video solves every problem.

Typically, the first outreach won’t include a video. It will be a simple value statement to someone who has never met us. Usually, it’s to a sales leader who might benefit from our product.

If we get no response, we’ll send another email, and then we’ll send the video. As soon as we get the view notification, we’ll pick up the phone and call them and try to determine whether we’re a fit.

Video is an attention grabber. `

Emails

The point of all this isn’t that emails are bad. You should absolutely still use emails.

You must have a strategy for your emails, and they must be part of your overall sales process.

The point isn’t that videos are always the right answer. The point is that everyone fails from time to time, and when you do, you have to re-evaluate what you’re doing.

Those failures can help you identify other avenues that you can take.

If you’ve mailed a prospect multiple times and he’s not responding, shoot him a video. Shoot him a text.

You’ve got to do something that stands out and sets you apart.

Sequence

Covideo discovered through trial and error that sending a video in the first cold email wasn’t usually best.

People weren’t responding to their efforts, so they changed their sequence and saw results. They learned from their failures.

In certain industries, they found that it was ok to send a video immediately. It depends on the person and the industry.

If you’re pursuing a CEO you’ll likely take a different approach than you would if you were pursuing a salesperson at a logistics company.

Conversation

Anytime you’re reaching out to someone, your goal is to start a conversation.

Instead of just spitting about your product, slow down a bit. Give yourself time to simply chat.

Instead of shoving your product down his throat, provide a solution to the problem. The concept of “always be closing” in Glengarry Glen Ross doesn’t exist anymore. The buyer has changed.

We sometimes try to put too much information into our emails and videos. Instead of trying to include a whole bunch of info, we just have to get to the next step in the conversation.

It’s always about progress.

Connection

Video allows you to engage all of your senses, where email only involves our sight.

When we engage with video, we use our hearing, our sight, and we’re cognitively responding to the body language in the video. Using multiple senses leads to a deeper connection.

We tend to misinterpret emails because we sometimes add tone. That won’t happen with video because people can see how excited you are to work with them. Video gets rid of the unknown.

The problem is that people have dozens of reasons for why they don’t do video: they’re uncomfortable, it won’t work, they don’t like the way they look.

Typically, though, video use builds organically through an organization. As people see coworkers succeeding with video, they inquire about what is helping them be successful.

No matter your industry, no matter what you’re doing, no matter what you’re selling, you should be willing to put new things out there to break the monotony.

Video mistakes

Don’t write a script for your video read it from a teleprompter, it will typically feel pretty awkward. Be yourself. Talk like you’re talking to another person.

You don’t “act” while you write emails, so you shouldn’t do it while you’re making a video.

People like to connect with authentic people rather than with a persona.

Make sure the lighting is good and check that there’s nothing distracting in the background.

“Video Cold Outreach” episode resources

Covideo provides a mobile app, a Google plugin, and a web-based recorder making it super easy to use. Because you aren’t actually sending a video file with your email, it diminishes the chances of your email being kicked back as spam.

Grab a free trial and try your hand at creating video cold outreach, or you can email John or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

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.

Prospect.io, Maximizer CRM, Donald Kelly, Closing Skills

TSE 940: TSE Hustler’s League-“We Can’t Sell It Right Now”

 

Prospect.io, Maximizer CRM, Donald Kelly, Closing SkillsMost sales reps believe they are good closers, but the truth is that many struggle. It’s difficult to persuade someone to spend thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, on what you’re offering. Until you build value, you can’t sell.

On today’s episode of The Hustler’s League, we’ll talk about why tricking people into saying yes will never work and the reasons why you can’t sell.

Early closing

My philosophy about closing is that it begins early in the sales process, but there are things you can do to help bring the client across the finish line.

Scarcity won’t help you convince the buyer to buy; you have to give the buyer a reason. You must bring value.

The buyer will determine whether something is valuable or not. Even if you push it as the most amazing product or service ever, if the buyer doesn’t recognize it as such, the buyer won’t invest.

You’ve heard this before because we’ve talked about it in previous episodes.

Build value

When you’ve built enough value or excitement, naturally the buyer will want to continue. Your buyer will want what you have.

Sometimes, however, you have to push buyers across the finish line, or simply guide them across.

When your prospect has had a particular software for many years, she may not see an obvious reason to change. If it’s not immediately obvious why she should change, and you can’t bring her across, then she probably won’t buy.

Walking her across the finish line is what closing is all about.

Change of heart

We had a client who found us online and who was interested in our services. She was really excited, and we built a tremendous amount of value in what we were offering.

When it was time to sign up, she initially wanted to sign up for our low-end package. But throughout the conversation, she decided she wanted to buy our higher end package.

That’s likely because I emphasized to her that I wasn’t able to work with her at that time because I was already working with other clients. I didn’t have the time to invest at that exact moment, but when my schedule freed up, I would be able to.

When she realized that other people were trying to work with me and that my time was valuable, she changed her tune.

Scarcity was her motivation. I didn’t try to trick her or lie to her. I was simply letting her know that, even if I wanted to work with her at that moment, I didn’t have time.

Scarcity

Sometimes the scarcity effect will serve you well in the sales process. It’s similar to loss aversion.

We’ve talked about loss aversion before, but it simply refers to the fear we have of losing something.

The customer I was working with didn’t want to miss out on her chance to work with us. She wanted to sign up immediately for the higher-end package. She saw so much value in working with me that she didn’t want to miss out.

How do you create scarcity without coming across as cheesy?

Do it by being time sensitive and emphasize your finite time. If you only have a certain amount of time to devote to coaching, use that fact to your advantage.

Amy Porterfield only offers her course twice a year. As a result, there’s a small window which creates scarcity. The window won’t open back up until the next go-round, so people feel compelled to jump in.

Window of opportunity

If you’re selling software every day, scarcity doesn’t really exist. But can you offer certain things at certain times? Can you create time-sensitive deals.

Maybe you offer a proposal that expires within a certain time period.

If you can uncover that they are losing a certain amount of money every month, use that against them. Remind them how their failure to act is costing them money.

Or create scarcity by reminding them that if you’re going to get the new system in place by a certain date, you’ll have to close the deal by a certain date.

Missing out

When I was selling security systems, people would ask me to come back the next day so they would have time to think about it. I was able to tell them that we wouldn’t be in that same neighborhood tomorrow, which created a sense of scarcity.

Cell phone companies effectively use this concept when they release new phones. They use preorders to create a sense that you will be among the first to get them.

No one wants to be the loser, so after you’ve built enough value, use scarcity to coax your prospect across the finish line.

Use time sensitivity to close more deals, and then let us know how it works for you. Drop me an email at Donald@thesalesevangelist.com, or post a question on our Facebook page The Sales Evangelizers.

“We Can’t Sell It Right Now” episode resources

Use time sensitivity to close more deals, and then let us know how it works for you. Drop me an email at Donald@thesalesevangelist.com, or post a question on our Facebook page The Sales Evangelizers.

Learn more about the TSE Hustler’s League in preparation for our new semester that begins in January. We’d love to have you check it out and join us.

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, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

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.

 

Buyers Journey, Martyn R. Lewis, Donald Kelly

TSE 938: How Today’s Buying Journey Has Drastically Changed And Why It Matters To You!

Martyn Lewis, The Sales Evangelist, Buyer's JourneyThe buying journey has changed, and sellers must change with it. Sellers must address the gap between how people buy and how people sell. We must uncover why it matters that today’s buying journey has changed.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Martyn Lewis, founder of Market Partners, about how today’s buying journey has drastically changed and why it matters to you.

Martyn is a seasoned veteran of the sales industry, and he founded Market Partners when he discovered that many sellers were selling their products and services according to the way buyers used to buy.

He’s an entrepreneur, and authority on business strategy. We’re talking about closing this month, and the buyer’s journey is an important part of that process.

Changing the buyers’ journey

Selling was much easier prior to the 1940s. People sold to each other and they had limited choices. Buyers knew what they wanted and they knew where to get it. Purchases were local.

Beginning in the 1940s, people had more choices. More people were involved in buying and more were involved in selling.

Communication, radio, television, fax changed the face of selling. They made the world smaller.

Buyers had the freedom to find sellers outside of their buying market. They could go to the next town or city or country to find something they needed.

Large companies saw the change coming and they introduced sales process.

Three generations

Today, in the third generation of sales since then, buyers have an abundance of choice. They can Google and find all sorts of things.

They have countless alternatives and no shortage of things they can do, and probably too much information.

That means you’re not the only one who’s selling. You’re not the only one competing for your buyer’s attention.

Today’s buyers are very busy. Technology has caused a huge disruption for buyers.

Previous buying stages

Every buyer’s market is different but the macro journey looks like this:

  • awareness
  • interest
  • commitments
  • acquisition
  • adoption

In the first stages, buyers had to really connect with the companies they buy from. They sought information from salespeople and brochures and phone calls.

Today, though, buyers can find their information on the Internet. The first two stages of that buyer’s journey can now be done without talking to a salesperson.

Data suggests, too, that more than 50 percent of the buyer’s journey happens before the buyer ever talks to a salesperson.

Prepared clients

Sellers have to go well beyond being a conduit of information for the buyers.

We have to discover what is on the buyer’s mind. We’ve got to manage the entire buying journey. So the role of the salesperson now isn’t to position and promote the product.

What does it take for an organization to commit to your product or service once they are truly interested?

Are they looking to test the equipment or are they simply window-shopping? They might worry about how to implement your product or service. Perhaps they’ll worry about training their people to use your goods.

Salespeople must manage that journey. Who all will be involved? What are their concerns and how do I handle them?

You’ve got to reduce that friction.

Falling short

The days of the single decision-maker are over. Today’s buying journey has changed so that networks of dynamic people make buying decisions today.

Very often the buyers themselves aren’t even sure after the fact who made the decision to go with a certain product.

Sellers must always look at everyone who is involved in the process and manage all the key players. Don’t ever assume a champion will do all the work for you.

Recognize the difference between interest and commitment. Never think because you’ve got someone who is sincerely interested in your offering that they will automatically buy it.

Think outside in. Start with the customer and their world.

How many things are on the customer’s mind? Always start with their world?

“Today’s Buying Journey Has Changed” episode resources

Grab a copy of Martyn’s book, How Customers Buy and Why They Don’t.

Email Lewis at mlewis@market-partners.com. He loves hearing from people about the work they are doing and the projects they are working on.

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.

This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Podcast, Closing The Deal

TSE 935: TSE Hustler’s League-“Closing Is Too Much”

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Podcast, Closing The DealIf you’ve been following the show for a while, you know that The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sales professionals of all levels. Today we’re discussing the occasional mindset that tells us that closing is too much.

On today’s episode of TSE Hustler’s League, I’m going to share some of my training with you from David Hoffeld’s book, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal. I’m going to address the idea that closing is too much.

Sometimes as sales professionals we get the idea that closing is a big obstacle that we simply can’t overcome. We fail to understand that closing is easy if you follow basic principles.

Incremental commitments

In the opening of the show, I talked about a salesman who asked for permission to put a billboard in someone’s front yard. This story was the basis of research that David reported in his book.

In 1966, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reported that researchers visited neighborhoods asking residents if they could place a large billboard in their yard that encouraged people to drive carefully. The billboard obstructed the house, and only 17 percent of the participants agreed to the sign.

Then researchers visited a separate neighborhood and asked the same question, but this time they got 76 percent participation.

What’s the difference?

In the second neighborhood, researchers had previously visited each of the houses asking for permission to place a small 3-inch sign with the same message in the front window of the home.

Those neighbors who agreed to the smaller sign were more likely to agree to the larger sign later.

Sometimes we do to our prospects what the first salesman did in this story. We talk to them about their challenges and their pain and then we ask them to purchase a $10,000 software program.

Start small

We’ll be discussing the sales process in November, but for now, is there a way you can break your larger commitments into smaller ones to make it easier for your prospect to engage?

You must have some kind of commitment in mind at the end of every call.

When I did do0r-t0-door security system sales, we started by asking people if we could put one of our small signs in their yard. Most people agreed because it was an easy way to deter burglaries.

Beyond that, we would continue our conversation about security systems and discuss what they liked about their existing system. Then, we would ask if we could see their existing system, and we would share value with them about security systems.

We ended up sitting at a table with them discussing security and the challenges they face.

Very often, we were able to convince them to install one of our systems or to switch to our company. We succeeded because of incremental commitments.

Get to yes

Figure out a way to get your prospect to say yes to something. Maybe it’s an initial meeting. Then it’s a demonstration. Then it’s to get their colleagues involved.

Commitments at each stage of the process make a huge difference.

If you end a phone call with a prospect by simply saying, “Talk to you soon,” you haven’t given your prospect any homework. You’re going to have a tougher time closing deals because you aren’t offering incremental commitments.

Examine your process

Are you providing incremental commitments along the way to your prospects? Are you giving homework or giving them opportunities to say yes to little things that will lead to bigger things?

If the brain is accustomed to saying yes, it will more likely continue to say yes along the way.

I want to help you improve your sales process so you can increase your close rate. If you and your team need help, check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

“Closing Is Too Much” 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.

Don’t let your CRM be unruly 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.

I mention software that we use likeprospect.io and likeMaximizer CRM because I know they work and I want to help you.

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.

Closing, Sales, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast

TSE 932: How Do I Close The Deal?

Closing, Sales, Donald Kelly, Sales PodcastMost sales professionals understand the importance of closing. They also understand that the more prospects they interact with, the greater their odds of closing will be. But sometimes challenging situations arise, which leave us asking, “How do I close the deal?”

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about closing more deals and increasing our win rate by answering the question, “How do I close the deal?”

Talk to the right people

Many salespeople speak to the wrong person when they try to close a deal.

The person you’re connecting with may want the product or service you’re selling, but if he doesn’t have the buying decision, it won’t be enough to close the deal.

It’s tempting, of course, to focus your efforts on the prospect who wants to buy your product. That’s easier than interacting with people who may not yet be convinced.

If you truly want to close, you have to identify the key decisions makers or stakeholders who are actually able to say yes.

Understand the true problem

If you’re addressing a problem that isn’t actually the true problem, you’re not likely to close a deal.

Ask deeper, next-level questions.

It’s not enough to know that they have a problem with emails. Do they need an easier way to send them or do they need better quality emails?

Make sure you understand the problem they are trying to solve.

Identify timeframe

Understand the timeframe your prospect is working within, and how it will impact the buying decision.

The prospect may be excited about your product, but you can move the process along by gathering facts instead of making assumptions.

Is there a big event driving this purchase? What are the negative consequences if the prospect doesn’t make a purchase decision?

Make sure you understand the timeframe.

Recognize common challenges

Eventually, you’ll begin to identify the common challenges that arise when you’re trying to close. Figure out a way to address those challenges before they become a major issue.

Identify the top five objections you hear most often, and tackle them before your prospects have a chance to mention them.

Address it in discovery, or through a testimonial.

Share stories of customers who were similar to your prospect and how you helped them overcome their similar set of challenges.

If you diffuse their objections before they have a chance to mention them you take some of the impacts from them.

Mitigate risk

If your prospect has never worked with you, she may be apprehensive about jumping into a large recurring contract. If things don’t work out with your contract, it can reflect poorly on her.

Help her address that fear by reworking the contract when possible.

If, for example, you sell software, can you cut back the number of licenses and shorten the length of the contract, you can mitigate the risk for your clients. That allows your prospect to verify that your company is a good fit before committing to a lengthy, expensive contract.

Include an invitation

Sales professionals have to be bold without being overbearing. We have to ask prospects to commit to change.

Be prepared at every step with an invitation that moves the prospect to the next step.

Paint a picture of what life will be like when they buy your product or service.

“Close The Deal” episode resources

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.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

 

Prospecting, Podcast, Video, New Sales Leads

TSE 919: Sales From The Street:”Starving Artist”

Prospecting, Podcast, Video, New Sales Leads

The notion of the starving artist has been around for many years, but many entrepreneurs spend a lot of years “starving” as well. For sales professionals, when we don’t have processes in place to keep our funnels full, we can find ourselves “starving” as well.

On today’s episode of Sales From the Street, Arty Goldstein and John Antonacci from Video Jungle Podcast are interviewing me about this very topic, and what we can do to make sure we aren’t starving artists in the sales world.

The podcast will sound a little different because John and Arty are interviewing me on their show. I’ll share my ideas about processes and systems that can keep you from starving in the sales industry.

Trial and error

Much of my early strategy as a sales rep was trial and error. I messed up a lot, and I’m guessing many of the listeners will relate to that from their own experiences.

Many freelancers assume there’s a big magic formula to success, but I’ve discovered that the simplest bet is to be a personable person.

After that, differentiate yourself. In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. If everyone else is going one way, figure out if you can go the other way and accomplish the same thing differently.

My idea of hustle is to do whatever it takes to make things happen. Think outside the box: what can I do to be different and out-hustle, outwit, go around, or go over to connect with people?

 

Creating value

Sales has changed a lot since its early days of cold-calling and bartering. At the same time, though, it’s still largely the same.

It’s an exchange of value. What can I give you in exchange for the thing you give me? It translates across all platforms and all mediums.

In the context of video production, you’re creating value. At The Sales Evangelist, I want to help new and struggling sellers find more ideal customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

I struggled with those things when I was new to sales, but I figured out that if sellers can understand those three areas, they’ll never be hungry.

No salesperson should ever be broke, so if you’re broke, something is wrong. If your organization’s sales process is broken, it will churn and burn people.

Launching the podcast

My buddy Jared Easley, co-founder of Podcast Movement, hosted me on his podcast and he told me I should be doing my own podcast.

I decided to try it and see where it would go. My dream was to influence people the way Pat Flynn does and to impact people’s life.

Apple Podcast has made it so easy that initially, I didn’t advertise much. I asked all my cousins, family members, friends, and anyone who had the ability to get to a computer to go and rate my podcast.

That launched me into the New and Noteworthy category in 2013, which got me some more visibility.

When I landed Jeffrey Gitomer as my first guest, that pushed me into a world where people were looking for sales. At the time there were only like four sales podcasts that were really doing anything well at that time.

To be honest, I’m different than other people out there. Many of them at the time I launched were white guys, and I was a young black guy.

The result is that mine is the number one podcast in Jamaica.

 

Sales history

I’ve been actually selling since I was about six, although I clearly don’t count that in my professional selling history.

In Jamaica, there aren’t 7-11’s on every corner, so people set up little tiendas in their houses and they sell things. My family had a little shop and I sold stuff there.

I wasn’t afraid of talking about and dealing with money because I’ve been doing it since I was very young.

Fast forward to college where I figured out that I really like to be in front of an audience and to teach. After college, I started selling professionally and I figured out that I wasn’t good at b2b selling.

I got training and saw a major improvement, and discovered that I could share that with other people who were in the same boat. When I did, I saw an increase in my sales and I started actually making money.

I launched the podcast in an effort to help other rookies learn about sales and to speak about effective selling.

The Sandler Sales Training Organization taught me a technique that I’ve carried with me to this day, and it’s this triangle principle.

Attitude, techniques, and behavior. Your attitude is what you bring to the game and your techniques are things like how do you ask questions. Your activities are the actions you carry out every day like phone calls, prospecting, emailing and dialing.

That fundamental principle helped me realize the importance of procedure. If you’re winging it, you’ll have a hard time being consistently effective.

If you never practice or follow a pattern, you’ll never be as successful as you could be.

Video as marketing

Video is one of the most important things at our disposal. You can say so much more in a video than you can say anywhere else.

The second largest search engine in the entire world is YouTube.

Video allows you to follow, see, and learn. You can educate people using video.

People also like a personable approach, as evidenced by the demand for reality TV. People want to see something that’s real instead of something that’s highly produced. When there’s a dog barking in the background, that’s real.

Marcus Sheridan told a story of marketing people who were sending him physical resumes to apply for jobs. He challenged them to send video instead to share their capabilities and work history.

Salespeople have awesome leverage in the form of video and we shouldn’t cling to past ideas simply because we’ve always done it that way.

Differentiate yourself simply by using video. A lot of people won’t do it because it’s work.

Also, tell a story. That part will never get old.

Sharing secrets

Some people are going to be do-it-yourselfers. You can’t change that.

When you create value by telling them what to do and teaching them how to do it, they’re going to trust you. They’ll understand that you know what you’re doing, and they may eventually come to a place where they’d rather have you do it for them.

You might give away enough information to help them solve a single problem, but when they encounter something bigger, they’re going to come back to you.

You have to plan. People often overlook planning.

You also have to outperform your yesterday. No matter how good you are today, if you can beat what you did yesterday, you’re always going to thrive.

Keep learning. Read. Listen to The Sales Evangelist. Never stop learning.

“Starving Artist” episode resources

Do you want more tips and tricks from the video? Videostrategy.org is the place to go for thoughts on production best practices, creative brainstorming, strategy and distribution tips, client relations, and much more. Go to video strategy.org.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video, which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

Email me for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Inbound Leads, Prospect.io, Maximizer

TSE 917: Why Your B2B Inbound Leads Are Not Closing

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Inbound Leads, Prospect.io, Maximizer

When your marketing department rounds up good inbound leads for your sales reps, but your sales don’t increase, it can leave you confused. If the leads are highly qualified, it can leave you confused about why your b2b inbound leads are not closing.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the common reasons that your b2b inbound leads are not closing.

When you’re spending large amounts of money on marketing campaigns only to find that the deals aren’t closing, it can leave you frustrated and confused. Today we’ll address why that happens.

Failing to contact your inbound leads

Your organization may be structured so that your sales reps spend about 60 percent of their time on outbound and 40 percent of their time on inbound.

Very often, though, we’re finding that sales reps aren’t closing their inbound leads.

Last week, I mentioned the importance of calling immediately after the buyer makes contact.

If I’m doing research and I find your website, and I sign up and give you my consent to reach out to me, I shouldn’t have to wait 24 to 48 hours to hear from you.

Put yourself in my shoes. I’m not going to sit here and wait for your company to respond to me.

There are many other companies out there, and I’m making contact with multiple vendors at the same time.

The people at insidesales.com shared that, when you get a lead, it’s imperative that you call that lead within the first five minutes. The lead is interested and ready to talk to you.

The truth is, though, that only one in four internet leads are contacted, which could be the primary reason why your sales reps aren’t closing enough deals. They may not be reaching out to the prospect enough.

Inbound flow process

Even if your sales reps are making that first call, they may not be calling additional times after that.

Studies show that reps average between 1.3 and 2.1 call attempts, and that probably isn’t enough. You, as a sales manager, need to give them a flow process to follow.

Your sales reps want more inbound leads, but that doesn’t mean that they know how to handle, guide or close those leads. It’s your job to give them a roadmap and show them the ropes.

What are the steps to your flow process once a lead comes in?  Will they make a phone call? Send an email? Reach out on LinkedIn? When will we leave a voicemail?

Some people call this a cadence, but you need to have something that nurtures that lead for 14 days. You must have multiple attempts because your buyer isn’t sitting and waiting for your company to call back.

Your customer has reports to take care of, a business to run, errands to run, meetings to attend, and a personal life to attend to. If you call me once and I don’t call back immediately, it doesn’t mean I’m not interested.

 

Being pushy

Many people avoid calling multiple times because they say they don’t want to be pushy.

While it’s true that buyers hate when sellers are pushy, there’s a difference between being pushy and nurturing a lead.

Usually, being pushy involves repeatedly calling a cold lead who isn’t interested in what you’re selling. You’re trying to sell something that I don’t even want, and you’re badgering me.

The difference is customer intent.

If I have expressed to you that I’m interested in your product or service, that’s not the same as a cold lead. I’ve given you permission to contact me, so you have my consent to try to reach me more than once.

Even if your lead is reaching out to other companies, that doesn’t mean the other companies are the best fit. It means you need to contact him and show him that your company is the best.

Statistics show that it takes a minimum of 8 to 12 contact attempts within 10 to 14 days to connect with a prospect. Eight to 12. Now refer back to the statistic that said that most sales reps are making 1.3 to 2.1 attempts.

It’s not enough. You’re leaving so much on the table and throwing away money.

Finding your prospects

Don’t rely only on one kind of contact when reaching out to your leads.

Take advantage of where your contacts are. If they’re on LinkedIn, reach out on LinkedIn. If they’re on Twitter, reach out to them on Twitter.

Add those steps into your flow process. Make the phone calls and send the emails. Drop something into the mail.

Do whatever you need to do to grab the prospect’s attention because your competition is doing the same thing.

Once you get your prospect’s attention, your job is to pull that prospect out of the “dating pool” as quickly as possible so that he isn’t going around looking.

Figure out why your prospect opted in. Determine what part of your messaging he responded to, and wrap your very first contact attempt around that message.

Marketing and sales have to work together to communicate about these things so that sales knows what the prospect responded to. Educate both your sales and marketing teams about the details of the prospect.

When your teams have that kind of alignment, you’ll be likely to close more of your inbound leads.

Make sure your messaging resonates totally with their intent.

 

“B2B Inbound Leads” episode resources

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

 

Tom Poland, Leadsology, Inbound Lead, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 916: How To Develop A Marketing Message That Cuts-Through & Brings More Leads

Tom Poland, The Sales Evangelist, LeadsologyImagine how quickly sales will decline if your sales and marketing teams aren’t communicating well. You must have a marketing message that cuts through the noise and generates inbound leads.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Tom Poland helps us learn more about how to effectively create a marketing message that will guide your prospects through the buyer’s journey.

Tom helps professionals create a systematic flow of inbound leads. He’ll help us create a unified message between sales and marketing instead of bumping heads constantly.

Some people have suggested that sales and marketing are like siblings, and when they aren’t getting along well, it creates chaos in the family.

Inbound leads

When you wake up on Monday morning to discover multiple bookings by people who want to talk to you about becoming a client, and they have a pretty good idea of how you work and what you charge, that’s inbound.

They’re quite convinced that you are their number one choice to solve their problem or meet their challenge, and you didn’t need cold calls or direct mail letters to connect with them.

That’s the magic of inbound: creating high quality, well-qualified new client inquiries.

Tom says it’s a mistake to be singularly focused on just finding leads. It’s not about finding the leads, it’s about finding the people who are happy leads.

Finding leads is a little like running through the forest poking bears. The bears are asleep and you’ve got a honeypot that you want them to reach, so you poke them all and wave the honeypot in front of their noses.

If their hunger exceeds their anger, you get to live.

Good marketing gently puts that honeypot outside the forest in the form of some kind of content marketing. The people who put their hand out metaphorically and stop to smell the honey are the ones you want to put an offer in front of.

Marketing assets

The creation of marketing assets serves as the great separator between people who stay stuck on the treadmill and those who actually create something scalable.

Marketing assets can be presentations, lunch-and-learn opportunities, webinars, videos, or a book. The asset has to match the audience.

It’s no good running a webinar for CEOs because they aren’t webinar people.

In most cases, sales reps will have three target audiences:

  • corporate executives
  • entrepreneurs
  • consumers

Each of those markets will have different assets or mediums that they’ll respond best to. The creation of those assets demands that you include the right subject matter, communicate the right way, and reach the right people.

 

Starting point

If you’re starting a webinar or a series of videos, the first question people will have is “Why should I listen to this guy or girl?”

Next, we need to describe the problem in such a way that the audience knows that we understand their challenges. Finally, we’ll address why their previous efforts have failed, which builds a depth of relatability and respect for your expertise.

You must lay out a sequence that you lead the audience through from the start.

Normally they’re open-mindedly skeptical: open-minded enough to attend your meeting but skeptical enough to ask questions about your background and the solutions you’re offering.

The audience is looking for something valuable. They’ve given up their most precious resource in the form of their time, so they are looking for something they can implement.

When you give people what they came for, you differentiate yourself by giving real value. Allow your prospect to walk away with something valuable. If they buy, great. If they don’t, they still walked away with your brand in their brains.

Say something different

Your message must cut through to your prospects. You’ve got to say something different than your competitors are saying.

If, for example, every business around you is promising to help you grow your business and find more free time, you’ve got to stop repeating what everyone else is saying.

Secondly, you’ve got to motivate people to take the action you want them to take.

1. Make it benefit-rich. Instead of talking about being a business coach or a software developer, talk about the benefits.

2. Include specifics, which increase both believability and desirability.

3. Be different. When you incorporate cut-through, you immediately motivate the person to want to know more about your product or service.

You have to hit the sweet spot between believability and desirability.

Over-deliver

Whatever you are, be authentic. Whatever you do in your message, make sure that you can not only deliver but over-deliver, because you want the referrals and the word-of-mouth.

You want people excited about what you do, and you want to have quality experiences, which means you have to under-promise and over-deliver.

You set the expectations at a level that you know you can exceed. It means that you have to be good at what you do because you have to set the expectations at a desirable level and then over-deliver.

Scale your value delivery as much as you can because it gives you more resources for marketing. Marketing is what makes the money and it’s where the magic happens.

When your groups are communicating and the message is unified among the entire team, magic can happen.

 

“Marketing Message” episode resources

Email Tom or connect with him at leadsology.guru.  You can find lots of free stuff there, including the famous five-hour challenge that will help will help you create an effective marketing message so you can generate some leads.

Is your CRM functioning properly? It’s important to have a CRM that your team is willing to use.

If you’re unhappy with your CRM, check out Maximizer CRM. If you’re happy with your CRM, check out Maximizer. It has been around a long time, and it’s worth the time to check out the free demonstration.

Maximizer CRM is 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. Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

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.

 

Mikael Dia, Inbound Marketing, The Sales Evangelist, New Sales Leads

TSE 883: How To Effectively Acquire Inbound Leads By Building Value Early

Mikael Dia wasn’t always an entrepreneur. His first business venture enjoyed early success. But it also revealed to him that he knew nothing about selling to people other than family and friends. As a result, he invested his efforts in learning to effectively acquire inbound leads.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Mikael shares the power of the funnel in attracting your dream customers and turning them into real clients.

Early lessons

Mikael and his roommates launched a t-shirt business (he uses that term loosely) right out of college, and the group saw a fair amount of success. They had 5 or 6 designs, and lots of college friends and family who supported the venture.

They got cocky, he said, and ordered a lot more t-shirts. The problem was that they had already sold to all the people they knew, and they didn’t know how to sell to strangers.

He started researching SEO and affiliate marketing, as well as information about setting up websites.

In the 2010 lead up to the Mayans’ predicted “end of the world” in 2012, he created an affiliate website where he sold survival knives. He figured people would be looking for survival equipment, and he theorized that if he could get the site ranked, he’d be in good position to make money.

By the end of the experience, he had invested $100 in his marketing and had earned $5.23.

He made the same mistake that many companies make when generating leads online: they create ads to send people to their sites and then hope that the person finds the right links to complete the purchase.

Limited options

Mikael discovered along the way that people are distracted. They don’t have much attention, so if you send them to your website to browse around in hopes that they’ll find something, they’ll likely get distracted before they complete the transaction.

Sales funnels work differently. They target your dream customer, and at each stage, they give him the option to proceed to the next step or leave.

You might, for example, create an ad to grab his attention. The message is this: if you’re having this particular problem, click here, which takes him to the next step. The only choice he has to make is whether to proceed to the next step. There aren’t multiple options. Only two.

The sales funnel will always give the customer a simple choice, and it will direct him until he either schedules a phone call with you or he leaves.

If, for example, your simple funnel allows you to track that 1,000 people landed on your page, and 100 of them made it to your application page, then you know that your page converts at 10 percent.

Of those who made it to the application page, 50 of them scheduled phone calls, so you’ll have 50 new leads.

Minimal landing pages

Every landing page has the same goal: to encourage customers to provide a name and email address in exchange for valuable information.

Keep landing pages minimal. Don’t provide multiple options. When customers set their own path, they get lost and don’t realize what you want them to do.

Attract the person to your site, and then guide him to do whatever it is you want him to do.

Give him value.

Realize, too, that if you can’t find a customer on Facebook, you aren’t advertising properly, because everyone is on Facebook.

Qualified customers

Mikael stresses the importance of qualifying customers early in the process in order to make sure they can afford what you’re offering.

During discovery calls, Mikael asks customers to acknowledge that the price range is within their budget. Realizing, too, that humans sometimes lie about what they can afford, he also engages other opportunities to qualify customers.

He calls them micro-campaigns, and he equates it to homework. During the process, he asks customers to answer 3 or 4 simple questions like “How much traffic do you generate per month?” As part of that document, he asks them to type “Yes” to a question about being able to afford the services.

He says that the simple commitment improves the closing. It ensures that they are only developing proposals for serious customers. As a result of the effort, they closed 70 to 80 percent.

Shared proposal

Finally, Mikael never sends proposals to his customers. He asks for 45 minutes of their time so he can present the proposal using ScreenShare.

If they ask him to send the proposal, he agrees to send it after the presentation.

Doing so ensures that the important details aren’t overlooked, and it eliminates room for error.

Because proposals are intended to be presented, they benefit from storytelling and live interaction.

The sales funnel will help you generate inbound leads without having to constantly create new content. Use your funnel to target your dream customer and walk him through the correct series of steps. It will drive him to schedule a call with you.

“Effectively Acquire Inbound Leads” episode resources

You can connect with Mikael at thediaproject.com or at funnelytics.io where you can find freebies about building digital funnels.

We’ve been recommending the book the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley  for quite some time because we believe in the message. Based upon interviews with buyers, it offers specific information for sellers to help them become trusted advisors.

As part of the series this week, we have a SlideShare available for you to download, or you can link to it here. As always, we also have a free excerpt of the book so you can try it out for yourself. We believe you’ll like it so much you’ll want to grab your own copy.

Today’s episode was also brought to you by Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and making your brand pop using video. 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.

Stop Selling and Start Leading, Best Sales Books, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 879: Stop Selling & Start Leading-“Innovative Seller”


Stop Selling and Start Leading, Best Sales Books, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

As a seller, you’ll come across many people who are hesitant to change. Whether they’re prospects or others within your company, sales leaders must recognize the importance of change and the reason for it. More importantly, innovative sellers will use their influence to convince others as well.

On today’s episode we’re talking about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading, and we’ll discuss innovative sellers and the role they play in the sales process.

This is the second in our three-part series based upon 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 and want from sellers.

Our first episode on Monday was about building trust and innovating as sellers. Our third episode will be all about having meaningful conversations and two-way dialogue.

You don’t have to listen to them in chronological order, but the series will help you move from being a subservient seller to leading your customers.

Develop a vision.

CEOs bear the responsibility of looking into the future and anticipating changes that will come. They are responsible for the entire organization and ensuring that it makes money.

In the case of Blockbuster, the leaders never innovated. They didn’t seek new ways to do things and they didn’t take risks. They refused to sacrifice their real estate holdings because they believed that streaming services were simply fads.

Leaders must have vision. It’s a little like riding in a tall truck on a crowded highway: you’re able to see the way ahead and anticipate the problems that are coming.

Leaders see problems and direct their teams accordingly. When sellers do the same thing, they establish themselves as trusted advisors to their customers.

Although you shouldn’t change your entire business plan for one customer, if you can make small tweaks that benefit him, doesn’t it make sense to try it?

Understand vision.

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading tells the story of a seller named Maddie who spent 198 days connecting with a prospect that she believed she could help.

She sent emails, visited, texted, called, and did everything she could think of to grab the craft brewing company’s attention.

The company needed a good designer to create a package design that fit its product but it wasn’t doing much volume, so many larger companies weren’t interested in helping.

Despite the fact that the company had only sold 30,000 units the previous year, Maddie believed she could help. She took a calculated risk and engaged.

The packaging came out perfect, and the company loved the finished product. And in the following year, they sold 100,000 units.

Maddie took a risk because she understood the company’s vision.

In the future, a sales leader in the same position could take that experience and encourage other existing labels to develop craft divisions. Or she could pitch the idea of updating their labels.

“Innovative Seller” episode resources

Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.

They’ve also created a SlideShare free for you to use or download.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

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The Sales Evangelist, How To Sell, Donald New Seller

TSE 872: 5 Sales Myths Crippling New Sellers

The Sales Evangelist, How To Sell, Donald New SellerMany of the practices that new sellers use are ineffective. They don’t help your efforts, but you use them because other people said you should. Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’re tackling the sales myths crippling new sellers.

Though there are countless myths that we pass down and cling to, we’ll address the top five myths that new sellers tend to adopt.

1. You must have the gift of gab.

It absolutely isn’t true that sellers must be big talkers. It isn’t true that you have to be good at improvisation and talking to anyone.

Although none of those are bad things, they aren’t required to be successful in sales.

The truth is that the seller who listens well has the best odds of success. Rather than bulldozing your prospect by talking, give the prospect a chance to explain what he needs.

2. It’s OK to lie.

Many times we buy into the idea that the ends justify the means.

We believe that if a questionable decision leads to a good outcome, it wasn’t necessarily a bad choice. Imagine stealing food to feed a hungry family.

When sales professionals lie or stretch the truth to convince prospects to engage with their service or product, the choice almost always backfires. When prospects realize you aren’t honest, your relationship will be short-lived.

We’re seeking to grow our business and build an empire.

When you’re honest, you’ll gain loyal customers who will refer you to other people.

3. You only have to make a few calls.

When you’re prospecting, you’re turning over stones. You’re searching for people who are interested in your product or service.

Ask any seller at a thriving organization and you’ll discover he is making many phone calls.

The first time you reach out to a prospect, she may not be ready for your product or service. You will reach voicemails and executive assistants who keep you from accessing the prospect.

Not every phone call will lead to a conversation, but you must be willing to make them.

Understand that the more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to find prospects who need what you’re offering. The more shots on goal you take, the more chances you have of scoring.

4. The phone is dead.

Selling over the phone may be more challenging than it once was, but that doesn’t mean the phone is dead.

You’re going to make tons of calls. Like any other form of outreach, it requires a great deal of effort. Whether you’re using email, LinkedIn, or regular mail, you have to invest effort in order to produce results.

I think of outreach as a campaign. If I use all of the methods together in a well-rounded outreach, I’m more likely to reach people who are interested in my product or service.

Your job is to figure out how to be effective over the phone. Perhaps it means calling at certain times, using a particular message in your voicemails, or using other means in addition to the phone.

Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

5. One sales process works better than the others.

Everyone has an opinion about which sales process is best.

Truthfully, developing a sales process is a little like baking an apple pie. Your process will likely include the same basic ingredients as everyone else’s. The method or process will be different, but the general rules will be the same.

You might use a different kind of apple or a little more cinnamon, but the results won’t be too far off.

Try a bunch of different pies. See which is the best. Put your full effort into the experiment to see which one is best.

If The Sales Evangelist method is the best for you, let us know; we’d be happy to work with you to continue growing in your business.

Whatever you do, grab your prospect’s attention, build value, and help him reach the decision that’s best for him. Overcome the sales myths crippling new sellers.

“5 Sales Myths” episode resources

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.

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 blueprint for all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

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.

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The Sales Evangelist, Sales Goals, Planing, Cold Calling, Donald Kelly

TSE 845: TSE Hustler’s League-“Three Things”

The Sales Evangelist, Sales Goals, Planing, Cold Calling, Donald Kelly

 

 

 

When your pipeline is empty at the end of the month despite phone calls, emails, and appointments, you may find yourself wondering how you missed quota. You can, however, prepare for next month to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On today’s episode of TSE Hustler’s League, we talk about the fundamentals that will help you achieve your goals and three things that can help you have a healthy pipeline.

Planning

For many sales professionals, planning is non-existent. You show up at work on Monday and do the same things you’ve always done: make some calls, answer some emails, connect on social media.

You expect that those activities will produce connections, but perhaps you’ve lost sight of the fact that your buyers aren’t sitting in their offices waiting for you to call.

You must plan.

Too many sales professionals rely on “voodoo selling,” which is based on guessing and hope other than planning and strategies. They leave the office at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon to party with co-workers instead of working until 5 and pursuing last-minute connections before the weekend.

Create sacred time. Devote one hour a day on social media efforts. Strategically focus on prospecting and dedicate time to it every day. Do not, however, be so rigid that you refuse to schedule a demo during that time. If that’s the one time the prospect is available, you’d be crazy to miss it.

Schedule some calls in the morning, some in the afternoon, and others in the evening.

Focus on your strategic list of prospects — your Dream 100 — and pursue those customers during your outreach time.

Reserve time at the end of each day to research companies for the next day.

Outworking

Sales professionals who want to be successful have to take control of their lives and their careers.

Look for opportunities all the time, and don’t stop working simply because the workday ended.

You should strive to be seen as the industry professional to everyone you interact with; to be the professional who brings value to your industry.

You don’t have to be on your phone 24/7 but be willing to pursue after-hours communication.

Don’t coast, and don’t avoid challenges. Create a blog post after your kids go to bed. Outwork what you did yesterday.

Referrals

Many of us have clients we’ve worked with for years, but we’ve lost our sense that they can help us grow our businesses.

Research your current clients to see who they are connected to on LinkedIn.

Don’t sleep on your referrals.

“Three Things” resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels and all industries improve. It’s an opportunity to share ideas and interact with other sellers from around the world.

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

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading because I believe so strongly in the message it has to share. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

We’re so convinced that you’ll love the book that we’re providing a free excerpt to our listeners here.

Finally, check out the newest podcast in the Sales Podcast Network, Video Jungle Podcast. The podcast will help you learn how to use video to sell your product and how to differentiate yourself from the competition using video.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Relationship Selling, Sales Basic, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 827: Sales Basic 101…Keep The Relationship Going

Relationship Selling, Sales Basic, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistYou don’t want your customer to feel duped. If you spend months working your sales cycle only to disappear after your customer commits to the purchase, she will likely feel like you only cared about the money. You must continue the relationship.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’re going to talk about the steps you can take to make sure that your customer doesn’t feel like you only cared about the sale.

Continue the relationship.

I understand the need to keep your pipeline fed. The numbers game says that the more doors you knock on, the more opportunities you have to close a deal.

I want you to understand the need to move your prospect into a role as a client who is a happy, raving fan. I want you to understand the long-term approach.

Especially in industries with long sales cycles, you develop a certain level of intimacy with your prospects. You know about her family, about her work situation, about many issues that are personal for her.

Now imagine that she has paid for your product, and she’s ready to start finding solutions and implementing the product, and you’re completely gone.

The truth is that everyone must focus on their area of expertise. The implementation team doesn’t want you micromanaging their part of the puzzle.

So how can you help your new customer transition to the next department without feeling forgotten?

Take small actions.

1.  Prepare your new customer for the next step in the cycle. If the implementation team will take over and help them begin using your product, prepare her for what that might look like.

Give her a map of what to expect over the next few weeks.

2.  Send some sort of acknowledgement as a “thank you” for the business. If your industry allows it, consider sending a gift of appreciation.

Let her know how much you appreciate her business.

3. During the on-boarding process, check in on a regular basis. Perhaps call once a week just to make sure that everything is going as expected.

Ask if there’s anything you can do to help move the process along.

4.  Move the conversation from email to something else. If you continue your relationship on LinkedIn, you can provide a recommendation for your customer and she may just return the favor.

5. Do something nice for your customer “just because.” If you see a book that makes you think of her, send it with a note.

Besides, if you have an opportunity to upset or upgrade later, you want her to know that you’re still around.

Episode resources

Salespeople can be leaders instead of being subservient. Our friends at Wiley  have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading which provides a blueprint to help sales professionals lead in the way that customers prefer. Read an excerpt of the book here.

After you’ve tried some of the ideas here, I’d love to hear how they worked for you. Email me and let me know what your results were.

Tell others you know about our podcast, and subscribe if you haven’t already. Leave us a review wherever you consume this content so it will be easier for others to find us as well.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Repeatable sales process, Big Sales Wins, Chris Rothstein, Groove

TSE 808: How To Gain Big Sales Wins Through Specific Repeatable Actions

Chris Rothstein, The Sales EvangelistBig sales wins are virtually impossible when marketing and sales departments don’t work together. When the two entities align to use repeatable action steps, the result is big sales wins.

Today on The Sales Evangelist podcast, we talk with Chris Rothstein about the ways to align your sales efforts, and the success that results when you do.

Two developments demand the need for greater alignment: improved tracking capability and increased specialization within companies. Because companies used specialized departments to accomplish specific tasks, many handoffs occur throughout the sales process.

Speak the same language.

When different teams operate according to different criteria, the result is often finger-pointing rather than collaboration.

If, for example, a marketing department gathers 1,000 business cards in a fishbowl, those may not actually be qualified leads. The marketing department may perceive that it achieved its goal, while the sales team may believe otherwise.

When everyone within a company speaks the same language, the company becomes more effective.

To achieve that goal, Rothstein’s company Groove tracks all forms of communication and collects data from it. The company syncs all emails and calendars, and classifies every meeting that takes place.

Armed with that information, they can determine where in the sales process deals are dying and where the sales reps need help. They record sales calls and provide follow-on, specialized coaching.

Finally, they collaborate to identify the companies they’ll pursue in their sales process so that they are all focused on the same targets.

Narrow your focus.

Many organizations cast too wide a net.

They undertake a huge list of prospects with a goal to connect with a small number of them. Because the list is so large, it’s tough for sales people to achieve any depth in the relationship.

If, on the other hand, companies will restrict the number of prospects they target, they’ll achieve better results because they can focus better.

In an account-based approach, each person has a unique role, and the customer will experience a unified process.

Earn big sales wins.

The sales cadence model will vary according to your industry. In every industry, though, a successful cadence will require multiple touches.

Email boasts a big impact in the software industry, for example, but not in the restaurant industry. Each industry in your company’s profile will demand unique touches and processes.

Evaluate how long your process should be, and make it longer than you think it should be. Then stick with it.

Episode resources

You’ve heard me talk about The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, our online group coaching program for sellers of all levels. We understand the importance of cadence and repeatable action steps. We help participants understand the concepts and then apply what they’ve learned.

The easiest step you can take is to apply for The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League to see if you qualify for the program. Our next semester begins April 26 and will focus on building more value. We’d be honored to have you join us.

You can connect with Chris at Groove or find him on Twitter.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Douglas Vigliotti, Paradox, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 806: The Salesperson Paradox

douglas-vigliotti, Donald Kelly, The Salesperson ParadoxThe Salesperson Paradox requires sales professionals to shift their focus from selling something to the customer to helping the customer solve a problem.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Douglas Vigliotti helps us understand how sales fundamentals can help us grow our business.

As a strategic selling partner for small business owners, Vigliotti understands that businesses without processes don’t progress or grow.

Salesperson Paradox

The most important question a salesperson can ask himself is this: Am I selling products and services or am I helping to solve a problem?

Sales professionals have been conditioned to sell by their bosses, their investors, and a host of other people. What drives the process, though, is helping someone solve a problem. When the customer gets what he wants, the sales professional gets what she wants.

People innately think of themselves first.

Imagine you’re at a party with a group of friends and someone takes a picture. When you look at the picture, who do you look to first? We look at ourselves first, of course. If we don’t like how we look, we may stipulate that the picture can’t be posted.

Rock-solid strategy

Tactics are interchangeable.

One day the focus might be Facebook, and another day it’s Google.

Your sales focus must be on strategy rather than tactics because without a rock-solid strategy, you’ll never reproduce your success.

The key to business relationships lies in positioning the deal so that both parties win. Reducing the social, emotional and financial risk makes it easier for the customer to say yes.

When you make it easy for the customer to come on board, you increase the likelihood that they’ll choose you repeatedly.

Simplicity

Never confuse simplicity and ease.

Simplicity is the key to reproducibility. If you strive for clarity about your process, you’ll be able to reproduce it.

The number one skillset for entrepreneurs is problem-solving, and Vigliotti offers a framework for creating solutions. He calls them CRINGE solutions: they’re so good that customers would cringe at the idea of saying no.

Customer first: Does my customer feel like he has won?

Real problem:  Am I solving the customer’s true problem or a problem I perceive he has?

Immense value: Can I provide value, either real or intangible, that increases the value of my customer?

Non-negotiable: Am I communicating my belief that you’re better off with me than you would be without me?

Good timing: We can do everything right, but if the timing is off you won’t win the deal. Optimize timing by improving the speed of delivery.

Easy to say yes: The most powerful acquisition strategy is making it easier for the customer to say yes.

Episode resources:

In order to solve problems for our customers, we must know how to solve problems and provide value. If you aren’t sure how to do that, help is available.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group training program that will help you learn processes that you can apply immediately in order to see results.

It’s a weekly live training session that will help you become more influential and be more successful. We’ll help you find more leads, build more value, close more deals and do big things.

If you enjoy our podcast, leave us a review wherever you consume this content. Share it with someone else who can benefit from it.

Check out Douglas Vigliotti’s book The Salesperson Paradox, or find him on LinkedIn.

Sound in this episode provided by Free SFX.

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

TSE 770: TSE Hustler’s League-“4 Common Sales Challenges”

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

As you know, TSE Hustler’s League is an online group sales coaching program. We have sellers from all levels and from a variety of industries.

During this episode, I highlight some of the top challenges I see sellers face. Listen up and let me know if any of them apply to you.

There are four main challenges that I see in sellers when they join the TSE Hustler’s League.

  1. Fear of rejection

This also ties into the idea of being afraid that you’re going to look stupid to your prospects. This comes at any point in the process, whether during your initial conversation or you’re afraid they’re going to get mad if you ask questions. Don’t reject yourself even before the person can say no. Don’t shut your prospect down before you even have the chance to hear what they say. Ask and you shall receive.

Because of that idea you’re inferior to the prospect, you’re afraid of asking. Instead, ask and they will respect you more for having the confidence to talk to them. Go for deep level questioning.

  1. Lack of process

Don’t assume anything and create a process. There’s no room for error. Figure out the best way to grab a prospect’s attention. Don’t even try to reinvent the wheel. With a process, scalability becomes easier. Sit down with your team. Look at the last five deals you closed, and what you did to close that. Then standardize those processes.

  1. Don’t know how to express value

As a business owner, your job is to understand the prospect’s business and how they make money. Then tie your product/solution to that. How can it make them more money?

  1. Don’t know how to followup or ask for the sale

Some people may reject you just because it’s not the right time yet. Don’t be afraid to follow up again. Try different avenues – social media, email, phoen call, text messaging, snail mail, or even knock on their doors. There are many ways, but you have to follow up. Follow up until you hear them say no. Assume the sale!

Episode Resources:

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Morgan and Michael Lennington

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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.

Sales Process, Jamaica, Step by Step

TSE 739: Sales From The Street-“Step-by-Step”

Sales Process, Jamaica, Step by StepOn today’s Sales from the Street episode, I share our experience going to Jamaica, particularly, what it’s like literally selling on the street of Jamaica and how you can apply some of these strategies into your sales process.

Although everyone is selling the same thing what makes each shop different comes down to the individuals.

The 2 Types of Sellers

There are two types of sellers. The first one is the pushy type who wants the prospect to take the biggest bite at first glance. The other seller is someone who wants the prospect to take a step by step approach.

Step by Step Selling

So this lady in Jamaica did this step by step approach in selling.

First, she invited us to step inside the shop to go and look around. (This way you know their likelihood of purchasing goes up.)

Second, she recognized that as a male, I might need a wallet. So she gave me something she thought I would like and let me hold it. (Recognizing the pain.)

Then, she tried to convert us. Naturally, I asked for the price and she gave out the price.

The problem here is that I wasn’t in need of that particular product. But I realized this lady literally followed a sales process.

Another lady used this same process and we ended up buying things from her.

Lessons You Can Apply into Your Sales Cycle:

1. Let them know you exist.

Let them know there is a problem. What is the first step you should do with each of your sales?

2. Break down the things the prospect has to recognize.

Don’t focus on selling. Just set the appointment, Instead, sell the appointment. Then sell the pain and then from there you go on and on until you get to the product itself.

Focus on those simple steps and they will get your further than where you started.

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales Process

TSE 730: TSE Hustler’s League – Make Your Prospects Commit to the Next Level

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales ProcessDo you know why deals are slowing down so much?

That’s because there are no commitments at each level.

Today, I’m sharing another snippet from one of our training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League.

Clients Are Evaluating You

At the end of the process, what can you do to get them to commit to the next level?

Be able to make them commit to move on to the next step.

Make Your Prospects Commit at Each Stage of the Process

At each stage, give them something they can commit to. For example, give them a white paper or a video link or anything that would give them value, which they could apply to their own process.

Then ask them if you could do a follow up after they’ve consumed the content you offered them. This will let you know, they’re committing to you at each step.

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

Hurricane Irma, Donald Kelly, Planning

TSE 657: What Hurricane Irma Taught When It Comes to Sales

Hurricane Irma, Donald Kelly, PlanningIt’s hurricane season at this time of year and we are definitely not out of the woods yet. It’s something that happens from June to November. And currently we are at the height of the hurricane season.

Hurricane Harvey has recently hit Texas and following that, Hurricane Irma came to hit the whole of Florida. It actually affected almost anyone living in the state and it has also affected Georgia and Alabama.

And so, I want to share with you some things that I’ve experienced during the storm that we can all relate to how we do sales.

Things I Learned From Hurricane Irma:

You have to be prepared.

Different parts of the country encourages every household to have a 72-hour kit, where you have enough supplies that can take care of you for 72 hours (ex. flashlight, dry food, water, etc. 72 hours is the average time that it takes for emergency rescue units to get to you after the storm.

What if you didn’t have anything with you in these three days? It’s therefore important to have something that can keep you going post-storm. But a lot of people ignore this and the result is a mad dash to the store last-minute amidst scarce supply. So the supply chain isn’t there. For instance, water is such a huge demand that when you look down the aisles of the store, there were not water products at all. People were just getting everything.

Application to sales:

  • You have to prepare and practice. Do role plays.
  • Work on your questions.
  • What are the common objections people are going to ask you?
  • What are some of the difficulties you’ve encountered when working with other opportunities before?
  • Where have you lost deals?
  • Practice your pitch and body posture.
  • Practice the fundamental basics. Just like the 72-hour kits, they’re just those basic stuff you might normally ignore. You have them but you don’t have them together.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Take some time every single day to prepare. Perhaps spare 15 minutes in your late afternoon or anytime that it’s not peak hours in your business. And practice, practice, practice.

Go do role playing with your colleagues and find out the challenges they’re facing and vice versa. Then go over everything and bounce insights off each other.

The better you practice, the better you’re going to be when the time of need comes. And when it’s time to perform, we’re way better to perform in that situation.

Episode Resources:

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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.

Meir Ezra, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 656: You Need a Better Sales Process!

Meir Ezra, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSales process – this is something that new and struggling sellers have.

Today’s guest is Meir Ezra and he shares with us why you too need to have an effective sales process in place and how to actually do that. Meir runs different businesses around the globe. Back in Israel, he has taught companies how to become successful. Then he started in North America five years ago, teaching people how to really make it.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Meir:

Why many sellers don’t have a process:

  • Not knowing why it works and why it doesn’t
  • Not knowing when each step has been completed and when to go to the next step

How to get started in creating a process for your business:

  • Each step has to have an exact end phenomena.
  • Understand the end result.

What you should be looking for is the end result of each step and not the step. Understand what you really need to achieve in each step, then figure you what you need to do.

Meir’s 6-step sales process:

  1. Contact the person.

End result: The person trusts you and is willing to talk to you.

One indicator that a person trusts you is when the person will initiate a subject without you probing.

  1. Handle all possible antagonism.

The client may have had problems with salespeople before or with your company or a similar company or product. Find out what the person thinks about salespeople and the subject you’re handling.

  1. Find the problem and agitate it.

Find out the person’s “ruin,” and once you’ve found the problem, make it bigger.

  1. Make the person understand that you possess the solution for their problem.

Create the mystery. You don’t really tell a customer the in’s and out’s of your product in order to create mystery. And that mystery is your glue between you and the product.

  1. Close the deal.

Present the agreement, sign, and pay.

  1. Handle the resistance.

After the purchase, in 80% of the cases, there will be questions, resistance, disagreements, etc. So be ready to handle that resistance.

*The reason people don’t close is they skip one of the steps either by not completing them or by not doing them at all.

Measuring Each Step

You have to be able to measure each step.

For example:

  • In contacting the person, there are a number of agreements you need to count. How many things did they agree with you on?
  • When you find the ruin, measure if you have the ruin or not.

5 Steps in Handling Objections:

  1. Acknowledge. Listen patiently and fully understand. Ask as many questions as you can.
  1. Accentuate. Make it bigger.
  1. Make the person right. When you do this, they have nothing else to push against.
  1. Wait. The moment they have nothing to fight about, do nothing. Then wait for them to say something.
  1. Restore the agreement. Tie it back into the real reason the client wants to buy and restore the agreement.

Meir’s Major Takeaway:

Do the sales sequence. Look at the end result of each of those steps. The salesperson that doesn’t close at least 90% of the qualified prospects is not a salesperson.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Meir through email at meir@meirezra.com.

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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Jim Brown, Sales Negotiation, Overcoming Objections, Sales Tuner

TSE 653: Mastering The Art of Negotiation and Overcoming Objections

Jim Brown, Sales Negotiation, Overcoming Objections, Sales TunerMany sellers are scared of getting objections. Worse, they don’t do something to overcome them. They think that getting through one sales call after another can make you get better at it. Well, you won’t!

Today, Jim Brown is going to teach you how you can overcome objections for you to be able to handle sales conversations with much confidence and have better chances at closing.

Jim Brown is a sales coach, a sales trainor, and a sales consultant. He has worked with many large organizations and has closed some significant-sized deals including that $1.2 million deal with Sears. He had almost every objection in the world that was thrown at him.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jim:

Lessons from Jim’s coolest sales experience when he was a customer:

  • Neutralize the things you know.
  • As a seller, you can’t let what you’re selling become a commodity.

What is an Objection?

  • It’s an excuse of why someone won’t or can’t buy something. But excuses are just reasons.

Why do sellers have a hard time overcoming objections?

  • They don’t plan for them. People don’t prepare and think through what’s going to happen to them and they just start winging things.
  • Most people have not been professionally trained to sell.
  • Put some time and effort in your craft and you’ll get better at it.

Takeaways from Jim’s deal with Sears:

Jim was at that time selling SEO and online marketing services. He thought they had all in tact but it turned out they needed a lot of help.

  1. Come prepared.

Jim spent ten hours preparing for a 30-minute meeting. He knew everything that was going to be said and what could be thrown at him.

  1. Anticipate everything before it happens.

Jim asked for a whiteboard and projector, none was there. But he anticipated that so he came in with the entire PowerPoint, printed out, and bound for everybody who was going to be in the room.

  1. Ask questions.

He started asking questions to get him to reveal the context in which he was going to make the decision.

  1. The Power of Silence

When you’re in a high-dollar negotiation, once you speak and you’re the first person who throws out the number, the next person who talks loses. So they tapped into the power of silence. And the decision-maker then signed the deal.

No Time to Prepare?

  • You just have to put in the work. Don’t just show up and expect to get better just by getting through your day.
  • Spend hours role playing and understand how people are going to respond to certain questions.
  • Practice your craft everyday to get better at it.
  • You’ve got to put in the time.

How to practice overcoming objections:

  1. Write things down.
  • This forces your brain to think through all the other avenues that this could be approached.
  • List down every single objection that the prospect could give you before and after selling.
  • Spend time just writing out different responses to them. It’s different for every person. You don’t have to script out the response to everything but truly understand instead of just winging it.
  1. Re-read it.

This allows you to re-evaluate and what work needs to be done.

  1. Role-play.

Steps to Effective Negotiation:

  1. Have a goal.

The first goal of a cold call is just to have a conversation. Have a goal at very single appointment, every touch point, every meeting that you have.

  1. Prepare.

Think through every single scenario where your prospect may go and the things they may bring up.

  1. Empathize with your buyer.

Imagine you were in their shoes and figure out the things you would be concerned about or you would try to accomplish if you were them. Understanding that situation allows you to have empathy of that buyer so your answers and responses can align with what they’re trying to accomplish.

  1. Be okay with hearing and saying the word no.

This is very frustrating and a lot of sales reps are not comfortable with hearing and saying no. If you don’t have a walkaway point, you’re dead in the water. You’re going to get destroyed in the negotiation. Have a hard walkaway point. Know what your bottom line is but also know why that is your bottomline

  1. Set the ground rules.

Create a mutual context throughout the entire playing. This is the best way to start the process to have an effective negotiation. Jim recommends this book on negotiation: Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

  1. Have a process for things.

Understand what would allow the prospect to go from one stage of the buying cycle to the next stage, how they need to get the deal done, and what that means. This way, you know where you are in the process.

Jim’s Major Takeaway:

You will never get anything in life that you don’t ask for so start asking. The absolute worst thing you can be told is no. You can’t lose anything that you never had. So if you get told no, so what? You didn’t have it to begin with.

Episode Resources:

Download Jim’s workbook to help you break down the individual goals you need to get to where you want to go. Get it at www.SalesTuners.com/roadmap for free.

Follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_Brown

Learn more about Jim on www.AskJBrown.com.

Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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TSE Huslter's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Closing

TSE 650: TSE Hustler’s League-“Early Stage Deal Closing”

TSE Huslter's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, ClosingClosing is one of the most important aspects of a sales process. But it has to be a natural progression in converting prospects into buyers.

Today’s snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about a concept I highly recommend which is about early stage deal closing. It doesn’t mean you close the deal right away. But these are principles you can put in place in your sales process to help you start converting more customers.

Strategies for Early Stage Closing

1. Identifying the challenges

  • Oftentimes, the salesperson doesn’t recognize there are issues or objections the prospect is going to bring up.
  • Figure out what objections you might get that will prevent you from helping the client move towards that goal. Then come up with the best known replies towards those objections.
  • The problem is we don’t have any ammo so once these objections come out, we aren’t able to provide the best answers.
  • Identify the objections early for that part of the sales process. Ask the client the top three challenges they have in the organization.
  • Figure out an “considered need” they might have then offer them compelling reasons why they should look at doing it.

2. Qualification

  • Figure out the things needed for the client to be qualified for the next level. What are the objections others might bring up in their organization be it in the budget phase or the closing phase?
  • Follow the 6 why’s and let the client answer those so you get to the bottom of the challenge. And try to uncover it in each stage of the process.
  • Do not skip stages in your sales process. Don’t just wing it. Go as deep as you cant. Do your upfront work in the beginning.
  • Don’t set appointments with people who are not qualified otherwise you get bad results eventually.

3. Commitment

  • Create a demonstration qualification document which includes all the qualifications needed at this point.

Episode Resources:

The Experience Economy by Jason Pine II and James H. Gilmore

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.

 

Donald Kelly, Sales from the Street, Cadence, Prospecting

TSE 649: Sales From The Street-“The Cadence Is Working”

Donald Kelly, Sales from the Street, Cadence, ProspectingStill struggling with how you can get your customers to respond to your email? Are you the business card hoarder at events?

You’re probably getting as many cards as you can. And these could be leads you’ve collected for over a year from those events and you’re just letting them sit there on your desk for the dust to consume them. There’s nothing wrong with collecting cards. In fact, it’s an awesome thing to do. But without any follow up, your effort only goes to waste.

It’s time to take action.

On the other hand, what also used to happen in the past after we’ve collected business cards is that we’d blast a client with a phone call then try to get them to buy our product and service. And we just put everything out there. Well, this doesn’t work anymore.

The Power of Cadence

Having cadence means creating a process for your organization. For example:

  • Day 1 is for sending emails.
  • Day 2 is for connecting with the prospect on LinkedIn. Either you connect with the prospect yourself or you can have a sales development rep initially connect with that person. Within days, you’re able to connect with the client on LinkedIn.
  • Next, utilize other social media platforms. Engage with the individual on Twitter for instance by sending a tweet.
  • Your goal here is not to sell but to grab the prospect’s attention. Once, you’re able to do this, you can follow up on those leads.

Grab their attention.

Make your emails short and simple. Only include one point or one idea and then one question. Try to make it just like a text message. Make it simple and straight to the point.

Set an appointment.

Just create the business discussion. Figure out their unconsidered need, which is something they need that they haven’t realized yet.

Episode Resources:

Listen to TSE Episode 642: This Is How You Get People to Respond to Your Emails

The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore

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.

 

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

TSE 645: TSE Hustler’s League-“What Makes You Different”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, The Sales EvangelistAre you just going to be like just everybody else trying to fight based on price? Today’s snippet is from one of our past sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League where I talked about the unique differentiating factor you can bring to the table. So you can stand out from what others are doing.

The TSE Hustler’s League is designed to help sellers who don’t have a training process, whether you’re working for a small organization or for a large organization and they’re still not willing to invest. Our new semester is coming up in September so check it out!

Understand how others are selling.

What is something everybody is doing in your industry? Take the five competitors in your industry and further break it down into your top three. You will probably notice that they do the same exact thing.

Creative ways to get intel about your competitors:

  1. Join their email list.

Use a different email address. The goal is to understand what they push the most.

  1. Attend their webinars.

Most industries have seminars and go out there like a secret shopper trying to see what things do they push in their webinar.

  1. Enter their buying process to learn.

Just investigate and see what’s the unique selling proposition do they push. What do they do at the beginning of their sales process?

  1. Read their case studies.

Understand how customers talk about them, what they value, and what they push most.

  1. Follow them on social media.

You can also go on their news page through Yelp or Glassdoor to help you understand what their employees are saying about the organization.

5 Top Things that Can Make You Uncommon to Your Clients:

  1. Send a thank you card or something in the mail.
  2. Tailor your selling and demonstrate what you preach in the sales process.
  3. Go above and beyond your call of duty.
  4. Create experiences for them that can make you different.

Episode Resources:

Yelp

Glassdoor

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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.

 

Skip Miller, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 631: How To Engage Executives In Meaningful Conversations That Will Close The Deal

Skip Miller, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastSo you’ve gone through your customer discovery phase, now what?

Today’s guest is William “Skip” Miller. Skip was previously here on the show back in Episode 639. If you haven’t yet, listen to it as he talked about effective discovery. Today’s episode is Phase II where he talks about value below and above the line, creating transfer of ownership, and being intentional and directional in your sales calls.

But first, I’d like to announce that our new semester of the TSE Hustler’s League is coming up on September 21, 2017. We will be having two courses –  one for foundational selling and the other for more advanced sales training focused on building value and increasing your close rate.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Skip:

  1. Honor the split.

There are two value propositions in the buying process:

  • “Below the line” buyer is the technical buyer, the person responsible for using what you sell.They want to know about us, our features, benefits and who we are, etc.
  • “Above the line” buyer doesn’t care what they’re buying but they just want ROI, save time, and mitigate risks. These are usually the executives.

However, we go below the line, walk through the sales process and as we get near the end, we then talk to the “above the line” executive. So we end up giving them a review of what we’ve done to the “below the line” buyer which they could care less about.

  1. Go after both value propositions as early as possible.

This means speaking the right language to the right people at the right time. Capture both. Don’t do demos and trials until you can capture “below the line” and “above the line.”

How to talk the language of executives:

* Find out what concerns executives.

Google “what keeps executives awake at night.” You’d be surprised how much literature is out there relative to what keeps a top executive in the industry as well as their top initiatives for the year as they look into the following year.

* Do an immersion program.

Go out and talk to somebody’s people. Every salesperson has a customer base and every customer base has some high level executives. Just do an informational interview. Don’t sell them anything. Just ask about their agenda for the next six months. Just listen to what’s important to them. Do not relate it to how you can sell. Read stuff so you have something to give on top of just your features and benefits.

An interesting fact:

47% of salespeople on sales calls listen for a keyword and then jump!

  1. Proactively induce the transfer of ownership.
  • Make sure the buyer goes from “I get it.” to “I get it.”
  • Transport people into the future..Make them travel through time by asking them what could be the scenario six months from now. Make them imagine your potential impact in the future.
  • Let them tell you how they’re going to use it rather than you tell them. (Above the line buyers don’t like to be told too much.)

Destroying the Term “Decision-Maker”

It’s “below the line” and “above the line.” You have to win both value flags in the middle of the process. Don’t think one value prop is better than the other. They are both important.

  1. Be intentional and directional.

The Next, Next Tool

In the middle, make sure you’re in control of the process. Provide the next step and then follow up with another next step in a set period of time. This shows you’re being intentional and directional.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Skip through email at skip@m3learning.com or visit his website on www.m3learning.com.

Skip’s books:

Proactive Selling

Selling Above and Below the Line

TSE 539: Interview with Skip about “This Is How You Discover”

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

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.

 

Donald Kelly, Sales from the Street, Omar Jackson

TSE 629: Sales From The Street-“The Old Way Is Not Working”

Donald Kelly, Omar Jackson, Sales from the Street, TSERejection is part of sales. And if  you don’t know how to handle it then probably this isn’t the career for you. But sales can be learned and it can be learned by anyone. It’s a matter of finding that process to help you get over rejection and ultimately gain confidence. Today’s guest is Omar Jackson who’s going to share with us the biggest struggle he had, how he overcame it, and the results he has seen.

Omar got his college degree in operations supply management then got into corporate life until finding himself in sales. Currently, he works with a national solar company and sells door-to-door.   

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Omar:

Omar’s biggest struggle as a new seller:

Facing rejection

Strategies Omar did to overcome his challenge:

  1. Understand rejection is normal.

Understand that everyday you’re going to be rejected but once you will find people who see the value you offer.

  1. Have a reason why you’re out there.

For Omar, his overall happiness and being able to have more control in his life were big motivators for him. So it’s important to have a big why.

  1. Focus on the good things.

Focus on the people that respond to you.

  1. Work to your strengths.

Have a synergistic approach to your sales process where you can focus on your strengths and the other person in your team can focus on theirs.

  1. Learn the process.

Get more and more familiar with the market. Increase your skill set and confidence.

Results they’ve seen:

Increased sales with a steady, upward trajectory

Omar’s Major Takeaway:

Just show up. Anybody can learn sales. Control your emotions and just show up. There’s going to be somebody out there who’s going to buy from you and want what you have to offer. Then just keep refining your process and get better and better.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Omar Jackson on LinkedIn.

If you wish to share some sales struggles with us and how you got through them, send us an email at podcast@thesalesevangelist.com.

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

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.

Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, Sales Message

TSE 626: Your Sales Message Matters. What Does Yours Say About You?

Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, Sales MessageMessage is something often overlooked by salespeople especially those just winging it. They are too focused on finding leads but once they get to speak with someone on the phone, the freeze out. Sometimes too, we’re sending the message to the wrong people reason why our deals are not progressing.

Today’s guest is Barbara Giamanco, CEO and Founder of Social Centered Selling. She previously worked for Microsoft and since then, she has done consultative training and coaching in sales organizations and helping them understand how to integrate the use of social media and social networking channels into the selling process. Barbara is author of the book, The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Barbara:

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

  • Align the sale to the what the customer needs or wants.
  • Invest in training to teach your team how to be consultative sellers.
  • Don’t make things personal if they don’t buy from you.

How to bring the Experience Factor in Sales Through Your Messaging:

  1. The first interaction could either make or break you.

Your very first interaction with a buyer is either going to get you a go or earn your place in the delete pile. There are not too many opportunities to make a good first impression if you blow it the first time around.

  1. Branding

It’s also about your brand too. You’re communicating either a positive or not positive message.

  1. The right place and time

Don’t just get our pitch out there that you forget there’s a time and place for everything. Don’t try to get a close right after a hello.

  1. Email cadence

Why waste time asking somebody if they got you message. You have about three seconds to get someone’s attention and asking the client if they got your last email is not going to get you a better sales result.

  1. Tailor your message.

Slow it down a bit. Do some basic homework, Figure out the most important things for your customer and tailor the whole message about why your product or service is good for them.

  1. Sell to the right buyer.

Don’t spend your energy going after people who are not the right buyer profile for you. Don’t go emailing and calling the wrong people.

  1. Some things the buyer is going to expect from you:
  • Knowledge of your industry
  • Knowledge of current and future trends in the business
  • Understanding the competitive landscape
  • Understanding the pain they are feeling (Demonstrate how you work with other customers who had similar problems you helped solve.)
  1. Personalize your message.

Get out of the lazy selling. Buyers are not looking for people to sell them stuff but for people who can help them solve their business problems. Gather basic intelligence. Then put 2-3 sentences in the body of the email that you can use as a template for anybody you’re going after in that particular space but be sure to personalize it.

  1. Validate, not interrogate.

Do initial research and try to learn about the major challenges an industry is facing and ask your prospect if they’re seeing or feeling some of that. This is going to get people involved thinking you did the homework because you tried to find out a little something about them.

  1. Bring fresh insights and ditch your pitch.

Talk about how awesome your product is and how great your company is, the buyer doesn’t care. Make sure you’re able to bring value to the table. For example, find a couple of interesting articles about things that may impact their business and how they may want to start preparing and planning for that.

  1. Ditch the cheesy subject lines.

Put together a subject line that gets their attention, something related to a challenge they’re facing for example.

  1. Resist the urge of talking about how great your product is.

Present something that’s going to be of value to them such as a white paper. It may not guarantee you a response but that’s definitely going to at least perk up a buyer’s interest a little bit.

  1. Don’t just show up and throw up.

Think about what it feels like to be in the buyer’s shoes. Always think about what the buyer needs and how you can align to that and support that and solve their problems.

  1. Understand the industry you’re targeting then do your best to map out your sales strategies.

Barbara’s Major Takeaway:

Slow down. Focus your message on what the buyer cares about, not what you want to sell. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Focus on them because that’s how your product or service gets sold.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Barbara on Twitter @barbaragiamanco or on LinkedIn

Visit her blog at www.barbaragiamanco.com

Listen to Barbara’s podcast, The Razors Edge

Social Centered Selling

The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media by Barbara Giamanco

Selling to Zebras by Jeff Koser

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.

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales Training, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 505: TSE Hustler’s League-“Customer Friendly Sales Process”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales Training, Best Sales PodcastTraditionally, the sales process has not been very conducive to providing value to clients. But this doesn’t work anymore. Over the years, the buying process has significantly changed and so you must also be able to align your sales process with it if you want to achieve success.

Today’s snippet is taken from one of the previous sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is all about giving value.

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Here are 7 key steps to creating a value-friendly sales process:

  1. Your goal is to understand your prospects and their challenges.
  2. Define your prospect’s unconsidered need.

This may be something your prospect may not be thinking about because they don’t see it but it can become the most damaging.

  1. Educate your prospect on the unconsidered need.

Again, this could be something they’re not aware of or they’re blinded to, or have lived so long with that they don’t pay attention to and could cause more damage to them.

  1. For prospecting purposes, spend at least 1 month focusing on just one particular industry.
  2. Be sure to ask the appropriate questions.
  3. Give the prospects not what you want but what they want.
  4. Align your process with your client’s process.

What can you do to change your process so that it’s reflective of your client’s process? Have a single sales process that can tailor to one specific prospect.

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Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects and save an enormous amount of time. 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

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

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.
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Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist, Key Sales Metrics

TSE 337: 7 Key Sales Metrics You Should Track

Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist, Key Sales MetricsAs a salesperson, you need to understand your numbers and the gauges of what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and how you can improve. Today, I’m giving you 7 metrics you can look at to improve yourself as a seller.

You have to compete against yourself and make sure you’re better than you were last month. These metrics are universal across industries, no matter what you’re selling.

7 Sales Metrics to Improve Yourself as a Seller:

  1. Time spent selling

Measure the time you’re actually selling, meetings you have with prospects, phone calls you’re making, when you’re actually in the process of selling, prospect visits, demos, close calls, and things of that nature.

  1. Response time to leads

Studies show that if you take more than 24 hours to get back and talk to leads, you’re 60% less likely to close that deal. Connect with leads as quickly as you can and find out what they’re looking for and be of assistance.

  1. Amount of opportunities generated each week

If you’re required to both prospect and sell, you have to get people into your funnel. What are you doing each week to create new opportunities? What kind of opportunities can you develop? What’s your rate?

  1. Leads to opportunity

How many leads does it take you to create an opportunity? (marketing, networking events, etc) What can you do to minimize the amount of leads to opportunity? Try to reduce it from 5:1 to 3:1.

  1. Actual opportunity to win

How many opportunities does it take you to get one new client?

  1. Average deal size of the deals you’re closing

Are you closing a lot of small deals or larger deals? What are you doing right and what are you not doing right? What can you do to improve?

  1. Time it takes to close a deal

What can you do to bring your time down to be at par with the company’s average time? What can you do to get it under par?

Episode Resources:

Bob Burg’s book Adversaries to Allies

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

TSE 266 with Kevin Kruse

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, Donald C. Kelly