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Syndication

Building A Successful SDR Team From The Ground Up 

 

The sales team is the backbone of a business. It’s composed of both SDRs and BDRs, both working to make sure the business is thriving through a steady flow of consumers. For this episode, we’ll discuss SDRs and how you can build a successful SDR team. 

 

Kyle Coleman started his career in B2B tech in 2012 at an advertising agency in San Francisco. He supported clients such as Dell, VMWare and other large companies; however, Kyle eventually realized that advertising wasn’t where he wanted to continue his career.  In a timely move, he was able to pursue an exciting new position in sales and marketing with a start-up called Looker, a data analytics company based in Santa Cruz. Kyle was recruited and became a member of the Looker team in 2013. He stayed with Looker for six years and was able to experience firsthand the growth of the company from six people to roughly eight-hundred sales reps and 100,000 ARR to over 100 million in ARR. 

 

In 2019, Kyle made the move to Clari. 

 

Growing the team

As a startup company, oftentimes it’s hard to know what really needs to be done. In the beginning, there can be a lot of trial and error. Sometimes you have to try different options to know what works and what doesn’t. 

 

Kyle has observed  many startup companies are reluctant to bring on an SDR function because they think it’s too soon; however, as the SDR for Looker in its earliest days, Kyle knows firsthand that it’s never too soon. He wasn’t just getting coffee and making sure that everyone was fired up. His main role was to partner with marketing. The SDR team became a three-person team in the first 12 months and it allowed their marketing leaders  to test messaging in a variety of ways. They had the ability to use the tools to get in front of the right people from great companies and be the feedback loop for their marketing team. 

 

The SDR team wasn’t just adding value in setting up appointments, they were also adding value on the marketing side. It helped them understand what they needed to do to differentiate themselves as sales reps in the market. They proved their value early and it was one of the reasons why success resulted in more successes. The impact was felt from the top-of-the-funnel column to the thought leadership marketing. The SDR team gave their company a solid start by offering insights about how to get to the  right people faster. 


The sales process was different back in Kyle’s time with Looker. The email market then wasn’t as saturated as it is now and their root force also helped in getting a lot of messaging out in the market. Their aggressive SDR method made them stand out compared to other SDR teams of that time. However, regardless of the changes in the sales process now, outbounding for companies in its early stages is critical to understand the company’s ICP, the personas, and the kind of messaging that should be delivered to the market. 

 

Make the first right hire

A startup company has to make the right hires from the beginning. The ideal candidate has a little bit of experience but not so much he has forgotten how to actually do the work. The first hire should also be someone who is willing to take risks and to own success as readily as he owns his failures. Hire someone who is hyper, driven, and motivated. You can give them space to practice their own methodologies but also make sure to give them a support structure that allows them to fail with management ready to help with adjustments. You need somebody who is 100% dedicated to the cause, one who can communicate verbally and in writing, and someone who wants to help you achieve your company’s mission and vision. 

 

Step 1: Describe your Ideal Customer Profile

Knowing your ideal customer profile will help define the right hire.  While working at Looker, Kyle looked at the company’s number of employees and its funding. The ICP in Clari is much tighter due to the specifics around the tech stack. Ultimately, you want companies matched with similar personas.

 

Step 2:  Work with the product marketing team

The product marketing team writes wonderful blog posts, white books, and e-books so don’t box them into just writing outbound emails. Blog posts and outbound emails are two different skill sets. 

Hire a person who knows how to write outbound emails. These emails need to contain a call-to-action, personalization, and all the related content that  comes from your SDR. It’s good for SDRs to get their leads from LinkedIn. It has the most trust-worthy data and is always up-to-date. 

 

There are other additional tools that  can be used as well such as ZoomInfo, LeadIQ, and Seamless.ai to get contact information.. Cold-calling may be an old method but it’s still mission critical.  Getting on the phone is how you get to hear a Yes or a No. Sometimes, it also depends on the personas. People who are more technical tend to stay away from phones. However, if you are connecting to salespeople who can talk about anything, then cold calling is a way to have real conversations and build relationships. Always include an omni-channel approach with your cold calling that includes email, LinkedIn, social media platforms, and other useful tools. 

 

You can also make use of SalesAcceleration, Sales Automation, or SalesEngagement to make analysis easier for your SDR team. These tools will help the team report back to the product marketing team or the sales team.

 

Challenges in building the team

Most companies struggle because they create work for their SDR team that is too prescriptive. Instead of giving the team user guide, they give SDRs too many scripts.

 

At Clari, they provide their SDRs with processed frameworks that they can follow to attain success. Within the framework, they still have room for autonomy and personalization. They can still make the presentation their own and develop it from the bottom-up. Companies struggle because they expect their SDRs to be doing top-down mandates and it can make no sense. 

 

Of course there has to be a process and structure but you also have to allow the people you’ve hired to think on their own. Giving them the space to grow will make them feel like they are part of a team. Make them feel comfortable that they can share their failures in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t. This is important when you are building a team. People can’t be afraid to talk about their failures. Build an environment where SDRs are expected to try new things and where failure is the right of passage. Allow them to understand that if they’re not failing, then they’re not trying enough new things. They need to continue to push themselves in order to evolve. 

 

The process time 

There is no exact time frame for the entire process because every company is different. The role of SDRs and account executives are becoming more thoughtful and strategic so the ramp time is longer than it was in the past. Kyle has seen that it takes about six months for people to feel proficient in the process and then closer to nine to twelve months for them to become comfortable with the competitive ecosystem, the different personas, and the nuances within the culture. For Kyle’s company, it takes an SDR six to twelve months and then stay in that role for the same amount of time. 

 

Kyle suggests that for people to be successful in their role, there needs to be gradations of incentives and levels that can be achieved. Without these in play the company risks losing high performers. Incentivizing is a great way to hold onto your best. 



Keep your people in your team

There has to be one hundred percent transparency when it comes to relaying how the team can be promoted and what is at stake. For Clari, they tell their team the quantitative criteria they need to move through the four levels that can be achieved at their company. Employees know that the quantitative criteria is effort-based and result-based. 

 

In Kyle’s company, these are the four levels of achievement: 

 

Level 1: SDRs start with inbound only roles which means talking to warmer leads and doing qualification.

 

Level 2: Promotion to either senior inbound SDR or junior outbound SDR, depending on what is needed in the company. 

 

Level 3,4: Supporting larger sales segments from SMB to mid-market enterprise. 

 

There has got to be ongoing performance feedback. Tell team members what they’re doing well and where they need to improve. If needed, tell them what is keeping them from getting promoted.  The review cycle should be a constant stream of feedback and this goes both ways. The SDRs should also be able to give feedback on how management can improve. 

 

Treat your SDR team as strategic thought partners and not just as cogs in the machine.

#SalesSDR

 

Calling it quits

Some managers struggle in letting their sales reps go but if they are not succeeding in their roles and they are not happy with what they are doing, then it is reasonable to have the talk to find out where they would be better suited. These sales reps need something new, either in reinventing themselves within the company or letting them go.

 

The performance-based role should be explained as early as the interview phase of the hiring process. Let these potential hires know they will get the support they need but if that doesn’t work, they will get a performance plan, but if that performance doesn’t improve, you will have to go your separate ways. This way, they accept the job knowing exactly what is expected. 

 

Being upfront in the beginning may cause you to lose some people you were excited about hiring but if you get someone who is not performing well, you owe it to them and to your company to create an achievable plan to improve their performance. It must have both quantitative (result-oriented and effort-based) and qualitative (attitude-based) measurements. If they don’t perform well then you have to help them transition out of the company. 

 

Try Clari and other tools

Clari is a tool that will help you get leads from Sales Navigator and into your CRM. LeadIQ also helps in skipping a step as you can export people directly from LinkedIn to  Outreach. Clari also uses Sendoso for direct mail for personalization. 

 

Kyle suggests that managers should treat their SDR team as a strategic thought partner. Some of the best ideas come from them and you are doing the team and your company a disservice if you don’t listen to their ideas and feedback every step of the way. 

 

As for  individual SDRs, it is important to develop cross-functional relationships inside your company.  The more the process is understood, the better the conversations with potential customers. Prospecting is born out of confidence and confidence is born out of expertise about the products, range of services, and the personas. 

 

“Building A Successful SDR Team From The Ground Up” episode resources 

Clari is a revenue operations platform that is useful for every single person across your entire revenue organization. Learn more about Clari by connecting with Kyle Coleman via his LinkedIn account. 

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 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.

Direct download: TSE_1283.mp3
Category:SDR -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What You Believe Is What You Will Achieve 

 

It’s imperative for salespeople to maintain a positive outlook to make it through this season of unforeseen circumstances. Perception and belief is going to play a big part in how we navigate the unknown so believe that success is still achievable. Donald believes it’s possible and shares his thoughts about how to make it happen and what could potentially hold us back.

 

In this episode Donald will be discussing limiting beliefs. These beliefs, ideas, and philosophies can come from many influences including a boss, team members, family, and many others. Sometimes, because we’re listening to all these outside influences, we fail to see that everything we hear here doesn’t always reflect the truth. Your actions may reflect what you’ve been told but they don’t always lead to success.  We have to be careful of following so blindly that we are no longer true to ourselves. 

 

Let’s go back to the beginning

Donald started out his sales career in business development, selling software with zero knowledge about how to sell to corporations. He didn’t know what you weren’t supposed to do. Despite the lack of experience, however, Donald still saw success but there was still so much he needed to learn.  

 

Donald’s performance started to decline when he got wrapped up in all the training and advice people were trying to offer him. He was told when to call and when not to call, how he should conduct his business, and on and on.  He did what he was told but eventually stopped doing the activity as it rang true for him. 

 

Stand for your beliefs

Donald shares the story of a gentleman named Cliff Young, a 61 year old Australian farmer. Mr Young accomplished an amazing feat which was winning a 544 mile race. He wasn’t an experienced runner but heard about the marathon and decided he wanted to participate. Leading up to the race, Mr. Young didn't eat the proper diet, he didn't have the proper training, and he didn’t have the right clothing or shoes. Cliff Young just showed up at the marathon looking like the farmer he was and was ready to race. 

 

When people asked Mr. Young why he was racing, he told them he’d always wanted to run a race but there had never been a perfect time. That year, at 61 years old, he was finally ready to go. 

 

Cliff Young didn’t know that in ultramarathons runners would typically run for 18 hours and then sleep for six hours. When Cliff Young started to run, it was called the Cliff Young shuffle because he literally just shuffled as he ran. While others were taking their breaks, Cliff Young kept on running. He ran for five and a half days straight and won the race. At 61 years of age, he wasn’t tainted by the beliefs and ideas of the “experts.” He did what he thought was the proper way of doing things and took action. This strong mentality helped him win. 

 

Roger Bannister showed the same spirit. He didn’t listen to the leading medical experts of his time who said he wouldn’t be able to break the four-minute mile. They all thought that if you ran for four minutes straight, the heart would explode. Roger proved them wrong. 

 

Don’t get wrapped up in others’ beliefs

We have to be careful that in listening to others, we’re taking on their own limiting beliefs. As a salesperson, it is your job to sift through all the opinions and only take action based on what works for you. Donald’s coach told him he’d get a lot of advice from all the people he would encounter. This group would even include people he loved, respected, and cared about.  Despite these relationships, however, the advice offered needed to be treated the same way you’d shop for food at a grocery store.  Examine each one and see if it’s something you’re going to put in your own cart.  If not, it’s okay to put it back on the shelf.  When someone offers advice it’s okay to take the time to see if it’s something that resonates with who you are. If so, use it and apply it.  If not, no further action needs to be taken. Do what’s right for you. 



Do better in sales

Oprah Winfrey said, “You don’t become what you want, you get what you believe.” Belief is an important concept. Let’s consider two definitions. 

 

First: 

Belief is an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. 

 

Second:

Belief is trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something. 

 

Without belief, trust, and confidence in yourself, you can easily be swayed by others. If your belief system determines your success and sales, you need to make absolutely sure that what you are absorbing into your belief system is worthy of your goals.  

 

If you see yourself as a sales rep who is never going to hit 100% it is more likely you will consistently fall short. You won’t push yourself for more because you have already limited yourself. On the other hand, if you believe you can do more to increase your commission, you give yourself a better chance of hitting those goals. If you want your actions to be more in line with your goals, consider waking up earlier, reading more books, listening to more podcasts, and doing other focused activity. 

 

Create a positive belief system

Many sales reps are saying they can’t get in touch with prospects so they don’t bother making calls. This is not the right perspective.

 

You can get in touch with people. It just may take longer than it did before. Many prospects are having to re-route their business lines to home phones. Be consistent in creating those contacts because they could eventually lead to a text saying they’re ready to talk.  You can now start a dialogue and grow the relationship.

 

The other idea that many sales people believe is they can’t make phone calls to  prospects after a certain time of day. Donald used to work as a sales rep for a software development company and many of the sales veterans he looked up to would finish their day by 4:30 in the afternoon. 

Donald’s job was to make calls and set appointments after they left. Donald didn’t share the belief to end his day by 430 so while everyone was busy packing up to leave, Donald was making calls. As a result, he was able to talk to an IT Director who became interested in the service that Donald's company was offering. The deal was closed within three months, a record for a process that usually lasted from 18 to 24 months. 

 

Donald wouldn’t have been able to land that deal if he’d bought into the belief that prospects didn’t pick up their phone after 430.  Your belief system will change and evolve but it's important you don’t bring limiting beliefs with you. 

 

Believe that you will succeed and have ample faith in your belief. Your mind will adapt to your belief and your body will act upon your beliefs so aim for great results. Most importantly, believe  you can do it. 

 

Change your belief system

You can find success if you position yourself to see the opportunities. You can succeed, thrive, and find your ideal customer. 

 

Change the way you think.  Don’t limit your success. #SalesSuccess



What You Believe Is What You Will Achieve” episode resources

. 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 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.

Direct download: TSE_1282.mp3
Category:Sales Story -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Salespeople Have a Love/Hate Relationship With CRMs

 

Almost everyone is using CRM in their businesses  for its efficiency in data collection. But truth be told, many salespeople have a love and hate relationship with CRM. CRMs are a great way to hold data but it doesn’t offer solutions on how to utilize this data in a way that reflects real time engagement with customers. 

 

Kevin Knieriem is the Chief Revenue Officer at Clari, a revenue platform for companies in Toronto. He’s been with the company for 15 months and he’s had a background in enterprise software for over 25 years. He started his software sales career with Siebel System, the first enterprise CRM and from there, Kevin spent 11 years at SAP and due to an acquisition, also spent time with Oracle. 

 

What is a CRM?

CRMs are a place for account, contact, and opportunity information to be stored. These are major components  to track sales so it has been the primary  revenue solution for companies for the last 25 years. Keeping your CRM up to date is important so the organization understands the health of its revenue.

 

Starting with Siebel Systems, Kevin hasn’t seen much change in CRMs. It still has the same basic model for accounting opportunities. It’s a place where sales reps can post information but it doesn’t provide any feedback about how to utilize the data. It takes a lot of maintenance to update a CRM but we use it anyway. Unlike SaaS or subscription, CRM doesn’t allow you to track the continuous journey of the customers. 

 

The limitations of CRM

Adobe is a company that runs on subscription.Let’s say for example that an Adobe seller is selling a marketing automation solution, Marketo Acquisition. A client who buys the service and wishes to expand will have to get another subscription over time.  Even though the data is present, the activity that is involved over the time of a subscription doesn’t get tracked by the CRM.

The challenge for reps and the sales leader using the CRM tool is that it doesn’t give you the real-time feedback that is needed to run the business as efficiently or effectively as they could. 

It turns into a circular problem because the data give no feedback to the sales rep about how to move forward, but when the manager is approached for coaching, they are still looking at the same data with no additional insight.  Layers of managers get involved in analyzing the data and by the time a solution is created, the data is from the past and no longer applies.  It doesn’t take into account the customer’s journey and sales cycle. You can’t really make good decisions using data that may no longer be relevant. 

 

Sales reps are Franchisees

Kevin suggests that sellers  be looked at as individual franchisees. This positions each sales rep to utilize the resources of their company to best execute the business. 

 

Nothing happens unless you make it happen. I think companies need to help arm their sales and revenue organizations with solutions that help them in this modern time of transparency. #SalesHelp

 

Using Clari 

Clari is a revenue platform.  Sales reps need to spend the majority of their time selling and not just inputting data. This is how Clari can help. There are tools now that allow auto-capturing the context of CRM data and combining that context with the database.  This means activity around the data can be analyzed and as a result, better decisions and interactions can occur. 

 

When an automation process is in place, more critical questions can be answered:  

 

 

  • How engaged is the customer?
  • Are they engaging with you or with your marketing machine? 
  • Is your top-of-funnel nurturing the sales process?
  • Do your ABM campaigns work?

 

 

The answer to these questions will give you the idea a better understanding of how healthy opportunities really are. The single most important skill for any company to have is its ability to forecast. The forecast directly impacts the operating plan of the company. The single most important function of a company is the ability to sell. Typically, the biggest expense of any company is its sales force. Because of this there has to be a consistent process surrounding sales. 

 

Kevin’s job for Clari is to remove barriers, give sales reps the clarity they need for their business, and to help sales reps be as productive as possible.

 

The Challenges Faced by Sales Reps

A big challenge sales reps face is meeting with their managers.  It can feel more like an interrogation than a coaching session. It’s equally unpleasant for managers who may have a difficult time relaying the opportunities to their team.  When a meeting can be used more as a training tool, the whole dynamic can change for both the sales team and the sales leader.  

 

The art of selling has changed over the years because of the available data today and the fluidity of a customer’s journey. The sales reps have to evolve as well. For example, sales reps now can make meetings via Zoom. As a result they need to show their faces, they can’t multi-task, and they can’t hide their emotions. The good sellers of today embrace these new changes because they know it helps them be more effective in their jobs. 

 

CRM is just one of the data sources that Clari brings in. Clari also brings in other signal data that’s happening in a company’s upstream top-of-funnel systems. Clari is a revenue process that applies machine learning and AI to help spot risks and identify opportunities to help companies grow. 

 

Salespeople Love / Hate Relationship With CRM and How To Get Value From It” episode resources

Nothing happens unless you make it happen. Companies need to help their sales team by giving them instrumentations and solutions to improve their efficiency in sales. Sales reps are the frontline of any company and an effective process and system provide the best opportunity for success.

 

Knowing the process and having the accurate directions will help the sellers become ironmen in sales. Reach out to Kevin Knieriem via his email kevink@clari.com. You can also check out his LinkedIn account

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1281.mp3
Category:BDR/SDR -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How BDRS and SDR Should Use LinkedIn During COVID19! 

 

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm. Many industries have been affected, even sales. How do you keep selling at this time? One of the ways is via LinkedIn. This episode will talk about how BDRs and SDRs can use the LinkedIn platform amid Covid-19. 

 

Amanda Statton was raised in Virginia Beach and moved to Tampa about a year ago to work for BlueGrace Logistics. She started sales four years ago and she loves it. Jason Behnke is originally from Chicago and came down to Tampa to study at the University of Tampa. Right after college, he worked in sports and event sponsorship and eventually found his way to BlueGrace Logistics. 

 

Selling in time of Covid-19

The pandemic has touched every industry.  Several manufacturing companies have shut down. People have been working from home for several weeks now but for sales and logistics, an opportunity has been created to transport products and to get help to those in need. 

 

While Amanda and Jason are still working the same jobs, how they approach a potential customer has changed. They are  focused on building relationships, even more than ever before. These are hard times so they do what they can to reach out, see how they can help and make themselves available. 

 

BlueGrace Logistics partners with companies and learns about their supply chain. They look for ways to help them save money and drive out costs within their network. Before Covid-19, Amanda opened a conversation by saying, ‘Hey, I would love to learn more about your supply chain. I want to see if we can help you save money to drive out costs within your network and really get a better understanding of what you’re doing today.’

 

With Covid-19, the question has changed from wanting to know about a company’s strategies to asking how the company is doing amid the pandemic and how it has impacted their organization. With that information she can then evaluate how her company can help lessen any negative impact. The focus is now helping their current clients ride the road to recovery and offering advice to prospects within the same industry who may be dealing with the same situations.



Responding to inquiries

People respond to these inquiries in different ways. Some people are very open to having a conversation and understand everyone is in this together. There are others who are frustrated and wonder out loud why they’re still being asked sales questions even under these current circumstances. 

 

Prospecting today 

Salespeople are still prospecting, even today.  Amanda and Jason still conduct meetings from phone calls, emails, and LinkedIn outreach. They stick to these basic three because this is how people are still operating. There’s still a need to work on multiple channels  to target prospects. 

 

Amanda is also getting a number of responses and traffic from the links that she’s sending over email. She’s still seeing activity in clicks-to-links in emails and LinkedIn so these are the people she’ll be reaching out to in the future. 

People are not as receptive with the direct approach but people are still looking for authenticity. They just want the conversation at a slower pace. This means getting to know the person on a personal level. It’s important for empathy to be the driver from beginning to end and plan to follow up. Make sure you are leaving on a good note.

 

There are various apps that you can use to keep up with the prospects including Sales Navigator but a simple , “Hey, how are you?”  works equally well. If you send out a birthday card, include a personal note. Doing this can open a dialogue and will remind the prospects there is a relationship they can look forward to. 

 

Sharing content

Like other small businesses, BlueGrace Logistics is also sharing content with manufacturing companies who are shipping right now. They are acting as a resource for these companies and put up collated information and content for industries. Their service helps their client evaluate their circumstances and adjust their business strategies as needed.

 

Get into casual conversations 

People are staying in their homes more so prospects are more open to talking on the phone during odd hours. With most people working at home, it gives sales reps a variety of opportunities to have more casual conversations. We call this an omnichannel approach which means we can be everywhere and can talk to people at different times. Although this has always been the goal, we need to do it even more so today.



 

 

Facing the objection 

Not everyone is receptive to a sales call these days and will react negatively to the approach no matter how it’s done.  They may wonder why you’re reaching out during a pandemic. Amanda coached her team to honestly tell them the truth when this objection comes up. She reminded them to tell their client they’re interested in knowing how this pandemic has affected them so they can help ease their challenges. 

 

BlueGrace Logistics has a very long sales cycle that can take anywhere from nine months to a year. They also have partners right now who are going through some major changes in their manufacturing. At the moment, Amanda’s team is being deliberate about how they start a conversation with their partners to ensure they are willing to help in any way they can. 

 

Being empathetic and being authentic are two of the most important traits a salesperson can develop at this time, especially on LinkedIn. Don’t be scared to reach out and ask how you can help. Take advantage of LinkedIn and use its voicemail messaging.  It’s the perfect vehicle for your prospects to hear the authenticity in your voice and the sincerity with which the help is being offered. 

 

Donald shares that commenting on other peoples’ content is also a good strategy for those on LinkedIn. Interacting with their posts and other members who are commenting, can launch a great conversation. 

 

People are going through things that aren’t normal life right now. If you get negativity make the next call as fast as you can. #KeepPushing

 

How BDRS and SDR Should Use LinkedIn During COVID19!” episode resources

As a sales rep, keep pushing through because the current circumstances won’t last forever. Maintain your positivity, lean into the chaos and make something out of it. Don’t let an objection keep you from making the next call. You never know what people are going through. Make the next call  immediately. 

You can reach both Amanda and Jason via their LinkedIn accounts. Go ahead and reach out! 

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1280.mp3
Category:SDR, BDR -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To  Identify, Recruit, And Train A Diverse Sales Team That Sells

 

Your company’s hiring process must have key steps and criteria for hiring a sales team that will consistently maximize profit.  They should be able to identify, recruit and train a diverse sales team that will push the business forward. 

 

For the last five years Amos Schwartzfarb has been the managing director at Techstars in Austin, Texas and is now running his fifth program for Techstars. In the mid 90s, prior to his job in Austin, Amos led an early-stage sales organization and just late last year, he published a book called Sell More Faster.   

 

Hiring the right people

When hiring, Amos believes that many founders and CEOs often look for the characteristics they think a salesperson should have, even before they’re able to answer three important questions. He refers to them as W3:

 

 

  • Who is your customer? 

 

This identifies the people who are actually buying your products, considering every detail. What is their title?  What type of organization do they work for? What is that particular individual’s role?

 

 

  • What are they buying from you?

 

What are the exact products they are buying from you? Is it the product itself?  The results of the service? Are they trying to create a margin of time? 

 

 

  • Why does the customer buy that from you?

 

Why are they going to you instead of your competitor?  What is it about your brand that causes your customer to choose you? 



The answers to these three main questions will help you define the profile of the sales people you want to hire.  Your future team will have to have an understanding of these elements in order to connect with these customers. 





The natural salespeople
There are some people who are born with the natural skills of connecting with prospects and closing with clients.  Because it’s innate to them, they can’t articulate it to others. These natural salespeople tend to thrive in a company that looks at the W3. Once they have a clear understanding of their customer they are able to adjust as needed.  

 

Looking for the right customers

This may sound easy but looking for the right customers can be hard work. What Amos tells his clients is to start with the narrowest and most specific definition of who their ideal customer is. While it’s okay to have a general idea, the more specific the better. It is this niche group that is typically going to purchase from you almost every time.  

 

When you identify the attributes of your target customer, it will also be easier for you to spot the potential customers who may still be on the peripheral.  You can broaden your base by just replacing one attribute with another. Before you know, you see new potential clients. This can be a hard process but worth it if time and effort are applied. 

 

What you’re selling vs what they’re buying

As a business owner and sales leader, you need to know the difference between what you sell and what someone is buying. Let’s take Google as an example. Google sells a lot of things including product, advertising, buying leads, and more.  Not every customer needs every product or service. Customers purchase from Google based on the product they’re providing specifically for their needs. Amos realized there is a difference in, ‘what you do versus what do you do for me.’ Making that shift is what resonates for most people who are busy taking cold calls/warm calls.  The detail is worth the attention. 

 

Why do they buy from you

The reason a client buys from you may not be obvious to the buyer so you need to ask the right questions in order for them to get to the answer. You do that by giving them a way to measure the value of their purchases. For example, you may discover that they make purchases based on what saves them money. If that’s the case, engage them in a conversation about how your product or service could help them save even more money.

 

Why does it matter to the individual buyer

When you find the values that move your customer to make a purchase it’s easier to duplicate what is most important to their purchasing decisions. 

 

Treat your potential clients as people, not as transactions, and they’ll treat you the same. #SalesTips 

 

Be your company’s first salesperson

In a company’s early stages, the founder/CEO should be the first sales person. Regardless of your background, whether you grew up in sales or not, the W3 should resonate with the head of the company before they start looking for other people to help grow the business. Once they’ve seen that the profile of the sales team can be duplicated, then  repeatability in the hiring process can be executed. This process creates a competitive sales team. 

 

Diversity in the sales team is also a great asset. It helps bring a variety of experiences into the company and the more diverse the environment is, the more your company will be able to maximize the sales potential. 

 

Visualize your sales process

Before you begin hiring, it is imperative you learn your sales process, map it out and execute well. It might have several steps but the idea is to collect the data along the way so that you can get a deeper understanding of best hiring practices.

 

Know your W3s to start targeting your campaigns. 

 

How To  Identify, Recruit, And Train A Diverse Sales Team That Sells” episode resources

Until you hit scale, you’re still in full customer development mode. Always keep learning. Collect data, analyze the data, and take the time to learn what’s going on underneath the hood. 

Reach out to Amos via amos@techstars.com

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1279.mp3
Category:SDR/BDR -- posted at: 6:05am EDT

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

 

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

 

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

 

The struggles in generating sales 

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

 

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

 

Building your sales engine

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

 

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

 

Do more soft prospecting 

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

 

When soft prospecting, just remember:  

 

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

 

Maintain your sales engine

Because of the coronavirus, many sales people are having to deal with the disappointment of cancellation and postponement. We may not be landing the deals we thought we would but this doesn’t mean we should stop the push to find new opportunities.

Lisa’s new book, The TOP Sales Leader Playbook: How to Win 5X Deals Repeatedly, talks about sixteen plays to build those 5X deals, many of which can be done right now

 

Scoring your opportunities

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

 

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

 

The 4 parts to Lisa’s book include: 

 

  • The sales leader
  • Methodology
  • Execution
  • Culture




Sales leader

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

 

Develop your methodology 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Execution and Culture

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

 

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

 

We all got cut short when Covid-19 hit and caused us to pivot. The best way to do that is by lending a hand. #SalesHelp

 

The importance of scoring

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

 

Build your own playbook

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

 

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



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

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

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1278.mp3
Category:SDR, BDR -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

I'm Afraid of Losing My Sales Job 

 

Everywhere you look, people are affected by circumstances that could not have been foreseen just a couple of months ago. Due to this upheaval, some people are losing their jobs. Is the fear of losing your sales position an added concern for you as well? In this episode, Donald offers some encouragement. 

 

Everyone agrees it’s a hard time. This quarantine is unprecedented in most of our lifetimes and The Sales Evangelist is here for you and Donald has been getting a number of questions about what to do in the event of job loss.  Sales reps from all over the world are concerned and are afraid of losing their jobs. The harsh reality is that in this season, many will lose their positions while companies rally to stay afloat. 

 

Donald has been there.  He had just graduated from college and was working for a small company when everyone was called to the conference room by the CEO and the executive team. Once gathered, they were told that the company was closing its doors that day. The reality didn’t sink in for Donald right away. He had a difficult time processing what he was hearing and as he listened, it started to sink in that he had just gotten an apartment and had his own bills to pay. Needless to say, he was freaking out. 

 

Life goes on

Under these circumstances it’s natural to feel stress and anxiety. It was an unfortunate situation that Donald was in and felt the full weight of it. However, he eventually learned that life goes on. Things got better. They will for you too. There’s going to be a brighter day and things will work out for you and your family.  It may be hard to see past this time of isolation and you may worry about how you can earn for your family and loved ones. Don’t overthink things. There will be a path that will make itself clear to you. 

 

The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 is new to all of us, but most of us have experienced an unexpected job loss. Stressing about it, worrying about it, and beating yourself up because you lost your job won’t bring the work back. This isn’t your fault. 

 

You are awesome 

Having a job in the first place means you have what it takes to bring value to a company. This illustrates you have something in you that will provide opportunities. Even if that job is put on hold for now, your value remains and the next company will benefit.

Hopefully current employers are researching and taking full advantage of the governmental relief that is being offered in order to keep teams together. These opportunities are meant to help us. 

 

Another door will open 

When one door closes, another door opens.  It may sound cliche but it’s true. You can expedite that by building your network and community. These relationships tend to look out for one another. When Donald lost his job, he used his free time to build his network. He connected with people on LinkedIn and he brought value to other people. Through his presence on LinkedIn, one of his competitors saw what happened to Donald and reached out. He was told of another opportunity and was able to benefit from that connection. 

 

If you are released from your job use the time wisely until the next job.  Learn new skills, read more books, and continue to add value to yourself. Be valuable to others by serving them in their needs. Build that network. Connect with people and figure out creative ways you can build value. No matter what happens, you will always have your personal brand. It’s something you can take wherever you are in this world. Make sure you’re ready when things get better.

 

“I'm Afraid of Losing My Sales Job” episode resources

Remember you don’t have to carry this burden on your own. There are people out there who are willing to help you and guide you, like Donald. Find them, connect with them, and build value with them. 

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1277.mp3
Category:SDR, Sales Job -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Evaluate The Efficacy of SaaS Programs That Your Sales Team Subscribes To

 

Is your SaaS program effective?  Is it making you money or costing you more than your return?   Ankesh Kumar is with a company called Let’s Chat and the company focuses on personalization outreach to make sure your dollars are being spent well. 

 

Let’s Chat helps a conversation run smoother. It does this by providing a co-extension that identifies LinkedIn topics that are of interest to your clients, it gives suggestions about how to break the ice, and generally makes it easier for sales reps to speak with their prospects in a more personal way. 

 

Let’s Chat also looks into social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and others to identify the person or client sales reps are going to talk to. It’s important for first meetings to be friendly, without crossing the line. Let’s Chat also uses its AI capabilities to prioritize the data based on the time spent on a particular topic, the frequency looking at topics and the topics a client might want to expand on.  

 

Evaluating your SaaS program

There are various tools that a sales team can use to evaluate their SaaS program, the amount depending on the size of the organization. Ankesh’s company ensures their app works with the company’s current workload. There are many competing platforms like CRM, other sales engagement platforms, and sales outreach.  With so many to choose from, there comes an added concern that incorporating all these different platforms may change the workflow of the sales team. You want to make sure that your team isn’t managing so many tools that their time isn’t spent on actual sales. 

 

Salesforce slows down the process

Ankesh shares how products such as Salesforce can actually slow down the sales process. Salesforce adds data to the system record. It tracks activity so everyone can see how clients are interacting with the information, from receiving the proposal to what executive levels are looking at what was sent. As a result, there can be an imbalance between how much time a sales rep spends on Salesforce data and how much time is spent actually interacting with a client and making a sale.  Ankesh’s company uses a plugin tool for LinkedIn because that’s where people are and the most actual interaction can take place. . 

 

Maintain your team’s efficiency

By Ankesh’s estimation it’s not the cost of the software that can impact a company’s budget but the time a sales rep spends on specific software. The CRM budget can vary but the value of return is the added value the software brings to the workflow process. 

 

Ankesh cautions about adding additional software and plugins without regularly checking whether or not this software is benefiting the sales force and ultimately, the company.  One thing he suggests, when you’re considering new software, is assigning some of your sales reps to be beta testers before you go company-wide.

Be unique 

By now, almost all sales people and their clients know the process of prospecting by email. Even before a company sends that second or third email, they can almost predict the content of ensuing correspondence.  As a sales rep, you need to be unique and stand out from the crowd. Instead of sending 10 predictable touch emails, do something different. Use snail mail and send along a little something they can use, like a $5 Starbucks gift card. Once received, you already have one foot in the door before you connect the second time. 

 

Personalization can work but it’s also a lot more time-consuming. Salespeople need to understand that what works now may not work in the next 2-3 years. The industries are changing and our approach to clients and prospects will change too. 

 

Emails that work 

Ankesh says that there are three buckets of personalization that work when writing emails: business, professional, personal. Look for ways to connect in these areas and your customer will know you’ve taken a professional interest to reach out in a personal way. 

 

“How To Evaluate The Efficacy of SaaS Programs That Your Sales Team Subscribes To” episode resources

Be social when you’re dealing with your customers and clients. Work smart and take the time to personalize your communication. 

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1276.mp3
Category:SDR, BDR -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Build Rapport By Asking Directed, Relevant Questions 

 

For many salespeople, building rapport is a skill that needs to be learned. It’s not always easy for sales reps to build relationships with potential or existing clients.  Asking direct and relevant questions is a great launch fine-tuning the art of building rapport. In this episode we learn more about how to do this well. 

 

Andrew Sletter has been in the same company, the Window and Door Store for 10 years. Their company sells windows and doors with a focus on in-home sales.  They work directly with the consumer and are with their customers for every step of the process, including installation.  The company’s office is located in Bismarck, North Dakota and they handle the North Dakota and Western Minnesota market. 

 

The salesman’s profile

Andrew doesn’t see himself as a true salesman. He believes that many salespeople are doing themselves a disservice by trying to fit into a particular profile. Andrew isn’t an influencer or a promoter.  Based on his DISC personality profile, he is more of the perfectionist individual. In his career, he’s seen all different types of personalities become successful in sales. Many sales reps feel the pressure to become somebody they’re not but as a sales manager, Andrew knows salespeople just need to be true to who they are and learn the skills needed to have a great career.  

 

Though Andrew didn’t set out to become a sales leader, he honed his skills to become successful. Daniel Pink, the author of the book To Sell is Human, writes that surprisingly, the best sales people aren’t the extroverts or the introverts. It's the ambiverts that make it to the top of the chain. Why? The ambiverts tend to have the characteristics of boths and it serves them well.  If you aren’t an ambivert, though, take heart. Andrew knows anyone who can hold a conversation with somebody has what it takes to become a great salesperson. 

 

Building the trust 

An important skill that salespeople need to have is the ability to know when and if a product or service is a good fit for a potential client. With direct-to-consumer businesses this is especially important. Building trust and rapport in the early stages of inquiry will help with this evaluation. If done correctly, not only will this prospect become a new client, there is an opportunity to develop the relationship into a life-long customer. 

 

Building rapport is about having trust between two people.  If a salesperson states their product is the best in the industry, but hasn’t built trust, the consumer can determine very quickly they don’t want to work with that individual.  The consumer today is very savvy. They’ve usually done the research even before approaching the salesperson. They already know about the product and the industry and will purchase with the sales rep who aligns with their value system. It is up to the salesperson to uncover those values in order to close the sale. 

 

Building Rapport 

Rapport is more than just value-based selling. For Andrew, it’s also about authentic selling. The number one deciding factor of whether or not a consumer is going to purchase is the credibility of the salesperson. Credibility and rapport first, product or service second. It’s the job of the salesperson to uncover the prospect’s values because if the values aren’t in alignment, the ability to close is greatly diminished.  Selling to the modern consumer requires wisdom and discovery. The sales goal has to be secondary to the customer’s needs.  

 

The credibility of the salesperson is #1 priority whether or not people buy. #SalesCredibility

 

Discovering the value 

From the beginning a salesperson needs to have a conversation with the prospect. Allow them to tell their story because it’s their story that needs to be heard. Be ready with a set of questions to ask to every client. 

 

Ask directed and relevant questions. What are their fears, concerns,  projections? This exchange helps the salesperson determine the client’s motivation and it gives the consumer the confidence their needs are being heard. When values align, the closing rate increases dramatically. 

 

Keep building rapport through the pandemic 

Building rapport is especially critical in the season we’re in, when people are dealing with so much uncertainty.  Clients need to feel they’re part of a conversation and a team. As salespeople, we support our families by helping our clients solve their problems. We’re all consumers.  Let’s be the people we’d want to purchase from ourselves. 

 

“How To Build Rapport By Asking Directed, Relevant Questions” episode resources

Don’t rush the process. Too often a salesperson tries to determine the outcome of the sales without first building trust. Put in the time and ask direct and relevant questions. 

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1275.mp3
Category:Sales, Rapport -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

I'm Succeeding As An SDR But I Don't Think I Will When I Become An AE

A change in work setting is a challenging thing since one has to adjust with the new operations and work process. Did you just move from an SDR position to an AE position and you’re feeling lost? Don’t worry. You’ve come to the right podcast episode. 

 

This heading is a question Donald saw posted on Reddit by a sales rep who is worried about his change in roles. The idea of becoming an AE scared him because he wasn't confident that he had the skills to become successful and build value. 

 

Making the transition 

This individual has been in the SDR industry for nine months and is concerned that his success isn't because of his sales skills but because of his ability to think outside the box. He thinks he’s terrible on the phone and feels that he lacks the ability to connect with clients. He finds it hard to drive business solutions and when he makes the transition to becoming an AE, he’s concerned his lack of experience and skill will get him into trouble. 

 

Although he’s been effective at finding people, building value, and closing skills as an SDR, he didn't see these abilities as a win because he was evaluating himself based on how he rated his interpersonal relationships skills and his ability to  generate opportunities.You may have felt like this too. So, how do you make the transition to this new position?

 

The Impostor Syndrome
Impostor Syndrome is also known as head trash. These are the things that we tell ourselves until we start believing them, even when those things are not true. The mind isn’t capable of separating reality from fiction so “what the mind conceives, the mind believes.” 

 

When we were kids, we could convince ourselves that there was a monster in the closet. The same is true with head trash. When you tell yourself you don’t have certain abilities, traits, or skills, your mind will believe it and you will find yourself acting accordingly. As a result, you may start messing up your phone calls, stop reaching out on LinkedIn, and you’re not going to take action, all because your body has already started believing the lie. 




Overcoming your head trash

Shift  your head trash to confidence and self-affirmation. Say positive things to yourself again and again and rewrite the program. Stop telling yourself you’re going to fail. The mind is very powerful. Start telling it exactly how great you are.  Your body will follow. This is the first step in doing better. 

 

Now, just because you tell yourself that you’re a good sales rep, it doesn’t mean you will become a great sales rep immediately. The next step is to take action by starting to read books, listening to podcasts, going to training, practicing, and studying industry information.

 

The impostor syndrome is a common trait in many salespeople, especially those who are just starting. As a beginner in sales, how do you bring value to the table? You may be better in some aspects than others. You may read more books,be more tech savvy, or have more experience. Holding onto the positives, and seeing good results from your current skill set, will help you get past your head trash. 

 

Change your belief system 

Changing your belief system will help you adjust your actions and the way you perform. People have a certain swagger and confidence when they feel good about themselves and others can see that. They will see that you’re bringing your best to the table. 

 

The person we discussed from Reddit has to change his belief system. He thought he didn’t have ample skills to help him become an executive. He forgot one of the most important things a sales rep must learn is how to solve problems and he knows how to do this! He’s already doing the toughest tasks in the sales process, prospecting and closing deals. 

 

When a salesperson shifts to an account executive role, he will still have ways to solve problems. A sales rep builds value by learning how to ask effective questions. You don’t even have to be versed on the industry, at least at the beginning. Nobody is versed in every industry when they first start. If you are selling something you don’t have experience with then study and get trade magazines. Learn about some of the content and that your prospects are studying for their business. Once you become versed about the industry, and understand the operations of the business, you will be able to solve problems better. 

 

Keep learning and solving problems 

Spend time learning the business and look at the deals. Figure out the initial reasons why people signed up for your services and products. Review pain points and check out websites to learn more about clients. Doing your part will help you feel more comfortable in moving forward. 

 

To move you toward success,  listening and asking effective questions is key. A confident problem solver isn’t afraid of digging deep and asking critical questions. He knows how to be direct and to the point without being offensive.  For example, instead of letting the client close the meeting, it’s best to take the initiative by saying, “Hey, I totally understand that it may not be a good time. When would be a good time for us to meet together?”  Drive down to the core issues and schedule a follow up. 

 

If you're building value, if you know how to ask effective questions, if you know how to solve problems you're good to go. That's it. #SalesExpert



Hone your skills 

You may be new to the work you have right now but you just have to keep honing your skills. We are not born to be great SDRs and AEs but we can keep growing. Do not hold back and keep your confidence in check. Challenge your mind to go out everyday and do big things. 

 

“I'm Succeeding As A SDR But I Don't Think I Will When I Become An AE” episode resources

One of the ways for sales reps to learn on how to solve problems is by enrolling in training services and programs such as Dirk Sheep. The program usually costs $549 for a semester but due to the financial constraints that many are facing at the moment, the semester which will begin this April 10 is only offered at $149. This is the perfect time to take advantage of the TSE Sales Training Program. 

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

This episode is brought to you in part  by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.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.

Direct download: TSE_1274.mp3
Category:Sales Promotion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Get More Proposals Signed Faster With Pandadoc

 

Have you heard about PandaDoc and how it can help you get more proposals signed faster? If you definitely want to learn more from this podcast. This episode will talk about PandaDoc and how you can use it to improve your sales journey.

 

Nate Gilmore is the chief revenue officer at PandaDoc and his job is to grow the company. It is    their goal to help small businesses increase their sales and revenues. He has spent almost 20 years in the small business industry and most of those years were in software. 

 

The idea of proposals 

Salespeople can send out proposals and not get a reply for days or even weeks. This  experience is a common challenge for many sales reps. Salespeople need to understand that the entire workflow of the business depends on how well they’ve gotten to know the customer. Having insight into how their organization works, their timeline, and what their needs are will improve the content of what you send and get the right data to send out. 

 

PandaDoc makes each stage of getting information to your client much easier. 

 

Creating your proposal

PandaDoc has created a template that pulls in customer data from your CRM which makes the workflow much more efficient. If you don’t have a CRM, the template will do it for you. With the customer data within the template, you now have a customized proposal that was done in less time. PandaDoc saves you time in creating the proposals since it already has a template that sales reps can work with right away. 

 

Sending your proposal

When you send your proposal depends on the workflow and process of your company. You may have to send it to someone internally first or you may be able to send it to your client immediately. Once sent,  the speed in which your proposal works lies with your customer. 

 

The right time to use the proposal

Sales reps can use the proposals in two ways: in the pitch or the marketing. When someone receives a proposal that’s been generated through PandaDoc, sales reps can see when the document is opened. 

 

The best time to send a proposal is after the discovery phase when the customer has consented to receive the information and is looking for it.  At this point, you know someone who is interested and could potentially champion your product in front of decision makers. If possible, embed demos in the proposals to make it more effective and customized. Proposals generated by PandaDoc offer these types of unique features so every client feels they are receiving a document made especially for them. 

 

Every step is part of the sales process and it’s the responsibility of each salesperson to do discovery ahead of time in order to make the process as efficient as possible. Discovery should reveal the needs of your customers and let your customer know they are being heard. PandaDoc has your client relationship in mind with their customizable templates. The program revolves around the workflow of a salesperson so they are able to personalize their proposals based on the client’s specific information. 

 

Driving the sale through

PandaDocs have a number of tools to help sales people make their sales goals. Your proposal is a document you can view at each step of the process. Once sent, sales reps can see who is checking it and when. It helps the rep and the client connect by helping them understand what the client needs. If you see that your client has forwarded the proposal to someone else, you can check where it’s hung up or when they are ready to move forward with the deal. This allows the sales rep to see what’s happening at each stage.

 

Following up with your client is an important part of the sales process. It’s critical to know if you are dealing with the decision maker or with an internal champion. Once you know, you know how to follow up. 

 

Look at the length of your sales cycle. If you want to grow the velocity, reduce the steps. #SalesTips

 

How does PandaDocs work?

Most of PandaDoc’s clients use the program to reduce the length of the sales cycle in order to drive toward revenue faster. The program simplifies the workflow to move from sign to pay at a higher velocity.

 

“How To Get More Proposals Signed Faster With Pandadoc” episode resources

If you want to grow the velocity of your sales cycle and evolve your business, you can try visiting Pandadocs. You can also check out Nate’s LinkedIn. 

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’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.

Direct download: TSE_1273.mp3
Category:Sales Performance, Sales Process -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Become A Warrior Seller During The Coronavirus Outbreak

 

The world has been taken aback by the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses, regardless of industry, have been affected. As a salesperson, how do you become a warrior during the coronavirus outbreak? Jason Forrest works for a company called FPG which stands for Forrest Performance Group and one of their programs is Warrior Selling. 

 

There are four different levels of a sales professional. The first level is the follower. They give all the permission to the customer.  The customer dictates what to do, how to act, and tells the salesperson when they’re going to buy. The next level is the helper, who has the sole intention of helping people and serving their customers. Leader is the third level. They are the people you follow to a place you wouldn’t go on your own. The last level is the warrior.   The warriors are advocates for the product and service they sell. This salesperson believes, supports, and advocates for their products and services. In addition to that, the warriors protect their customers’ best interest. 

 

In today’s market, we need more warriors to protect the customers and the organization. People are afraid and the warriors help protect their customers from fear. Without leaders, fear can overcome customers and it can eventually kill the organization. Warriors know their customers so well they know what is needed. A warrior and  con artist may have the same skill set but what sets apart the sales warrior is intention. They protect their customers through their service or product. 

 

Knowing the warrior seller 

A warrior has to get their messaging right for their customer and should be able to answer these questions:

  • Why should people buy from you today?
  • What will your products and services immediately do for them?
  • How will your products and services benefit them at this moment?
  • How will your products and services eliminate their present pain points?

Once they find the answer to those questions, they need to be able to share the message with the people they serve. 

 

A warrior is defined by me as an advocate for their product and service they sell and at the same time, they're a protector of the customer's best interest. #SalesWarrior

 

Salespeople procrastinate for several reasons. The first is that they’re not clear about what they’re trying to accomplish.  The second, is that they don’t know why they’re doing what they do.Their why has to be strong enough to get through tough days. The why has to be greater than the sacrifices they have to make to do the job of a salesperson. Third, once the why is discovered, a salesperson has to figure out how. The how includes your cross pattern strategy. What are you going to say to give them certainty and how do you want them to feel once they get off the phone with you?  The last reason why people procrastinate is their “leash mentality,” the restriction in someone’s thoughts that keeps them from doing what needs to be done.                                                                                                                              

 

Remove your leash

A leash is like a dog collar in that it can prevent you from moving forward and can hold you back. The present mind is the best mind because it keeps you focused on the task at hand. In sports, trash talk occurs because it is a means for one player to distract another player.  If done well, it can throw that player off their game. However, as a salesperson, the trash talk doesn’t come from other people but from inside their own head. 

 

Jason came up with the concept of performance formula:
P(erformance) = K(nowledge) - L(eash). Performance is what a person does and what we see them do.  Knowledge is what we’ve told them to do. They have a process for making a sale and they have brand knowledge. To get a performance you have to remove the leash from the knowledge. This is the resistance that keeps them from using the knowledge they have, the things that keep them from taking action. 

 

Kinds of Leashes

Jason addresses four types of leash mentalities in his book:

Self-image

An example of the self-image leash is the perception the salesperson has of herself that she doesn’t know the right words to say to convince a prospect to buy. In order to remove this leash, you have to have the confidence that you will be able to convey to others why your product or service is valuable.

 

Story

The story is anything external from us. It’s when you tell yourself that people are still waiting for things to settle down before they start buying and purchasing again. This is just a story, especially when there’s no evidence to support that claim. 

 

Reluctance

Reluctance is a situational fear and it may come from not wanting to sound pushy and insensitive. The coronavirus outbreak will impact 2020 projections - it will either lower the sales forecast or be seen as an opportunity to steal market share from the competition. The truth is, if you’re not going to make any changes to get ahead of this, then it could lead to long-term challenges and impede the growth of your company. Taking action now can remove the ambiguous fear you may.  It puts you back in control of your circumstances rather than passively being a victim. As long as you have the right intentions and you believe you’re offering help to your clients, people will know you’re there to help.

Rule 

Jason defined the rule as anything you need to see, feel, or hear to give yourself permission to engage. However, most of the rules you set for yourself don’t make sense and can serve as roadblocks. 

 

Jason’s program teaches the result matrix. Our results are achieved from what we’ve been taught by our parents, teachers, culture, and media. These elements drive our beliefs and behaviours, and it helps us achieve our results once we understand how these forces drive our actions and decisions.

 

“How To Become A Warrior Seller During The Coronavirus Outbreak” episode resources

Jason’s new book has won as one of the best sales book awards in 40 countries. Know more about this book on his site

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’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.

Direct download: TSE_1272.mp3
Category:Sales Performance -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What Is The Difference Between An SDR and BDR?

 

The next 20 episodes will focus on the conversations about BDRs and SDRs. We will be talking about tips, strategies, and ideas about how businesses can prospect better and connect with potential clients. Today’s episode will discuss the differences between a BDR and SDR in terms of what they do, how they do it, and how they earn. 

 

In the previous episode, Donald was joined by his sales coaching client, Scott Romney. They talked about how businesses can realign and adjust their message to create offers that are irresistible for the prospects, even in a time of crisis. Our level of empathy must increase as we look for ways to understand where people are coming from. Strategies are needed that will help organizations overcome the crisis that many industries are facing in this season. Scott talked about being mindful and sensitive while thinking of opportunities where salespeople can be leaders to their prospects, especially now. 

 

Set your goal. How many appointments will you make today? #SalesGoals

 

SDRs and BDRs

A BDR is a business development rep and an SDR is a sales development rep. Prior to predictable revenue, their job was to qualify and set appointments for outside sales reps; however, over the past 20 years, the definitions have evolved. Even before these BDRS and SDRs came to exist, there were only sales reps and everyone was responsible for every stage of the selling process. 

 

Being a salesman for an organization meant that you were responsible for finding your own leads and nurturing those leads. Your job included going to trade shows and cultivating accounts. Eventually, sales managers realized that if you break down these processes you get to have more functionality and you can have experts in the different parts of the sales process. 

 

The inside sales team 

As a result, the inside sales team was created  to do the research, generate lists, and find the people. Their job is to update the CRM and become an assistant to the account executives. 

 

Over the years, their job extended to setting the appointment and qualifying the leads. Aaron Ross was working with SalesForce when he realized these functions could be broken down further. There are now inbound people who are responsible for the inbound leads, the leads that are coming in via your websites or those who are calling your business phone number. The outbound team are the people who go after the potential client list and send them emails. They are the ones who are reaching out to clients. 

 

BDR and SDR can be used interchangeably but based on the definition given by Salesforce, the BDRs are focused on prospecting for outbound leads while the SDRs are focused on qualifying inbound marketing leads. 

 

The SDRs

The SDR doesn’t have to do the hard work of finding leads. Instead of looking for people, the SDRs job is to qualify the inbound leads, follow up with them, and make sure they’ve been qualified for an appointment. They may get a little less in commission than the BDRs because BDRs are tasked with looking for cold leads and turning them into warm leads. 

 

Some companies start their salespeople as an SDR because it’s easier. This role helps to train sales reps how to ask the right questions and it offers a transition to becoming a BDR and then to an account executive. 

 

The BDRs

For Donald, the business development role is one of the hardest of the sales roles. It’s their job to look for people and find new business. While they may meet many people, not all of them will convert. Only a few will decide to make a purchase because not everyone is ready. At any given time, only 3% of people are ready to make a purchasing decision. If you look at it from a business perspective, the BDRs role is to look for that 3% wherever they may be and convince them to purchase.

 

Part of the BDRs job is to educate prospects and get them interested in wanting to do business. A talented business development rep builds relationships, connects with people, and shares with enough value so when a client is ready, that prospect will come back. 

 

The tenure for a business development rep lasts around 14 months and after that, they usually transition to become an account executive, or take an entirely different route. The same is true for an SDR, who can also get a promotion. Both of these roles have about 14-18 month terms. 

 

The length of time is influenced by the depth of training. This is where The Sales Evangelist comes in.  We help sales reps ramp quicker and perform much faster. If it takes a sales rep to improve his rate in three month, the TSE training will help you do that in two months. The training will help sales reps become more effective at a much faster rate. 

 

The secret to success

Like any other sales roles, the secret to success is to think of it like it's your own business. The structure of your day is critical. You need to make sure you understand the purpose of having a plan so you know who you are going after, who your targets are, and your goals are set for the day.

 

A sales rep needs to stick to one industry in a day or per time period. If you spend your morning prospecting the financial industry, then you should stick with that industry until the afternoon. This will let you focus your messaging and help you deliver the information more consistently. If you are a BDR, this structuring is particularly important. 

 

Here are final tips: 

  • Be respectful. You are the first point of contact for the company so you represent your company to every initial contact. They will rate the whole organization depending on their interaction with you.  Make it a good one. 

 

  • Have different templates. This ties back to the idea of structure. Have templates that are geared toward specific industries.
  • Set up a follow-up appointment. 
  • Plan your day. Plan your week. Plan your month. It is imperative you know what you need to do. This will keep you in check. 
  • Know your numbers. This includes the number of people you speak to, the number of appointments you have set, the number of calls you need to make, your conversion rate, and so on. 
  • Set your goals. 

 

 

“What Is The Difference Between An SDR and BDR?” episode resources

Our goal is to help you succeed especially in this time of  crisis. Reach out to us regardless of your financial capabilities and we will give you flexible options. 

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. 

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

Direct download: TSE_1271.mp3
Category:Sales Process -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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