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The best way to grow a business is by establishing a sales generating process that produces ongoing predictable revenue year after year. Building a sales machine that delivers this kind of revenue requires predictable lead generation, a sales development team that is the link between marketing and sales and a consistent sales system. Readers get a thorough and detailed introduction to outbound sales techniques that do not require the constant attention of the entrepreneur and do not depend on the regular addition of new sales people.
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A robust sales process requires a proactive outbound sales development team. It is a way to leverage free enterprise and achieve big dreams, like the author of the book I Love Capitalism achieved. The main idea of this book is how your focus should be on quality lead generation to get predictable revenue. This requires time, discipline, systematic sales processes and outbound prospecting strategies. Basically, you need a smooth and seamless sales machine. Companies often rely on adding sales people for revenue growth, but generating new leads should not have to depend on this strategy.
Leads are prospects who have shown a positive interest in your product offering. This could be filling out a form on your website, signing up for a free trial, etc. There are three types of leads the author named Seeds, Nets and Spears.
Seeds: Leads generated through happy customers, SEO, social media, great content targeting are called Seeds. Seeds are actual and digital word of mouth. They take a long time to cultivate and nurture but have the highest conversion and close rates. Seeds are the best leads. They are similar to the business relationships described in the book Make it Happen Before Lunch because sales effort leads to solid connections with the highest probability of turning into a sale.
Nets: Conference, events, advertising i.e large scale marketing programs yield leads called Nets. These are marketing leads. Nets are scalable leads but tend to be low quality and not as profitable as Seeds.
Spears: This type of lead is generated by human effort in the form of cold calling or other forms of manual outbound prospecting by sales persons. This requires a heavy time investment and effort. Manual prospecting can yield a few, large and valuable, leads though.
According to Predictable Revenue it is important to develop specialized sales roles. Different levels of the sales funnel require a unique skill set. If your sales persons are doing all the categories of work, they will be inefficient at best. Create a dedicated sales team to handle the types of work to get the best results. The team will first include sales developers to prospect for leads. These are junior level people who will create qualified leads from cold and inactive accounts and pass them on to account managers. Next, develop a market response team to qualify inbound leads. They will lead negotiations and weed out unqualified leads. This increases focus and reduces wastage of time and resources. You will also need account executives to help you to close deals. They will manage customer accounts, offer support and new products/services to them, and develop referrals. This is where the psychology of persuasion, as discussed in the book INFLUENCE, comes into play.
The author developed the Cold Calling 2.0 Framework for prospecting from cold accounts to generate new leads predictably. It is cold calling but not the traditional cold calling methodology. It is process driven and results focused. In the book The Ultimate Sales Machine, the author discusses the importance of disciplined focus and a systematic approach in order to make real and lasting changes that increase sales. The Cold Calling 2.0 Framework is such a disciplined process for change.
A step-by-step approach to Cold calling 2.0 is as follows:
Precisely define and build your ideal customer profile (ICP). Understand your ideal customer, their challenges, frustrations, what they like to spend on, their ideal contacts, etc. Be vigilant about any red flags in their persona.
Build lists of potential prospects based on your ICP. Use prospecting tools if necessary. Add target accounts.
Run email campaigns. This will put you in the eyes of prospects. Ross suggests it is best to start small. Segregate your prospects (B2B, B2C) and send them targeted mails based on this segregation. When you get a response, handle it swiftly, efficiently and organize it in your database.
Sell solutions to the problems your prospects face. Address their pain points. Connect their needs to your solution.
The final stage of a successful cold calling 2.0 framework is the stage when your sales development team should pass qualifying leads to account managers. The qualified leads should be considered as sales opportunities and re-qualified by the account executives.
The “3-Hour 15-Minute” sales process is a 3-step framework to help sales reps quickly qualify or disqualify a prospect in the initial stages. Step one is to spend 15 minutes with a prospect to decide if you should pursue the person further. Step 2 is spending 1-hour to understand who the key decision makers in an organization are, and their decision process. At step 3, spend 2 hours walking the decision-makers through a design process to create a joint vision together. Outline how your company can offer solutions to their problems. The sales reps become people somewhere between what the author of the book Give and Take calls a “matcher” and “giver.” A matcher tries to trade evenly, while a giver contributes to others without expecting a return. Developing prospects requires matching a solution to a customer need and giving excellent informational presentations that build the company brand, even if the prospect does not become a buyer right away.
There are certain traits that define an outstanding sales manager. The person hires talent, but does not bank on experience. Instead the sales manager looks for resourceful and hungry-to-succeed sales people. He or she lays out a flexible process for the team to follow and is results oriented and not activity bound. In the book Drive, the author asserts that people are best motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose. An outstanding sales manager understands the importance of autonomy and purpose as motivators for sales people.
The book shares that sales manager also ensures a smooth functioning environment and clearly spells out the sales process, compensation plans, etc. The sales team is motivated and inspired by the manager complimenting good work, paying good compensation, and understanding the challenges faced by the team. As the book Team of Teams proposes, a successful team in today’s complex and challenging environment must be faster, flexible and able to quickly scale. On a personal level, the sales manager works with salespeople to help them achieve their career goals. The book The Workplace Engagement Solution, managers find a model for mentoring employees for personal success. A great sales manager strives to help each employee succeed over the long-term. The empathetic attitude becomes reciprocal, and the team works hard to ensure the sales manager succeeds. Yet another trait is the sales manager periodically reviews, reflects and improves on the above actions.
The authors describe three steps you can take to Improve the sales organization. First, include salespeople in the decision making process, and encourage them to share their ideas and input while planning new programs. Getting feedback from the sales team while planning any new program is the second step. This will help you catch any problems early and before a program is publicly launched. Third, show genuine concern by taking a satisfaction survey of the salespeople. Find out what motivates them and what frustrates. Feel their pulse.
Aaron Ross is passionate about growing sales. Writing the #1 best-selling book, Predictable Revenue is only one of his accomplishments. Ross is also the co-founder of Predictable Revenue, Inc., an outbound sales acceleration company, and co-founder of PredictableUniversity.com, which offers virtual outbound training. The Predictable Revenue, Inc. consulting company helps b2b companies create self-managing sales teams and companies capable of experiencing triple growth.
Ross also founded PebbleStorm which is focused on helping 100 million people “make money through enjoyment” by combining money and happiness.
Before Predictable Revenue and PebbleStorm, Ross was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the US$1 billion venture capital firm Alloy Ventures. Before that, Ross worked at Salesforce.com where he increased their revenue by $100 million. This was made possible due to his development of the Cold Calling 2.0 sales process and team.
In addition to the book Predictable Revenue, Ross wrote the book CEOFlow and co-authored the book From Impossible to Inevitable. Ross is a sought-after global keynote speaker. He is a 1994 Stanford University graduate and a graduate of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. In June 2020, Ross was inducted into the Sales Hall of Fame.
Aaron Ross talks about his sales growth strategy on his YouTube channel. He has several social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Spotify podcasts. Aaron Ross also has a blog site.
Marylou Tyler is contributor and co-author of the book Predictable Revenue and the book Predictable Prospecting. Both are number one bestsellers. In 2016, she was nominated for the honor of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management.”
Tyler founded Strategic Pipeline in 1992, a Fortune 1000 outbound sales process improvement consulting group. Her client list includes Apple, Bose, AMA, Talend, CIBC, Prudential, UPS, Orkin, AAA and Mastercard. She is a Sales Enablement Strategy expert and coach. Tyler also worked as Managing Director of Inside Sales, Lead Generation and Outbound Marketing at Telegenik Communications from 1992-2011.
Tyler earned a BS in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981. From 2014-2017, she attended Northwestern University to study predictive analytics, sales and marketing Big Data.
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