Sales Goals

So, today, a sales manager downloaded my e-book. This is the form that they filled out.

New lead activity on Get your copy of 3 Things You Can Do NOW to GET SALES in Two Weeks!

First Name Redacted
Last Name Redacted
Job Title Sales Manager
Email Redacted
Phone Redacted
Number of Sales People 5-10
Annual Revenues $5+ Million
Have you had a Sales Assessment done on your sales team? No – not interested
Is your sales team working closely and aligned with your marketing team? -Choose One-
How often does your sales team hit their goals? Rarely
Not interested in a sales assessment on their team even though they rarely hit their goals?
Do you think that this sales manager is trying to save their job by downloading the e-book to learn the three things they can do to get sales in two weeks?
Have you read it? You can get your copy here.
Happy reading! and as Carole says.”GBOGH!”

3 Things That Anyone Can Do To Grow Sales Immediately!

I wonder about writers that make stuff up. There’s so much stuff in everyday life. This is a real conversation that happened last week with a real business owner. I thought about making this an e-book, but didn’t feel like building a landing page, etc. If you want more or have questions, let me know. I also thought about publishing this as an original/exclusive on the Customer Collective, but they can edit my content and I don’t want them to edit this post. Enjoy!
This particular business owner happened to be in the floor covering business and wants to increase the retail traffic to his store. He’s been in business for several years and working in the industry even longer. He’s a Hubspot customer and recently worked with a marketing agency for several months, but business didn’t grow.
I asked a lot of questions. Some he answered fairly freely. Sometimes he resisted. There were some meaningful exchanges. One series of questions centered around what’s working? He was spending money on Yellow Pages, Yellow Book, newspaper, building signage, and various other traditional advertising media in addition to inbound marketing. When I asked him where his business was coming from, he got indignant and asked me if I had ever run a business and when I did, did I know where every piece of business came from. When I answered, yes and yes, he was pretty sure that I was lying because he wasn’t able to determine his sources, so he assumed that I couldn’t.
So, Thing #1 is keep track of your time and money and the results that you get. You’ve only got so much money. I’d want to know how many customers and how many dollars I got from every dollar that I spent so that I knew what generated my best return, which was the worst and every one in between. Don’t forget your time! Writing blog posts, analyzing data, tweeting, optimizing, learning, etc. may be your smallest money investment, but it may make be your largest time investment. So, it’s important to track your time and be aware of the opportunity cost of your time investment.
Thing #2 is to use the data to re-distribute your investments. You invest in advertising, promotion, etc. to generate leads. If you know how many customers and how many dollars each investment yields per dollar of investment, all other things being equal, why would you continue making the smaller yield investment? Why not stop the smaller yield investment and put it into the investment with the best yield?
Finally, thing #3 is to use the data to maximize the conversion of your leads to dollars. In the first two points we talked about how many customers and how many dollars each source yielded, but if one source yields a $100 per lead and another source yields $1,000 per lead, aren’t you curious why? Do you really think it’s the source’s fault? If your sources are generating different dollars per lead, that may not be a source problem. That may be a symptom that your sales and marketing processes are misaligned. You’re not selling the way your customer wants to buy. Selling in the 21st Century requires total integration of your marketing and sales process. It takes twelve weeks, but at the end of twelve weeks, you’ll know how to maximize the return on your marketing investment. Click here or here.

21st Century Sales Misconceptions

I’ve been out and about this week and had several conversations with business owners and managers that (I write this with love in my heart.) are confused and don’t get it.

A regional sales manager for an international consumer products wrote, “Our meeting is going to be centered around using technology more and how we can engage our customer base through Facebook etc. I am not the “Hi-Tech” guy….”. It’s not about technology. It’s about knowing where your customers are ‘hanging out’ and being there with an interesting piece of information. It’s also not something that happens overnight. So, a gradual, benchmarked plan for adoption will lower resistance from the salespeople and insure success.

A small consumer services business owner in Maine was proud of the fact that they ranked very high for their niche when Maine or ME were in the search terms and resisted the notion that her prospects weren’t always including location and were using other search words. She insisted that she didn’t care about anything other than Maine. Interestingly, most of the business in her industry done with Maine consumers was done by large, national firms and she wasn’t getting found.
Finally, I almost always ask people where they’re getting their business now and the most common answer, by far, is referrals from satisfied customers. Most salespeople are taught how to get referrals, but now it’s time for marketing to learn how to get referrals. Look at this picture. Can you see how this picture is a great illustration of how the 21st Century sales funnel works. See marketing leads? See referrals? See the pool of prospects?
I told one person that “…the internet will make some people millionaires this year and drive others out of business.” There are 12 steps to Sales & Marketing Integration. Do you know what they are?

The Coaching Difference

It’s not unusual for me to draw criticism for the way that I sell.

Rick’s way or the highway.
Start with “No”.
Don’t blow them up.
About an hour ago, I received this email from a former client.
Hi Rick

So, a recent mailing prompted a few calls from “the dead.” One of them wanted to get started at last, but wants to take a real go slow approach. I could have just blown him off, but I did want to have some fun first:

Here’s some interesting history: I see that the two-year anniversary of our original conversation is in two days. That absolutely blew me away. When I reviewed my notes and the business case we created together at our meeting, the delay represents a staggering amount of money: lost sales, lost productivity, lost opportunities, lost relationships, lost revenue. It sure doesn’t seem that “go slow” is working in your favor. Just saying. 

Assuming he ever gets back to me, I’m going to tell him I can’t work with someone with no vision (“what would Rick say”), and blow him off. I know you would have done that already, but I had happy ears for a minute and got stupid. Just wanted to share. Oh, and BTW, we’d discovered together that the ROI on this deal should be around, oh, 1500% – no kidding.
This is the kind of email that I live for. Before we met, my client might have hopped into, ‘Got a live one mode’. They’re right. I might have pushed back harder, but I realize that my clients are watching and expect me to practice what I preach. It still doesn’t mean that they’ll do it exactly the way that I do, but at least they’ll know what I would have done and put their own spin on it. The middle italicized paragraph is their spin. Notice the gentle push back? Notice how they’re ready to start with “cant’ work with someone with no vision”?
Now, that middle paragraph gets an A+ and the attitude in the last paragraph gets an A+, but if I were still coaching this client, I’d be asking, “What do you think your prospect will say when you call them to ask, ‘Do I owe you an apology?'”
Have you integrated your sales and marketing into one seamless process that sells the way your customer wants to buy?

Is Free Sales Training Good or Bad?

I saw an email recently that started with, “Learn Our Advanced Sales Methodology in a Free, Eight-Week Webinar Course!” and closed with, “We’ll dive deep in to the tactics and tools which have resulted in over 5,500 customers to date for our company and our partners.”

Huh? Wait a second here!
Some companies have been boasting transparency lately. Glass is transparent. Have you ever seen anyone walk into a glass door. It’s funny to watch, but the person walking into the door might break their nose. People with big glass picture windows often watch birds fly into the glass and kill themselves. It’s an accident. The bird never sees the glass. So, they’re dead before they know it.
So, why could free sales training kill you? It won’t, but ask yourself….
  • Can a company that sells software teach you how to sell services where your retainer will 10-20 times the cost of their software?
  • Do the math! This company has boasted that they’ve generated millions of leads. 5,500 customers. Millions > 5,500? Is that really a good conversion rate? Can you generate that many leads? Can you live with that closing ratio?
  • Finally, do you have tens of millions of dollars in venture capital?
Now, before you get upset with me, let me add that I know the guys that are doing the program. They’re good people. I’m sure that they’ve got good intentions. I’m sure that they’re just trying to help. But, would you let a well meaning electrician fix your toilet? He may be handy. He might even do plumbing work at his house, but seriously, do you want him to do it at your house?
Two other things.
Sales is no longer a game played by good looking smooth talkers. It’s a science and if you’re gonna learn the science of sales you need to have classes and labs. Think back to chemistry and physics. Classes every week and labs every week. Practice under the watchful eye of your teacher. You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs. You can’t learn to sell without role-playing and being coached a lot.
My last point comes from the physical fitness world. Most calls to exercise include the warning, “Consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.” Only the OMG Entrepreneurial Salesperson’s Assessment can look under your hood, identify your strengths, and weaknesses, anticipate the obstacles that you’ll face and insure that you will maximize the benefit from your sales training. Remember, “Free advice costs nothing until you act upon it.
As you may know, my partners are offering a program that offers:
  •  Your own personal Sales Assessment
  • 12 weekly webinars to learn the process for selling to inbound leads
  • 12 weekly group coaching sessions to rehearse and practice.
  • On-Demand 1:1 coaching with 
    an  experienced marketing salesperson and/or sales coach.

Chicken/Egg Question for Entrepreneurial Salespeople

You know the question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

If you’re starting a business, do you learn how to market to get leads first or do you develop a sales process and learn how to sell first?
If you’ve got $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000, to invest, do you put it into marketing, sales development, split it?
Anybody know what Brian Halligan told Mark Roberge?
Want to know what I think? Get on the waiting list for Sales and Marketing Integration.

Social Media & Social Selling ROI

As you may know, I retired on December 29. I had one client tell me that I liked her too much to just drop her. Yesterday I got an email that read, “Just wanted you to know that I miss you.” Another one sent an email telling me that they closed a $35K deal and thanking me. I may eventually take on another client, but never as many as I had and not today.

But, I digress.
So, not having clients allows me time to think. Does Social Media have any relationship with Social Selling? One thing that I think is interesting is that there wasn’t a Wikipedia entry for social selling, but there was quite an entry for social media.
In the 70’s, I did a lot of door-to-door sales, but the bulk of my business came from referrals. Remember this article? Door-to-door gave me the ability to add a new stream of sales to my business whenever I needed or wanted it.
In the 80’s. I did a lot of cold calling. I’ve talked about making 1,000 cold calls to start my business many times. Let me tell you two things. Cold calls suck! and I got good at them, and I can have fun doing them and I can get results doing them, but there are better ways and for most people, cold calls will always suck for the sender and the receiver.
In the 90’s, I left my fledgling business for 4 years to help a start-up. (That start-up eventually became a billion dollar business, but I moved on when it was around $20M.) So, my fledgling business, that start-up, then going back to restart my business meant that I spent a lot of time looking for new business. I went door-to-door, cold called, got referrals and added networking to my repertoire. I’m got really good at finding new business. Remember, no internet and not everybody had a cell phone.
The first decade of the 21st Century was the age of networking. Put me in a room with people and I’ll find prospects. However, there were many that thought they were networking, but were not working. Here’s an article on networking “rainmaker style”.
One more thing. I always knew how much time and money I invested into going door to door. I also knew what my investment was into cold calling and networking. Finally, I knew how many customers were generated from each activity and what my sales revenue was from each activity. So that I knew that the ROI on my networking was five times that of cold calling and that the ROI of the time that I put into referrals was 12 times that of the time that I put into networking. Did you do the math? Referral ROI was 60 times that of cold calling.
So, here’s the questions.
What is the ROI (in Sales Dollars) of the time that you put into
and how does it compare to the ROI you get with
cold calling?
trade shows?
What did you learn?
BTW – Did you see this course about increasing your Social Media & Social Selling ROI?

10 Questions to ask about Sales & Marketing Integration

1.)  Is your message relevant to your target customer?

2.)  Is marketing’s target customer the same as sales’ target customer?
3.)  What percentage of your customers are true evangelists?
4.)  Is marketing or sales more responsible for identifying up-sells, cross-sells and round-outs?
5.)  What are your integrated metrics for your sales and marketing integrated process?
6.)  What impact does the skill level of your salespeople have on your marketing department?
7.)  How many issues does marketing identify before the lead is labelled ‘sales ready’?
8.)  Do your salespeople reference the marketing process when they approach, qualify and close?
9.)  What would the impact be on sales if you had 10% more leads, and they were 10% better, and your sales were 10% larger and you closed 10% more of them? (Hint: It’s not 10% and it’s not 40%.
10.) Is your marketing agency bigger or smaller than your company and why is that important?