NerdWise had a very informative meeting with a few sales experts. Patrick talked to Frank Bastone, the president of The Social Expert, Jessica Magoch, the president of JPM Sales Partners, James Rored, the president of Floriss Group, and Ronnell Richards, Consultant, and Founder ar Ronnel Richards.
We present to you their entire interview.
Patrick: This is lead generation meets sales process. Thank you for joining us. I’m going to introduce our speakers in just a moment. But first, I want to introduce the audience. There were 200 registrations actually 275, if 150 show up, I will be very impressed. Thank you to the first 50 or 75, I’m not sure what the number is, that it’s signed in. But thank you for joining us. Folks are going to continue signing in. We’ve got presidents, sales execs, the NerdWise team, clients, and partners’ friends in attendance. Thank you and welcome everyone.
Today we are going to be discussing kind of the ideal relationship between when a lead is generated and the process in which we handle those leads from lead handling process to close and all the way to new customers. We’re gonna leverage our panel of experts and pick their brains through that inception of the first meeting the first call through that process, how we can optimize things for maximum value, what are some of those best practices and activities we can do to secure those opportunities?
Our topics are going to include from lead to opportunity, optimizing that process, nurturing the sales pipeline over time, and how we can close more deals. If you have questions, please chat them in that will get you first in line. Michael Coop is going to be moderating those questions towards the end of the discussion. We can call on you if you’d like to ask it yourself or we can facilitate it. But chatting in your questions will be a way to make sure we get to that before the end of the session today.
I want to introduce our speakers. We have four panelists joining us they are all sales experts. James Rored, Mr. High Definition himself, is the founder and the president of the florists’ group. If you haven’t checked out all of these websites for our speakers, I highly encourage you to. They’ve all got phenomenal content, phenomenal tools. And if I, in any way, come short introducing them, their websites will give you a complete picture of what they do and the expertise they bring to the table. We’ve got Jessica Magoch, founder and the president of JPM sales partners, Frank Bastone, who is the president of The Social Expert, and then Ron L. Richards, founder of Ron L. Richards, who is award-winning entrepreneur hosted business and bourbon and author of “Shut the hell up and sell”. I’m going to do the first half of that in a moment, which is shutting the hell up and hearing from these experts.
What To Do With a Bad Lead?
Patrick: So I want to kick this thing off right now with our first question, and it’s around what do we do with a bad lead? You know, I think we all at least know more. So what to do with a good lead, and we want to continue to pursue that, nurture it, take care of it. But what happens when we get a bad lead? What do we do? Do we try to convert it? What are some of the things that you do when you have a lead that you’re not sure if it’s actually an opportunity, or if it fits your target customer profile?
Whatever the case is, you’ve just had a meeting with somebody that you thought was interested and it’s not a good lead. You don’t think it’s going to go anywhere? What are the next steps? I’ll start with you, James, and then we can go around the room. What do you do with a bad lead?
James: Well, so the first thing I think about is: is the individual that I’m reaching out to a bad lead quote on quote, or is it the organization that represents a bad lead? We’re all going to be struggling with this idea of “No now” isn’t necessarily a “No never”. So we want to cultivate we’re driven to cultivate that relationship, especially if we have a marketing organization and assets available to us that can invest in that cultivation without us being manually involved in it.
But the first thing to think about is it the individual or is it the account, make the distinction, and then also make sure that you’re leveraging data to qualify whether or not they’re good or bad so that you can give direction to the team that’s going to help you cultivate and nurture that relationship. With the account with the individual, give them guidance and make sure they’re investing wisely In the next steps.
Patrick: Great. Any other? Does anyone want to add to that? What do we do with the bad lead?
Ronnel: First of all, James, terrific answer. The lead generation process and lead generation teams SDRs really have to work together. Right. So what James just spoke about in terms of using that as a somewhat of a coaching or teaching moment, take that information back to your SDRs to help them to do their job a little bit better.
But you know, in my business and our business, we’re in the relationship business, right? We’re in the business of building long-term relationships. That’s how we were ultimately successful in sales. So I would say that you still, whether they are, have great alignment and that’s someone you can work with or not. You still need to be looking to serve them right. To connect them, be a connector, find resources for them because that person could be an advocate for you down the road.
Patrick: Creating a great experience still creates some value. They’re a great addition, Ronnel. Anybody else wants to jump in? What do we do with a bad lead?
Frank: Adding value to somebody and helping somebody out who’s not necessarily a good fit is a really great value add and also staying in touch with them and finding a way or having a methodology to after you’ve helped somebody, stay on top of them with a drip or stay in touch with them with emails because someone you speak to today with a small company in six months could have doubled or tripled in size. So showing that you appreciate them, you know.
I like to send or have conversations and even if somebody is not a good fit for me, I send a handwritten thank you card thanking for their time. And I think it means a lot. It’s how you treat people who may not be the right fit for you, how much you try to help them so that was great to us again.
Jessica: Um, so I’m thinking back to my when I first started selling and my manager told me: A lead is never dead until they’re literally dead – until you call and they say I’m sorry, they passed away.” And even then, there’s someone else you could probably talk to right.
The other part of that is a lead always leads to a sale. If you have that mindset that every lead leads to a sale, it might not be the person’s name that originally you know, put the contact in or the company but having that mindset of every lead leads to a sale. I just need to find out where it is. So that means if I have a meeting with someone and they’re just not a good fit, I just know they’re not even a good fit for what we do, then I’m always gonna ask for referrals. We’ve, you know, developed a relationship and then they know what we do and I’ll help them get some business and the help me get some business. So every lead leads to a sound, you just got to put on your pack, find out where it is.
Patrick: I love all four answers. And it’s amazing what different perspectives and what you each just added to that same scenario and everyone kind of had their own addition and I love it. It just shows how the breadth of sales and how it can go in so many different directions. There are so many different things you can do to lead with an opportunity with your process. So love all those contributions.
I want to flip it to what do we do with a good lead? What are some of the things you’ve got? You just had a great meeting, a great call, all the buying signals are there, they’re excited, they seem like they’re ready to move forward. What are some of the things that salespeople should do now that they recognize that this lead is legit, they want to move forward?
What are a few things that a salesperson should have in their process to make sure that they maximize the value of that lead in that and the chances of it turning into an opportunity and a customer? And we can keep going with the same order unless someone wants to jump in.
How to Maximize the Lead Value
Jessica: No, I’m thinking of this and a lot of this is semantics because we really have to define, you know, what is a lead? What is an opportunity? Everyone kind of looks at it a little bit differently. So, I mean, the answers might vary depending on that. But because you said what do they do and they show in buying signals. So to me that means anytime someone shows a buying signal I close and that doesn’t mean I close and ask for the check, but I close the next step.
Oh, so it’s like if someone is interested, you set the next meeting. Don’t get off the phone until there’s another meeting scheduled or what’s the person to talk to you in the next step? That’s the best advice I could give someone who is hot on the call – you just make sure the next step is solidified and closed. Every step in the sales process has a close. In the first conversation, there is a close to that – the close is the next meeting and then the next meeting after that. And however, you know, depending on the size of the company.
Ronnel: I’ll drop in, pop in right quit. How do we know it’s a good lead? Here’s what I mean by that and what I want to challenge because what I see so often with sellers is we see what we want to see. Right?
A proponent of doing tremendous work on the front end doing great discovery doing detailed discovery, right? Because oftentimes what we’re judging is a good lead is really based upon what matters to us, right? Oh, well, they have this whatever perceived pain point and we fix that pain point. And so I spend a lot of time talking to sellers and entrepreneurs about, hey, let’s get away from us and really get back to the service, get back to really doing deep discovery where we understand what matters not, what matters in their business, not as it directly relates to our product and service and what we sell, but what really matters to them in their business.
The old adage that I know and the cliche that we’re all tired of is you know what keeps you up at night. Don’t ever use that. Don’t okay? No, people don’t respond well to that.
But the philosophy is kind of the same and we really want to get at what is going on in their business. Once we really understand that, we understand how we can craft our solution because I’ve sold lots of different things and whether I’m selling ice cream or I’m selling broadband, I can craft that solution in a way to address what they care about the most once I really understand what they care the most about. Does that make sense?
Frank: I also think it’s important when you’re speaking to somebody, to dig into the next steps and find out if there are any other parts of the sale, or anything else, involved before you hang up. So when you are speaking to a decision-maker, sometimes it’s not the actual decision-maker – you guys are talking and it seems like a great lead, but you don’t dig deep enough to find out if they’re the person who is going to make a final decision, is there anybody else in their team that is going to be involved and can I get buying from them to shorten the sales cycle?
A lot of times somebody will come to me and say I got this great lead and I’ll say great how is this gonna work, what are the next three or four steps, who else is involved and they don’t know because they don’t dig quite deep enough and we have to have two or three more calls when we could have shortened that cycle and find out all the players and then map out from now to closing. And it happens a lot more efficiently and effectively that way.”
James: There is a book just recently written and released: three guys out of the UK called Problem Prospecting. I loved the book because it aligns with the way we look at the world. A qualified lead, by definition, is someone that has a problem you can solve that must be solved now, period. Right?! I don’t want anything else entering my point line, entering my process, if it’s not a problem that we need to solve, it must be solved now. So it’s a qualification process that says are you ready to buy from me and are you well aligned with the solution that I offer?
Notice I’m not pitching my solution, I’m defining their problem.
We define a problem very simply, one impact plus a need. Can I do that in five minutes? Yes. Do that, identify that “what” by “when”. Depending on your sales cycle “now” could mean the next two weeks, next two months, next three months, next year, and in the automotive industry its four-five years sales cycle.
Whatever “now” means to you, that time component must be there, you must qualify for it so you’re not doing what frank is suggesting, you’re not wasting time on cycles that arent gonna end up in a sale. 60%, 58%, based on some estimates, of a B2B sales pipeline today and in no-decision. You’re wasting 60% of your time with what comes into your pipe if it’s not qualified properly. Don’t make that mistake.
What Are Next Steps?
Patrick: All good. I’m going to start to put a little more speed on these questions, throw some fastballs at you guys. And girls. My next question is: What comes next? Forget question-asking and listening. We know that’s important. What else is what also is most important to take it from a lead to an opportunity, not just asking questions, but what else? What are the activities? What are the parts of the process that you follow or that you recommend that you think someone should have in their process, besides digging in besides asking questions, to help take that from lead to opportunity? And we’ve touched on some of them, but what are some of the other ways that you think you can turn a lead into an opportunity?
Ronnell: Okay, I’m gonna pop in really quick because I don’t want to just jump past that because it is so important. Like, we all know, okay, ask great questions. But what does that mean? Because that’s not what we’re really taught. Right? Sellers aren’t really taught that. They are taught, okay, sit down in the meeting. We got 30 minutes okay. 15 minutes I’m actually questioning about you. Then, in 15 minutes I’m going to tell you about me. It’s all it’s all backward.
It’s totally about not just asking these great open-ended questions but actively listening, which as sellers we suck at because we’re constantly thinking about what am I going to say and how does this fit my product and service in the value prop that my corporate guy taught me, my trainer taught me. It’s so important to me, and so important to sellers and it’s an area that we skip over and really miss a lot of the time and that’s why we’re not separating ourselves and differentiating ourselves from the competition.
Jessica: You could have three or four meetings just asking questions. It’s a mindset thing. You guys all work with salespeople. So you know, it’s really a mindset thing. Are you there to make a sale, or are you there to help them? If you’re there to help them, you’re going to ask as many questions as you possibly can to make sure that you present the right solution in the way they need to hear it to solve the problem they have. And if you’re in there just to make a sale, you’re going to do the demo as soon as you can. You’re going to pitch yourself. You’re to talk about yourself. You’re going to talk most of the time. And it all comes back to mindset because you won’t do those. You’ll avoid those activities if you’re coming in for the right reasons.
James: And I think to your point, you know, the greatest disservice that’s done to a salesperson is the step in the process called discovery. Right? Discovery just means you kind of understand what’s in the mind of the buyer. You have to do more than that. You have to ask questions that will provoke the buyer. If you’re truly going to going to qualify a buyer for a problem that you can solve that must be solved now, you have to expand their idea about what problems they could be facing. And you can’t do that by just telling them what they should be looking for.
You have to ask questions that expand the idea of what they might want to achieve for the organization. You have to ask them questions. That expands the idea of the impact that change could have on their business, so you can expand the budget that they’re actually going to bring to the table and you have to expand their idea of the needs they think they have in front of them.
And you got to be prepared to do all this by understanding the truth you know, the goals that you can deliver, the organizations that you want to work with. So that comes back to your question, Patrick, you’ve got to have an idea of your you’re always buyer so you can expand the thinking of these leads and these people you’re talking to. Expand the idea that they can bring to the table and make yourself appear to be and actually be more valuable than the next salesperson they’re going to talk to.
Frank: I talk a lot about a lazy discovery. Pre-call research is so important, pre-demo research is so important. When I watch the demo, these people are asking questions that are stupid questions because they could’ve figured this stuff out before they asked. But when you come to a demo, and you’ve done your real homework and you’ve dug deep and you understood at a baseline where they are, then you can ask deeper questions, you can get right into the real stuff.
I see so many demos for 20 minutes asking stupid questions that are all available online, and they can figure it out. So why would they be asking questions that are easily understandable and easily searchable and wasting someone’s time, when you can come in and say: “I know this, this and this about you, and now from this, this is the deep question I have.” I think people spend too much time discovering things they don’t need to spend time on.
Ronnell: Patrick, I can answer your question quickly. My answer to your question is: when we do this great discovery we are all talking about right here, it creates, it allows you to close organically, because when you do this great discovery, here’s what their prospects do: they tell you everything you need to know.
They’re not only going to give you all the ingredients, they will tell you the receipt to close them, so you just bring that to them. You throw that back at them in a solution.
What Are the Right Questions to Ask?
Patrick: You also said listening and that that is the other side of the coin right, and not just answering, but asking the question, I think that being a good listener hearing it and even confirming maybe. And my next question you guys afford for sales organizations or companies and for the reps that that are out there selling and I’m getting down to process, how do they know what questions to ask? I mean, they’re not all the same, right? What are the questions you go to or how does somebody figure out what are the right questions to be asked? But from a process perspective.
Jessica: I mean, pretty much every type of salesman needs to know these six things before you present a solution. So I’ll share those. The first thing is fit which people naturally do that right? They want to make sure you do integrate with your software, things like that. That’s a salesperson, don’t miss that one. Do they have a problem I can solve? My favorite question for that is how can I help you and love to talk and then just keep digging in?
Then urgency, James, you’re talking about urgency, right. So when do you want to solve the problem? Is it in a time within a reasonable timeframe for us to be having the next steps in this conversation? Men, decision-makers, and decision-making process. So who needs buy-in and what is the process at your company for making a decision? What have you budgeted? How do you get a budget? What’s the process for getting a budget? This is the range of our services. Is that was in your budget? There are lots of ways to ask that question. But they need to know what to expect as far as budget and that you’re, you’re aligned, as far as that’s concerned. And then the competition. Who else are you considering? How are you doing that? Now? Want to know who I’m competing with? Those are my if you guys have to add on to this, that would be awesome.
But the ones that are really different for each organization, are those qualifications to be technically you know, fit together? Can we actually help them?
Ronnell: Oh, I think that’s awesome, like in terms of from the qualification standpoint, like absolutely got a qualifier, right? Yeah, no, this is someone that we have some sort of alignment with, we can do business with. I tend to look at these things from the decision-maker standpoint. Not philosophically, like literally because, you know, for 20 years, I’m not only training my sales teams and everything, but I’m the guy. I’m the decision-maker, right. And as a decision-maker, I don’t care about what you care about. I only care about what I care about. So once we’ve obviously qualified them, that’s those qualifying questions. Let’s get to what they care about.
Starts with how they make money. How do you make it when you engage me as a decision-maker and want to know how I make money? Let me tell you some that’s going to open up everything else. Once I started talking, this is how we make money and then we can start moving into what’s costing me money, all those sorts of things and those are pain points that will get people that will get people talking and always always always ask “Anything else?” Keep pushing guys.
Frank: Yeah, there’s a lot. So when you’re qualifying them, it’s also important to think about what is most important to them and dig into that with regard to their position. So a CIO has different sorts of needs and he wants a different outcome than somebody like a CFO might be cost savings, the president who might be employee engagement. So I think finding out what the deeper reason for the solution is, is sometimes nice and digging a little deeper.
James: We in our organization, we follow the winds model wants impacts needs solutions. And the reason we do that is that it’s simple, but also it’s the fastest path to cash. So if you think about it, when you’re talking with an individual, when you ask them what they want or what their goals are, that will tell you whether or not you have an active buying cycle is what they want to achieve. It’s that reason that they’re going to get people to buy when they’re ready, willing, and able to change. What do you want that you don’t have, that will tell you if there’s an active buying cycle that will help you qualify out, people that are just kicking the tires or window shopping and are wasting your time? And this idea of impact is going to tell you what the business case is right? What is the impact of success failure of doing nothing? Right?
You have to know what the impact is to Jessica’s point because you want to know how big the budget could be. And over 80% of B2B purchases today are unbudgeted. So it’s nice if they have a budget, but how do we know they built that budget the right way to Jessica’s point? What’s the impact that change could have in your organization that’s going to set the bar for the biggest possible budget. And what’s nice about it when you talk about wants and impacts. W plus I equals V, as value. Now you’re doing, you’re involved in a value sell. When you bring up price, you can make sure that you’re already you already know that that value is going to be 10x or 5x. Whatever you feel like it has to be against your price.
Needs come next after impacts. What’s stopping you from getting there. What’s missing? And then solutions. What kinds of solutions are you looking at? What has the biggest impact, what’s your background, your experience with these kinds of things? What do you like and don’t like? Now you’re prepared to make a recommendation. So can you organize your questions in a way that produces the fastest path to cash is the wins model? I’m happy to send anybody who would like to see it after today.
And Patrick, I’d say one more thing. I’m trying to keep this short cuz I don’t want to dominate but there’s another thing to think about when you ask questions. The most powerful questions you can ask other questions your client can’t answer. Why do I say that? Every one of us on the phone today on this call today wants to be viewed as an expert. I asked when I’m talking to a the president about their organization and I asked a question like how much more effective your Salesforce be unless they’ve done the research in the analysis. What are they gonna say to me? No, no. Soon as they say that they’re exposing a vulnerability. I now have an opportunity to fill that void. for them. So the more questions you can ask, they can’t answer that they want answers to that creates anticipation and creates momentum is going to keep you moving through that process.
What to Do After the Meetings?
Patrick: Good stuff all around. Jessica. Thanks for laying the foundation there really make these guys have to up their game. That was great. I want to move us further down the sales process. Okay, so the meetings happen you asked all the great questions made them feel vulnerable they need you to expose the need and the gap. Were the meetings happening maybe we’ve secured the next step? Maybe we haven’t, you know, I know that. Maybe that doesn’t that maybe it’s 60% of the time you get the next meeting sometimes they wiggle out of scheduling the next steps.
What happens next in your sales process and your lead handling process right how do you either keep them on the hook? How do you get them back engaged? How do you continue to push that from the meeting to the close now, like what happens next? What are some of the activities some of the steps that can go into a sales process after meetings happen? can keep pushing it through the process to close. I’ll open it up.
Jessica: And I suggest that once you present your solution wherever that may be, and I personally am a proponent of doing that last, the absolute last thing you do and once you present that solution they have on some level made a decision so there it, yes or no they might be stalling they might be avoiding taking action for some reason. But on some level, they’ve made a decision.
But those were, those are all created to set up the environment. So that when someone sees the solution, now if you want to say yes, but they can say yes. Because you’re talking to the right people, you know, they’ve got the budget, it’s the right time and it’s the right solution. So if they at the end of right at the end of life presenting that solution, they’ll be able to give you a yes or no verbally, you know, all the other pieces that go in place. Come after that. But I do want to rewind a little bit. Because I understand, you know, we teach salespeople process, because it’s something you can follow. It’s a step-by-step plan.
The biggest deals on the highest levels of relationships, early relationships, right the higher you go the president to the president, it’s a handshake and it’s a conversation so salespeople put themselves in that position of the expert and the pier, so that that relationship is driving the whole sales process, so that by the time you present the solution, they got everything they need, including their trust in you to say yes, to give you buy-in on some level. So if you find yourself in what I call the fatal follow-up funnel, it’s because we haven’t created this scenario where they can say yes at the time. That they’re emotionally most likely to say yes.
James: Well done. Excellent, Jessica. I would just add one quick thing, Patrick, you know, one of the things that can that we have to focus on the things that can derail us. So what do we do when someone says I want to think about it? Are you prepared to push back? Are you prepared to ask them you know, I appreciate the answer? What else is what else? What is there to think about? Can you give me a sense? Are you prepared to take the lead in that conversation and challenge them? Or are you simply going to say great when we’d like to get together again? To which they’re gonna say, Well, you know what, let me talk to my people and get back to that date and time that we might talk. So that’s one thing we should be prepared for.
Be prepared for that and establish a relationship to Jessica’s point that will allow you to push back from a position of respect, right? If we’re always thinking about the relationship, we want to make them want to make sure they like us, then we may not be prepared to push back but if we walk into the relationship and build one where they respect us, then they will value that pushback. When we ask them what else is there to think about. They’ll be like, You know what, right?
Jessica: Questions can come across really salesy, if you don’t have that relationship there. They go back to that mindset of, you’re there to help the person and you will push back because you know that that they have an internal resistance not to change. That’s human nature. So our primary job as salespeople is to help people take action when it’s more comfortable to stay where they are. And you do that with the relationships that you have. Push back if you care about them.
Frank: Just to add to that, when someone pushes back a lot of times and you challenge it, what they’re going to tell you back is not necessarily the real big picture of what the objection is. So if you go into an objection, and they give you an objection, whatever it is their price or commitment, and when you push past that objection and say, you know if it was the right price, is it the right fit, and you move past that objection accepted and say great. So now if that objection was gone, okay, is there anything else?
Sometimes when you dig a little deeper, you find that there’s another hidden objection that you’re not getting to? And that’s what makes a sales cycle longer. So if you’re like oh, it’s price and say, Okay, great. So if that was the price, does it fit your model, and will it margin, will it be a benefit, of course, 100%. So, you start talking about that and getting into it? And then you realize there’s another question they haven’t had the answer and they don’t even maybe know that they’re going to want to ask, this is what I would like to add to that things.
Ronnell: So, some basic one-on-one: never end the meeting without securing the next meeting. Just don’t do that. Right. So we are heavy on the front end, is really to the point that Jessica and James made is that it’s about relationships, man, it’s about the fundamental, fundamentally understanding that emotion is what motivates and ratio educates, right. So a lot of times as sellers we’re in that rational brain, here’s my value prop. You have this issue.
We want to get to that emotional connection and the more we understand our prospect, the deeper we dig, the more we know what makes them tick and what they care about, the closer we’re gonna get to that emotion because once we send our solution, and guys I’m sorry, this is a little bit cruel, but it is what it is. Our solution is like that’s the bulletin, we’ve got a gun and it has one bullet in it. And once you send your proposal, once you send your solution, you’re done.
So whatever you send, it better be right on the mark. Because if it’s not on the mark, you’re calling them up for the next couple of months and your boss is telling you asking you why you didn’t close when you said it had a verbal and it was gonna happen. And they liked me and they had a good solution and we fix their pain. Well, it’s because you probably really didn’t understand what mattered the most to them.
How to Know When to Let Go?
Patrick: I’m going to open it up to questions. I know there’s been many that have been chatted in. So if you have them, chat them, and if you would like us to call on you so you can ask these wonderful experts yourself, we’d love to call on you and unmute you so you can participate. I think this one might be a quick question while we’re gathering other questions. How do you let go?
I mean, I know we talked about it on the bad lead, you know, it’s a relationship we’ll put them on a drip campaign we’ll keep great value and that kind of thing. But what happens when you’re on that fatal follow-up funnel and it’s time to say goodbye? Do you? Do you ghost them? Do you send the breakup email? Is there a best practice there that you follow in that funnel to get you out and out on good terms?
James: So Patrick, here’s what I would say. There’s a great book out there called “Go for the No”. And oftentimes that can be misconstrued. Right? Every “no” has a condition to it. Just like every “yes” has a condition to it. So what I would want to do, Patrick is I would want to understand and to know what is happening under these circumstances. Yeah, it makes sense. It’s not the right time. I agree. However, if things change, for example, if this one thing changes, it looks to me like or as we’ve discussed, it’d be a great opportunity. To expect that to change when you expect that to change. When it does. Let’s make sure we get back together again.
Now as the salesperson I am going to be doing my research looking for that change that shift in the market, that trigger that has to happen. But I’ve also created the conditional opportunity for us to reengage and so now when I follow up in a month, I can say last time we spoke we agreed that now, you know back then wasn’t the right time. However, if these two or three things changed, it would be how does the business look today? I always have a reason to go back to them without checking in or touching base. Let’s never agree to never check in and touch base. Let’s follow up with something specific and gain on that call.
Patrick: I was just gonna say I love that understanding because otherwise, that’s where I see these are personal questions. I’m selfishly just picking your pains I’ve gotten these are personal problems. Does anyone else want to add to that?
Ronnell: For now Frank, this happens every time we’re in the sales world happens every day. I got a call from the operations manager from one of the companies that I own and she had a similar situation. We’ve got a seller who has this big deal and they kept the verbal everything she said on run out what should I tell him? I mean, he wants to want to know how you should handle it because it’s not closing this. I said, Keep it moving. Tell him to go prospect. Go find some more deals. Listen, you are just like a farmer. You’re gonna nurture it. You’ll go touch base with them a month from now, or, or a couple of weeks, whatever cadence makes sense.
But where we often go to go wrong is we just focus on that and don’t go find new business. Go find new business. Hey, there’s a question in the chat that I think is really important. And that question is from Eric Bishop and Eric says run out who is better a better seller you are Tasha. Tasha is my sister and she’s a sales leader at Zoom. She’s amazing. But it’s me. I taught her everything she knows.
Questions From The Chat
Patrick: Great. So we have some questions in the chat, Michael, do you want to call on somebody to ask them or would you like to ask on their behalf? I’m gonna turn the mic over to you for some Q&A.
Michael: Yeah, the first question I’ll ask on this person’s behalf. They are the godfather of metal and says Ozzy Osborne, but their question more specifically is when it comes to lead, to opportunity qualification, many of our sales teams are fixated on our solution before qualifying whether it’s a customer we actually want. I don’t want a sale for my team. I want a relationship that can go the distance. How do we help our sales teams manage this type of tension?
James: You have to prepare your team. So the first thing I would ask the president or sales leader is how do you onboard your salespeople? How often do you put them through product training? The first introduction to your company then is sales training. Right or not walk them through? Does it mean to be one of our customers who is our ideal customer? What is their profile? What problems do they typically have? What triggers caused those problems? Are the buyers within that within the buying center? What do they care most about? What are their personal have? What are the personal things that they have at stake are the risks that motivate them to buy from us?
You’ve got to give your salespeople the ammo, the experience, the insight into what your customers are like and what they’re all about. So they can be effective on the phone and you can’t hope they figure that out in the first three or six months. You can’t lead up to them to bug the veterans for great stories, you have to capture those stories and communicate them. So then if you don’t want them pitching the product, lay off the product training and invest in the customer train.
Frank: And also what I like to do with sales training is done in the morning sales meetings: claim three of the best-recorded calls and three of the worst recorded calls and talk about it. It’s been learning so much faster from actually hearing and applying things that collecting data and doing, you know, real deep dives into why this is a good call and how did it lead to a sale and why is it a bad call?
We used to play in one of my systems those growing three and three in the morning and they would identify as a game and everybody’s learning curve would get so much quicker because it was real-time interaction and why and there were different kinds of learning versus in our sales training on how to build the report. You heard the report in 60 seconds and you got it. So I’d say that’s another thing that you could do with your people to make the ramp-up faster and pick stuff up intuitively rather than just training them.
Jessica: I have two suggestions for you. Ozzy, I love your music by the way. So if you’re set to go to tie into the sales training and buyer psychology training the psychology of the buyer, understanding how humans make decisions emotionally and logically and that you do have that one silver bullet and that one chance for them to say yes, so better be at the right time with the right people and all of that when they understand that they have one chance a part of education, they have one chance so it’s okay to drag that out as long as you need to to do the presentation or demo or offer at the right time.
The second thing I want to suggest is looking at your compensation plan because often salespeople’s compensation plan is that some conscious communicator that tells the salespeople what’s really important. So I’ve seen I’ve and the KPIs your key performance indicators. So if people are being if there’s more of an emphasis on doing demos are doing presentations, then there is on you know closing the sale that’s going to that can be communicated in the compensation plan. So make sure your compensation plan reflects what you want to accomplish.
Ronnell: I’ll just add something briefly. Change the training man you got to focus more on helping yourselves understand the psychology of sales. And that will get them away from just doing you and then doing your product-centric selling and roleplay a lot.
Michael: The next question is going to be from Bria. So Bria, if you could unmute yourself and ask the question.
Bria: My question is just what are some top tips that you give a new salesperson and some of the reasons to invest in themselves? I’ve been working with Frank and he’s put me on to a book called The Art of sales subject. Very, very, very useful to me just any other things that you would recommend?
Ronnell: Go to the first phone, pick up the phone. Listen, start thinking about what your what are others not doing right now everyone? You know a lot of sellers are going towards easier technologies, right? They’re using technologies to send out mass stuff. They’re using more AI they’re using you know more automation and some of the old-school things like simply picking up the phone and calling people, you’d be surprised how successful you can be. But just as a philosophy, think about what everyone is doing and what they’re not doing.
And it really comes down to I mean, salespeople mostly were lazy, this is what it is or doing more of the lazy things. If you go back to some of the basic fundamental things that funnel you to a relationship. I love tech. I’m not pushing back against tech, but use it to funnel yourself to a real connection real relationship. I use personal video like it’s going out of style. Right, Patrick? I use personal video. I’ve sent 1000s and 1000s of personal videos. It’s a great way to start to build a connection through profit and prospecting or, you know, with existing customers is to get some deeper connections and to be able to communicate at a much higher level.
Frank: And to add to that I love low tech because when you send somebody a handwritten thank you card after having a conversation. It’s so rare that you take the time to actually write something personal, you know in your handwriting and send it to them. Then a lot of times it breaks through from all the noise of automating emails and workflows and things like that. So definitely picking up the phone, having conversations, and handwriting cards, which Yes, I love it. I love it. So I think that that breaks through and you know emails are a dime a dozen you get them all day but getting a special little tiny gift token or a handwritten card or something out of the ordinary changes the way that people look at you and it makes a relationship deeper. So I think old school is the best.
Jessica: I wasn’t gonna say anything. I’m like actually stuck on this question. I mean, so but do you have a coach at your place of work that’s training you. There are a lot of people that do so. I’m training. Take everything that he has to offer, that he is willing to give you, do not stop asking him questions until he tells you you can not ask any more questions. My sales trainer, I swear like I was 25 when I started but I must have called him 20 times a day for the first three months like it wasn’t just a couple of days when I was training. So I would like just keep asking questions to people, to experts who know the answer you don’t, not peers, but people who know how to answer it effectively.
James: That’s excellent. I have some quick recommendations. One is if you’re asking that question to people outside your organization, you have to wonder or not you’re working for the right organization. Right? Sales is a success in sales is about identifying and practicing predictable patterns of success. Any of the techniques that we provide you have to be perfected in the context of your organization. If your sales organization can’t answer that question for you. What can I do to be more successful?
You have to ask yourself, are you in an organization that’s going to advance your career? Should you be investing your time someplace else? And I know that there are probably the presidents and VPs of sales who hate me right now. But you know, if people are asking you for help that you have to be wondering whether you’re setting up your people for success. There are three levels of development right? We’re beginners pros or masters. Are you working in an organization that can move you from beginner to pro and from Pro to master? If not, look around? As you’re looking? Look for organizations that truly understand what are their predictable patterns of success and can they deliver those to you explain those to you and teach you how to execute?
One More Question
Michael: The next one I have for the panel is coming from a partner of ours called Chip. And his question is we offer a software tool for government and public affairs. Often prospects are cynical about what data you’re going to capture regarding their people’s relationship with policymakers. They sometimes even ask for a pilot. How do you approach that and how should I deal with that?
Jessica: I want to suggest that this applies to everybody that gets objections, which is everybody is that the objections that are the most difficult to overcome? The ones that you agree with? I don’t know. I don’t know you. I don’t know you at all. But if you were my salesperson, the first thing I would address is do you believe they should be concerned with how the data is being shared? Right? Because once you overcome that objection for and really if you say no right away if you disagree with me right away.
I’ll ask you to take a few moments and reflect on it and then and then answer it. Um, and that’s also you know, for your salespeople to think about, do we agree with this? Do we think this is a problem? And that’s going to be communicated, consciously or subconsciously to your customer? You can’t hide it whether it’s in your body language or your messaging or what have you. That means, once you overcome your own objections, all of a sudden you stop getting that objection from clients because it’s not being communicated. And when you do get that objection, you can easily and effortlessly overcome it.
That being said, if you get a common objection like that privacy to overcome an objection is to handle it before the client brings it up. So, again, if it’s a common one that keeps coming up, and you don’t agree with it, it’s not one that you have to overcome. Build it in earlier in the process, build it into your presentation, build it into your messaging, maybe your tagline has to be like with something about how secure and safe it is. Really get that overcoming of objection super early in the process.
When Is It Good to Push Back?
James: So one thing I would say is, to Jessica’s point, this idea of pushback. If you’re talking about your solution at this point you better have already talked about wants and impacts. No, I say that. You want to talk about needs after wants and impacts and you want to talk about solutions after journeys. So the solution is at the end. The reason it’s at the end is that if you’re talking about like data security you have to help the client understand whether it’s a must-have. If your organization is already implementing best of breed, and you’re on par with every one of your competitors. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a relevant question designed to stump you. It’s designed to put you off your game. It’s not a must. If you’re at par with everybody else.
There’s no difference between your competition. It’s a challenge. So we used to get this all the time in technology you know these are the technologies used to pick apart our demos. The question is what impact that objection has on you being able to achieve your ultimate goals? Does the size of a data field or does some other technical capability that you do or do not give really affect the overall objective and the ROI of this solution? Make sure you can put it into context by doing your discovery upfront. Understanding what’s important so you can really understand whether it’s a must-have or a nice to have
Ronnell: Not much to add to that just echoing Jessica’s point you got to run to towards it. You know, there’s been many, many times in my career where we’ve dealt with that some of my companies, and yeah, once you understand whether it’s legit if it’s legit, men, build it into your sales process, build it into your discovery process so that it’s something that you’re addressing early on, and go ahead and squash that because it creates tremendous anxiety when it’s kind of just hanging out there. And your seller, your sellers waiting for them to come with that. That objection and they’re coming with that objection, late in the sales process and it can totally derail the sale. So go out early.
Frank: I think that’s 100% right. The more that you address the problem and get past it, just like everybody said, a lot of great advice there. But if you do that and you identify that problem, it’s important to build it into the organization and not just have some people using it. So it’s good to take these types of systems that you build and make sure that even from the SDR NHL executive, you guys are all speaking the same language and moving past that as an organization.
Patrick: So, I mean, I think we’re going to be running on up on time here. I want to just say a huge thank you to Frank, Jessica, James, and Ronnell for your time, your contributions, and for sharing your expertise with us. I’m sure there are going to be folks who want to get a hold of you after this. To find them on LinkedIn or on the event page or all over the internet. I’m sure we will be this is recorded. We will be sharing this so if you found it helpful you’d like to share it with members of your team. Days from now it’ll be available on the NerdWise blog.
Thank you everyone for attending. Thank you to our speakers, a big round of applause. You guys are awesome. And your expertise really just shows. So thank you very much for sharing everything with us. It was an amazing, great event.