Why do you NEED a formal lead generation process? What is Christopher Ryan’s Revenue Machine Blueprint? How can it impact your lead generation, prospecting, and revenue? Christopher is the CEO and founder of Fusion Marketing Partners. As an expert in helping B2B companies grow revenue, Chris leverages his extensive experience to create successful and cost-effective lead-to-revenue frameworks. He shares his expertise in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it!
Lead generation and prospecting are the precursors to generating revenue in a B2B environment. They’re an essential part of the process. Chris espouses the Revenue Machine Blueprint, which is a four-step process that every single person goes through to buy something—no matter what the selling medium is. What are the steps?
The “Always be closing” mantra can damage your reputation and your bottom line. Christopher emphasizes that you must be cognizant of moving prospects through the process.
Christopher follows a “Lead to Revenue” process. It’s a systematic process from awareness all the way to generating revenue. He’s surprised that many large companies still don’t have a lead to revenue process and they just wing it. But if you can’t measure something, you can't improve it. How many inquiries will you generate? How many will turn into leads? How many will turn into opportunities?
There are 4–7 conversion steps in the revenue generation process. If one part of the process is only operating at 50%, it impacts the output of everything. If you create a process, measure each step, and fix what isn’t working, it can profoundly impact end results.
But Chris believes you also need to differentiate push marketing and pull marketing. One approach is getting people to come to you and converting those people to leads. The other approach is to push and find people. Cold-calling is a form of push marketing. An online search done by a potential customer is pull marketing. You want increased “pull” traffic because it’s less expensive in the long run.
Chris notes an effective salesperson needs the ability to take no for an answer without feeling personally rejected. For example, an insurance salesperson makes a $500 commission and on average, closes 1 out of 20 leads. They have to hear “no” 19 times. But what if you look at each sales pitch as making $25? A rejection becomes part of the process to get to a yes.
You also have to leverage contacts. Turn people that you meet online into influencers or advocates for your product or your service—even if they don’t buy themselves. Another attribute is a giving spirit. Focus on serving, not selling. When you adopt that attitude, you can sell more by selling less. It may feel counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Chris points out that this is another biggie: sales reps must apply the principle of reciprocity. You give something to the prospect without expectation. But when you give without expectation, the prospect feels an obligation to do something for you.
What else? You need to develop domain expertise. You need to have knowledge of the industry, what’s happening in it, how connections are made, and what the newest trends are. You want to understand more about the industry than your prospect so you can become a value-add to them. You want to be a resource—not a nuisance.
What other attributes and skills should a salesperson embody? What are Christopher’s top 3 dos and don’ts? Listen to learn more!
15 years ago, Christopher worked in a software company as the CMO. His sales counterpart was very skeptical about implementing a formal lead generation process. They fought over it a lot. They did end up implementing the process. Within one quarter, he made this guy a believer. He’s a close friend and advocate 15 years later. It takes discipline to apply metrics, measure them, and improve them. Sometimes it takes some pain to get to the right thing. You have to be brave and push what you believe in. You must be persistent to get to the goal.
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How can a salesperson be a door opener? How can you nail lead generation and prospecting? What do you need to focus on? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Caryn Copp shares some of her award-winning process—including touching on the 5 Planks of Door-Opening Success. If you’re ready to take your prospecting and lead generation skills to the next level, do not miss this episode!
Caryn Kopp is the Chief Door Opener® and Founder of Kopp Consulting’s award-winning Door Opener® Service. Caryn’s company lands executive-level prospect meetings for their clients using the skills of experienced business developers and superior sales messaging. Kopp has 2 trademarks in Sales Messaging, she co-authored the best seller, Biz Dev Done Right, she is a top 50 Keynote Speaker and had her first cold calling job when she was 11!
Caryn points out that lead generation used to be anything to do with inbound lead generation and prospecting. The terms were used interchangeably. Lead generation has become more of a marketing term. It’s associated with sending out mass emails and getting people to raise their hands. The hand-raisers are then supposed to be sorted. One segment gets a phone call from sales. The others go into a drip campaign to lead them to be hand-raisers or influencers in the future.
Prospecting is choosing a group of prospects that need to know about you and approaching them. It may start with an email, a phone call, or an introduction from another customer. You’re engaging in a proactive activity to lead to a conversation.
Lead generation softens a prospect so salespeople are contacting people who already have familiarity with the company, service, or offering. Caryn has done outsourced executive-level “door-opening” for over 20 years. They can get the right meetings without lead generation. But it’s more effective with lead generation.
Caryn uses lead generation to create awareness with narrow groups of prospects and their influencers. If those leads aren’t ready for a phone call, there needs to be an automated drip campaign to keep them engaged to convert them to being hand-raisers or being influencers. The 5 Planks of Door-Opening Success leads to successful prospecting. If you aren't getting in the right prospects’ doors, you have a problem in one or more of the 5 planks. So what are they?
Caryn believes if you focus on developing and becoming an expert in these 5 planks, you’ll be more successful opening doors, getting leads, and closing sales.
Caryn emphasizes that being successful with prospecting and lead generation takes a certain kind of person. You can get training and be better than you are, but you may never love it. Some people have the DNA for sales. Caryn finds these salesmen and women to have an insatiable curiosity for people. They have the ability to be fully present in conversations. They can pivot without being shut down. People that don’t possess that skill may get a prospect on the phone, but they can’t get to the outcome. It’ll be entered in the CRM as “the prospect wasn’t interested” but it might mean they can’t hold their own in a conversation. They are also maniacally methodical. They have to want to put time into this—which not everyone wants to do. What are the top skills to develop? What are Caryn’s prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Listen to learn more!
When Caryn was doing door-opening for other companies, there was one prospect at a pharmaceutical company that shut her down—but not because she wasn’t interested. They were reorganizing and no new vendors were being considered. She wanted to hold off for 6 months. During their conversation, they ended up chatting about a dog she adopted who was afraid of its water bowl.
Caryn kept diligent notes. She sent this prospect information throughout the 6 months to keep her warm. Right before the 6 months, she hopped on the phone and asked her how her dog was doing. Her prospect couldn’t believe she remembered that detail. It solidified their relationship in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Caryn’s client got the meeting and the business.
The moral of the story? Take copious notes, review them, and make every phone call and email meaningful. Every touchpoint will either build a relationship or ruin a relationship. Lastly, never miss a follow-up. Set a task reminder and be consistent. Be a constant quality presence in your prospect’s life. To hear the rest of Caryn’s thoughts on prospecting and lead generation, listen to the whole episode!
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What does success look like for you today? How has your definition of success been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you changed your expectation of success based on the world you’re currently living in? In this special episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, you’ll hear the first-ever podcast episode exchange. Christie Walters-Herbert and Jeff Bajorek from “The Why and The Buy” podcast reminisce on 2020. They talk about how to change your definition of success and why you would want to in 2021. Don’t miss it!
What does success look like now? Jeff points out that you must ask yourself this question not only to see new opportunities—but to give yourself some relief. In times of uncertainty, you can’t cling to your previous goals because it may not be fair. But it’s also hard to commit to a new goal. When you know the old one isn’t good enough anymore but can’t commit to a new one, you’re in limbo. You can’t hit a target you can’t see.
Jeff’s spent a lot of time thinking about this question. Is success being able to keep his business open? Is it growing the business? Is it being proud of the work that he’s doing? These questions aren’t necessarily tied to monetary goals but they are guideposts. Have you given yourself permission to determine what your guideposts are?
Christie emphasizes that you can’t try to replicate someone else’s success. If you are, you’re going about it the wrong way. You can’t get motivated based on someone else's motivation. You can’t structure a business based on someone else’s structure. You’re not wired the same way as someone else—why base your success on them? You can still gain insight from someone else’s perspective on success and what helps them focus. But you have to define what success looks like for you, which begins by becoming clear on what you want.
For Christie, success looks like doing the right things in her business day in and day out. She’s coaching people to have these conversations with her customers. Personally, it’s about making sure her health is in the right place in case she did catch something. It’s about conversations with her loved ones that are about the life she wants to create.
Are you proud of the work you’re doing? Are you proud of where you are right now? Are you proud of what you’ve done? That gives you the context for what you believe success is in life. If you set out to accomplish something and you do, you should be proud. But if you don’t have a clear definition of success, it’s hard to be proud because you don’t have a measuring stick. If you don’t have a definition for “when,” how do you know you haven’t already achieved it?
Some people find it difficult to be satisfied or happy with any point that they’ve reached in their life. Some people downplay what they’ve accomplished. They think they should’ve accomplished more. It’s all because of the story you tell yourself. On paper, everything looks great. You’ve accomplished a lot. But because you weren’t clear on what was enough, you may not feel successful.
Is it necessary to spend another night working? Or could you take that time and spend it with your family? Because in reality, you’ve accomplished a tremendous amount and it’s not going to fall apart because you put your attention on a different portion of your life that is just as important. That’s a struggle that a lot of people have.
Many people are unemployed or underemployed trying to find their next step. There’s so much weight that comes when you feel like you’re not living up to your potential. It’s why you need to understand what is important right now. If you take a job that’s less than what your level of success would demand under normal circumstances, define what your success is. Are you providing for your family? Are you keeping your skills sharp until the right job opens up? Does the job provide you connections?
Ask yourself these three questions: Where are you going? What’s the ultimate objective and goal? What does that translate into for success today? You must adjust your perspective. If you cannot define success, you cannot achieve it. Spend your time reframing those concepts and things will become clear.
If you’re willing, share them with us. We may just share a book and some swag with you!
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Jeff Bajorek believes that prospecting is so much more of the sales process than people give it credit for. He emphasizes that “Prospecting is understanding your message from the get-go. Prospecting is creating tension. Prospecting is demonstrating your expertise.” Success with prospecting relies completely on being someone worth talking to with something worth talking about. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Jeff share his thoughts on the prospecting and lead generation process.
Jeff Bajorek is a consultant, coach, author, and podcast host. He helps sales teams perform better by helping them to rethink the way they sell. Jeff’s latest book, “Rethink the Way You Sell: When It Goes Sideways” was written during the Coronavirus pandemic, intending to remind salespeople of what’s important. Success with prospecting relies completely on being someone worth talking to with something worth talking about.
Jeff points out that if you don’t have any pipeline, it changes everything else that you do in the sales process. When there are fewer deals to be worked, every deal becomes exponentially more important. When you feel like they’re more important than they need to be, you make bad decisions. You give away value when you don’t need to.
Jeff also points out that it’s more productive to sell when you can do the right things for the right reason. What if you could be the same person all the time? Jeff made more sales when he wasn’t pushing to reach his goals. He was a different person towards the end of every month and every year. He wanted to keep being that person. Pipeline gives you the sense of security that you need and allows you to be who you want to be as a salesperson. You can negotiate harder when you have a solid pipeline.
Jeff’s gut reaction is that you can't describe the ideal process because there isn’t one that applies to everyone. Too many salespeople are looking to paint by numbers and you just can’t do it. When you start with the solution to the problem in mind and work backward with the most effective way for you to do prospect, you get more creative. You take more risks and have more fun. When you get too tied up in “this is how this has to be done” it leads to poorer results. Jeff emphasizes that if you spend less time worrying about doing it the right way, you’d spend more time doing it effectively.
Jeff notes that you have to be willing to think on your feet and ask questions you don’t know the answer to. It encourages a collaborative environment where you can answer questions together. You can’t be truly curious if you’re not willing to be wrong. So leave your assumptions at the door. Don’t bully your prospect around by asking questions they don’t know the answer to—but you do. When you are manipulating your prospect with questions, they will know it.
Sellers could also learn to be more empathetic. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and appreciate your own messaging from their point of view. How would you feel receiving that email or being asked that question? It’s why you need to have your messaging down. Is curiosity built into your questions? Does it relate to the solution? Are you being empathetic? Is everything tailored to the person you’re talking to?
When you’re confident in the story you’re telling and the way you solve problems, you feel confident. Jeff calls it swagger. You know you’re putting your best work out there every day. You know you’re doing the work you need to do to generate results regardless of when that is. Context and perspective are often missed. What are you trying to accomplish and how are you getting your message across?
Jeff feels—because he runs his own business and he’s a very opinionated person—that he’s held to a higher standard. He often feels judged for how he does things. He gets several people referred to him regularly and always has leads in his pipeline. He doesn’t work the phones often. He doesn’t have an email sequence ready to go. He found himself feeling guilt for not having the perfect lead generation sequences in place. But he’s already effective. He pointed out that he got so tied up in doing things “the right way”, that he forgot that the work was being done.
There are top performers out there who are insecure about the way they’re performing. If your business is growing and you’re outperforming your peers, remember: the problem you’re trying to solve is more important than the way you solve it. The solution is paramount. Are you solving the problems? Jeff points out that at the end of the day an opportunity is an opportunity. Don’t focus too much on how you accomplished it. Instead, recognize what you’re doing well.
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