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Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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Now displaying: April, 2021

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Apr 28, 2021

Prospecting is the lifeblood of every business. Having a full pipeline of qualified prospects means you have choice. According to Marcus Cauchi—a Fractional Chief Revenue Officer for several technology startups—you should have 300–500% more at the “qualified moving to closable” stage of your funnel. You have to drive opportunity with sufficient velocity through the disqualification process. 

Marcus emphasizes to make sure that you get to the qualified stage quickly and cleanly with the least amount of effort and waste. When you prospect for choice—and have a full pipeline—you can walk away from bad business and you’re never dependent on any one deal. Marcus shares a wealth of information in this episode of Sales Reinvented—don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] Prospecting and lead gen—in Marcus’s words
  • [1:41] You need to prospect for choice
  • [2:50] Marcus’s prospecting and lead generation process 
  • [6:32] What is the red thread?
  • [7:27] Recruit for high intelligence and laziness
  • [10:10] The top skills salespeople should develop
  • [11:42] Top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts
  • [13:43] How Marcus turned a cold call into a sale

Be ruthless with disqualification

Prospecting for choice begins with identifying who is and who is not someone you should be prospecting. Disqualify everyone who isn’t a good fit—that means anyone less than a 100% match. You have to be ruthless with disqualification. You should be ready to go for the “no” and find out why they should not buy. If you don’t know why they need help, the risks they’re trying to mitigate, the problems they’re trying to overcome, or their ideal outcomes, you have no business interrupting them.

Don’t neglect any part of the process

To prospect for choice, you should also know who your customer is and what they all have in common. Be relevant, timely, respectful of their time, and deliver value on every call. Marcus hates the drivel he hears from people selling marketing automation companies saying it takes 18 attempts to speak to get a conversation in the C-suite. It doesn’t. It only takes one.

If it takes more than that, look at your messaging and find out why it’s not working. Odds are, it’s long, it’s wordy, and it’s irrelevant. It talks about your company, your product, and your services. Touch them with stuff that is relevant. 

He notes that you have to remember that prospecting doesn’t end after the initial conversation. You must care for the middle of the funnel. It’s hammered into you to prospect and get people into the funnel. Then you’re pushed to get to closing. The middle of the funnel is often neglected. Treat prospecting as a sacred act and make sure that you are focusing on making fewer higher-quality calls, being timely and relevant, and nurture them through the pipeline. 

Recruit for high intelligence...and laziness

Carl Von Clausewitz wrote a book called “On War.” When he recruited Prussian soldiers, he looked for high intelligence and laziness. Why? It meant minimum effort which equaled a minimum loss of life.

You can approach prospecting in the same way. You need to be well organized and good at research. You need to understand your customer’s world and understand their customers. What is the competitive landscape? If you are good at that, you can elevate your prospecting so you can hit the bullseye far more often—with less effort. 

Marcus interviewed a couple of ladies in the SaaS space. These ladies were smashing their quotas. But when they do, they sit back and ask themselves “What could I have done better?” 

What other skills should a salesperson develop? What are Marcus’s top prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Listen to learn more!

Marcus turned a cold-call into a sale

Marcus received a call from someone who immediately started talking about financial training. Marcus interrupted this person and said, “I think you’ve got the wrong person.” Turns out, they did have the wrong person. But instead of ending the call, Marcus asked, “What were you hoping to get from speaking to this person?” Marcus converted him into a bootcamp for cold-calling. The moral of the story? If someone has a pulse, start a conversation with them! You never know where your next opportunity will come from. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Marcus Cauchi

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Apr 21, 2021

Why is prospecting a long game? How do you build relationships that lead to new customers? What is the right way to do social selling? Ian Moyse—the EMEA Sales Director for Natterbox—joins me on today's show to answer these questions and so much more. Don’t miss out on his insight and expertise in the world of prospecting and lead generation. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:05] Lead generation and prospecting: What’s the difference?
  • [2:42] Why lead gen and prospecting are so important
  • [4:54] What does Ian’s prospecting process look like?
  • [7:48] The attributes of a great prospector
  • [10:01] Skillsets to focus on developing
  • [13:14] Ian’s prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts
  • [20:54] Ian’s favorite prospecting story

Keep your bucket full

Ian points out that salespeople have a bucket. That bucket is always emptying because you’re either losing deals or winning deals. Either way, your pipeline is emptying and you must look ahead. Many salespeople spend all of their time closing. Suddenly, they have a bad quarter and realize their bucket is empty because they haven't been prospecting. 

During Covid-19, Ian has consistently heard conversations where a project is being deferred because the business itself is stopping all spend. 2020 has demonstrated that you need to keep your pipeline full. You want to aim for 5x your target in the pipeline. It takes consistent continual prospecting.

Ian points out that there’s no perfect answer. There is no golden key. It takes hard work. His advice is to focus on your perfect persona customer. Too many activities are just trying to fill the bucket. But you need people in the bucket who are in alignment with your value proposition. It’s better to have more qualified leads in your pipeline than waste your time. 

What are the attributes of someone who is great at prospecting? What skills should a sales professional focus on developing? Listen to hear Ian’s thoughts!

Ian’s prospecting and lead generation don’ts

Ian emphasizes that you can’t think activity is productivity. Ian has seen too many people who gave up on social selling because their bosses force them to make 50 calls a day. They’re hung up on activity. But what if you could do it differently? What if there was a better way to generate their quota of leads without cold-calling? Activity should be done in the smartest way. Ian is tired of hearing “Sales is a numbers game.”

He also points out that you shouldn’t connect then pitch. Everyone sees it: You get a connection invite on a social platform and it seems genuine. But soon after, you get a sales pitch. They think that’s social selling. That’s going up to someone and instead of chit-chatting after a handshake, you immediately pitch them. You’d never do it in the real world. 

Stop chasing the same person in the same manner. If they haven't looked at the first few emails or messages, how annoyed will people be when they see the 4th, 5th, or 6th? It doesn’t work. The more you do, the more the walls go up. You've created a human spam filter. You will probably never get through to them because the more you push, the more they resist.

Ian’s prospecting and lead generation dos

Ian reiterates the need to take time to qualify your leads. Don’t sell to someone who isn’t your prospect. If you look at someone’s LinkedIn profile, the clues are there to help you find a way to a conversation. Ian gets pitched all the time on social selling and CRM. But if salespeople simply looked at his LinkedIn profile and what he does, you’d never approach him trying to sell those things. 

He implores you to be like Sherlock. Go deeper and smarter than your average salesperson. It’s not rocket science. Slow down, read, and work smart. How do you find an authentic way that isn’t just reaching out cold and getting ignored? What will lead to a conversation? Ian will find a way to get a warm introduction from someone else by looking for shared connections. If you share 20 connections, who of those do you have a relationship with? There might be 3 people. 

Reach out to each of them and let them know you’re trying to connect to someone. Then ask how well they know them. You’ll get nos—but sometimes you’ll get a yes. Secondly, look at their jobs. Is there anyone there that you might know that they’d be connected with? It doesn’t feel quick, but you have a better chance of getting to a conversation than a phone call.

He encourages you to be bold and ask for introductions. He just had a new customer come on board and has built great rapport with them. Ian noticed they were connected to a senior person at another organization. So Ian reached out and asked for a formal LinkedIn introduction. He got a conversation and got a call booked. 

What is Ian’s favorite prospecting story? How is prospecting playing the long game? Ian tells a fascinating story that takes tenacity and consistency in this episode. Don’t miss it!

Connect with Ian Moyse

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Apr 14, 2021

Why do you need to craft a transformational message that resonates with your prospect? Does it increase your success with prospecting? Sonia Dumas believes the right message attracts people who could be interested in your service—but only if your message resonates with them at the right moment. If it does, they find their way into your marketing funnel.

Sonia—the founder of the Unstoppable Sales Community—joins me in this episode of Sales Reinvented to share why she thinks your message is one of the most important things to master.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:45] What is the difference between prospecting and lead gen?
  • [2:22] Why are both processes so important to sales?
  • [2:22] Prospecting and lead gen must be strategic
  • [4:10] Sonia’s prospecting and lead gen process
  • [6:00] A sales professional needs to embrace a positive attitude
  • [7:55] The skillset Sonia believes is a gamechanger
  • [8:51] Top 3 prospecting and lead gen dos and don’ts
  • [11:35] Every conversation you have is an opportunity 

Prospecting and lead gen must be strategic

If there’s no fuel in your car—or energy in your Tesla—it doesn’t matter how amazing the car is. It won’t go anywhere. Small business leaders want more revenue and income, but they don’t have a lead generation or prospecting plan. A website doesn’t cut it. Posting some content doesn’t cut it. Scattered activity doesn’t attract clients. Even worse—it wastes time. Prospecting and lead gen must be strategic and valuable.

Blasting out content, paying for ads, and attending meetings won’t fix your lead gen without meaningful information to assist your leads. To start moving the needle, you need information for your leads to discover. They then discover that you’re the solution to their problems.

The more you can create a genuine connection, the more you will have payday conversations. That’s when your prospect feels welcomed, acknowledged, and valued to such a degree that they’re open to having you transform their life. 

Why you NEED to craft a transformational message

What is your transformational message? Is it crystal clear what problems you solve and the audience you solve them for? If it isn’t, your leads won’t see your services as a solution to their problems. Your pipeline will stay empty. Your value has to be clear so your leads want to learn more. 

You have to know the details of the problems your prospects are working to solve. You need to communicate that you know the nitty-gritty and communicate that on your website, your social media, your newsletter, etc. Start the process because you have a message.

When you have a transformational message, your pipeline will start to fill up. You have a solution that can impact lives. Your income will grow because of the transformation you’re providing. 

A sales professional needs to embrace a positive attitude

If you hate prospecting and consider it a chore, you will communicate desperation in everything you do. Instead, Sonia recommends focusing on what you enjoy: Do you enjoy transforming lives? Do you enjoy making an impact? You need to have fun with prospecting. Let the genuine pleasure of transforming someone’s life resonate in your marketing and your conversations. 

Secondly, you have to focus. Your message has to be focused. You have to provide clear value and know what your ideal audience wants and needs. Sonia emphasizes that “Without focus, your efforts will be like a whisper at a rock concert. No one is going to hear you.”

You have to make a commitment to show up. It doesn’t matter if it’s once a day or once a week. Consistency builds confidence. It starts with you becoming confident. Those who are watching you become confident in your expertise, thought leadership, and your ability to solve their problems. Without consistency, confidence can’t be built. 

What skillsets should you develop? Listen to hear Sonia’s thoughts!

Every conversation you have is an opportunity 

Sonia believes that the best way to prospect is by focusing on sharing how she enjoys helping others solve a problem. When she does that, doors open wide. She was having a casual conversation with a vendor about how much she enjoys helping business leaders. She wasn’t pitching or offering anything. At the end of the conversation, he offered to introduce her to a friend that runs an executive coaching program.

The CEO of this program jumped on a call with her. By the middle of their call, he asked her to train his top 10 salespeople on how to have payday conversations with prospects. Every conversation you have is a lead generation and prospecting opportunity. You never know when someone will say “Tell me more!” or “Let me introduce someone.” It’s an opportunity to attract, engage, and convert a stranger into a client.

Connect with Sonia Dumas

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Apr 7, 2021

Why are lead generation and prospecting so important? How do they complement each other in the sales process? Why is keeping your pipeline full so important? How does cultivating an awareness of needs lead to a higher close rate? Nick Kane—a Managing Partner at Janek Performance Group—shares his point of view in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Nick is a published author and sales performance expert. Don’t miss out on his expertise—listen now!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] The difference between lead gen and prospecting
  • [1:44] Why are both important to sales?
  • [2:53] What Nick’s prospecting process looks like
  • [4:44] The 3 components that lead to successful prospecting
  • [7:42] Skills sales professionals need to develop
  • [9:24] Top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts
  • [14:27] Prospecting in the life insurance industry

What Nick’s prospecting process looks like

Without prospecting and lead generation, Nick shares that you’ll struggle to generate new business. You have to keep the funnel full or you have to rely on a high close rate. An organization must focus on generating enough leads to keep their salespeople busy and help them hit their quotas. 

Nick emphasizes that both activities are complementary and benefit from each other. Lead generation consists of getting new opportunities in the pipeline and moving them through the funnel. It is a multi-prong activity that could include paid search, SEO, content development, sponsorships, and more. It does depend on the organization and target audience. 

Nick points out that prospecting depends on who you are going after. Prospecting should include leveraging social media and social selling, networking events, business development activities, referrals from existing clients, and more. 

The 3 components that lead to successful prospecting

Nick believes three components lead to successful prospecting:

  1. Mindset: Direct prospecting activities require the ability to deal with rejection. You have to be prepared to handle rejection. You must also help your customer create an awareness of needs to provide valuable insight, to raise a customer’s interest. 
  2. Skillset: You must have a willingness to help, be persistent, and be consistent. You can’t just focus on the opportunities right in front of you and neglect prospecting. When deals are closed out you’re left with very little. 
  3. Process: To Nick, top-performing sales professionals are not just calling anybody. You need to identify the right targets who will value what you have to offer. Narrow a list to a smaller pool for targeted prospecting efforts. 

You want to have strong initial questions to ask prompted by data or insight. It is important to create awareness of needs because prospects aren’t waiting for your call. You need to have the capability to identify good data to be thought-provoking. You just need to win the phone call, conversation, and meeting. You also need the ability to work through initial objections and earn the right to have the conversation.

Prospecting in the life insurance industry

Nick had the opportunity to work with a global life insurance organization. Prospecting in that industry is extremely challenging. You operate independently and there isn’t a lot of lead generation. The salespeople didn't have strong processes, skills or strategies. So Nick’s team put together a strong and effective approach to support the sales professionals prospecting activities. They needed to maximize their personal and professional contacts to develop prospects. 

They helped develop a personal brand for each sales professional. How did they want to be viewed online? How did they want to come across to prospects? They started to adjust their personal brand and enhance their efforts.

They helped them come up with key metrics and how to track those activities. What level of activity is needed to fill the pipeline and drive results? The combination of those three things drove results for that organization. Prospecting led to more appointments being booked. Their conversion rates are up. Overall revenue is up. They drove overall results for their clients.

You can’t just ask salespeople to go out and prospect and let them figure it out on their own. They need support. They need preparation. They need to learn how to cultivate an awareness of needs in their prospect. Learn more about Nick’s process by listening to the whole episode!

Connect with Nick Kane

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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