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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: March, 2022

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

Mar 30, 2022

Jeff Bajorek believes that salespeople underrate territory sales planning because it’s boring—and they lack a growth mindset. But if you’re a full-cycle sales rep, you need to know where your revenue is coming from. So you need a good grasp of your territory, the players in it, and who’s moving in and out of it. You need a handle on price increases and must know your products inside and out. It’s not all buying dinners and playing golf with prospects. Territory sales planning is where many people could make up ground if they do the work

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Why salespeople underrate territory sales planning
  • [2:08] How territory sales planning can lessen reactivity
  • [3:52] The ingredients for the ideal territory sales plan
  • [7:34] The attributes that make a salesperson successful
  • [9:25] Tools, tactics, or strategies to improve territory sales planning
  • [11:12] Jeff’s top “do”: Embrace the buddy system
  • [15:12] Jeff's simply and effective territory planning strategy

How territory sales planning can lessen reactivity

Do you want to be at the whim of your territory? Or do you want to have an impact and influence on what your territory produces (from a revenue perspective)? If you’re waiting for a customer to wave their arms in the air, you’ll be waiting a long time—and doing activities that won’t move the needle. Can your calendar be used against you in a court of law to convict you of being a salesperson? 

Do you have time blocked to prospect? Do you have time blocked to contact your regular customers? Do you have time blocked to research and develop accounts in your territory? Or are you completely winging it? Are you taking control—or waiting for things to happen? Jeff points out that you know what the right answer is but you’re probably still not doing enough of it. 

The ideal territory sales plan is focused on a growth mindset

Who are the players in your territory? Who is growable? There are a lot of companies talking about fresh opportunities but “new” versus “old” is the wrong paradigm. Growable versus not growable is what you need to focus on and accessibility is the issue. Jeff breaks things down into quadrants: growability and accessibility.

  1. Quadrant one is those that are growable and accessible. These are new or existing accounts with room to pick up wallet share.
  2. Quadrant two is growable but not accessible. These are dream clients you have to work to gain access to.
  3. Quadrant three is not growable but accessible. These are the clients that shake your hand, slap you on the back, and say “It’s good to see ya” but there’s no room to grow.

You feel productive when you gain the attention of quadrant three. If you can’t grow them, they’re the best source for referrals or introductions. Use them for market research to help you gain access to clients in quadrant two.

But people spend so much time in quadrant three. They could spend half the amount of time maintaining business and spend it gaining access to new accounts. Where are you spending your time? Spend it all in quadrant one if you can. Once you fill that demand, you’ll have a void. You need to make inaccessible opportunities in quadrant two more accessible. Then, use your best customers to understand what it takes to gain access—whether introductions or referrals. Now you’re selling. 

Tools, tactics, or strategies to improve territory sales planning

Every year, you start from square one. Your company likely asks for 7%. Every January, Jeff went to a national sales meeting. They’d get information about fee increases, new products, line extensions, etc. Jeff had his notebook open and a pen in his hand. He took diligent notes and knew exactly who he’d call on with new products. By the time he left that weekend, he’d have his territory sales plan sketched out. He knew who to call, who would be a great target, who would buy, who was already using similar products and how much they were using, and the value of each customer. He left those meetings fired up and set appointments for the next week. 

Jeff points out that pen and paper is an under-utilized tool. You don’t need fancy technology to plan your territory—you just need to set aside time to do the work. Opportunities won’t fall in your lap. Where do you have good access and growability? Write it down. Who are your dream clients? Who are a great fit and you just don’t know? Write it down. How do you plan to reach them? Who are your rockstar clients? Write it down. That can translate to introductions and referrals. You need to understand the players in your territory before you can do anything else. 

Jeff’s territory sales planning do: Embrace the buddy system

Find a buddy. Jeff worked with another salesperson and they got together once a quarter. They met in the middle and planned for the next quarter. They held each other accountable. Every quarter, they presented what they accomplished, what their revenue looked like, how they executed against their plan, and how successful they were. It’s tremendously beneficial. If you don’t have leadership that will hold you accountable, find a buddy—in or outside of your organization.

The bottom line is that sales is a verb. You have to act on your plan. You can’t afford to sit and wait for sales to happen. Create opportunities, steward them to close business, and maintain those relationships to earn referrals.

Connect with Jeff Bajorek

  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Email Jeff at JF(at)JeffBajorek.com

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Mar 23, 2022

Too many salespeople wing it. They just wanna “See what’s out there.” But Mark Hunter emphasizes that planning is the only way you’ll maximize the opportunities in your territory. You can’t react to whatever business is out there. 

Mark loves to say, “Tomorrow begins today.” You have to plan your day, week, and month. Why? It allows you to use your time efficiently. Many salespeople are busy but not as productive as they could be if they had planned how they’d use their time. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Mark share more about his planning process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:49] Why is territory sales planning underrated? 
  • [1:13] How territory sales planning can reduce reactivity
  • [2:06] The ingredients of the ideal territory sales plan
  • [3:39] Attributes and characteristics that make a salesperson great
  • [6:33] Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve sales planning skills
  • [9:17] Mark’s top territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [12:36] Control your territory—don’t let your territory control you

The ingredients of the ideal territory sales plan

The first question you must ask is who is your ideal customer? No matter the size of your territory, there will always be opportunities. You want to focus your time on the best of the best. If you don’t know your ICP, you’ll waste a tremendous amount of your time on other people.

You have to understand the outcome that you can create. No customer buys anything. They invest. They invest because they want a return on their investment. So what can you help them achieve?

Don't overlook the value of your calendar. Block time to work on projects. Mark follows the “10 am Rule.” By 10 am, he wants to have accomplished something significant. If you can do that, it motivates you. If the day were to fall apart you could still consider it successful. By mid-morning, Mark had already sent out a major proposal to a client. What has it resulted in? He’s accomplished so much more. 

Attributes and characteristics that make a salesperson great

Your head needs to be in the right place. You have to focus on using your time efficiently—while helping customers—and never be satisfied with where you are today. Mark points out that it’s not his job as a sales manager to motivate his salespeople. His goal is to create an environment for them to motivate themselves. There are a few things Mark shares that lead to success:

  • You have to understand the value of time and how you manage it. Everyone is blessed with 24 hours a day. How will you choose to use them?
  • Be customer-focused. Salespeople set a monetary goal not realizing that’s the reward, not the goal. Your goal should be meetings, making customers happy, and helping customers achieve their outcomes.
  • Never be content with where you’re at. Success can only be defined by yourself. Don’t let others define it for you. You can deem yourself successful while never being satisfied. Why? Because you’re always asking what you can do to become better. 

How can you become more proficient? How can you be more productive? The measure of productivity is the results your customers achieve from the outcomes they’re able to achieve based on how you’ve helped them.

Top territory sales planning dos and don’ts

Mark shares some things you should—and shouldn’t do—to achieve your goals:

  • Identify your ICP and develop key questions that focus on each ICP.
  • Manage your time. Break it up into segments. Allocate a percentage of each day to small, medium, and large accounts. 
  • Understand where your greatest opportunities are and manage your pipeline. It doesn’t matter how many leads go into the top of the funnel—it’s what you pull out through the bottom. Identify and qualify prospects quickly to close them faster. 
  • Don’t hang on to customers that aren’t profitable. You can’t afford to keep them. Always look to trim the bottom 10% of your client list.
  • You are not in the customer service game. The sales role is about creating incremental opportunities. Don’t allow yourself to play customer service agent. 
  • Don’t allow yourself to associate with anyone who is not going to be a positive influence on you. You are the sum of the 5 people you associate with the most. Invest your time with really smart people. 

Control your territory—don’t let your territory control you

Mark was young and enthusiastic when he started in sales. He had a large territory assigned to him. He soon realized that territory included demanding customers. He felt he had to step up and deliver them more service. The result? He could leave their office and they’d call 20 minutes later and ask for something else. 

He had been working the territory for 3 months when his boss asked him to meet for breakfast. Mark was an hour and a half late because he was visiting a customer taking care of a problem. He thought his boss would be happy. His boss was actually livid and threatened to fire him on the spot. It wasn’t because he was let. It was because he allowed his priorities to get disrupted. He was allowing problem accounts to control how he operated his territory. It’s one of the worst problems new salespeople have: the desire to want to serve and please everyone out there. 

Mark’s boss told him that he would never be able to satisfy every demanding customer. Instead, the objective is to minimize them. Allow them a small percentage of your time. If not, you’ll never have time to develop customers to create the incremental business you need to meet your numbers. Failure to make your number will get you fired in a quarter. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mark Hunter

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Mar 16, 2022

There are actions, tasks, and disciplines that must be accomplished to create a perpetual business. Tom Ninness points out that it’s important to know what activities drive your business. When Tom first entered the mortgage industry he was assigned to a territory. He knew that to use his time wisely, he needed a plan. So he planned where he would go when. So much so that all of his customers knew which days he was coming to visit. What else does Tom do to support his territory planning? Learn more in this episode of Sales Reinvented.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:11] Why is territory sales planning underrated? 
  • [2:39] How territory sales planning can reduce reactivity
  • [4:15] The ingredients of the perfect territory sales plan
  • [5:45] Attributes and characteristics that make a salesperson great
  • [7:57] Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve sales planning skills
  • [10:19] Top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [14:07] Be servant-minded with your approach

The ingredients of the perfect territory sales plan

If you have a plan laid out so you know what you’re doing hour by hour, you’ll get a great ROI. Tom has the loan officers he works with complete an exercise to calculate their hourly rate. If they want to make $250,000 and want a week off every quarter. They have to work 40 effective hours a week. That averages $130 an hour. Are the sales folks completing value-based activities that will earn them $130 an hour? When you place a value on your time it makes the necessity of a plan even more apparent. And, it will help you be more successful.

Attributes and characteristics that make a salesperson great

A salesperson has to be likable and servant-minded. People will want to do business with you. Many salespeople view selling as something they do “to” another person instead of something they do “for” another person. Tom firmly believes that he “gets” because he gives without expectation of anything in return.

Tim Sanders wrote a book, “Love Is the Killer App,” in which he posits that business people are looking for knowledge. Your knowledge is worthless if you don’t share it. Secondly, you have to have a network to share it with. The larger your network, the greater your opportunities. Lastly, give with no strings attached. That’s where the law of reciprocity kicks in. 

Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve sales planning skills 

Salespeople can do business with friends, family, and coworkers. But there are other people in your network. Tom’s end customer has friends, families, and coworkers. They can refer business to him. If he does a great job and a happy customer fills out a survey for him, he believes there are at least four more opportunities for him to do additional business.

So how do you get these names? Tom uses a form where he asks happy clients for a list of professionals in their circle of influence. They gladly provide that to him. He can then share the survey they’ve completed with that list and cultivate appointments. When you delight your customers, they’ll want to refer you to their friends and colleagues.

Be servant-minded with your approach

Tom represents the financing for a builder. Someone else that represents a builder wanted to buy a unit from Tom’s builder but wanted to use his own lender. Tom’s builder flat out told him no—he had to work with Tom or he wouldn’t sell the property to him. The builder warned Tom that the customer was upset and to be mindful of that when they spoke.

Tom gave him a call and asked him to call his lender to see what they’d offer him. He agreed to match it. Tom had Googled him and done some research and really liked this guy. So throughout the next year, he sent him information and resources and gave him ideas. Tom always asks people, “What is the biggest challenge you’re having in your business?” The answer is usually something they’re having problems with. After a year and a half of offering value to this guy, Tom gets a call from him, asking him out to lunch.

After the waiter took their order, he said “Tom, I feel like I’m having an affair.” Dumbfounded, Tom said “What?!” Tom had given him so much value while the lender he had worked with for 20 years wasn’t motivated to help him. This man landed a new builder with 55 townhomes and made Tom his new lender. Tom emphasizes that just because you hear the word “no” doesn’t mean you give up. You can give someone value with no strings attached. Don’t be surprised if it comes back to you tenfold. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Tom Ninness 

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Mar 9, 2022
Territory sales planning is like building a house. To be successful, you need blueprints. You need a plan to follow so you can build a firm foundation. Lisa firmly believes that you need to create a plan, work your plan, and take responsibility for exceeding your sales goals. Lisa shares her ingredients for the ideal territory sales plan in this episode of Sales Reinvented. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] Why is territory sales planning underrated? 
  • [1:33] How territory sales planning can reduce reactivity
  • [3:00] The ingredient of Lisa’s ideal territory sales plan
  • [6:41] The attributes of a great salesperson
  • [8:33] Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve your skills
  • [9:49] Top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [12:09] Forecasting is the key to successful territory sales plans

How territory sales planning can reduce reactivity

At the beginning of a year or quarter, you must take the opportunity to evaluate your territory. How effectively are you using their time? Where are the dollars gonna come from? A simple spreadsheet of your sales reports for the past 2–3 years will help you realize there’s gold within your territory. You don’t have to spend time doing more prospecting. Why? You can fish in your own territory.

The ingredient of Lisa’s ideal territory sales plan

Lisa believes that there’s not a perfect sales territory plan—it must always evolve. This is her general recipe for success:

  1. Run a client analysis: Run a report that shows your clients and all of the sales for the last 2–3 years to see an average. Where are the dollars coming from? How much time are you spending on your different accounts? This will help you create a territory sales plan that will help you achieve your goals. 
  2. Complete a detailed forecast: How many dollars has an account given you in the last five years? Sort your accounts from the highest to the lowest. What dollars do you anticipate you can do with each client? Look at overall revenue and how you can expand it. What services or products are they buying from you? What else could they buy from you? The most effective way to grow your business is cross-selling with current clients. 
  3. Validate information directly with your client: What are their goals, initiatives, and priorities? What could you sell them? Are they expecting the same inventory? What are they anticipating to purchase from you? Get answers directly from your key accounts. 

Most salespeople put together a territory plan and shelve it. To be successful, you must review it monthly and quarterly. Forecast a number and lock it in. Challenge yourself to meet your working forecast. It will help you validate how accurate your forecasts are at the beginning of your territory planning. 

Forecasting is the key to successful territory sales plans

Lisa and her Director of Sales worked together to dive into and conquer their territory sales plan. When they did a thorough forecast—based on the previous 4 years—they realized that 92% of their business would come from existing customers. Some of them didn’t buy from them in 2020 because of COVID. That showed that they could reignite old client relationships. It helped direct their prospecting. 

This exercise also helped the sales team gain clarity on who is responsible for what—especially when dividing up an existing plan. It’s a team effort to get business and create their next best year ever. A sales professional will create and work a plan and reinvent themselves as a trusted advisor because they know the value they can bring to their clients. 

Connect with Lisa Leitch

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Mar 2, 2022

The top-performing salespeople understand the importance of territory sales planning. They know that if they create a plan and work the plan they’ll outperform their peers. But John Smibert believes that a strategic plan applying the 80/20 rule is. He fleshes out what that could look like in this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:05] Why planning is an underrated activity
  • [2:25] Stop being reactive and create a plan
  • [3:55] John’s ideal territory sales plan
  • [6:50] The right mindset is key to success
  • [7:53] Tools, tactics, or strategies to improve
  • [9:40] John’s territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [12:42] Match your domain expertise with your ideal customer 

The ideal territory sales plan

It’s no secret that the top salespeople are great planners. They routinely run a SWOT analysis and look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a key strategic planning tool. You also need to identify your target and objective. Your company may give you an objective but you’re the boss of your own business. You certainly need to plan for what your company expects from you but why not shoot for more? 

Put the quota aside. What do you need to do to achieve your objective? Then look at your territory—identify where opportunities are likely to be. What 20% of accounts will get you 80% of the value? Secondly, look at your ICP. Who are they? Do some research, identify them, and focus activity on them alone. If you don’t have a plan you grab onto the first opportunities that come your way. You’ll find that you’ve filled your pipeline with average opportunities at best. 

John’s territory sales planning dos and don’ts

John hears a lot of sales managers complain that they don’t see the right level of activity from their salespeople. But if their salespeople have a plan in place that has been thought through strategically, less activity is sometimes good. But John nails down some dos and don'ts that can help you focus in the right place. 

  • Set aside the time to create a detailed territory plan once a year. The annual plan needs to be broken down into quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. You need to wake up every day and say, “What do I need to do to progress my plan?” 
  • Know where you’ll get the best results and focus on them. Focusing on the right 20% will get you 80% of the results. 
  • Review, review, review. How do you stay on plan? What do you need to do?
  • Don’t create a plan and forget about it. You’ve created it to help you stay on track to reach your goals. 
  • Don’t assume every customer is the same. Market segmentation and account targeting around your expertise is important. Everyone has domain expertise, so focus on customers who value what you have to bring to the table.

Learn how to say no. You don’t want to chase every opportunity that comes through the door. The top salespeople say no far more than yes because they know where the value is. 

Match your domain expertise with your ideal customer 

John recently co-authored a book called “The Wentworth Prospect” about a young lady who progressed well in her sales career with the help of a coach. It’s based on a true story about a woman John actually coached. This woman—named Sue—was selling cybersecurity solutions. She had learned the product well and had studied cybersecurity in university, so she had developed some domain expertise. 

John asked her where she wanted to focus her territory. She stated her goal was to approach mid-level organizations but that she didn’t have an industry chosen. So they did some research and landed on a focus in the banking and finance industry. Why? She had a background in banking. She knew she had a unique perspective to bring to the table, her product fit well, and they were an ideal customer. 

In that year, because she eliminated 80% of her territory and focused on the 20%, she blew her quota out of the water. All because she created a plan that she followed diligently. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with John Smibert

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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