Increase Effectiveness of Sales Process
by Bubba Page
Bubba outlines several tactics that sales people can use to increase the effectiveness of their selling efforts. Some elements discussed include: mastering the email cold call, how to master the 80:20 rule (through customization), how to close any sales appointment/meeting/call and using social to stay 'top of mind.'
Hi, everybody. My name is Bubba Page. I was a fat baby and the name just stuck. I know it's crazy.
I'm the founder of QuotaDeck. We are a platform that produces inbound leads for B2B, primarily software technology companies. We produce these in-bound leads through warm introductions. We're leveraging the collaborative economy, sharing economy, and our users are making warm introductions for our clients directly into their target prospect.
My company before QuotaDeck is called LaunchLeads.com, and it was an outsourced inside-sales team specifically in the SDR/ABM [SP] and so we made a lot of outbound calls about 6 million to be exact. We have a little bit of that experience in closing deals as well as setting up, getting in, finding prospects, setting up meetings, all of that.
Today I wanted to take a minute and talk about some "Secret Sauce" that we've used at our companies that have really proven to have some phenomenal success of getting in the door as well as closing techniques. We'll cover these four specific closing techniques that I feel can really benefit you guys if you are in the B2B space. B2C might not be as relevant, but we'll walk through it. And obviously it's all going to coincide with what you're doing in social selling. We're huge believers in social selling. I'm lucky enough I get to write for inc.com, and the latest article I just published was about social selling and talking about even the Social Selling Summit. So check that out.
I want to be able to walk through, number one, is a process that we follow and the Secret Sauce where we are turning a 30-second call, that really the prospect is telling you "no" but helping that person convert into a "yes" and then being able to set up a meeting, a demo, an appointment or something like that. The idea behind turning "30 Seconds into 3 Minutes" goes like this.
This is after you've done your research, you found the email, you found their phone number, you believe that they are the right prospect, that they're potentially interested in what you guys are doing - leveraging social tools and things like that. This is getting them on the phone and scheduling a meeting so you can show them what you do.
Most of the time sending emails can work sometimes, but a lot of times, you've just got to pick up the phone and reach out. When you call a lot of these prospects, most of the time they give you some excuse or some reason to not want to talk to you. Most of them are or a lot of them want to be fairly polite, and one of those excuses is, "Hey, can you just send me an email?" By telling you, "Hey, this is cool. Can you just send me an email? I'm too busy right now," they're really just saying, "No, get off my back I don't want to talk to you." But we've learned that we can leverage this process, the "Secret Sauce" of "30 Seconds in 3 Minutes" and we can get appointments with a lot of these people. This is how we do it.
When they ask you to send that email, we say, "Absolutely. We'd be happy to send an email. What's the best email address?" So number one, you're going to verify the email address that you might already have on file or maybe you don't have an email address on file, and you're going to verify it, "JohnSmith@abc.com, fantastic. John, I've just sent you the email." This is a key thing. You've got to have an email template set up as part of this process. Most of the tools you guys are using have that capability and you fill in their email address, or after you verified it, hit send.
You say, "Hey, I have just sent you that email, John. I know you're busy, but would you mind just double-checking to make sure it came through? Sometimes it goes to junk or spam mail." Now you've brought up a legitimate reason that maybe your email wouldn't go through. The reality is, hopefully, it's going to come through all the time. It is true. Sometimes they might not.
So you ask them, "Would you mind just double-checking? It's coming from Bubba@QuotaDeck.com. Could you just double-check to make sure it came through?" Ninety-five percent of the people are going to actually go to their inbox, if they're near a computer, and check to see if your email came through. It's amazing.
Now watch this next step. The prospect then typically states, "Absolutely. Actually I see it here. It's from Bubba@QuotaDeck. Yeah, I got it. Perfect." You say, "Okay, right before I let you go, would you just mind opening it up and clicking on the link that's inside that email. Sometimes the link breaks, so I just want to make sure it works."
Now you've transitioned from this sales guy calling in and interrupting their day to less of a sales but more of just a normal person to person conversation. You're asking questions like, "Did my email come through?" and "Maybe my link's broken." Again another legitimate excuse to ask a question because sometimes links break.
Now it shouldn't. You should make sure that it shouldn't, but by asking that question, you're giving them a moment to reduce that barrier that they built up from just having any type of sales call come through. They will actually click on the link. They'll open your email. They won't read through the whole email. They'll look for your link and I always say to use links over PDFs purely, because you can track a lot more when it's a link. You can do videos, testimonials, and case studies, all that kind of stuff. You can drive them to whatever you want.
When they click on that link, they are now looking at exactly what you were hoping for them to look at. It's an amazing thing that they had just told you, "No," basically by saying, "Please send me an email." Now they're looking at what you wanted and you've taken a 30-second call to now about 2 minutes, and the very next thing you state is, "Hey, Mr. Prospect," John in this case, "John, now that you see what we do," one-liner value proposition, insert there, "my job is to tee up a meeting so that we could do a quick demo, or a quick call, or discovery or whatever you call it in your company. But, John, my job is just to set up a quick call. Would tomorrow at 3:00 or 4:00 be better for you?"
Now it's amazing that by going through this process, not only they've opened your email, they've received your email so you verified it, they're looking at your exact product or service. But now you've extended that conversation to be a lot more personable versus just salesperson calling in, because maybe they received a couple of your emails before but they never really responded. Now is the time where you actually have them on the phone and you can convert that into a meeting.
Now notice I expressed two different times with the same date. I'm a big believer of being able to give that person two options, "Hey, would we be able to schedule some time tomorrow at 3:00 or would 4:00 be better for you?" Again, giving them an option.
Now they may very well say, "No, tomorrow does not work at all," and you say, "That's okay. Would Thursday be better for you or would Friday be better for you?" A lot of times they're going to push you out an entire week. You've got to try, and squish that in and be able to schedule it within the next two or three days. Even if you just say, "Hey, we can just have a quick 10 or 15 minute call to discover a little bit more about what you guys might need and how we can solve those problems," or state some sort of case study. "We've helped Domo close a $60,000 deal. At QuotaDeck, we think we can do the same for you." Something like that to be able help hook them into scheduling something with you.
The PowerPoint slide you've probably seen pop up a couple times, that shows you this process in more of a written format. Again, real quick, send them an email while you're on the phone after you verified it, make sure that they received it, it didn't go to spam, have them open it and click on the link, make sure the link isn't broken, and now they're looking at your value. Beautiful. Super simple and easy. It's amazing how many people don't use this simple tactic. We call it, "30 Seconds into 3 Minutes."
That was one of the key concepts I wanted to cover with you. Some of the other pieces I wanted to talk to you about is related. We just talked about having those two times to schedule at the end of the event. It's important that every salesperson out there never forgets to schedule a new follow-up event. Whether it's an in-person meeting or a phone call, it is incredible how many sales people call me trying to sell their product or service and they don't schedule a follow-up call with me. They will state, "Oh, great. What do you think about it? How is this? Would this work for you?" Whatever "thing" I gave them, they're like, "Okay, I'll just call you in a couple of weeks," or, "I'll call you next week." They don't actually send a date and a time, a calendared event that I can accept and be expecting their call.
It's an incredible difference when you'd have somebody who has actually clicked yes and confirmed a calendar invitation and is expecting, on their calendar, that you're going to call at 3:00 on Thursday versus you interrupting their day, once again, whenever is free for you and you try and call them. Your likelihood of continuing that progress and shortening your sales cycle decreases ten times.
Never forget, always schedule a follow-up at the end of every sales event, call, or a meeting in-person, either way. Send that calendar invitation. Make sure they expect it. Another thing, and then going onto the next topic, is asking key questions.
So you guys have all heard of the "80/20 Rule". "80/20" is part of so many different analogies. You want to use it also when you're giving a demo or in a sales presentation. You've heard it before, so I don't want to go too deep but just think about this. Think about when you're being sold. If the salesperson is asking key questions, finding out about your problems, finding out about what you deal with, finding out about what solutions you're currently using, if you're in any contracts, if there are any other decision makers that need to be involved in the process, maybe when are you looking to buy something like this.
All of these questions should be asked throughout that demo call or throughout that sales call. Especially if you are giving a demo, the more information you can gather beforehand, the more tailored and customized you can make your demo so that it comes off just flawless with that prospect. At the end of the call, they should be thinking to themselves, "Oh, my gosh, this product is perfect for me. This is exactly what I needed. This is what will solve all my problems," or at least a specific problem.
Now they should be feeling that as long as it's true. Make sure that the sales presentation you give is accurate and valid so that you don't burn any bridges here, but you want to make sure that you're asking those key questions, letting the prospect talk, have them go into detail about their current situation and process. And then you should have nailed your messaging so that you can do it in 20-30% of that call, and showing them bits and pieces of the product, not just features, and telling them of the benefits of that product. So like QuotaDeck, for example. I could talk to them about features of how the platform automates these emails so they can receive these in-bound leads so quickly. When in reality, they just want to hear that QuotaDeck is going to help increase your sales and it's going to shorten your sales cycle. Some of our clients have closed "10x" what they've paid us to get those leads. Those types of things resonate very well with customers, and you guys know that.
Now here's a "Secret Sauce" question that I like to ask, so moving onto another piece of the pie. This question is based on my style of selling. I'm not, what I believe, to be a hardcore closer, meaning I'm not pushing people to close. I'm not forcing people through something. I want to build a relationship. That's been something I have focused on in my career and I'm proud to have such great relationships that have helped me immensely. As I have given to them, "give first" as a mentality, I have always received good karma coming back to me.
But this question, now I'm going to state this is just so simplistic and it allows you to really get a huge insight into your prospect's buying mentality and their timing. At the end of this demo, at the end of this sales presentation, they've asked a couple of questions, you've responded to some of their concerns, and then it's something simple like this. "John/Mr. Prospect, if something like this were to work for you and your company, when would you want to get started?" I will repeat that. "John, if something like this were to work for you and your company, when would you want to get started?"
The reason I phrase it this way specifically is because I'm not stating, "If QuotaDeck or my product is perfect for you, when are you looking for move forward?" I don't state my own company, because I don't want them to feel that pressure of me pounding it down their throat and saying, "This is what you've to do," even though I'm extremely confident that my solution is there. I'm assuming the sale, which is another key point we'll talk about in a second. But I'm just saying "if something like this" and it's amazing the psychology of the buyer, the psychology of what they are going through at that moment allows those barriers to somewhat drop. And they will, in the most part, give you an honest answer.
When you say, "If something like this could work, when would you like to get started?" their brain is starting to think. They are thinking, "Okay. Yeah, this is a solution that might work for me." Some of them will say, "I was looking for something like this yesterday, so I want to get started ASAP." Some might say, "In the next couple of weeks." Some might say, "Next quarter." But knowing that data is so incredibly valuable for you to shorten your sales cycle and then be able to work some magic into helping them come closer.
If they say they, "We're not going to do anything till next year," that's actually an okay response. You just dive in deeper of why, "Okay, great. So you're not looking to do something till next year. Explain a little bit more. Is it because you're in a contract right now and you can't move? Is it because you have new hires coming in?" Find out why.
If they're saying, "Okay, well, maybe three months. That's when we can do it," then you've got to talk to them about it and say, "Maybe our implementation..." and it depends on if you have a setup or an implementation process. But if you do, you can leverage this. And if it normally takes you a week to get a client up-to-speed, maybe you can talk to them and say, "It might take us one, two, maybe even three or four weeks to get you implementing depending on your responsiveness and depending on the detail."
If you can't get started for a couple months, we should probably get something signed in the next two weeks or so in order to be implemented by the time you want to get ready and go. You can leverage some of those pieces to get some commitment upfront and shorten that sales cycle to really encourage that prospect to make micro-commits. I'm a huge fan of micro-commits, because every time you get them to accept something, it gets them to have that bigger "Yes." Coming down the road, it makes it so much easier.
You got the question, you've got how to get them on the phone and get the demo. You're asking 80/20 and talking about assuming the sale... You guys have all heard of this. Assuming that sale is based on your confidence - not cockiness but confidence - in making sure that they can feel in your voice and in your intonations, or if you're in-person with them, their body language that you truly believe that your product or service is really going to make a huge difference.
Now if you don't believe that, obviously don't sell that because you don't want to burn a bridge. You've got to be an honest guy. You will always go further in your career if you are honest and have high integrity. But if it is the right fit, and it is something that you can do, and it can really make a big difference, then they better feel that. Not just hear it, but feel it from you. Assuming that sale by scheduling the follow-up before you end the call - that's part of assumption - by asking them the question, "If something like this were to work for you, when would you like to get started?" That's all part of assumptions.
And then even asking the questions, "Who else do you think I should be in contact with who maybe wants to see a demo on your team that could be involved?" That gives you an idea of maybe what other decision makers are involved without asking and putting down that person. "Who are the main decision makers who are going to make this decision?" making that person feel stupid potentially, if they're not the decision maker. You can ask, "Who else needs to be involved? Who else should I do a demo with? Who else can I be a part of?" If you are really good, you'd get all of those decision makers on your very first call, which sometimes it's a little bit harder to do that.
I wanted to be able to make sure that there are a few of these key pieces that could help you and your sales team really help to close more sales, get in the door and schedule more meetings so you can demo or have that sales conversation with your prospect. Again, this is short and sweet. I wanted to keep it here.
Again, my name is Bubba. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter, @BubbaPage is my Twitter handle. LinkedIn, happy to connect with you on LinkedIn as well. Love building relationships and helping anywhere I can. And, guys, keep on social selling. This is a great place to be and a great time to be in sales. Thanks a ton.