The recent SalesHacker Conference in San Francisco. This is literally a start-up conference company pulling together some of the hottest sales and marketing talent in the sales software productivity space. After listening to 12 presentations over an 8 hour period, my head was literally spinning (that was before happy hour!). Thanks to one of the sponsors PipelineDeals, the conference sessions are summarized on the Saleshacker.com website. Here are some of my insights and sales tips on this information packed day.
The Give and Get Spreadsheet (John Barrows, Sales Trainer to the Tech Sales Stars) @
John did a great job of kicking off the proceedings. He spoke about negotiations and the "art" of gives and gets. The concept of beating someone in a negotiation is an outdated concept. As a salesperson in today's interconnected world, you need to understand that every deal you make or blow up may impact your next deal or even your entire career. Developing a reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator is okay as long as your opponent (now your customer) is still standing. John discusses the need to develop a process for creating a balanced negotiation where both parties feel they are receiving a fair value. His simple, but effective spreadsheet helps manage this process.
Presented by: Gabu Luna-Ostaseski @gabelunao
The following sins directly relate to the sales process:
The All in One Salesperson – One common issue at startups is that their salespeople spend too much time doing things that don’t drive revenue. I encourage startups to focus on figuring out how to make things more efficient, automate, and specialize.
How to Avoid:
- Segment job roles
- Delegate or outsource low leverage taks
- Remove client success from responsibilities
Flying Blind – If you don’t know what should be happening at each point in the sales process, you’re not ready to scale. How are you going to grow your company and reach your goals if you’re flying blind? You need to break down your goals and understand what you need to be doing day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month at each point in your sales process in order to be successful.
You don’t necessarily need to manage by revenue in – you should also be managing by specific actions that should be completed. For example, think about the # of bookings that each sales rep should be making each week, each month, each quarter, etc. in order to grow your business to your goal.
How to Avoid:
- What gets measured gets managed
- Trending in reporting
- Identify and manage lead measures
Presented by Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks
Again, my favorite sales process related rules:
As a general rule, we’ve found that it takes 100 outreaches to get 10 conversations to get 1 deal. Our first 10 customers came from 10 different sources. We obtained customers from email, LinkedIn, conferences, referrals, and social. I had to go out and target customers where they were at.
One key learning that I have had at Betterworks is that your CEO has to do your sales early on. Don’t rely on a hired gun to get your first 10 sales. As you start to scale and gain some repeatability, you can start to bring in more salespeople.
Scaling requires outbound sales
There is a lot of latent demand out there for better solutions. In order to be successful with outbound sales, you need to tighten up your target market definition. By tightening up your target market, you will be able to develop better personas to contact.
I think of my phone as an ATM. I know that outbound reps can turn 10 numbers into dollars. There is so much opportunity out there.
Remember – with inbound leads, businesses already know that they have a problem and they want to know why they should choose you. With outbound leads, you need to identify that there is an issue and then transition to why you’re the best solution for them.