How We Did 52 Weeks of Business in 3.
Let's talk one-on-one for a few minutes. I don't often write first person and I rarely share the inside secrets of the billion dollar companies that we support. After a conversation with a senior executive a few days ago I thought I would make an exception.
Here is the big news -- my team and I have managed to do more business in 3 weeks than we did all last year. Seriously.
It took us 3 months of hard conversations and tough work to get to the “start line” and begin executing our process -- but it was worth it. I'll tell my exact numbers at the end of this article.
I know you might be struggling to increase your (or your team’s) performance. So I wanted to share a few secrets I’ve learned about a cool process I found called “Predictable Revenue” (which may or may not be so predictable, but, I didn’t name it...)
Here is how you can do the same:
1) Get laser focused on your lead generation.
Finding new customers is hard.
Which is why you need a system. A process. And it’s hard to sell to people you don’t know exist.
That’s where smart tools come in.
- LinkedIn lead gen apps (try LeadFuze or AeroLeads) will allow you to piggyback off of LinkedIn data in order to build your lists.
- We’re also heard great things about Clearbit Sheets, another killer product for doing lead gen at scale via your Google Sheets interface.
2) Double (or triple) your outbound sales email.
Frankly, you can’t increase your sales unless you increase the number of high quality outbound emails sent, phone calls logged, in-person visits made, smoke signals sent -- you get the picture.
It can be a numbers game. Start acting like it.
By the way, our process is 14 conversations in 30 business days. It works because it's "human" and accounts for the fact that most of our ideal targets are super busy and won't take action right away.
3) KISSS your emails
Keep, It, Short, Sweet, and Simple.
No more than 5 sentences.
A full paragraph between each sentence.
Don’t teach them industry jargon or buzzwords or what you do -- talk about what the prospect will receive.
4) Fall in love with sales technology.
Marc Andreessen is famous for saying, “software is eating the world.”
It doesn’t matter what part of your sales process you’re on -- there’s an app for that. Lead gen. Email automation. Contract management.
Want new super powers? There’s an app for that.
Like all of the goodies here. Yeah. I like those guys. You should too.
5) Systemize your next move
We both know it’s far easier to ask your existing customers to upgrade than to try to find new customers.
So do that. Develop a specific plan that includes an outreach cadence that makes it easy for them to want to upgrade.
- How long do you wait until you reach out and try to upsell more products?
- What specific products are you pitching as your upsell?
- How do your email templates read?
6) Learn all you can
Frankly, we found Predictable Revenue to be extremely helpful (some smart people have even called it the Silicon Valley sales bible).
We took what we learned and added our special sauce to it. The more we saw it working, the more creative we became.
We are still learning what works. We're only a few weeks into the New Year and already we have more business booked than all the weeks of last year combined.
And we're not going to stop learning. It's making us millions of dollars.
6) Live by your numbers.
Develop a “sales dashboard” that you can look at and check your progress.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t even matter what program you use. Just make sure to include these things:
- Number of sales emails sent per week
- Number of leads generated per week
- Number of inbound leads received per week
- Number of wins per week
- Average deal size
- Average sales cycle
7) Specialization is your friend.
If we break down the process, you’ve probably got 3 specific sales tasks (like we do):
- Lead generation - Finding new potential customers
- Closing - Securing partnerships with these new customers
- Account Management - Managing your customers
If you have the benefit of multiple sales team members, specialize their roles.
If you’re a one man band, specialize your time.
- 5 hours - lead generation
- 3 hours - closing
- 2 hours - account management
8) Templatize your awesomeness
Make what you do repeatable, repeatable, repeatable. As awesomely as repeatably possible.
But your templates had better not look like templates.
They’ve got to be emotional. Personal. Write like you’re only talking to one person. After all, you are.
Turn your whole sales process into a series of "templates". And keep making them better (that's right, by learning).
It works. But you have to stop and dig into the ugly details of what you have been doing -- and why.
9) Follow up on your follow up.
A “No response” is unacceptable.
You (or your sales rep) was just too lazy to follow-up. Don't hate. But that is truth.
It might take something like this to get a reply:
- Day 1 - Email
- Day 3 - Email
- Day 4 - Voicemail
- Day 5 - Linkedin Connection request
- Day 7 - Email
- Day 9 - Cold Call
- Day 11 - Email
- Day 13 - Twitter mention
- Day 15 Email
No more guesswork. Now you know when to reach out, how to reach out, and what specifically to say.
10) Stay hungry
Everything you do affects your sales process. Technology. Marketing. Psychology. Finance. All play a part in the sales hustle.
Study the new sales apps. Take a writing class (or imitate great authors). Read a good book. Practice your spreadsheet wizardry.
Whatever you do, keep fighting.
Here's the crazy math
We started off the year with a target list of 400 potential customers. I wanted to do business with 10 of them. That would yield epic results for us. We ran into a problem (a good one...) after 17 selling days.
We had reached out to 81 of those potential customers, talked with 53 of them, and signed a deal of 27 of them. More deals are following.
We achieved 1300% better results than expected.
I think you can do the same. It's not easy. And certainly this article won't change everything all at one time.
But it might be the best start you've had in a long, long time.