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The Modern Selling Podcast

Author: Mario Martinez Jr

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The Modern Selling podcast, hosted by Mario Martinez, Jr., is the go-to podcast for sales leaders, sales professionals, business owners, sales enablement leaders, and anyone responsible for generating revenue. Mario's guests are practitioners in the trenches, experts in their profession and influencers who are leveraging modern selling techniques to inspire you to create more sales conversations with your target buyer!
107 Episodes
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! Some people say cold calling is dead, that B2B prospects don’t answer the phone anymore. But my guest in this episode of the Modern Selling podcast says that he gets a 95% closing rate with the cold calling scripts he shared during our interview. Meet Joe  Pici, CEO and co-founder of Pici & Pici Inc. Joe is co-author of Sell Naked on the Phone and the host for the popular SALES EDGE Podcast. Joe has functioned as a catalyst for sales teams and individuals. Starting in 1992, he relentlessly studied and applied cutting edge sales techniques, propelling himself to be a top  25% producer internationally. This led business leaders globally to hire him for sales seminars. He then distilled his strategies into a  skill-based, sales training program, Rapport  Mastery™, which helps sales professionals sharpen their skills for creating appointments and closing sales through live, outbound phone call workshops. He was the 2020 recipient of the #1 sales trainer ranking by Global Gurus and his sales development program was voted BEST IN THE WORLD. Join us in this fascinating conversation and take note of the proven cold calling scripts Joe has used to book thousands of appointments across different industries. Cold Calling Today The phone today doesn’t have the importance it used to have in sales. In fact, at Vengreso, the phone is the third step in our sales cadence. In our experience, B2B buyers are not answering or returning calls, so the sales rep must warm up the call through an omnichannel approach, combining social selling and email outreach. Joe, however, says he favors the phone to make the first approach. In fact, he says there is no such thing as a cold, warm or hot call; the success of the call depends on the sales script and the bridge statement you use (for example, “Mario recommended I called you.”). By the end of the day, succeeding with a sales call is not about being charismatic or having a charming personality but about having a system. Joe acknowledges that he wasn’t charismatic at all when he started in sales, but he discovered a system that worked and now he teaches other sellers to implement it in their lead generation process. Cold Calling Scripts that Your Sales Team can Use to Book More Appointments I found it surprising when Joe shared one of his sales scripts to hear that he asks a question many sales experts say you should never ask: “Is this a good time?” But he says it actually works! Let me explain. The first script he gave me is this: “Hello, John. This is Joe Pici from Pici & Pici. Is this a good time?” If the answer is no, then Joe asks, “What would be a better time?” At that point, most people will reply, “Well, what is this all about?” That's the question you want as a seller, because the prospect has given you permission to tell him or her your value proposition (the secret is to do it in one powerful sentence). Here’s what Joe says: “John, I specialize in helping speakers, trainers and consultants [replace with your vertical] take their intellectual property and talent and make more money.” And then he doesn't say another word. Although many salespeople are afraid of the silence and love to talk, the pause here is very important. You must give them a chance to process and respond, even if the silence becomes uncomfortable. Many times, people would say: “Tell me more.” “Would it be worth 20 minutes for me to show you how to take your talent and intellectual property and monetize it?” If they say no, the call is done, they have disqualified themselves. But if they say yes, that’s the time to book the appointment or even move into the appointment and start asking questions about the pain, the desired results and the timeline. I loved this cold call script because Joe is talking directly to the pain of the prospects and telling them how he can help them. This is exactly what we do in our social selling through LinkedIn, when we send InMail messages. It’s the same approach but through a different medium. Joe’s specialty is cold calling, mine is digital selling. So, I asked him about leaving voice messages when people don’t answer the phone. He said he always leaves a voicemail and gave me the script that gets him 81% of return calls. Here it is: “This is Joe Pici of Pici & Pici. I'm sorry I missed you. I know we're both very busy. The reason why I'm calling is I specialize in helping sales professionals get better leads, book better appointments and close more business. My phone number is 407-947-2590. If I don't hear from you in 48 hours, I'll give you another call.” Joe explains the psychology behind this sales script: the sales rep releases the prospect from the guilt of not calling back and makes a promise to call again, warming up the next phone call. 3 Tips for Creating the Perfect Cold Call Script Here are some great tips I gathered from my conversation with Joe Pici. 1. Be specific with your value proposition One of the key elements in Joe’s sales call script above is the value proposition, which can be tweaked depending on the industry or vertical you are dealing with. For example, Vengreso’s value proposition is: “We help sales leaders train their sellers to create more sales conversations to increase their pipeline.”  But if one of our sellers were calling a prospect at an insurance company, Joe recommends saying this instead: “We specialize in helping insurance sales leaders train their producers to create more sales conversations to increase their pipeline.” In our case, as it is the case with Joe, the statement above is true, because when we train a group of salespeople in a particular industry, we tailor the program to their particular needs. 2. Follow a system that works As mentioned before, cold calling is not about personality or charisma, but a process. You may encourage your sales reps to try their own variation of the scripts mentioned in this episode, or create their own from scratch. Once they find what works for them they should follow the scripts. Listen to the episode to learn how Joe trained a 74 year-old lady to follow the scripts and how she booked 12 appointments during the practice run on the third day of the training program. 3. Write scripts that are not personal Nobody likes rejection, nobody likes the word “no”. In fact, many talented sellers quit the profession because of the constant rejection. When a sales rep’s call script says something like, “Can I take a few minutes of your time?” and the answer is negative, they are taking a personal rejection because the script is personal. However, if the script is about the benefits the buyer will receive from making business with your company, when they say no, they will be saying no to the results, not to the sales rep. As a sales leader, you must protect your sales team as much as you protect the buyer. Therefore, teach them to write cold calling scripts that are not personal. Listen to the whole episode for some great anecdotes and examples of how Joe used his cold calling scripts to book appointments and close deals and how your sellers can do the same. Outline of This Episode [2:48] Joe’s Journey: From Football Coach to Sales Consultant. [10:15] How sellers can use the phone today. [16:14] Cold calling scripts from Joe. [18:22] How to read people’s behaviors. [28:53] Best methods to get a return call from a voicemail. [32:38] The importance of the value proposition. [38:37] Researching the pain points of the buyer. [48:12] How to deal with rejection. Resources Mentioned Connect with Joe Pici on LinkedIn Follow Joe on Twitter: @PiciandPici Joe’s favorite movie: Rocky series Pici & Pici Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! We all know the mantra of sales leadership: find, recruit and retain top talent. But after recruiting, the most important role of a leader is to provide feedback and coaching. My guest in this episode of the Modern Selling podcast is an experienced leader who brings five amazing sales coaching tips you can use, whether you are a seasoned leader or just starting out as a sales leader. Dive into the fascinating conversation with Scott Miller, Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership at FranklinCovey Co. Scott leads the strategy, development, and publication of FranklinCovey’s bestselling books and thought leadership, which provide the framework for the company’s world-renowned content and solutions. He is the author of FranklinCovey’s Management Mess to Leadership Success: Become the Leader You Would Follow (Mango Media). He is also the co-author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves A Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team, released in October 2019 (Simon & Schuster). In his previous roles as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Chief Marketing Officer, Scott helped lead the global transformation of FranklinCovey’s brand to match the transformation of the company. Prior to that, as General Manager of Client Facilitation Services, Miller worked with thousands of clients and client facilitators in numerous markets in over thirty countries. He has presented to hundreds of audiences across every industry, and loves to share his unique journey as an unfiltered leader thriving in today’s highly filtered corporate culture. He is definitely a leadership expert and you don’t want to miss the sales coaching tips he reveals in this interview. Five Sales Coaching Tips for Success Many sales leaders were promoted to their current positions because they were the top performers in their team or because they had many skills and talents that helped them climb the corporate ladder. But the truth is that they don’t know how to lead. Leadership is about building people and leaving a legacy and that involves continuous sales coaching with your team. The following five sales coaching tips will help you become a better leader. 1. Develop a Leader’s Mindset The first role of a leader or manager is to develop a leader’s mindset. The old mindset was, “I achieve results on my own.” That’s what people promoted into leadership did as independent producers, but they must realize that what they did as top sales representatives has no correlation to leadership. Scott says that the new mindset is, “I get work done with and through other people.” And that requires a new set of skills. 2. Nurture the Goose and get the Golden Eggs According to data from a leadership training firm, the average promotion into leadership is at age 30, but the average age at which they receive leadership training is 42. That’s a 12 year gap! The pressure for growth in many companies doesn’t allow leaders and managers to slow down and teach leadership principles. Scott says that sales leaders must be conscious of the type of growth they want to achieve so they don’t burn out their sales reps and balance that with sales coaching -- that way you nurture the goose (the sellers) and get the golden eggs (the sales). The role of leaders is to enable, grow, pollinate and build their teams, which takes time and effort. So make it a priority to set apart time for sales coaching with your reps. 3. Check your ego Self-awareness is one of the most important traits of a leader. As a sales leader, you must recognize your strengths and also your areas of growth, your weaknesses. Listen to your team and own your mess. Scott advises newly promoted leaders to sit down with their team and admit that they are scared and that they don’t have all the answers. That will create a culture of honesty and trust. Understand that the leader is the linchpin of culture in any organization and people don’t quit their jobs, they quit bad bosses and corrupt cultures. 4. Make it safe for people to tell the truth One of my favorite quotes from this interview is “bad news is acceptable, wrong news is not acceptable.” Wrong news means people are lying to you instead of telling you something that went bad with a deal. As a sales leader you have to create an environment where it’s safe for your sellers to tell you the truth. How? Talking through the bad news, assessing what could be done better and finding teachable moments to coach your reps instead of shouting and getting angry. Create a culture where each sales rep performs, learns, grows and owns his or her mistakes without fear. 5. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room Scott says that if you believe you have to be the smartest person in the room, you will only hire people who are below your skill level and that will hold back the organization. As a sales leader your job is not to be the best sales person, but to recruit and retain talent, put systems in place, coach, mentor, be patient and exit people when they are the wrong fit. That means you can have sellers that are better than you ever were without feeling threatened. Your job is to retain that quality talent and give them feedback on their blindspots. An Extra Sales Coaching Tip for Success Many times, as a sales leader, you will feel tempted to jump in and save the day when a member of your team is in trouble. But what if you allow the sales rep to make a mistake and turn that into a coaching opportunity? The fact is that if you don’t coach, you won’t be able to scale the business. If you are always saving the day, then the success of the business or the quota of the sales team will depend on you alone. Scott says that leaders must calibrate their time. Sometimes they will have to step in and close a deal, but sometimes they will have to allow things to happen to have a teachable moment. The job of the leader is knowledge transfer, not only from his or her coaching sessions, but also beyond that. The best leaders think, “How do I create capacity over time so that the person I’m coaching can then coach someone else?” The secret to success then is to become a leader of leaders, where your mentees are mentoring others at the same time. Listen to this episode to learn more about coaching sales reps and some great examples of teachable moments with our sales teams. Outline of This Episode [8:30] The Leadership Mindset [12:30] Nurturing the goose and getting the golden eggs [15:42] Checking your ego [23:00] Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room [27:30] More tips for coaching for success Resources Mentioned Connect with Scott Miller on LinkedIn Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottmillerj1 Scott’s favorite movie: The Devil’s Advocate FranklynCovey Scott’s book: Management Mess to Leadership Success Recommended book: Multipliers by Liz Wiseman Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges   Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn   Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! We are living now in what many people call the “new normal”. Sales leaders and sales teams have been forced to adapt quickly to shifting priorities and budgets, including working from home mandates and remote selling. But, what does the future of sales look like? Are we going back to how things were before COVID or is the new normal here to stay? That is the fascinating topic of conversation I had with my guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast, Hang Black, VP of Global Sales & Technical Enablement at Juniper Networks. Hang develops and delivers a strategic framework for consistently onboarding new sellers, continuous talent nurture, and implementation of best practices in sales programs and tools. As an experienced leader in high-tech companies, her expertise spans sales enablement, business development, marketing and engineering in large companies like AMD and Cisco as well as smaller companies such as Gigamon and 8x8. Hang is a global speaker on sales, leadership, and a passionate advocate for women in the workplace. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, plus three patents in semiconductor manufacturing. The New Normal is Not the Future of Sales The future of sales is not what we experienced before the pandemic nor is it what we are living today. According to Hang, the current environment is not the new normal but a far swing of the pendulum before we go back to a point somewhere in the middle. In the post-quarantine world, sales professionals won’t be working from home all the time, but neither will outside sales teams be in the field as they used to. For example, in the last few years, a salesperson relied on trade shows for prospecting and lead generation. In 2020, there are no trade shows but virtual events are very successful for B2B companies. Hang believes that in the post-covid world, not all trade shows will come back, as some people will prefer the convenience and affordability of virtual events. She thinks that in-person events will be more intimate and meaningful; they will be more limited in attendance because they will be more targeted and less blanketed. In the post-covid world, B2B sales reps must be more mindful of people’s time and add more value. Why? Because although in a virtual environment you may have higher attendance than in live events, that does not mean every attendee will be engaged. Each sales rep must work hard to try and engage people online with content that’s relevant to them. What Will Sales Look Like in 2021? In 2021, sales organizations will still have a field sales team but with a strong virtual component with sales reps who know how to leverage tools and technology. Hang says that at Juniper Networks, she is focusing on two major bets for the future of sales:  Leveraging skills for digital and social selling and Blurring the line between sales and technical sales. COVID was the perfect storm to start working on major social selling initiatives. That’s why a team from Juniper Networks took Vengreso’s digital training program, Selling with LinkedIn® Teams, to learn how to find, engage and connect with prospects on LinkedIn® and start more sales conversations. Sales leaders and sales enablement leaders must look at what’s coming and plan for a world that’s more digital than ever before. Gartner data from 2018 already showed that B2B buyers only spent 17% of their time with vendors. And with an average of three vendors per buyer, a company would only have 5.6% of the time with a prospect. The 2020 quarantines have accelerated the trend towards digital buying in the B2B world. Hang’s personal experience helped her see the importance of implementing a digital selling initiative at Juniper’s sales organization. While a lot of people may like to use the phone, she prefers other methods of communication such as SMS and email. Hang realized every customer is different and inside sales reps must use an omnichannel approach to learn what their preferred method of contact is. Then, the marketing and sales teams can implement AB testing and AI to learn what works in different regions and with different campaigns to close a sale. Listen to our conversation in this episode to learn how Juniper is preparing for the post-quarantine world and Hang’s efforts to blur the line between sales and sales tech.  Outline of This Episode [2:30] Hang’s story: from Chemical Engineer to Head of Global Sales Enablement [4:43] Women in sales. [8:28] What sales leaders should think about for re-entry after COVID. [13:05] Planning how the world will be in 2021. [20:29] The 2 focus areas of Juniper for the future. [31:09] Tools and technology. Resources Mentioned Connect with Hang Black on LinkedIn Follow Hang on Twitter: @HangwithHang Hang’s favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption  Juniper Networks Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! The sales landscape has changed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Sales leaders’ priorities shifted and sales prospecting strategies pivoted. Many companies went from growth forecasts to survival mode, and those sales professionals who have not adapted to the new normal of remote selling are struggling. What is the solution? That’s the topic of conversation in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast with John Barrows, CEO of JBarrows Sales Training. John provides sales training and consulting services to some of the world’s fastest growing companies like, Google, LinkedIn®, Slack and many others. His over 20 years of experience spans all aspects of Sales at every level from making 400 cold calls a week as an inside sales rep to a VP of Sales at his first start-up that was sold to Staples. He’s an active sales practitioner who trains in what he does every day. He’s also the author of an Amazon best-seller children’s book called “I want to be in Sales when I grow up” that he wrote with his daughter. Listen to this episode as John shares great insights on how to succeed in sales in the new normal. Developing Relevant Sales Prospecting Strategies Many sales people lost their jobs during the economic downturn of the last few months. However, John says there was a different outcome for average sales reps than for good sales reps: those reps that didn’t improve their skills and relied on automation to hit quota got laid off when COVID came, but those who leveled up their game, kept their jobs. There are no silver bullets in sales, no email templates that guarantee sales success. As a sales leader you must teach your sellers to put in the hard work, to take their profession seriously, honing their craft and improving all the time. Now is the time for salespeople to go deep into personalization, stay relevant and start caring for the people they are trying to reach. John shares three sales prospecting strategies that sellers can use to succeed in the new normal. 1. Go Deep with Personalization John says sellers should stop using strict cadences, stop automating everything and start personalizing. They should do their homework and put themselves in the shoes of their prospects. For example, sellers could research the issues that VPs of Sales are facing right now and ask themselves, what is the component of our product or service that helps them solve that problem? Then they should reach out and connect with the VPs based on their research. 2. Lead with Empathy and Thoughtfulness John says there is a lot of fake empathy going around, meaning sales reps sending “friendly messages” in cold outreaches. For example, generic messages such as “I hope you and your family are doing well” are not well received. The formula for real empathy is: Empathy = Personalization + Relevance Real empathy comes from understanding your prospect’s real needs today, not the needs they had two or three months ago before COVID. That involves revisiting your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or buyer personas, because they have changed (or if the personas have not changed, at least their priorities have). When was the last time you called your top clients and asked them, “What are you facing right now?” By finding what your current customers are going through, you can understand what your prospects may be going through as well and develop real empathy. The great thing about this exercise is that your clients will be happy to tell your reps what type of messaging would resonate with them, so your sellers can use that messaging during their sales prospecting. 3. Gain insights John says that the top three priorities for sales leaders right now are: Revenue Qualified meetings Insights Revenue and meetings are obvious, but gaining insights is also vital for sales prospecting. Figure out the three questions your sellers must ask in every single meeting and have them record their answers in a shared document for the whole team. Then look for trends to discover what works, what doesn’t and what are the indicators that a deal will close or will be lost. Listen as John shares the questions his team asks their prospects and how they use those insights to sell more. Leveraging Sales Video Another sales prospecting strategy we discussed was sales video messaging. Video has the highest response rate because it allows sellers to show empathy through facial expressions and body language. During the current pandemic, it’s important to teach your sellers to genuinely connect with prospects through video. How? Matching their target buyer, whether smiling and being passionate or staying calm and professional. Finally, John advises sales leaders to be flexible and to not hold their reps to their pre-COVID goals. Instead, they should reassess their goals and their ICPs in the new normal, and plan for the short term, not the long term. Sales leaders should be transparent with their team and share what is happening every week. Only then, you will succeed. Listen to this episode for more tactical tips on sales prospecting in the current environment. Outline of This Episode [2:23] John’s story: from Xerox seller to CEO to Sales Trainer [8:59] What sales reps need to be doing differently. [16:04] There are no silver bullets in sales. [21:41] Why you must revise your IPC and buyer persona now. [28:33] How to avoid fake empathy. [39:12] Leverage sales video. [40:32] How to identify your prospect’s real needs. [48:04] The top three priorities of sales leaders right now. [58:52] Lessons for sales leaders.  Resources Mentioned Connect with John Barrows on LinkedIn Follow John on Twitter: @JohnMBarrows John’s favorite movie: Animal House JBarrows Training John’s book: I Want to be in Sales when I Grow Up Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! The average tenure of a sales rep is 15 months and according to a report by DePaul University replacing a sales rep costs organizations $97,690 on average. That’s why when building sales teams, sales leaders must know how to attract, develop and retain top talent. My guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast is Wendy Mitchell-Covington, National Vice President of Sales Success at TriNet. She is a strategist who has successfully built and scaled sales organizations. Throughout an extensive sales and leadership career, she has been committed to attracting, developing and retaining top talent. She believes top performing sales professionals are the engine that drive every flourishing company. Listen to this episode as Wendy shares her experience building sales teams and tips on how to build your own successful team. Helping Sales Reps Through Tough Times Many sellers are finding it hard to stay engaged and maintain productivity during the current health crisis. Not only have their working conditions changed but in many instances their target customer is not buying. Wendy says that it’s important for sales leaders to understand what’s going on with their team. Are they isolated at home and feeling depressed? Or are they trying to homeschool their kids while prospecting and attending virtual meetings? Once sales leaders understand the daily reality of their team, they can take actions to alleviate their pain. For example, at Trinet, they implemented a very detailed communication plan to address these issues and provide help. As a result, they established virtual meditation and exercise sessions, and began celebrating small wins more often to keep sellers motivated. Lessons in Building Sales Teams Wendy explains that there are three key ingredients sales leaders must have to build a great sales team: Attract top talent. Develop top talent. Retain top talent. To attract top talent leaders must identify the characteristics and past experiences required for success in the role they’re hiring for, whether it’s B2B or B2C experience, long sales cycles or transactional cycles, in-person selling or remote selling -- whatever the needs are for your organization. Wendy says one of the most important skills a sales leader needs is knowing how to conduct behavioral-based interviews. Listen as Wendy shares three fundamental questions you must ask every candidate. Once you hire top talent you must develop and retain them, starting from day one. Wendy says sales leaders must challenge their sellers constantly so they won’t feel stuck. You can do this by working together on a development plan and helping them improve their craft every day. Top talent will stay with your company if they feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves, so communicate your vision continuously. And, of course, you must be financially competitive if you want to retain them. Teach your Sellers to Think Like a CEO One of the keys to make your team feel part of something bigger than themselves is to teach them to think like a CEO. That means helping them understand and feel how they fit within the organization, and the impact and contribution of their work. Listen to my conversation with Wendy as we share some real life stories on how we accomplished this with our sellers and more tips about building your sales team. Outline of This Episode [2:13] From Dance to Sales: Wendy’s sales career. [7:13] How to help your team to stay engaged and productive when pipelines are frozen. [20:23] How Trinet is helping businesses to thrive during the COVID-19 crisis. [24:24] Lessons in building sales teams. [38:04] How to retain Millennial sellers. [42:09] The mindset needed to stay motivated as a part of a large sales team. Resources Mentioned Connect with Wendy Mitchell-Covington on LinkedIn Follow Trinet on Twitter: @TriNet Wendy’s favorite movie: Molly’s Game Trinet Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! A large number of sales organizations in America are still dominated by white male leaders,  which means they’re missing out on the great benefits of inclusion and diversity in sales. Exposure to other cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds has the potential of taking organizations to the next level, providing fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. My guest on this episode is Sara Jones, CEO of InclusionPro®, where she consults thoughtful leaders on building inclusive cultures, with a particular focus on team performance and innovation. Sara has more than 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, talent, workforce, operations, partnerships, content/product, fundraising and legal strategies. Sara is also Co-Founder of Women Tech Council (WTC), a national organization focused on the economic impact of women in driving high growth for the technology sector. Listen as Sara shares her experiences and insights on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Sara’s Story: From an Orphanage to the Board Room Sara came to the U.S. in the 1970s as a Korean adoptee. Growing up in a religious community in Salt Lake City, UT, she experienced what it felt to be different. Not only did she look different than her parents, but she arrived in America as a two year old with a strange tattoo on her arm. Little did she know that that tattoo would be the clue to find her birth family many years later. Listen to the fascinating and emotional story of how Sara reunited with her brothers in South Korea after decades of being separated and how that encounter inspired her to improve diversity and inclusion in the corporate world. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at  The Power of Inclusion and Diversity in Sales Sara says that people at every company want to be accepted for who they are, including their cultural background and ethnicity; they don’t want to be seen just as an asset or a job title. They are human beings with different perspectives and worldviews that can contribute to the organization.  A person’s identity shapes their thoughts and actions at work. When sales leaders don’t recognize that those perspectives have a real business value, they are missing on the potential of different sales techniques that the leader may not be accustomed to. Inclusion by Design Sara notes that everyone started their careers without all the skills and the knowledge they needed, even white people, but were given the opportunity. That’s because people are hired on potential. CEOs and Sales Leaders must be intentional in hiring a diverse workforce, even if it means giving opportunities to people from minority backgrounds that don’t have all the skills yet, but have the potential to grow in their careers. Sara calls this inclusion by design: when leaders are strategic in building a diverse organization. This was the case with Vengreso. My co-founders and I created a minority-owned diverse business with Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, men and women, Millennials and Boomers at all levels of the organization. We focused on building a diverse workforce, which is why our About page includes people of all ages, races, and locations. Listen as Sara and I tell stories that illustrate good and bad examples of diversity in the workplace and tips on how to make your organization more inclusive.
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! Many companies still train their sales reps with outdated methodologies from 20 or 30 years ago. But the modern buyer is very different. To teach skills that will help sellers reach digitally savvy buyers who prefer to do research on their own before engaging with them, organizations must change their sales training strategies and delivery methods. My guest on this episode is Dr. Mary Shea, Principal Analyst at Forrester. She has been interested in the topic of sales training for many years, both as a salesperson, a sales leader, and now as a researcher. Her research focuses on the empowered B2B modern buyer and how business leaders must adapt, organize, and enable their marketers, sellers, and channel partners to succeed both today and in the future. Mary helps the world's leading brands figure out how to adapt their go-to-market strategies to match the expectations of the modern buyer and the modern buying and selling dynamics. Listen as Mary shares her experience and practical advice for sales leaders. [bctt tweet="#SalesLeaders, are your sales #training strategies relevant to today’s modern buyer? Learn how to train sellers to reach the modern buyer on the @GoModernSelling podcast with @GoVengreso CEO, @M_3Jr and @sheaforr of @Forrester." username="GoVengreso"] NOW is the Time for Sales Leaders to Revisit Their Sales Training Strategies Mary says that the B2B buyer has changed so much that organizations need to go back and revisit their sales training strategies, whether that's in-house or outsourced to a provider or a hybrid approach. Business buyers do more and more research on their own, visiting review sites like TrustRadius and G2 Crowd and consulting their personal networks. Millennials are now a third of the US workforce and by 2025 they will make up about 45% of the global workforce. These digital natives are very comfortable learning on their own and transacting over the internet without help. And, according to Forrester research, they continue acting more like consumers. Sales leaders must ask themselves whether or not their sales training program is providing their sellers the skills they need to be successful in a digital world. Last year, Mary led the research on a Forrester published report detailing the findings of a study of the different types of sales training providers in the market. The report helps companies understand who's delivering training in modern formats that their employee base will really care about, using language that is appropriate for the 21st century, showing visuals that make sense to today’s salesforce, and using the right sales tools. Mary says that when COVID-19 came, all the trends she had observed in the market and that she expected to take 24 to 36 months to become mainstream, suddenly accelerated. Now that both sellers and buyers are working from home, companies realize that they cannot reach buyers through old methods. Organizations that didn't have the right sales training provider in place or haven't revisited their sales training strategies are scrambling to figure out how they can empower sellers to achieve success in a virtual world. [bctt tweet="#SalesLeadership, listen now to the @GoModernSelling podcast as @M_3jr interviews @sheaforr of @Forrester about sales training strategies to help sellers reach the modern buyer." username="GoVengreso"] How to Leverage the Mediums to Engage with the Modern Buyer Sellers today must learn the skills to communicate with buyers across different channels available to them (phone, chat, social media, etc.). They must understand how to engage effectively and with the right etiquette in all these mediums. Many sellers still don’t know how to use LinkedIn® correctly, sending InMail messages that are not personalized nor targeted to the right audience, thus wasting opportunities to connect with prospects. Because of social distancing, it’s not possible to visit clients or meet for a coffee. Sellers must engage with prospects and clients digitally, so they must learn the skills to do it effectively. Sales leaders and sales enablement leaders must provide sellers with these skills to help them achieve success. Mary says that as we go through the social impact of this pandemic and economic downturn, we will not be going back to anything that looks like the past. Instead, we'll be carving out a new future for how we do business, how we interact and engage - and digital selling is going to be a critical piece of that. That’s why organizations need to make sure their sellers have the right skills for this new normal. [bctt tweet="Are you training your #SalesTeam to meet the demands of the #ModernBuyer? Listen as @M_3Jr interviews @sheaforr of @Forrester on the @GoModernSelling podcast on modern #SalesTraining techniques." username="GoVengreso"] How to Evaluate a Sales Training Program When evaluating an outside provider or even your in-house trainers, you must pay attention to these two elements: #1: Delivery Methods Are they being innovative and assertive in terms of creating new and different ways to deliver the experience? The content should be delivered in different formats and not just in-person or webinar. They should use different platforms, including hands-on training and coaching on how to use tools. #2: Content Relevance Does the training relate to the types of challenges and opportunities that your sellers are experiencing now and will experience in the future? The program should go beyond “figuring out how to navigate around the gatekeeper” and address other skills that are more relevant in our current environment, such as engaging prospects on social media and all the different channels where they are. Sellers must know that each channel and social network has different rules of etiquette that they must follow. Mary also noted that during her research, some sales leaders were disappointed that the language the trainers used didn't relate to their employee set, that visuals were very dated and awkward and then even in some cases service providers were delivering bound notebooks at the end of the session instead of digital workbooks. Listen to the episode to catch all of the great advice Mary shares. The Role of Technology in Sales Training The current health crisis has driven most, if not all, sales training online. Virtual Instructor-Led Training is now the norm. But it’s not enough to move the in-person training to a webinar. Any virtual sales training program must include the seven principles of effective learning. For examples of programs that include those principles, look at Vengreso’s Selling with LinkedIn® and Selling with Video Virtual Bootcamp.
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! For many sales leaders, it’s unthinkable to consider an outsourced sales team, simply because it’s way outside the box we typically operate within. But my guest on this episode of #ModernSelling has many persuasive reasons outsourcing your sales team may be the absolute best way to go, both for budgetary reasons and for increasing sales.  Ben Simms is Vice President of Ominchannel Sales (I LOVE that title!) at MarketSource, a leader of outsourced sales delivery for a large portfolio of clients in a wide range of industries. Naturally, Ben is enthusiastic about the services his company provides, but not because it’s how he makes his living. He’s sold on the way the company's services can transform and accelerate the growth of companies of all types. Join us for this conversation! This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Why Should You Consider Outsourcing Your Sales Team? Given the current climate surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Ben says that now is NOT the time to double-down on how you’ve always done sales. Anything even remotely perceived as “sales-y” these days is receiving strong push-back and you can’t afford to cast your brand in that light. Instead, Ben suggests that it’s an opportune time to evaluate what you’ve been doing and make changes that fit the times.  The right outsourced sales partner will take a deep dive into your problems and help you come up with solutions that fit both your needs and budget. They will also look at the opportunities available to you and enable you to acquire the capabilities to take advantage of the opportunities sooner. When it comes to sales messaging and the proper approach, they serve as a partner to help you dial in your sales approach to reach your ideal buyers. Find out more by listening to our conversation.  What Sales Roles Can Be Outsourced? There’s a misconception that outsourcing your sales team really means you’re hiring someone to do lead generation only. The reality is that companies like MarketSource provide a wide range of B2B sales and marketing solutions. They can deploy and manage inside sales, outside sales, direct sales, and channel sales teams for both small and large companies. They work with you to ensure the sales objectives they are pursuing are the ones you want to be pursued, that the proper ROI is being achieved, that brand awareness is being cultivated, and that communication happens to keep the entire process smooth and effective. It’s hard to imagine how it could work if you've never looked into the model, but once you hear Ben describe the wide variety of companies his teams work with and the results they’re getting, you’ll agree that the idea of outsourcing your sales deserves serious consideration. Focus On Your Strengths And Let Professionals Take Over The Other Stuff Many companies have developed extraordinary skills in providing rich and vibrant experiences for their customers. Others major on product development and innovation. But when it comes to prospecting, filling the sales funnel, and driving sales, these companies often struggle to keep the company afloat. Ben says that in situations like this, it’s smart to double-down on what you do best and work with a team of professionals to amplify and execute in the areas where you are not as strong. Is that a new thought to you? Think of the possibilities if instead of creating a detailed sales process, interviewing and hiring a sales team, and bringing on full-time sales leaders to oversee them, you were able to tap into the expertise and skill of an existing team of sales professionals. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Listen to this conversation to get the full picture! How Outsourcing Sales Can Solve Your Tech Stack Problems Many companies have trouble keeping up with the technology side of sales simply because it becomes cost-prohibitive over time. The more your sales team grows, the more licenses for software tools you need to purchase. That dynamic is what causes many internal sales teams to resort to using a glorified CRM as their entire tech stack when better solutions, including some social selling tools, would make them more effective and truly increase the bottom line. How does an outsourced sales team address this problem? Due to the volume of sales work outsourced companies like MarketSource engage in, they’ve already purchased the tech tools needed to resource their large team. When you outsource your sales needs to one of these companies you benefit from the amazing array of tech tools they are already using. Working with them, you’ll be able to determine the best sales cycle and sequence for your prospect’s buying journey and which tech tools to implement for the best customer experience and sales results. You’ll see your profitability and efficiency increase as a result, without spending extra money on your own tech stack. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Outline of This Episode [4:15] Ben’s background in sales and the path that took him to MarketSource [10:50] Why should you consider outsourcing sales for your company? [15:56] What types of companies does outsourced sales work best for? [18:46] How to sell outsourced sales to internal stakeholders [21:23] What role does the financial cost play in the internal discussion? [29:40] How to select and manage an outsourced sales partner [32:10] Does an outsourced team need to be considered part of your company culture? [46:37] What does it mean to use the word “omichannel?” Resources Mentioned Connect with Ben on LinkedIn Follow Ben on Twitter @EBSimms MarketSource (where Ben serves) Ben’s all-time favorite movie: Caddyshack Xant Map Anything Salesforce Hubspot CRM Sales Navigator OneMob Vidyard Docusign Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook OnTwitter OnYouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! One of the most dramatic changes the sales community is having to make due to COVID-19 is the switch to remote selling VS an in-office role. Working from home is not easy for many people and even worse for those who thrive on the collaboration and energy of a corporate work environment. To address this pressing topic I invited Chad Olds, VP of Worldwide Sales at Anchore to discuss the issue with me on this episode of the #ModernSelling podcast. Chad’s experience and advice are timely and beneficial so I encourage you to equip yourself for the move to a home-based office by listening to this episode! This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Two Powerful Approaches To Selling From Home I hope that making the transition to remote selling will be one where you find great success. But I know from personal experience that it’s not an easy transition to make. That’s why I asked Chad to share his advice about making the transition happen smoothly and successfully. He had two insightful approaches that I know will help most people. ONE: Tackle the hardest or most important tasks of your day first. Chad has discovered that there is something motivating and empowering about getting his head around his most daunting tasks right off the bat each day. He says once it’s organized in his head he feels much more capable of productively taking on the rest of the challenges of the day. TWO: Don’t let work push out your family time. It’s almost a guarantee, if you’re remote selling from your home office, you’re going to be putting in more than 40 hours per week. But don’t let that push your family out of its rightful place of priority. Chad schedules time each day to have lunch with his kids and three times a week he takes care of the kids during the day so his wife can get out of the house. These are just examples. What could you do to integrate work and life now that you’re selling remotely from home? Use Home-Based Interruptions To Your Advantage When Remote Selling I’ve worked from home now for a while. The Vengreso team is entirely remote. I’ve learned that the interruptions that come from being at home don’t have to be embarrassing. They can be endearing and positive for both you and your customers. Chad and I agree that you should learn to use the home-based distractions and interruptions to your advantage. How do you do that? Embrace them when they happen. If you’re on a video call and your kids burst into the room, don’t apologize, laugh about it with your customer. It’s a situation we are all dealing with these days and it helps to humanize you to your buyers. When they see you confidently and calmly handling the unplanned circumstances of your situation they’ll develop trust that you can handle their concerns with the same tact and poise. Sales Leaders: Don’t Assume Your Team Will Stay Connected If you are a sales leader who’s managing a remote selling team for the first time, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Some of the necessary things that happen more easily and more naturally when your entire sales team goes to work at a central location will not happen automatically in a remote selling situation. You’re going to have to dedicate time to think through what’s needed and figure out ways to make it happen. Do you need to schedule weekly update or collaboration calls? Is there a need for on-the-spot interaction between team members throughout the day? These are just examples you may face. Your team’s unique needs must be addressed to make the switch to working from home a positive experience. Don’t assume your team will communicate as they should. Don’t assume they’ll stay connected to you or each other. Make it happen for them. How To Negotiate With Your Employer If Your Job Is On The Line The financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in companies of all sizes. Sales is one of the hardest hit departments because every company is cutting back to ensure essential operations can continue, making prospects in your pipeline less likely to buy during this time. That means many sellers are being furloughed and others are being laid off. If that’s you, put your prospecting and negotiating skills to work for yourself. Chad points out that in some cases it’s possible to negotiate a temporarily lower compensation package to stay employed. You can also suggest benefits your employer could give you instead of your normal compensation that could cost them next to nothing. Get creative. You may find that you can salvage your position. If you do find yourself out of work, get started searching for a new role immediately. Set up a search in LinkedIn just like you would if you were prospecting. Make a list of the companies and roles you could fill, note the people you know in those companies, and reach out. The sooner you get on their radar, the better. And don’t be afraid of taking a “lesser” position if you need to. Demonstrating a consistent habit of diligence to be employed is better than having a gap in employment. Listen to hear Chad’s additional tips and how the two of us recommend you make the most of your LinkedIn profile to be more attractive to potential recruiters and employers. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Outline of This Episode [2:23] Chad: BDR turned Inside Sales turned AE turned Head of Sales [8:59] The important things you need to sell from home [11:40] The importance of using video as a tool for selling and relationships [13:50] Be careful to focus on work-life integration [15:31] Leading a team virtually in a remote working context [24:10] How to handle disruptions during at home sales meetings [30:55] The story behind Chad’s popular video regarding family priorities [37:41] What if the remote selling trend causes you to lose your job?  Resources Mentioned Follow Chad on LinkedIn Follow Chat on Twitter: @ChadOlds Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook OnTwitter OnYouTube OnLinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
  Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! Sales outreach is one way to set your sellers apart because they deliver personalized experiences in a powerful way to prospects and customers to increase sales conversions. My guest on this episode of #ModernSelling is Kris Rudeegraap, CEO of Sendoso, a leading sending platform that enables sellers to outreach effectively and uniquely. Listen to hear how the company started, how technology is empowering these personalized experiences in ways that lead to response rates of up to 60%, and how your sales team can integrate outreach into your cadence and customer care. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Does Gifting Swag And Direct Mail Really Work? Getting to the heart of the issue, I asked Kris a direct question, “Does this kind of stuff really work?” He said that without a doubt sales outreach works when done as part of an intentional, personalized strategy. When executed properly, sending personalized gifts into the day-to-day work flows can improve both lead nurture sequences at the top of the funnel and conversions further down the funnel. But you must ensure that the decision about where to place this service in your sales cadence is part of an overall strategy. What kind of results has Kris seen? For lead generation, his stats show up to a 60% response rate to gifts that are sent. That’s incredible! But customized outreach also proves to be effective lower in the funnel for building human relationships required as part of the modern sales approach to grow accounts and build long-term client relationships. Omnichannel Selling Is Required To Make Sales Outreach Effective It’s not enough to send a prospect a gift of cupcakes or a mug emblazoned with your company logo. I’ve had a number of edible gifts sent to me recently and I honestly can’t remember who they were from.  Why? In my opinion, the sender didn’t add enough personalization to the gift AND they didn’t effectively follow up or connect the gift to an ongoing conversation. That’s why I talk about the Omnichannel approach for sales. Sellers must engage with prospects and customers on a number of levels and use a variety of platforms to make messaging efforts memorable. Name recognition and top-of-mind status in your industry depend on it.  For instance, if the sellers who sent me cupcakes would have followed up a few days later with a customized video of themselves eating cupcakes and asking me how I was enjoying mine, I’d have definitely connected them with the gift and given them a closer look. Who Is Responsible For These Personalized Experiences? It’s hard to decide exactly who should be responsible for sales outreach initiatives simply because the integrations available with platforms like HubSpot, Outreach, Xant, and others make it an easy-to-use tool for many departments within the company. I believe, at the very least, Sales Leaders should start the conversation with the broader team about the effective use of sales outreach tools. You may find that prospecting benefits from sending tools the most, which may wind up placing oversight in the CSOs purview. But it could just as easily turn out that Sales Enablement utilizes outreach more, so the CMO would not always be the proper leader to guide its use.  The point is that the integration of these customized experiences has to be both intentional and company-wide. When everyone is on the same page and working together to stay aligned and make the most of this amazing tool, new accounts and account growth will be the result. Thinking Through The Options For Outreach Efforts Let’s review the options for the use of personalized outreach: First:It must be strategic and implemented in an Omnichannel approach. Don’t leave it up to individual ARs, BDRs, or salespeople to decide how they will use the tools, or if they use them at all. Decide how and where to use sending tools in your sales cadence as well as how you’ll follow up using social, phone calls, and other communications channels. Make tweaks as you strive to achieve the best results when it comes to sales conversions.  Second: Consider how personalized gifting can be used for top-of-funnel prospecting. Lead nurture can benefit tremendously from appropriate, timely, and personalized sales outreach. But do it wisely. Because of the costs involved you’ll need to scrutinize exactly who is the right person to receive a gift in each situation. And don’t forget to apply the right follow-up and nurturing strategy. Third: Recognize that account growth can happen through personalized engagement with existing customers. Upselling opportunities come to light as you nurture relationships and demonstrate your care and concern for those you are already serving. Personalized outreach makes that happen in unforgettable ways. Not only is Kris’ story fascinating, his stats and insights into the best practices for effective sales outreach are not to be missed. Listen now! This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Outline of This Episode [2:52] How Kris went from Account Executive to CEO of a rising B2B service provider [9:42] Does sending promotional swag to prospects still work? [14:50] How companies are justifying spend on gifting programs [17:40] Trends in sending gifts and swag to prospects and customers [22:14] Who is responsible for heading up sending initiatives? [26:31] Unique and original ways companies are using gift delivery services [32:10] Why you have to make your gift memorable in the way it’s connected to you [36:01] Using these types of tools without any integrations: it’s possible! Resources Mentioned Connect with Kris on LinkedIn Sendoso, where Kris serves as CEO Follow Kris on Twitter: @rudeegraap Kris’s all-time favorite movie: Office Space Xant Salesforce SalesLoft Marketo Hubspot Sales Enablement Pro by Highspot Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook OnTwitter OnYouTube OnLinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! It may sound crazy to be talking about an upselling strategy in the midst of a world-wide crisis like Coronavirus, but the harsh reality is that companies and individuals who are not working extra hard to keep their revenue driving forward during a time like this will be left vulnerable. Upselling is one of the most powerful ways to increase revenue during lean times because it leverages the power of existing relationships with customers who already trust you and respect your brand. My guest on this episode is Victor Antonio, the author of 13 books on sales and motivation and the creator of the Sales Velocity Academy, a learning platform with 500+ videos. His new book being released soon is on the topic of upselling.  During this episode of the #ModernSelling podcast you’ll hear why he’s so enthusiastic about the subject. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to pre-order his book so you can be among the first to read it once it’s released. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at It’s Not Surprising That Most Companies Have No Upselling Strategy The average company shoots for a 10% to 15% growth rate year over year. That’s pretty aggressive and sales teams are typically busting their humps to meet their quotas. Victor says that in light of that kind of pressure, why not approach existing customers—who are essentially warm leads—to generate new opportunities? It’s called upselling and while it’s not a revolutionary idea, it’s one that many companies have ignored to their own detriment.  In researching for his new book, Victor discovered that nine out of ten companies admit that upselling is not part of their training process. This shouldn’t be surprising since 30% to 35% of companies have no official sales strategy or referral process.  That means that upselling (and its close cousin cross-selling) is nothing more than an afterthought. In Victor’s words, “If it’s not part of the process, it doesn’t get done.” Coordinate And Compensate Sellers And Account Managers to Upsell More Victor says that much of the reason upselling takes a backseat to inbound and outbound sales is that in most compensation plans for salespeople or account managers don’t encourage upselling. When you structure compensation based on upsells that happen in an account, then sellers and AMs have a reason to work together to generate more revenue.  The Account Manager’s default attitude is often, “Service the customer. Make them happy.” That’s great, but additional revenue generation needs to be part of that mindset as well. The one-two combination of a great salesperson and an upsell-focused Account Manager could bring in tremendous amounts of additional revenue. In fact, Victor says it can generate up to 30% of all sales!  His point is simple: Unless you have great compensation plans that reward what you want to see (upsells), you will not modify behavior—and everything depends on behavior. Poor Ability To Upsell Is A Sales Management Issue No matter how good a salesperson is, no individual secures 100% of the possible revenue that could be generated from a customer. That means when they hand the new customer to the Account Manager there is plenty more potential revenue available from the opportunity.  But here’s the problem: The average Account Manager manages well over 100 accounts. There is NO WAY anyone can manage and upsell that many accounts effectively. In fact, according to Gartner, only 28% of sales leaders agree that account management channels regularly meet cross-selling and account growth targets. Victor says this is a sales management problem. Many sales leaders believe that the Account Manager’s job is mainly the management of accounts, not upselling. How can Victor say that so confidently?  Because managers load AMs with so many accounts they can’t possibly upsell—AND they don’t offer compensation packages that reward upselling. Victor says that compensation plans need to include an upselling quota and some form of measurement to show how AMs are engaged with the upsell process in order to reward - and change - that behavior. How Does Upselling Compare With Inbound And Outbound Sales? When considering new revenue, most sales leaders automatically think of two options: Inbound and outbound sales. Victor says that upselling is the third option and should be considered as seriously as both inbound and outbound sales.  In our conversation, Victor compared the three to show the pros and cons of each: Outbound Sales:  PRO: You can control who you’re going to contact, which means you have control over the quality of your leads. CON: It takes nine to 12 calls just to make contact (not get the meeting). Inbound Sales: PRO: You create good content and the prospects come to you—and the costs and frustrations are typically lower. CON: You can’t control the quality of the leads. Tire kickers are plentiful.  Upselling Existing Customers:  Upselling is like outbound sales but you’re pitching to customers who are already spending money with you. Victor refers to it as “Outbound Prime.” If you’ve serviced them well so far why would they not buy from you again? Listen to learn how to create an upselling strategy, compensate everyone involved, and drive new behaviors from your sales and Account Management teams that could produce up to 30% of your overall sales! This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Outline of This Episode [7:23] What Victor means when he says upselling is the new prospecting [10:57] Account managers need to be hunters, not just farmers [25:07] Comparing inbound and outbound sales to upselling [33:32] How upselling is coordinated between salesperson and account manager [39:27] Tips for those looking to up their upselling game Resources Mentioned Victor’s website: Follow Victor on LinkedIn Follow Victor on Twitter: @VictorAntonio Follow Victor on Facebook Get Victor’s books Victor’s all-time favorite movie: Citizen Kane Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Zig Ziglar Jim Rohn Egnyte Vengreso’s Sales Training Courses Connect with Mario! On Facebook OnTwitter OnYouTube OnLinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
  Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! The COVID-19 outbreak has many sales leaders scrambling to create or find virtual sales training that works. In one sense, that’s entirely understandable. As the virus spreads, more and more sales training companies are having to cancel scheduled training events and companies are requiring their sales teams to work from home. Moving forward, methods of training that do not require in-person attendance are needed. But in another sense, I’m left shaking my head. This is 2020—it seems to me that most companies should have already had some form of virtual sales training in place. We at Vengreso have already created and implemented our own virtual instructor-led sales training program, focused on helping those who prospect via social media to do it in a modern and effective way.  We’ve seen incredible results from what we’ve created because we’ve integrated neuroscience and modern learning principles into our curriculum. On this episode, my guest Kurt Shaver (one of my co-founders at Vengreso) helps me unpack the principles that go into a powerful virtual sales training course to help you equip your sales team no matter the circumstances. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Hands-Down, Virtual Sales Training Is More Effective Than In-Person Events Recent studies diving into the effectiveness of group training events reveal details that are both alarming and vitally important when developing any kind of training. A study by Gartner reveals that as a result of live group training events, participants lose 70% of what they’ve learned within six days and 87% within six weeks. That’s a very poor ROI in my book. Comparatively, the Harvard Business Review reports the opposite impact of virtual sales training: through virtual means of training, 80% of the information is retained after 60 days when a technique known as “spacing” is utilized. Interestingly, the utilization of spacing is ONLY possible in an online training environment.  We’ll unpack what spacing is in a moment, but to our point here—the difference between in-person group training and online/virtual training for your sales team could be significant when it comes to retention and effectiveness. If You Intend To Build Your Own Digital Sales Training, Take It Seriously During our conversation on this episode of #ModernSelling, Kurt makes a great point by referring to the effort and time required to learn a language. You don’t simply cram to learn the grammar and vocabulary of a foreign language and suddenly become fluent. It takes time—and that's time spent while immersed in the practice and use of the language. That's because practice makes perfect. Kurt’s point? The same is true for the creation and development of your digital sales training materials. You must ensure that what you’re creating will contain the right concepts and information AND be effective. For instance, our program took over 10,000 combined man-hours to compile, record, refine, and publish. The results - we received the Gold Stevie Award in 2020 for the best sales training program for the second consecutive year. So, don’t think you can slap something together quickly or easily. It requires funds and personnel to tackle a training project of this magnitude. If You're Going To Invest In Building Your Own Virtual Training, Do This! If you’re willing to put in the 10,000+ hours and financial resources to build a truly effective virtual sales training course for your team, good for you! But you’ll need to ensure effectiveness. How do you do that?  Certainly not with a powerpoint presentation and droning narration. In this episode we cover the following seven science-backed components to an effective online training. Include Gamification Implement Chunking and Spacing Promote Deliberate Practice Integrate plenty of Repetition into your course Use the power of Video to keep students engaged Include periodic exercises to Test Knowledge Supplement everything with Personal Coaching (group or one on one) Kurt and I define all of these in our conversation and explain why we prefer a group coaching approach to a one-on-one coaching approach, so be sure you listen! If You Can’t Build Your Own Online Sales Training, What Alternatives Exist? You may feel like you have neither the expertise nor the interest in investing in the creation of your own virtual sales training. That’s OK, there is no need to reinvent that wheel, especially if you’re only looking for a short-term solution while employees are working from home because of the restrictions forced by COVID-19. Our program—Selling with LinkedIn® —is one example of the types of resources that are available. You'll find others available online as well. But, be sure you're getting a course that's designed with those seven principles of effective learning. Our course includes them by design. Whatever you decide, ensure that your training dollars are being invested wisely. Listen to learn more about what we recommend and share the show with a colleague who is sitting at home trying to sell in the new normal! This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Outline of This Episode [2:13] Kurt’s career sales story [5:27] The current demand and need for virtual sales training [12:20] Critical components to any sales training, but especially online sales training [14:54] Two elements of modern sales training — the carrot and the stick [21:54] A powerful benefit offered by virtual sales training [29:51] The power and importance of incorporating videos [33:50] Coaching is the missing element in many sales training programs Resources Mentioned Connect with Kurt Shaver on LinkedIn Follow Kurt on Twitter: @kurtshaver Salesloft Outreach ARTICLE: 7 Proven Neuroscience Benefits of Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) For Sales Teams Kurt Shaver’s all-time favorite movie: Moonrise Kingdom Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! Building a healthy sales culture is becoming more and more important in the modern selling context. It impacts everything from career paths and the success of team members to retention and churn to recruitment and even to landing big deals. This conversation touches on many of the things sales leaders need to consider when it comes to building a successful team culture within their organizations.  The main point is this: the healthier your team culture, the more powerful your organization will be across the board. Join me and my guest, Mike Volpe, CEO of for this episode of #ModernSelling. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Building A Healthy Sales Culture Includes Clear Career Paths One of the things I love about the way leadership at has boosted the morale of their team is that they outline clear qualifications for advancement. This especially applies to their sales and software engineering teams (the two largest teams within the company). They want to make it simple for all team members to understand the skills, experience, and competencies they need to possess in order to move into the next position on their career journey. Similarly, the path to moving into leadership within those departments is clearly defined. That way, those with the drive and motivation to excel have clear goals and a destination in mind. But Mike makes it clear that the leadership team should not feel responsible to hold the hands of those who need to grow or who seek to be promoted.  Instead, they should encourage continuous development but leave it to the individual team member to own their career and take responsibility for their personal advancement. Healthier Culture Can Slow Team Member Churn There are many reasons team members leave a company. However, sales seems to have a higher than average turnover rate. Why? I asked Mike to share his insights and he provided a handful of helpful observations: Team members sometimes leave because they are not a fit with the culture of the company. Some are impatient with the long road to success and think jumping to a different team might shorten the process. At times, leadership is lax in providing clear guidelines for success and advancement. If team culture is poor, we can’t expect team members to feel enthusiastic about staying. Mike has years of experience both as a manager, and now as CEO of He’s seen and experienced the challenges of building a healthy sales culture. Listen to learn how you can be instrumental in improving the culture of your organization. Remote Team Members Require New Approaches To Building A Sales Culture  Relationships are never easy but are easier to manage when you work in the same office. That means the advent of remote work and remote teams adds a layer of complexity to the cultivation of healthy team cultures. Our team here at Vengreso is 100% remote so we’ve experienced our share of challenges when it comes to this issue.  Mike says that we have to work extra hard at creating and finding ways to connect team members to each other, even across departments and disciplines within the organization. We discuss how chat tools, video conferencing, leading by example, and creative onboarding techniques can be utilized to build a thriving team culture in spite of distance and geography. Inclusion And Diversity Figure Heavily Into Company Culture Modern selling requires an awareness of modern-day issues. Therefore, leaders must recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion to make them a top priority. Mike points out that intentionality in this area enables a company to be more successful in many areas, including recruitment and hiring, retention, leadership, and even landing multi-million dollar deals. Listen to hear how one company lost a record-setting contract solely because the company’s leaders had not paid enough attention to the issue of inclusion and diversity. You'll also receive Mike’s advice on how you can be instrumental in making your team culture a more welcoming and affirming place for all people. This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at Outline of This Episode [2:45] Mike Volpe’s experience and background that’s led him into sales leadership [8:35 ] The preparation for your future sales career may require years of experience [10:33] Some of the reasons for team turnover in the sales profession [12:05] Many companies are doing more to map out a sales career progression [17:08] Encouraging team members to own their own growth  [25:53] Culture and the integration of digital and remote teams [37:30] The vital necessity of creating a diverse and inclusion oriented company culture Resources Mentioned Mike Volpe on LinkedIn Mike on Twitter: @MVolpe where Mike serves as CEO Mike’s all-time favorite movie: The Terminator SolidWorks Hubspot Meeting Owl - video conferencing tool Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! Many sales professionals have been in the selling game for years but can’t honestly be called modern sellers. Why is that? Because they are stuck in old habits, old methods, and worse—old mindsets that don’t fit the digital selling era we’ve entered. There is a lot to learn, even for experienced sellers. On this episode of the #ModernSelling podcast I dig into what it takes to become a modern selling machine, with my friend Meridith ElliottPowell. If you want to hear from an old-school seller who’s truly adapted and embraced the modern selling environment successfully, Meridith is that person. She’s not only adapted, she’s excelled, and for one reason: She’s learned how to make the most of today’s rapidly changing business climate to turn it to her strategic advantage, and she helps companies and sales teams do the same. She drops so many value bombs on this episode we could have kept talking for hours. Be sure you join us! Sales Has Changed For One Primary Reason: The Buyer Is In Control Today, we can sit in our homes and buy, buy, buy until we have everything we need. Amazon and other online portals make it possible, with free shipping included. Even more to the point, we have the opportunity to check out companies, products, and salespeople independently without them even knowing about it. When and if we (the buyer) ever connect with a salesperson, WE are the one with the advantage because we know almost everything about them (the seller) and they know very little about us. Now, flip the script. YOU are the seller. You are the one who starts the conversation with a potential buyer at a disadvantage. That is the modern selling environment. Rather than bemoan the fact, we need to learn how to work within it so that we can help buyers. Meridith says that true modern sellers believe they are more important than ever because they are the piece of the sales puzzle that infuses the process with the emotional intelligence and empathy that builds trust. So don’t let the fact that the buyer is in control deter you. You STILL have something extremely valuable that they need—the human touch. Modern Sellers Make Themselves Influencers In the Marketplace When you’re trying to sell in a climate where buyers can research your products and services long before talking with you, sellers have to become intentional about what they will encounter during that search. You have to be out there where they can see you, hear about you, investigate you until they are satisfied with what you have to offer. When you've done it well, they will be willing to email or pick up the phone. How do you accomplish that? By a multichannel approach that for one, builds on your company’s reputation and success. But you also want to be intentional about how you engage with existing customers. They are the ones who know you best and have personally experienced your solutions. When they are thrilled with what you do for them and how you care for them, they will be happy to recommend you when they meet others who are searching for what you offer. On this episode, Meridith tells an amazing story about how this can happen, so be sure you listen to hear it! Many Sales Professionals Are Chasing The Wrong Targets Meridith points out that though it’s always been a problem, sellers are STILL chasing the wrong leads. With the technology and tools available, we should be better than ever at qualifying leads and discerning what opportunities are the best use of our time and energy, but sadly, it’s not the case. She points out that we can learn a valuable lesson from Amazon and Zappos. They got big by learning to do what she calls “niching to expand.” What does that mean? It means that when they began, they understood that many people were not thrilled about the idea of buying things online. So they didn't waste time chasing those people. They targeted and sold to those who they knew would be open to buying online. And they knew that if those people found them, bought from them, and were happy, then THEY would spread the word and sell everyone else. That’s exactly what happened. If you are spending time pursuing leads that will be hard to close OR are closing deals with customers who will be hard to serve, you are taking your sales cycle backwards. You need to learn how to niche to expand, and Meridith explains how to do it on this episode. Effective Sellers Follow Up Systematically Because They Understand This It’s a reasonable conclusion that when you reach out to a prospect after a sales call and they don’t respond, you should back off. You don’t want to bother them, right? Though it sounds reasonable it’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Why? Because you’re interpreting their silence to mean something it likely doesn’t mean. Most of the no-replies you get happen because you and your solutions WERE near the top of your prospect’s priorities, UNTIL they hung up the phone and encountered the urgent things of business and life. You haven’t given them enough reason (value) to push you back to the top of their priority list. So don’t stop following up, just do it differently, by personalizing, adding value, and giving a related call to action. Meridith has some great tips and insight about this, so be sure you listen to this episode! Outline of This Episode [2:30] Who is Meridith Elliot Powell - and why should you care? [10:40] How supporting your team’s goals and fuel your own [15:10] Hiring for personal vision and values [18:42] How sales has changed in recent years [26:04] Learning to niche in to grow big as sales professionals [33:50] How to shorten the sales cycle for modern selling [35:55] How the fail happens most often in the follow up [43:14] Why today’s consumer (buyer) is in control - and how to manage that fact Resources Mentioned Meridith’s website: Follow Merideth on Twitter: @MeridithPowell Meridith’s new book: The Best Sales Book Ever Mario’s article: “Dad, You Said LinkedIn Would Make You Money” Gartner Meridith’s all-time favorite movie: The Quiet Man Recent “Fanocracy” episode with David Meerman Scott Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! By far, the biggest issue with corporate sales training is that most of what you or your sales team learns at the event is gone within days of attending. Statistics show that when stepping back into the pressure and demands of the sales arena, most sellers revert to their old, established sales practices. What can be done to ensure that the time and money invested in sales training isn’t wasted? On this episode of The Modern Selling podcast, I had the honor of speaking with Dave Mattson, the President of Sandler Training. His organization conducts sales training for organizations large and small and he has years of insight into what makes a good training event—and more importantly, how to make what is learned at a corporate sales training event stick with your team so you can achieve the results you hope for. Listen to this episode to hear all the details of how to make it happen. BOOK IMAGE GOES HERE Why Doesn’t Corporate Sales Training Provide The Results We Hope For? Dave Mattson admits that even Sandler Training doesn’t have the impact that it should have. Why? Clearly, with a professional and long-tenured organization like Sandler in the mix, it’s not faulty information. There's something else going on, so I asked Dave about it. His answer was common sense once I thought about it. First, Dave says that participants and sales leaders in attendance don’t acknowledge that they will likely lose most of what they learn at the training event if they don’t take action to prevent it. In other words, they are lazy about their level of engagement, sloppy with their notes, and don’t fully participate on a level that makes the training event meaningful for them on a personal level.  Second, Dave says participants who fail to benefit from corporate sales training events are those who fail to implement things they learned immediately upon returning from the event. Immediacy is key in making the concepts stick because it demonstrates their efficacy—and experience is everything! Dave has a few other tips for getting the most out of your next corporate sales training event, so listen to this episode to ensure you can make the most of it! When You Attend A Sales Training, Are You Only Looking For Tactics? Dave points out that most sales professionals who attend a training event arrive with hopes of unearthing tactics that will help them with a specific issue or problem. That’s fine, but tactics alone won’t increase sales effectiveness. Dave has learned over 30 years in the sales world that three things are required to ensure growth. He calls it the Success Triangle and the three points on the triangle represent:  Attitude  Behavior  Technique Dave does a masterful job of explaining exactly what he means by each of these components and he gives practical illustrations of how they look in the sales context. You’ll want to listen to hear them described. But he also talks about the importance of coupling these three aspects of sales rep success with proper follow-up and oversight by sales leaders. It’s a one-two punch that works every time, so don’t miss it. Sales Leaders: You Are The Reason Most Sales Training Doesn’t Stick During our conversation, Dave was not shy about putting the responsibility for effective sales training where it belongs, on sales leaders. He said, “The biggest thing that will make or break a sales training program isn’t the training curriculum or the people in the classroom, it’s the sales leadership.” Why does he say this? Because it’s sales leaders who are responsible to reinforce, refresh, and remind the sales team of what they learned at their corporate training event. They will likely have to revamp procedures, sales scripts, and training materials to reflect what the team has learned. And they will have to be disciplined to stick with the new concepts even when crunch time hits at the end of the month and everyone is feeling the pressure to hit month-end goals. Listen to learn from Dave’s 30+ years of experience as a sales leader himself. 4 Steps To Quickly Onboard A New Hire To Your Sales Team To Profitability When you hire a new person for your sales team, how long does it take you to get them up to speed and profitable? A year? Six months? 3 Months? Do you recognize that the faster and more effectively you can shorten that onboarding process, the more likely you’ll be to meet and even exceed your annual numbers? Dave provides a four-step process for accelerating any new hire onboard. He suggests: STEP ONE: Make a list of everything a sales team member needs to know to succeed in your organization. STEP TWO: Prioritize and sequence the list with the first item being the most important—and so on.  STEP THREE: Give the new team member an example of what each step looks like in action. Provide both text and audio resources so they can study and practice anywhere and at any time. STEP FOUR: Test their learning. Implement required role-plays, recitations of sales scripts and product knowledge, and do it in planned ways. You’re building in timelines and accountability that will help them succeed and help you identify bad hires and rising stars.  Dave Mattson, CEO of Sandler Training provides a tremendous amount of valuable information around these four steps on this episode, so be sure to listen. This section of our conversation alone could increase your sales numbers this year in exponential ways. The entire conversation will help you make the most of your next corporate sales training event, whether you are a sales leader or an individual sales professional. Outline of This Episode [2:17] How Dave moved from client to CEO of Sandler Training [18:20] Why the investment in sales training doesn’t seem to stick [26:30] Sales leader reinforcement is so vital to changing behavior [28:20] 4 steps to making a new sales team member successful [41:15] How to make time to create these sales training components [45:05] Technology is turning marketing and sales into a science Resources Mentioned Be sure to mention this Modern Selling Podcast episode when reaching out to Dave personally and he’ll send you a “Crash The Class” pass so you can attend a Sandler training event free! Dave on LinkedIn David on Twitter: @Dave_Mattson Dave’s company on Twitter: @SandlerTraining Dave’s book: Success Cadence Get your FREE CHAPTER of Dave’s book BOOK: The Sandler Rules Dave’s all-time favorite movie: The Godfather Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Mark your calendars for February 26th and 27th in Salt Lake City at the Grand America Hotel. Register now using the discount code ‘Vengreso’ and save 40% when you attend NEXT 2020. Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! I’ve had a few experiences lately that have reminded me how much sales is about relationships. From prospecting, all the way up to serving as a leader of a sales team, the relationships with people are what matter most. To speak on this issue I asked my friend, Dale Dupree, leader of The Sales Rebellion to be my guest on this episode of The #ModernSelling Podcast. Dale shares openly about his struggles in life and as a sales professional and challenges all of us to raise the bar on how we conduct ourselves within the sales profession. Listen, receive his challenges humbly, and do your part to make sales a service to people first and foremost. Are You Still Approaching Sales Like You’re In The 1970s? When I first asked Dale what he thinks is currently wrong with sales, he immediately said that the industry as a whole still behaves like it's stuck in the 1970s. He says we’re looking at metrics wrong, thinking about phone calls and cold calling incorrectly, and that we are pushing products instead of connecting with people.  Dale has learned that the human connection is what is most often missing from sales conversations, prospecting, and other interactions related to sales. Salespeople are still operating according to quotas, commission checks, and numbers instead of having a concern for the people on the other end of the line. We can’t afford for this trend to continue.  These actions give the sales profession a bad name and why many people treat those in sales badly or never give them the time of day. Listen to learn what you can do—as a seller or a sales leader—to make sales about relationships again. True Sales Outreach Is Built On Caring For People Recently I had a terrible experience with someone who was making the attempt to nurture a relationship with me as a prospect. I say “attempt” because that’s all it was—and it was a BAD attempt at that. The person was using the “spray and pray” method, simply blasting out a barely personalized message to as many touches as possible, hoping a few turned into sales conversations. When I tried to point out why his approach was not effective or appealing, he admitted he was not interested in personalizing the conversation yet, and suggested we talk about his offer anyway. What a fail!  Dale says this is an example of the old-style prospecting techniques still being used that not only don’t work, but that close the door to future opportunities. There is a person on the other end of every prospecting or marketing call and email. We can never forget that. Remembering that will enable us to treat those individuals with care, begin the first steps of nurturing a genuine relationship, and in time, possibly open the door to a sales conversation. How You Treat Prospects Matters More Than Hitting Your Numbers The methods used to prospect for sales leads in the past have been all about the way the numbers work. It’s a blast-it-out mentality that is impossible to scale in a personalized way. This method shows no regard for the individual on the receiving end. As society has changed and technology has made it easier to reach out to prospects, that same approach applied through digital means has caused untold damage to the reputations of those in the sales industry. This is one reason why it is essential to implement a sales methodology that provides value and develops relationships based on trust. Dale points out that even if you get a handful of sales calls from spraying your templated marketing message to 10,000 leads, you’ve likely offended and put-off the vast majority of those who do not respond. Those are people, not numbers, and they don’t want to be treated as if their personal needs and individuality don’t matter. Salespeople, we’ve got to do better. Dale shares several great ways to rustle up Net New contacts on this episode that are not based purely on the numbers. Sales Leaders Need To Remember That Sales Is About Relationships, Too Much of the painfully dated techniques bemoaned on this episode are the result of sales leaders training their teams to prospect and reach out in a dehumanizing way. But it goes farther than that. Many sales leaders treat their teams in the same impersonal, dehumanizing manner. Dale describes his own experience, both from a team member perspective and in working alongside sales leaders who are stuck in an old-school way of sales training. Dale’s challenge to us is to take the issue of caring for people seriously. Sales is about relationships, really. It’s the real connections with real people that begin and sustain long-term business relationships that benefit the customer and the seller. Listen to learn how you can begin turning the tide in your sales organization. Outline of This Episode [2:50] Dales’ story: from copier sales to leading the sales rebellion [10:23] What’s wrong with sales today? [16:40] A real-life example of the impersonalization that often happens in sales [25:41] How can sales reps find more net new business? [37:33] The importance of mental health for salespeople Resources Mentioned Dale Dupree on LinkedIn Dale on Twitter: @SalesRebellion Dale’s Podcast: Selling Local Podcast Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street TV Show: The Boiler Room Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross Stu Heinecke Cynthia Barnes The National Association of Women Sales Professionals Modern Selling Podcast episode with Stu Heinecke Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! There are so many sales methods available in the modern sales environment - perhaps too many. How do you select one that will drive your sales team’s productivity in a way that enables them to reach sales goals? I invited sales leader Steve Maxwell on this episode of the #ModernSelling podcast to give us his take on this hot-button issue. Steve is a 30+ year Silicon Valley technology sales veteran who has served in many roles - direct sales, channel sales, and global sales leadership with some of the technology industry's best known and most successful companies. He’s also become an advocate for Sales Enablement's transformation from a tactical sales training function to that of a strategic asset. Join us as we dig into this important issue and tap into the sage advice of a master sales professional.  How To Choose A Sales Method For Your Organization With the wide variety of sales methods out there, it’s not easy to choose the one that fits your organization and be beneficial to everyone on your team. Steve and I remember the days when “sales training” was an event that lasted for a few days, got everyone excited, and then resolved to the same old way of doing things - and with a nice big training binder added to the bookshelf (never to be opened again).  Steve points out that sales methodologies have to be part of the DNA of the organization, which goes far beyond a training event. He suggests that companies start making the "sales methods" choice by asking a few important questions: If you are already successful as a sales organization, are there sales methods that fit alongside the way you’re currently operating? Is there a sales method that reinforces what’s already successful - or complements it effectively? If your organization is struggling with sales, identify the exact areas you need help in and look for methods that focus on those weaknesses. Are you and your senior leaders ready to commit to making the cultural change necessary to make a new sales method stick long term? Listen to hear more great insights from Steve about selecting the proper sales methodology for your company.  Your Chosen Sales Method Will Not Stick When Delivered In A Two Day Training Sales training seminars or weekend events are not effective because they are carried out in short bursts with little to no real follow up and reinforcement. Steve points out that anything important that each of us has learned occurred in an entirely different context. We learned by doing and we repeated that hands-on practice to ingrain the learning into our behavior.  In the sales world, this starts with an initial introduction to your new sales methods and continues through ongoing reinforcement through coaching, changes in language and messaging used internally, changes to your CRM, as well as celebrations of client wins that are a direct result of the methodology being implemented. These are examples of what Steve means when he says that sales leadership has to buy-in to the new methodology. How To Get Your Entire Sales Team Onboard With Your New Sales Methods It’s not enough to switch selling methods, make an announcement, hold an initial training, and then mandate that everyone uses what you’ve shown them. You’ve got to do more thoughtful planning. Steve suggests the following... Implement your new sales methodology through both gradual and ongoing training. Change your language and practices within the team structure. Clearly demonstrate the expected benefits of the change with proof of increased close rates. Constantly work with frontline sales leaders to keep it going through coaching. Highlight successes so that your team can see the results. Steve says that doing these things consistently will “extend the honeymoon” period of your new methodology and maintain optimism as the change is being made by your team. Accelerating The Sales Onboard Ramp For New Team Members Consider the dramatic change that can occur in your sales results if you could shorten onboarding for new sales reps by just one month. Let’s look at some numbers… If your average sales rep is responsible for 1 million in sales annually ($83,333/mo) and you have 5 new sales reps in training, you could potentially increase your annual revenue by $416,000 ($83,333 X 5) through shortening your onboarding time frame by just one month.  Steve says one of the most important things is to set a new standard for what a new sales rep needs to demonstrate. Stop focusing on the traditional indicators, which he refers to as “lagging indicators” - things like time to close, time to first deal, etc. Instead, look at the time it takes a sales rep to be CAPABLE of certain behaviors they will need to be effective. Instead of focusing on “What do they need to know?” Steve focuses on “What do they need to be able to do?” This shortens the onboarding process considerably, providing great gains in annual sales numbers. Don’t miss this conversation with Steve. It’s both practical and powerful if you’ll apply the lessons he shares. Outline of This Episode [1:15] Steve’s path from “I don’t want to work at all” to sales leader [6:10] The massive role sales enablement plays in a sales organization [10:25] Sales methodologies: how to select one for your organization [17:29] The power of reinforcement through ongoing coaching [20:10] Getting the buy-in of sales leaders [24:20] Why you need to regularly demonstrate successes of your sales method [26:31] Keys to a successful sales onboarding program [37:30] How to consider partner tech vendors for your sales team Resources Mentioned Steve on LinkedIn Steve on Twitter: @SMaxItWell Datrium on LinkedIn Datrium on Twitter: @Datrium Gartner Hubspot Seismic Highspot Showpad Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! The B2B buying process is filled with challenges. One of the most frustrating is when a promising sales conversation falls into the “no decision” category. What’s the problem? Is it really a “no decision” situation or is something else going on? On this episode of the #ModernSelling podcast, I speak with not one, but two guests who work together on the B2B buying process within their company. Their approach is to address the entire buyer process, including the assessment of what’s truly happening in “no decision” situations. Jon Perera is CMO of Highspot and is responsible for global marketing, demand generation, partner ecosystem, and international expansion for the company. My co-guest is Matt Weil, Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Highspot. On this episode, they pull back the curtain to reveal how they lead the Highspot sales and marketing teams to prevent, correctly assess, and close more of the situations that might typically be called “no decisions." You don’t want to miss this episode! This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started. At Least 22% Of All Sales Opportunities Are Lost Due To No Decision  Statistics don’t lie, but they sometimes fail to tell the whole story. In the case of “no decision” issues, part of the problem is that due to the pressure salespeople feel to demonstrate their sales activity, they are often listing low-probability opportunities into the deal flow. It’s a systemic problem that needs a systemic solution. One part of the issue is that today's CRMs are not enabling sellers to accurately label/track situations. To deal with that limitation, my guests recommend the following: Train your entire team to be very clear about WHAT markers indicate that a deal should be in the funnel in the first place. Ensure that everyone is practicing a disciplined approach to categorization when assigning deal stages. Educate your team so they can recognize the little wins that indicate progress VS false progress. Is Marketing Adequately Warming Up Leads In The B2B Buying Process? Both Jon and Matt say that sales and marketing in most companies need to become better aligned. When this is the case, marketing can do pre-sales work on behalf of sales to warm up the prospect. At the top of the funnel, marketing needs to ensure they are helping the prospect recognize a clear need for change in their current situation. This can be aided through thought leadership content or licensed content from an analyst firm that can be shared with prospects. The Highspot team conducts buyer interviews on all deals - won, lost, and no decision. Their goal is to discern what happened in each type of deal to bring it to its respective conclusion. Insights gleaned above are handed off to the sales enablement team to create resources that will educate the sales team about what’s contributing to no decisions - so those behaviors can be avoided. Many No Decisions Are Because Salespeople Are Not Asking The Right Questions It’s not uncommon for sellers to be in promising conversations with buyers only to fail at the most crucial point - they don’t ask for the sale or move the buyer to a “next step.” Closing at each particular stage of the B2B buying process doesn’t always mean that a purchase contract is signed. It means that sellers are moving buyers to the next step in their buyer’s journey successfully. When the Vengreso team discovered that this is part of the problem with our "no decisions," we got busy training our sellers about this vital responsibility. We also revamped our pitch decks to include a slide near the end with the title “Next Steps?” This communicates to buyers that a next step of some kind is logical and needed. It also reminds our sales team that they must be asking the “next step” question of buyers. Valuable Content Is Key To Moving Buyers Toward Decisions At Vengreso we’ve championed the PVC Sales Methodology™. The “V” or “value” portion of it is key when it comes to avoiding “no decisions” in the B2B buying process. Buyers must see the value in what we’re offering and the powerful ways our solution can solve their particular problems. Value is primarily communicated through content. It doesn’t matter if it is original or 3rd party content, but it needs to match the buyer persona and stage of the buyer’s journey the prospect is in. The Highspot team takes a detailed look at buyer personas, industry verticals, and where the buyer is in the buyer’s journey to rightly identify specific content that can be used to move them to a logical next step. This is where analytics and AI scientifically empower those decisions to make a huge difference in avoiding “no decisions” and lost deals. This episode is full of insights from Jon Perera and Matt Weil about how to keep deals from falling through or falling into the “no-decision” zone. Be sure you listen! This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started. Outline of This Episode [6:30] The challenge of “no decision” for modern businesses [11:10] The power of sales and marketing being totally aligned and how to do it [17:28] How marketing needs to provide sales with what to know, say, and show  [22:36] Factors that make marketing and sales alignment difficult to achieve [26:59] The power of bringing valuable content to the sales conversation [35:02] Specific steps sales and marketing leaders can take to overcome no decision  Resources Mentioned PVC Sales Methodology™ Jon Perera on LinkedIn Jon on Twitter: @Jon_Perera Matt Weil on LinkedIn Matt on Twitter: HighSpot CSO Insights Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges  Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! What would happen to your company’s sales revenue if you were actively building a sales team where every member was progressively becoming a top performer? You know the answer - your company’s overall success would skyrocket. On this episode of The #ModernSelling Podcast, Kraig Kleeman joins me to discuss how he consistently helps sales organizations level up their entire team’s performance. Kraig is recognized as an expert on the sales process, sales transformation, and professional motivation. He’s consulted with more than 150 companies and his proprietary sales methodology, “The Must-React System,” has resulted in 250,000+ meetings with senior executives. Join us as we discuss how sales leaders can build a sales team that excels at selling. This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started. Your Organization Needs To Implement A Sales Maturity Model Kraig’s experience dealing with organizations on every level - from startups to well-established companies - has shown him that all companies struggle to some degree with maturing their sales organization to achieve optimal results. His “Sales Maturity Model” is a simple but experience-based framework that enables any sales leader or sales front-line person to begin assessing their organization, themselves, their team, and performance. Then, they can apply that data to create appropriate benchmarks and make improvements systematically. Listen to our conversation to discover the ways Kraig implements training around this kind of assessment. You’ll experience the same advice he’s given to sales teams across the globe that has made him a recognized leader in the sales training world. 4 Key Areas That Will Enable You To Build A Sales Team Effectively  When Kraig first begins working with an organization, he digs into the following four key areas, in this order. 1. Data integrity Kraig wants to know if the data the organization is using is accurate, relevant, and truly helpful. If the data is bad, the strategy and process that uses the data will be worthless. If he finds problems in the dataset, the first order of business is to make a plan to clean it up and secure the right data moving forward. You can and should do the same thing in your organization. 2. Load Balancing When Kraig is looking at “load balancing” he’s assessing the number of SDRs compared to the number of Closers. Is the ratio as it should be? Sometimes making changes to the load balance can be the single most important thing to driving additional revenue. Kraig says that in order to know what you should do, you’ll have to test your situation to see what ratio is best for you. 3. Content and Messaging This is my favorite topic of the four and critical for successful sales teams to get right. Kraig always suggests that the entire cache of sales and sales enablement content an organization uses should be pre-created so SDRs do not have to think about any of the content at any level. When it comes to messaging, pre-scripted messaging that matches the phases of the buyer journey is what needs to be created and used team-wide. 4. Coaching and Culture In his travels as a sales consultant, Kraig’s observed that sales coaching is widely neglected - and that it is the sales leadership’s responsibility to ensure it’s happening. Kraig points out that when coaching is done person-to-person, consistently, and positively in the context of principles that are proven to persuade, it can boost performance that will amaze Senior Leadership. Having a healthy sales culture is also a vital piece of the puzzle and it goes far beyond the creation of a team mentality. Kraig suggests that sales leaders begin to profile the individuals within the organization according to their strengths and areas of need - for the purpose of connecting them with peers who they can help and with others who can help them. Effective Sales Teams Know The Power Of The 4 Pillars of Buyer Thought Kraig has observed that too often in sales conversations, sellers focus on the wrong things. Features, benefits, and the trustworthiness of your company are all important topics of discussion, but only when they are used within the framework of how the buyer thinks. Kraig lays out four pillars of the buyer’s thinking: 1 - Topics 2 - Trends 3 - Metrics 4 - Outcomes  When we train our sales teams to appeal to buyers according to the way they think in these four areas, amazing things happen. Why? Because the entire team is using hyper-personalized language without having to spend inordinate amounts of time dissecting the buyer’s LinkedIn profile. What Sales Leaders Should Do NOW To Begin Maturing Their Organization During this conversation, Kraig gives an overview of what he calls the 5 stages of a sales organization's maturity. It's his belief that as sales leaders systematically move the members of their sales team through these stages, they'll be building a sales team that will excel. 1 - Beginning 2 - Developing 3 - Emerging 4 - Accelerating 5 - Leading Kraig wraps up our conversation with a powerful tip for all sales leaders. He encourages you to educate yourself and your team on the power of the spoken and written word. When you understand just how powerful language can be, you can apply it in ways that tap into your buyers' thoughts and address the challenges of their particular roles within their company. The impact this subtle change can have is one that you have to see to believe This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started. Outline of This Episode [1:37] Getting to know Kraig Kleeman - the world’s greatest cold caller [6:37] What is meant by the “Sales Maturity Model?” [9:12] How Kraig got the moniker, “The World’s Greatest Cold Caller” [11:58] Four key areas needed for a sales organization to mature [32:40] How to assess your sales team’s maturity level [37:05] The first steps sales leaders should take to build a sales team Resources Mentioned DOWNLOAD: Kraig’s “Sales Maturity Model” eBook - free Kraig (at) Craig’s all-time favorite movie: Echo In The Canyon Kraig’s website: Kraig Kleeman TV The Sales Cadence Website Kraig on LinkedIn Kraig’s YouTube channel Kraig on Twitter: @Kraig_Kleeman Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Top 15 Sales Podcasts to Follow in 2020 Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice! Have you ever heard the term “Fanocracy?” Probably not, unless you’ve already picked up a copy of the new book by my guest, David Meerman Scott. David is a master marketer, keynote speaker, and a keen observer of the way we operate as human beings. His latest book, “Fanocracy,” co-authored with his daughter Reiko Scott, is a dissection of how true fans of any group or organization develop their “fandom” and how we as business and sales leaders can organize our strategies around encouraging fans, which in turn can drive long term profits. Join us for this episode of the #ModernSeller podcast as we dive into this fascinating topic! This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started. Long Term Profits Skyrocket With The Help Of Customers Who Become “Fans” It’s possible to build a thriving business on the back of multiple one-time sales. But every sales professional knows that it’s far better to develop and market products that customers need to purchase and want to purchase over and over. Whether that’s through a repeat subscription or consumable goods, the model of repeat sales makes sense for the long haul. David’s new book reveals that it’s possible and even preferable for brands to cultivate genuine "fan"-like relationships with its customers that will fuel ongoing growth. His research reveals that fostering and feeding a “Fanocracy” enables brands to become household names, create engaged communities around their products, and reap the rewards of those fan relationships for decades. Listen to hear some of David’s Fanocracy dos and don’ts learned from brands such as Microsoft and Adobe. A True Human Connection: The Foundation Of A Profitable Fanocracy It’s becoming clearer all the time that the content most brands share on social media is losing its effectiveness. Why is this? David says that many brands have lost their ability to be “real” amidst the clutter and noise of a social media stream. People are hungry for genuine human connections and loyal fans demonstrate just how true that fact is. In this episode, David tells about the conversation he and his daughter had about some of the things they are personally fans of - The Grateful Dead for David and Harry Potter for his daughter, Reiko. It was this chat that sparked their curiosity about what makes people become fans and led them to discover how the brain is hard-wired to respond to certain stimuli in fan-like ways. Together, they wrote a book that explains this and other phenomena that shows what companies can do to foster the genuine human connections that their customers want from the brands whose products and services they use.  The 4 Zones Of Proximity And How Video Can Make The Most Of Them When it comes to the way humans function in social environments, research has revealed what is being referred to as “Four Zones of Proximity.” This subcategory of non-verbal communication analyzes the way people respond to others who are physically within certain distances from them. Here’s an example of three of the “zones” most relevant to sales and marketing professionals: 1 - Public space: When someone is further than 20 feet away 2 - Social space: When someone is from 20 feet to 4 feet away 3 - Personal space: When someone is from 4 feet to 1 ½ foot away For those of us who leverage digital selling, this research is very helpful when it comes to how we use video to make connections. Videos that are recorded with this “proximity effect” in mind are more effective than those that are not. David provides examples of the right way and the wrong way to record videos and how doing it the right way can impact your ability to connect with prospects and customers in genuine ways.  Employees Can Be Fans Too - And Here’s Why They Should Be As we’ve been busy building the Vengreso team, it’s been important to me that the people we hire have the enthusiasm and energy to get behind what we’re doing in a big way. I want team members who are not only willing to promote the company but who are excited to do so. David says that when employees can serve as “brand ambassadors” or on-staff fans, they not only do a better job, they are instrumental in helping the company move forward. We both agree that when a company’s employees are hesitant to help with the promotion or distribution of company messages, something is wrong with the company, not the employee. When employees are engaged with your brand on social media, there are many benefits for both the company and the employee. I’d love for you to hear what David has to say about this issue and what he suggests leaders can do to build a culture that cultivates a fan mentality in its team members. Join us for this episode!   This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started. Outline of This Episode [4:99] The story behind how David began researching his latest book with his daughter [7:31] How tapping into fans can be rocket fuel for a business [11:18] The most surprising thing about the power of fans that David discovered [15:58] Learning how personal zones of comfort translate into sales strategy [24:51] Why companies need to let go of their creations in order to create fans [35:21] How physical gifts can be used to create fandom [41:43] Why is employee passion infectious? Resources Mentioned David’s and Reiko’s newest book: Fanocracy Get tons of David’s free resources at David’s website: Follow David on LinkedIn Follow David on Twitter: @DMScott BOOK: The New Rules of Marketing and PR (by David) Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges Connect with Mario! On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube On LinkedIn Subscribe to Modern Selling on the App of Your Choice!
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