Sales resolutions, No. 1 reason decision makers don't buy, cold call concentration.
Matt's LinkedIn Posts Q1 2018
The Top Eight New Year’s Sales Resolutions 2018
1. Make more sales.
2. Fill my funnel.
3. Prospect daily.
4. Send more e-mails.
5. Write more content.
6. Contact more decision makers.
7. Establish myself as a leader.
8. Read more books on selling.
What they should be.
1. Create more conversations.
2. Plan my days.
3. Find better leads.
4. Make more calls.
5. Engage more on social networks.
6. Contact the right decision makers.
7. Find a sales mentor.
8. Learn more about my company.
Did you make one?
My great grandfather, my grandfather, and my father all owned small businesses. My brother, two of my sisters, and myself are all entrepreneurs today.
We grew up helping our dad with the family business just like he helped our grandpa.
We learned by watching him that running a company isn’t a job, or a profession, or a career.
It’s pretty much your life.
When people’s livelihoods are your responsibility the work hours feel like minutes.
The more success you have in your business the bigger the opportunity for balance.
Maybe becoming an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.
But I think everybody at least for a moment dreams about leading a company.
The best way to learn about business is from people who are in business.
If you want to start a venture this year and have no idea what to do next, then find someone who does.
And start asking a lot of questions.
Who helped you start your first business?
7 Ironies of the SDR Position.
1. You’re an entry level sales person but you call on executives.
2. Your job is to get qualified meetings but you can’t tell the prospect too much or the Account Executive (AE) could get upset.
3. If the company isn’t opening up doors it’s because of you, even though you just got there.
4. You may need to be good on the phone to succeed but mostly your role is finding leads, marketing, writing emails and junk.
5. You could be told your position is the company’s most important but later realize you’re a few notches below the summer interns.
6. Opening up the opportunity can be the hardest part of any sale but you might only get paid commissions if the AE closes the deal.
7. Fill in comments.
The No. 1 Reason Prospects Don’t Buy Your Technology
Because they don’t know what it does.
That’s the short, grammatically incorrect answer. If you happen to be a company that needs to sell your technology right now, then it’s the only answer that really matters.
Every business out there, technology company or not, creates a product or service with the thought of being different in some way; sometimes completely different and brand new to the market.
Technology complicates things because in order to explain those differences, there will need to be a technical and possibly difficult conversation.
Technology within other technology, the high tech value message is the type of information that can’t always be conveyed with written words. It’s the sort of info that someone didn’t know that they didn’t know and it can sometimes take a few attempts to explain.
Of course communicating a complicated message to somebody who doesn’t want to hear it is a tall order for any salesperson. But if you can get the light bulb to go off it can be clear sailing, especially if there’s a fit.
This is why the phone should be part of your sales strategy even if decision makers don’t like it.
They simply don’t know yet.
How do you tell them?
Some experts believe that FEAR OF REJECTION keeps people from making calls and succeeding in sales. I think that’s WRONG.
Fear of rejection was something I heard a lot about during my training as a new sales person twenty years ago. I didn’t get it then and I believe the concept has been around long before my time.
In essence, this is a belief that a sales person avoids making calls because they’re afraid of the prospect saying NO.
I still don’t get it. We’re not asking these decision makers out on a date.
What comes to mind for me when the topic is Fear & Sales:
Fear of failure.
Fear of competition.
Fear of customer dissatisfaction.
Fear of blowing it on a call, then actually blowing it on a call, which can create PHONE FEAR, which causes CALL RELUCTANCE.
These are REAL things in sales to me.
Maybe sales people get TIRED of rejection because it’s a constant part of the job but I don’t think we fear it.
That should be in the sales HISTORY section.
What do you fear in sales?
If you don’t have a sales and marketing plan for your great tech idea, then you don’t have a great tech idea.
Last year, I had the opportunity to work with a few technology startups on their enterprise sales strategy. These startups were in a position where they had a functioning technology to sell but were unable to acquire clients.
Here’s what they had in common:
1. The founder was from a technical background.
2. They were four years or more into the venture.
3. They spent thousands of hours and invested a few hundred thousand dollars before there was any thought of sales and marketing.
4. The founders all thought they could just become sales people.
5. They knew very little about sales or marketing.
6. In order to sell their technology consistently enough to launch a real business, it would take a very special sales person.
7. Even though they sought my assistance on how they could sell their technology, I’m not really sure they wanted anybody’s help.
What I confirmed:
Successful tech startups take a group effort.
I got a message today from one of my LI connections and new friend.
As I read it I could literally feel his adrenaline.
He just got off a successful cold call with a Global Head of Marketing.
It was 30 minutes long!
I know exactly what he was feeling.
I hope you do too.
I’m not a big fan of the whole “fail early and fail often” advice. It’s probably an easy thing to tell people when you have 18 Rolls-Royces in your garage.
In reality, failing with a venture at any age can really mess up your life.
These might be better:
Learn early and learn often.
Ask questions early and ask questions often.
Have an open-mind early and have an open-mind often.
Plan early and plan often.
Ask for help early and ask for help often.
You can certainly learn from failing but you don’t have to fail to learn.
It takes a high level of concentration to succeed on a B2B cold call with an executive. I don’t know about you but I can’t turn that off and on all day.
That’s why I make my cold calls in sessions, usually one hour long and twice a day.
I only make targeted outbound cold calls. Before each call I do a short prospect overview.
My favorite time to make calls is after four o’clock in the decision maker’s time zone. Connection rates are a little higher but more importantly the conversations go much better. I think it’s because they’re not as rushed at that time of the day.
For some reason Thursday has been really good to me but I don’t play the day of the week. I try to make calls every day and stay sharp.
That’s enough about me.
What’s your “cold call” story?
It’s not easy starting your career over after you’re forty years old. But things happen, professions can change, economies may flutter, and markets will dry up. Or maybe one day you just decide it’s time for something new.
But starting over after forty isn’t for the faint of heart.
It’s definitely a lot different than the early stages of your career when you were almost expected to fail.
What once were words of encouragement from the people around you can turn to words of doubt.
You may realize that you’ll only be able to rely on those in your life who believe in you and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Since you’re over forty and starting again, you might find that list of people to be a lot shorter.
But it’s your life.
Believe in yourself.
Find those few people that you need to believe in you.
And go for it!
My mother was a Receptionist for a major manufacturer until she retired in 2006. Over the last few years of her career she would frequently complain to me about software sales people. She really hated them.
Since I had only worked in logistics and printing I never really understood why it was only SaaS reps that got her so fired up. That was until 2016 when I started working in technology.
My new role as a Sales Development Representative was to identify prospects and approach executives at major corporations. Once my training was complete I was told there was a mandatory sales cadence for all SDRs.
This outbound cadence required me to contact decision makers a total of 8 times over the course of 15 days.
I finally realized what my mom was talking about for all those years.
There is a big difference in sales between persistence and harassment.
My 6 month old daughter reminded me of a very important lesson last night. Always make sure to have a new diaper ready before you remove the current one.
Most of you know exactly what I’m talking about. 🙁
While I was cleaning up the mess I realized something. When you make a cold call and you’re not mentally ready for the decision maker to pick up your call, it’s a lot like not having that next diaper ready.
You’re probably going to get peed on.
So make sure you’re ready on every cold call.
And with every diaper. 😉
Thanks for reading, please share!
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About the Author
Matt Wanty is the Founder of Subroot and the Author of The Lost Art of Cold Calling. Recently launched Subroot is the latest sales tool to help reps reach more prospects and build a bigger sales funnel. In addition to writing a book on cold calling, Matt regularly shares posts on Linkedin, His sales content on cold calling, prospecting, sales career, SDRs and more has been read by millions of sales people around the world. Sign up below to receive Matt’s content directly to your inbox.