We think the most important part of the sales process takes place before you even speak with a prospect.
At Add1Zero, when we start working with a client, we ask them to immediately start recording their video sales meetings if they don’t already do so. Our operations team analyzes the recordings and isolates every question and objection, compiles a database, and works with our client to determine and document an authoritative answer to each question.
Within 20 or 30 calls nearly all the questions that could be asked have been asked – and now we have the authoritative answers on hand.
We then take the responses to the top three questions and use them to create a pre-call email sequence. Now when a new prospect books a sales meeting, we enroll them to receive three pre-call emails, each of which answers one of the major questions.
We use this technique to show the prospect that we care about their success, and that we value their time. Neither of us wants to spend an additional 10-15 minutes on the call answering the standard questions. Instead, we can focus on the questions and concerns that are more unique to their situation.
As I told Brian Olson on the One Broken Cog podcast recently, I encourage anybody to do this. People feel that someone is taking care of them – and it drives the close rate up because the right prospects show up to sales appointments more educated, and the wrong prospects self-select out and cancel their appointments.
Prospects often tell us our “email game is on point,” that they were really impressed. Meanwhile, we can see they didn’t even open the emails. They just saw us in their inbox trying to add value and take care of them prior to the sales call and that made a positive impression.
Implement this one small innovation and test yourself. We see a consistent uptick in one-call closes when we build out these sales-informed pre-call emails.
You shouldn’t sell to yourself
One lesson that people in sales are often taught is: “Create solutions that solve your problems.” That’s cool – except that you then need to find people to sell it to who are exactly like you.
There probably are not enough people exactly like you in the world. You need to reposition your product so that it addresses an actual market need.
I believe that product-market fit is a huge consideration. You can charge people money – friends, family, referrals – up to a point but if you can’t sell your product or solution to a cold prospect you’re going to get yourself into trouble. I see that happen a lot.
Yes, you can probably make up to $250,000 or $300,000 in revenue and still not really have a legitimate feel for your product-market fit because you’ve taken on all of your friendlies and referrals, and you’ve probably chased revenue with very customized versions that won’t scale. If this is you, be careful!
Packages are easier to sell
One action we often take with clients is to introduce named packages and specific pricing. Many businesses pay lip-service to the idea that they are selling three tiers of a product – good, better, best – but when you dig a little deeper you find they’re actually customizing every single deal to close it.
We fix those programs so they’re simplified and easier to sell – which makes them easier to buy.
I’m not sure this is something you can fix yourself. I’m a big believer in getting third parties in, to get ideas from people who are not the founder because they’re not too close to the problem.
It’s hard to sell something you invented, because you’re enamored with your product or service. Sometimes you need an outside opinion.
We’re not in love with your invention like you are – we just want to make you more money and we’re not blinded by the passion of having developed it.
One thing sales reps should always remember
I like sales reps to have a generalized knowledge – because the conversation you have with a prospect can make a huge difference.
What I like less is laser-focused people who think they don’t need to have a relationship with the prospect.
If you’re well read and know a lot of things, you can have a conversation about sports or activities or geographies. Sometimes I think sales reps read too many sales books, or get too much sales training.
They forget that the one thing that will make you successful is having a personal discussion and chatting with prospects authentically. I think it’s far more important to build rapport and be likeable than it is to know the latest and greatest closing techniques.
Everyone you are selling to has seen the procedure before. There’s nothing new under the sun that you can use to trick somebody psychologically into a close. You can’t be formulaic.
It’s a relationship. I’d encourage people to care about the prospect and want to get to know them a little bit.
The two value propositions for a B2B solution
A skilled sales professional with ability and intelligence can learn to sell pretty much anything. I sincerely believe it’s all about understanding what value the product or service truly brings to the prospect.
If the product you’re selling is in B2B, it has to solve a compelling problem by either making a company more revenue or causing a significant decrease in cost.
I sincerely think there are only two value propositions for a B2B solution. Either it makes more money or makes more profit (reduces expenses).
90% of the time, if I can position your product or service as something that makes people more revenue, that’s a lot easier to sell than something that will save you time or money. More revenue beats more profit in terms of value positioning.
When is a good time to talk to us?
At Add1Zero, our niche is that we look for B2B services companies in the tech space that a founder has grown annual sales up to the mid-six-figure range.
That’s a great place for us to start. We know there is a product-market fit, we know the company can grow, they’ve been in business for a while, and are making clients happy.
We then come in and scale those operations. We’ll build a scalable revenue operation, close lots of deals and drive more leads by investing that additional revenue.
Once we’ve scaled a business from six figures to seven, we’re out. I advise clients not to hire an expensive VP of sales until they reach that mid-seven-figure range. By then you’re achieved the sort of cash flow that can reasonably fund that sort of role.
We want to come in and make a quick difference, to grow revenue, and do it in a high-integrity way.
We’ll help you create a different company
Many of the companies who reach out to us are successful but have reached a plateau. They have reached the mid-six-figures in annual revenue but now they’re stuck.
If you’re a founder who has gotten a company to the mid-six-figures, do you know how rare you are? What you have accomplished is tremendous. But what got you there won’t carry you into the future.
When you grow from $500,000 a year to $5 million, you’re creating a totally different business. You’re building a company that has to be ten times as big. We know how to get you there.
It’s awesome that you did what you did – now let’s do what you need to do to get to the next level.
But we won’t set sales goals
I have to say, I think sales goals are a complete waste of time. My goal is to close 100% of the calls we have on the best possible deal.
We will never reach that, but let’s get as close to it as we can. We want to get every dollar that we can possibly get without doing shady things.
It just makes no sense to have sales goals. I’m not going to stretch any harder. Maybe they’re necessary for people who aren’t properly compensated or motivated. For clients the size we deal with I usually find sales goals are just projections that aren’t based on any objective reality.
Let’s build systems that try to get all the revenue all the time. We’ll fall short, but we’ll beat any goal you could have thought of.