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Make It Easy For Your Customers To Buy, Tom Williams

Don't just sell stuff. Solve problems for your customers.

Click here to download the episode. 


Sales Tips you'll learn today on The Sales Podcast...

  • Make it easy for your buyers to buy
  • "Don't start a CRM company. The ocean always needs boiling."
  • What feature do you not need?
  • Salesforce won't let you delete more than one opportunity at a time
  • Most customers don't know what their own problems are
  • Salespeople can't follow a process
  • Salesforce is the safe decision but the worst, usually

Eat This To Sell More

  • "Let me guess. Is this one of your problems?
Find the root cause of the customer's problem."
  • If they say what they want they don't want to listen
  • Prospects who don't listen just want a quote
  • Acknowledge they are experts in their own businesses
  • "What risks are you worried about?"
  • Lead with examples. Show them you have experience and expertise in their space.
  • "I've read a lot about your company and your situation, is this your problem?"
  • A well-educated guess will get you a long way down the sales process
  • Personal rapport goes a long way...but it only goes so far
  • Check in with the customer and ask them what they need to buy
  • Stop focusing 100% on your sales process and checkboxes
  • Make it easy for them to look good in their own organization
  • Your internal champion is putting their neck on the line
  • Provide them cover
  • Ask them...
When was the last time you signed a PO of this size?"
  • Real decision makers say "I bring in my team and bounce ideas off them."
  • Share your plan with your prospect once you know what's going on and they are qualified
  • Reduce their risk
  • Have a good sales cadence merged with your sales engagement and CRM and challenge them on their current mode of business
  • Show them they are horribly wrong
  • "When was the last time your sales rep said 'Guaranteed closed by the end of the month.'?"
  • "I bet you're missing your forecasts...and I know why."
  • You know the underlying of their pain
  • Use a multi-media, multi-step engagement plan to touch on multiple points over time until you find the hot button
  • Focus on the process before login
  • Have dates on milestones
  • AEs vs. SDR quota
  • "No buyer ever argued with clear expectations."

Links Mentioned In The Sales Podcast


Wes Schaeffer: Tom Williams, CEO of Deal Point. Expert salesman, entrepreneur, a man of the world, welcome to The Sales Podcast. How the heck are you?

Tom Williams: And I keeping it real. How about yourself?

WS: I'm good. I may have you hit the keyboard...bust out some music back there, but

TW: I'll do the whole thing in rhyme. I'll sing the whole interview if you like.

WS: Nice. So we've been chatting, a little bit. You have an interesting history: CEO and founder of a software— is it software, consulting a little bit of both.

TW: It's always been around sales and marketing. So, you know, it is when you're not working, you're consulting, so there's.

TW: Definitely some building windows in there, over the years, but most, most of the time I'm doing marketing and sales together for a software company.


WS: You started a CRM, not too long ago. So I'm you know I've, I have not started a CRM, but I sell a lot of CRM software so got quite a few things in common, but

TW: You know, you mentioned sending us, I'll say, my advice to all your listeners, don't start a CRM company. It's unbelievably complicated that you need 100% of everything. And the ocean never ceases needing to be boiled in the CRM world so

WS: I look at that and because I, you know, I've been in that space for a long time and

WS: It is tough. It's like, what's the MVP, right, what's the minimum viable product. And before you

WS: Before you know it, you got to add 497 features and all sudden the thing's not easy anymore. It's, it's not affordable anymore. It's hard to support, like, Oh, good grief.

TW: Yeah, yeah, it's a nightmare.

WS: And resell them. Yeah.

TW: No, yeah, that's the right thing to do. The hard part is finding out what features do not need because every single customer needs exactly 80% of what you got plus 20% something unique.

WS: Yeah.

TW: And that's why I said like Salesforce ends up being so complicated. Because the vast majority of people don't need that everyone gravitates towards it for safety's sake. Even though it's easily the least usable of the CRM since the nightmare.

WS: Oh, amen. I just did a blog post today about it. I hang out at Quora sometimes, right, and I'll answer some questions kind of the pulse of what's going on. What are people curious about and somebody had asked me the answer the question, you know, is is HubSpot, a viable threat to Salesforce?

WS: You know, I'm like, yeah, I mean Salesforce's market cap is 17 times bigger than HubSpot but it doesn't mean they're not a threat. And when you look at everything like Salesforce does. It's so big, so onerous like Oh, good grief.

TW: But you know what, it doesn't do this. You can't select three opportunities and delete them at the same time.

TW: We sell. So as you go through each one individually. They don't have a multi-select

TW: It just kills me. And they're like, yeah, you can buy an app for that to select more than one opportunity to time.

WS: Oh my gosh.

TW: Yeah, yeah, it's all about being user friendly.

TW: You know, versus having market dominance

WS: But you know could

WS: Couldn't you say that most things that people sell. It's the 8020 rule. It's like, you know, focus on what they really need

WS: Maybe guide the conversation because make a lot of times a customer doesn't really know what they need.

WS: They're there they're chasing all the bright shiny things like no focus

WS: Focus right here. This 80% is going to move the needle for you, you know,

WS: Let's, let's get a solid foundation. Then we'll work on the 20% I mean not true.

TW: A lot of it is they don't even know what their own problem is

TW: I think the best salespeople are relatable to walk in and say, Yeah, I've seen your situation in 10 other companies. So here's the thing that you

TW: That you may not realize you're completely different area of the business is what's causing this problem. So don't focus on what features does my CRM have, for example, focus on the fact that your sales guys aren't able to follow a process and it's not the CRM for

TW: To let's not focus on the CRM.

TW: Or whatever the

TW: Technology is

TW: Let's focus on those root causes because that's how you're able to be a way more helpful.

TW: Partner

WS: To them.

Is by

TW: Kind of pulling the wool over their eyes and saying, look, this is a lot of other people experienced this problem.

TW: I helped X y&z with that problem before, here's what we

TW: Did it's way more valuable than getting stuck into does it have the top 20% of features, because they may not need those at all.

TW: They may just be parroting what they heard from the last sales guy who was on the phone with them. So if you can dig into what's your

TW: Actual problem.

TW: And fix that, then figure out what kind of software or solutions, you need to

TW: MAKE THAT EASY FIX easier. I think they will appreciate that way more

WS: Yeah, but Tom

WS: My business is different.

TW: Uses unique is

WS: My business is it, yeah I know you helped 2492 businesses exactly in my space.

WS: My business is different. Can you look you just you answer my questions? Okay, I know what I need.

TW: But let me guess. Is this one of your problems. That's what I like to do. I like to take a stab in the dark, where if there's a reasonably good chance that I've recognized some patterns us one buddy of mine actually has a

TW: Photograph of a whiteboard that he carts around and he says, Let me guess. I bet your networks. Bet your network looks like this and that.

TW: All right, I guess you have seen our problems before and that really opens them up and they're like, yeah, it does look. So let me show you what it really looks like and then you're talking

TW: You got it. You do need to walk in with something. Otherwise, they're not going to believe that you can help them. And if they really are looking just for a price quote

TW: Then I guess you can just give it to them. But you're probably going to be in a

TW: Just a price for that point if either they know what they want. Already, or if they say they know what they want and they're not willing to listen, then you're not really going to be able to add much value.

TW: And yeah, I could move on. But you're going to get stuck into a price for real quick with whoever offers 50 cents less of that of solution.

WS: Yeah, that's a good point. You know, I talked with clients all the time about you re-engineering

WS: Right redesigning

WS: What it is they think they need

WS: You know, it's because I always equated to like being a doctor. Righty, I don't call you up, you know, Hey, Dr. Tom Yeah, I'm, you know, I think I got Kovac. I need some hydroxyl poor Quinn and zip through myosin and some zinc and some steroids inhalers and magnesium. Can you

WS: Can you send all that to me real quick. You

TW: Know how much, how much is that how

WS: much would you charge ship that over I, you know, go ahead just delivered to me today, you know, but that's how salespeople, we

WS: We let the prospect treat us

WS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tom, I need a CRM. I needed the RP the API HTTPS or SSL that

WS: I need to delete three opportunities that will

WS: Be $18 a seat, no contract. Oh.


TW: Great.

WS: Hey boss, I got a good one.

WS: How do we just

WS: Why don't we take the abuse.

TW: Well, you know, I think one of the reasons people why there are two reasons people walking like that.

TW: One is no one likes to ask for help. They know wants to go ask for directions and say, Actually, I don't know about my own business.

TW: West, you're an expert. Can you please tell me about my own business, because it's humiliating. So if you can walk in acknowledging that the two are experts, but maybe you've seen something they haven't

TW: Seen but be real play and really respectful about it not, I know more than you do about your business that really goes well, and then to they're covering their own butts on

TW: Like the risks that are involved. So I ever heard that phrase. No one got fired for buying IBM

TW: Back in the olden days, so they may be saying we need every last got them bell and whistle because they're afraid to get the wrong thing.

TW: And so if if you can help them understand what the actual risks are to making whatever changes. I think you'll be able to get into that, that not of concern we faster and

TW: You know, asking what risks are you worried about. And let's talk about those risks, rather than what the software feature has

WS: Doesn't have right

WS: Is it that simple.

WS: Well, they just answer.

TW: Know,

WS: What you're worried about. I mean,

WS: No, no, no, listen, young man. Oh, you know,

WS: I'm a big CEO. And that's, again, that's why you need to lead with examples because it warms them.

TW: Up. It shows that maybe you've got something they haven't got

TW: So personally, I don't do the I don't do that. What we saw last time when we were talking with XYZ is this and I just barreling with

TW: And I said, I'll say I've read everything I can about your company and I'm guessing that this might be a problem. Is that a problem.

TW: And either I hit it on the head or so reasonable that you know

TW: That I'm in the ballpark, then the open up. You can't just say, What's your problem. What are you going to get fired about No, nobody knew who do worse on to that? But if you walk in with a well-educated guess then either you nail it or it's close enough so they'll start talking

TW: Now, where you get those educated guess is that that is the truly hard part of sales. I used to say.

TW: Go talk to somebody who's seen you in your organization and asked him if you could buy him lunch and then they will tell you what those commercial insights are about the industry you serve.

TW: The benefit because they would also 99% of the time. Buy your lunch. Nowadays, we are, we're not doing a whole bunch of lunch eating with colleagues, but you can still

TW: If you talk to your CEO.

TW: I think they would love it if

TW: A sales rep came and said, Can you tell me some of the insights that you've seen over the years of the problems that companies have

TW: Seen fixture that software.

Or our solution.

TW: I think it was score some points with that senior sales management or CEO, depending on how big the company is

TW: And you'll get some insights that maybe you can lead with rather than just barreling into the software demo in the first call but you need to have those insights. Otherwise, just the prospects are going to listen to you.

WS: Right. Yeah. I, you know, work on that with my clients in it and it's so fundamental, it's the 8020 rule, right, I have them work on the frustrated upset concerned angry.

WS: You know like what, you know, the old Robert call you're into the conversation going on in the mind, the prospect.

WS: You know, because everybody in and especially at 20 right like sales managers, like if I'm selling sales training. I know sales managers are frustrated with salespeople not making enough calls

WS: They're upset that salespeople pipelines are all over the place. You know, they sandbag or they're overly optimistic, they're concerned about

WS: You know, growing a good, strong, stable team and some of them are just downright angry.

TW: That

WS: You know, despite all their training and investments they still have this yo-yo pipeline. So what so boom, boom, boom. I'm like, I don't suppose any of those are impacting your business right now. Are they, you know, I've had guys go

WS: Dude, were you listening in on our sales meeting this morning.

WS: Because everybody has the same immediately what

TW: Are the best thing is if you've got an idea on what causes sandbagging then go in with one or two. I'd rather than having is any of these 50 things going to one or two things and but then have

TW: Like what you found out why people sandbag and maybe they send back because the comp plan is key because you can get punitive comp plans right if you close too much too many deals and then in this month and

TW: Leaves you hurting for next month. If you have a month to month comp plan, you'll see more sandbagging then if you have a quarter to quarter comp plan so

TW: asked him if you sandbagging. Do you guys have a month to month comp plan and yeah we do and we have accelerated that reset? At the end of every month. Well, that is probably impacting your, your, your sandbag quotient.

TW: Limit. Let me, let me give you some advice on how you can smooth that overall or what behavior. You actually want and now you're talking. But it's about having that initial insight about their company and it's easier if you're selling to salespeople because we're all salespeople.

TW: But if you're selling to a different kind of industry that's where you're going to bring in your head engineer or your product-market person and quiz them as to what those

TW: Insights are

WS: What if somebody says, Well, but Tom, you know, I can't. That's free consulting, I can't, I can't give away all that advice they need to pay me for that's product that's work product right that's experiencing. I can't just give them all this advice.

TW: If you're a consultant, then yeah you can hint at a little bit, but by all means don't give away the store. I think the the the success Sookie a show how to do

TW: It manually, if you like.

TW: But then ideally your solution.

TW: Makes it a lot easier.

TW: To

TW: To do automatically. And to the extent that they

WS: Believe right

TW: If I put all these widgets and leaves and

TW: Everything I can

TW: Get to that end result I can fix my own problem, but now I understand why your solution is so much cooler because it does it automatically

TW: They shouldn't end if there's some secret that fixes everything that you're afraid to tell them they're probably going to figure it out by themselves, and you'll suffer from not that valuable if it's just like an on button.

TW: For some other service if you're not actually if you suffer didn't actually have

TW: anything of value that

TW: Can't isn't greater than a 10-minute conversation, then it's probably not very good software.

TW: I wouldn't be I'm not afraid to tell the secrets of what makes deal like that like the underlying

TW: truths that we're leveraging to make your point be cool.

TW: I'll tell anybody about those underlying truth and I'll show them how to do it manually. And then inevitably, they're like, Yeah, but how to automate that. I thought, well then you come to me. Come back to me.

TW: But by showing this to see a lot more likely to be that credible person who they'll come

TW: Back to you later on when they need to

TW: Automate It make it more powerful.

TW: Or make it easier to actually do

WS: So you an unfair advantage if you've got this British accent selling in America. So should I move to the UK with that helped me

TW: Do they like a male as

TW: We asked when I'm in England, I go back to my regular accent.

WS: People well

TW: Y'all need to understand their sentence things that move to action.

TW: Plan and yeah goes great

WS: I see what you did there.

WS: Yes, don't start playing the banjo. When you go down south. All right.

TW: Yeah, I mean it's having something that's like the if you've got the

TW: Different levels of of

TW: Different maturity levels of

WS: customer engagement certainly

TW: Personal report goes a real long

TW: Way and

TW: I definitely have an advantage in that because it's interesting.

TW: It stands out from the other 10 calls they've had

TW: But it only goes so far and

TW: I can be charming all day long. If I'm not telling them something that's helpful for their business.

TW: Then in fact is worse than happy to listen to me for half an hour. But then I just wasted half an hour of my time.

TW: So if I'm

TW: If I'm not pretty good. I'm sure I've got something of

TW: Interest.

WS: To that particular person then

TW: No one's a winner, just by having a friendly.

WS: friendly conversation. Yeah. And you know what I tell women in my training that exact thing. It's like look leverage what you got. Okay. If you're an attractive woman, they're probably gonna let you at least in the door.

WS: But that's

TW: Okay, I have to deliver

WS: You know,

WS: You gotta deliver right

WS: chillin Woman Hey, thanks. She's nice. Yeah, she's gonna buy lunch. I'm going to go almost to buy me lunch all day long. Great. You're an idiot. Fine, I'm gonna poke at you. I'm going to burst your bubble. I'm going to enjoy the lunch, you know, but it might

WS: Leverage whatever benefit.

WS: You have if people all the time, they'll tell me

WS: When they would tell me I know but doesn't seem fair. I want to be, you know, judged on my, on my brains ever like, you're going to be judged on your brains.

WS: Because you got to bring back they're gonna buy from you, just because they think you're attractive. They just get your foot in the door. So do it, you know, but

WS: People crazy what's or my crazy, crazy to give them that advice.

TW: I I've no comment.

TW: No comment.

WS: That's fine.

WS: But man, it's just like your accident right leverage it

WS: Man, you're gonna be politically correct fine. So we talked about, like you said before we even hit record, you know, make it easy for your buyers to buy

WS: What do you mean by that, I'll take your money all day long. I'll take well

WS: I would say I'd take big time. I might take bitcoin, I think, whatever you got. What do you mean, make it easy.

TW: There's this

TW: There's two. There's two

TW: Kind of big thoughts there at the

TW: There's an awful lot of people whose focus on sales process and they forget to check in with the customer, like, Well, what do you need to buy

TW: So I've got all these I got all these checkmarks that I need to do in my sales stages. I got to qualify. I'm going to check for budget. I gotta check for authority, all that stuff, but

TW: The buyer is going to have steps on their side as well, they're going to need to go get some consensus from inside the buying organization.

TW: They're going to need to bring the lawyers in at a setting that time, they're probably going to need to get some technical experts like a network it person involved.

TW: They don't know that because they've never bought your thing. So you want to make it as easy as possible for them to look good inside their own organization.

TW: You don't want to make them do a whole bunch of work. So, the easier you can make it on your champions.

TW: You know, whatever the work is in your champions fleet that the more you can do of that work and make it easier for them to buy the more likely you are to stand out versus the other competitors who are just barreling

TW: barreling tasks, one after another.

TW: On that

TW: Champion and it's not easy being a champion, you got to go in and you got to put your neck on the line and say,

TW: I think we should bring in, I think we should bring in West

TW: To fix that problem.

TW: And if you know if it doesn't go well. Let

TW: It will be my fault. I'll totally take the blame. You can go ahead and fire me

TW: That's a nerve-racking thing for any champion to have to face.

TW: So to the extent that you can provide them cover.

TW: And give them the case studies that they're going to need to make the

TW: Case and

TW: Show that it's the smart safe decision for them to go with you. You're making it easier for them to

TW: Represent you inside the organization and you're making it easier for them to ultimately endorse you

WS: And buy from you.

TW: So I mean it's real easy just to

TW: Stay focused over here on the seller's needs.

TW: But they've never bought your thing.

TW: Before

TW: And they don't really know what to do. So the more you can help them, the easier it's going to be for everyone.

WS: Yeah, how do you know who the real decision-maker is without offending maybe that internal champ or, you know, stepping on toes.

TW: There's that there's a lady here important there Monica in and

TW: Add that she runs as well. She's, she's the CEO is Eastern says what she said was if the person if the champion says that the decision-maker.

TW: Awesome. When was the last time that they signed a P O of the size because it's probably not true.

TW: The chances are that the decision-makers actually is going to be the person who says, no, I listened to the recommendation of my team.

TW: That's the decision-maker. If there is, you know, a single person.

TW: And I don't think it's I think it's an appropriate tool to say when we've sold this solution in a similar company though for people at the table.

TW: There was, there was an IT person there's somebody from finance as an end-user. And typically we had a systems integration involved to help them.

TW: Who are those people in your world. If it's a no. It's just me, but you can think to yourself, Well,

TW: That's an anomaly and that makes it a lot different than the other 15 times I sold this so

TW: I would flag that deal if the distinctly different from all the other times you solve the solution into a similar company. And I don't think that if you position it right to say these are the people who are needed to make

TW: Not, not to buy my software but

TW: To fix the problem. There's, there are four people involved in fixing this kind of

TW: Problem. They look like this. Who would that be on your side, then you'll bring those people into the discussion and then the sale follows naturally from that. You sure if you say who's who actually who's the signature over

WS: Your place.

TW: That is going to rank on somebody, the wrong way. But it's kind of along the lines of

TW: Helping them by

TW: If you, if you focus on fixing their problem.

TW: All the time, then

TW: You can ask all these questions because I'm not

TW: asking you for my benefit. I'm asking for your


TW: If somebody just buys my software but they haven't really analyzed what the problem is.

TW: It's going to be a waste of money.

WS: Because it's going to sit around underutilized.

TW: If we haven't really analyzed the problems that my solution fixes so

TW: That's how you get around it by asking who's involved in fixing the problem.

TW: Let's get those guys.

WS: In a room together and

TW: Then you've got access to the

TW: The true decision making.

TW: Team. Because ultimately, the person who signs the


TW: May will not be the actual decision-maker, they may just be like,

TW: Or taking a recommendation from

TW: From the rest of the team.


WS: Yeah, I like that. It's a good question.

WS: I'm

WS: Trying to think like, how would they reply.

WS: You know, if I'm thinking like if somebody asked me, that'd be like

WS: I don't know, depends on my mood. If it's a Monday or Friday.

WS: Maybe was a little bit sign up to, you know, all the time. Or, you know,

TW: Kind of questionable. And that's really that's you probably asked the question, too soon.

TW: Because if

TW: If you don't have that.

TW: If you don't have that team together. I have a pretty good sense that

TW: You think it might be, then you really are risking by asking that question. So you want to have a good sense for who's involved in the decision.

TW: And yeah, you know, on a moniker is pretty is pretty brave by having though. So when did you last do it. But the fact is if they're fibbing to you, then you call them out on it.

WS: Oh yeah, you got to find out.

WS: Yeah.

TW: Otherwise you're going to be wasting your own. You can be wasting your time and I

TW: A lot of it depends on, have you already shown that you know you're talking about because by showing them you know what you're talking about. And that you actually can fix their problem you if kind of earned the right to

TW: To get some detailed information back because now you are really are giving them some value.

TW: Without asking for

TW: For a check back. Yeah.

WS: Would you say

WS: You know, the more complex the sale.

WS: The

WS: I don't know if like cautious is the right word, but you know if you're dealing with a big sale. Many people at the table. It's going to take

WS: 30 days 60 days to close this deal, you know, how do you have to stick more to that defined process.

WS: Get those checkboxes.

TW: ticked

WS: You know, from your end or can you still

TW: Have some

WS: some leeway in there and

TW: Well, I think, I think one of the biggest benefits of having a

TW: Plan that

TW: So if you have a plan that you share with your prospect, say this is a typical we've heard your problem. I think we can fix it. This is the typical kind of plan or what it would look like to get you to your happy place as a three-month process.

TW: Blah, blah, blah. This is what it looks like. Then, one of the things you're doing immediately is reducing the risk that they're worried about, because especially right now.

TW: Your prospects. Their, their heads down. All they want to do is get it to the weekend and be able to relax a little bit in their, in their basements and not

TW: They don't want to raise their hands right now. Nobody's saying, hey, I want to spend some more budget.

TW: But at the same time they have some projects that they need to finish right now. That's why they didn't get let go. In March, because they're responsible for something

TW: So if anything, they have an even more important project or responsibility right now and there's less room for mistakes because everything's tighter.

TW: So you can use that as a salesperson. You can say, I understand that you have this project that you need to get completed in the next few months.

TW: But actually the risky move

TW: Is not

TW: Making a change the risky move is staying here and

TW: Not looking at the alternatives, because

TW: If you walk with me and make this change, then you'll have a much higher likelihood of success in your main

TW: Project that

TW: Will in shift where that risk is coming

TW: Into their lives from

TW: The risk normally is making a

TW: Change if you can make it to the risk is not making a change

TW: Then you're much more likely to be successful in selling

WS: Them some

TW: Some product.

WS: How do you get your foot in the door, though, to position yourself as the expert right if you're cold calling banging on doors.

WS: You know, I know you can turn things around and get it going, but

WS: Like

WS: Is there a way to expedite the process.

TW: Well, that's where you go to, you go to 678 thought email cadence and a bunch of vocals.

TW: That's where you're barreling in


TW: I think I know something I think I know something about your, your organization or about how you guys do business. And I think you making a mistake so

TW: You can you be brave. So the challenger challenge people was any say start with by challenging them on their current mode of business because what you need to do is first you need to break down their existing

TW: Understanding of how they do business and show them where there's a fundamental mistake. And that's costing them money.

TW: And then bring about to what the, what the solution is. But first, we need to show them that they're doing something horribly wrong as a miracle that they haven't gone out of business yet.

TW: It's and you got it. You got to be kind of

TW: confident about it. You got to walk in and say,

TW: Is what we do, so we sell mutual Action Plan software and

TW: A big component of that is having a more accurate forecast.

TW: So I walk in,

TW: And I say,

TW: When was the last time that you had

TW: A sales rep say guaranteed close by the end of the month, and they laugh because every rep ever has said guarantee close by the end of the month and then say, Well, what happens when that deal slips into the next quarter and

TW: I'm sure I just did the other day, they had $2 million worth of deals slipped into this quarter. And they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses because they didn't hit that number for last quarter.

TW: If they'd known about it earlier if they'd known that they weren't where they thought they were with the customers or with the prospects.

TW: They as managers, they could have done more to pull it in, but they didn't. So they lost a big old bonus

TW: What I did was I walked in and I gave them a reason for why that deals are slipping because they weren't all

TW: On a on shared understanding of whether the buyer is in their particular buyer journey.

TW: Point being, is I machine. And I said I bet you're missing your forecast and they were and that and I know why you're missing your focus. And that's how I get in the door.

TW: So again, it's that insight about their own business that maybe they haven't thought about so

TW: Just saying. I know you have this pain isn't enough because they know they have the pain, too. But what is the underlying cause of that pain is something that you should know that they don't know and that's the thing that your software or your service should be fixing

WS: All right, so

WS: It's

WS: So the way you explained it is different from the way that I initially understood it, because like you're saying, you know, tell them you know something that's horribly wrong.

WS: But it's because I get emails all the time from these. I don't know what some are legit, but they're kind of scammers, you know, they'll email like your website is broken.

WS: You know you don't

WS: Have an H1 title tag on three pages, you don't have alt descriptions on 18 images so so that they're saying, you know, you have stuff that's horribly wrong or at least mine wrong. I'm like,

WS: Good grief really that's how we're going to begin this relationship. I like walking up to my wife when I met her at a bar right and go yeah your perfumes.

WS: Terrible. That's really old you like

WS: But that you're saying that you didn't necessarily pinpoint something in their business you're using your experience to kind of make that educated guess that they have that struggle is that

TW: Yeah, that's right.

WS: Right Understanding

TW: And and in. And the nice thing about having a multi

TW: Touch campaign is you can take a couple of different steps.

TW: So if, if they ignore the one about your first guest if it turns out they got absolutely goals and forecasts, then

TW: Instead, go on about. So another thing that

TW: I've observed is a lot of teams will say we hit quota as a team, but thank God we had the top 10% of our reps. They really pulled everybody along

TW: And so what I did was actually graft out an average distribution of quotas and on a typical distribution. When you look at the top reps are hitting hundred and 20% of quotes in

TW: The bottom reps are missing a hundred 80% or 20% of quota.

TW: I worked out how much money that was and it was 15% of the total quota was being left on the table by people not following process properly and not hitting quota.

TW: So that was an insight because what I heard a lot was. Yeah, some of my team, don't hit quota, but it's okay because the top people do.

TW: And as I have to think about what you just said. And I kind of open their eyes is that it's not okay, that the top people are pulling everybody up

TW: Because they could quit anytime and really those people are supposed to be the cream of your

TW: Quota not saving everybody else's beacon. So what, let's look at that fat tail end where the money is not being and how could you lift that and it's 15% of the total amount of the total quota is being left on the table by people not hitting quota.

TW: Once you fix that. And what I have seen is that people don't people haven't looked at that as a chart across all their, their salespeople. They just add all of the coaches up and

TW: Divided by the number of salespeople. They have and that's great. As a team we hit coach and my job is done.

TW: My, my, my education inside there was looking at the individuals and see how much money, leaving on the table for everybody who didn't hit quota. There's a lot of money and makes them act.

TW: So I was like,

WS: you're muted. I was muted.

WS: Yeah, and you start talking about

WS: Margins and opportunity costs.

WS: You know, okay, great. They hit quota, but at what price, you know, if you got 80% of your reps not hitting their number you're still paying for those reps, you're still paying for the leads that they're not closing. So yeah, there's a lot

WS: A lot going on there. But we see it all the time. And you see the sales managers.

WS: They, they

WS: Are focus all their energy on the turkeys right let's pull these bottom guys up and, you know, to a degree, the top guys and gals, they do want to be left alone, but

WS: They still should be showing some love. But you know, it's like ignore the top performers spend all this time dragging up these underperformers and it rarely works anyway.

TW: That's what having a good sales process kicks in.

TW: In terms of

TW: My ultimate recommendations for any team.

TW: I've certainly run teams that have no sales process here where we're all right guys. Let's just go out and let's hit this number magically that came down from the management team that we had to hit this number or everyone do it. You can go

TW: It meant that I had a terrible forecasts, because I couldn't tell. Early on, where people if they really weren't going to land on if this was a good opportunity or not, or if they're just the rep had a good feeling about it.

TW: The other, the other helpful thing with processes, if you have somebody who's not following process. It's real easy to fire him.

TW: With course examine you are not following the process and you're not hitting quota, you're out of here. And if your people are hitting are following process and still not hitting quota.

TW: Then you have a great action item you can prove you go down process is something wrong with it.

WS: Right, so

TW: There's this guy yeah Cove and decoy from

TW: Winning by design.

TW: And the thing I really like about him is that he said

TW: If you're, if you are in a factory.

TW: And the wheels kept falling off the car.

TW: Would you fire the people

TW: Or would you go fix the factory line.

TW: Because it's

TW: It's probably not every single shift is blowing it, it's probably the

You know the wheel machine isn't

WS: Isn't

TW: Is not aligned right to go fix the wheel machine go fix the process. And when you focus on our process.

TW: First, then the humans that are doing it.

TW: Become less unpredictable and if the following the process, you get a consistent result and

TW: Then you can focus on everybody, improving the process and you'll see a consistent lift.

WS: across the organization. Yeah.

WS: I call it process before login.

TW: Yeah.

WS: Document everything for you. Go trying to buy some widget, buy some new tool.

WS: Like one

WS: What is your current or ideal process. Right. A lot of times their current process is just total chaos. Okay.

WS: But let's merge your current with your ideal and then once that's on paper, then we can figure out the tools that you need, or where the problems are, but usually just running around crazy

TW: Well, and this was a salesperson can just that's the cool thing about the salesperson. You can walk in, if you say, I've seen your

TW: I've seen this from before. And this is that

TW: Paper. This is those steps that will get you there.

TW: And sure, buying my stuff is step one of seven.

TW: Or step to have seven but it's not. This is how you fix your problem.

TW: And when you present that plan you show so much more credibility that you've done this before.

TW: And that

TW: You know, you're talking about and that you've seen the

TW: Success. You're not just making it up as you go.

TW: Along so

TW: Presenting that fantasy, something real easy that salespeople can do

TW: To set up that credibility and get everybody on

TW: The path to, first of all, buying your stuff.

TW: And then second implementing it so that it's actually doing what it's supposed to do.

WS: So mean as the co-founder and CEO of your current business, how, how much are you involved in this versus leaving it up to your executive team.

WS: You know, did you tell them, hey, this is my vision go executed. Do you let them kind of map, you know, say, Hey, here's the goal.

WS: Go hit it. I'll leave it up to you, like how hands on, are you and how hands-on. Do you recommend you know the sea level get involved in the sales process?

TW: So we're pretty small company we have and we have 14 people right now so I'm intimately involved.

TW: But it has, it is really rewarding as there are parts that I can let go of. I certainly watched him for a while. And that's the nice thing about processes.

TW: We can agree on the process and then I can walk away from it. And then if the process needs to be fixed, then I can do that with the leader, rather than getting deep into like the people

TW: Pop, you can

TW: You can stay on the predictable bit which is

TW: Is this the right way to go. It's just not being implemented. Right.

TW: Or is it the wrong implementation and it's easy for me to, to look at, okay, what was the plan.

TW: Are we on plan or not?

When there's a plan.

WS: Yeah.

TW: I think the number one thing for that is having

TW: It's really hard to do is having dates on milestones.

TW: Because like with my with the marketing program.

TW: We have some great marketing aspirations, but without a date on it before you know it. Another month is went by and you didn't quite get to it. We still pay this fee for

TW: So you want to make sure that there are dates on all of these objectives and then you can have a real honest conversation once a quarter with both yourself and with that team is a well let's look back at last week, last quarters.

WS: Objectives.

TW: How do we do and if you nail them, then great. If you didn't, then, was it because they fail the implementation.

TW: Or it was a terrible idea and

TW: Either one of those is fine because

TW: You can fix either one of those things.

TW: If but if you don't know if it was the plan.

TW: It just didn't work and you don't know if it's the people or the process.

WS: You know, I've always

WS: Worked with sales managers and leaders. I tell them you know manage activity but pay on results.

WS: And, and, you know, I encourage them to have very short timeframes for salespeople right if

WS: You know having two weeks left in the quarter and having a conversation with your sales rep. Hey, you're, you're at 50% of quota with two weeks ago. That's a little bit late to be having that that conversation, but seems like what most companies do they trust.

WS: I don't know, some big discounting some big

WS: You know harried activity, they're going to just pull it in or

WS: They just don't want to have that tough conversation. They don't want to recruit and hire more people. So, like, how, how often, how frequently should we be analyzing the salespeople. And, you know, to make sure they're staying on course.

TW: But so that, again, that's why I'm a big fan of the plan because you can

TW: On an individual deal level you can look to see, are we where we should be on this individual deal

TW: And say these seven milestones. We want to hit this hundred thousand dollar deal and we are right where we said we would be on milestone three and milestone for milestone five

TW: There's not going to be that surprise at the end of the quarter. Whereas if you don't have a plan, you just have a great big number. That's do, then you don't know

TW: At what point is it too late to pull over.

WS: Sin if

TW: But if you have a plan.

TW: Even down to the individual.

Opportunity level.

TW: Then your, your one on ones is so much more

TW: Productive, you can say, all right, you have 10 deals

TW: On the board.

TW: And this

TW: One is ahead of schedule and this one's behind schedule.

TW: Are you going to be able to bring in the one that's behind you ever bring it back up. Do I need to bring in some more resources to help you, or do we push it into next quarter, but you're doing that, you know, now in week three of the course, instead of week 11 of the quarter.


WS: So,

WS: Understand the stages on the actual opportunities.

WS: But that's assuming they have enough deal flow that at least that maybe optimistically can get there. Right. What do you, how are you tracking even activity right to ensure they're uncovering enough opportunities right because

WS: You know the time they

WS: Get a big pipeline and they stop prospecting and then it's this, it's this yo-yo effect.

TW: But something at a buddy of mine and Andrew

TW: Marshall here in Portland does

TW: His a E's have your SD ours and as but the ease of two different coaches, one is

TW: A quota that they brought in themselves, and the other is the things they're closing from the SD ours.

TW: And I love that they can nail that SDR coach all day long and still miss goal because they didn't bring their own deals to the table.

TW: And I really like that. I'm a big fan of having a prospecting for their own as well.

TW: You know, one of the things that can really help is if you are better at disqualifying deals earlier, say, all right, we are

TW: We're not on plan with this one, we should be a milestone eight or milestone one. I'm just going to kill it, because we're not on track that immediately frees-up untold number of hours to go do some more prospecting and go out and find those good deals instead of wasting your time on the bad deals because it's just it's deadly that we keep

TW: Following all this time on bad deals and that again is another

TW: Another outcome of not having good plans.

TW: If you have a good plan. You can tell earlier this is

TW: This is a bad deal. This is not going to happen.

TW: It's very

TW: Difficult for us to let go.

TW: Of any kind of deal, especially when there's so much pipe, but

TW: If you have like an objective rubric to greater

TW: Opportunity as a boss.

TW: I'm dumping this deal because they didn't do any of the things that we

TW: Expect by this stage and the buses. Good idea. Thank you so much for dumping that deal and not wasting your time.

WS: On it.

TW: Now go prospect for some new

TW: Ones. That's such a better outcome than seven color. It's going to come in. It's going to come. It's going to come in and then two horses that is not going to come in.

WS: Yeah, they know deep down they just don't want to go do the required effort right of prospecting

WS: And so, but then I think it goes back to the company may very few companies really give that type of cadence and structure and process like

WS: Here's what it takes x number of calls X number of emails X number of handwritten letters X number of drive-bys. I mean, they don't tell them they're just here's your quota. Here's your phone, go get them.

TW: To show the process. If you say, we know that it takes 15 calls to get a meeting because we've been doing it for two years. So

TW: If you only do one cool, you're probably not going to get a meeting. If you do another 14 calls you probably will.

TW: And of course, by all means, if there's some superhero out there who does it does it in one call, I'm not going to penalize them for not following the process I might listen real hard to it that call is and maybe improve my own process for everybody else to see what's that person doing

TW: But I'm not gonna, I'm not going to penalize them. But if they're not making quota and they're not following process. It's really easy.

TW: You have to

TW: To buy move on. Let's

WS: Yeah, exactly.

WS: So where should we send people. I mean, you're, you're a little bit unique in so far as my guests. I mean, you're not an author, you don't some big sales program. I mean, what do you want people to do after they listen to this.

TW: But we actually, we have a free like a it is a Excel version of a mutual action plan.

TW: Oh cool, it's really easy and you can put your own put your bias process into it and just you can lay it out as

TW: A. These are the typical steps that we see over the next three months to get you where you need to go. It's free, and just try it put yourselves in your customer's shoes, they will thank you for sharing that. I heard a great quote

TW: 10 of them and from work. He said, No buyer ever argued with clear expectations. So try it, share it with them share, share a Word doc or a spreadsheet, something to say this is what's going to happen to us over the next three months, and it's it's not between now and

TW: Selling your thing is between now and then having that day where they go. God damn. I'm glad I bought your thing. It really paid off. Thank you so much worse.

TW: I couldn't be happier. So Mark, the. Those are the two beginning and endpoints of this journey today to go down. I'm glad I spent the money.

TW: Document that out and share it with the next buyer and dollars to doughnuts. They're going to appreciate it and you're going to learn something about it. So we have this free template, you can use. It's a deal point.io slash best as just the best practice for mutual action plans.

TW: And download it and try it. Just share it with a customer.

TW: Here's the eight things that we think is going to happen between now and you saying, I'm glad I gave you the money.

TW: It's gonna build credibility, they're probably going to appreciate you more for being more transparent with them. And if they agree to that plan and then things start going

TW: Sideways, you have every right to say, I thought we had a plan because you said you were going to give me the schematics by Thursday. And here we are, Monday, you didn't give him to me.

TW: A whole deal is going to go to hell and you're not going to reach your happy spot if you don't give you the info. What do you want to do at such a better conversation that I'm just, I'm just calling to follow up again.

TW: Under my email that was just going to follow up.

TW: Because you have a plan. You have a plan with somebody. Yeah.

WS: Amen. That's what they all do.

WS: It's crazy.

WS: Very cool. All right. I am linking to

WS: That I'm checking on mutual Action Plan template and mutual Action Plan best

TW: Practices still and

TW: Yeah. And then if that works. Come by myself, but

TW: Try it, first drivers, for free. Using a spreadsheet.

WS: That's a fair deal

WS: I'm going to sign up right after this.

TW: Right on. Okay.

WS: Well. Cool. Well, once you're back to drive me if you come to. So Cal, man. Let's do some wine drinking

TW: Well my boys love Legoland which is right there. So, yeah, I can't go wrong with the Legoland.

WS: I don't know and I'll be open again. But yeah, I do like that better than Disney. Whoever said this is the happiest place on earth. That was a great marketer, because

WS: Miserable.

WS: Thank you so much.

TW: Yeah, thanks for us. It's nice to meet you.

WS: Have a great day. Extra come on the show.