Objectively presented by the authors - Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler - the book “Predictable Revenue” explains how to implement the outbound sales process, which led companies such as Salesforce.com (on-demand software) to increase by more than 300 % its revenues.
Every company needs to sell, because it's what brings profit and it keeps the organization running. However, most of them remain hostage to chance, surviving on the basis of weak, insufficient and unpredictable results.
How about being able to structure a true sales machine in your company without big investments in marketing?
In this book summary let's look at the main points of the book quickly and objectively.
The book "Predictable Revenue" (2016) outlines all the steps you need to take to optimize your sales forces and create real leads.
Aaron Ross is the managing director of the consulting firm Predictable Revenue Inc. In his previous work, Ross and his team took SalesForce.com to increase its sales by more than 100 million dollars.
Author Marylou Tyler is a founder of the Strategic Pipeline, a sales process improvement consulting group. Her client list includes Apple and Mastercard.
In 2016, she was considered by the Sales Lead Management Association as one of the 20 most influential women in the world in this area.
The content of the book "Predictable Revenue" is recommended to sellers, CEOs, startups seeking to expand their business, and founders of companies that want to attract leads and have predictable revenue.
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Initially, it is interesting to define some important concepts for the understanding of the book "Predictable Revenue". They are:
In Aspect II, we'll cover the mistakes made in trying to increase the number of sales, how the authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler have turned Salesforce.com, and the differences between Cold Call 1.0 and Cold Call 2.0 and how to implement Cold Call 2.0.
Most executives believe that adding sellers will make the revenue grow. However, the root of the problem is not the size of the team, but the generation of leads.
According to the book "Predictable Revenue", sellers do not cause growth in customer acquisition, they just do it.
The authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler define a cold call as "calling someone who does not know you and who is not waiting for your call". The process of cold calling 2.0 means prospecting new accounts without ever doing any cold calling.
However, the most important is that when executed systematically, at high volume and by a specialized sales development team, the process can become the main engine of predictable and sustainable generation of new business and revenue.
Source: book “Predictable Revenue”
In 2002, Salesforce.com, a developer of on-demand software, began to build an external sales team to serve large companies.
To complement the leads they received through the inbound process, outside sellers should also prospect to be able to close large contracts.
However, the prospecting techniques of the 1990s did not work anymore. Putting your outside sellers on cold calls means using your most expensive (hourly) sales resource to do the lowest value activity (per hour).
With this, in early 2003 began the implementation of a Cold Calling 2.0 project. The team consisted solely of co-author (Aaron Ross). Within four months, the first results of new qualified business opportunities began to emerge.
At the end of the year, total new sales went from US$1.000.000, which cost US$150.000, less than the total compensation of two employees.
After the great success, in early 2004 Salesforce.com decided to increase the Cold Calling 2.0 team to 12 people.
According to authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler, in order for the project to run properly, the sales force must be split into specialized roles. The most important point of this is to make salespeople do not need to prospect.
A new role in the sales area should be implemented: Sales Development Representative, SDRs. This employee will be responsible for prospecting new customers and ensuring a predictable and sustainable flow of qualified leads.
The following schema outlines the four major specialized sales functions that are part of the predictable revenue generation model:
Source: book “Predictable Revenue”
The first team consists of the SDRs, which will actively search for accounts and contacts that have never done any business with the company or have been inactive for a long time.
The second team, MRRs, will take care of the qualification of the leads coming from inbound marketing activities, that is, the leads captured through the site, webinars, social networks, telephone service, word of mouth, SEO, among other means.
The book "Predictable Revenue" explains that the leads qualified by the initial teams are passed on to account executives, called closers (business closers), who will take care of the sale itself and the closing of proposals, orders and contracts.
Then, as new customers enter the company's portfolio, they are passed on to the account management team, also called "farmers".
The team's mission is to ensure that the customer gets maximum benefits from the product or service purchased so that the maximum value of that account can be extracted throughout its life cycle.
In this part of the book “Predictable Revenue”, authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler explain how to resolve the main prospecting errors that representatives make:
Source: book “Predictable Revenue”
The best way to avoid these mistakes is by finding the right people. Therefore, it is important to hire people who are totally committed to the vision and values of your company. In this way, they can sell these values in a more natural way.
In addition, the sales process must be organic and consumer-centric. It is easy to lose the notion that clients are only concerned with solving their problems, not with their goals and indicators.
In the first step, you must enter a stage called a "success plan" prior to the closing stage. This plan should be simple, almost a vision, that summarizes the main points of the process that will lead the client to success.
The plan should be simple enough that anyone can quickly understand its essence and vision. The more customers are able to visualize their own success, the faster they will want to close a deal.
In the step two, you must establish your plans for the customer to succeed on an ongoing basis. Is there a function in your company dedicated to making customers "successful" in the use of your product or service?
You are as responsible for your client's success as he is. Satisfied customers help your business grow. It is the most certain and profitable thing to do.
As explained by authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler in the book "Predictable Revenue", the objectives of this process are to quickly qualify or not, to have access to the various people who have some power over the purchase and create a common vision with the customer.
There are three steps for both parties to find out whether or not to proceed with the deal and when - even if it is not today.
You have 15 minutes to find out whether or not it's a waste of time to continue talking to that contact.
Almost everyone is busy or overwhelmed with a number of things to do and would love for you to tell them what to do.
Explain to the customer your process so that they both come to the conclusion whether or not there is compatibility.
A "magic" question that can be used in this context is: "did I catch you in a bad time?".
This helps to create a good impression and sets the tone for the conversation in the first few minutes, which will be decisive for the rest of the call and even to determine whether or not there will be talk.
According to the book "Predictable Revenue", this is usually a link with one of the people responsible for evaluating new suppliers. She wants to see if you're trying hard enough so that you can be introduced to others in the company.
But remember: you are also evaluating whether or not they can become your customers. If they do not have a profile, do not go ahead with the deal.
If there is compatibility, your goal is to be able to schedule a working meeting with the client, including key people and decision makers, to build a joint vision of what you want to achieve with the project.
The more confident you seem in relation to your process and that it works for them, the more they will tend to follow your guidelines.
At this meeting, you should create a common vision. Lead the conversation towards how they will succeed with the purchase or use of your product or service.
You can use slides for an introduction, but quickly switch to a "whiteboard". Authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler clarify that this type of resource allows both to create something together, as a team, in real time.
If this meeting is over the phone, it is more difficult. But in the same way, try to establish the context and limits of the discussion, and help them create a consistent and achievable vision that will advance them.
In the book “How to Sell When Nobody's Buying”, author Dave Lakhani advises: if you're not selling, try to improve your approach. In difficult times, bad sellers give up and open up opportunities for the most creative and efficient salespeople.
For Mike Weinberg, in the book “Sales Management. Simplified.”, managers need to make sure their marketers have the resources they need to get the job done, and make sure their teams become experts at using social media and the best tools, tactics, and strategies.
Finally, in “ProActive Sales Management”, William Miller explains that your time will be better served trying to improve the salespeople who are already exceeding the target, than those who can not even reach the minimum expected result.
The proactive sales manager gets "free" from people who are underperforming by teaching them to do the work on their own.
The authors Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler list the main mistakes that leaders make and how to solve them:
Source: book “Predictable Revenue”
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