The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Friday Fundamentals EP 1: The Will to Sell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We are launching a brand new series: Friday Fundamentals! For the next few Fridays, we're sharing tips, case studies and real life stories from the field. 

What makes a great salesperson? Today, we're sharing how desire, commitment, outlook and responsibility play a key role in success and drive reasonable sales goals. Are you committed? Your goals are well within reach. 

 

Hey everybody, it's the salesacker podcast and I'm your host, Sam Jacobs. I'm the chief revenue officer at a machine learning and big data platform called behave ox, and I'm also the founder of the revenue collective. Today we're excited to launch a brand new format that we're calling Friday fundamentals. Now, for the next few Fridays, we're going to share brief segments. These are typically just five to ten minutes in length, focusing on specific tactics, case studies and insights that were collecting that may either help you in your day to day or maybe they're just interesting. Of course, they're generally going to be about sales. On occasion will also have some guests and maybe we'll even try and recruit a permanent cohost at some point, which I'm actively trying to do now. Many of these insights will be plucked from active and ongoing conversations that are happening within the revenue collective itself. And, if you don't know, the revenue collective is a networking association and Advocacy Group of VP level and above,...

...commercial executives a sales and marketing at high growth companies all over the world. We're now in Boston, DENVER, Amsterdam, Toronto, London and, of course, New York. So these conversations are about all of the topics that sales people are struggling with every day. Some of them are highly numerical and quantitative. They can be about forecasting. Some of them are about specific strategies for how to leave the right cold called voicemail or how to negotiate effectively or how to manage your career paths. So all of the different topics and and issues that all of us struggled day to day, whether you're an entry level str somewhere out there in the world, or whether you're a chief revenue officer or even chief executive officer trying to build a sales team and plan out your go to market. So, before we get started, this episode, as always, of Friday fundamentals in the sales hacker podcast, is brought to you by outreach. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement. With intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improves visibility into...

...what really drives results. Hop over to outreach, dioh forward sales hacker to see how thousands of customers, including cloud air, glass door, Pandora and Zillo, rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue per sales wrap. so that's outreached, io forward slash sales hacker. Today, on Friday fundamentals, we're going to discuss the qualities that make a great salesperson, and this is a topic that I come across often now. When I was first getting started as a sales leader, I came across this book baseline selling. Dave Curlin wrote it and his colleague Chris Mott, they both administer this group, objective management group, and these guys have this concept that I've embraced over the last ten to fifteen years, and by the way, they're not paying me to say this, and it's called the will to sell. So the will to sell is sort of like the core elements of sales DNA that enable somebody to be effective as a salesperson, and there's four of them. Those four qualities are...

...desire, commitment, outlook and responsibility. Now there's one that's the most important in that's commitment. So first we'll talk about the other three. Desire. That's what you want for yourself. You may want to be very, very successful. It's sort of how high you set the bar for yourself. Now we want sales people to set high bars from themselves. They have to be high, but they have to be attainable. So if you're a mid market account executive and your base pay is, you know, sixty, sixty five thousand dollars a year, then saying you want to make two million dollars next year is a very high bar, but it's also probably not possible. And so we want to set high goals for ourselves, but not too high. On the other hand, if you say you want to make eighty five grand next year, that's probably a little too conservative given the dynamics of your job. So desires one of them. Outlook you have to be positive. Obviously we're in sales. We hear no most of the time. If you hear no seven times out of ten, you're a rock star because that means you have a thirty percent one rate. And if you hear no nine times out of ten, you're probably fired because that means you have a ten percent.

When rate and that's probably not good enough for your organization. So somewhere between seven and nine times out of ten you're hearing no, and that means that you have to be a pretty positive and optimistic person, because otherwise it's going to it's going to get you down, and so outlook is important. Responsibility is the third topic or category, and responsibility just means you can't make excuses because you have to take ownership and and responsibility for the outcomes. If you are somebody that constantly deflects and constantly blames the product or blames other people or brams marketing for not giving you the right leads, you're going to be very, very difficult to take seriously and be believable because you are always blaming somebody else for the issue. So we want people that take responsibility and ownership for the outcomes that they drive. But what I want to talk to you today about is this concept of commitment. Commitment is defined as a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed within ethical boundaries. We always put within ethical boundaries in there because we don't want you to lie, cheater steel, we don't...

...want you to kill anybody and we don't want you to cheat, but what we do want you to do is set a goal in your mind and be so absolutely committed to accomplishing that goal that you will do whatever it takes. Now, most people here commitment. They think it means work ethic. They think it means coming in early and staying late. Now it does mean that to a certain extent. You certainly have to work hard, but it also means a lot of non obvious things that you wouldn't necessarily think about if you would just heard that word. On its face, commitment is willingness to do whatever it takes. Here some things that are not completely obvious that demonstrate commitment. So, first of all, one of them is cold calling. Right, who wants to make cold calls? It's not something that is a lot of fun for most people. Now there are some strange people out there that really, really love it and they love the thrill in the game, but most people it's not something that they love doing. But you do it because you are committed to winning and that's what it takes. You understand the math of your wind probabilities and you understand that if you don't make enough cold calls, you're not going to get to the outcomes that you want. Here's another...

...example of commitment. Asking very strange and direct questions. So most people at a cocktail party or in social settings, they don't talk about money. It's not particularly fashionable or polite to talk about money very directly, but for salespeople it's very, very important. And so it's the concept of asking direct questions to people, sometimes making them uncomfortable, but it's because you're not seeking their approval, you are seeking the answers to the questions and you are structuring the conversation a very specific way. So asking strange questions, asking questions like it sounds to me like you're not really committed to solving this problem. Why is that? Or you say that it's expensive, but actually I don't think so. What makes you think it's expensive? So asking direct, strange question questions is part of what makes sales people great. It's not a natural thing to do for most people, but it demonstrates commitment. Another example is coachability. So this is something that's particularly difficult for most of us. Receiving feedback sucks, right, who wants to be told that they're not great at something?...

Now, I understand that there's a whole culture and a whole religion really about within companies, about how wonderful feedback is. But the fact of the matter is that most of us don't love receiving feedback and being told how we need to improve and how we didn't do the good job that we thought. But if you want to be really, really great and if you want to win no matter what, then you're going to accept feedback, and not only are you going to accept it, you're going to seek it out and actually change right. So how many people do we know? They get feedback, nothing changes. The people that are truly committed to winning, those people can modify their behavior based on feedback. This is not a natural thing to do. The natural thing to do is to get defensive, to blame other people and to get pissed off. The thing that you will do if you are extremely committed to winning, you will accept that feedback and you will actually modify your behavior. So coachability is something else that demonstrates commitment. And here's a final one. We talk a lot about sales books. Most sales books, most business books, in my opinion, are not very good. Most of them are extended essays that are packaged into books to make more money, and of...

...course I will try and write one of those at some point myself. But the point is I read a lot of them and you hear the people on the salesacer podcast talk about how many books they read. If it were up to me, I would read military history and fiction almost exclusively. But I read business books and I read sales books, not because I love doing it, but because I need to be good at what I do and I am committed to being good at what I do. So I do a lot of things that make me uncomfortable, and that is the most important criteria for success when it comes to sales. This concept of commitment, this concept that you are going to set a goal and, no matter what, you are not going to make excuses, you are going to hit that goal, and there's lots of people that I've come across that have demonstrated that quality. But if you're out there listening and you want to seek out some people that I think really, really strongly demonstrate commitment, based on my experience, one of them is Peter Kovacs, who's a vice president of enterprise sales at Alpha sense right now, just somebody, and he can tell you his story about how he...

...helped this rap at them use close Ebay on the very last day of the quarter and that contract came in at nine pm and we had gotten word that morning that it wasn't going to close. But he had strong commitment. Another person is this Guy John Chouff, who actually runs a company out in Oregon these days. We called him the professor when we were at axeal because he just had so many interesting insights about sales. I learned so much from John and he just when he said a goal, he was committed to winning it. And again, it wasn't just about hours. It was about forcing yourself to do things that you would not naturally do. Sometimes that's reading a book, sometimes that's asking strange questions. Sometimes that's sitting in silence for five minutes with the phone on mute because you are waiting for that other person to respond, because you know that if you talk into that silence you're negotiating with yourself. So commitment is just critically important. Now, recapping what we just talked about, the will to sell is comprised of four key qualities desire, commitment, outlook and responsibility. The most important of those is commitment. Now this...

...has been Friday fundamentals. We are just at about ten minutes and I hope this was a short, sweet tidbit that you can use in your day to day life. Shoot me feedback on Linkedin if you want to get in touch with me. It's Sam F Jacobs at twitter. That's my twitter handle, and then if it's Linkedin, it's linkedincom in slash Sam f Jacobs. I think linkedin's the best place to message me for professional conversations. So shoot me a message if you like this or if you like the format. We're trying to keep it short, sweet and interesting and without further ado. I hope you have a great Friday. Thank you.

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