Sales reps are facing a crossroads. The Digital Economy has empowered buyers and forced sales reps to change the way they sell. The choice is simple: evolve and thrive or cling to the past and struggle. This podcast delivers the high impact content that sales execs need to kick ass in 2019 and beyond.
Stated over and over and over lately: Sales Reps need to be problem solvers. Easy right? Nope. While 83% of Reps are proficient in asking discovery questions, the number plummets to only 33% of Reps that can actually connect their solution to solving the problem. Even more on issue, only 12% of Reps can create a sense of urgency in Buyers. Dan breaks down the key characteristics of effective problem solving in Sales today.
Furthermore, Reps need to be accomplished storytellers, say the experts. Well, that's great but what the bejesus does this mean? Dan walks us through a new article by the folks from the Challenger Sale for some guidance.
These are two pivotal skills for success in 2019, so grab your walkman and listen NOW, damnit 🏅
Dan kicks of 2019 with a blueprint for reviewing your results. First, break down 2018 and analyze all of the wins and losses and also the no decisions. Why did you win? Can this be replicated? Why and in which situations did you lose? Which skills do you need in 2019 to drive better numbers? What element of your sales game needs work and how will you improve?
Next, moving forward into 2019, Dan discusses the importance of deep conversations with prospects. Understanding their motivations, the reasons why issues are important, why they haven't been addressed, what's at stake. Dan references a Men's Health article where a famous mountain climber broke down his fear into more detail, making the fear more specific and solvable. We need specificity and depth in 2019 vs superficial, trivial, chats. Will you do it? There is a sh*tload of money to be made in 2019. Go deep and grab your share ✊
Are you capable of making millions as an elite seller? Are you a Wolf? Or a lamb? Dan puts a bow on 2018 with a killer program which details the motivation and tactics in step by step fashion of Jordan Belfort, the Wolf Of Wall Street's Straight Line Selling methodology. Don't miss the last episode of the season! 🤟
Dan is interviewed by Mari Anne Vanella on her program "Outstanding Outbound" and comes out swinging in a harsh criticism of sales leaders and later outlines the 3 steps required to maximize sales leaders' success in 2019:
1. Decide which skills are important and hire the right sales reps that demonstrate those skills
2. Learn how to COACH
3. Hold yourself accountable
Grab your popcorn, get comfy and hit PLAY.
While 74% of the wins in B2B Sales go to those reps that engage early and helping to set the buying agenda(vs only 26% occur in the late stage RFP/bake off/feature fight), many sales execs struggle with asking the right questions and uncovering a reason for the prospect to move along the sales cycle. Thus only 17% of reps get invited to a second meeting. Dan takes a look at the reasons why people BUY, their motivations from a psychological perspective which is key to understanding what drives decision-making. There are dozens of reasons why a buyer will pull the trigger on a purchase. If, as a modern seller, you can engage and uncover one or more of these motivations, there is a great chance you are going to be in the drivers seat. But you need to be skilled to unlock this path to success. Tune your dial to the latest Sales Is King and learn how to CONVERT more meetings into $$$. 🎙
In How To Become A Rainmaker, by Jeffrey J. Fox, the author talks about the need to sell money rather than products or services. You are not selling medical devices, stocks, software, technology, services, etc. If you are doing it right, you are selling MONEY. What Fox is saying is to sell value instead of widgets. Dan, in this new episode, uses this as the launching point for this eye opening episode where he details the steps Sales Reps need to take to effectively sell value. Dan walks us through a new report by the RAIN group which states that nearly 60% of buyers find meetings with sales people useless. There are 5 key areas to where sales reps and sales leaders need to focus and improve to adequately grow in 2019:
1. Sell With Value
2. Train and Coach
3. Grow Existing Accounts
4. Improve Sales Management Effectiveness
5. Improve Time Management(e.g spend more time selling, man!)
Turn on your CarPlay and listen now! 🚗
Sales is a pressure game. Hero one day, goat the next. What have you done for me lately. Quotas, disappearing prospects, price pressure, objections, bitching, lying, deadlines, wild goose chases. New research shows that only 50% of sales reps will make quota. The 10th year in a row this metric has taken a dive. Can you handle this? 50% of us can. What about the other half? Do you use pressure as fuel or do you fold up tent and go into your excuse routine? Dan discusses what sales reps need to do in looking back on 2018 and prepping for 2019. He also calls out sales leadership for a poor job in 2018. Those quota numbers are on them too. Another RANT to help us shift into high gear and crush our numbers! Can you take it?
Like-ability, which used to be at the top of the list of sales rep requirements in the pre digital era is now turning into one of the biggest weaknesses for sales reps today. A new study by the Objective Management Group confirms this. Those reps that find themselves needing to be liked by the prospect or customer and that work in a producer role in a consultative, longer selling cycle role are outperformed by a wide margin by their counterparts who do not care about being liked.
Tune in as Dan takes us through each of the categories and the score comparisons, the consequences for reps, and what we reps need to do to avoid this common downfall and turn things around.
A buyer calls up and says he has thoroughly researched all of the solutions available and believes you and your company may be just what he is looking for. He just needs a demo and a quote and he'll be good to go. Good news? Not really. Only 26% of deals are won in this scenario. In this episode, Dan reveals that some buyers may think they know what they need but the sales rep's job is to take a step back and diagnose the situation much like a medical doctor would with a patient that comes in asking for a particular drug. One of the most difficult sales moves is to pull(gently) the buyer potentially out of his 'journey' and into your sales process. There is a multi point approach that is required when a sales exec encounters this type of buyer:
1. Find out where the buyer is in the process
2. Uncover his motivations and reasons for believing you can help him
3. Shift/pivot into Discovery/Assess mode uncovering motivations/issues
4. Validate that you can in fact help
5. Use phrases like, 'help me understand..." and "have you considered...?"
6. Value/Gap Sell based on your Discovery
Dan returns from a short break with a high impact episode designed to give the power back to salespeople. With so much conversation around the power of the Buyer and the challenges facing Sales, it is easy to cede control of leverage in our sales process. Dan outlines a multi step approach for taking control and grabbing back the leverage from the buyers including:
-highlight what the problem costs them today. what happens if this remains an issue?
-turn the tables on risk
-deliver info they did not previously know
-sales is an exchange-they benefit(mindset)
-mine your current and happy customers
-other income streams
-principle of least interest
-antenna always up
-make sure this is a deal/client you want
Grab your victrola and listen 🤴
Making excuses is the fastest way to derail your sales career. Making excuses is essentially giving yourself a pass for poor performance. Dan returns to the studio to detail the dangers of what he calls "excuse selling" which focuses on all of the reasons why you can't close more business; why you missed quota; your bad marketing department, etc. Dan delivers a passionate plea to drop your excuse selling and delivers a multi point plan to do just this:
1. get your head right
2. know there will be obstacles
3. create your plan to overcome obstacles
4. become self aware
5. own the losses as well as the wins
6. learn from both the wins and losses
7. take 100% responsibility
Get you headphones on now and listen 🎧
Less than 2 out of 10 of us ever get invited back to a prospect for a second meeting. That means we are fumbling the first meeting. Our first chance is going to be our last chance if we don't get the first meeting right. Dan delivers a first meeting blueprint which will ensure that we dramatically improve our chances of a prospect moving through the buying process with us and ultimately doing business with us. The following key steps are required for success in the first meeting:
- YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
- EARN RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS/CREDIBILITY
- CONVERSATION OR MONOLOGUE
- UNEXPECTED VALUE
- UNCOVER A NEED
- MINIMIZE RISK OF MOVING FORWARD
- STATUS QUO BUSTER
- BUYING PROCESS
The bottom line is that having success in a first prospect meeting requires a ton of upfront work and then executing against a well orchestrated game plan. Grab your 🎧 now!
It's not sexy, but patience is rising to the top of the key traits of the successful modern seller. Dan returns with another high impact studio episode which highlights the changing buyer requirements and increased complexity of the selling process which are pushing sellers to evolve and adjust their approach. There are no short cuts or quick fixes in the modern sellers toolbox and patience with the process, looking at the bigger picture and playing the long game are major keys to success in this Next Wave of Digital Commerce.
Really? We all remember Glengarry Glen Ross when Alec Baldwin rips his sales team for being weak, and how they should follow the ABC's of selling, specifically Always Be Closing. Fast forward to 2018. Should we be heeding this advice? Dan jumps headlong into the debate on what Sales needs to be focusing on to be most successful. What does closing actually mean in the modern buying process? Some believe we need to modify this phrase to Always Be Helping. I think Alec Baldwin and your sales manager would laugh you out of the room if you posed that back in the early 90's. Today it is certainly more appropriate but Dan creates his own definition of what we should always be doing in Sales today. Warning: Don't listen just before bed 🎧😉
Flash forward to December 31, 2018. You are at a New Year's Eve party with your spouse and closest friends. How will you feel about your 2018 sales performance? Think about it. In this bare knuckled episode, Dan delivers the blueprint for success during the remaining months of 2018. We all have time to add on to our current success so far this year and turn around our disappointments. Successful competitive runners typically call on a 'kick' to get them to dig deep and finish strong even when their bodies are tired. Similarly, in Sales, with 4 months to go, now is not the time to ease up. You are almost home, but much work needs to be done. Follow Dan's guidelines and make sure that New Year's Eve 2018 is a great night 👊
Get those headphones on! 🎧
A new Fast Company Article, http://ow.ly/aleN101e2iw contends that Sales is rapidly becoming a STEM(science, technology, engineering, mathematics) job. Dan takes us through the highlights of that article and then asks the question, which is more important, EQ or IQ? Or is it both? What do the brains of the top Sellers look like today. Dan walks us through his formula for what he calls "breakthrough selling", a place where the most sophisticated sellers live. Click play now for another comfort zone ruining episode. Don't miss it. 🎧
Commitment is foundational to your success in the Digital Era. Commitment means dedication over a long period of time. You must commit to making yourself better right now if you are to succeed in a changing environment. Dan rocks another episode and takes us through a blueprint for success, whether you are in sales, marketing, finance or any job right now. How are you changing the way you approach your job in 2018 and beyond? Are you creating change or waiting for change to show you the door at your current job? Are you committed to learning new skills or simply hoping that your current skills have enough juice to carry you the rest of the way. Are you digging in for the long haul or flipping on autopilot and letting the chips fall? Your mindset needs to change and if it doesn't, you may be putting yourself in harm's way. The biggest risk in business today is standing pat; clinging to the status quo. Don't believe that? Go rent a movie at your local Blockbuster tonight.
Sales Coaching when done correctly reaps tremendous benefits on organizations. Unfortunately, the majority of companies either do not provide sales coaching to their reps or deliver half assed attempts at coaching. In addition, there are some glaring gaps and disconnects here.
82% of Sales leaders say they 'coach' their reps, yet only 48.2% of reps say they are actually coached.
Sales leaders score themselves 79/100 on coaching prowess, yet their reps give them a score of 49/100
The benefits of coaching are many:
112% increase in deal size
32% reduction in cycle time
3x increase in wins
20% reduction in attrition
64% greater chance reps will meet quota
So why the hell isn't this a bigger priority for organizations !!
Dan dives into two new articles on sales coaching and rants his way through the implications delivering some much needed answers on how we solve this critical issue. Get your headphones on and turned up! 🎧
A new study from SiriusDecisions shows that quota performance for Sales Reps is still not improving and in danger of dropping yet again in 2018. There are 3 key takeaways from the report:
1. Over 70% of sales leaders say that their reps are not connecting their solution to the business issues of buyers
2. Sales Cycle Times are increasing with over 64% saying they are facing longer lead times to get deals done.
3. Only 27% of a sales team's time is spent on core selling activities.
Dan dissects these issues and delivers some valuable insight into why he thinks these problems are occurring and what sales leaders and reps can do to improve in each of these areas. Listen Now 🎧
Dan starts off this brand new studio episode with a RANT about Narcissistic salespeople and why this trait is a surefire way to sink to the bottom of your peer group.
From there, Dan covers a new study by the Objective Management Group(link here: http://www.omghub.com/salesdevelopmentblog/elite-salespeople-are-200-better-sales-competencies) which details those activities that Sales All Stars are best at when compared to average or poor sellers. Hint: it all has to do with how you speak about MONEY 💰
Don't miss this wild ride 🏄♂️
Fortune 500 CMO Peter Horst joins Dan to discuss the challenges marketers and sellers face in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Of specific focus is a conversation around how brands are tackling social issues(e.g The NFL, Pepsi) in the "Fake news" era and how sitting on the sidelines is actually the most dangerous strategy an organization can deploy. Peter is an engaging speaker who brings the credibility of 30 years of leading some of the world’s most iconic brands at companies like Hershey, Capital One, and General Mills. Drawing on his experience that spans B2B, B2C, technology, consumer packaged goods and financial services, Peter is one of the highest-rated keynoters at conferences around the world and brings humor, authenticity, and compelling content to his engagements.
Kristin Luck sits down with Dan for a fun and lively interview on just how we finally solve the marketing-sales alignment issue. Kristin is one of the Top 100 Influencers on Twitter for Marketing and Sales. She is an expert in marketing measurement and growth hacking in addition to being a serial entrepreneur and a globetrotting keynote speaker on marketing, branding, storytelling, startups and innovation. She also regularly contribute to both the commercial (Fast Company, Forbes) and academic press (Research World, Journal of Brand Strategy). Lastly, she is the founder of Women In Research, a non-profit with over 5,000 members globally. Buckle your seat belts👊
McKinsey's latest article sets the B2B Sales world on fire and Dan is back in the studio to take you through it including why science is leading the charge in this "B2B Sales Revolution." There are disruptive changes being brought on by advanced analytics and machine learning in conjunction with a more content- focused and digital savvy Buyer, all leading to a new look B2B organization: one in which the CEO drives sales transformation by making sure the Marketing, HR and IT are all looped in and singing from the same sheet of music. The link to the article can be found here:
Other big changes Dan discusses include new research on when Buyers really need a salesperson and understanding the 'How, What And Why' of your prospect and customer. Lastly, Dan discusses the war for talent but also the rising importance and changing nature of sales coaching and training in this equation. It is a MUST Listen 👊
Forrester is in the process of outlining the key characteristics of the Modern/21st B2B Seller and Dan returns to the studio to break it down for you. A successful B2B sales rep needs to be/have the following:
1. Empathetic Partner
2. Flexible and Adaptive Behavior
3. Storytelling Mastery
4. Advocacy Focus
5. Operational Mindset
6. Digital Adeptness
Dan delivers a high energy overview of what acing each of these categories will mean for your success.
A recent survey of CIO's(Chief Information Officers) shows that only 1 out of 10 sales reps leaves them 'highly satisfied" when meeting with a salws rep to evaluate a company's services. The study from article: http://ow.ly/g1T510179Be
goes on to say that CIO's expect the sales reps to do a better job of connecting their solution to the CIO's priorities and strategic roadmap. They need to do a better job of discovery in the meeting but also need to come into the meeting more prepared, doing the homework and the research to build trust. Secondly, they need to be more patient and be willing to hang in there with the CIO as he/she goes through the buying process. Lastly, show them the $$$. What is the economic value that you will deliver? Who else is using your solution and have you solved these issues successfully with other organizations. Listen to Dan's colorful spin on this report now 👊
58% of potential deals in B2B today end in what is being referred to as "No Decision." The buyer/buying committee chose to keep things as is. We call this "status quo bias." Buyers are risk averse, so it appears easier and less risky to not spend the money on your product or solution. But you did such a great job 'pitching' -talked about all of the great benefits we could provide-why didn't they buy? Because you did not effectively help the buyer see the risk of inaction. Because you didn't spend enough time discussing the current state, and the ramifications/the impact of not dealing with the challenges the buyer currently faces. Dan is back in the studio to talk about his CURE for the DO NOTHING VIRUS. Don't miss it!
Dan is back in the studio with a new episode and news about a new podcast series. Companies don't care about us anymore. Are you exposed right now if you lost your job? Are you ready? How have you prepared? No one cares about you but you. Loyalty is a thing of the past. How do you gain leverage? How do you take back control? Dan discusses strategies you can deploy to improve your job security. Don't leave things to chance. LISTEN NOW 🎧
Author, Speaker, Attorney and Serial Entrepreneur, Michael Alden joins Dan for an hour of hard hitting, straight talk on what it takes to succeed in business today. Michael's new book, Blueprint To Business, is a strategic, tactical and motivational playbook for making things happen and overcoming obstacles. If you want the honest truth, you came to the right place 👊🔥
In addition to the 'foundational' elements of sales success, (the grit skills like determination, follow up, rejection proofing, asking for the business, hustle), the successful seller in 2018 also needs what Dan calls 'finesse' skills, like strategic thinking, financial literacy, creativity, recalibrating, expertise, simplifying, problem solving, idea generation, curiosity and more...give it a listen 👊 Do it!
Coffee is still for closers, yes, but Dan returns to the studio to discuss what modern sellers are doing to CLOSE deals and it's not what may have worked in the past. The 2018 Sales Rep is leveraging a new set of skills and tools to get deals on the books. Dan discusses 10 reasons why closers fail and what can be done to assure that your sales numbers keep rising in the face of a changing buyer and buying process.
How will you stand out in the "Sea of Sameness" that every Buyer faces today when deciding on which solution to purchase? Dan returns with a new studio episode(some new music as well ✌️) and a 7 Point Plan for Effective Differentiation. It's about Learning and Listening first, Empathizing and Educating second, Personalizing Your Pitch, Adding Value, Selling Yourself, And then Differentiating Follow Up. Tune in as Dan bangs out another kick-ass episode! Also don't forget to check Dan out with his Sales Is King Video Tips Of The Day on LinkedIn and Facebook. Also Follow Dan on Twitter @digitaladvantg.
Samantha McKenna is the new Head of Sales for LinkedIn's Enterprise and Mid Market, NYC. She joins Dan for a hard hitting interview on what it takes to succeed in Sales including the strategy, the motivation, and how to effectively leverage technology. Sam is a rising star in the world of Sales and she tells her story of early achievement, rapid and frequent promotions and the journey that has led her to Linkedin. Dan and Sam dive deep into what it means to be a "modern' sales exec in 2018 and how social selling is pushing up quota attainment and impacting sales excellence.
Travis Chappell, host of the popular podcast, Build Your Network, joins Dan for a frank discussion on the topic of Networking in 2018. Travis, a dyed in the wool salesman, recently launched a podcast on Networking and has lured some of the top business minds on to his program to discuss their secret sauce - guests such as Ed Mylett, Brad Lea, Kevin Harrington, Jordan Harbinger, Elena Cardone and a great cross section of business leaders and entrepreneurs. One thing is for sure: Just as Sales and Selling have changed dramatically, so has Networking. Successful networking in 2018 and beyond is not at all what you think and nothing like the old school depiction of the person busily handing out business cards at events.
Travis' podcast can be found on all podcast platforms. Here is a link to the iTunes/Apple Podcast version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/build-your-network-john-lee-dumas-patrick-bet-david/id1268488944?mt=2
Millennials are growing in importance in B2B purchasing decision-making. What are they looking for in vendors, partners and relationships? We have heard so much about personalizing our approach to buyers, but are we personalizing around age? The "Digital Natives" as a recent HBR article refers to them(20-35 year olds) [link here: http://ow.ly/MEPV1010Nm0], approach the selection process in a very different way than their older colleagues and a growing percentage of these Digital Natives have sole decision making authority with a whopping 73% involved in influencing the decision. Dan covers what you need to know including 3 surprising criteria that many companies and sales execs may be overlooking. Thanks for listening 👊
Dan is back in the studio with a Rant and some timely tips for Sales Execs looking to generate more demand and to more effectively prospect. Social selling is undeniably the most effective way to increase demand and bolster your Pipeline: 76% of Buyers are open to engaging with providers on social channels; 62% of Buyers actually want to connect with sales execs on social; and a whopping 92% of buyers want to connect with thought leaders on social!! So how do we take advantage of this? How do we do it the correct way? Dan outlines the 6 key steps for social selling success. Listen UP 👊
The new dynamics in the B2B world today require that Sales Execs are able to connect with and influence many different stakeholders in order to be successful. Senior executives are becoming more involved in these decisions today and therefore Sales Execs more frequently find themselves in front of members of the C-Suite. But according to Forrester only 20% of salespeople are meeting the expectations of these senior execs. In this episode, Dan interviews the author of "The Perfect Close" and selling visionary, James Muir. Dan and James discuss what sellers are doing wrong today; what these senior execs are looking for and how Sales Execs need to shift their approach in order to impress and influence more of these key decision makers. A link to James Muir's outstanding book can be found right here: http://ow.ly/TXXG100YVH5
Dan is back with another episode based on new research from gryo marketing group. With a growing number of stakeholders involved in complex B2B purchases, the dynamics have shifted dramatically and sales people need to shift their approach in order to succeed. Link to research here: https://www.gyro.com/thinking/ Highlights include: 97% of buyers already have a preferred vendor coming into the decision committee; a 'champion leads the way for the winning team in 84% of the cases; 66% chose thought leaders; 89% chose teams that understood them and energized them; 83% chose those with similar values and culture. Listen in for the Top 4 Difference Makers that put the winners over the top.
Success in 2018 means having the “goods”, the knowledge, the subject matter expertise but it also means building an effective distribution network of connections who can learn from you, improve their situation from you and pass you on to others. Both are critically important not only in Sales but in Business and Life!
How Many times have you heard a prospect say that he or she needs to think about it or another classic line: “send me some information” These are classic blowoffs and in today’s podcast episode Dan outlines a plan for turning these around into revenue conversations. Follow Dan on Twitter @digitaladvantg; On Instagram:dan6smith Or send Dan an email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consult.
Connecting with Buyers early in the process, counter to what we have heard, is required by 71% Of Buyers who are actually looking to SALES to help with idea generating and brainstorming. In addition, Perseverance is crucial to winning more business. How long do you typically hang in? 44% of you quit after 1 “No” and another 22% bail after the second “No”
Dan leads a discussion around new research from RAIN which outlines what Buyers are saying sets the sales winners apart from the runners up. The winners according to the study sell RADICALLY different than the second and third place finishers. The results are surprising. The report uncovers some new approached that Buyers require in 2018.
Dan is back with a new in-studio segment and he talks about how to sell against fear: How to not be crippled by inaction and a game plan to disable fear both from the perspective of the seller and the buyer. Buyers also wrestle with fear today and choose to stay in their comfort zones. Effective sellers today know how to defeat that fear and win more business.
Dan discusses the critical importance of preparing for each meeting and what is involved in doing that successfully. In addition he covers how to successfully execute and carry out the game plan. The big difference between high performers and the unsuccessful salespeople is how they execute and take action.
Dan is back with a special episode of Sales Is King and discusses the success of the Beatles and how it relates to marketing and selling in the digital age. The band that is known as the number one band of all time did not have it easy and when they did make it big ,their lessons of success are very relevant to us today
The synergy of expertise with relationships is critical to successful selling in 2018. Dan reviews how to develop expertise and then put it into practice through growing an active network of engaged followers.
Keenan joins Dan for a sneak peak of his forthcoming book. If you can effectively expose and uncover a significant gap between your prospect’s current state and his desired state, the more value will be placed on your product or solution.
Global Sales Effectiveness Leader, Paul Bickford joins Dan to discuss his successful formula for helping organizations transform the selling process including what’s required and some of the incredible results you can expect!
Dan is back to discuss the secret of successfully developing a high value network. The book “Give and Take” is a phenomenal resource as you seek to deepen connections and build a bridge to success in Sales, Business and Life.