The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 7

There is a massive amount of Ah-Ha Moments throughout the entire book! Whether you’ve been in sales for a week, a year, 10 years or 40 years, you will learn something new. With an ever changing landscape of technology and information, you need to be on the fore front in order to be successful. As a sales person, you get leads. Whether it be an inbound demo request, MQL, they downloaded content or whatever the case may be; it’s time to think outside the box.

“When a (lower-level) contact takes some action, yes, your reps should follow up. Then, either at the same time or subsequently, they should reach out to a higher-level contact too.”[note]Page 211[/note]

At first I wasn’t too keen on this, but with the reasoning behind it, I feel in love with the idea. Instead of prospecting the prospect, prospect for the opportunity. Go above and beyond to reach out to the organization. What’s the worst that could happen? That person’s boss never gave them the authority… now you know that it’s not a legit opportunity. Nobody likes getting 75% through the sales cycle to find out that nobody else knew about the project. Prospect higher and wider.

Another Ah-Ha Moment that comes to mind is:

“…give the SDR’s themselves ownership to work on special projects.”[note]Page 217[/note]

Imagine the idea’s people could come up with if they got to own a project. It could be anything that could improve the department or the company. Because they’re in the trenches all day long, they could come up with solutions to their problems that the managers didn’t even know about. Give your people a little bit of freedom and they’ll repay you 10 fold.

Data… it’s a trending word right now in the tech industry. Big Data… etc. You’re right, it is a huge talking point, but only if you’re using the data correctly.

“There’s also a big difference between being data driven and data informed. I’m 100 percent in the camp of using data to lead a team. I feel equally strongly that data shouldn’t drive the manager; the manager should use data to drive decisions.”[note]Page 220[/note]

In order to have good data to make good decisions, you need to keep track of everything. Depending on what your data says, you can make some game changing decisions based off of it. All of those decisions will directly affect your bottom line.

“Every moment your team spends trying to figure out whom to call and how to reach them is lost to actually engaging with prospects.[note]Page 235[/note]

Do yourself a favor and keep your data clean. Bogging down your CRM with crap isn’t going to get you anywhere. I’ve been updating my system lately and it’s a pain in the butt. You have to do it if you want to ‘own’ your territory.

“What you do matters. You have the ability to influence not only the culture of your team, but also how your company is perceived by prospects. You have the chance to shape not only the career trajectory of dozens and dozens of reps, but also the growth path of your entire organization.”[note]Page 239[/note]

If you’re in sales or thinking about going into sales development, this book is a must read. This book paints a bigger pitcher and gives the reader a clear and conscience image of how a sales development organization should run. The Ah-Ha Moments Bertuzzi has displayed in this book are absolutely incredible.


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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi

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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 6

Having previously experienced inside sales roles at multiple organizations, I have left a large amount of voicemails in my career. “Hi prospect, I want to introduce myself… Hi prospect, I’m following up to the coupon you received… Hi prospect, I noticed you downloaded some content. Wow! Was I doing it wrong! Can’t really blame anyone for that other than the status quo of cold calling. I wasn’t told anything different.

“People always ask me whether or not they should bother leaving voicemails. My response is yes – as long as they are good ones” – John Barrows[note]Page 168[/note]

Sounds pretty simple right? It is… but because sales people have to show they’re being active, they often don’t personalize their messaging. Think about how people leave voice messages for you. Do you return sales calls when they’re boring? I doubt it. Shit, I bet you even delete the message once you hear the person’s name and what company they’re calling from.

STOP being boring. Bertuzzi’s examples in here are amazing! These examples are something that the VP of sales, sales managers and all inside sales people need to read. If you want to separate yourself from the competition, be relevant and interesting.

What’s your call back rate on voicemails? I bet it sucks. Change it up… Whatcha got to lose?

Another side of prospecting that a lot of people feel more confident to share their success in, is email. You can hide behind your computer and send out blasts of emails to see who bites. Try and think about this from your mailbox. How often do you respond to sales emails? If you do, why?

If you’re approaching a VP or C-level person, good luck getting a response from them by sending a crap email. They don’t have time for that. You have to grab their attention and provide value.

“An opening line addressing a relevant problem tends to grab my attention. Something straightforward and human.” – Hannah Wright[note]Page 182[/note]

If you’ve done research on the person and company, you’ll know enough about them to be able to grab their attention. Don’t try and trick the person to open your email… that might just piss them off. I did that once to the CIO of a 10,000 employee company… He wasn’t very happy.

You’re trying to get their attention so they want more information. Maybe they already have a provider for the solution you’re selling. That’s okay. What sets you and the competition apart? Maybe they don’t take the meeting now, but when they run into a snag with their current provider, guess who they’re going to call?

Bertuzzi has done extensive work with sales organizations throughout the years. She had written gold for you… and I strongly suggest you read this book.

Moving from sales prospecting and into the leadership side of a sales organization, you’re in charge of a lot! One thing I love about starting a new job is the ‘tool kit’ a company provides. Basically, it’s a shared set of ‘stuff’ that is given to the sales people to help them do their jobs. Presentation, talk tracks, prospecting profiles, templates… the works! Imagine using this ‘tool kit’ as a recruiting tool as well.

“In this highly competitive market, wouldn’t it be great to show a candidate your SDR toolkit and say, ‘Here is the roadmap for how the team executes. I look forward to you joining us and helping us to evolve this tool for future reps.’?”[note]Page 196[/note]

Prior to hiring someone, you’ve already got them engaged. Now they know that you’re not going to leave them hanging once you hire them.

Having a quota thrown at them is scary. But if they have the support of management and their team, they are set up for success.

“Whether or not making quota is an achievable goal sets the tone for your culture. Make it attainable, and you’ll have a group of competitive reps with a positive attitude. Make it too much of a stretch, and you’ll have miserable reps and a high attrition rate.”[note]Page 204[/note]

Honestly, we all know this. But being in sales… you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. The CEO decides a revenue number and then the sales department is in charge of hitting that number. Attrition destroys that number. If you’ve got your ducks in a role and the processes are sound, that number will be attainable.

“Great process is the foundation for repeatable, scalable success. Our reps bring passion, a competitive spirit, and curiosity to their jobs every day.”[note]Page 206[/note]

If you’ve got a process that works, your people like what they do, your attrition is low, you’re promoting from within, and you’re hitting your numbers, you’re going to grow. To successfully grow and to continue winning, you’ve got to have those ducks in a row or you’re going to sink.


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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 5

Losing employees sucks… it also costs companies a lot of money. You never actually think about the cost of hiring, onboarding and training people. Depending on what type of training your company does, it can be really expensive.

“Great talent is great talent – don’t let them leave your building.”[note]Page 132[/note]

It doesn’t get simpler than that. This echoes the previous post. Engage with your people and make sure they’re happy. If they’re not happy, find out what will make them happy. Nobody likes toxic employees.

I don’t know how many of you have every seen the Simon Sinek Ted Talk video; Start with why. But this video has helped me immensely in my roles as a sales person.

“Without understanding the why, reps struggle to connect with prospect priorities. Everything about the what and the how of a solution can be found online. …Our reps need to create value and offer insight and ideas that prospects can’t find on their own.”[note]Page 141[/note]

There’s that word again; Value! You have to create value with the people you’re trying to talk to. Buyers do a lot of their research prior to beginning their evaluations. If you’re reaching out to them… you need to offer them something different. And to get them to listen, you need to convince them why they should listen to you.

Bertuzzi presents a question that turns into an Ah-Ha Moment!

“Do you sell into a functional area that already exists within your company? For example, do you sell to sales operations and have a sales ops team within your company?”[note]Page 143[/note]

Recruiting.. HR.. sales.. Whatever you sell and whomever you sell to, is there a team within your company that does that job? Basically, what she’s getting at; is that you can go directly to that team and learn about their day-to-day. Learn what they do and how they do it. Then, when you’re calling your prospects, you have a better understanding of what they’re doing and how you can help. Makes sense right? Have you done this before?

The more you learn about your prospect, the better talk tracks you can create. The more likely you’re able to sympathize with them.

“Reps need to be fully fluent in prospect challenges, motivations, and status quos. In short, they need to use buyer based messaging.”[note]Page 151[/note]

If you’re going to get off of your agenda and onto theirs, you need to know what you’re talking about. Bertuzzi goes on to give some incredible examples of prospecting. The differentiators between a successful rep and a lazy rep. The different types of messaging that actually works. I wouldn’t be doing any of you a favor if I copied it and pasted it on the site. You have to get the book! It’s pure gold.

“Studies have found that it takes between six and ten attempts (including at least four by phone calls) to properly prospect a given contact.”[note]Page 160[/note]

Sales reps often give up too early. They get bored and move onto a different account. They don’t want to work for a deal… they’d rather find some ‘low hanging fruit’. They forget about their prospecting approach and leave their process. I am guilty of this recently. I have a huge territory and I’m trying to touch every account. Not to mention, our data is kinda old. Bertuzzi gives the reader great examples of a multi-touch approach. You have to read it yourself! It’s a game changer.


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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 4

I had a manager tell me at a previous job that I should be going to lunch with different people within the company. “Meet someone in the elevator… see if they want to join you for lunch”. It gives you the opportunity to learn about them and what they do for the organization. Sooner or later, I was able to have conversations will all sorts of people because I took the initiative to learn about them.

Phill Keene (@phillkeene) gives me an Ah-Ha Moment that echos my previous managers comment!

“… I also take a ton of coffee meetings with reps that want career advice. This allows me to recognize the best talent out there and be top of mind when they’re thinking about making a career change.”[note]Page 85[/note]

I’m looking at this quote from the view of me being developed. I’m going to take the best rep out for coffee so that I can learn from them. People that have been selling longer than me are usually happy to share their success and sometimes their failures. Also, who doesn’t love talking about themselves? Regardless of what your job title is, try and make it a habit of taking someone out for coffee once in awhile. You could learn something cool about them! It’s a small world and somehow you may need each other in the future.

If you engage with your people, regardless the job you have, the more supported you’ll feel. The more supported you feel, the happier you’ll be. Bertuzzi has some incredible stats in here about retention.

“It’s time to gear up for what can feel like another fulltime job: engaging, developing, and motivating reps. The fourth element for accelerating revenue growth with sales development is retention.”[note]Page 103[/note]

Retention is hard! I see great people leave their companies everyday. Heck, I was one of those people in December of 2015. Obviously, you can never predict when people are going to leave your organization, but if you’re engaged, you should see the red flags. Good culture, good compensation, continuous learning and planned out career path is what’s going to help you keep people. If people are showing up to work everyday not knowing what their future holds, they may look else where.

“Today, reps expect a learning culture, they expect to grow professionally, and they expect you to deliver in those areas.”[note]Page 105[/note]

The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. If you’re striving to be the best you possibly can, you need to keep learning and keep pushing people to teach you. There are so many websites out there that offer free courses. If you’re the boss and you’re not teaching your people… you may see them looking elsewhere.

We’re in the information age… and we’re getting hit up on LinkedIn weekly about new jobs. It’s exciting to feel wanted by a different company. Richard Bronson said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Your people should know that you care about their success!

“… What about hitting my number? … hitting your number is important. But I believe two things to be true. One, if you build up your people, they will overachieve. Two, hitting goals for any fiscal year is a marker of a job well done. But changing the career trajectory for dozens and dozens of people is the measure of a professional life well lived.”[note]Page 107[/note]

It doesn’t get any more selfless than that. If you really care about the success of your people and strive to make them better everyday, their numbers will come. Don’t forget; people are all at different walks in their careers. Can you think back to a manager that changes your career? Take a second and think about it! Where are they now? Maybe send them a thank you email!

“Making sales coaching a priority is a business decision. Coaching improves retention and performance.”[note]Page 119[/note]

What better outcome can you ask for? Retention and performance is huge! You’re not losing your people and your people are performing well. #Boom


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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 3

When business is booming and companies need more employees to keep up with all of the success of their salespeople, it’s time to hire! Bertuzzi walks the reader through the mindset and process of hiring salespeople… I want to take it one step further and say that you can use her method to hire other positions as well.

“I’ll argue that the focus on recruiting needs to be upgraded from important to urgent.”[note]Page 56[/note]

It has to be a priority. I’m sure a recruiter is reading this right now and laughing at how obvious this statement is. Or, “Don’t tell me how to do my job, Jordan. You don’t have any idea how hard it is to find legit candidates.” You’re right, I don’t. But I can tell you that I get approached at least once a week with some lame ass excuse as to why I should leave my company and go work for theirs.

Finding the right people takes time. If someone is a passive candidates, meaning they already have a job, you really have to convince them to take your call. The job market is good enough right now that people can turn down job offers. Keep that in mind when you’re sending a generic LinkedIn InMail to someone. Why should they listen to you?!

“I felt that if I could get the right people into the system, even if I did a mediocre job at training and management, they would find a way to win. But if I got mediocre people in, even if I did a world-class job at training and leading, it wouldn’t matter.” – Mark Roberge[note]Page 58[/note]

That really says it all. People are a HUGE part in the process of having a successful company. If your people suck, the business is going to suffer. If hiring isn’t going to be a priority… how do you expect to get good people?

Passion… the people you hire must have passion for sales! Passion helps you overcome continuous defeat. I once had an entire  month where only one person picked up the phone when I called. They hung up on me right away. I made a few hundred calls that month and felt destroyed. My internal drive is what got me through that rough month.

“All the cash, leaderboards, and praise in the world can’t keep someone striving in this role. It has to come from within.”[note]Page 61[/note]

Now, if you’re only going to be in this role until you figure out what you want to do… money can definitely help. A lot of grads jump into sales because they have a business degree and that’s what you do. Then they realize that they weren’t cut out for sales… If you want to excel and have a career in sales, it must come from inside!

Competitiveness is another HUGE trait salespeople need to have. Recruiters typically target athletes because they’re competitive. Have you ever heard of the company ‘Athletes to Business’? I shouldn’t have to explain that business model, but it makes sense, right?

Lately, I’ve been hearing about companies creating such a competitive landscape that people are backstabbing their own coworkers to get a sale. WTF is with that!

“Alison Gooch shared that she looks for ‘compassionate competitors-reps who like to win, but not at the expense of their teammates.'”[note]Page 62[/note]

Don’t create such a cut-throat culture to where people are screwing over their own co-workers for an extra buck. That doesn’t end up working well for anybody. If you’re a manager… you’d be the one to decide who gets the bigger paycheck, etc. That would suck, if you ask me.

Another great trait that should be considered when hiring salespeople is curiosity.

“Curious people ask the best questions. Reps who are genuinely curious have an advantage when prospecting. Questioning is in their DNA; they don’t have to fake it.” – Peter Gracey[note]Page 63[/note]

That’s another awesome way of putting it. The questions become genuine and the prospect feels better about telling the salesperson their problems.

Bertuzzi writes about how to write compelling job descriptions, interview questions, compensation plans… all of the things that attract BDR’s and sales people. Each organization is going to have their own process for these, but I highly recommend reading her examples. These examples could help you lower your attrition among salespeople.


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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 2

Sales DevelopmentAs I get further into “The Sales Development Playbook”, I’m learning so much more about the process of creating a well oiled sales team. Inbound sales, Outbound sales, Allbound sales… You’re probably thinking, “Oh, Jordan… you’re so smart and you make it sound so easy. Why don’t you just start you’re own sales company??” Ha Ha Ha. That’s not what I’m saying!

I’m saying this to show you the value that this book can bring to all organizations! Bertuzzi breaks it down and she breaks it down really well!


“The first rule of sales development is no fighting in front of the kids.”[note]Page 26[/note]

It pretty true within any company and with any position. No arguing about processes in front of your employees. Feuds between different managers will pull employees apart if they’re there to see it. Management has to be on the same page or else you’re just wasting time. Have you ever had two managers and they both tell you something different? It’s frustrating because you want to make sure you’re doing your job but at the same time you know you’re going to make one of them upset because you’re following the other ones orders.

Great reminders are on every page throughout this book! Most of them are sales development related… given the title of the book. But I truly believe that you need to

“Make sure your team members know that they’re contributing from the get-go. They have a tough job and suffer massive rejection every day.”[note]Page 28[/note]

If you’re in sales, you know exactly what I’m talking about! EVERYDAY… rejection. If you’re not… you still deserve the reinforcement that you’re contributing. Celebrate the small wins. Maybe your employee conducts a great interview, finishes writing an article, leads a meeting, adds value to a meeting,  learns a new concept, learn something new… whatever it is, let them know they’re contributing! You’d be amazed what people are willing to do when they get recognized.

On the sales side of things… we usually have a good idea of whom we’re approaching. We know what type of accounts and we know who we need to talk to.

“Sell to everyone; Close no one”[note]Page 37[/note]

In the process of learning how to work smarter, you need to know who is more likely to buy from you. If you spend too much time trying to close someone that isn’t going to buy, you’re just spinning your wheels. Spinning your wheels doesn’t help you exceed your quota. Bertuzzi does an incredible job segmenting prospects into different brackets. She calls this the

“The ABCDs

  • A: A-list
  • B: Bread & Butter
  • C: Compelling Events
  • D: Dead Ends”[note]Page 38[/note]

It’s pretty simple once you’re able to separate your prospect into these categories. Let’s start backwards… Dead Ends… Don’t bother wasting too much of your time on this group. You’re thinking, “Well Jordan, I’m an incredible sales person and can sell anyone.” Great, prove me wrong. If they’ve been using a provider for 30 years and send out an RFP for your product… you’re going to be column fodder. It doesn’t matter what you sell or how well you sell it, they’ll always stay with that provider.

I saw this A LOT while at Cornerstone. A prospect had used SAP for 30 years and they want to see what else is out there. The rep is excited because they have a chance to hit their number with one sale… It was a dead end and they wasted countless hours trying to sell the team on our product. It sucks because we all think we’re the best, but in reality, you lost before you started. It’s our job to not even get hung up on those.

When compelling events take place, it’s usually a great opportunity to introduce your product! New c-level team, new decision makers, current product breaks, customer service sucks, lawsuit, bad quarter and new laws are all something that can compel someone to do something. New laws is a huge one in my market! Be the first vendor to reach out to a prospect educating them on the law changes and you have given yourself a good chance to win their business.

Let’s say gluten-free bread and butter… I’m allergic to bread. This is where you can really thrive! These are your go-to accounts. Depending on what you sell, these accounts are what your current user base is made up of. I can’t tell you who your gluten-free bread and butter account are, so make sure you know!

The A-list is a dream come true. These are the accounts you’d die to do business with. You’ve got something they need but they don’t know it yet. They’ll change the direction for your company and your career.

A lot of things in sales are driven by data. There is so much stinking data out there being collected, it’d blow your mind if you knew what was being collected.

“… if you can invest $1 in improving processes or improving data, I’d choose data ll day every day.”[note]Page 49[/note]

Data literally makes the world go round! The better data you have, the better you are able to plan out your day, week, month, quarter and year. My current CRM has the capability to keep data on EVERYTHING! Guess what… when I run a report on something super specific, I get results. Those results help me close deals.

I loudly echo Bertuzzi and have to add that you need good/great data!


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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 1

Sales DevelopmentWhat an absolute pleasure it has been reading, “The Sales Development Playbook” by Trish Bertuzzi. Everything I’ve learned in the sales world has been extremely beneficial so far… this book helps push the envelope. Because we are officially in the information age, organizations can access information whenever they need it. With an ever changing buyer and larger buyer groups, you have to make sure you’re a head of the game. Trish will help you with that!

“The companies that win today are those that are willing to reach out, stand out, and point out flaws in status quo thinking. …It is, at its heart, about service.”[note]Page 7[/note]

I honestly can’t tell you how many cold calls I’ve made or how many cold emails I’ve sent. But what I can tell you is, my success has come from thinking outside of the box. Setting myself apart from the competition and providing value. Connecting with someone and saying something other than, “Want to buy my product?” You have to approach people like the way you want to be approached. Don’t forget; you’re a buyer and someone is always selling to you.

An interesting thing that a lot of people seem to learn early on in their careers is that all companies have their own way of doing things. There isn’t a copy and paste method that every company can use.

“… your model needs to be ‘just right’ for your organization.”[note]Page 17[/note]

This can go for positions other than sales too. Find the process that works best for you. As far as sales goes, it really depends on what you’re selling. Bertuzzi uses the example of the CRM market because it’s a mature market. The majority of companies have one and use one. So, if you’re a new CRM company, how do you set up your sales processes? What’s the difference between you and Salesforce, SugarCRM or Microsoft Dynamics?

After you figure those things out, it’s time to set a meeting to try and sell something! This is where Bertuzzi hit me with the “Ah-Ha” moment!

“If you’re selling a disruptive solution, asking BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) type of questions makes no sense. There isn’t going to be a budget set aside for problems that prospects don’t know they have.[note]Page 20[/note]

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What if I’m not working in a disruptive market?” Great question! If you work in a market that is more mature, like myself, you have to figure out what problems they’re currently having. Maybe you can get them to switch solutions solely based on price. I see it everyday. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… it’s a duck… but cheaper. If a company saves a couple grand a year because they switched providers, the CEO/Owner is going to be happy.

Bertuzzi opens the readers mind up to a new acronym that can be used; PACT.

“PACT: Pain, Authority, Consequences, and Target Profile”[note]Page 34[/note]

There has to be a pain and they have to be aware of that pain before they buy. It’s your job to make them aware. A friend of mine is a travel agent. Whenever I write, I try to put myself in her shoes to make sure my writing sounds good to other people. What would her clients pain be?? Booking flights, hotels, excursions, dinners and making sure it’s within their budget… and the list goes on. People think travel agents charge too much… have they ever tried using one… nope. Did you know that if you book through an agent, they can typically get you better rates and free stuff? The true value of an agent is all the extra amenities they provide. Boom! I get my travel knowledge from @DeniseSchaefer6

Authority… we all think we have it. You have to ask the right questions to get to the decision maker. If you’re talking to the HR person and the decision maker is the VP of HR, you need to get a meeting with the VP. Too many times it happenes to sales people where they think they’re meeting with the decision maker. Then the find out that the VP wasn’t even aware of the meetings.

Consequence… What will the consequences be for them if they DON’T switch. The last thing a company wants to do is buy something that they thought was great and find out that it opened up a new can of worms. The problem they wanted to fix is now an even bigger problem. You need to dig into the scenario of them not purchasing.

Target Profile… Oh man, this one is huge! While selling to HR, I come across IT people that kill the deal. You have to make sure that those key players are in the meeting. You need to align with culture, technical and office politics. It’ll make your life much easier!

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