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 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

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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!

There’s more to come from me about:

The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi

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Nice -> Virgo Zodiac Sign

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 7

Assumptions… I’m sure you’ve assumed something before and were completely wrong. It happens all the time. We assume stuff before we know the facts. It’s never a good thing and we always get ourselves in trouble because of it.

“All miscommunications are the result of differing assumptions”. – Jerry Ballard[note]Page 125[/note]

It’s as simple as that. Everybody has different feelings, thought processes and perspectives. Assuming things about people won’t get you very far. That goes for generalizations too. We’re all guilty of it! We judge people based on their looks all the time. You’re shooting yourself in the foot even before attempting to make contact with that person.

Then, when you try to connect with that person, the assumptions you have about them block your ability to see them for who they really are. You can’t find a common ground with someone when you’ve already decided who they are… but you have no idea.

This next part gave me an Ah-Ha moment that will stick in my brain forever! It makes so much sense because I’ve lived it first hand with multiple jobs…. and I’m sure you have too. When employees feel like information is being hidden from them at work they feel like outsiders. They’re being alienated… and they know it.

“We the uninformed, working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!” – Jim Lundy[note]Page 130[/note]

It’s so true! When things are hidden from you, or there’s always gossip at the water cooler, you feel left out. Managers, keep your people in the loop. Let them know what’s going on. Just because you’re a boss, it doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself from the lower level employees. You can’t connect with your people when you’re alienating them. How are they supposed to feel appreciated?

If possible, get their feedback. Include them in the decision making process. You’d be amazed at the motivation you can give people when you include them on things.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. People like people who like them.”[note]Page 137[/note]

It’s pretty true if you think about it. Nobody wants to be sold to. Nobody wants to be looked at as a means to an end. People want to feel like you understand them. They want to feel appreciated. If you can do that, you can connect with anybody. Show people that you care and that you’re willing to help them, and they will return the favor.

“Adapt to them – don’t expect them to adapt to you.”[note]Page 142[/note]

Ask people ‘why?’ Get to know them. Be intrigued. Take the initiative to get off your agenda and onto theirs. It’s what Maxwell has been talking about throughout the entire book!

When making the attempt to connect with people, talk with people and sell to people, I think of the acronym K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Being simple is hard… you have to convey a message worth listening to.

“It takes great effort to make any kind of communication concise, precise and impacting.”[note]Page 152[/note]

That’s exactly what I’m trying to accomplish here, with this blog. Simple, short, and to the point. Providing value to my readers. Make your point, make it good and provide value!


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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 6

This week has been really busy productive! I can’t tell you how many new connections I’ve made this week, or how many incredible conversations I’ve had, but I can tell you that it took a lot of energy. Which is great! Now I can reflect on my week and tell myself, “Maybe you should do a little less, or maybe you can handle a little more.” It’s important to figure out where the sweet spot is so you don’t get burnt out.

When you really give it your all and the person you’re talking to can feel your passion, it can get tiring.

“People who want to connect with others must give it their all. And that takes energy!”[note]Page 88[/note]

Mentally, emotionally and even physically. Remember, people don’t always remember what you say… they remember how you make them feel. You better bet that I’m going to make that person feel as good as possible. If you can do this correctly, the person you’re talking to will truly trust you. Trust goes a long way in every profession.

I absolutely LOVE this next part. It will scream volumes for you too!!

“…the illusion of the first time…”- Jerry Weissman[note]Page 88[/note]

Think of someone giving a presentation to you. Now, think of that same person giving the exact same presentation to a new group of people next week. Each presentation needs to have as much passion, excitement and engagement as the first one! The presenter knows that the presentation is for the audience and not them self. Famous legend Joe DiMaggio once said,

“I always remind myself that there might be someone in the stands who never saw me play before.”[note]Page 89[/note]

Give it your all every time! There’s a good chance the person on the other end of the phone hasn’t heard your pitch before. You better make it memorable. If you’re a recruiter, and you’re interviewing someone; interview them like they’re the first person you’ve ever recruited. If you’re in HR and you’re delivering training… deliver the training with the same passion you had when you first did it!

Okay, so, let’s say you know someone super connected. Personal referrals go a long ways, right?!

“‘Who’ you know can open the door for you to connect with someone. Of Course, once the door is open, you still have to deliver!”[note]Page 102[/note]

Boom… it’s as easy as that! Just because people are going to stick their neck out for you and make an introduction, you have to be able to back it up! Honestly, a lot of personal growth and success comes from the help of other people. My last two jobs were from personal referrals. They stuck their necks out for me to get me the interview, but I sure as hell had to deliver. The realtor found a great town home for me to move into… I had to have the money and credit score to qualify for the place. Some of my connections are willing to facilitate introductions for me. I better over deliver when it comes time for me to have that meeting.

“If you have an area of expertise and generously share it with others, you give people reasons to respect you and develop a sense of connection with you.”[note]Page 103[/note]

You’d be surprised at the amount of people that will follow from afar. I’m guilty of it and I bet you are too. You look to someone for information and enjoy everything they talk/write about, but you haven’t introduced yourself. What do you have to lose? Show them they provide value to you and you’d love to introduce yourself. I reach out to people all the time because they write interesting stuff. Your network can grow so fast!

“America has a success culture. People want to be successful, and they seek out others who have accomplished something to get their advice. If you are successful in anything you do, there will be people who will want to listen to you.”[note]Page 103[/note]

There is always going to be someone better at something than you, and there is always going to be people looking to you for advice. Once you’ve established yourself as a credible resource and connection, the more people are going to look at you for information. Never stop learning! Maybe what you share today isn’t going to connect with all of your followers, but I can almost guarantee that someone is going to have an “Ah-Ha” moment. Look where I started… and look how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. It’s cliche… but anything can happen.


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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell