Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

Bestselling author Aaron Ross recently held a launch party for his upcoming “mini-book” – The Predictable Revenue Guide to Tripling your Sales – in Boston. The sequel to a book that has been unofficially called “The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley” was hotly anticipated, and the event attracted crowds of sales executives and CEOs in the Boston area looking to learn some tips on how to triple their sales.

While Aaron did not give away all his secrets at the event – you’ll have to check out the book when its released to learn all of them – he did share three ‘Big Ideas’ that Aaron believes are the keys to scaling your company, having predictable revenue and tripling your sales.

Weren’t able to make it? Fear not! We were in attendance, and are more than happy to share Aaron’s three ‘Big Ideas’ for organizational sales success:

Big Idea #1: Companies must reduce sales rep turnover to < 10%

Sales is traditionally thought of as a fluid industry for employees, with lots of upward mobility and constant turnover, as sales reps leave their organizations in search of greener pastures and more opportunities. This is a bad sign for any sales organization. A high turnover rate among your sales reps suggests that there is something inherently wrong with your sales culture, your sales process or, worst of all, your sales management style.

Each year, you want to make sure that you are turning over less than 10% of your overall sales staff. Of course, this margin-of-error figure shrinks even further if your sales force is small, consisting of less than 10 reps to begin with. Talk to your reps to figure out what their motivations are, how to set up a career plan that works for both parties and how to determine fair compensation plans.

Big Idea #2: Lead generation drives growth, not salespeople

Hiring more sales reps and growing out the team is a commonly pulled lever for increasing sales revenues. Aaron warns that this is a huge mistake. Having the best sales process or the biggest sales team in the world is all for naught if your lead generation is not up to snuff. Aaron suggests putting more emphasis in this area, and measuring the results of your lead generation efforts.

Aaron is also renowned for his theory and study into the three different types of leads:

  • Seeds – Word-or-mouth or referrals from previous happy customers. These are your most profitable leads with the best conversion rates, but they are also the most challenging to proactively grow and nurture.

  • Nets – Marketing leads, from either inbound (online content, social media) or outbound (advertising) avenues. 

  • Spears – Outbound prospecting leads, generated by your team of prospecting sales reps. These reps cold-call prospects to find ones that are well-suited to buying your product or service.

Ideally, you’d want a good mix of all three lead generation avenues, as they all cover different ground and bring in different types of value.

Big Idea #3: Specialize sales roles (both big and small)

The same reason Henry Ford was able to turn his car-making factory into one of the world’s biggest companies is how sales teams should approach the roles of their reps – each person working on one aspect, building toward the final product. Outbound reps should make prospecting calls. Inbound reps should qualify marketing-generated leads to make sure they are ready for sales. Closers should close deals. Account managers should work on customer happiness. There should be little-to-no overlap between any of these roles and responsibilities.

In this area, the most important aspect is to make sure that your sales reps aren’t prospecting. For starters, they’re simply not good at is, or at least not as good as dedicated prospecting reps. It’s not a repeatable process of growth for them, and they just plain don’t like doing it. Keep them doing what they do best – converting opportunities into closed deals.

 

Three ‘Big Ideas,’ all simple in concept but not as easy in execution. To learn more, look out for the release of Aaron Ross’ hotly anticipated ‘mini-book’ that will be launching soon.

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