My mission is to bridge the expertise gap that hinders many companies from scaling their operations to the desired heights. The core issue often resides within the sales sector of these organizations, and this is where my expertise becomes a game changer.
Understanding the Challenge
Many company owners, be they founders or inheritors of the business, come to a crucial realization at some juncture in their entrepreneurial journey. Despite their prowess in product development, manufacturing, or service provision, they identify a glaring deficiency in their sales acumen. This inadequacy, unfortunately, bars them from propelling their companies to the next level of revenue generation and market share acquisition. The earnest attempts they might have made to rectify this situation often end in futility due to a lack of specialized knowledge in sales. Hence, they seek external expertise to resolve this bottleneck.
A common concern among these business owners is the affordability of engaging a sales expert. While it’s true that the investment required for a full-time engagement may seem steep, my services are offered on a fractional basis, making them a viable option for many. The value of having a seasoned professional revamp your sales operations far outweighs the cost.
Creating a Self-Sufficient Sales Operation
With a wealth of 38 years of experience, I step into your organization to set up a robust sales team, instill effective sales methodologies, and fine-tune the messaging to resonate with your target market. By doing so, I lay a solid foundation for your sales team to thrive long after my engagement concludes. The emphasis is on creating a self-sufficient sales apparatus that continues to deliver results, allowing me to transition to aiding other businesses facing similar challenges.
Evaluate your current sales operations to identify areas of improvement.
Consider the value of engaging an external sales expert on a fractional basis to address these areas.
Ensure the transition plan post-engagement is straightforward, enabling your sales team to sustain the improvements.
Reflect on these steps and envision the transformation your sales operations could undergo with the right expertise steering the helm. The goal is to achieve a state of self-sufficiency in your sales operations that guarantees sustained revenue growth, thereby unlocking the full potential of your enterprise.
In architecture, the blueprint guides turn an imagined design into a tangible, functional building. Similarly, a Sales Process Flowchart is the foundational structure upon which sales organizations can build scalable, consistent, and successful strategies. The importance of this tool lies in its ability to crystallize the sales process into a series of actionable steps, thereby providing a roadmap to success. The goal is to achieve consistency, predictability, and scalability, key tenets that enable sales organizations to meet and surpass their revenue targets.
Navigating the Symphony of Sales
Imagine a scenario where each musician in an orchestra independently chooses the tune, pitch, or timing, neglecting the conductor’s directions. The result would undoubtedly be a chaotic cacophony rather than a mellifluous melody. The outcome is no different in a sales organization devoid of structured processes. There would be discord, confusion, and, ultimately, a waste of valuable resources, tarnishing the reputation of the organization. It’s crucial to set the stage with a meticulously designed Sales Process Flowchart, which acts as the conductor, harmonizing the orchestra of sales activities to create a seamless and pleasant experience for both the sales team and the clients.
More Than Just a Visual Representation
One might argue that a flowchart is simply a visual representation—useful but not essential. However, this understates its pivotal role in an organization. A Sales Process Flowchart serves as a multi-faceted instrument, similar to a map charting the course of a river from its source to the ocean. By meticulously documenting each bend, stream, and tributary, one gains understanding and control over its flow. Such a flowchart aids in:
Standardization: By laying out a common framework, the flowchart minimizes ambiguities, ensuring that all team members are aligned in their objectives and strategies.
Efficiency: When every stage and step is defined, sales representatives can navigate the selling process faster and with more agility, thereby accelerating the sales cycle.
Training and Onboarding: For newcomers to the team, the flowchart acts as a quick reference guide, enabling a quicker path to becoming a productive member of the sales force.
Crafting the Masterpiece: Methodological Precision
The development of a Sales Process Flowchart is neither arbitrary nor superficial; it is a blend of art and science. The task begins with identifying key stages in your sales process, such as lead generation, qualification, and closing deals. Each stage must be broken down into actionable components like a skilled craftsman chiseling away at a block of marble to reveal the sculpture within.
Next, these stages are sequenced in a way that makes logical sense. While the sales process can sometimes be iterative, a primary, repeatable pathway is essential for the sake of uniformity. Feedback mechanisms are integrated at crucial junctures to glean insights for continuous improvement. Remember, the flowchart isn’t a static document; it’s a dynamic blueprint that should evolve with market trends, customer preferences, and organizational changes.
The Endgame: Achieving Clarity and Consistency
The ultimate goal of implementing a Sales Process Flowchart is achieving clarity and ensuring consistency. In an age where most buying experiences are shaped by how customers feel they are being treated, consistency is not merely a bonus—it’s a requirement. The flowchart levels the playing field, ensuring that each customer experiences the same quality of service, irrespective of the sales representative they interact with.
Additionally, for the sales team, the benefit is immense. When the fog of ambiguity is lifted, sales professionals can execute their tasks with a well-defined sense of direction, equipped with measurable benchmarks and a clear vision.
For sales leaders aiming to elevate their teams to new heights, neglecting the role of a Sales Process Flowchart is not an option. This tool is instrumental in transforming sales strategies into actionable steps, thereby setting the stage for success. Ask yourself, does your organization have a Sales Process Flowchart? If not, it’s time to draw the blueprint for a harmonious, efficient, and wildly successful sales symphony.
Bob Robinson, Jr., and his mechanical-engineer father, Bob Robinson, Sr., came up with the idea for a product the world truly needed 25 years ago: a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine. Their company, Kaivac, is a Hamilton, OH-based manufacturer of cleaning machines. Hamilton is a suburb of Cincinnati, OH.
“We were on our hands and knees, crawling around the bathroom,” recalls Bob, Jr. “It was disgusting. We said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.'”
Through hard work and dedication, the Robinsons created the KaiVac to help solve that initial problem in public restrooms. Over the years, they grew the idea to create dedicated machines to clean kitchen floors, hallway floors, and grocery displays. Beyond its bathroom cleaning technology, it has expanded into floor cleaning and spill response machines and has 18 patents with 16 pending.
Along with growing their manufacturing capabilities, they also grew their sales capabilities. They adopted a hybrid strategy of selling through distribution and selling directly to key customers. Their direct team, under the leadership of Bob Robinson, Jr., who had taken on the role of VP of Sales, closed many enviable customers with massive deals, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target.
They realized that they needed to step up their sales professionalism after having a down year during COVID after having a record-breaking year the year before. They wanted to grow to $75 million in annual revenue within three years and a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of $1 billion in annual revenue within 20 years.
Bob Jr. says Kaivac is just getting started. “At 20 to 25 years in business, you’re at an inflection point where you’ve got resources, tenure, and history and have been through ‘adolescence,'” he says. “Now is the chance to build a professionalized organization.”
They contacted New Sales Expert LLC as the nation was coming out of the global pandemic, but before all the supply chain problems had paused. New Sales Expert LLC is a fractional vice president of sales consultancy. Sean O’Shaughnessey, the CEO of New Sales Expert, is aligned with SalesXceleration and has 38 years of experience in sales and sales management.
According to Sean, “Kaivac is a joy to work with. They are the shining star of Hamilton, OH, and Butler County. They had so much raw potential when I walked in the door; all I had to do was to focus their energy and enthusiasm on working smarter and just a little harder.”
Building an organization with a heart
Kaivac had a great culture to build on to make a great sales culture. Before Sean showed up, the company leadership had already developed their One-Page Strategic Plan and their “Why?” statement that reflects the owners’ Christian faith: “To glorify God by using KAIVAC as an instrument for Good.”
In addition to the “Why?” statement, they had drafted an acronym called FIGS that conveys the “heart” of the company. FIGS—which appears on signs that hang on the factory floor and in break rooms—stands for
F: “First shall be last, last shall be first.”
I: Integrity—as in “The truth shall set you free.”
G: Golden Rule—meaning “treat others how you want to be treated.”
S: Servant’s Heart, as in “We are in a race to help people.”
The company uses the first three letters of its name–KAI–to inspire the team’s thinking and actions. These letters stand for inspiring phrases such as: “Keep At It,” “Keep Always Improving,” “Keep Attempting the Impossible,” and “(creates) Kick-Ass Inventions.”
Prioritizing net income and growth
Sean’s first change was to make a compensation plan that motivated the sales team to sell bigger deals and to sell them quickly. Kaivac implemented a 50/50 plan in concert with defined territories to keep the Key Account salespeople focused on the goal of more significant and profitable orders.
After the motivation component was in place, it was time to help the team learn how to sell big deals more repeatedly. The big deals of the past had been challenging to work on and, while very profitable, had been disruptive to close. Sean encouraged the company to read John McMahon’s book, “The Qualified Sales Leader,” and with that tome as inspiration, quickly deployed MEDDPICCC to help them qualify deals.
MEDDPICCC by itself is not enough. The company had already licensed Salesforce, one of the highest-rated CRMs on the market, but Sean put MEDDPICCC into the various stages of the sales process to ensure that the salespeople knew all the required information about a big deal. Sean also created dashboards within Salesforce to track deal progress at the management level. The company implemented Sales Plans for Key Accounts and the Power Matrix to document the most influential people in the customer’s decision-making process.
The very first big deals that the company found after Sean started to help them also benefited from the Decision Timeline. The Decision Timeline is a tool to allow the sales team to walk through the entire decision-making process of the customer to understand all of the steps required to make a significant investment decision. It allowed frank and honest conversations to take place with the prospect as the team worked to close the largest deal in the company’s history to date.
Time to run on their own
As with most of the assignments with New Sales Expert, LLC, the goal is to allow the company to run independently. Bob Robinson Jr. was the company’s VP of Sales. Still, he needed to shed those responsibilities to help run the entire company. To finish the transition, Bob and three of his leaders took SalesXceleration‘s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean O’Shaughnessey.
The Certified Sales Leader (CSL) designation is the country’s most comprehensive sales leadership certification program offered. CSL leadership training and certification will prepare you with the analytical, tactical, and strategic sales management skills needed to drive revenue growth now…and into the future. CSL training expands the skill set of a Sales Manager by providing coaching, techniques, and tools to lead a successful sales team.
All four Kaivac leaders passed the CSL test. One of them, Mike Perazzo, was tagged to take over as Executive Vice President of Sales. According to Mike, “Sean is a master coach for helping shape sales process and methodology. Following his methods will help grow sales faster, transactionally, and strategically. Often a couple of pieces of the puzzle are missing, and Sean helps quickly identify them.
You have everything to gain by having Sean look at your current approach. He is a change agent and disruptive to the status quo. Pushing the pace and flow of deals is his sweet spot. I am a better sales leader because of my time with him.”
Sean O’Shaughnessey of New Sales Expert, LLC states, “Kaivac is a wonderful company. They have created a line of machines that gives pride to the workers in one of the toughest jobs in America – keeping things clean. They are focused on the success of their customers and their employees. They had all of the raw skills within their sales team to be a great sales organization; they only needed me to focus them on activities and techniques that allowed them to close bigger deals faster and at a higher profit level.”
“If anyone works in a clean building with clean restrooms and hard surface floors, they are either cleaning it with Kaivac technology or paying too much for that cleanliness,” Sean explains.
Revenue and profitability have grown since Sean helped Kaivac develop a higher level of sales professionalism. Recent results have shown a dramatic increase in revenue and profitability. The sales and revenue growth have allowed the entire family of Kaivac to prosper. The Robinsons have always considered their employees an extension of their family. The company’s prosperity is passed along to team members through a bonus structure for the whole company. It all fits into the spirit of Kaivac. Bob Jr. says, “Our organization was built to have heart.”
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, hosts Sean O’Shaughnessey and Kevin Lawson delve into the crucial difference between a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). They explain how the two require different types of messaging and engagement and highlight the importance of refining the process of transitioning leads from one category to another.
Key Topics Discussed
Differences between MQLs and SQLs: Kevin begins the episode by comparing the difference in approach between MQLs and SQLs to the difference in speaking to a large group vs. one-on-one conversations. The messaging and engagement are distinct, and as an MQL transitions into an SQL, the engagement becomes more personalized and directed.
Avoiding Pipeline Clutter: Sean reflects on instances when leads aren’t adequately transitioned from marketing to sales, causing clutter and inefficiency in the sales pipeline. He emphasizes the importance of discerning when a prospect needs more time to be ready to progress in the sales process and re-engaging them through marketing efforts.
Sales-Marketing Synergy: Kevin stresses the need for sales and marketing teams to collaborate efficiently. Sales leaders should be grateful for the groundwork done by marketing teams as they set the stage for more specific conversations with leads.
Understanding Lead Progression: Kevin and Sean recommend salespeople understand a lead’s journey from an MQL to an SQL. Knowing how a lead has interacted with the brand helps salespeople improve lead quality and engagement.
The Importance of Problem Identification: Sean insists on the importance of early identification of the problem you’re solving for the lead. If the salesperson is convinced they can solve a specific issue, the lead becomes an SQL, and the task shifts to convincing the customer of the solution.
Sean: “Sales brings in revenue. Customers get a product in return, and that keeps everybody employed and going forward.”
Kevin: “Marketing and sales all have the same goal, sell more. It’s how we stay employed.”
‘The Sales Acceleration Formula’ by Mark Roberge, mentioned by Kevin as a recommended read.
This episode is a must-listen for those looking to understand the crucial transition from MQLs to SQLs, how to avoid pipeline clutter, and the importance of a symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing. Whether you’re in B2B sales, a startup, or an established company, you’ll find invaluable insights to apply to your sales processes.
On this insightful episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, co-hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey dive into a crucial aspect of successful sales: managing and organizing a sales pipeline.
The Pipeline Mess: Sales pipelines, just like a room full of kids’ sports gear, can often become chaotic. Sean and Kevin discuss the importance of maintaining a clear and clean pipeline for better sales results.
Salespeople vs. Customers: Sean brings attention to an essential difference between a prospect exploring an idea and a prospect making a purchase. Just because a customer is talking to a salesperson doesn’t mean they’re buying.
Clarifying Sales Terminology: Kevin emphasizes the importance of using correct terminology. He defines a lead as a piece of data and a prospect as someone engaged in an active sales discussion. Establishing this common language helps untangle potential confusion in the pipeline.
Understanding the Buying Process: Sean explains the importance of knowing where you stand with the customer. He suggests asking, “Does the prospect know they’re buying something?” If the answer is no, it may still be early in the buying process.
Economic Buyer and Decision-making: Both Sean and Kevin delve into the role of the Economic Buyer, who can control a budget and make purchasing decisions. They illustrate how understanding the different roles within the buying process can optimize the sales strategy.
Goals vs. Pain: Sean warns against focusing solely on pain points and emphasizes that it’s essential to consider the customer’s goals. The failure to achieve a goal can often be a bigger pain point and, therefore, a more significant motivator to make a purchase.
Listen to the episode to get actionable advice on managing your sales pipeline effectively. Ideal for sales leaders, business owners, and salespersons, this episode is packed with insights, real-life experiences, and strategies to boost your sales results. If you’re looking to tidy up your pipeline and refine your sales strategies, this episode is a must-listen.
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Sean O’Shaughnessey and Kevin Lawson discuss the importance of standing out and differentiating oneself in the competitive world of sales. They explore how salespeople can escape the commodity mindset and become trusted advisors to their clients, ultimately leading to more money and success.
Key takeaways from the episode include:
The importance of differentiating oneself in the sales process
Understanding and embracing the role of an expert in your field
“The Challenger Sale” book’s approach, and its impact on sales success
The dangers of proposing too early and devaluing your offering
Creating value for your clients by helping them be successful
Evaluating and improving your sales pipeline to increase revenue
The hosts also mention insightful books and previous podcast guests, such as Kelly Crandall and Jim Hardwick (both Fractional Sales VPs aligned with Sales Xceleration), who provide valuable perspectives on sales and leadership.
Sean and Kevin encourage our listeners to reach out with any questions or topics they would like to see covered in future episodes.
Don’t miss this episode full of practical advice and insights on improving your sales game, adding value to your clients, and ultimately making more money. Listen now to learn from the experts, and start transforming your sales approach today!
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sean O’Shaughnessey, CEO and President of New Sales Expert, LLC., located in Mason, OH, USA.
What’s your business, and who are your customers?
I am a fractional Chief Revenue Officer. I help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate their revenue growth.
Tell us about yourself
I realized a few years ago that many companies struggle to develop a revenue stream that is predictable and sustainable. This is primarily because the people in those companies that are in charge of sales are not sales professionals. They needed help creating the sales messaging, methodology, and processes to repeatably sell their product. However, they couldn’t afford someone with my skills full-time, nor did they need me full-time. A fractional relationship allows me to help them grow without burdening them with a cost that is crippling.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There is nothing better than seeing salespeople that were struggling or not appreciated start to be successful in their positions.
What’s one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My biggest challenge is balancing selling with delivery. I work on relatively short engagements, so I am always talking to new potential clients about what I do. I cannot let that activity affect my ability to deliver great service to my clients. The balance of selling and delivery is a weekly challenge.
What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Since my job is to help small companies create more revenue, I will focus my advice on sales (which is the lifeblood of any new company):
Talk to at least 40 prospects monthly about their needs and goals and how you might help them.
Develop your value selling proposition (VSP) that creates a strong message to those 40 prospects.
Tell your story as loudly and as often as possible. Don’t hide. Put your VSP out on social media. Tell everyone what you do.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Your company’s job is to sell your product or service. It isn’t to make a product or service. Treat sales as a complicated and difficult profession (it is). Hire the best people to run sales, and you will succeed.