Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Navigating the Sales Process: Insights from Jeff Clair of ClairVoyant Consulting – E74

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Navigating the Sales Process: Insights from Jeff Clair of ClairVoyant Consulting – E74

Dive into the world of sales excellence with “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” as hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey welcome Jeff Clair from ClairVoyant Consulting LLC. In this compelling episode, Jeff, a seasoned fractional VP of Sales, shares his East Coast insights into overcoming common sales challenges, utilizing innovative strategies, and enhancing the sales process. Join us as we explore the nuances of sales from different regional perspectives, offering valuable advice for sales professionals across the spectrum.

Key Topics Discussed

  1. The Importance of a Defined Sales Process: Jeff emphasizes the critical role of having a structured sales process and how the lack of one can lead to salespeople ‘winging it.’
  2. Utilizing CRM for Sales Success: The discussion highlights how CRM tools can delineate sales stages, aiding salespeople in navigating from lead generation to closing.
  3. Referral Strategies: The panel delves into the potential of referrals in sales and why many salespeople hesitate to ask for them, missing out on valuable opportunities.
  4. Closing Techniques and Challenges: Jeff shares insights into salespeople’s common hurdles when closing deals and the strategic importance of asking the right questions.
  5. The Power of Storytelling in Sales: Jeff advocates for storytelling as a technique to connect with prospects, positioning them as the ‘hero’ of their journey with your product or service.
  6. Guidance over Selling: The notion that successful salespeople guide rather than sell to their prospects, encouraging sales teams to adopt a consultative approach.

Key Quotes

Jeff Clair:

“Nobody really sells people anything…successful salespeople identify needs, desires, wants, and then satisfies those needs, desires, or wants with the product that they have.”

Kevin Lawson:

“Facts tell and stories sell…we’re going to unpack how stories sell in our next episode.”

Sean O’Shaughnessey:

“A salesperson is a guide…they are experts in selling their product. The prospect probably is not an expert in buying that thing.”

Summary

This episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales” is a treasure trove for anyone looking to sharpen their sales skills. With Jeff Clair’s expertise, the discussion sheds light on critical aspects of the sales process, from the initial lead generation to the final close. By addressing salespeople’s common pitfalls and offering strategies to overcome them, Jeff, Kevin, and Sean provide listeners with actionable advice to elevate their sales game. Whether you’re a seasoned VP of Sales or a sales professional looking to improve your approach, this episode is packed with insights that can transform your sales strategy and lead to greater success. Tune in to learn how to navigate the sales process confidently, leverage your CRM effectively, and harness the power of storytelling to connect with your prospects on a deeper level.

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Breaking the Sales Rollercoaster: Strategies for Steady Success – E60

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Breaking the Sales Rollercoaster: Strategies for Steady Success – E60

Welcome to another insightful episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” where hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey dive deep into B2B sales management, sharing their extensive knowledge and experience. This episode is a must-listen for sales professionals who handle the entire sales cycle, from lead generation to closing deals. Kevin and Sean explore effective strategies to avoid the pitfalls of one-dimensional outreach and the rollercoaster effect in sales. Their conversation is packed with actionable advice, making it an invaluable resource for anyone looking to enhance their sales skills.

Key Topics Discussed

  1. The Full Sales Cycle Challenge: Understanding the complexities of managing every stage of the sales process.
  2. Diversifying Outreach Strategies: The importance of using multiple channels and methods in sales outreach.
  3. Avoiding the Rollercoaster Effect: Strategies to maintain a consistent pipeline and steady revenue flow.
  4. Building and Utilizing a Robust Contact List: Effective ways to create and engage with a list of potential leads.
  5. The Art of Persistent Outreach: How repeated, varied contacts can lead to successful conversions.
  6. Personalizing Sales Approaches: Tailoring strategies to meet potential clients’ specific needs and preferences.

Key Quotes:

  • Kevin: “We need to be pulling all these threads to weave the cloth that we want to cover our table.”
  • Sean: “You need to make them smarter. And in order to do it, just like when you were in high school, when you were in college, and you were trying to learn a new subject, learn a new thing, did you ever have it where your professor was trying to teach you something? It just wasn’t sticking.”

Additional Resources

Summary Paragraph

In this episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” Kevin and Sean provide a treasure trove of insights for sales professionals. They emphasize the importance of a multi-faceted outreach strategy, consistent engagement, and personalization in the sales process. Their practical tips and real-world examples make this episode a valuable listen for anyone in sales, from newbies to seasoned pros. Tune in to learn how to transform your sales approach, build a robust pipeline, and achieve consistent success in your sales career.

Nine of Spades: Addressing Salesperson Underperformance: Setting Performance Benchmarks: Define standards for success to measure against.

Nine of Spades: Addressing Salesperson Underperformance: Setting Performance Benchmarks: Define standards for success to measure against.

Understanding the Nature of Sales Benchmarks

Let’s start by grounding ourselves in the foundational premise: Sales benchmarks are not merely numerical goals but the defining coordinates of success. If you will, consider them as your organization’s North Star, guiding your sales team through the complexities of quotas, customer relationships, and revenue targets. Benchmarks transcend the limitations of raw numbers and extend into the realm of qualitative assessment—whether it’s the ability to understand customer needs or to align solutions accordingly.

To further clarify, think of benchmarks as akin to a financial portfolio’s balance of risk and return. They offer a comprehensive view of performance, much like a diversified portfolio that offers an integrated financial health assessment. Each component—be it customer retention rates, average deal sizes, or response times—contributes to this multifaceted view. Benchmarks thereby act as a composite score that tells you where you are, where you should be, and, most importantly, how to get there.

The Nuances of Crafting Benchmarks: It’s About Alignment

Creating effective benchmarks requires alignment with broader organizational goals, current market realities, and the sales team’s inherent capabilities. Striking this balance is akin to setting the interest rate in an economy. Set it too high, and you risk stalling growth; set it too low and invite complacency.

Thus, the process of setting benchmarks demands an understanding of averages and outliers. If a high percentage of your sales team consistently meets the benchmarks, they may not be challenging enough. Conversely, if only a small fraction achieves them, it could demoralize the rest and raise questions about the benchmarks’ attainability. The idea is to challenge your team just enough to stretch their capabilities while ensuring the goals are rooted in reality.

Diagnosing and Addressing Underperformance: A Structured Approach

The objective of performance benchmarks isn’t to point fingers at underperformers but to provide a structured mechanism for evaluation and growth. Having established benchmarks, the onus shifts from mere identification to a deep-rooted understanding of ‘why’ the underperformance occurred.

Is it a lack of training? Is it a mismatch between talents and tasks? Or perhaps it’s a more systemic issue related to product-market fit? Each diagnosis demands its unique course of action, requiring leaders to blend empathy with decisiveness. As you identify these pain points, you’re not merely putting a spotlight on them; you’re transforming them into actionable insights. Provide the necessary tools, training, or environmental changes, and monitor the impact on performance against the set benchmarks. In this way, underperformance becomes not a point of failure but an opportunity for both personal and organizational growth.

Benchmarks: Your Compass in the World of Sales

To CEOs, Sales Managers, and leaders in the trenches, understand that performance benchmarks are not just numbers on a performance review sheet but the milestones on your roadmap to success. They offer a dynamic, multi-dimensional gauge by which to measure, evaluate, and, most crucially, enhance performance.

Just as a ship’s captain would be rudderless without a compass, your sales team would navigate in the dark without well-defined benchmarks. These are not mere numbers but signposts in your journey toward sales excellence. They offer a vision of what could be and a measurement of what is. Establishing and adhering to these benchmarks provides direction, clarity, and a lens through which to transform challenges into growth opportunities.

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Creating True Value in Sales: Redefining Problems and Delivering Unique Solutions – Episode 41

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Creating True Value in Sales: Redefining Problems and Delivering Unique Solutions – Episode 41

In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey delve deep into the salesperson’s value in the modern sales process. Our hosts discuss how the salesperson’s role has evolved with the advent of the internet and the importance of building trust with potential buyers. They also talk about redefining buyer needs and how to differentiate your product or service in the market.

Key Topics Discussed

  1. The Salesperson as a Value Carrier: With a wealth of information available online, the salesperson’s role is to add value to a buyer’s perceived problem.
  2. The Importance of Trust: Building and transferring trust from the seller to the buyer is the essence of a successful sale.
  3. Unique Selling Propositions: Every salesperson has a unique aspect of their product, their company, and themselves.
  4. Redefining Buyer Problems: It’s important for the salesperson to understand the root cause of the buyer’s problem to provide a tailored solution.
  5. Ask Better Questions: To create value separation and reframe buyer problems, salespeople need to ask insightful questions.

Key Quotes

From Sean: “Sales is nothing more than the transfer of trust from me because I trust my product… Transferring that trust to the buyer and having the buyer then have that trust that I can actually solve the problem that’s at hand is what sales is all about.”

From Kevin: “The salesperson and sales leader, their whole job is to become the differentiators. The salesperson has to become that value. And it’s not just a value of, ‘Hey, I’m different. Hey, I’m cheaper.’ We’re not competing on price here; we’re competing on actual customer-facing value.”

In the age of readily available online information, a salesperson’s job is no longer just about conveying product details. It’s about building trust, understanding the root of the customer’s problem, and providing them with unique solutions. Join Kevin and Sean in this enlightening episode as they redefine the role of the modern salesperson and provide actionable insights to excel in the evolving sales landscape. If you’re ready to take your sales skills to the next level, this episode is a must-listen. Remember, sales success is not just about selling a product but also about being the value a buyer seeks.

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – A Roadmap for Successful Sales: Strategy, Tactics and More – Episode 36

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – A Roadmap for Successful Sales: Strategy, Tactics and More – Episode 36

In this dynamic episode of the “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales” podcast, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey, delve into the importance of strategy in successful sales performance. Using a navigational analogy, the hosts discuss how just like using an app like Waze, successful sales also requires anticipation and understanding of the challenges on the way.

Drawing parallels between navigation and sales, Kevin and Sean underscore the value of proactive strategic planning. From the importance of mapping out the sales process akin to charting a route on a map to responding to unforeseen challenges, just like navigating detours on a road trip, they highlight how a robust strategy can guide salespeople from the starting point to their goals effectively.

Touching on subjects like the sales process, tactics, and mid-year sales strategy, the hosts shed light on the importance of a sales process, likening it to a paper map providing a general path. They discuss how technology today allows for more dynamic navigation, reflecting on how modern sales techniques can help efficiently reach sales targets.

Kevin shares the difference between strategy and tactics, comparing a sales strategy to a commander’s intent in the military, emphasizing that strategies are generally long-term. Sean continues the conversation, sharing how salespeople can be proactive in their strategy, planning in advance for predictable stages in the sales process.

On a practical note, the duo also discusses how sales leaders can help their teams distinguish between strategy, tactics, and to-do items, nurturing their understanding and development in the sales process. Lastly, the hosts touch on the importance of strategic planning for the coming year, even in the middle of the current one.

Listeners are sure to find actionable insights and practical advice in this episode that could help them to formulate effective sales strategies and tactics, streamline their sales processes, and drive their sales performance forward.

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Communicate Your Value Proposition to Win More Deals with Kelly Crandall of Sales Xceleration and Next Level Strategies – E24

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Communicate Your Value Proposition to Win More Deals with Kelly Crandall of Sales Xceleration and Next Level Strategies – E24

Kevin and Sean have a special guest for this episode! Kelly Crandall of Sales Xceleration and Next Level Strategies. 

Kelly is a sales expert who works as an advisor to help mid to small-size businesses build a path to more sales. The topic of the conversation is “The Sales Skills Required to Communicate Your Value Proposition to Win More Deals.” Kelly discusses the importance of value proposition and its broader concept, focusing on why buyers should buy from a company. She stresses the importance of customizing the value proposition to each client and the need to consider customer feedback, industry trends, and client resonance.

According to Kelly, a strong value proposition can help businesses gain customer loyalty, win more sales, and charge premium fees. However, she highlights that companies need to tailor the concept of the value proposition to each client, which requires a customized approach. The conversation also highlights that teaching salespeople how to articulate their value proposition compellingly and tangibly is critical. Therefore, businesses must shift their thought processes and create value propositions based on customer feedback, needs, and industry trends.

Kelly has a background in sales, sales leadership, and entrepreneurship, and her experience indicates that any company can learn to create a strong value proposition. However, it requires a tailored approach that considers each client’s needs and requirements. The conversation provides valuable insights for businesses and salespeople on the importance of customizing the value proposition and the benefits of having a solid value proposition.

Sales Coaching: A Key Tool for Achieving Business Growth in B2B Sales

Sales Coaching: A Key Tool for Achieving Business Growth in B2B Sales

Sales coaching has become integral to the modern business environment, particularly in business-to-business (B2B) sales. The sales coaching process enhances salespeople’s skills, knowledge, and capabilities to achieve their goals, deliver value to customers, and improve organizational performance. In this article, we will examine the importance of sales coaching in B2B sales organizations, explore the best practices for effective coaching, and discuss the key benefits that result from a well-executed sales coaching program.

Sales coaching has become increasingly critical to the success of B2B sales organizations. Equipping salespeople with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to deliver value to customers and drive business growth is essential. Here are three reasons why sales coaching is critical in B2B sales organizations.

Firstly, sales coaching helps salespeople to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to engage with customers, understand their goals or priorities, and provide tailored solutions. In a B2B sales environment, customers’ goals are often complex and unique, making it challenging to identify the best strategies for engaging with them. Effective sales coaching helps salespeople identify the most effective ways to engage with customers, build rapport, and establish trust. Through regular feedback and guidance, sales coaches can provide salespeople with insights on approaching different customer scenarios, offering valuable insights, and delivering a superior customer experience.

Sales coaching provides salespeople the necessary tools to improve their communication skills, such as active listening and effective questioning techniques. This active listening capability enables salespeople to understand customers’ unique goals and motivations better, allowing salespeople to provide tailored solutions that meet prospects’ expectations. This skill is essential in B2B sales organizations, where customers’ needs are complex and varied.

Secondly, sales coaching is essential for enhancing the performance of sales teams. Sales coaching helps salespeople to focus on their strengths and weaknesses, set clear goals, and develop strategies for achieving them. Coaching provides salespeople with performance feedback, identifies improvement areas, and provides guidance on addressing these areas. This, in turn, leads to improved sales performance, increased productivity, and higher levels of job satisfaction.

Effective sales coaching can help salespeople identify areas where they need to improve, such as their communication, time management, or presentation skills. Sales coaches can provide their teams with targeted feedback and guidance, offering practical solutions for improving performance. This not only helps salespeople to become more effective at their job, but it also helps them to feel more confident and engaged in their work.

Thirdly, sales coaching helps to create a culture of continuous learning within B2B sales organizations. Sales coaching enables salespeople to develop new skills, learn about new products and services, and keep up-to-date with industry trends. Continuous learning is vital for B2B sales organizations that operate in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, where the ability to adapt and learn quickly is essential for success.

Sales coaching allows salespeople to learn from their experiences and mistakes in a safe environment that doesn’t affect their revenue production. Sales coaches can guide how to approach different customer scenarios, offer valuable insights, and help salespeople to develop new skills. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, sales coaching can help B2B sales organizations to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in their industry.

Best Practices for Effective Sales Coaching

To ensure that sales coaching is effective, B2B sales organizations must adopt best practices aligned with their organizational goals and objectives. The following are some of the best practices for effective sales coaching:

  1. Provide Timely and Relevant Feedback: Feedback is critical to effective sales coaching. Managers and team members should provide feedback in a constructive manner that focuses on improvement rather than criticism. Feedback should be timely, relevant, and focused on specific behaviors or actions.
  2.  Focus on Skill Development: Effective sales coaching should focus on developing the skills and knowledge necessary for success in a B2B sales environment. This includes communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and product and industry knowledge.
  3.  Use a Coaching Framework: To ensure that sales coaching is consistent and effective, B2B sales organizations should use a coaching framework that provides a structured approach to coaching. A coaching framework should include a straightforward process for setting goals, giving feedback, and developing skills.
  4.  Measure and Evaluate Coaching Effectiveness: B2B sales organizations should measure and evaluate revenue generation to ensure that sales coaching is effective. This includes tracking sales performance metrics, such as revenue, customer satisfaction, and retention rates.

Critical Benefits of Sales Coaching in B2B Sales Organizations

Effective sales coaching can deliver a range of benefits to B2B sales organizations. The following are some of the key benefits that result from a well-executed sales coaching program:

  1. Improved Sales Performance: Effective sales coaching can lead to improved sales performance, increased productivity, and higher levels of job satisfaction. Sales coaching provides salespeople the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to achieve their sales goals and deliver customer value. This, in turn, leads to increased sales revenue, higher customer satisfaction, and higher customer retention.
  2.  Increased Employee Engagement: Sales coaching can help to increase employee engagement and motivation. When salespeople receive regular feedback, guidance, and support from their coaches, they feel more valued and invested in their work. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
  3.  Enhanced Customer Relationships: Effective sales coaching can help salespeople build stronger customer relationships. Sales coaching can help salespeople to identify customer needs, provide tailored solutions, and establish trust. This leads to stronger customer relationships, higher customer satisfaction, and greater customer loyalty.
  4.  Continuous Learning: Sales coaching helps create a continuous learning culture within B2B sales organizations. Sales coaching provides salespeople opportunities to learn new skills, develop their knowledge of products and services, and keep up-to-date with industry trends. This, in turn, leads to more significant innovation, improved performance, and competitive advantage.
  5.  Aligned Goals of the Company and the Team: By doing an adequate job of sales coaching, the salespeople are working toward the same goals as the company. This prevents wasted activities that don’t serve the purposes of the company. Let’s discuss this a bit more.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Setting clear goals and objectives for salespeople is crucial to the success of any B2B sales organization. These goals and objectives provide a framework for salespeople to work within and help to focus their efforts on achieving specific outcomes. Here are some reasons why setting clear goals and objectives is essential for salespeople:

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Coaching provides a sense of direction and focus.

Setting clear goals and objectives helps salespeople to understand what they are working towards and what they need to do to achieve success. Having a sense of direction and focus is essential for salespeople as it helps them to prioritize their tasks, make informed decisions that align with their company’s needs, and stay motivated.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Helps to measure progress and success.

Setting clear goals and objectives allows salespeople to measure their progress and success. This is important as it provides a sense of achievement and helps to maintain motivation. Tracking progress will enable salespeople to adjust their approach to get on track to meet their goals.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Creates accountability.

Setting clear goals and objectives helps to create accountability for salespeople. When goals and objectives are clearly defined, salespeople are more likely to take ownership of their work and strive to achieve their targets. This sense of ownership and accountability helps create a performance culture and can increase job satisfaction and employee retention.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Aligns salespeople with the organization’s overall objectives.

Setting clear goals and objectives ensures that salespeople align with the organization’s overall objectives. This alignment is crucial as it helps to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that the organization is moving in the right direction, as defined by company leadership. This can help create a sense of purpose and meaning for salespeople, increasing motivation and engagement.

When setting goals and objectives for salespeople, it is essential to ensure that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These SMART criteria help to ensure that goals and objectives are meaningful and actionable. Here are some tips for setting SMART goals and objectives for salespeople:

  • Be specific: Clearly define what you want salespeople to achieve, such as revenue targets or the number of new customers.
  •  Make them measurable: Ensure that goals and objectives are measurable so everyone can track their progress and adjustments can be made if necessary.
  •  Make them achievable: Set goals and objectives that are challenging but achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to demotivation and disengagement.
  •  Make them relevant: Ensure that goals and objectives are relevant to the salesperson’s role and the organization’s overall objectives.
  •  Make them time-bound: Set a clear timeframe for achieving goals and objectives. This helps to create a sense of urgency and ensures that salespeople are focused on achieving their targets.

Effective sales coaching that includes setting clear goals and objectives is a critical component of success in B2B sales organizations. It helps salespeople develop the skills, knowledge, and capabilities needed to engage with customers, enhance their performance, and create a culture of continuous learning. By adopting best practices for effective sales coaching, such as using the SMART criteria to set goals and objectives, B2B sales organizations can realize a range of benefits, including improved sales performance, increased employee engagement, enhanced customer relationships, and continuous learning. Therefore, sales coaching should be a top priority for any B2B sales organization that wants to achieve long-term success and growth.

If you are unsure how to create an atmosphere of great coaching in your organization, please contact me. You can reach me by filling out the form on this site or by emailing Sean@NewSales.Expert.

Header Photo by cottonbro studio
92% of Small Companies Don’t Do Much Sales Training

92% of Small Companies Don’t Do Much Sales Training

As a small business leader, you know that sales are the lifeblood of your company. Training your salespeople and non-salespeople on the best practices in B2B sales is crucial. Unfortunately, a recent study by Sales Xceleration® revealed that 92% of all small companies surveyed do not do sales training. This lack of investment is a concerning statistic.

The benefits of sales training for your employees are numerous. By providing training on best practices in B2B sales, you’re investing in the skills and knowledge of your sales team. This can translate into increased sales, higher revenue, and a more robust bottom line. Additionally, a well-trained sales team can improve customer relationships, build trust with prospects, and increase customer loyalty.

But sales training isn’t just for your sales team. Your non-salespeople, including your customer service representatives, marketing team, and even your receptionist, can benefit from sales training. When everyone in your company understands your sales process, they can work together to support your sales team and contribute to your business’s success (I assume you have a documented sales process, but that is the subject of another post). By providing training on best practices in B2B sales, you’re creating a company-wide culture that prioritizes customer satisfaction and sales growth.

Various sales training resources, including online courses, workshops, and in-person training programs, are available. Consider bringing in an external sales consultant such as myself, Sean O’Shaughnessey. Additionally, you can leverage the expertise of your existing sales team by having them lead internal training sessions or mentor other team members.

It’s important to note that sales training isn’t a one-time event. To truly reap the benefits of sales training, you need to make it an ongoing priority. This can mean offering regular training sessions, providing resources and support for employees who want to continue learning independently and incorporating sales training into your onboarding process for new hires. This has been the subject of the last Two Tall Guys Talking Sales podcasts, so it would be good for your team and you to subscribe to that resource.

Sales training is an essential investment for any small business that wants to grow and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. By providing training on best practices in B2B sales, you’re investing in the skills and knowledge of your team, creating a customer-focused culture, and setting your business up for long-term success. With so many resources available, there’s no excuse for not providing your team with the training they need to succeed. Don’t be one of the 92% of small companies that don’t prioritize sales training – take action today and start investing in the future of your business.