We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is profession to be proud of.
The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career.
Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
You Must Plan Before you Prospect per Mary Grothe, Ep #222
Why are both lead generation and prospecting important functions of sales? Have you ever closed a deal that wasn’t in your pipeline? What are you doing if you aren’t prospecting? Prospecting and lead generation are the lifeline to your sales pipeline, according to the guest on this episode of Sales Reinvented—Mary Growth.
She emphasizes that you need a certain amount of deals in your pipeline that—when divided by your close rate—help you meet your goals. You have to know what you need to do to hit your number. If you need to hit $1million in sales and you have a 25% close rate, you need $4 million of qualified leads in your pipeline. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan. Learn all about Mary’s process in this episode.
Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions in revenue and breaking multiple records, formed Sales BQ®. Her 8-year B2B midmarket sales career required daily prospecting efforts. She was the first rep to embed social selling and custom events into her lead gen process to diversify the funnel from just telemarketing and email prospecting.
Outline of This Episode [1:24]The interplay between prospecting and lead generation [3:07] Mary’s in-depth prospecting process [8:57] If you’re not passionate about it—don’t do it [11:51] Skills salespeople need to develop [14:13] Mary’s lead generation and prospecting dos and don’ts [17:16] Why you must always start with a plan Mary’s in-depth prospecting process Mary believes in a world where sales and marketing work together. Her 8 years in a mid-market B2B sales job taught her that revenue generation needs to come from sales and marketing working together.
Mary’s ideal process starts with marketing. It starts with a well defined Ideal Client Profile (ICP). Who are your key buyer personas? Who do you want your clients to be? Be as targeted and niche as possible. You need to know their language to emotionally align with them. Then you create content to help the buyer educate themselves. It’s not a “spray and pray” approach anymore.
Secondly, Mary emphasizes that you have to use marketing attraction methods that work. You need actual social engagement with your audience. You need an SEO and content strategy. Interview your buyers and learn the long-tail key phrases that they’re plugging into search engines. Then produce unbelievable content that helps drive them through your content. You build trust and credibility to the point that they are compelled to work with you.
Then you look at paid traffic. Find any way to supplement your lead funnel. There are television and radio ads, telemarketing, email marketing, and even podcasts. You can host virtual events like webinars or LinkedIn Live events. There are many ways that salespeople can educate buyers.
Make your website the main conversion point. You want sales and marketing working together to take a targeted approach. The goal is to get buyers to land on the website and adjust and tweak it for the highest conversion rate possible. You need to implement calls to action, opt-ins, chatbots, etc. The site needs to be about how you serve your customer. Don’t let your website fail you.
Lastly, you need to have a defined process and plan to manage the inbound leads so nothing falls through the cracks. Define the process for marketing and sales engagement to make sure no one drops the ball.
If you’re not passionate about it—don’t do it Mary believes that you need to be passionate about prospecting. If you don’t have the energy and passion that’s necessary, you shouldn’t be in a role where you’re responsible for it. You either have the DNA of a hunter or you don’t. Not everyone is built to handle rejection and it can be energy-draining. You’ll be mediocre at best and won’t see results.
Mary points out th
Why a Compelling Offer is SO Important to Prospecting with Cory Bray
Do you struggle with prospecting and lead generation? Is getting a meeting with a potential customer like pulling teeth? Cory Bray believes the struggle is often because you aren’t giving your prospecting a compelling offer. No one is going to be enticed by a sales meeting. A sales meeting may even be a deterrent. What does Cory recommend doing instead? He shares advice, strategies, and tactics to navigate the process in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it!
Cory Bray is the Managing Director at ClozeLoop. Cory has built high-performing sales teams in industries that range from manufacturing to technology. He knows what works in practice, not just in theory. He’s a high-value advisor to multiple accelerators, bestselling author of 6 books, and a dynamic keynote speaker who has spoken all over the world. He’s passionate about making sales accessible, actionable, and scalable with Fast Frameworks.
Outline of This Episode [0:56] Why prospecting and lead generation matter [2:41] Give your prospect a compelling offer [4:54] Learn to be resilient—and set negative goals [6:39] Skill to develop: Conversations with strangers [8:42] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts [11:13] Learn resilience in the face of a “no” Give your prospect a compelling offer Cory notes that you need to achieve the right amount of volume with the least amount of effort. Effort can be measured by human time and the amount of capital deployed. If you have spikes in leads, it can be overwhelming to your team. So you need consistent lead volume over time so the organization can handle it.
Cory sees prospecting as human-assisted marketing. It’s targeted. With any good effort, you’re offering someone something a prospect can accept or reject. But most salespeople make a mistake when prospecting. They’re offering a sales meeting—which isn’t compelling at all. When Cory is prospecting, he offers them one of his books. It’s compelling and something of actual value. It's a touch that gets them into the funnel. The bottom line? Offer people something that they actually want.
Casinos and negative goals: what do they have in common? The expected value in a casino is negative—unless you’re the house. But when you’re in a casino, you’ll win hands at a Blackjack table, spins at a slot machine, or rolls at a craps table. Casinos do that to keep you in the game. Cory shares “Unfortunately, when you’re making cold calls or you’re sending a lot of prospecting emails, you don’t have that luxury of having those intermittent wins designed to keep you around. So you have to create them for yourself.”
How do you do that? A great tactic is to set negative goals—which sounds counter-intuitive. If you’re supposed to make 75 calls a day, make your goal to get 74 “nos” a day. Along the way to that goal, you may just get a yes. You focus on the negative goals so when the positive one comes, it’s a bonus.
Cory emphasizes that salespeople have to be able to handle rejection and bounce back from every “no.” Salespeople often aren’t liked. Cory had someone tell him once, “I already have a mother, I don’t need anyone else to think I’m the greatest person in the world.” Some people aren’t naturally great at rejection—but you can learn to handle it.
The #1 skill to develop: good conversations with strangers Cory believes that you need to develop the ability to have a good conversation with a stranger about a topic that they’re more of an expert at than you are. So many salespeople get overwhelmed with the idea of needing to be a subject matter expert in everything. Cory emphasizes that shouldn’t be your goal or even a concern.
Whoever you’re calling will have more subject matter expertise than you will. It’s not a competition. Instead, Cory recommends becoming an expert at having convers
Persistence = Successful Prospecting, According to Kristie Jones
Persistence is one of the best things a salesperson can do to achieve successful prospecting, according to Kristie Jones. Lead generation and prospecting are a long game and there are skills that a salesperson needs to develop to be successful in these areas. What are they? How can you improve your prospecting and lead generation skills? Kristie shares her tips + tactics in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Check it out!
Kristie Jones is the go-to expert for SaaS companies wanting to build or scale their sales teams. Her 19+ years as a Sales Leader in the SaaS space fuels her passion to help businesses increase revenue through improved strategy, process, and people. She coaches everything from sales process and strategy to hiring and training Sales and Success Reps.
Outline of This Episode [1:01] The difference between prospecting and lead generation [3:01] Consistency + persistence is key in the process [3:46] The skillsets a salesperson NEEDS to develop [7:11] Why follow-through is so important [9:17] Kristie’s favorite story: persistence in action Lead gen is a long game Kristie defines lead gen as playing the long game. You need to ensure that prospects are aware of your company. Lead gen is usually owned by the marketing team and is more of one-way communication. Prospecting is a two-way communication that is specific and targeted to customers in a personal and customized way. The goal is to get off the “maybe” pile and get into the “Yes/No” pile.
Closing deals is all about timing. Even if a company is a good fit for you, they may not need your product or service now. So you need to embrace persistence and continue to add value and stay in front of the prospect until they’re ready to purchase. Kristie’s goal is to keep leads as warm pizza until they’re ready to move forward. You want to make sure they don’t go back to frozen pizza. The end goal is qualification. Until then, make sure marketing is keeping the “not right nows (NRNs)” in the lead generation funnel.
The skillsets a salesperson NEEDS to develop Kristie emphasizes that salespeople need to have discipline and persistence. They need to block time in their calendar and build out time to prospect. Prospecting may be the red-headed step-child of sales—but a necessary evil. It’s one of the most important activities you need to be consistent with. Putting new deals in the funnel is 100% in your control. You have to be consistent and persistent. Consistently fill the top of your funnel. Make sure you are persistent with your NRN list and follow up with them regularly.
The qualification process is also important. Clients call her and say “deals are stalling out” and what she finds is that there's stalling out because they shouldn’t have been in the pipeline in the first place. You need a formal nurture strategy for your NRN’s to keep them warm. A lot of the messaging is all about you, your product, and your service. It isn’t about helping the client and making their life easier. Turn that around. Prospecting “Has to be all about them, before it can be all about you before it can be all about us.”
The importance of follow-through Kristie emphasizes that you can’t just “wing it.” You need a plan. The reason that prospecting automation tools exist is that everyone is great at starting the prospecting process—but not following through. Every time 4 days go by and you haven’t touched a prospect, you’re starting back at zero. Winging it is NOT a good strategy. It means you don’t have a strategy. You will be disorganized. There’s more noise than ever out there. If you’re not constantly in someone’s “face” they won’t remember you. She also points you that you can’t think a full pipeline means you don’t have to prospect anymore.
Kristie’s favorite story: persistence in action Kristie ha
Want to Be Successful Prospecting? Here’s what You Need to Do
Do you have a plan for lead generation? Do you have an organized approach to prospecting? Have you developed the necessary skills to be successful with lead generation and prospecting? Adam Snider has a tried and true process that he follows wholeheartedly. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented as he shares some tips + strategies for salespeople to stay relevant and craft their approach.
Adam Snider currently leads a B2B sales department, owns Leading Sales Results, is a Coach with The Sales Rebellion, and a Trainer with Quota International. He is also a frequent contributor to The Sales Expert Channel. Adam is passionate about changing the negative stereotypes of sales professionals. Don’t miss out on his 19+ years of experience.
Outline of This Episode [1:00] The concept of prospecting and lead generation [1:39] Why both practices are essential to sales [2:25] Adam’s prospecting and lead generation process [5:20] Characteristics that make a salesperson great at lead gen [7:50] Top 3 lead generation + prospecting dos and don’ts [10:42] The importance of sharing a relevant message Adam’s prospecting and lead gen process Adam emphasizes that effective prospecting needs to start with a plan. Where are your leads coming from? Where are your customers? How will you find leads? How will you engage with your market?
Once you answer those questions, you need to organize your approach to generating leads. How do you plan to engage with potential customers on LinkedIn or other platforms and mediums? Perhaps you could target specific companies or contacts. Once you have an understanding of where your leads are, you should organize what Adam likes to call a “suspect list.”
Organize who you want to engage with. He recommends a list of a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 200 on your list at any given time. You want to feed the suspect list continually and continuously pull from it. Acclimate yourself with the companies and people, do your research.
Then you organize a daily prospecting plan. What prospecting are you going to do each day? You could make 50 calls on Monday, go to a networking event on Tuesday, or send target letters to C-level executives on Wednesday. Whatever you do, you need to set a plan and follow it.
Salespeople need to be inquisitive Salespeople need to be tenacious. They need to learn to not take things personally. Some salespeople are born with traits such as extrovertedness, which is helpful. But you can also learn them. The #1 skillset Adam believes a salesperson needs is being inquisitive.
Adam notes that before a military force storms enemy lines, they research and plan to increase the chance of success. If your only reason to call a potential customer is to talk to them about your product or service—do not speak to them. Get inquisitive and find out a reason to call besides selling yourself and your company.
Adam’s top 3 lead generation dos and don’ts Adam shares some tips to help you improve your prospecting skills:
Do it. Prospect, even if you’re not good at it. You’ll get better and you’ll increase your chance of success. Follow up with your prospects. Don’t write one email or leave one message. The more you become recognized by the person you’re trying to get in touch with, the better chance you have of connecting with them. Do your research. Know who you’re calling, what they do, and what they oversee. What industry are they in? Who are their vendors? What about their competitors? Don’t talk about yourself. Adam believes this so strongly that he created a t-shirt that says “Me, me, me—who cares.” Don’t make it about yourself. Don’t be cocky. It comes from insecurity. Balance the insecurity you may feel with research and a reason to call. Don’t give up. You will have bad calls, bad days, and bad door knocks. It’s a race of the tortoi
Why You Need to KNOW Your Perfect Potential Customer per Kim Albee
How do you save time, get results, and avoid burning your lists? How do you get results from cold emails? Kim Albee believes that it’s by knowing your perfect potential customer and providing them value. In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, she shares her expertise in prospecting and lead generation. Don’t miss it!
Kim Albee founded her company Genoo, as well as the B2B Online Marketing Group on LinkedIn. Kim helps you attract quality leads, and establish the engagement necessary for sustained growth. She does this by providing practical strategies and integrated tools that maximize resources, energy, and return on investment.
Outline of This Episode [0:56] The difference between prospecting and lead generation [1:39] Why are these concepts important? [2:08] Know your perfect potential customer [4:11] The attributes a salesperson should embrace [5:16] Skills that a salesperson should develop [6:56] Kim’s 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts [8:46] Kim’s favorite prospecting + lead gen story Successful lead generation = knowing your perfect potential customer Kim believes that prospecting is looking for your perfect fit. Ideally, your perfect fit is a buying opportunity—they’re at the bottom of the funnel. Lead generation is where you’re getting your perfect potential customers anywhere in the funnel. You’re generating and attracting them to you through a variety of different mechanisms.
Kim notes that at Genoo, they are always building relationships and engagement with their perfect potential customers. One of the biggest mistakes that Kim sees people make is sending cold emails. Instead of sending cold emails, you should provide real value. That means taking a marketing approach to build leads and engagement. You respond in a way that deepens the relationship and builds authority.
Give your leads bite-sized chunks and lead them a step at a time through the buying journey while building trust. You can use any kind of lead gen to do this.
Pay attention to digital body language Kim notes that listening is a great attribute—as well as paying attention. It’s great to have a conversation and listen more than you talk. But in the online world, you also have digital body language to go off of. What are they clicking on? What are they looking at? What are they interested in?
You should send out value emails and then track these things. If you listen well to those metrics and respond appropriately, you can give them the messages you know will resonate. You’ll hit with a lot more of them. When you reach out for a call at that point, they know who you are and will more readily take your call.
Skills that a salesperson should develop In every sales job, Kim points out that there’s a certain amount of going after a goal. You think the path from A to B is a straight line—but Kim disagrees. She believes the path is varied, that it isn’t linear. You need to have really good materials and understand your perfect potential customer. What are the different concerns that they have? How can you satisfy them? There are different routes through that conversation that you should have ready.
You need to work with marketing and put together how you move people through the buying process. How does that mesh with the conversations you’re going to have? You have to pay attention to what your prospects and leads most need. What is most relevant and valuable to them? Help them move towards that and build trust and credibility.
What to do when cold outreach fails Kim had a customer that was using a cold email strategy. They bought a list of 14,000 potential customers. Of the 14,000 cold emails they sent, they only booked 62 meetings at a 0.4% conversion rate—meaning only 8 of those 62 meetings qualified. Their qualification rate was 12.9%. They were burning through lists.
The Key to Successful Lead Generation and Prospecting
What is the difference between prospecting and lead generation? How are they similar? How do your strategies need to vary with either approach? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Bill McCormick shares some strategies to help salespeople nail lead generation and prospecting. If you’re ready to take your skills to the next level—don’t miss this episode.
Outline of This Episode [1:35] The difference between prospecting and lead generation [3:00] Why is lead generation and prospecting important to sales? [3:39] The ideal prospecting and lead generation process [7:08] The attributes a salesperson needs to embrace to find success [8:19] Ditch the pitch: learn to provide both value + insight [11:01] Bill’s top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts [13:35] Bill’s story that proves timing really is everything WHY a prospect and a lead are so different Bill points out that lead generation and prospecting are both activities that you do. They can be very similar in that respect. But a prospect and a lead are quite different. A lead is someone at the tip of the funnel that’s not yet qualified. They may not even end up being a part of the sales process. A prospect is someone who has been qualified. They’ve made it into the funnel. The bottom line? All prospects are leads but not all leads are prospects.
Bill also points out that lead gen happens very early in the process. It’s being able to take a quick look at someone—and based on your ideal client profile—determine if they’re going to make it into the prospecting category. Lead generation is all about lead qualification. Prospecting is about researching and moving the prospect along to the end goal of a sales conversation.
The ideal prospecting and lead gen process Bill is quick to note that each sale in each industry can be different. But he shares some key components anyone can focus on:
You must cultivate an ideal client profile: You need to have an idea of who you’re looking for. It will either help you qualify and move leads forward—or discard them. Once they’ve been moved into the prospect category, you must then determine the “who” and the “how.” The “who” is composed of the decision-makers.
Secondly, you need to focus on how you will authentically nurture the relationship with a prospect to move them along your funnel to a sales conversation. When people are prospecting on LinkedIn, they are starting with sales conversations. Bill emphasizes that you can’t do that. What do you do instead? Ditch the pitch.
Ditch the pitch: provide value and insight Bill shares another solid piece of advice: ditch the pitch. Bill leads by providing value and insight to nurture someone along the sales funnel. Don’t lead with your solution—lead to it. He notes that it’s hard to do because you believe in your product and service. But when you pitch, you sound like the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon. No one listens.
He was recently on a call with a prospect and shared some insight with him. His prospect said, “Hey, you better stop, you’re giving away too much.” But that’s exactly the way Bill wants it. He responded by saying, “Imagine what you’re gonna get from us when you’re working with us.”
Bill goes on to say, “Remember the end goal is to have a sales conversation. We have to earn the right to have that conversation by providing value‚and not by pitching.” Bill shares some of the key attributes he believes a salesperson needs to succeed with lead generation and prospecting. Listen to learn what those are!
Bill’s top 3 lead generation and prospecting dos and don’ts Bill summarizes his top do’s and don’ts for everyone to follow to find success:
Connect on LinkedIn with ALL of your clients. It makes for great prospecting potential down the road. Make sure you have nailed down an ideal client profile and