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This Is the Future Of Sales - Don't Get Left Behind | Selling Made Simple
In just seven years, the SaaS industry has grown from $31.5 billion to an astounding $171.9 billion. And by 2024, it’s on track to reach $369.4 billion!
For sales reps like you, the writing on the walls is this—no matter what you sell today, you’ll be selling SaaS in your next sales role. And that my friends is a good thing. Today we’re talking about why, and what you can do to take advantage of this massive sales industry shift.
Let’s get real here. The job you have right now? You probably won’t have it forever. Businesses go under. Goals and needs change. And salary objectives shift. That’s okay! The average person will change their job five to seven times during their working life.
What matters, though, is how prepared you are for that next job. And as a sales professional, it’s incredibly likely that your next position is going to be in an SaaS company. So in order to make that transition as smooth as possible, you owe it to yourself to find out what this industry is all about. And most importantly, what does working in it mean for you?
Alrighty, so starting out, let’s hit a basic question…
1. What Is SaaS?
Well, SaaS is short for “software as a service.” Basically, it’s a model where businesses license software to customers in exchange for a subscription, be it monthly, yearly, or any other timeframe. These businesses also “deliver” the software in a sense by hosting it over an internet connection.
As a result, customers don’t have to install via a CD, have a tech crew come in and set up their system, or engage in any other cumbersome physical onboarding. Connection is on-demand. And with just a few clicks, customers can start using the product for their business.
Think of apps like Dropbox, HubSpot, or cloud-based Microsoft Office 365
Okay so the question is…
2. Why Will You Be Selling It
Well to put it simply, companies across the world are making the shift to this model because it offers some very real and very lucrative benefits. For instance…
A) It Brings In More Revenue
It brings in more revenue. And it brings in more consistent revenue. See, an SaaS model is built on recurring subscriptions. If a customer doesn’t cancel their subscription, they’ll be billed again for the next cycle. And that means the default is staying a customer.
Compare that to the traditional model. The default after a purchase is nothing. Because it takes work for that customer to buy again.
So as long as an SaaS company is keeping its buyers happy, those customers won’t go through the hassle of canceling.
And given our tendency toward the path of least resistance, that often means an SaaS company will bring in more money over time compared to traditional models. Plus, that revenue is consistent, making it easier to plan ahead.
B) Allows for Automatic Upsells
Allows for automatic upsells. SaaS products typically have multiple tiers to choose from. The more you pay, the more functionality and features you gain access to.
So as an SaaS customer’s needs grow and expand, they can seamlessly choose to upgrade to a new tier. No searching for a new provider. No going through a whole new lengthy sales cycle. Instead, they can make the switch with just the click of a button. Easy as that.
C) Higher Business Valuations
Higher business valuations. Now, there are two components to this idea.
First, SaaS is expanding. Remember what I said before? About SaaS growing 5X over the last seven years? And nearly 12X from 2015 to 2024? That means the future is SaaS. And businesses are valuated according to that trend.
Secondly, and this might be above our heads as just knuckle-dragging salespeople. But we sell what drives a company’s shareholder value. The easier it is for US to sell, the better a company is going to fare. And the more it’s going to be worth.
3. Why This Shift Is Great
9 Powerful Sales Discovery Questions (And 12 Essential Follow-ups) | Salesman Podcast
We all know the stereotype of the dodgy used car salesman. But contrary to popular belief, sales isn’t about tricking people into buying. Instead, it’s about giving customers the solution to their problem (whether they know they have the problem or not).
The tricky part for salespeople is finding out if their solution is a good fit for their buyer’s needs.
Is that buyer actually struggling with a problem you can solve? Do their needs align with what you can provide? Are they equipped with the resources to use your solution correctly? Discovery calls are designed to provide this invaluable information and more.
With this discovery info, you can better qualify leads, craft the perfect sales pitch and close more deals.
This guide will help you uncover your buyer’s actual needs and home in on their underlying business problem with a simple step-by-step sales process. We’ll be looking at nine open-ended discovery questions along with 12 powerful follow-up questions.
What Are Discovery Questions?
Discovery questions are the questions you ask sales leads during a discovery call. Of course, you’ve likely already learned a bit about the prospect before jumping on the phone. But your discovery call will help you fill in the details about their situation and create a clearer picture of their needs.
The answers to your discovery questions let you determine several things.
* If your product offering can solve the needs of a sales lead.
* If you can deliver your product within the buyer’s constraints (i.e., timeline, budget, etc.).
* The best way to pitch your product.
If the prospect’s answers line up well during your discovery call, then they’ll move on to the next phase of the sales process. If not, you can redirect them through another nurturing campaign. Or they’ll drop out from your sales funnel entirely.
So, what makes a sales discovery question effective at uncovering your sales lead’s genuine business problems?
Principles of Great Sales Discovery Questions
The types of discovery questions (and how you ask them) determine the quality of the information you extract on your call. With the right discovery call questions, you can get to the heart of your prospect’s needs. The wrong one? You may lose the buyer’s trust and sink the deal entirely.
So, what do great sales discovery calls look like?
* They’re Open-Ended – Avoiding “yes or no’s” gets the sales lead talking and lets them avoid feeling “trapped” into an answer.
* They’re Informed – Do your research beforehand. Novice-level questions torpedo your credibility in an instant. But informed ones prove you’re a professional worthy of trust.
* They Move the Needle – Each question you ask should always take you one step closer to qualifying or disqualifying. They allow sales reps to dig deeper and move the entire sales process forward. There’s value in building rapport, but time is precious. So don’t waste it on filler. Try to keep questions in line with proven frameworks like MEDDPICC.
* They’re Ripe for Follow-Up Questions – A discovery call should be a conversation, not an interrogation for your prospect. They should add value to the potential buyer. Asking relevant follow-up questions lets you naturally uncover pain points and hints for creating a perfectly catered sales pitch. Plus, it helps build rapport which will help your deals close faster.
How I Do A Full Weeks Sales Activity in 6 Hours 🕑 | Selling Made Simple
Look, I’m a busy guy. I run a sales training company, produce hours of content each week, run 15-20 weekly training calls, and single-handedly sell 7-figures worth of enterprise level training packages. But I also take my dog on long walks every day. I practice drums each morning for an hour. And my family life is full and fulfilling.
It’s true you don’t have time to do it ALL in sales. But if you prioritize your time for maximum productivity like I do, you can still be highly successful in B2B sales while living your best life. Here’s how.
1. Reverse Engineering
So much time is wasted on tasks that don’t do a damn thing to help you reach your goals. It’s a problem that comes from having the wrong perspective.
Instead of looking forwards to decide what needs to be done to reach your destination, look backwards. Imagine what you want, typically it’s going to be a financial goal. From there, start moving backwards in time. What do you have to do each year that’ll build up to that goal? What about each month? Each day?
Say you want to earn an extra $50k this year. Let’s start there. $50k in commissions equals an extra 30 closed deals. For every closed deal, there are 24 discovery calls that don’t work out. Which means you need 750 discovery calls in a year or about 190 per quarter, 63 per month, and around 15 per week.
And with those numbers in mind, you’ve got EXACTLY the work you need to do each day to reach your goal.
2. Time Blocking
Next up is time blocking.
This is one of my favorites. I’ve even talked about it before.
Essentially, you need to start scheduling your important tasks. Don’t just have a mental to-do list that you’re crossing off throughout the day. Instead, put all the tasks you need to have done into your calendar.
But here’s the most important part—you have to stick to those times. Don’t spend a second more or a second less on the tasks that you schedule. If you waver even just a little from those scheduled times, tasks will start to bleed over into others. And the entire system falls apart.
So schedule it. And stick to it like hell.
3. Paper To-Do
Keeping a paper list with you at all times makes it easy to add to it and cross things out throughout the day, no matter where you are.
Feel free to plug them all into a digital list at the end of the day to keep things organized. I do the same thing with the app Things on iOS.
But there’s something so viscerally satisfying about crossing tasks off one by one.
4. Phone Pruning
This one’s going to hurt. But trust me, it’s worth it.
Get rid of the distractions on your phone. Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn even. If you’re spending non-work time on it, nix it. Now, there are some features out there that make it 10X easier to concentrate while at work. I use the Focus feature on iOS all the time.
But eliminating ANY temptation whatsoever is a powerful way to keep your eye on the ball at all times.
5. The Pomodoro Technique
This technique is surprisingly effective for how simple it really is. Next time you’ve got a task you don’t want to be doing, say cold calling or updating your CRM, commit yourself to it for 25 minutes. That’s it. And then schedule a five minute break.
When you structure your entire day with this technique, something pretty amazing happens—you stop wanting to stop.
I’ve found the hardest thing for me is simply getting started on a task. After that part’s over, my momentum usually just keeps me going and going.
With this technique, you’re making the biggest barrier (getting started) easier to overcome. After all, it’s just 25 minutes!
6. Parkinson’s Law
I like this one a lot because it’s so unintuitive. Parkinson’s Law basically states that the time it takes to finish a task depends on how much time you allot to doing it.
So if you’re giving yourself three hours to perform some menial t...
Buying Signals: Know Exactly When To Close The Sale | Salesman Podcast
Only 19% of sales close, so you can have lots of selling conversations and the best closing skills but still not win new business consistently. That’s because there is more to closing a sale than asking for the business.
Not all prospects are a good fit for your product or service. And if your potential buyer isn’t ready to make a purchase, then your odds of successfully closing the deal is dead. That’s why you need to recognize your prospects’ buying signals.
But this isn’t only about identifying when your leads are ready to buy your product or service. These signs occur throughout the buyer’s journey.
So, you need to watch and listen for buying signals during prospecting calls, discovery calls, demos, and every other prospect engagement. This includes phone calls, emails, social media interactions, data within your sales tools and video calls.
But what are buying signals?
Definition of the term ‘buying signals’
Buying signals are verbal and non-verbal cues, signs, or indicators that tell you when the lead is either ready to buy or interested in moving forward in their buying process.
You will often see buying signals from your prospect when a lead schedules a discovery call or when an opportunity responds to an email you’ve sent requesting additional information. In both cases, the prospect is giving buying signals indicating their interest in moving forward even though they aren’t ready to become customers yet, by signing on the dotted line.
Buying signals are like road signs, helping you recognize how to proceed with each prospect. A lack of buying signals might even mean not advancing them through the sales process.
Why are buying signals essential to recognize?
Spotting these buying signals is more critical than ever because sales reps are getting less time with prospects. For example, B2B buyers currently spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. And if the prospect is considering multiple solutions, your time with this potential customer drops to as little as 4-5% of the time it takes for them to make a buying decision.
This lack of face time with your leads gives you less time to pick up on indicators that the lead is interested in buying or moving forward with the sales process. So, it’s essential that you learn to quickly recognize buying signals as they happen so you can respond appropriately. Reading the prospect’s buying signals can also save you time by allowing you to disqualify potential customers too. You want to disqualify potential buyers because you don’t want to spend precious selling time with prospects who aren’t a good fit for your product.
They are less likely to close or may take longer to close and are more likely to be dissatisfied or churn. Churn is when a customer cancels their subscription to your product after a short period or chooses not to renew.
Ultimately, by spending your time with highly qualified leads who will most benefit from your solution, you significantly increase your close rate.
What are buying signals in sales?
Buying signals can be verbal or non-verbal, and some are more subtle than others, but with practice, you can learn to recognize all the different buying signals communicated by your prospects.
Here are some examples of positive buying signals or signs when a prospect is interested in buying from you:
Non-verbal buying signals:
Replay: What Is MEDDIC? (Win More Sales With This Process) | Salesman Podcast
In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Andy Whyte dissects each step in the MEDDIC process and explains how B2B sales professionals can leverage the framework to both progress and close more sales.
Andy is the author of MEDDIC: The Ultimate Guide and an expert on using MEDDIC in the complex sale
Book: MEDDICC: The ultimate guide to staying one step ahead in the complex sale
Andy on LinkedIn
Book: The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results
Book: The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
Coming up on today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast.
I think the thing is this, a lot of… MEDDICC is probably the most widely used methodology or framework or whatever you want to call it, in enterprise sales. What you find is that everyone has a different word for it. As a salesperson, you really only have one thing, one asset that really is going to dictate how successful you are and that’s time.
The paper process is the one that will have the biggest impact on whether your deal will close on time when you think it will. Because once you’re a vendor of choice, once you’re past selling and you’re into closing, it’s the paper process that takes the time and…
Hello, Sales nation. My name is Will Barron and I’m the host of the Salesman Podcast, the world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. On today’s episode, we have an absolute legend. We have Andy Whyte. He is the author of the book MEDDICC. You can find at meddicc.com, which is M-E-D-D-I-C-C.com.
On today’s episode, unsurprisingly, we’re talking about MEDDICC as a framework and how it can help you close more complex and enterprise-level sales. Everything we talk about in this episode is available in the show notes over at salesman.org. With that said, let’s jump right into it. Andy, welcome to the Salesmen Podcast.
Thank you, Will. It’s awesome to be here. As I’ve mentioned to you before, I’m a big fan. I’ve been watching the shows. Thank you for having me on.
Andy’s Definition of MEDDICC · [01:30]
I appreciate it. I’m excited to have you on. On this episode, we’re going to get into MEDDICC. We’re going to hopefully break down the analogy and go through each of these sections the best we can in the time that we have. But Andy, how do you describe MEDDICC? Would you say it’s a sales methodology or do you have a better way or a different way of describing what it is?
Yeah, great question. I think the thing is this, a lot of… MEDDICC, is probably the most widely used methodology or framework or whatever you want to c...
Cold Calling 101: 5 Steps to Cold Calls That Work! | Selling Made Simple
Few things strike fear into the heart of sales reps quite like cold calling. Do you know where that fear comes from? A lack of control. The more control we have over any situation, the less afraid we’ll be. Same goes for cold calling.
So if you want to eliminate cold calling fears FOR GOOD, you just need a simple process or framework to follow so you know what to do at each step of the call. That’s where control comes from. And that’s what we’re talking about today.
The first step of the Cold Calling 101 is…
Confirm you’re speaking to the RIGHT person. And that means the decision maker. You want to be speaking directly with whoever decides whether to buy. Because otherwise, you’ll be dealing with a gatekeeper who then has to go convince their boss to make the purchase. And along the way, your product’s value will likely be diluted.
So what does that sound like in practice?
* “Hi, Will Barron from Salesman.org. Who’s in charge of sales training at X?
* Scenario 1: “That’s me.” — Move on to the next step
* Scenario 2: “That’s Barry.” — Now we need to get in touch with Barry.
* “Ok thanks. Could you connect me with him? Can I tell them that you referred me?”
This step is all about breaking the prospect out of their status quo, i.e. being comfortable with the solution they’re using right now. So ask them how their current solution is working out. As it turns out, most people will tell you there’s some kind of problem. Things could always be cheaper, faster, more effective.
So pop the question, like this:
* “OK great, how are you training your sales reps right now?”
No matter what their response is, it’s important to still move on to the next step. Even if they tell you they’ve already got a solution that’s working great, still push forward to
This is when you give a short snippet of the value you can offer. Don’t go too crazy on the details here. Just hit the biggest problem and the most important way what you’re selling solves it. One sentence should do the trick.
Now remember, you’ve got to push through to this step, regardless of whether they seem pleased or not with their current provider. Buyers will be open to new solutions more often than you might expect.
And if they push back, you only have three more sentences to get through (15 seconds max).
Now let’s look at what a value statement looks like in practice.
* “We help salespeople find and close more sales in the next 30 days or your money back.”
See? Quick, succinct, and hit’s all the main points. Doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Here’s where you tie in the value of your product to what the prospect is going through.
How can you help? What kinds of benefits that matter to THEM can they expect to see from working with you?
And more than anything else, why the hell should they care?
Here’s what it might look like in our scenarios.
* Scenario 1: “It seems like you’re not happy with your current sales training solution. Would it make sense to see if we can solve this problem for you?”
* Scenario 2: “Would it make sense to see if we can turbocharge your current solution so you can train more effective sales reps more quickly?”
Once you bridge this gap, you can move on to the all-important final step…
This is where the rubber meets the road ladies and gentlemen. Where everything you’ve done until now combines into the sweet success of a “yes” or the bitter pill of the “no”.
It’s time to make the ask.
Now of course the goal here isn’t to make the SALE. Because no one in their right mind is going to agree to buying after a thirty second conversation. Instead, your aim is just to set up a sales meeting. Schedule a call. That’s it.
Will and Victor, hosts of the podcast, highlight all aspects of sales and more in this can’t miss podcast! The hosts and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!
A can't miss series of shows for anyone in the sales space! No matter the topic of discussion, I truly learn something every time I tune in. It's a gold mine!
A MUST LISTEN TO SHOW!
Will is a great host who brings on some very knowledgeable guests! I highly recommend a listen!