3 Ways to Ensure Sales Success

Hello internet since I’ll be coming back to work from paternity leave soon I thought this would be THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to share with you my Sales methodology for when you need to start from scratch and get your Sales pipeline moving quickly. I’ve been away from the office for about 30 days and need to start building pipeline fast $$$. While the following is my personal Sales methodology, it’s also perfect for new hires, as well as for any Account Executive who may have recently changed territories. This even applies to Sales Development Reps who want to ramp up their numbers. All I ask is if you find value in what you’re about to read, please share it and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

So without further adieu, here are my Top 3 Ways to Ensure Sales Success

Step 1. Assess your Total Addressable Market.  

Take a look at the leads and contacts currently in your CRM and begin prioritizing where to spend your initial outreach efforts. Who do you have in your system now that you can reach out to immediately? Knowing this is vital to quickly building pipeline. One way to get up and running quickly to make sure you know how to build lead/contact reports in your CRM. Doing so will allow you to easily segment those individuals effectively. This process should reflect your sales process so be sure to do this on a regular basis. Bonus points if you come back to this on a monthly basis.

 Here are 5 groups of leads you need to be reaching out to:

  1. Past prospects who reached out online or over the phone and requested to be contacted
  2. Past prospects who had downloaded content from your company’s website – This also applies to individuals currently subscribed to a newsletter
  3. Previous customers 
  4. Closed lost opportunities you may have encountered
  5. All remaining leads based on last outreach activity date

Keep in mind B2B markets with high employee turnover (like Silicon Valley technology) often will see contact data decay rates as high as 70% per year. This means the majority of leads in your system may already be obsolete. In fact a Prospectify data study found that out of 1,000 random contacts, 4.5 percent of them were no longer valid after 28 days. This annual decay rate of 54 percent could lead to millions of lost revenue. As a result you have to have a process for adding net-new leads into your Sales outreach regularly.

Step 2. Prospect, Prospect, Prospect

Don’t let this step overwhelm you since there is an infinite number of ways to do this. To be effective and to help hold yourself accountable, my recommendation is that you block off time on your calendar for this activity to occur every day. Another benefit to blocking off time for specific tasks is that it helps to ensure you are not spending too much time and energy on any one thing. When it comes to prospecting here are 8 triggers you can utilize to ensure prospecting success. Utilizing these will help you to target the right accounts at the right time. I can’t stress enough how much of a factor timing is when it comes to Sales.

  1. Discover.org Scoops* Utilize intent data and buying signals to trigger your outreach
  2. New technology adoption This lets you know whether the timing is right to talk about either competing or complimentary products
  3. Regulatory requirements A change in regulatory requirements often require organizations make unplanned investments. Use these trigger events to your advantage by referencing them in your outreach
  4. Personnel change New hires or changes in senior management are all lagging indicators about the priorities of any organization
  5. Open positions Check your target account’s careers page. Job openings are leading indicators of corporate priorities and growth challenges
  6. Headcount This is as simple as keeping track of a company’s headcount, using – as a company’s headcount grows to your sweet spot number, reach out to them. For example when an organization grows from 50 employees to 100. Here are a few ways you can track this (LinkedIn, Company websites, Annual reports, Form 5500 for their retirement plan to see the number of eligible employees)
  7. Funding If an organization recently received a round of funding this can be an indicator of aggressive growth targets and potential to invest in new technologies or services – all of which you can use to your advantage
  8. Event / Conferences  Events your prospects attend provide valuable insights into what issues they are facing. You can find a list of local events in your territory by running a quick search here in Google for upcoming events
  9. Vendor Dissatisfaction Monitor your competitors hashtags and social media handles by setting up alerts on Google and across social media, monitor these alerts closely. If your prospects are complaining or are dissatisfied with your competitors this is the perfect opportunity to reach out and address the reason they are dis-satisfied.

Forrester Research shows the odds of winning the sale are 74% when you reach your prospects at the right time and help set their buying vision. You can read about it here. Utilizing all of the above can help you win more deals.

Step 3. Execute

Once you know who you are going to reach out to and why, your next step is to craft your outreach strategy. To be effective contextually relevant messaging is a must, taking into account the most appropriate outreach channel. For example if your prospect is active on social media use that to your advantage. If you are not sure which method of outreach is most appropriate it is up to you to experiment and find out. Do your leads require personalized handwritten letters? Are they more open to engaging with you over a phone call or email? Do they require you to connect in person or will only entertain connecting via referral? These are all realities you need to take into account when conducting Sales outreach. You may find that they require many different methods of outreach before they even respond. BE WARNED It’s critical that you do not put all of your eggs in any one basket as it relates to outreach. While email automation technologies can be leveraged to great success, they can just as easily turn off massive amounts of prospects at scale if your outreach is not relevant. In fact, 43% of email recipients will mark emails as spam based only on the email address. — Convince and Convert. So, if email is not the most appropriate way to reach out to your prospects you may want to rethink how you plan to leverage automation technologies.

Truth be told there are no magic bullets when it comes to generating Sales pipeline fast. All potential customers are different. However if you use the methodologies listed above I guarantee you will generate client meetings at a faster rate and more meetings relative to the number of prospects you are reaching out to. Just remember relevancy always wins when it comes to Sales, utilize the above approaches and set yourself up for success both in how you reach out to your prospects and why you are reaching out to them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  If you liked it please share it. Your feedback would also mean the world to me.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Hostage

Hey what’s up all you beautiful people here is a transcription of my latest podcast episode, “Don’t Let Fear Hold You Hostage.” This is all about getting you out of your comfort zone and trying new things as it relates to Sales outreach – basically opening yourself up to new ways to connect your customers. 

Gone are the days where you can rely solely on phone, or email, or snail mail.. To be successful in today’s sales environment you need to be able to read the room so to speak and go to where your customers are most receptive. Think of it this way you are in the business of trading attention for services and it’s your job to figure out how best to gain the attention of your customers. If fear has been holding you back from connecting with your customers effectively here are my Top 3 ways that you can get out of your comfort zone to see if it’s possible to be more effective.

  1. Write down what you are most afraid of and steer right into it. Is that video, is it voice, is it connecting with your leads in person. Where are your blind spots and what can you do to address them? What is holding you back from what you want to achieve? You’re not alone, we all have blind spots. There was a time when I absolutely hated the phone, and as a result would spend all of my energy trying to find other ways to connect with customers. It took serious effort to get over my fear of the phone and that same may be true for you. If what you are fearful of is where your customers are most receptive you need to find a way to get over it. Otherwise you will be wasting all of your time trying to connect with customers in ways they don’t care about – and guess what if you’re not reaching out to your customers in the right way your competitors most definitely are!
  2. Visualize the success you’ll receive when you conquer your fear.  Once you’re aware of the most appropriate way to reach your customers, reach out to them that way. If your customers are old school they may appreciate the phone or a handwritten letter. Or you may find you have customers who hate the phone and would rather receive a text message or DM (direct message) through social media. Regardless of how they want you to connect with them the most important thing for you is to realize that one size does not fit all when reaching out. In fact a one size fits all approach may be turning a lot of your customers off which is exactly the opposite of what you want to have happen. If you take into account that each of your customers is different you’ll soon discover the most appropriate way to reach out to each of them. As a result your activities will be more effective and you’ll get more done and ultimately sell more.  
  3. Try try try again… One way to force yourself out of your comfort zone is to not just steer into the fear but to try it over and over again until you feel comfortable. Sometimes you just have to accept that it’s going to be scary and it may take time but if you trust the process eventually it won’t be something you’re afraid.

Here are a few more ways you can help conquer your fears:

  • Get help from friends, coworkers
  • Follow a recipe, find others who have gotten over similar fears and follow their lead
  • Stay positive, you’d be amazed at just how important it is to have the right attitude when breaking beyond your comfort zone
  • Focus on others as your motivation. Look at the success others are having and let that fuel you to get beyond what’s holding you back
  • Be willing to pivot, while I do stress, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again you also need to realize that if you’re not getting any closer to breaking through your fear you may need to try something different before you give up all together

I hope these tips help, while there is no way to shortcut to getting over any fear I guarantee if you take your time and put in the effort it will be worth it and you may even surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.

For more tips follow my Twitter @DanSaso or join my personal network by connecting with me on LinkedIn

My 14-Day SDR Onboarding Plan

Available for download here

This plan is designed to help Sales Development reps hit and exceed quota by giving them an immediate path to success.

  • Product
  • Process
  • People 
  • Proficiency

#1 Product knowledge –  Seek to fully understand how your product integrates into the lives of your customers.  This will help you articulate why your product is worth your customer’s time

  • Problems your product solves 
  • How is your company positioning your product
  • What are the features and benefits 
  • Pricing structure
  • How your product fits into the life of your customer 

Search for the above by using the following

  • Industry articles
  • Company blogs
  • Customer case studies
  • Company press releases
  • Social media profiles of people in your industry
  • Podcasts

#2 People – Get to know who are you selling to and why.  The buyer persona matters because it will help your outreach to be more relevant.  The better you are at determining who you’re reaching out to and why the faster you can start setting meetings.

  • What titles do they hold
  • What is their role and responsibilities
  • What are their typical pain points
  • How do they interact with your product or products similar to yours

What the following places to find this information

  • Company case studies
  • Competitor case studies
  • LinkedIn
  • Industry events / conferences 

#3  Process – Includes everything your job entails, all of your day-to-day activities and the tools you can use to be successful.  Consider the following

  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Content curation
  • Content creation
  • Outreach campaigns
  • Role playing
  • Negotiations 
  • Objection handling
  • Customer service

Some of my favorite tools and software are the following

  • Trello – Project management
  • Evernote – Note taking
  • Mailtester – To test email validity
  • Nudge.ai –  Uncover accounts, create prospect lists and account mapping, gain valuable insight into the strength of relationships with customers
  • LinkedIn / Sales Navigator – Fantastic for prospecting
  • Twitter, and other social networks can a goldmine of real time conversations. Inject yourself into the conversation your customers are already having
  • Pocket Save and share your favorite content
  • Feedly – Quickly curate written content from top producers
  • Time Blocking – Become more efficient and effective in your day-to-day activities 

#4 Proficiency – Integrate everything above into a cohesive, repeatable, effective process. Repetition is key

  • Clarify your mission – how do you approach your prospects
  • Determine the goals you can hold yourself accountable to (activity per day, per month, # of meetings generated)Be creative in  your approach to Sales and marketingSell to your customers needsFollow through. Goals focus your attention and help to increase performance 
  • Customer service
  • Follow through – warm handoff
  • Probing questions
  • Listening skills and note taking
  • The basics – prospecting, fact finding, presentation skills
  • Story telling
  • Maximizing your time

Map for SDR onboarding success – Initial 14 days 


Week 1Week 2
MondayCompanyOnboardingMeet the teamLearn the cultureProcessOverview of sales processCold call trainingRole Play cold calls
TuesdayProductAttend 2 AE demosRead through Customer case studiesProspectListen in on customer support callsResearch training (prospecting, case studies, must have bookmarks for your success)
WednesdayProductAttend 2 AE demosWatch product videosProficiencyCreate list of 200 prospectsPractice call cadence and lead handoff
ThursdayProductAttend 2 AE demosAttend 1 SE demoRead through Company blog and support siteShadow SDR callProficiencyCall script overviewVoicemail trainingBrush-off training / objection handlingCold call role play
FridayProductAttend 2 AE demosRead through Customer case studies
ProficiencyTrainingCRM Report training

If your organization would benefit from reading this please share it. For additional sales tips and tactics follow my Twitter and consider adding me to your professional network on LinkedIn.