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Called "The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley"...discover the sales specialization system and outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce.com, almost doubling their enterprise growth...with zero cold calls. This is NOT just another book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales Called "The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley"...discover the sales specialization system and outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce.com, almost doubling their enterprise growth...with zero cold calls. This is NOT just another book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales system for CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales VPs to help you build a sales machine. What does it take for your sales team to generate as many highly-qualified new leads as you want, create predictable revenue, and meet your financial goals without your constant focus and attention? Predictable Revenue has the answers!


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Called "The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley"...discover the sales specialization system and outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce.com, almost doubling their enterprise growth...with zero cold calls. This is NOT just another book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales Called "The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley"...discover the sales specialization system and outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce.com, almost doubling their enterprise growth...with zero cold calls. This is NOT just another book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales system for CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales VPs to help you build a sales machine. What does it take for your sales team to generate as many highly-qualified new leads as you want, create predictable revenue, and meet your financial goals without your constant focus and attention? Predictable Revenue has the answers!

30 review for Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com

  1. 4 out of 5

    Niniane Wang

    There were only two points in this book, which could have been written in half a page: 1. Create a group of people sourcing for leads, separate from the people closing the deal. 2. When emailing people, use a gimmicky trick of asking them to forward your email to the correct person.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Ugh. There were a couple decent insights here, but it was entirely too long (at 6h as an audiobook) and too obnoxious. I hate business books which would be better presented as a 5m talk or 1-3 page document. The essential information: specialize your sales team and separate out the new-leads prospecting ("SDR") from the rest of your sales team (AE, CSM, MRR). While it is fairly obvious that one might separate this out from account execs, separating it out from market response reps (who deal with Ugh. There were a couple decent insights here, but it was entirely too long (at 6h as an audiobook) and too obnoxious. I hate business books which would be better presented as a 5m talk or 1-3 page document. The essential information: specialize your sales team and separate out the new-leads prospecting ("SDR") from the rest of your sales team (AE, CSM, MRR). While it is fairly obvious that one might separate this out from account execs, separating it out from market response reps (who deal with inbound leads) is less obvious. Apparently at Salesforce.com this was validated experimentally. The second piece is: have your SDRs do prospecting in a way other than making literal cold calls on the telephone. In 2016 I don't think anyone real actually picks up unsolicited phone calls, so this is obvious. Other than that, the biggest insight from the book is: if you have a narrator of a different gender, you're stuck with either having her say "I" meaning "you", or referring to you in the third person a lot, which makes you seem like a pompous tool. Warning: most of the book is an advertisement for other services this guy sells (sales consulting), and extensive references to the website. Also, it should be obvious, but this sales process only works for products in the $1k to 100k LTV range. If you try it with cheaper products you burn too much money. If you try it with genuinely high value products, you'll piss off/lose the customer. It works for salesforce.com SMB/mid-market size. Probably wouldn't bother reading/listening to this; just accept that sales team specialization is important. Maybe the book was groundbreaking when written (which was Some Time ago, given repeated references to "BlackBerry-sized emails")

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Jennings

    Predictable Revenue is one of the best kept secrets in business literature. I don't give five star reviews often, especially for business books, but this book earns it. The authors understand the real challenges marketers and sales executives face and articulate proven solutions eloquently. As much as I would love to tell the world about this book, I am struggling with the idea of sharing because I feel like I'll be giving away a huge competitive advantage. Consider this is my feeble attempt to Predictable Revenue is one of the best kept secrets in business literature. I don't give five star reviews often, especially for business books, but this book earns it. The authors understand the real challenges marketers and sales executives face and articulate proven solutions eloquently. As much as I would love to tell the world about this book, I am struggling with the idea of sharing because I feel like I'll be giving away a huge competitive advantage. Consider this is my feeble attempt to say thank you to Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Oleg Dats

    I have built a sales department based on this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luka

    Awesome book. Seriously.

  6. 4 out of 5

    GoldGato

    If you manage a large sales force or if you run a small business, this book should be able to help improve sales prospecting. It would help if you use systems, such as a database for sales and marketing, but even if you are self-employed and have to sell on your own to expand your business, you can gain some new thoughts here. Prior to the new century, the average sales rep kept track of prospecting via a manual process of index cards and notebooks, showing the name of a potential client includin If you manage a large sales force or if you run a small business, this book should be able to help improve sales prospecting. It would help if you use systems, such as a database for sales and marketing, but even if you are self-employed and have to sell on your own to expand your business, you can gain some new thoughts here. Prior to the new century, the average sales rep kept track of prospecting via a manual process of index cards and notebooks, showing the name of a potential client including such important data as phone number, address, needs, and personal information. Then SalesForce came along in the late 1990s. Originally used as an online Tickler System for sales, it has since expanded into its own industry, turning the entire CRM (Customer Relationship Management) process on its head. Now it's difficult to imagine any business operating without SalesForce as part of the selling flow. In this book, Aaron Ross, who helped grow the revenue for SFDC (salesforce.com) exponentially, provides a clear explanation of how he and his team accomplished that while teaching the reader some very good tips and tricks. Eschewing the old world concept of cold-calling a Lead in the hopes of eventually getting a sale, Ross takes us through a more holistic approach, by using warm marketing to reach the prospective client. There are helpful suggestions for re-evaluating the sales funnel and sales pipeline while also showing the main metrics to be tracked. I live and breathe within SalesForce, so the book was easy to read. But given the expense of SalesForce for smaller businesses, the book can still be used as a clear explanation to tackle the always needed task of selling to new clients. The idea is to triple your revenue and to do so predictably. That is, if you have a firmly established sales hunting system, you can more reliably predict future bookings and have fun doing it. Book Season = Year Round (B2B, B2C, C2C)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Curtismchale

    We all want predictable revenue right? We want to know that if we get 5 qualified leads we can turn 2 of those in to paying customers that are worth $XX over time. We want to have a process to take leads and qualify them for our business to move them down that sales funnel. If that’s what you’re looking for then this is a decent book to read. I say decent because it regularly feels like a ‘sales’ book for Salesforce.com (which was where this sales process was developed though the author is no long We all want predictable revenue right? We want to know that if we get 5 qualified leads we can turn 2 of those in to paying customers that are worth $XX over time. We want to have a process to take leads and qualify them for our business to move them down that sales funnel. If that’s what you’re looking for then this is a decent book to read. I say decent because it regularly feels like a ‘sales’ book for Salesforce.com (which was where this sales process was developed though the author is no longer employed there). My favourite points were around how to nurture and qualify leads. It’s important not to just ABC (always be selling) and to ruthlessly qualify the leads that come in. You don’t have 50 ‘best’ leads you have 5 maybe 10 that you should be working on the rest are a waste of your time. I feel that this book is better for larger organizations that have a dedicated sales team. Smaller business like mine (which is just me) can benefit from the talk of process and cutting leads so you only focus on the ‘best’ ones, but are going to struggle with parts of it since a 1 person business by definition struggles with having many duties divided up on one person.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hoa Tran

    This book was recommended by my dear manager and I could see how my company is applying Salesforce's sales process. Some take-away notes: - Specialize each position to get the best results. Typical sales team should compound: inside SDR, outside SDR, Account Executive, CSM. - Measure by results, not by quantity. Be specific with number. For ex: conversion rate, number of qualified leads, number of bookings/ contract. - Inside SDR are a very important role. Though it's a very first touch point, the m This book was recommended by my dear manager and I could see how my company is applying Salesforce's sales process. Some take-away notes: - Specialize each position to get the best results. Typical sales team should compound: inside SDR, outside SDR, Account Executive, CSM. - Measure by results, not by quantity. Be specific with number. For ex: conversion rate, number of qualified leads, number of bookings/ contract. - Inside SDR are a very important role. Though it's a very first touch point, the more info they can get, the shorten life cycle it is. Sweet and short email works ways better than a mass lengthy one. Also, inside SDR should develop a bant scores for each prospect to support Account Executives assess which one will become leads and treat leads differently based on the score. - The company should develop a learning cycle for sales, giving them chances to learn from each other and see their personal career path. - When the team gets bigger than 10, it's advised to build team lead and rotate their roles sometimes so everyone can learn from the others. - Care about your team member. Care about your core customers. Closing a deal is just a very first step. Supporting them to be successful with the solution you sell to them is what matters. -- 4.5 stars, minus 0.5 star for the authors' lengthy explanation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne

    Believe me, this is not a sales book that promises you and misleads you with party tricks like "the 10 secrets to sell more" and all that jazz. Predictable Revenue is a guide on how to create killer sales teams with proven tactics that come from no other than the mastermind of sales at SalesForce. Reading this book you really understand why certain roles are crucial in the sales team of a company (a startup, a big corporation or even your own small business) and why lines have to be drawn and ta Believe me, this is not a sales book that promises you and misleads you with party tricks like "the 10 secrets to sell more" and all that jazz. Predictable Revenue is a guide on how to create killer sales teams with proven tactics that come from no other than the mastermind of sales at SalesForce. Reading this book you really understand why certain roles are crucial in the sales team of a company (a startup, a big corporation or even your own small business) and why lines have to be drawn and tasks must be assigned. Great read, motivating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura Vana

    One of the best sales books I've ever read. Aaron offers very actionable strategies and provides a good overview how a complete sales process should work in order the revenue to be predictable. This book is a must read for everyone in sales- from the SDR-s to the CEO-s.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    Author makes several good points about how to create a sales organization and what it takes to generate predictable revenue. Unfortunately, the book is muddled by repetitiveness, poor editing, unreadable diagrams, and the fact that the whole thing reads like an ad for Salesforce.com.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Claudio

    An essential book about sales. If your startup is expanding, you are growing but you need more control over your lead generation and how to reorganize the sales team, this is the book for you. I enjoyed every page, read it in less than a week and I already implemented several things. I loved how tracking got narrowed down to - new leads this month - new opportunities this month - conversion rate lead to opportunity - conversion rate opportunity to customer And the all discussion about Account Executives An essential book about sales. If your startup is expanding, you are growing but you need more control over your lead generation and how to reorganize the sales team, this is the book for you. I enjoyed every page, read it in less than a week and I already implemented several things. I loved how tracking got narrowed down to - new leads this month - new opportunities this month - conversion rate lead to opportunity - conversion rate opportunity to customer And the all discussion about Account Executives (Sales) being separated from SDR (outbound) and MMR

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michal Sventek

    It's an interesting look inside the world of sales and an origin story for Sales Development. Authors explain the need + the perks of such approach in a simple way, showing ways how to do it and why you should've considered it a long time ago. Cold Calling 1.0 is dead. Long live Cold Calling 2.0 :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allyson Clark

    Definitely dated but still has a lot of good advice

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cole Schoolland

    PR could not have come at a more appropriate time for my company or my career. For the last 18 months we have been mired in exactly the kinds of poor, old-school decision-making common of companies at our stage. When I suggested different ways of doing thing, I was told to sit down and take responsibility for my "poor performance" as a salesperson. My "poor performance" had me seriously re-considering my career choices. PR put voice to the frustrations we faced as a company, and credence to the PR could not have come at a more appropriate time for my company or my career. For the last 18 months we have been mired in exactly the kinds of poor, old-school decision-making common of companies at our stage. When I suggested different ways of doing thing, I was told to sit down and take responsibility for my "poor performance" as a salesperson. My "poor performance" had me seriously re-considering my career choices. PR put voice to the frustrations we faced as a company, and credence to the solutions we needed. The days of Glengarry Glen Ross are all but dead as the modern salesperson can work smarter instead of harder. This read is a quick must for anyone trying to put together a sales/marketing team for SaaS enterprise endeavors.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David J. Bradley

    I loved this book. Read it cover to cover and took notes (13-pages worth, including some diagrams)! Awesome book for sales team leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs. Most sales books are on how to get the sale, but this is the much more vital sales process. I love how Aaron breaks down every aspect, like what the main sales roles are and when to break off new roles, how to create self-managing weekly meetings and how they can inspire employees to be mini-CEOs and so on. Definitely a worthwhile re I loved this book. Read it cover to cover and took notes (13-pages worth, including some diagrams)! Awesome book for sales team leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs. Most sales books are on how to get the sale, but this is the much more vital sales process. I love how Aaron breaks down every aspect, like what the main sales roles are and when to break off new roles, how to create self-managing weekly meetings and how they can inspire employees to be mini-CEOs and so on. Definitely a worthwhile read for businesses of all sizes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Branimir

    This is one of the best biz books I have read, and it clearly outlines a tested process. What I liked best is that it provides a good summary of the different steps and goes into just enough details. Aaron Ross focuses on best practises to minimize sales or business effort; improve focus; put a clear process (for sales or any part of the business) at place and automate tasks, where possible. I recommend the book to anyone that looks for a way to systematically apply improvements to his/her busines This is one of the best biz books I have read, and it clearly outlines a tested process. What I liked best is that it provides a good summary of the different steps and goes into just enough details. Aaron Ross focuses on best practises to minimize sales or business effort; improve focus; put a clear process (for sales or any part of the business) at place and automate tasks, where possible. I recommend the book to anyone that looks for a way to systematically apply improvements to his/her business or unit of operations. Of course, the main topic is sales :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Iurii Znak

    Another disappointment in the business literature. If you want predictable revenue and you need to grow your business, you need... wait for it... LEADS! Oh, really? Two things new from this book: - a different way of defying the leads - seeds, nets, spears; - separation on the sales team (proposed to separate roles managing inbound leads). Is it worth your 6h of time? Well, you decide.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben Cappellacci

    An excellent foundation to understanding key elements of sales strategy. The book cleanly breaks down sales concepts with concrete examples and useful illustrations. Useful for start up people and company people alike.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michał Korba

    Very good book but in 2018 not accurate to current trends

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Suitor

    Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross Imagine that I’m a corporate spy, and I managed to hack into the networks of one of the most innovative and well known technology companies on the planet. And there, sitting on the server, was a document titled “$100 million in 3 years”. I open the document, and the first sentence I read is… CONFIDENTIAL: This is the exact sales process we used in the last 3 years to grow our outbound sales process from $0 to over $100 million in annual revenue in less than 3 year Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross Imagine that I’m a corporate spy, and I managed to hack into the networks of one of the most innovative and well known technology companies on the planet. And there, sitting on the server, was a document titled “$100 million in 3 years”. I open the document, and the first sentence I read is… CONFIDENTIAL: This is the exact sales process we used in the last 3 years to grow our outbound sales process from $0 to over $100 million in annual revenue in less than 3 years. Would you want a copy of that document? If you have anything to do with sales or growing a business, I’m guessing that the answer is “YES!”. That company, by the way, is Salesforce.com. And luckily for us, that document wasn’t obtained through corporate espionage - it is a book written by Aaron Ross to show us exactly how he created and launched the outbound sales process at the company. And yes, he really did grow it from $0 to $100 million in a few short years. In the beginning of the book he states that building a “sales machine” that creates ongoing, predictable revenue takes three things: (1) predictable lead generation, (2) a sales development team that connects marketing and sales, and (3) consistent sales systems. However, as he points out, predictable lead generation is the most important thing for creating predictable revenue, so that’s where we are going to focus our time. That also comes with the added bonus that you can implement this portion of his system whether you are a large multi-billion dollar company, or a 1 person startup. How do we know that? Because this is the portion of the plan that Aaron first executed on his own at Salesforce.com. So buckle up - your very own sales rocket is about to launch. Cold Calling 1.0 vs Cold Calling 2.0 At the core of Ross’ predictable revenue strategy is something he calls Cold Calling 2.0. Ross defines cold calling as “calling someone who doesn’t know you and who isn’t expecting your call.” Cold Calling 2.0, on the other hand, means prospecting into cold accounts without ever making any cold calls. With this method, you are expected to qualify accounts and contacts before calling, and research rather than sell. There are 5 steps in the process, and we’ll go through them together one-by-one. Remember, this is a process that only works if you follow all of the steps. So with that in mind, let’s start with the most important step… Step #1 - get clear on your ideal customer profile The first thing you need to do in order to create your own predictable revenue machine is to get clear on your ideal customer profile. This is going to help you maximize your productivity and your sales by finding great prospects more easily through smart targeting, and disqualifying poor prospects more quickly. If you don’t yet know exactly who to be selling to, you should be thinking about where you have the highest likelihood of winning business, and where you have the highest potential for generating revenue. You will need to be clear on which criteria matter most to your business, but here are some sample criteria to get your creative juices flowing: how many employees does your target company have? what industries are they in? what geographies are they in? what is their sales model? how much money per month do they spend on what your company sells? what specific products/services are they using today? what is the financial status of the company - are they growing and profitable? what values do the people you most want to deal with have? what is the exact role/title of the person you need to reach in that company in order to close a sale? what are the core challenges the company you are trying to sell to faces regularly? Ross suggests that you can have more than one “ideal customer”, but you should limit yourself to 1-5 types of profiles. Your criteria will also be changing as you go through this process and learn more about what’s working for you and what isn’t, so remember to keep refreshing this list regularly. Once you have figured out your ideal customer profile, it’s time to move on to step #2. Step #2 - building your list of targets The second step in the process is to build your list of targets. As Ross points out, building marketing lists is beyond the scope of his book. However, the general idea is that you should use one of the more popular list services, like Salesforce’s Data.com, OneSource, Hoovers, InsideView or ZoomInfo. The good news is that most of you have probably already started to build an internal marketing list, and that can provide you with your start before you dive into paid services. Just ensure that before you move to step #3 that you have a list of people that fit the criteria you figured out in step #1. Once you have that covered, let’s move on. Step #3 - run outbound email campaigns So this is the point where some of you say “Wait a minute! You want me to email a list of people that I bought from a list service? Isn’t that spam? I read an article that said it was definitely spam. I’m not spamming people. No way.” It’s important at this point to get clear on the ground rules. And by ground rules, I mean the law. As of the date of this writing, you are allowed to send unsolicited email messages to companies in the United States that are not “opt-in” as long as you follow the rules set out by the FTC, which you can find here: http://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/busine... The most important ones are: 1. The subject and header must not be misleading. 2. You must have a valid physical address in your email. 3. You must include a way to opt-out from future communications. It is important to note that if any of your ideal customers are in Canada, you cannot use this strategy because of the recently enacted Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which prohibits the sending of commercial messages to people who have not expressly provided their consent. Assuming you have confirmed that you are legally allowed to send unsolicited email messages, you’ll want to come to grips with one fact and then determine whether or not you want to employ this strategy. That fact is…this strategy works, and it will grow your business. When you are crafting your email, there are a few guidelines to follow. The goal of your email should be one of the following: (a) to get a referral to the person you should be talking to in that organization, or (b) to figure out the best day/time to have a conversation. The emails should look as if they are a single email that came from a salesperson - which means they should be text based. They should be easy to read and respond to on a mobile device. They should be short. This is not the time or place for your elevator pitch. Here is a sample outreach email crafted by Marylou Tyler, the CEO of Predictable Revenue (the consultancy created to implement the strategies outlined in the book): Subject: Can you point me in the right direction? Email body: [firstname], I'm sorry to trouble you. Would you be so kind as to tell me who is responsible for [insert your biggest pain point here that resonates with your ideal customer; OR insert function like “sales” or “recruiting”] and how I might get in touch with them? Thank you, Marylou Tyler Chief Conversation Starter XYZ Company 1234 Main Street Des Moines, IA 50309 714-969-6213 Our advice? Start with that template and tweak as you learn more about who responds, and who doesn’t. If you need some motivation, this is the exact template that Marylou used to triple her lead generation numbers in 90 days. You should be sending out between 50-100 of these targeted emails per day, with a goal of having 5-10 responses per day, including negative responses. In the book, Ross suggests that you use a mass email tool like that found found in Salesforce.com (or Mailchimp, or Infusionsoft, etc). However, one of the Predictable Revenue case studies was from a company called Crunched, who found better results by outsourcing the sending of these emails to a remote assistant in the Philippines who sent the emails one at a time. Two more things before we send you on to step #4. First, you are most likely to get a hold of the people you want to reach if you send your emails before 9am or after 5pm. This makes sense, because those people are most likely in meetings most of the day, and most likely won’t respond to your email then, and might be inclined to just delete it. Second, you should also avoid sending the emails on Monday and Friday. Step #4 - have the “discovery call” So you got through to the person you wanted to reach, and they’ve agreed to a quick call to see if there’s a fit between what you provide and what they need. Congratulations! When you are having the discovery call, the goal is not to sell. The goal is to get them talking about their business and to listen. Ross suggests that if you are talking more than 30% of the time, you are not asking the right questions. Remember, this call is to determine whether or not there is a fit, so you are really just on a fact-finding mission to understand your prospect’s business at this point. Here are some of the questions you should be asking: How are your ____ teams/functions organized? How does your ___ process work today? What systems are your teams using today? How long has the system been in place? What are your challenges now? What would an ideal situation look like to you? How will your decision-making process work? What is the probability of a project happening this year? The first thing you are doing is qualifying whether or not the prospect has any real pain, and whether or not they are likely to act on it relatively soon. If they don’t have any pain, or aren’t likely to act on it soon, it’s better to know now so you can move on to accounts that are a better fit. The second thing you are doing is getting the prospect to build the case for your product/service himself. Understanding the exact words your prospect is using to describe their challenges is like gold when it comes to closing the deal. Finally, Ross suggests that if your prospect is interested, but they need to convince more people on the team, then you should turn your attention to making this person a Champion who can do the selling for you. If you give them what they need in order to be successful (including time) and are persistent (but respectful), you’ll be building up the trust you need to close the sale. I’ve seen this type of scenario in action personally, and it’s always best to have somebody “on the inside” to be doing the selling. Step #5 - Pass the Baton The last step in the prospecting portion of the Predictable Revenue method of selling is to pass the baton over to the account executive to close. Like we mentioned earlier, if you are in a smaller company, this person is still likely to be you, so there is no real hand-off. But the principles are important to consider, even if you are running the entire process by yourself. There is one thing that account executives hate - unqualified leads. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve got a live one on the line, only to realize after putting in some work that it’s actually an old tire that fell of the side of a boat. Ross suggests that the compensation plan be set up for the prospecting rep so that very specific criteria need to be met before it can be counted as a lead. This same rigorous process should be applied even if you are a one-man-show. Only continue to pursue leads that meet the pre-selected criteria you have set. It always hurts a little letting one off the line, but you are better off focussing your energies where you are more likely to be successful. Conclusion If you follow the process laid out in the book, it could be a game changer for you. There are plenty of case studies you can read on Ross’ website - www.predictablerevenue.com, and I urge you to consider buying and reading the entire book if you plan on implementing the full system in your business.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Reid

    Key Concepts Predictable Lead Generation - most important thing for creating predictable revenue. Consistency and Repeatability = Reliable Profitability . Create a repeatable lead-generating program. Self-Managing Systems- Your sales results are only as scalable to the extent the CEO and executives are designed out of the process. The more a sales team can manage itself, the more the VP Sales can focus on developing the “important, not urgent” aspects of the team, such as talent, culture and vision Key Concepts Predictable Lead Generation - most important thing for creating predictable revenue. Consistency and Repeatability = Reliable Profitability . Create a repeatable lead-generating program. Self-Managing Systems- Your sales results are only as scalable to the extent the CEO and executives are designed out of the process. The more a sales team can manage itself, the more the VP Sales can focus on developing the “important, not urgent” aspects of the team, such as talent, culture and vision, rather than fighting fires or spending time on daily, “unimportant but urgent” tasks. Clear Division of roles and goals - see Parts of the Team. Dedicated personnel. Results-based compensation Good use of available resources - Make Your Lack Of Money An Advantage. Lack of money is a common excuse for not being creative. There is ALWAYS a way to move forward, even without money. Cold Calling 2.0: sending mass emails to high level executives to ask for referrals to the best person in their organization for a first conversation. Use a central CRM software and make it 100% mandatory, no excuses. If it’s not in the CRM it does not exist. Ensure all staff and sales have access to customer accounts. Fatal Mistake: Assuming Channels Will Do The Selling For You (they are a way to begin a conversation with a buyer and fulfill physical goods. we need to be doing the selling). Definitions: Prospect: A potential un-contacted customer Lead: interested prospect Opportunity: Have been qualified by opting into something Parts of the Team Ensure a common language, common definitions, for "prospects," “leads”, etc. so everyone knows where their responsibilities clearly begin and end. Be pipeline-aware. Don’t skimp on training, equipping or developing them. Set high expectations of their ongoing skills development. The best long-term source of salespeople is to grow and develop your own. Focus your highest value people on the low-volume but high-value activities (building relationships at key accounts), and specialize other roles and sales reps to take over low-value yet high-volume activities (prospecting into untargeted cold accounts). A rule of thumb is that for every 400 leads per month that require human attention, a company needs one Market Response Representative. 1) Outbound - Focuses 100% on prospecting for leads. Filters out poor leads and hands off to #2. For companies selling high-value products or services, the most predictable source of leads (whether or not it’s the largest source) can be outbound sales prospecting. It is vital that you have a simple and clear process to pass new leads smoothly from your dedicated prospectors to your quota-carrying Account Executives. Don’t let anyone drop the baton! 2) Inbound - People who find you. Filters out poor leads and hands off to #2. 3) Closers - Their job to take warm leads from #1, #2 and convert into a sale. 4) Maintainers - Account Management/Customer Success. After the sale, the closer hands off to an account rep who will be their ongoing contact for the duration of their membership. Hold the hands of your first 50 customers; give them lots of love. Someone needs to be dedicated to making customers successful—and that is NOT the salesperson! Prospecting Lead Generation, Methods & Tradeoffs Trial-and-error (requires patience, experimentation, money) **Marketing through teaching - (takes lots of time to build predictable momentum) *we have this momentum. Word-of-mouth (the highest value lead generation source, but hardest to influence). *we have this to some degree Cold Calling 2.0: By far the most predictable and controllable, takes focus and expertise to do it well. Partner ecosystem (very high value, very long time-to-results). PR (It’s great when, once in awhile, it generates actual results) At least one person 100% dedicated to prospecting (or you intend to have this person). Yes, you can start part-time, but it will be hard to get significant results until you have someone totally **A single full-time outbound rep can generate 10-20 excellent leads per month. *1 conversion per month could pay for a full time salary. Conversion rate here is key; as long as it’s above 10% we are probably doing very well. That would imply a truly addressable market of about 500-1000 stores, more than enough to make everyone very wealthy. pay attention to pipeline cycle lengths Misc / Personal During the “death march” while the company died, I spent too much time alone outside of work. I became a hermit--exactly the wrong thing to do when I needed community the most. Has pride ever stopped you from doing something important for your happiness or future? “Failure” is just a judgment on an experience. What are your biggest or most recent failures? What about them can you be grateful for? Can you anticipate how you will benefit by getting through your current challenges? Everything begins with the CEO. How To Contact The Right people and who they are "If I could find the right person, I could usually have a productive business conversation with them”. Who To Contact? What would be the easiest place to prove success? Build fast wins early and then add features over time. Define what companies are the most similar to your top 5-10% of your customers. **Are your customers worth more than $5,000 to you? Is LTV > $10k?. **yes. one closed yearly sale is $4k alone, so we’d have to retain customers for 2-3 years, which is surely viable. Prospecting Establish and close a prospect on a next step. **1 in 4 prospects will have had a strong opinion on the next step they wanted to take. **try the scanner, try the data feed When you begin a call with “Did I catch you at a bad time?” you’re asking permission to chat and putting them at ease; they feel less defensive or violated. It’s much better than “Is this a good time?” (It’s never a good time for busy people). -Who is the best point of contact for ____ ? -When is the best day/time for a quick discussion regarding _____ ? Focus entirely on their business, lead the conversation and ask open questions. Silent 70%. “What’s not working as well is it should?” Then connect their problem to your solution. **If we could only solve 1-3 things with this trial, what would they be? **poor price updating methods, better inventory experience with scanner Give up quickly on poor prospects, be persistent with ideal ones. Are there any other merchants you know who might be interested in this? Email Composition Contents: Should read like a single email from a salesperson. Short, phone-friendly, to-the-point. All or mostly text. How Often: Sent in small daily batches, not in one big burst. Reps can’t handle more than about 10 replies per day without screwing up. Re-contact people who opened but didn’t act. When: Send the messages either before 9am or after 5pm, and avoid Mondays and Fridays. (Sundays are okay.) How To Respond: Be methodical, log them and keep them organized. create standard email. when an email address bounces, attempt to relocate the person and add them to a later batch. otherwise mark as “inactive” or just delete. if someone opens an email multiple times but has not acted, reach out to them. Be persistent in following up until you get a firm no. **Seeds - organic / social / so - highly effective, large upfront costs / demands. **we got this Nets - Outbound Marketing. Put stuff out there and see who responds. Spears - targeted outbound efforts on high-quality prospects. Building The Case Quoting Prices: Don’t give it to them until you know they want it. Tell them you’d be happy to, and to do that, you’d need to set up a scoping call with them and the key people, to ensure the proposal is accurate and meets their needs. If you and the customer create a joint vision around how your company will make them successful, and they believe you, then the close becomes just a logical step in the progression to achieve that dream. You can remove the artificiality of “closing,” and make it feel natural. Do Your Best To Understand The Prospect’s True Business Issues Before You Begin. Sell “past the close” to the prospect's own vision of their success—however they define it. Help them define it for themselves. Success is not when your service is launched; it's when your service is successfully impacting the customer's business, such as when your software is adopted (not just deployed). Free Trials: Agree With The Prospect On Where The Free Trial Fits In Their Buying Process (Or Your Selling Process). A free trial is just one part of a longer (but hopefully not too much longer!) sales or buying cycle. Define With The Client What A “Successful Trial” Means. If the trial is successful, then what? Answer that question before you begin the trial. Create Milestones For The Trial. Simplify The Trial Process. Give up trying to control how long someone takes to move forward. You’ll have to accept that most prospects who initially sign up for a blog, trial or demo just won’t be ready to do anything. Cyclical Markets: What kinds of patterns or challenges or seasonalities do they live with that you can work around, rather than fight against? "Initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” - Goethe

  23. 4 out of 5

    Peter Keller

    The thrust of this book is on building a sales team and how to get out of the “hot coals” stage of sales growth: / / /\/\/\/\/ / / A B C In segment A, a company is growing because of the direct efforts of the founder. In segment C, a company is growing because of a repeatable process to grow sales (and a team is executing on this process). Segment B is the confused time while the company transitions/figures out how to move from A to C. In any case, the book is a guide to building, compensating, etc. The thrust of this book is on building a sales team and how to get out of the “hot coals” stage of sales growth: / / /\/\/\/\/ / / A B C In segment A, a company is growing because of the direct efforts of the founder. In segment C, a company is growing because of a repeatable process to grow sales (and a team is executing on this process). Segment B is the confused time while the company transitions/figures out how to move from A to C. In any case, the book is a guide to building, compensating, etc. a sales team- with a lot of background on lead qualification,etc. Full highlights follow, but if I were to quickly re-read/refresh myself on the book in the future, I would re-read Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 8. Chapter 6 on lead generation is especially valuable. CHAPTER 1: Where The $100 Million Came From background, skippable CHAPTER 2: Cold Calling 2.0, Ramp Sales Fast Without Cold Calls CHAPTER 3: Executing Cold Calling 2.0 Both of these chapters are about “cold calling 2.0” skippable- not applicable to us at this time CHAPTER 4: Prospecting Best Practices CHAPTER 5: Sales Best Practices Great chapters for our reps to read. Short, with great tips and actionable take-aways CHAPTER 6: Lead Generation and “Seeds, Nets and Spears” Great chapter. Probably skip all the Marketo “case study” stuff and focus on the rest. Great for our reps to read as well as our marketing ppl. CHAPTER 7: Seven Fatal Mistakes CEOs and Sales VPs Make skippable CHAPTER 8: Sales Machine Fundamentals Actionable insights to structure a sales team CHAPTER 9: Cultivating Your Talent A great chapter on general talent cultivation, skippable CHAPTER 10: Leadership And Management A great chapter on general management, leadership, culture, skippable CHAPTER 11: Next Steps and Resources Skippable My quick take-aways The better your lead gen is, the less dependent you are on the quality of your individual salespeople Short emails get results; long emails get ignored Salespeople fulfill demand- they do not create it Predictable revenue comes from predictable lead gen Develop your Ideal Customer profile. Define what companies are the most similar to your top 5-10% of your customers, defined as the ones likeliest to purchase for the most revenue, and develop focused target lists based on these tight criteria. A great list of pain questions: What are your greatest challenges? What keeps you up at night? What are your main frustrations? What are you afraid of? What’s most important to you? What do you spend money on? What do you really, really, REALLY want? Scheduling via email is a huge time waster. Always work to schedule your next step while you’re on the phone Since email is the primary way people communicate today, use voicemail as a tool to increase response rates from emails rather than to attempt to get people to call you back But if someone has opened your email more than once, call them

  24. 4 out of 5

    Felipe Gonçalves Marques

    The book presents its idea in a not very structured way, it looks like they did not think in the flow of the chapters. As an example, in the first chapter, the author suggest to jump to chapter 6 and 7 if you do not have sales experience – although I think chapter 8 is more adequate as introduction. Besides that, there is also some constantly promotion of Salesforce, the author company and other books. But the book does present very interesting content. It provides a nice philosophy regarding Sal The book presents its idea in a not very structured way, it looks like they did not think in the flow of the chapters. As an example, in the first chapter, the author suggest to jump to chapter 6 and 7 if you do not have sales experience – although I think chapter 8 is more adequate as introduction. Besides that, there is also some constantly promotion of Salesforce, the author company and other books. But the book does present very interesting content. It provides a nice philosophy regarding Sales: the salesperson must is try to solve the client problem and not push a product down its throat – it reminds me a little bit of Zappos customer support. It points also that the sales is a process that continues after the sale, where we must constantly check with the customer if their expectations are being satisfied. The idea of a Business Development team to do cold prospecting is also very interesting and looks very promissor. The approach of finding the right person to talk and looking for a company fit as first thing to be done is amazing, because it does not only make your team more efficient, but it also avoid wasting time of the prospect. The book also provides interesting ideas in lateral topics, such as Team Management (how to develop a self-organizing team, how to mentor and check with employees) and Tracking results (where he divides into activities, short-term results and long-term results). Even though the book is a little unstructured and self-promoting, it provides very interesting content regarding sales and other related aspects, therefore it is worth reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Max Nova

    Full review and highlights at https://books.max-nova.com/predictable-revenue/ I've been thinking a lot about how we build out our sales team at SilviaTerra. I asked a friend whose company is a few years ahead of ours if he had any relevant book recs and he immediately suggested Aaron Ross's "Predictable Revenue", calling it "The Bible" of sales. I generally don't give business books 5 stars, but this book was a revelation. As I write this review, I'm looking at these highlights and saying "well, Full review and highlights at https://books.max-nova.com/predictable-revenue/ I've been thinking a lot about how we build out our sales team at SilviaTerra. I asked a friend whose company is a few years ahead of ours if he had any relevant book recs and he immediately suggested Aaron Ross's "Predictable Revenue", calling it "The Bible" of sales. I generally don't give business books 5 stars, but this book was a revelation. As I write this review, I'm looking at these highlights and saying "well, that's sort of obvious now that I'm thinking about it that way..." but that's precisely why this is such a great book. I hadn't been thinking like this at all before I read the book and now I can't understand how I could have possibly thought anything else. The core ideas here are: Your sales team should be specialized into: * Inbound Lead Qualification * Outbound Prospecting * Account Executives * Account Management/Customer Success Sales should proceed along the following three steps: * Step 1: (15 Minutes) First Contact: “Is This A Waste Of Time?” * Step 2: (One Hour) Qualification / Discovery Call: “Is There A Fit?” * Step 3: (Two Hours) Group Working Session: “Should We Work Together?” Ross includes a bunch of tactical tips as well as thoughts on how to incentivize and manage a sales team. His book is a blueprint for how to build out a sales organization and I don't know why I haven't heard of this book until now! The highly visual, 15 page "cheat sheet" version of this book can be found on Ross's website: http://predictablerevenue.com/wp-cont...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katrina De Leon

    “Revenue, why are you always so predictable?" Said no one EVER. ‘Til this guy... Predictable revenue is persistence and common sense on speed. It’s the art of figuring out what’s working (and more importantly, what’s not working) and then systemizing that process so you get the results you want repeatedly. Any new business development initiatives require predictable revenue to accelerate growth and be primed for scalability. My supervisor recommended I read this book a few weeks ago; naturally, m “Revenue, why are you always so predictable?" Said no one EVER. ‘Til this guy... Predictable revenue is persistence and common sense on speed. It’s the art of figuring out what’s working (and more importantly, what’s not working) and then systemizing that process so you get the results you want repeatedly. Any new business development initiatives require predictable revenue to accelerate growth and be primed for scalability. My supervisor recommended I read this book a few weeks ago; naturally, my interest was piqued since this past quarter we were trying to figure out a way to systemize sales. I engulfed it in almost one sitting and recommend it for anyone interested in learning new ways of creating any type of process. The book was written by Salesforce’s Aaron Ross and MaryLou Tyler and therefore mostly discusses generating a quality pipeline by empowering your employees to be mini CEOs. Although this is written by a powerhouse company like salesforce, the awesome insists any size business can create a predictable revenue system; in fact, at the time they experimented with this process, few companies outside in the Bay Area had even heard of Salesforce.The concept is quite simple in theory; however, because of routines and habits this tends to be extremely difficult to implement on a consistent basis without being unreasonably intentional in your efforts and KPIs. Key takeaways: - This works best in a sales process where the lifetime value of a client is more than 10K. -Cold calling 2.0=no cold calling! All leads should be warm, highly targeted and fit identified criteria. No ‘spray and pray’ in prospecting. - Biggest bottleneck in getting started is FINDING the right person for each part of the process. They stress the importance of a research person, a Sales Development Representative (an SDR) and an Account Executive (an AE), with each having clearly defined and complementary roles. The best AEs shouldn’t be prospecting and most likely don’t enjoy doing it anyway. How it Works: 1 person 100% dedicated to strategic prospecting and setting meeting with the Account Executive (aka “the Closer!”). Account Executives could have a small list to focus on, but mostly should be focused on funneling the prospects through the sales process to the purchase. Once you have a substantial targeted list, send a text email to 50-100 as a rolling campaign. Should get s 8-12 percent response and from there, you should get 5-10 response per day. Sell the dream by building rapport and connecting key business problems with our solutions.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mitch

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Full disclosure, I’m an operations guy...always have been. I grabbed this on the recommendation of a co-worker. I thought it would give me some background into the sales world...which it did, so, mission accomplished. I get it, Aaron is known for his transformation at Salesforce.com, so naturally you are going to talk about it...in this case, a lot. To his credit he did qualify this, and would usually say something along the lines of “using Salesforce.com OR your sales mgmt system you use”. His r Full disclosure, I’m an operations guy...always have been. I grabbed this on the recommendation of a co-worker. I thought it would give me some background into the sales world...which it did, so, mission accomplished. I get it, Aaron is known for his transformation at Salesforce.com, so naturally you are going to talk about it...in this case, a lot. To his credit he did qualify this, and would usually say something along the lines of “using Salesforce.com OR your sales mgmt system you use”. His recommendations up until chapter 10 were usually focused around using Salesforce.com or setting up a Business Development team(which he started/managed). I see the value in both, however both points were driven home many times. Another point which I agree with he mentioned was to set specific roles for each employee, when you try to assign multiple roles it will lead to inefficiencies...not being able to give 100% to either position. I totally agree with this in general, not just in the sales world. All and all, glad I read it. It definitely gave me insight into how sales teams do and should function.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donn Lee

    Wow this is a hard review to write. I *think* it was good, and would work well for its intended audience, which would be sales managers in charge of an end to end sales process, or somebody setting up a sales development function. For me, much of what I read made me cringe, given my aversion to “sales-y” speak, which this book is FULL of. And yet, my giving it four stars is because I know that someone who was the book’s intended audience would benefit immensely. In a way, it was precisely the typ Wow this is a hard review to write. I *think* it was good, and would work well for its intended audience, which would be sales managers in charge of an end to end sales process, or somebody setting up a sales development function. For me, much of what I read made me cringe, given my aversion to “sales-y” speak, which this book is FULL of. And yet, my giving it four stars is because I know that someone who was the book’s intended audience would benefit immensely. In a way, it was precisely the type of book I was looking for as I tried to “get into the head” of the sales people whom I so often work extremely closely with (I work in Sales Ops). It’s also precisely the type of book I wish the sales people, including managers, I interact with would read and act upon. Not giving it five stars because much of the book seems anecdotal—it may work for the author, but has it worked for others? And how has it failed for others? That balanced view was missing, but to be honest it’s what I expected from a book on sales.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Ross book has transformed in one of the foundational works to understand the way that sales teams are organized in the majority of Saas. The specialization of the sales workforce has been one of the principal force behind the professionalization of the sales process in many of the top software company around. So if your company runs the popular Sales Development Representative and Account Executive tandem to address the acquisition process, you probably want to thank Ross work for that. Having s Ross book has transformed in one of the foundational works to understand the way that sales teams are organized in the majority of Saas. The specialization of the sales workforce has been one of the principal force behind the professionalization of the sales process in many of the top software company around. So if your company runs the popular Sales Development Representative and Account Executive tandem to address the acquisition process, you probably want to thank Ross work for that. Having said that, I want to note that this type of structure doesn't work with efficiency in all scenarios. Like every model, you had to look at your fundamentals and the vertical of your product to get an idea of the relevant sales process and the structure of your sales workforce to have in place. For anyone interested in knowing more about the sales process, sales roles, compensation structure, and hints to manage a sales workforce is a must-read

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eduardo

    Ross book has transformed in one of the foundational works to understand the way that sales teams are organized in the majority of Saas. The specialization of the sales workforce has been one of the principal force behind the professionalization of the sales process in many of the top software company around. So if your company runs the popular Sales Development Representative and Account Executive tandem to address the acquisition process, you probably want to thank Ross work for that. Having s Ross book has transformed in one of the foundational works to understand the way that sales teams are organized in the majority of Saas. The specialization of the sales workforce has been one of the principal force behind the professionalization of the sales process in many of the top software company around. So if your company runs the popular Sales Development Representative and Account Executive tandem to address the acquisition process, you probably want to thank Ross work for that. Having said that, I want to note that this type of structure doesn't work with efficiency in all scenarios. Like every model, you had to look at your fundamentals and the vertical of your product to get an idea of the relevant sales process and the structure of your sales workforce to have in place. For anyone interested in knowing more about the sales process, sales roles, compensation structure, and hints to manage a sales workforce is a must-read.

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