For the past 8 weeks, HubSpot Drill Sergeant Tyre has been training me and my fellow cadets from class 702 to be the best sales ladies we can possibly be! Equipped with all the right sales tools & tactics, we are ready to partner with more perfect clients. After all, the riches lie in the niches, right Sergeant Tyre?
Before taking this class, my typical prospecting consisted of looking at an excel spreadsheet, finding a company to contact and calling, asking for the “head of marketing.” Receptionists, assistants, office managers, and/or gatekeepers were not fond of this technique, as I had experienced plenty of hang-ups and harsh words. “DON’T CALL BACK!” or “PEOPLE LIKE YOU CALL ALL THE TIME!” or “WE HAVE WORKED WITH MARKETING COMPANIES BEFORE, WE ARE NOT INTERESTED.” When trying to sell to people that are not ready, you are bound to get irritable, tired out responses. I was defeated, frustrated, and found little to no success with my sales approach.
And then success – inbound sales marched onto the battlefield. What is inbound sales? In a nutshell, inbound sales is smarketing for 2018 and beyond. Inbound is all about generating interest online with helpful content that builds trust and boosts confidence. When I started to do more research on the methodology, I was intrigued. Obviously, this technique worked, because I myself had been convinced to buy through this method. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to find out how I could be helpful, supportive, and friendly, while still closing deals and making a dollar or two. So, I studied, received my inbound sales certification through HubSpot, and decided to join the Sales Training Bootcamp class.
Initiate boot camp! Dan and I had our first conversation about the class and I was automatically drawn in by his energy. He’s cracking jokes, asking me about Kansas, learning about my hobbies and interests – building rapport like a good Lion does. Immediately he started positioning questions, “Hayley, why do you want to be in this class?” I explained my terrible technique of cold calling and how I hadn’t been successful in the past, but maybe with the proper training, I could be a rockstar. Turns out, this explanation was more common than I expected. “Hayley the yogini lion, you are in the right place,” Dan assured me, and I was ecstatic to get started with boot camp.
I could write all day about this class. How it has helped, how it has opened my mind to see sales from a totally different perspective... but here’s mainly what you need to know:
In sales, how often are you told to help people? Chances are your boss is asking you how many calls you made and how many meetings you’ve lined up for the week. However, the reality is that you cannot close deals with everyone you speak with. Life just doesn’t work that way. But, you can be helpful, and those that you help will remember your sincerity. Many view sales to be pushy and aggressive - don’t live out this stereotype, please. Have conversations, build relationships, and when your lead has been nurtured, they will eventually ask you how you can help them with their business goals.
Think about the purpose of your job; what is your cause? Chances are, you’re a problem solver who puts out fires and arrests the bad guys. You turn unnoticeable brands into well-known, trusted organizations. You transform the bad into the good, or in our experience, traditional marketing into inbound marketing andsales.
The best piece of advice Sergeant Tyre gave us was to PAUSE, paws, and more pause… then follow up with smart questions. Remember, as inbound sales reps, we are helpful. Listen to what your prospect is saying and pause. If a prospect starts telling you areas that are lacking focus, pause, and then continue with, “what else?” It’s important to see if the buyer is a good fit for your agency and if your agency is a good fit for that particular buyer. Let them talk, let them share their journey, and then position the conversation to move forward. Ultimately, you are the driver.
Whether you are trying to establish a relationship, having an exploratory call, or closing a deal, consider the timing for the purpose of execution. If the climax happened at the beginning of a movie, would it be as impactful? Would it make sense? The same rule applies to sales calls. Asking questions like, “how big is your marketing budget?” is not ideal for the first interaction. This information is sensitive and you may come across as invasive, which turns people away. However, if you ask your prospect “do you, or have you in the past, worked with a growth agency before?” you may get a conversation started. “What’s a growth agency?” some may say. Well, Sally Mae, I’m glad you asked…
Great timing only comes from great practice. If you choose to take this course, Dan will assign you a new partner each week. That partner will help you roleplay, preparing you with skills to approach some of the most intimidating prospects imaginable. I was able to collaborate with a spectrum of experience, anywhere from executive level to beginner. The women in 702 served as knowledge banks and cheerleaders - this resource is priceless and helped me overcome many sales struggles! So just remember: practice with your lions makes paper.
Like Nike… well, you already know where this is going. Create action and ignite innovation! Every person you talk to, you can help, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call. If Sally Mae looks like a sweet gal on LinkedIn, call her. Maybe you could help order flowers for her daughter's graduation, or maybe you can talk to her about an inbound marketing program that will help grow her company. Maybe she's been thinking about strategy but loses track of time throughout the day to have a conversation. The answer remains unknown unless you finally start doing it.
All in all, I would recommend this class to anyone who’s looking to get into sales, currently in sales, or has served as a sales rep for many years. A technological evolution is taking place and consumers are educated like never before. Prepare for the future and learn more about the changes to come by taking the Pipeline Generation Boot Camp, presented by the one and only, HubSpot!