Aaron Ross – Building Outbound Sales Through Predictable Revenue

PipelineDeals sat down with Aaron Ross who is the author of Predicable Revenue, the sales bible for CEOS, founders, and sales VPS to help you build a sales machine with a proven framework.

Aaron Ross is the author of Predicable Revenue, the sales bible for CEOS, founders, and sales VPS to help you build a sales machine with a proven framework.

The idea of predictable revenue came from the fact that I wanted to have peace of mind, or what I call peace of mind revenue. As a sales manager, I didn’t want to scramble every month and stress.

    To go from organic growth to predictable growth takes a lot of work. In order to do this, you need to have a predictable way to grow as a company.

    There are 5 fatal mistakes that companies make with sales:

  1. Sales churn of 10%+ – you blame the fact that people are leaving on the people, and not on the systems. If you have more than 10% as a sales team, then the problem is with you.

    1. How much is it the people vs. your systems? – It may be both, but I don’t think companies take enough ownership of the fact that the systems could be a big part of the problem

  2. You’re afraid to pick a niche – you’re afraid to specialize because organic growth is working.

    1. Why are you afraid to focus on a niche? People are afraid because they think it’s boring, too small, not sexy, or limiting.

    2. If you’re speaking to everyone, no one can hear.

    3. To find a niche, figure out the following:

      1. What are you the King or Queen at?

      2. Who’s been your ideal customer?

      3. Where can you win easily?

      4. Get Specific and search for clues!

    4. Also, think about where you have made the most amount of money easily.

  3. Thinking Sales Team Size Means Growth

    1. Sales team size isn’t the driver of growth, your leadgen is your “big lever.”

    2. Even with a perfect sales process or big sales team, if your leadgen is crummy, then your sales will be crummy.

    3. 3 lead types: seeds (word of mouth), nets (marketing), and spears (outbound sales). Use all three to do leadgen.

      1. Seeds – turn your funnel into an hourglass.

        1. 3 SaaS success metrics

          1. make accounts that leave you less than 15%

          2. pursue negative revenue churn so that even if people leave, the customers who stay buy more of your product.

          3. focus on customer success first before building out the sales team.

      2. Nets – inbound marketing tips

        1. It isn’t free

        2. Become an expert at one primary method. You’ll hurt your efforts if you try to do too many things.

        3. Partner marketing is effective and simple.

        4. Realistic expectations on lead size, quality.

        5. Don’t pass leads straight to salespeople.

      3. Spears – build a repeatable and predictable funnel of activities to qualify prospects and leads

        1. A great case-study – www.predictablerevenue.com/acquia

  4. You don’t speak to your customer’s needs and desires

    1. What do your customers want? – they don’t care what you do, they care about what you can do for them.

    2. Improve your messaging today by doing the following:

      1. How do you help customers?

      2. So what?

      3. What’s so great about that? (WSGAT)

    3. Bigger picture, you want to sell ideas and not stuff.

      1. Feature → Benefit → Idea

      2. The idea is the most important thing to focus on because it is useful. Features are something that you sell.

    4. One useful resource http://www.predictablerevenue.com/matrix

  5. Not specializing your sales team enough

    1. Why salespeople shouldn’t prospect

      1. They are not good at it

      2. They don’t like it

      3. It’s not repeatable

      4. Google – “Why Salespeople Shouldn’t Prospect” and send it to prospects who doubt this.

    2. Speciailization creates focus

      1. Groups 1 and 2 are focused on outbound and inbound sales

      2. Group 3 are Account Executives, or closers

      3. Group 4 are your Customer Success or Account Management team. They’re farmers and can cross-sell or up-sell.

    3. Specialization = Predictability

      1. Insights

      2. Scalability

      3. Talent/farm team system

In conclusion – is the problem with your people or with your systems? If your systems are broken, then your people cannot be successful.

Key takeaways:

  • Focus on your sales system, not sales people

  • What can you win at easily?

  • Seeds, nets, spears – focus on one at a time.

  • If you have any customers worth more that $10,000, build an outbound prospecting team

  • Specialize your sales team

Sales Hacker Conference is a meeting of top sales execs sharing the unique sales hacks they’re using to attain nine figure revenues in B2B sales. Sales Hacker Conference was held on April 24th, 2014 at SPiN in New York City.

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