How to Create a Sales Process for More Predictable Revenue
This article originally published on Predictable Revenue and reposted with permission. The concept is not new. In order to consistently hit quota, sales development reps must strike a balance between volume and personalization. If you’re emailing at too low a clip, you risk being put out of commission by a few bounces and an out-of-office. If you toss hundreds of emails over the fence each day, you’re putting your success and the company’s reputation at risk. This post isn’t about restating a well-known fact using different language. It’s about creating a simple process that helps strike the right balance. It’s about taking what’s worked and what hasn’t. It’s about formulating a cold email methodology that makes your team’s semi-personalized emails stand out from the heavily-automated content, and even the highly-personalized one-offs. But before we dive into that, check out our epic Predictable Revenue Infographic to refresh on the core principles of Predictable Revenue and SDR’s.
Emotions book demos; logic wins deals
SDRs understand that their job is to book qualified demos. For most orgs, that looks something like a 30-minute meeting with a decision-maker who has the budget and need for your product. Here’s the disconnect: too many SDRs are trying to win the deal before winning the meeting. In most cases, winning the deal is nearly impossible — it involves numerous touchpoints, multiple stakeholders and a dizzying web of budget and legal approvals. Winning the meeting involves one guy, in one department, with one agenda and 30 minutes to kill next Thursday. To convince this guy, you don’t need a clear-cut business case with hard ROI stats, you just need a story.
Telling stories starts with your customers
So how can you take what you’ve currently got and turn it into a story? The first step is to look at the stories your customers have already given you. If you have a kickass product and the marketing team is pulling their weight, you should have a nice catalog of case studies to pull from. A typical case study format goes something like this, and provides a starting point for your pitch. The Before:
- What was the customer doing before they chose you? What were their pain points and how were they being addressed?
- How has your product improved things for the customer? What previous solutions and process did it replace and how has that impacted the business?
- What kind of results came after adopting your product? How do these results measure up to previous performance?
A storytelling framework for cold emails
Now let’s meld this into a storytelling framework. Back at Inbound14, Gartner research analyst Jake Sorofman gave a really neat presentation on the rise of Big Content, which confronts the realities of buyer attention spans. (Highly recommend checking this out in full, by the way.) In the deck, Jake has a slide detailing a framework marketers can adapt to make their content and messaging rise above the noise. The framework is based on a 30-second reader attention span and three principles: situation, impact and resolution. It also applies really well to sales development.
Scaling your stories into outreach sequences
The key to injecting storytelling into your outreach cadence is familiarizing yourself with each buyer persona. If you sell to marketing teams, you need to have a specific story lined up for each role your product impacts. Be sure to confirm these stories by referencing case studies and talking to these roles within your own company. Once you have your stories, it’s important to constantly test and tweak them using data from your sales automation platform. Remember, there are many ways to tell a story, so continue working on your subject line, delivery and close to get the most out of each persona.
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Aaron Ross, of the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue, has been teaching companies how to double or triple (or more) new sales since he helped Salesforce grow from $5m to $100m. Now he’s turned his attention to building the software platform that will power the next wave of Cold Calling 2.0 teams. Check out Aaron’s latest work on How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue.