Predictions for Essential Sales Skills for Selling Effectively to the C-Suite

28 min read

Would you like to learn the trade secret of a man 

  • Who broke many sales records
  • Won awards trips and trophies
  • Hired/trained/coached/mentored hundreds of people
  • Promoted to a Regional Director of Sales over 11 teams of 110+ employees for a $6.8B Fortune 500 organization
  • Consistently recognized nationally as one of the top leaders in the organization every single year?


(Speaker) Marcus Chan, President/Founder, Venli Consulting Group LLC

(Host) Vivekanandhan Sivasubramanian, Marketing Manager, Hippo Video

Listen to the Podcast here

We are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Subscribe to our channel for your daily dose of quality learnings and insights into the world of sales and marketing.

Question: What is it about selling to the C-suite? Why is it so difficult?

Marcus: I think the reason it’s difficult is because people are scared of the concept of it. That’s the first piece. The second piece is, most when they start out in sales, they’re not selling the C-suite, they’re selling to the SMB market, the small, medium-sized businesses and those ones typically it’s easy to get hold of a decision-maker. If you were to physically walk-in into a decent-sized business, like an SMB business, you could probably encounter the owner, the vice president, the CFO.

And a large enterprise situation, as I say, if they are a hundred million dollar a year or chances are very slim. There are way more levels and that’s also the first piece. There are more levels to the kind of fight through. The second piece is also one. Some raps, tries, the same approach.

A small SMB CEO on the phone and trying to close a deal, you might do an SMB account, but you’re not going to do that with an enterprise account. There’s no way. Maybe at a very rare chance, it happens. That means you have to be more tenacious, more organized and more creative in getting the door. And then on top of that, once you’re in there, you might navigate and work with eight to 10 people, if not more, to get that deal done.

And in a typical rep who is just good at sales, if they’re not good at managing those details and nurturing every part of the sale, it’s really hard to close it because in those enterprise situations, if they’re working, get to make a decision while they’re not on board, they’re not gonna go with you. So it’s just more complex as you have more plates to juggle. It’s what you do but if you can juggle them, all they pay off is obviously larger and the revenue dollars are much larger too.

Approaching Stakeholders

Question: If you want to tell something to those people who are starting out in Enterprise sales, dealing with multiple stakeholders. What is the best way you think they should approach it?

Marcus: Here it gets a little tricky, where are mistakes? The mistake happens a lot of times, even in an enterprise situation, if they don’t know how to make a decision like they don’t even understand that. It depends on what you’re focused on first. But the reality, could you call the CEO and get pushed out?

Depending on the size of the business, you may want to segment the department. For example, if I’m sauntered off to a Fortune 500 business for sales, training will upright once or maybe their senior vice president is no sales in that department, that might go up or down but that has a high likelihood of him or her having control on navigating the sales cycle right now that senior vice president sales may not be the right person, but they may push you to the next level.

Maybe it’s a person selling to you and maybe they have 10 sales VPs they want you to work with and maybe it’s also the national training director. Who knows? Right. So it depends on the org and that’s where it gets to. Those are tricky where you can’t always depend just on the title and that’s what gets hard sometimes where you know if your organization’s buying data. With many companies buying data, the data is wrong. Right.

Most touching the snow like I’m going to call this person who is going to be the CSO or they were a year ago. Now they’re at some other company. That’s where it’s. There is not necessarily the right answer.

But taking the data that you have and trying to go the highest level possible in the decision-making process that you have for the enterprise sale. Right now, you could start at the bottom and try to work your way up, for example. And when I think about this way, here’s how I think about an enterprise sale. 

There are typically four types of decision-makers. And there can be multiples of each. That’s kind of how they categorize.

There’s usually only one person as an economic buyer. This is the only person that can say yes. If everyone else wants to, they can also change. For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell some of your software to them and let’s say we invest $10 in our product for the year. Actually, we’re getting 10 million dollars for the software and we’re going to use it to buy hardware instead. They completely change it. So that’s not quite. You wonder who the economic buyer is. Ideally, you are reaching out to them first and then you are the technical buyer. They can’t say yes, but they could say no. And they’re the one that really judges the criteria depending on some organizations that could be a CFO.

That could be a purchasing manager sometimes. The market is firing multiple ones. Then there are the user buyer people actually using the products and sometimes that’s always an easier way to get against the foot in the door, the enterprise sale. I just wonder, who will be using the stuff? Maybe the managers are the people using this stuff because then from there, you might want to work your way up. But if you do that approach, you have to be aware. Be easy, get employment. But we have to really navigate the cycle to make sure these other two really bought it.

Then the fourth one is going to be a coach and that’s someone usually within the business that wants you to win. They’re the ones helping navigate. You get me or so-and-so to get the deal done. So that’s really key for understanding that.

Question: Do you need to make sure you get all the four different people on board and it’s more of a trial and error until you find the right way to get it?

Marcus: That’s right. Because every industry is different and every order says a little bit different. In the perfect world, you see the highest possible level of ultimate decision and then you can go down. That’s usually all it is easy to go downhill uphill. But in some situations where you’ll be all flexible where you may have to start the ground level and work your way in.

For example, I’ve gotten deals with my previous companies where we start the sales department. That’s how we got the door. And usually, we have operational people to get the sales department to go back door in because they help us navigate the cycle. That’s pretty silly. Yeah, you create it. We get creative.

Every deal is different, you can’t assume it and that’s where it looks like a canvas. If you do A, B and C, you’re gonna get the deal flow. Your chances are more likely, but there’s no guarantee because every business is different.

Front and Center

Question: How does one stand out of the crowd, in terms of reaching out to the prospect especially being in the C-suite?

Marcus: I think with the C-suite, they probably get fewer calls but they get more emails. In the email, have your words right. So there’s a couple of things that are really important. Number one, regardless, whichever outreach medium you go to, whatever channel you are, do hear his mistake.

The mistake many people make is regardless of the channel, they try really hard to pitch and the people in C-suite don’t want that. If they get a really long email, they’re not going to be looking right at them or the voicemail that they can listen to. If they get a really long sales letter mailed to them, they’re not gonna read it. Which I think is, number one, the messaging has to be very simple and very direct.

Then number two, being creative can really help you a lot. Being very creative. 

And even with the email, add some customization to it. For example, still, some filmmakers copy and paste the template and they email it to a C suite hoping to get an appointment. You probably aren’t going to get an appointment. This is not going to work. But if you customize a little bit, it sounds like I’m like this.

So they might say something like a partnership, they might write in their high ability, like I saw your company, all you guys, your so-and-so, X, Y, Z vendor. We want to work with you. We have this feature, this benefit.

Here are some of our customers. We want to work with you. And if it’s in there, you do a little research in advance and you uncover that. Maybe they had just recently won an award for something, maybe they were on the top once.

You recognize them for that. For example, Hi, John. I saw that you recently got an award, that’s an incredible achievement. You know, I do work with quite a bit and this is just like yours to provide this top-notch service. If you’re open to it, I’ll love to just chat for a few minutes. That’s a very simple, no crazy long pitch.

Right now you get more creative by being funny if you want. I’m a simple guy. I keep it very simple but then you have different outreaches. So the key is you can’t just have one approach. 

Just slightly different each time. I’ll give an example, all my business has been organically booming and that’s all been mostly linked in to grow and generate leads for me and it’s because I’m sending personal videos. I sent personal videos on my phone by recording it.

Question: How has been your experience with video so far? 

Marcus: Video was great. I mean, it’s just a sense because there’s no nightly backup on the video. I’ve seen some people send me videos before but they are pre-recorded and it’s very fake. 

It’s like Hi there, I’m Marcus. Just wanna thank you. I’m like, well, you’re a robot so I don’t care. It’s a no for me literally. Wherever I am, I send them a video. No pitch. Just provide value for them but then take it naturally and I’ll get between 8 to 40 leads a day.

Right down the hall and close obviously is not all of it. but the point is I have a legit system that I’ve built the right self. And that’s really important. The video itself is not so much but what’s important is standards. It’s different. It stands out. And that’s the key.

Like some of the deals outside, we all go into these accounts because how I would deliver things to them would stand out that no one else would do. And as a result, no one else does it. They would appreciate the cleverness. So it’s a pat. You all do a pattern interrupt, which means it’s something to force them to stop and pay attention. And that’s how you do it. But you have to connect to make sense.

You can’t just look at me. So you have to do it in a way to engage them, get their attention. If you give a laugh, it’s great. Humour is always great. But that takes a certain skill. Whatever works got to be different to stand out.

Question: One of the things you mentioned was customising understanding, If I have given 10 prospects a day or if I have a very limited number of accounts, so I want to spend time to research and know about the person, then customize the image. But in reality, more saved people have handled 30/40 accounts, at least on every account has five or six people. So that gives you 200 300 people? Do you have any system in place that allows you to find information about the problem?

Marcus: No, it’s very simple. Literally just type into Google and search for him. That was it but here’s the thing though. For example, if I’m on a call let me tally the mistakes. Some people are makers. Everyone’s guilty of this as they do some research, the e-mail does more research.

They make a phone call or send an email but I’ll take time outside that I knew. Because to me, what drove my waking hours? Like if it’s eight to five, seven to five that’s where I should be meeting with prospects and engaging with them. That’s where I want my CEOs awake. I need to be trying to do my best to work in that C-suite, that means if I need you before out, before work or after work, I’m doing research. That’s why I look up in advance right now. I’m going to Google. I’m looking on Facebook. I’m looking at social media, looking at our Web site and press releases. Anything relevant? I’m looking at LinkedIn and other relevance. That’s back in connection with. For example, In LinkedIn, you can see everyone’s activity. You could take a look and see what the CEO is, he’s constantly looking at, and all these things with him.

Maybe your message wants to craft to align with that or your phone call or your email or the message you send on LinkedIn. It’s like you’re hooking up. You catch your attention but I’d be a little different. It takes a little time to do that and every time I was hit with numbers. I’m going to eventually get to where I want to go.

You could do that. But that’s like chopping vegetables and meat with a blunt knife. You’re not going to take a lot longer. You put yourself privately, you’ll get there. But if you know how to sharpen it. You don’t like shopping a little bit and cut sharp on the book and take the time, get a really sharp knife, do your research. And then you go and cut all the meats, you prepare all the vegetables and you get absolutely all prepared nicely.


Question: What does the C-suite expect when I go there? What should I do? 

Marcus: This is important. You also want to set the expectation when you’re in that meeting, once you’re in there, you’ll be very clear because you may have low credibility. And whether this is the Zoom or face to face, it’s the same concept. You want to set a clear expectation of what’s going to happen that day. So that’s sort of number one, put their mind at ease and then the second thing you do is you want to make sure this is more of the demo. You want to make sure to back up the concerns a C-suites going to have before they even really meet with you is number one. Are they credible, good company? Are they going to minimize my business if I partner with them, what’s my risk level? Are they gonna solve a problem I have? And is there a good hour? Why with it?

So your goal in that first meeting is to build status, establish your expertise. Notes talking about what was wrong with it? Would they have gone on to establish there’s a way you probably solve the problem? It’s really important to minimize the risk. That’s all they want. That’s why I ask us to make phone calls like, hey, let’s just see if it’s a good fit. 

They don’t want to hear that, they don’t care about that. They wanna know if you’re gonna waste their time or not. They want to bring you a solution, not a problem. That’s the one. So with that being said, let’s say the very first meeting. It will probably give me a discovery meeting. In that meeting or if it’s Zoom 80% of the time, you as a sales professional are asking questions.

And really it was most important for the CEO or any other stakeholders to be a part of that meeting. But it was really important to standardize those for decision-makers I mentioned or for type decision-makers. You need to uncover what’s important. Every single one has different needs. So this way, just by asking really good questions, uncovering how it all lines together and also qualify at the same time.

We only have three people there. There’s five of you that have to be there, Now establish the next steps on what you do to bring the other five people in. And then from there, then you’re crystal clear. If you’re in a demo now, your goal is to establish that your solution will solve their problem.

That’s your number one priority. It basically if you think from one simplicity perspective, you’re just going alone. Eliminate the risk. There were some who made a bad decision to prove that you are what you are, what your product’s going to do is going to deliver and give them what they want. That’s what’s really important. And depending on then you should have uncovered that upfront.

If you were kind to the pinpoint or maybe you sell software and maybe right now how data entry in your software can save them 20% reduction in inefficiencies. So either way to show and improve them. So it becomes a no brainer.

Question: What are the mistakes you see in them make when they are selling to the C-suite?

Marcus: Number one mistake I see with the sales reps is that they’re not really well organized or have a good system and that’s everything. When you’re selling to C-suite, they judge everything you do. If you aren’t good, if you’re not responsive, if you don’t call them back or you don’t set clear next steps in the process.

They don’t like that.  If they do, they want money. If you have a rookie rep who’s going in there, they’re not usually organized. so they kind of go to me and take some notes. They do a good job making sure it’s updated. The CRM, they’re not well-prepared for the next call. They’re setting up meetings, but there’s no agenda of why it’s in the meeting.

For example, Let’s say that is a good discovery call. They do a good job in the meeting and they say, hey let’s also get back together next week, Thursday, 8:00, decisionmaker. Now they like and trust them. But what’s going to happen? There’s a date. That person may not have an idea that they’re going to present something, maybe pricing brightens, maybe the CEO expects a demo, so be it a meeting. I can visualize it happening. You end up meeting. I didn’t say it’s got great. It’s been great to catch up next week. What am I going to talk about next week?

Your job is to get that through legal. Can you make sure that by Thursday? What I’m going to do is I must have a demo for Thursday at 8 o’clock. And can you also make sure A, B and C are also at that meeting as well? So you work on that. You make sure those people are there. You get that through that. You get it. You get the agreement through legal means.

And our goal is I want to show you the value in the program and a live demo. And then from there, if you like it, we’ll go through all the pricing that same day. And then we can have another time to take out the paperwork. Does that sound good? So now it’s crystal clear what you’re going to do and they’re going to do. And now, if you’ll be a super pro, you will get an email after. Hey, thank you so much for your time today.

Here’s what we covered. Boom Hit. We’re going to next and we’ll see business next week. This is our objective. Now, it may not be that fast for the two minutes, but you get my point of every step. They know exactly what’s going to happen and so do you. They’re alive versus ones like, let’s say, not to sell. But it takes a certain personality if you’ll be on your game for that. You can’t be sloppy. 

Question: So, Marcus, you’ve been a regional director yourself. I know you’ve been a founder. So when you see an organization struggling with things. What is the first thing you would advise a director or a V.P. to look at in a factory?

Marcus: The first thing I want to look at is, what are their insights? What are they? Why do they see? What do they do? And if they are showing whilst struggling. Usually if all the coloured buckets, usually number one, high turnover. If you have high turnover, it’s turnover is a growth killer. It’s very hard to grow at a high level.

If you have control, you have to churn. It’s also really bad for the customers as well. It’s bad because your success is bad for customers. And if these reps are working these deals partially through this SMB to C-suite, those balls get dropped like no one’s picking those balls up. So that’s the first thing that you used most commonly. Do you have high turnover? What’s causing the turnover.

One thing that I see most common is lack of training. I think a sales organization is very similar to a sports team. That’s number one. Do you have the right players? So once you have the right players, do you have the tools and resources?

And it has the resources to have ongoing support. What that means for a sales organization are things that they don’t look at. Number one, we hire the right people. If you hired wrong, that’s a huge issue.

People have only worked as a cook in the kitchen. The problem can be successful because you have them jumpstart a big jump into selling large accounts. That’s what you’re looking for. Number two, is there good hiring in or is it a good training and development onboarding process? So when they start, are you giving them the tools to be successful?

I’m not assuming they are walking great, but giving them a tool is successful. So you’re minimizing their risk. And then from there to ongoing training and development, because often you’ll see high turnover like someone’s leaving for more money. But usually, it’s like hey, I’m not learning anything. I am getting better. It’s a bit of a churning machine. So that’s a system thing.

That’s a system. They can’t just be like, we’re gonna tremble while this one class of high gets hired. But that’s cause you don’t train at all. So it’s really important. And then from there should be a developmental path most of the time. Those raps dorms give up forever. 

I think it’s good for every profession because, with all my numbers, I get hung up on myself. But for some reason on why it baffles me is like the people or does it simply the revenue in the face of the company? Yeah, they’re awesome or not given to us. That’s actually what is why I create my company. Because in my last role every year I would hire 20 or 30 people a year at large. So I hire 20, 30 people a year out of the 20 to 30 hours interview.

But a hundred people write the 20 or 30 of the best out of the hundred. What I covered was the 20 or 30 that I brought on. Most of them didn’t have much training. They are just naturally good at sales. A natural-born salesperson, if you will. I had terrible sales when I started. So, I had to figure it out. Most of them underwent training and then everyone else down on that train.

I saw a major gap in it when people will come in and like they need training. If I could fill that gap, it’s a huge opportunity right now. The other piece is also really poor for an organization as most of them are not properly developing the managers. So the managers think about it, and they are the ones who develop the reps. So intimately, the ones who become managers are the best reps.

But if you’re a great salesperson, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a great manager. So different skills. If you don’t have a field of other managers, they’re acting it off the reps. So you have this bad cycle or a good rap who eventually makes it and the new manager. They don’t have the tools to win and teach you how to win. So then they turn over and then you have a bad cycle, I guess.

If you could train front trial tools or resources to train the managers and they were ongoing it becomes a cycle. They get more like this. They get promoted and they build on. But it starts with having good hires, having good training, ongoing training, trade managers. So it’s a system thing that they build and that’s how they can do it.

I took my solo organization as the first human director. We ran at about 35, 40% turnover. I took it out of 70% a year. By putting processes in place just like that to minimize.

Question: When you’re selling seven-figure beef, it’s just not going to be the same as. Maybe a little value seems like we have the same values, especially in the South for days. The sad reality is not that huge, but when you go for a seven-figure, how does it make a difference? How do you sharpen the seams they can get? How do you convince the buyer, especially when you’re meeting them for the first time?

Marcus: It’s everything simpler for a small deal. I mean, everything from navigating the actual sales cycles, shorter writing for small dealers is a large deal. Even implementation of it. For example, In my past, we were physically installing things and it would be everywhere in different locations. What is one big operation, if you like?

Here are 50 sites. Now we go and change. It is more rewarding. Selling large accounts is way more rewarding. But there’s also a lot more that can go wrong. There are just way more intricacies, etcetera. And also, it’s interesting to us, like when you saw the signing of a very small business like it on the lower end, it’s distancing more.

A lot of times when you’re working with things like the C-suite, most are pretty smart, pretty savvy. I mean, they got there for a reason and most of all they’re actually relatively understanding. As long as you over-communicate something to small businesses, some of it is unreasonable. They just want the world for nothing. Like it’s a title account, I want everything but like the big Catholic. That makes sense. They see the value in paying more. They see the value in a quality product or service.

They also can afford it. It may cost me more to use a service and program. However, The bet is much bigger. They are some of the bigger pictures and that’s a big difference. I mean, just that the no decision-makers are way more in a large account to the point where sometimes they don’t even know who’s involved.

They all read about this person. And then this like, oh, shoot, we’re being scrappy. Bring other people way into to navigate that process because it got more complex as we got deeper into it. And that happens.

Question: What do you think of those skills in sales, efficient, moving day going into the enterprise? What do they need?

Marcus: Yeah, it’s going to pop to any sales, but it really matters a lot more to do. This is a really big deal. Except like, enterprise sales are what they want to look professional like.

When you get to level a lot of them. For example, we’ll outsource everything in their life for a reason because they know the time is worth it. If you picture a guy in the C-suite, they usually use the house on taking care of the lawn for them. 

They pay them. They use that. So clean their house to take care of that. They may even have a cook for them. They may have a nanny for their kids. They may pay for extra help. So they’re comfortable with that but they want to be professional because they know that. That applies to the vendors they choose. Like if they’re working as a sales professional, salespeople, in general, get a really bad reputation.

So you want to be a professional, but likeable. And always be on your game. And that’s every little detail. So from how you look in that first meeting, they’re going to judge you. From how you care if it’s a fit face to face meeting for how you dress, to how you shake their hand, too. Even if you’re no part at all.

That’s their thinking. Who if they can’t seem to get their own ACSI to gather? How will the installation of the X, Y, Z go? So that professionalism and that’s that diskettes control. That’s why you all look the part, act the part, et cetera. And then you also wanted to expert it constantly. They’re asking you questions. You’re like, oh, I will get back to you. It’s OK.

It’s not all the answers, but if it’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about. They don’t like that either. That’s bad. I wouldn’t buy from someone who wouldn’t know.

But yeah, it magnifies a larger deal. So every time there was a lot of their risk level says raising backup right before they knew the risk levels like this was pretty high in the first meeting. Hopefully, to bring this risk down sometimes you are under the expert. You want to know what you’re talking about. and you are the resources to solve the problem and you have to be responsive.

When I’m making them. I’m handling the companies I found and I’m being someone. And I better make sure it is worth it. It’s because I want to make sure I get to the right product. I don’t want to go back after months of treatment and that’s choosing another vendor. So it’s all about coming down to minimizing the risk and maximizing the success.

Usually, it’s so different when you make a big purchase you usually want to be more careful. And because usually, it’s a long-lasting purchase like me for a while. Like if it’s software that is 5, 10 years depending whatever it is. So they don’t want to change because they know the bigger the deal, the harder that changes.

They don’t want to do that. For example, like my last company, we would go into a software chain, we would go to SFP and it takes multiple years. C-suite does not want to go to change. Take it all the time. Like they don’t want to keep changing.

It’s because it’s disruptive for the business. Because you want to solve problems or move problems. You want to get, don’t give them props, remove problems.

Question: How to be persistent without being annoying?

Marcus: The key is, you want to be of value. It’s really important. And that’s a really overdone word. But I think it’s really important where you want to be known as the expert. I’ll give you an example, I was working on this kids choir, which I am getting a very nice client for my business and the mistakes you’ll make as they just call every day. Hey, how are you? How are you? How are you? How are you doing? You can look now that it doesn’t work that way.

So you want to be of value to them. It’s like it’s different things. There’s a couple of things that I do. For example, I produce content for LinkedIn. So if something is a value, if he knows everything I write about for salespeople and sales leaders. So right there, I’m actually creating content. That’s a value. I can easily repurpose any of that 10% over to them.

For example, I have one client right now, it’s an individual client and I’m helping them guide them and coach them through finding a new job and getting promoted. I had a post recently and I’m sharing that with her. Hey, it’s about how to get promoted. Here are the 10 things I’ve got to do. 

Same concept. What type of issue do they have that you can provide some value to take care of? And it needs to align with your solution. That could be an article. That could maybe be a book.

I’ll give you an example. A different line. It was her birthday. So while still working on this process, LinkedIn told me it’s her birthday. So I sent her a personal video message wishing her happy birthday. My kiddo is in the picture in the video too. He thought that was funny right now. Instantly that just broke down the walls. 

So she’s like she merely messages back. Wow. No one ever sent me a video message like that, that kiddo, now that’s a little bit of a value that I was nurturing on the personal side of a relationship. My point is, do not just reach out to reach out. Provide a reason to reach out. Provide the value of some sort. Maybe you have a webinar coming up. That’s an important value for your customer. That’s a great way. Provide value.

Is this article right? or maybe it is from somewhere else that’s very relevant to them. For example, Let’s just say maybe after the discovery meeting. and you kind of disappear. But one of the things to talk about, how there’s so much like that there is a new CFO in a company, there’s so much change going on.

And you also uncover when you’re in there, often you see in their office there, a big book reader perhaps.

You finally find a really good book about change management. Turn the ship around. So, you have handwritten notes and you FedEx that package over to them. Now you’re adding value. Then you get a phone call and even an email. 

They should get there by Wednesday, Make a quick phone call on Friday. If they have her back, she will e-mail Monday. So now you’re adding a reason to follow up. That’s not just arbitrary. That makes sense.

So you have to be constantly on the lookout for a base to connect any second, cuz you gotta look at building them profiles.

Basically it’s just a picture like them. There’s a great say as I take out the same. But you can’t close a sale without opening a relationship. So if you open a relationship with them that’s really important. And most I’m a little more resistant. So you want to be cognizant of different things when you’re working with them. Anything.

It is a court made guess. Like, you know what? I think they have kids like you, a quick video with my kids with the video. They may join the night. The kind of Gaugin heading on how you don’t be weird about it. So you had like three the prospect. Who else is not? Don’t feel comfortable with it.

The point is, it is always human there. I always do a different approach. I wasn’t shy and close. I am just being real and genuine. At the end of the day, people strive for a human connection. So, provide that for them. Go along with it, there’s a point here. I heard the golden rule. That’s it.

The Golden Rule 

Question: What’s the Golden rule? Can you explain it a bit more?

Marcus: Yes. The golden rule is to treat people how you want to be treated. Ever heard of it? And it’s very common right now. So that would have been said to put yourself in their shoes. How do you want to be approached to get the deal right? I guess you’re taking it that way right now, I think a little bit differently. If I were to tell them how I want it, how does someone stand out?

How could someone get the door and like, not be we’re not crossing the line or really get my attention? I’ll give the example, The first time I saw the video was on LinkedIn. Only one person who didn’t run to me as an intro guy, Edward Zere. I still remember it. He is trying to get me to buy his other program. But I was so impressed that I listened.

Of course. That was different. And then I’m amazed that you use the same technique personally. So at the end of the day, that’s all it is, it is different and stands out. So, you know, it’s human.

Question: What are the things companies or directors or BP managers should look for when they’re hiring the team?

Marcus: There’s a lot of things first. So it depends on the sales level they’re selling for. So having a proven track record is very important. That’s really key.

If they ever had experience selling industry, that could be good or bad. Because they may have some bad habits. So be very careful about that. I have got a proven track record in B2B sales environments, team environments, REITs, usually competitive. I’d like them to be the ultimate professional right culture fit team player. But the number one thing I always look for is coachability.

Coachability. If they’re coachable, I could do a lot with that. I mean, if I take someone in there that has a lost sales experience. They’re great, but they’re not coachable. It will matter. I think someone a little less but they’re willing to adjust and tweak and pivot. I won’t leave them wrong. I will guide them to be massively successful. 

I’ll give an example. So, I once hired one rep, very successful. She had about 30 plus years of selling experience. Her first year based on her coachability. She made one hundred eighty grand. So she made 60 grand more that year.

So be coachable. You know, that’s a step. If you’re coachable, you can overcome a lot of things that we thought were buzzing for 30 years.

Second, it is also important to make sure people aren’t giving a culture fit for your team. I learned some grit a long time ago from my boss. I was interviewing someone I really liked but she asked one question, called the entire fence a little bit about her. And she said, well, hey; let me ask you this, Marcus. What are their shoes? Are they better than you?

And I’m like, well, no but it could be going to show. I don’t ask about it. It could be it. Are they better than you? But now they’re not like that. That’s a good barometer. Because if you want to take a team the next level down, it depends. If you want to do the high form or sales or if you want me to meet below mediocre sales or however you want. But the key is if you have a mindset of whoever you hire if they are better than you or better than the best hire that will take organization skyrocketed right up, then obviously I like loyal people too because you can build a thriving business.

You can’t have consistent people. You don’t want that. You want Interbrand, that’s right.

You don’t want different reps to call the same product over and over. It’s not good. It’s better business. I didn’t think of that when you keep changing people. That is a different button. Getting the client right.

You’re not fooling anybody. I’ve been in them as a sales director. I allow responsibility and yet people trust me. No one cared about a breakup email. That’s some baloney. At the end of the day, we have to keep things simple.

If you’ve been brutally simple, I think no one has a good CRM system. And what I mean by that the data is obviously important. And this is my opinion, how I view a CRM system. Most people use CRM as a prospecting tool. I view it as an organizational tool. I view it as a place where you take the data you collect and put inside there to help manage the data in your sales process. You need a place to control and dump your brain into.

You should always know where deals are on the pipeline and how you can navigate it and make sure you keep organized for all the stakeholders of the account. You really need that. You need a phone and a laptop. That’s all you need. So simple. Here’s reality. There is so much out there. I’ve seen words like it looks great and I’d like to say the names of companies. They’ll tell me how great all their stuff is but then they have FDR’s in the bullpen. And guess what they’re doing. Clearly, they are calling it the exact same issue right now.

They are just calling and they also have the same bad data that they bought from and also who they sell to saying, I like their people are out there just calling.

And at the end of the day, they know it’s hard. They’re making calls, do emails. And, yes, there are some cool things I can help maybe keep you more organized but it changes so quickly. The best one is out there anymore. 

But the day you are just happy, you have a great prospect and you’ll have great sales. You are really great at prospects. That’s really key. Look at those tools, how you say organized.

Now, I have to ask, is that so prospecting? Yeah. Tips, Prospects. I got plenty of tips. 

I get emails. Dos and don’ts. The dos keep short. Not a lot of wordy text, be very crystal clear with exactly why you’re emailing it. Don’t do a pitch. 

And personalize it. That’s a very simple kind of the same thing as LinkedIn in mails. Same concept. Don’t send as I got like a brochure in the first e-mail. Don’t pitch. Don’t make it personal to them. And if you can be and this is where it is kind of a tricky one because you had that really good, most intelligent, if you can be funny in there, but if you can’t be funny, don’t do it.

At the end of the day, if I don’t know the person, the first thing I do is after reading the email, I will go and check his/her LinkedIn profile.

So is your profile optimized to get you leads? Attractive prospect is really important. So like everything from your history, if they’ve seen you’ve job hopped from like 10 SDR jobs, the product is out today. They’re probably not. I mean, there’s still whatever they’re selling today. So you want to make sure you have a clean profile, professional image.

The last one. Phone guys. What do I open with? What do you open with? So is it a gatekeeper or is it a decision-maker?

My style is different, I’m pretty direct, I get right to the point. I’m assuming no one I know who I talked to. And number two, I least relatively pre-qualified them. So let me give them a second. I’ll share my story. Most people say, hey, this is. You know, Marcus with, you know, ABC software. How are you doing? I’m good. What do you want? So, you don’t always want to see if you have any problem with your software? I want to talk to you about that. No, we’re good. Well, I’d like to save you money. Would you be interested? Now we’re good. What’s once they help you at all? No, we’re good. 

That doesn’t work, they hate that. So change it. Mine is very simple and it frames up in a few different ways. Number one, I will give a direct number to a provider, a unique selling proposition. Number two, a price social proof. And therefore, I close the question and I close on the time.

So it sounds like this. I call my answer. Hey John, it’s Marcus with ABC Software. Thanks for taking my call, the reason I’m calling to you specifically is I’m currently working with A, B and C in the same industry. Providing H.R. software to help save them time and save the money they would have on-site.  I’ll love to discuss this with you sometime. I know I called you out of the blue or some autonomy with you.

Do you have some time Thursday at 8:00 to meet for 20, 30 minutes? That’s it. There’s a difference there. I could all fluff out. His reality, they’re probably still gonna give me an objection and that’s OK. So why waste all the extra fluff time trying to sell them when they’re going to say no? So because what’s the point? They know exactly why I’m calling out. And they know I can say yes or no. The date and time. That’s it. And then from there, I have that objection to giving it up.

I think the big thing is always learning. I mean, I’m always learning to say no. So when you want to be successful in it, you have to be open-minded to know that you don’t know at all. It sounds kind of strange, but the mistake many people make is over time. I would argue that. I’m good, articulate. Well, you don’t know what if you don’t do it right. So in a role I’ve been in, I’ve always had a mindset, how can I get a little bit better?

I’m always open to learning. Not meant in any role I’ve been in. I’m constantly seeking out the people who are the best in that field and picking their brain. It is choosing a couple of things to try and do, right, so that really takes my games to the next level. That’s it. And I find that people come more tenured that are less likely to do that.

They kind of assume that it is the best of the game. I try to be as humble as possible. I just realize I’m actually not that smart. There are people smarter than me. So I can learn from them. I’m always constantly learning. If I ever talked about learning, for example, I still lead generation a little bit differently. Right. And I’m in my business. I’m doing things in different ways. And it’s been paying off.

I was actually terrible at sales when I started, but I learned little tweaks, little adjustments that when done, can really add up. And that’s an assist. It’s a quaint sports issued basketball. He changed angles a little bit. You’ve got a better shot, If you put your winter foot, the same thing. So if you are truly great at sales, be truly open to learn and do not give up.

We are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Subscribe to our channel for your daily dose of quality learnings and insights into the world of sales and marketing.

Sanjana Murali is a Marketing Specialist at Hippo Video. She is an award-winning blogger, one of her articles on “Customer Success” was selected from worldwide participants and won her MVP 2019 award. She has learned the knack of ranking her blogs and website pages in the 1st result of Google Search from her 6+ years of writing and marketing experience. She is also the host of #Limitless webinar and podcast series at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *