The Predictable Revenue Blog

The latest from Aaron Ross & the team

baby-frickin-steps

the wisdom of dory + winston churchill so you might be one in a million who doesn’t have rockets of desire bouncing around your brain like “i want…”  “…more money”  “…for sales to grow faster”  …”to find my soulmate”  “…to get out of this relationship”  “…to find a job or career i love” “…for my kids to ___.”   i know you have your particular list. oh, you’re buddhist and have no wants or cravings? riiiight… how about “more peace of mind, more zen…for myself and others.”   we ALL want something. and if it’s on the way…great.  that’s fun! BUT – what about when you’re just STUCK.  or hit an (apparently) never-ending plateau?   i’ve met companies who hovered around “a few million” in sales for 5-10 YEARS, before breaking through. it’s hard in any area – money, career, health, fitness, love, romance, whatever – when you get stuck feeling like you’re going through the motions, but the leaps or even minor gainz aren’t happening.  or maybe you’re even backsliding. it’s doubly hard after a period of fast growth…because then the feeling of stagnation is sharper because of the contrast. it’s triply hard if you’re sitting there watching other people around you zoom past you in that area you’re struggling with.  which includes every entrepreneur & SaaS founder, ever…’cuz we always are staring at those people way ahead of us, and there is ALWAYS some biz/growth struggle we’re dealing with.  (did you read Part 5 of From Impossible yet, on “compair and despair”?) when i find myself spinning constantly around the question “WTF else do i need to do?!?”, and i... read more

How to use interactive website questions w/Qualaroo to improve lead qualification

Guest post from our friends at Qualaroo, who we met during the writing of From Impossible To Inevitable (we mentioned them on pg 69 in Part 2: Create Predictable Pipeline).  Enter Qualaroo… Sales revenue keeps your SaaS business afloat, but it can’t be the only metric you track. Sales data only looks backwards at deals you’ve already closed, giving little indication of what’s to come. But Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is like a crystal ball that lets you see future sales performance. Mathematically, if you generate 10% more leads this month than you did last month, sales should also grow 10%. The one caveat? If those leads aren’t properly qualified—that is, if they aren’t prospects you have a real chance of closing—then LVR tells you nothing. And as of 2015, more than 80% of B2B marketers say their lead generation efforts aren’t effective enough. You could qualify your leads with a convoluted scoring system. But at Qualaroo, we’ve found that a great method is to directly ask your potential customers and help them qualify themselves.  We use our own app to ask specific site visitors targeted survey questions, and let them tell you in their own words how good of a lead they are – or aren’t. Here’s how it’s done in five simple steps, with interactive website questions. Step 1: Make “Need” Part of Your Ideal Customer Profile Your ideal customer profile (ICP) should act as a rubric that helps prospectors quickly identify the companies who will become great customers. But most ICPs don’t account for the most important question in any sale: Does this person have the problem your product solves? Instead, most ICPs define... read more

Objection Deflection: Prospecting Enemy #1

This is a guest post by Krista Caldwell, Account Strategist at Predictable Revenue and SalesHacker Vancouver Host. Objection Handling: the Pain Having battled in the trenches of SDR-dom, I know firsthand that responding to prospects’ dismissive or negative emails feels futile. It requires the most research, thinking, and time but seems to generate the least results! However, ignoring non-positive responses can flunk your campaign and stunt your learning. Why isn’t this campaign converting? Where are all my qualified prospects? Herein lie the answers. Objection Handling: the Gain Prospectors receive roughly twice as many Neutral or Negative responses as positive responses, so even a small lift in Neutral and Negative conversion can super-size your pipeline. #closecloseclose Handling objections is also imperative to learning. No doesn’t mean “NO NEVER EMAIL ME AGAIN.”  Some No’s really mean, “that doesn’t sound valuable”, which assumes the prospect understood the message in the way you meant it.  Responding can help you determine whether your message was understood as you intended. It will also help you learn from the confusion to create clearer, more compelling content that prospects can understand. Other No’s mean “No we’re not a fit.”  Understanding why prospects aren’t a fit will help you disqualify accounts that would otherwise take more of your time and improve targeting criteria for future campaigns. #learnlearnlearn Objection Handling: Slain Building a scalable system for handling objections will: Save your prospectors time and brainpower, freeing them up for higher value tasks Systematically increase conversion, letting you A/B test objection handling responses the same way you do initials and subject lines Step 1: Collect the Data If you use an... read more

loss / when someone gives you bad news

it is UPSETTING to lose things that you want or are important to you, whether it’s: a promotion, to someone else. a bunch of money. an investor who pulls out at the last minute. a big deal, to a competitor. a business partner, to their own thing. a key employee, to a better oppty. a marriage, to divorce. a dream, to reality. i’ve lost most or all of the above.  (a big one i’ve thankfully missed so far is losing any close family members.) some were easier to handle, some were rending. all were very upsetting. whenever i’ve lost something important, it’s also always opened up the door to more growth for myself, too.  at some point, and if i didn’t stir and stew but moved on. i may have recovered fast (losing a business partner) or slowly (getting over a divorce or when a business failed), but there was always a silver lining. the two most painful for me, were: 1) a divorce in 2004, which cleared the way for my wife Jessica and all my kids, and 2) losing my LeaseExchange business in 2001. which became the original catalyst for the entire Predictable Revenue book, brand and business. it sucks that we need failures and loss to teach us faster who we are, what’s important and how to grow. because it’s painful.  yet it’s an unavoidable part of success and life…unless you avoid living altogether. likewise, if you’re in business, the only way you can avoid losing customers is to not have a business in the first place. it’s painful to lose customer – both in pride and... read more

3 Reasons To Launch Outbound During The Summer

[by Kay Meester] Summertime evokes images of relaxing by the water, slowing down to soak up the long days, and taking time off to get outside. I recently spent a week on the Appalachian Trail with my brother, from Georgia to North Carolina. (That first day from Amicalola Falls is tough: 8 miles uphill over a rocky trail that starts at 1700 ft elevation and ends the day at 4000 ft. I think my legs are still shaking!) Back in the working world, there’s no denying some companies see a slow in new sales during the summer months. As people flee from their desks for extended periods, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that summer is a bad time to start an outbound email campaign. Questions arise about the efficacy of reaching out to people at a time when they may not be checking their emails regularly. “How will I reach enough people to collect data and know if its working?” “If I don’t see the results I wanted, how will I know if its because of the campaign itself or bad timing because prospects are away?” “If I really want to get the most out of my campaign, isn’t it better to wait until autumn, when prospects are back and ready to do business?” Keep in mind that the goal of the first 90 days of a campaign is to test and develop messaging; this is to prepare to scale the campaign in months 4 and beyond. That’s the way outbound campaigns begin: 12 weeks of constant testing and iterating. You’ll start by emailing to small sample sizes of contacts... read more

3 Reasons You Need Salespeople to Scale

what works at the bottom may not work as you tilt upmarket A lot of people have a desire to avoid hiring salespeople. For some, it’s a question of: “Do I even need salespeople at all? Slack and Atlassian don’t have any (yet). Can’t I just do a Basecamp model? Can’t I just have Customer Happiness Officers who make customers so happy that they keep referring new customers? And people just buy my stuff without me doing anything or having to sell it?” Well maybe you can. And more power to you if you’re one of them. As long as there’s enough momentum in your business to keep hitting your revenue goals without a true sales team, then by definition you don’t need one… but you will probably want one. Maybe your goals are too low. A lot of founders who haven’t managed the revenue side of a business before are sort of anti-Sales. They see Sales as a bit slimy if they’ve never done it themselves or worked with a great sales team and often have the point of view, “Isn’t Sales just a bunch of guys in a virtual boiler room trying to get people to buy stuff they don’t really need? If my product is so great, shouldn’t it sell itself, so long as I have Happiness Officers answering questions and moving things along?” Again, it’s been done. But is it smart for you? The “problem” with just going with Happiness Officers is three-fold: 3 Reasons You Need Salespeople to Scale 1.) What works at the bottom of the market may not work as you tilt upmarket. Self-service (and almost-self-service) models can... read more

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About The Author


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.