Episode 30 | Posted on

Create Predictable Revenue Through Lead Generation and Sales Pipelines: Aaron Ross

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This Week’s Guest:

Aaron Ross is the bestselling author of From Impossible to Inevitable and co-author of Predictable Revenue. He worked at Salesforce.com, where he created a revolutionary sales process and team that increased revenues by $100 million. He co-founded Carb.io, a software company, and has a predictable revenue certification program called Predictable University. You can find Aaron on Twitter @motoceo.

Episode:

Scaling business should be a top goal for entrepreneurs, and one that won’t happen overnight. In order to create reliable income and a client base that is always growing, sales has to be a top priority. Aaron Ross shares how to meet customer expectations, find your next rockstar employee, and focus on turning leads into lifelong fans who will refer for you.
We Discuss:

  • The biggest issues that companies face in terms of their sales, and how to overcome them.
  • Why a CEO should nurture employees who own their job, and how to become that employee.
  • How to find your niche and become a ‘need to have’ product or service.
  • How to double or triple your client base through referrals, lead generation, and sales.

Here’s what I learned:

Where Companies are Missing Sales

  1. There are three common situations where companies are missing sales.
  2. The first is generally seen in startups or small companies.
    • It’s common for startups and small companies to not appreciate the value of sales.
    • Oftentimes, people think that if they create something great, people will just buy it.
    • Even if your product is amazing and people really need it, it could take years for enough customers to come to you to have enough volume that you don’t have to sell.
  3. Another situation happens when companies have just gotten off the ground.
    • The founder has likely been doing all the sales, and is ready to hire salespeople.
    • They hire a few salespeople, and they all fail.
    • This happens because a CEO can over-assume their capabilities, they may not be as knowledgeable on sales as they think or they didn’t train the employee enough.
  4. The third situation is when a bigger company has a sales team that they are not specializing enough.
    • Instead of the salespeople doing all of their own prospecting and closing their own deals, they need to go towards a new system.
    • The new system would have separate prospectors, closers, and account managers.

Owning Your Jobs Vs. Renting Your Job

  1. There are times when a CEO may struggle with employees and wonder why they don’t take initiative.
  2. In Aaron’s book From Impossible to Inevitable, there are two chapters: A chapter for executives or owners and another chapter for the employees.
  3. The book goes over the idea that your employees are renting and not owning their jobs.
    • If an employee wrote a letter, it would probably say that they are a great employee, have lots of ideas, but don’t feel appreciated or haven’t been given the tools to execute them.
    • A CEO’s letter would likely say that they value their employees and see great potential in them, but the people who succeed don’t wait around to be told what to do.
    • If you want to move forward in your career, you have to take the initiative to create value for customers and owners.
    • As an employee, if you are trying to advance, you want to make the business owner’s job easier and solve problems for them.
  4. Aaron’s idea is around how to start bringing those two sides together in renting vs. owning.
    • The book goes into how do you create more financial and emotional ownership around your job so you care about it and put your best into it.

The Different Types of Employees

  1. A business owner will want to help their employees make the best out of their opportunities.
  2. There are four types of employees, and for an executive, you can’t put equal investment into everybody.
  3. Understanding the types of employees will help you to decide which employees you should be focusing on the most.
  4. The first type is the CEO-type.
    • They’re the aspiring entrepreneur and would like to be a CEO in the future.
  5. The second type is the careerist.
    • This type of employee has done well with their career-they want to become a manager, or possibly a director, VP of sales, etc.
    • They may be problematic to manage because they might be think differently and want to try things their way.
  6. The third type is the clocker.
    • These are the people who come in, do the basics, and then leave.
  7. The fourth type is the complainer.
    • They are constantly frustrated but they just talk about it and place the blame on others, they never take action.
  8. There’s no point in investing as much into clockers or complainers-most of your focus should be in the CEO-type and the careerist, where there is a ton of potential.

The Difference Between Creating and Earning Money

  1. A job can be the best way to get paid to learn.
    • There’s a lot of bloggers who think jobs are a waste of time, but when you work for a company, it’s possible to get invaluable experience.
  2. If you begin to think about creating money, usually by creating a product or service, you have to learn how to create money out of thin air, but you’re unlocking unlimited potential for yourself.
    • You will want to have a specialty, know how to create value, and create processes around how your business is going to run.
  3. If owners can help their employees learn how to create money for the company, it’s going to help the whole team.
    • A great example is within Aaron’s team, a team member named Rob owns their program Nail Your Niche.
    • Rob is the single owner for these workshops and programs, and is fully responsible for it.
    • Aaron pushes him to do regular webinars or talks, so that he evolves that program.
    • As an owner, you have to let that person make their own decisions even if you think they’re wrong.
    • If Rob asked Aaron about dates for the event, pricing, or content structure, he may give him advice but would tell him he has to make the decision.

Nailing Your Niche

  1. Most people or companies that are struggling to grow are struggling because they’re not ready to grow.
    • Sometimes they haven’t even solidified the product, market, or their value.
  2. For a company to grow, most of the customers have come from word-of-mouth. It’s the easiest place to get started.
  3. When growth starts to happen, a company may decide to start spending more money on prospecting or marketing.
    • They then spend a bunch of money on sales and marketing, but it usually doesn’t work as well because selling with some sort of prior relationship is much easier.
    • It may take a year longer than you expect to grow with a cold market.
  4. Everyone can use SEO, sales training, or certain products.
    • However, when you’re marketing and selling to people and you’re a ‘nice to have’ product, people will get excited, but then things will come up and they won’t buy.
    • It takes discipline to become a ‘need to have’ product or service, and you have to find the situations or people that turn your offer into a must have.

Lead Generation Vs. Lead Nurturing

  1. Lead generation is finding new leads that are interested in learning more about your product or service.
    • With lead generation, you can generate thousands, or millions, of extra revenue-depending on the size of your business and marketing budget.
  2. When you’re talking to potential clients, you’ll notice different types of people.
    • The first type are people who are not a fit and never will be.
    • Then, you will find people who are a great fit and they’re interested, but they’re not ready yet.
  3. Lead generation gets those first appointments, but nurturing the relationship works to ensure a future sale by keeping in touch with them.
    • They remember your name and your company’s name so that when they are ready to buy, they think of you.
  4. Although both are important, lead generation will always bring in new and interested leads, who may be ready to buy today.

Step up your marketing game!

  1. Put a dedicated employee in charge of a new task or program within your business. You will nurture a potential leader and take some of the decision making off of yourself.
  2. Use the 10x Exercise-envision what it would take to find the type of customers who would sign up for a $10,000 deal, or a $100,000 deal. Why would they need you?
  3. Check out Aaron’s predictable revenue certification course, Predictable University. This program teaches prospecting, leveraging time, resources, and selling success.

Links & Resources

From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue
Predictable Revenue
Carb.io
Salesforce
Predictable University
Nail Your Niche Workshop

Thank you for listening!

As always, thank you for tuning in. Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it!
-Stephan

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