In November of 2018, Founder Craig Burris launched his third brand SALESROCKIT. His first two brands, ComputerUser and SmartCEO, both primarily sold marketing services, advertising, events and digital marketing. He and his amazingly talented teams worked tirelessly to provide the highest quality magazine, events, website and community. Despite the amazing products they developed, there was an underlying frustration.
“So few of our clients had a sales system, a sales process to monetize the leads or opportunities we would provide them,” Burris noted, “Only a handful in each of our cities did it right.” We would lose clients because they could not create new business or make sales off the marketing. No matter how hard the team worked there was a pattern.
After SmartCEO, he came across “Sales Enablement Technology” while working with one of his consulting clients. Not only did he wish he had this technology for his previous two companies, he immediately recognized he wanted to lead the charge for the use of it. This was a path to positively impact the lives and momentum of entrepreneurs in Baltimore that he cared about and got to know over the previous 16 years.
Except for the few leading-edge sales companies, many suffer from the same challenges and pain points:
- Unclear ROI on marketing
- No sales process to execute new business growth
- Lack of transparency into sales team activity
- Difficulty hiring and on-boarding new reps
- Sales process is not turnover proof
- A sense that leads and opportunities are falling through the cracks
Many of these companies are doing fine. They have strong brands, good people and operational systems in place. In the back of their minds though, the CEOs know this is a weak spot, an Achilles heel. Will they notice in advance if momentum starts to shift? Do they have confidence they could inject momentum back into the sales process if they needed to?
Like everything in Burris’ business in the past, SALESROCKIT, the technology, is best in class. SALESROCKIT the brand wants to lead the charge in the sales enablement revolution. The brand wants to attract organizations that are committed to being leading-edge sales organizations. It wants to build a community that shares ideas and inspires companies to get better.
“I loved my last two businesses, but SALESROCKIT is arguably the most exciting because of the positive impact we can have on both the organization and the people that work there.”
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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:01
Hey everyone, welcome to the program. My name is Umar Hameed and I'm your host, and today I have the privilege of having Craig Burris the founder of SALESROCKIT. Craig, welcome to the program.
Craig Burris 0:11
Umar Hameed 0:12
The start of 2020. And I'm excited about the year coming up making my plans and every single sales force on planet Earth is doing the same thing. How can we get our people not only to be motivated at those meetings, but actually go out there and do the things they need to do to make that forecast that quota come true?
Craig Burris 0:31
Well, it's an exciting time of year. But my hope is that the goals that they're putting in front of all these reps are realistic. I think there's a stat floating around that 85% of reps don't meet their annual quota, which is a pretty significant number. So hopefully, you know we can we can show people some ideas today that will increase that number for them. And at least set some realistic expectations so that everybody feels good at the end of the year.
Umar Hameed 0:55
As sales leaders but certainly consultants that come into organizations is you know, who exactly are your customers? Because oftentimes somebody has a pulse. they'll sell it to them. And they get, you know, a variety of customers. But there's a certain sector of customers that are highly profitable and aren't afraid to spend money. How do you help your clients get the right target?
Craig Burris 1:17
Well, so when I walk into a company, and again, my company SALESROCKIT, is a sales enablement technology. That's the premise that SALESROCKIT was built on. And it's an amazing tool, fell in love with it. So when did when did to sell it? What I've realized is that you've got to have these five pillars in place, or whether you have technology or don't, it doesn't matter. And so what I do is I walk into an organization and the first thing we're talking about is not the technology. We're talking about these five pillars.
Umar Hameed 1:48
Before we go there. Let's talk about targeting though. How do you help your clients target the right customers?
Craig Burris 1:55
Well, it's always it's always the who and the what. Who you're going to sell to? What are you going to sell to them? And you know, when, when you're talking about the who, I like to call them, your best buyers, like who are your best buyers? You know, each company is different. And so you kind of have to look at what has worked in the past. Who your verticals are that you own.
Umar Hameed 2:17
Without naming names because we want to protect the innocent. Can you think of one of your past clients in the last few years, when you went in and help them figure out who their ideal customers were? Like, where would they focus before and how did you help them target the right customer?
Craig Burris 2:34
Yeah, so one, one of my clients had, you know, when I say the who and the what, their what had become too expensive. And so they were selling too many product lines. And because of that, they were now selling to smaller organizations. And it doesn't matter what sell you're making. The sales cycles still take time they take resources. So what I was able to do is kind of narrow this focus into "Hey, your most profitable is this. And here's who you should sell it to," let's not even look at companies that are under 25 employees, or, or in a particular vertical for this particular guy was about size of organization, number of butts in seats or a technology.
Umar Hameed 3:18
Nice. So once you get them to figure out, you know, this is my target, one things you do is you help them develop a strategy to get conversation started with their ideal customers. So talk to me about some of the strategies that you've helped your customers develop that actually lead to sales compensation?
Craig Burris 3:36
My belief system is because I'm a media guy, everybody should wrap a media brand around whatever product they're selling. And so when I when I say that think of all the things that media companies do, and it's create content to attract audience, it's do podcasts like this. It's webinars, its events. Anything that a media company should do, though A potential strategy to attract your best buyer into your ecosystem to to ultimately monetize that relationship.So.
Umar Hameed 4:08
Let me just add on to that, if I may, because it's not just creating content, whatever that is, it's really having a deep understanding of your customer, what's the content that's going to get them to go,"Oh, my God, I need to interact with this company." So it's that deep understanding of customer and what their issues are, allow you to craft your content around tha would that would that be a true statement?
Craig Burris 4:31
Well, if you're doing content, marketing in your website to attract them for inbound, and that is the accurate statement. When I say content, what I'm saying is you've got 100 people you want to do business with, that are in the right vertical in the right size company. And so let's create an interview series or a podcast or video series. And what we're going to do is we're going to ask them to participate in it and we're going to pick their brain create content through that. By doing that you create a special relationship. By me participate in your podcast, I will have a lifelong relationship with you now.
Umar Hameed 5:04
There goes to neighborhood.
Craig Burris 5:06
It's the same thing holds true. If you invite a prospect to participate. they'll, they'll appreciate the opportunity, they'll, they'll get content that they can promote that benefit them. And now you've got a special bond between the two of you that, again, allows you to have a different type of conversation about maybe doing business together.
Umar Hameed 5:25
Absolutely. I think if you're talking to a customer in a sales setting, getting them to really open up and reveal what's really going on. It's an art form. And it takes a while to develop that trust. But when you're doing a podcast or an interview thing, there is no pressure on either side. And it allows your potential customers to let their guard down and really deeply share what's going on with you. So I think it's a brilliant way, a non threatening way to build relationships.
Craig Burris 5:53
We offer special tips how to build credibility quickly. If you're gonna create a media brand with no credibility behind you. You've got to have some mechanisms in place to build credibility quickly. So when you ask a really high value prospect to participate, they look at and go, "absolutely, I'm in," versus "what is this thing? Who are these people?"
Umar Hameed 6:10
Makes perfect sense. And once you've got that relationship with, let's let's go along with the 100. At January 2020, we pick 100 customers that if we could get 10 of them this year, it would make it a huge year for us. So we create a strategy to start that dialogue. We've started the dialogue. And then one of the pillars you talked about certainly have a strategy. And we've already addressed that. The second one was workflow, talk to me about how to create an appropriate workflow that will take that initial conversation and lead it into a sales opportunity.
Craig Burris 6:44
Well, your goal typically is to get a meeting, invite them to an event, or maybe it's even just an online demo. So you have to decide what the end goal is of the strategy and then your workflow is designed to support That. So it could be a series of phone calls and emails to invite them to an event or just to get a meeting. You can also add in, you know, direct mail pieces, text messaging, you know, social media, connecting on social media, there's a stat that if you have a relationship, or you can create a relationship via social media increases your odds of a meeting by like 30%. A lot of people don't feel comfortable social media, but it's real.
Umar Hameed 7:28
One of my clients, they deal with VP of sales, and they found texting to be highly effective, because getting them on the phone is challenging. But sending them a text moves them closer to that sale in powerful, magical ways.
Craig Burris 7:42
Absolutely. You just got to have their cell phone number
Umar Hameed 7:44
There's ways today with services out there that you can actually get anybody cell phone number that you want. And in the show notes, I'll kind of list some of those. So once we've got that workflow started and I think another word for workflow is the process right the sales process that we're using in this stage of the sales cycle before we get people to say, "Yes, I'm interested." I think a lot of sales people hesitate or are repelled by a process. Because you know, hey, I'm a sales guy, I'm creative. I don't want to be confined when the reality is quite different, right? When you use a sales process, what are the advantages of that, Craig?
Craig Burris 8:21
Well, the advantage for the leader is transparency. It's, hey, here's the plan. Let's execute the plan. And I want to see how many steps in the plan it takes to get a meeting. From a salesperson standpoint, yes, we said is accurate. But there's one other component as a lot of them don't like to be, don't like for it to be known what they're doing or not doing. And so our process makes it very transparent, that maybe they're not doing what they need to do to be successful. Now, the ones that are good at it, they embrace it, they get it and they do the work. So again, I just say 85% that don't meet their quotas. Bad habits and poor work habits are at the core of a lot of those 85%. And what I'd like to do as a leader is vet them out sooner rather than later and get them off the team and have a system in place where I can onboard people right into a system that I know works, and develop their habits right from the beginning.
Umar Hameed 9:22
What's interesting, Craig, is that I'm not sure if you've met God yet, but some of them work at hospitals and their surgeons, and you know, they're the masters of their domain, their failure rate actually turns out to be quite high. And one of the things that's radically changed it is when they use a checklist during an operation, medical errors get reduced by foot. Communication errors get reduced by almost 50%. Once they institutionalize checklists. Now, patient outcomes are really good. And the same thing is true for sales. If we don't have a process, it's really hard to diagnose what the problem is. And when we do have a process and we've got, let's say, 10 sales people using it, and it takes longer than from step two to step three, then as a group, we can go, "what do we need to change to speed that up?" But if everyone's doing something different for the sales manager, it's an impossible task to, to fix, right?
Craig Burris 10:17
That's absolutely right. And again, when your business is growing, you know, you can attract through referrals, you can attract through marketing, whether it's content marketing, got a good inbound flow happening. But what that, for example, one of my clients used to get 30 leads a day through Facebook, and that's declined significantly. And so their business has changed. So now they need a process to go out and find new clients within they've never had to do it. They've been in business over 20 years. So things change and you need to have a process. What I would always preach people develop your process and have it ready to go. And if you're in a situation where you don't necessarily need to execute the process, that's great. But when you need it, you want to have it there and ready to go and ideally, it's turned over proof. So it's plug and chug, one rep leaves another person steps right into the process. And it's repeatable. Again. And again, again, rinse and repeat.
Umar Hameed 11:08
Teams should review their process, probably on a quarterly basis just to make sure that they're still in alignment with what the market really needs. And so once they've got that workflow that process set data is critically important. Like who we calling What are they in numbers? Are they still there? because things change. So talk to me about data, and how can we ensure that we've got the right data to launch campaign?
Craig Burris 11:33
Well, we use you know, SALESROCKIT itself has some tools built into it. We call it smart match technology and social media pending. So when you add a prospect to SALESROCKIT, one of the things I like is you're actually looking at the face of the person that you're selling to. And that technology goes out and scrapes the internet for phone numbers, cell phones, whatever social media they're looking at. So from a pre call research standpoint, you have a pretty good sense of what's going on. But I think the reason why data is so important is when there's bad data, and nothing frustrates a rep more than to have a boss say, "Hey, here's our plan for next year, here's our workflow that we're going to build out and I'll get to work" and first week that they go half of the prospects that they're calling grab business, so the person doesn't work here anymore. And then they're like, this is ridiculous. So when you launch an initiative, you got to make sure you've got really solid data for the rep.
Umar Hameed 12:26
Absolutely, because it's a hard thing to do anyway. And if you compound it with bad data, then of course, people are not going to take the actions we need them to take.
Craig Burris 12:35
And two other quick tools one's free, once called Hunter. And hunter over overlays on top of companies websites, and they'll tell you that the naming recognitions, or naming conventions for emails, you know, first initial last name at or first name, dot last name at less and less useful, so we just need to get an email if we punch that email in SALESROCKIT, if it's a bad email, then SALESROCKIT says, hey, it's bad email, don't stop, don't sell this person. The other one is a technology called Seamless.ai. And it's simply scours the internet even deeper than we do. And I use that all the time to, you know, find phone numbers, emails of prospects. But there's no no more excuses for having bad data.
Umar Hameed 13:26
And there's one other tool that's really useful. It's called True People Search.
Craig Burris 13:29
Umar Hameed 13:30
And you can get cell phones and all kinds of informations. information for people you're trying to sell, too. I was doing a presentation and I took the name of everybody in that presentation that was attending and showed them their cell phone number that I had gathered, you know, half an hour before the meeting, just by going to a place.
Craig Burris 13:51
It's a little spooky. It's all out there.
Umar Hameed 13:53
Magical. Then once we've got our strategy in place, the right data, we've got the right workflow, our People are executing, we need to hold them accountable. What's the best way to hold people accountable? So it's not seen as big brother or big sister. But as seen as this is the best way for me to improve?
Craig Burris 14:12
Well, for me accountability means do what you say that your do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it. And if you're going to fall short, give somebody a heads up. So to me, that's what accountability means. And that's what I've always preached all my companies and that I've run. And then also for my clients, I give them the same accountability mindset. But when I'm talking about accountability in terms of one of the five pillars, what I'm talking about is the leader needs to know that if they have a strategy, it was executed to the end. Because if the strategy right good strategy, if it doesn't get executed you a rep quits halfway through on the execution says this isn't working. Okay, was it a bad idea, or did the person just not execute? So to me, accountability is in terms of it being one of the pillars of generating This just means is, whatever we decide we're going to do, we're going to actually do it. And we're going to do it in a timeframe. Also, if you if you have an outbound campaign to call 100 people, and it's supposed to last for 30 days, you let it stretch out over 90 days, it's going to be highly ineffective over 90 days, whereas in 30 days, you'll probably get 15 to 35% meetings out of that.
Umar Hameed 15:19
So what's kind of interesting is a lot of times, sales leaders roll out new initiatives, but they don't spend a lot of time setting expectations. Company I know they released the software that records all the sales conversations that salespeople are having. It's also got a webcam that's pointing at the sales rep. Every single sales rep had turned their webcam looking at the ceiling, not at them. And there was a lot of resistance to this technology. And what the owners of the company realized was they didn't set the expectations properly. They re explained why they've got the software. It isn't to monitor what you're doing, per se but what we want you to do is this week, highlight a call that went exceptionally well. And we're going to review that, and also highlight a call that went sideways. And we can actually discuss what went wrong. As soon as they set the expectations correctly, what ended up happening was they increase the sales of all their reps by a minimum of 20%. Because they realized this wasn't a tool to beat them over the head with and punish them. But it was a tool to provide effective coaching to make them better. And so setting expectations for accountability, I think, are critical.
Craig Burris 16:27
Yeah. And that also brings in the fifth pillar, which is oversight in that particular situation. The oversight was there, someone was really paying attention. And notice one that the reps are not allowing themselves to be held accountable, and stepped in and solve that challenge. The other thing that you won't be able to do is just identify know what emails are working, if you've got a sales voice you've created, is it is it connecting with the person you're targeting? And the only way to do that is to really be laser focused on sales voice, the outcomes, how long is it taking to execute, you know, things of that sort. So oversight on whatever new initiative you're going to have is crucial.
Umar Hameed 17:04
I heard this quote earlier on today, which I really liked. And I don't remember who was I can't attribute it. But it was basically, if you want to have a good idea, have many ideas. And I guess the thought was, you can come up with a brilliant idea all on its own. But if you come up with 50 ideas, one of them is going to be fantastic. And I think the same thing is true for those emails that we that we craft, certainly we're going to do a really good job trying get the first template out, but then it needs to be an ongoing process to figure out how do we increase the impact of this email by changing headlines and what we mentioning and eventually we get to something that's your gold.
Craig Burris 17:42
The danger of the 50 ideas or that whatever number was, entrepreneurs are great and that they've got so many ideas and they have so much energy around their ideas, but they also have the idea of the week. And what I coach people is keep the five pillars in front of you and when you've got a new idea build it out into the five steps strategy, workflow, data, accountability, execution, create a new idea, get the last one executed first, before we start the second one.
Umar Hameed 18:09
Brilliant. One of the things I like about your technology, Craig, SALESROCKIT is that it takes average sales people and it gives them extraordinary outcomes because they're following a predictable process. They know where they are in that process. They can review it with their managers, and it takes excellent salespeople. And it just allows them to focus on what's most important because it takes care of that process for them. Have you found that as transform sales teams?
Craig Burris 18:34
It has it we've had some some significant positive outcomes. And the reason why the five pillars were built is we had some that were not working. And I needed some sort of a mechanism to help these organizations you know, the technology itself is not going to help you generate new business, but the technology is huge right? Will have an amazing outcome for people and so you know New rapid less experienced rep can step into a system and be super productive in a week or two. If the system is built out using some form of technology like a sales rep.
Umar Hameed 19:10
Brilliant Craig. Thanks so much for coming on the program and how can people get a hold of you and how can they take out SALESROCKIT for test drive?
Craig Burris 19:17
Well if you go to www.salesrockIt.com and it's it vs et for rockIt, there's an About Us page or they just email me craig@salesrockIt.com and we'll give you a demo.
Umar Hameed 19:31
Craig thanks so much.
Craig Burris 19:32
Thank you, Umar and this has been great and love chatting with you at all times.
Umar Hameed 19:37
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.