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Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

Over the past twenty years, I’ve led three Silicon Valley startups to their first customers and revenue, and sold everything from financial data, enterprise software, and vaporware to cabinet doors, amusement park daily programs, and “would you like fries with that…?” My customers have included the largest financial institutions in the world, top US Universities, cabinet door makers and people that eat at Applebees and go to amusement parks... I’ve learned a lot, and made a few, ahem, well… a lot, of mistakes. Here in The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci, I share the lessons learned from my past two decades of selling. In each episode, I discuss a specific topic in selling and sales strategy like how to find new prospective customers, how to manage leads, how to run an effective sales meeting, uncovering customer needs, and developing pricing strategies. Episodes are a mix of guest interviews, observations from the field, and sales techniques that I’m using every single day. And people that care about such things, I’ve written two books, been a TEDx Speaker, been featured on CNBC, The Financial Times and NPR. Oh… I’m also a husband, a dad, and a three-time Ironman triathlete. Build your sales process so that you can have the company you imagine. The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci will help you get there.
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Now displaying: October, 2021
Oct 25, 2021

Last month, a friend asked if I was up for a half-marathon in November.

 

I've been taking some down time from heavy training this Fall, but the race is a trail run in the Marin Headlands. Hard to resist a perfect way to stay fit, have some fun, and hang out with a buddy. I was in.

 

As a way to gear up, we agreed we'd each do 100 air squats and 50 burpees every day for 30 days. The numbers aren't huge -- they're a push to stay focused and stay disciplined in our ramp up to race day.

 

Last week he texted me – "I’m having trouble motivating for more bp/squats!"

 

I replied –

 

"Motivation is for suckers and weaklings. Just f&cking do it. Once you get started, you’ll be fine and glad you did."

 

45 minutes later, he texted me back --

 

"50/100 - bring on the Elevator Shaft!"

 

None of us feel motivated to do hard things. Our brains are designed to find the easy path. If we want to do hard things, if we want to achieve big outcomes, hard things are a requirement.

 

We don't feel motivated to do prospecting when it's 9pm and we haven't gotten in our 20 touches for the day...

 

We don't feel motivated to go back and customize the slide deck for tomorrow's product demo...

 

We don't feel like calling our customer to tell them about a price increase...

 

We don't feel motivated to sift through 75 resumes for that next hire, knowing that 74 are going to be crap...

 

We don't feel motivated to sit down with a team member that's been underperforming for the last three months even after coaching and cajoling them...

 

We still need to do those things.

 

Whether we're pushing hard to hit that Q4 number we promised the Board or working to break through to the first $1MM, or scaling to $1MM a month, it's going to be hard. We know that.

 

Sure, sometimes hard stuff IS fun -- it's should be fun – that makes it worth doing.

 

But most of the time it's just hard.

 

And in the end, when you nail that goal you worked so hard to achieve, you won't remember how much the hard work sucked. Instead, you'll feel proud that you did it.

 

Most of all, I know that if I don't reach hit the outcome I set and I DIDN'T put in the work – looking back at those moments when I let a lack of motivation lead to a lack of effort – I WILL remember that I could have and should have just buckled down and did my 20...

 

Let's do this.

 

Do More, Be Happy, Surprise Yourself –

 

---

 

BTW… If you want some help getting some structure, building some discipline into your startup’s sales process, I’d like to help.

 

Later this month, I’m running a completely FREE Sales Masterclass for B2b startup founders & CEOs.

 

Here’s the link to our next Sale Masterclass: https://www.salesqualia.com/masterclass

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Oct 18, 2021

One of the biggest challenges startup founders face is dealing with the daily distractions and all the options available for the business – 

 

Lead gen strategies, pricing models, hiring decisions, product features. It’s nearly an endless list.

 

Often there’s a tendency to keep trying new things – 

 

  • Try running a booth at a conference…
  • Try a little bit of outbound…
  • Try recruiting a Sales VP…
  • Try hiring a marketing agency…
  • Try selling into a new vertical…

 

Trying seems like the quick, fast and cheap approach, but it’s more expensive than committing to a strategy.

 

When we’re ready to commit, it means that we’ve done the research, we’re clear on what the right work is, and what’s required to be successful. 

 

When we commit, we acknowledge and accept the obstacles along the way.

 

But if we only tell ourselves that we’ll “try” something, it’s easy to give up as soon as we hit a bump along the way.

 

Think about someone you know that “tried to go to the gym every day” or “tried to be an early riser.”

 

How often did they make a permanent change, and get to the outcome they want?

 

Probably not too often.

 

Committing creates focus and determination towards outcome. It gears us to measure progress. It removes the decision fatigue of all the distractions around us.

 

Most importantly, if you’re not ready to commit, it’s may mean that you’re not ready — that you know you haven’t done enough research or you’re simply not prepared to put in the work required to be successful on your decision.

 

Commit to a market vertical…

Commit to that new pricing structure…

Commit to hiring, onboarding, and training a salesperson…

 

You’ll save yourself time and make more progress when you do.

 

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

 

—–

 

*** If you’re a #startup founder who’s committed to building a repeatable, scalable sales process, I’d like to help.

 

I’m running a FREE Sales Masterclass for B2B founders to show the 9 Core Selling Strategies that every startup needs to build and implement to get a repeatable, scalable sales process. ***

 

Here’s the link to our next Sale Masterclass: https://www.salesqualia.com/masterclass



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Oct 12, 2021

If you’re a company founder like me, you know it’s time for the big push in Q4 to hit those EOY targets and set ourselves up for an even bigger 2022 and beyond.

 

When we’re out there pushing on our SALES – finding new customers, growing revenue, and jumping to the next level this year – we tell ourselves that we’ll hustle and grind, to do whatever it takes to hit our target. The hustle and hard work are a given – they’re are table stakes for being in the game…

 

But, whether we’re the only one driving sales at our company, or we've got a team around us that’s hustling and grinding, the problem we find is that hustle doesn’t scale. It’s not the way to build a company in the long run.

 

We know it’ll be satisfying (and required) to nail our number, but if we don’t “know how” we got there, or a team member leaves and takes their “know-how” with them, then we’re stuck with “no how” to replicate and build on the result for the years ahead.

 

That’s why building SYSTEMS along the way is critical. While we’re driving hard for every next customer, we also need to think about REPEATABILITY in our SALES PROCESS. 

 

This requires real leadership, a hefty dose of emotional intelligence, focus to be our best SELF – for our customers, for our team, and for our loved ones who are supporting us every day.

 

How are we managing the team and the process? Are we providing the right leadership our company needs? Are we taking care of our SELF first so that we can be at our best every day?

 

When it comes to creating repeatable, scalable growth, today, tomorrow and for the next ten years ahead, the theme of SALES, SYSTEMS & SELF should be front and center every day for all of us. 

 

So that we can all learn and grow together, over the next 3 months, I’m going to focus all of my time and attention on “SALES, SYSTEMS & SELF” – for my own company, with our clients, and with you.

 

On Mondays, look for a tactical SALES tip that you can put to work ASAP that's designed to help you boost your revenue.

 

On Wednesdays, we’ll focus on SYSTEMS – I'll teach about the selling frameworks required to build a startup's repeatable sales process.

 

Friday's focus is on our SELF – I'll share a personal #GoFarther strategy that will help you Do More, Be Happy & Surprise Yourself as a leader and as an individual.

 

I’m excited and grateful to be able to bring this to you.

 

Are you in?

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Oct 7, 2021

One of the biggest sales mistakes most startups, especially ones selling enterprise solutions and targeting Above-the-Line executives make, is that they don't focus on their prospect's PRIORITIES. 

 

Instead, most startups make their outreach and pitches all about their PRODUCT –

 

“Hi NAME – I'm contacting you because I would like to give you further information about our product called _____…”

 

or

 

"Hi NAME – Our company has a blah-blah platform that does feature this and feature this... Would you like to see a demo?"

 

Ugh. Delete.

 

Occasionally I'll see messaging that's PROBLEM–focused –

 

"Hi NAME – Even with a great sales team, there’s a good chance you’re hurting your growth if your blah-blah-blah is anything less than optimal..."

 

A little better, but even that isn't nearly good enough if you want to sell to ABL executives.

 

Executives get paid the big bucks because their job is to lead their company's strategic initiatives. 

 

When they step into the office every day, they're focused on their PRIORITIES – not the day-to-day problems that crop up.

 

They have people down the chain that are paid to handle the fires. 

 

And they definitely don't care about your product (even if it's AI or Blockchain or automates something or other...).

 

It's your job as a seller to know these priorities and show how you can help those executives get where they want to go.

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

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