The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

Brian Burns on 5 Ways to Maximize Income


“How do you plan to maximize your income?” We get asked this question a lot by sales leaders and coaches. 

We sat down with Brian Burns, host of The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling, to discuss five ways to maximize your income and make sure you're on the right track. 

Yo're listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpan executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace: Let's accelerate your growth in three to one greetings: Everyone andwelcome to the b Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host ChadSanderson today, Brian Burns and aure back talking about a topic that we'vebeen asked about a lot things that we hear from our clients from Rebsa wecoach and mentor, and that is how do you plan to maximize our income for theyear? What kind of things can you do to make sure that Youare the right trackto maximize your income for the year Saleis about revenue, a revenues? NameF, the game? Most of us are in it because we're money motivated sure welike to solve problems we like to help customers. We enjoy the CAARADERIE, thecompetition theyare deviting other motivators for people to be in sales.However, the number one motivator remains the ability to make money, andso, in order to do that, we need a plan. We need to know what things we can doin order to Maxbis tat didn't come for the year, so brid and I spent some timecind of run it down our experiences, an insights, to give you a list of fivethings that you can do to maximize your income. Hope you enjoy the conversation,Hey Chad, happy two thousand and eighteen, yes, hoppy New Year, I'm glad you've recovered from one ofyour resn, but it's always something isn't it that that is the worst feeling just forthe audience's benefit Chads computer. I didn't work one morning which it didn't work. It INSU PANICRIGHT! Anybody eybe! When you go to turn on that computer and it's likewait, wait. What and like you just feel your heart rate increase and you startto sweat. It's like! Oh Shit. When was my last backup. You know the only thing worse than that is. Ifyeuh your phone doesn't work, no yeah it S, yeah the shakes, Kickin, prettyquick yeah! So we're here you know in January,and you know I think a people make a lot of mistakes is top the Ame of year.But what everybody wants to do is maximizes their income and theirsuccess through this brand new year. What some are your ideas Owell for me,I think one of the best things that rebs can do is they've got to have avision of where they want to go right. So so I always would start with allright. My target earning this year is x, whatever that may be t en, based on thenew complans that are rolled out and how they're trying to you know playwith the rules. How do I back into the activity level that I need in order toachieve that goal, if not exceed it and do it through the entire year? I meanI'm not getting down into okay on day one I've got to do this on day to buthave some type of vision of where you want to go and how you want to getthere. I see a lot of raps, you know sit around and go. Oh, it's Q. One!I've got time, no N N. no, it says you never have enough time ever so planetplanet from the beginning. Nowhere you want to go and stay focused on that.That plan will keep you on target when everything else in life or in business.Is You know, spinning around you yeah and I think that's one of my bigones too, because when you start with a brand new year, you think a year is along time. Yeah, the older you get the shorter theybecome. Tell me about, because I did this crazy thing lastyear, where I got a a wall calendar that was a whole year, not just onemonth or not just three months and it's right here in my office, and I look atit every day and I grade myself every day and last year t was the first year.I really did that as upposed to just looking at you know your phone or yourdesktop calendar and believe me, a year... so short. I was like Whoa it's all over, becauseI was Hav. Last year I was like I'm a really super focus, no more BS. Youknow I had a kind of a weird year before that and I got there's going tobe a great ear and- and I was super productive, but I really realized howshort a year is o it goes by so damn fast. I mean, I mean think about it. Imean, I know the audience, we're recording this almost into Januaryalready, but I mean I was. It was just Christmas. I swear. It was justChristmas. I just PS, IMOs ornaments and now I'm looking at I'm alreadythrough one third of my first quarter and it's like I'm so far by I'm not sofar behind I'm behind where I want to be. I know where I want to go, but it'slike crap all right, so I'm not going to go to the MOTORCYC exbo this weekendright. I need to spend Sunday catching up and getthim back on track, and so Ithink I see a lot of reps thank years a long time and it's always theyounger ones, a thing because I remember being like twenty four twentyfive s, probably even in my ies any year, seems like forever. No notanymore like it's amazing how fast they go by and so being aware of, thepassage of time and being being focused on what you want to accomplish in thethree hundred and sixty five days. I love the grating idea. I love thegreating idea because if you don't stay focused on yourself in what you'redoing it's so easy to get off track, it's so easy to get distracted, andthat's I mean if you want maximum income, you got to stay focused on that and that's it and our companies reallydon't help us with this. Nothey actually were against us right, becausehow often did you get your complan January? First, Oh yeah, now veryrarely right, never not one career and and there'salso, you know the whole bunch of stuff that goes on you at the sales kick ofhs,which you know I could do a whole episode o Oh yeah, Oh yeah, it is, some of us are in the business of saleskick club, so I won't no they're great they're great they're,great, very valuable, always revile, but yeah, but there's distractions,because you don't have your complan. You don't have your territory you're, still kind of cleaning up alittle bit of last year. You know tha the orders accounting calls you up andsays: Oh well, th. We can't book this because of this, its a all thisactivity and if we don't take ownership of our calendar of our time, you know q.One is just going to slide right by us, Oh yeah, and so I mean for me. It'slike you know, moving moving onto like the second wone. For me, its like okay.Nowhere, you want to goes number one but then be relentlessly focused right,relantlessly focused on your goal and that's that selffawareness. I have aclient actually talking to one of the reps that I'm working with and and shewas like, sapologizing left and right and she's like I know I was supposed todo this- that and the other thing whatever it was and she's like it hasjust been absolutely insane since the first of t years they did their kickoffin q four, so their fiscal started qe, for so their kickoff wasn't key for andshe's like, but since Januaryy one she's like we just need the executivesto leave us alone and let us go build pipe and she's, like all they're doing,is getting in the way, so that relentless focus on what you need to doto be successful. That releness folks on the activities you have to do. Ithink that comes down to individual reps ability to effectively manage up, which I wasnever really good at. Let's US put that out there I was just I was too much of. I was toocandid. Let's say, I think, that's a nice way, O saying a it's a dice, wiss ho, basically asshole,but I want to sell that's what I'm here to do, and so I think the raps have totake it on themselves again know where they want to go point. One point tostay focused on it: Don't let the... or the executives of thekickoff or the clients knock you out of the out of the channel you're, puttingyourself in yeah yeah. My number two was focusing on your ideal clients,meaning there's so much noise and again our management doesn't really help uswith this, because they can t well. They can't measure quality unless thethe deal comes in so they look, they manage quantity, which typically isn'thelpful for us right. You know number of calls number of meetings number ofdemos and as opposed to the quality of the meetings, calls and Demos. So we have to do that and kind ofpresent what our management wants to see. While we do what we really need todo to get deals done, yeah the qualify is the ability to qualify where youshould be spending your time and it's funny, because you know you talk aboutthat activity. Tracking and hit's. I've got a huge handful of clientswhere at some point at some somewhere in a conversation. Well, how do I knowwhat activity they're doing every day? I need to build that into my crm andI'm like all right. Well, okay, I understand why I want to dothat, but the fact of the matter is regardless of how connected your crm isto everything hat's going on unless your diler is connected to your Crym,unless your mobile phones are connected, Thi Scram you're, never going tocapture all of the activity, so for me it would always be more about. Are theyqualifying and focusing on accounts that are the highest potential Aray now raps have a tendency, any they wan'tchase. Anything right more is better A. I think we should be if you want toMaximi's revenue, like you said, focus on the clients qualify, who you'respending your time with how you're applying that time and focus on theones that are going to have the potential to bring the biggest returns.Yes, you know because, but naturally we're going to focus on the people thatwe're friendly with the people who, like the people who call us sure, buttypically they're, not the best ennough, the e calling me. That means they don'thave enough to do yeah orth. They want to complain orthey a deal or omy. Next one was look at the year as awhole. Instead of you know, Coun we kind of FOCUSD in quarters, typicallyor months yep and there's this you know sprint rest sprinth Ang going on, andyou know right now, we're probably in a sprint on the administrative side- andyou know people are going to wake up. You know February Twenty Eighth and SayO. Oh we've got one month left in Q, One oh yeah, I mean the all of a sudden.You see the pipeline just dwindle right, you got it if you don't stay focusd onthe whole again, it goes back to the ER. Talking like that that vision. If youlook look at it, I'm just going to do this this month, you're not taking intoaccount what ask what could happen or what should happen throughout theentire year. So I think you're, one hundred percent spot on you can't thinkof E. I know I know reps that think in terms of weeks, and these aren't evenguys are doing transactional sales they're doing big scale B to B and allthey do is focus on this week, but if you're not focused on the whole, anespecially in a btob, complex Sel, where it's a longsale cycle, how do youknow you're doing the right things today? Theyre Gon keep your pipe linefall and help you hit your quotoor exceed it. You know three six monthsdown through sales process. Have the tunnel vision, I think, is a problemfor some reps, where they just focus on okay, hey it's January, I got all yourworry about the rest of your in February. Oh Crap Febuaryis here wellI'll worry about qto. I got a focus on qone right and they have a tendency toget in this really short sited cycle yeah. I used to call at the quarterlyroller coaster yeah...

I work for this manager. He was theconductor of the roller coaster and he would never admit it. We havebeers and he goes yeah. You know what happens the first month of the quarter,everybody's on vacation, having babies, heaven meetings and then the second month of thequarter. We start going out and meeting people and then the third month of thequarterwe panic and he did it every quarter and andwhat I learned was like. I just thought linearly. I thought, like I don't careabout the quarter bause. It doesn't matter to me financially, it matters tome emotionally and politically, but it had no real financial matter. Yeah E, Imean dend of the day. It is the totality of it. WHOMWHO made the decision on thequarters. I mean I mean it's been around forever, but I'v always been one. That's looking at.I got three hundred sixty five days. This is the target: How we're going toget there if and maybe I'm maybe I choose- maybe I choose strategicallyjuise to do things in Qon that will set up a higher close rate in Qto and threethen just focus on something I can bring it in q one and let these otherthings that could be bigger slide right. So it's that managing your time right and not beingso tunnel vision on what you need today and look management, not not yourfriend Ner itjust NEL. I wasn't when I was amanager. I know I wasn't well, that's it because you know Y itcomes. You know it slides downhill as they say Y, because you got the borderdirectors of even a tiny companties, whoever the shareholders are. You knowthey look at it, probably quarterly because they meet huarterly right andthen the CEOS got ta present and and when the number isn't there thenthere's panic tand, then it goes downhill very fast and panic causesactivity which causes distraction and dfocuses everybody and as a rap. Well you own yourbusiness, you ow your w two or your Tun. Ninety nine, whatever it is, and and ifyou've been a new year- and you got a long sales cycle, say even ninety days,a hundred and eighty days, youll Qone is your time to prospect. It's yourtime to invest, and you know the big thing I learned about the calendarexercise. I did last years look at the pattern and I started marking down. Thepattern of you know were one of the trade shows. You know the your mark offJuly and August because it's just a you know a ghost on and quit thinking it's a recession.It's not a recession. Aern yeah and I can't tell you it tookme probably ten, fifteen years of being in sales before I understood that itwasn't a recession I literally would be like. Am I in the wrong industry? Youknow, did something happen? No, it's just like everybody's on vacation inJuly and August yeah, and you is that that pattern recognition, I think, iscritical for maximizing your income. I would I would in my list it's fun. Itshows up as avoid the seasonality trap right so know how your industry runsknow. What's going on not just for you, but it's you know the customers. So ifyou're targeting CMOS when ar when's the big you know, glut of shows they'regoing to be at so don't waste your time trying to get a hold of them, becauseyou know they're going to be on the road wher they're going to be at thoseplaces right. If you can see that pattern and then you can start to, youcan start to layer in your activities to counteract that right to balance it.So you don't get caught in that. But I remember the first year that I was Ihit August and I was doing work with company and in Europe and I thoughtthey'd been wiped off the map, as it was three weeks into August,nobody returne a phone call or an email, and I was like what is going on, andthen somebody explained to me that...

...basically, the entire CONA takes off inAugust, and but I didn't know that, and I was spending I mean. I was rampingmyself up wasting time because I wasn't aware of kind of looking at the world,though my custmers Izan and my custers customer schedules that that orecognition, I think, is critical and it's not a skill. I see in a lot of a lot of raps, unfortunately, nobecause I think we're still, you know we have that lozard brain bat. We deny it. You know atscientifically it's three quarters of our brain: Oh yeah, embrace it. It certainly recognizeit know thatyou're notall, you're, reallythinking about. Is your next meal and your next nap right right and sit dowt O my head get out ofmy head right now and understand that we're not you know we try and pretendthat we're these business people- and you know that Wel we only have a thirdor a quarter of our brain to apply to that, but we got to apply it. Otherwise we're just going to beconstantly reacting instead of planning through, and you know I had the sameexperience every summer and I did the the exact opposite thing. I should havebeen it's like if everybody in your industry's gone in August, guess whatthat's the time to. Thank you vacation right right. You know, don't try! Takeyour vacation in November December, you know, especially when I covered thegovernment. You know I wanted to go on vacation right after Labor Day, becausethe weather was fantastic. where I lived, the the rates were half of whatthey were a week before, but the problem was that was my high seasonright. They were all had earend money that they had to spend and I wanted tohelp them. Oh Yeah. We want to help him. We want to help, spend those dollars,but you have to be there right and that's just that's one of the. Istruggle with how to help- and I don't know if it's an innate thing or if it'ssomething you can actually help people accomplish with that that becoming moremindful of the way the ecosystem you're in breathes right, the way the heartbeatgoe. So you understand what you're a part of, rather than trying to forceyour agenda, not just on a client or in a sales interaction. I see that a lottoo, but really understanding the ecosystem that you'rein and how it moves that mindfulness of what you're bringing the table when youneed to be doing what and how that then plugs into this larger picture. I don'tsee a lot of refts and I've struggle with it too. Rightyou put a big deal.I've gotten better at it over the last five years, but used to put a big dealin front of me ND. I was like a dog with a bone like I didn't care what wasgoing on. I was going after that, but it just its kind of productivewasting time, I'm not in the right places at the right time. I'm focusedon one thing I'm over here when I've got all of these other customers. Whoare you know in the prime target to be interacted with or sold to, and I'mmissing it because I'm not paying attention to the bigger picture, yeahand one of the smartest managers. I ever met, you know we wese again havinga beer- and you know I go s, what's the secret to your success because he was ayoung guy rose up through the orgue. Very fast was doing really well and hegoes wel. Let's, let's go through the team here and he point out one personthat person focuses on one deal at a time: it's big, he gets it and then hetakes a vacation and then he starts the next one and that you know the classic hunterand then then ther et goes. We okay now look at this other guy. He works onthese tiny deals, but a lot of them. He grinds it out and he makes his number,but you know look how hard he works. You know it's like every night. Everyweekend he goes. What I do steady stayed. I focus on both big deals.Small deals, I just work the system and that changed my career because you knowI was probably not the big deal guy and I didn't like the idea of workingeighty hours a week on time. Yo Dooukno,...

...because t e tiny deals tend to actuallyhappen anyway. Right you can, we end up working a hard to make them happen aweek ahead of time, but if you're, if you, then you know kind of work, yourway up, so that you can work big deals and not just to have blinders on right.You know, and- and today I think a lot of people are just goit to theyrinundated with tiny deals of which eighty percent won't close and they getdistracted. I from it's funny for me, my last one was consistency. Just likeyou were saying that managers right and what I today now look at. You know ourbusiness is pipeline and it's like. I want a certain percentage of what wewould call those small deals. I want a certain percentage of medium size Doasat I want a certain percentage of whales that we're constantly chasingyour constantly engaged with right gives us that nice spread throughoutthe pipe blid in the revenue funnel and that's kind of where we focus him and-and we know, like you, said, a lot of those small deals you're having aconversation to it. People don't have budget, but they may not have budgettoday that they may be able to go find it. We don't necessarily Wanto, gochase it with them, but you want to be working. Those medium deals and thosebig as just consistently just be consistent little engine that could getup Tho, Damn Hill just keep keep working the system. I love thatmanager's advice. I think it's spot on yeah, and this is a something that youknow I relearned last quarter was that I had one client that I was workingreally hard for, but they didn't know it that Wer the person who paid medidn't know it. So what Wat I did is every other week. I would update themon what I had been doing and then give visual evidence of it right. Rightand,then all of a sudden they're like Whoa, but you know, did my actual outputchange. Now my output was identical, but my communication of what I wasdoing and Youal we've always seen this. When you were a manager. You know,because you had some of the reps that overcommunicated with you yeah, then you had the lone wolf whereyou had to like a so employed here. Did they call Ghare yet av seen them in on in see AU po? Youdidn't know if they existed or not. I think you need to find that rightlevel of communication with both your clients and your manager. But if youare getting you know a lot of revenue from a client, don't take that forgranted and make sure that you're communicating with the person who makesthe actual payment decision, not just the usage decision. Well Yeah I mean,and that's part of that h t the communication all cross an accountright. We have a tendency. Thinkriud Ove got my my champion, my sponsor myStak Oll or whatever you want to call him. This is the guy who hired me, orthis is the Gal that hired me and I'm working for them and they know what I'mdoing maybe and then there's this person thatwrites a check and then there's maybe these other people that are affected bywhat you do. I've kind of taken, a habit of on a monthly basis when I sendsend the invoice off to accounting. I send a summary to everybody that I'vetouched that month in the account it's and it's just a standard. 's notdlike they taken a time other than adding the people to the email think,but it actually ends up resulting in more conversation and seems actuallyseems to keep them all in the same page like I wonder if they all talkMrihtmaybe, not about you, Ai Hope not buttwe. Take that for granted. Weassume that our champion is being a champion right, Withi, the aount and itcontinually- and you know the and the manager may not know that they might be.You know looking at the list of products that they're going to renew orscrape right and unless somebody sayng no, no, no, I can't live without thator I can't live out with that guy or what they're doing for me. They'll try and live without you right...

...and because believe me, everyone's gotso many options. Today, it's very easy to be overlooked. Well, it's I mean the DSTR, the amountof distractions, the amount of things people have on their play. If you don'tfind a way to communicate in a valuable manner rightlike not just a hey, pamly, here's a list of crap I did but communicate in avaluable way to make. You know, keep their confidence up in. You continue tostoke the fires of your credibility. That credibility. Isn't you don't getit and keep it? You have to keep earning it. I have to earn that respectover time, because there's always going to be somebody else like me trying toget you out of that account. So I can have it that's what that's your job, that's myjob! That's my job is to take you and that your job is to take my accountaway for me, like that's, it's called sales, that's part of what we do. So,if you can't keep that consistent, clear, valuable communication betweeneverybody in the account you run the risk of not only the account forgettingabout you, you're credibbly, sleping with them or them not understanding thevalue you're bringing o the table. But you open the door for the competitionas well. And how are you seeing things out there?You think two thousand and eighteen is going to be a great year. I so I obviously I'm sure everybody'skind of figured out. I have days where I can be a little soft and cudly, butthe vast majority of them a little bit more sharp edges. So I am trying toembrace this year believing thet, two thousand and eighteen is going to be akiller year, and I tell myself that every morning, because two thousand andseventeen from a business standpoint was awesome, but personally it was a kick in the you know what,because it just didn't, stop from a business standpoint. TwoThousand and eighteen, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be a phenomenalyear right, it's as much as things change, they all saythe same, and so if raps are doing those things that we know not just fromone year five year, ten years, but from two thousand and thirty forty years ofexperience, we know these things work. They continue to work, it's just thematter of applying hean. If you do that, I see no reason why rep should be ableto blow out their quotas a share. I feel the same way. I think it's goingto be a superyear. I think all th, the MAKEA trends are in place, meaning that you know theres all thissales technology t for the people who embraced it. The economy is doingreally well. The geopolitical situation isreasonably to name at least entertaining certainyentertaining I do enjoy talking to Brian Burns. Wehave such a good time together going over these topics. We have similarenough experiences that we that we can connect on things and unique enoughperspectives that, hopefully it's providing you with unique listeningexperience or some things you can take away from this. As you continue tolisten to this series of Brin, and I working on you know maximizing youryears. What is what we need to be focused on right now, maximizing yourincome and and really, if you're, only going to take away one thing from thisepisode from this conversation. Please please, please make it be about focusand consistency if you stay focused on your goal, if you consistently applythe best practices, if you never assume that you know everything that you'vegot it all right, if you keep that focus in that consistency, you willhave the results that you want. Sales is a discipline. It is not an easyprofession, it is not for the for the fane of heart, so to speak. So I hopeyou guys found this exciting and interesting and engaging this isprobably you know the most fun I have doing. These is just being able to sitdown with Brian and for today that I'll do it for this episode, Wer to thankeverybody for listening again share it up. There promot a force who reallyappreciate that, and until next time we aevalue prime solutions with you,nothing, but the greatest success you've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure...

...that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (226)