The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 months ago

How to Establish a Repeatable Sales Process w/ Dan Morris


Your new startup has got a killer product, which deserves a best-in-class sales process, so you hire someone with a track record of success at your favorite company — the one you most want to emulate. You’re as confident as they are when they join the team. Then it all goes wrong. Why is it so hard to build a repeatable sales process?

If you listen to my latest guest, Dan Morris, Managing Partner of Mindracer Consulting, a modern VP of Sales & CRO as a Service firm, you’ll quickly learn it doesn’t have to be. You’re just approaching it wrong.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The purpose of a sales process
  • What companies most often get wrong when building one
  • How to avoid those mistakes and create a killer — and repeatable — sales process

    Now you know how to establish a repeatable sales process, are you ready to learn how to build the right team or master acquisitions as a growth strategy? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're, listening to the B TB RevenueExecutive Experience, a podcast, dedicated ELP, it executives traintheir sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to theright place. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one: welcome everyone to the B to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host ChatSanderson today we're talking about creating a repeatable sales process,the importance of getting it right and when it makes sense to out sources andpotentially even outsource or Cro, to help us. We have with US Dan MorrisManaging Parter of mine, Racer, consulting a modern V, P of sales andCro as a service firm Dan. Thank you for taking the time and welcome to theshow. Hey Chad is really great to be here thanks. Very much for having meexcited to be having this conversation with you today excellent. So we alwayslike to start out with kind of an AFTHA question. Just so our audience gets achance to know you a little bit better and always curious to learn somethingyou're passionate about that. Those who only know you from a work environmentmight be surprised to learn sure all right. I learned to drive whenI was six years old and I have a really massive passion for cars, so yeah, despite living in Manhattan,which is not a great place to have that passion, see yeah learned to drive soearly. So I've always had this interest and yeah very, very deeply passionateabout those sort of things to a sort of ridiculously geeky left, particular types of cars or just allcars. In general, I, like the analog cars, the ones wherethe driver was really playing a massive role in the the performance of thevehicle. Favorite cars, probably MW M cars between the N S and two sand o.But I think if there was a no holds bird, you can do anything. I think wehave now reached peak car. You know with the phasing out of the gasoleneengine over the next couple of years, conigastus dish manufacturer hasreleased a car that I think is peak car and so that's called. The Gemera isjust an absolutely ridiculous piece of equipment and happy to Gik about that with anybodywho's interested. I will definitely check that out allright. Well. Thank you. Thank you very much for Sarang that giving us thatinsight so topic of the day. Let's, let's start with always kind of like gomacro to micro, and so you know everybody thinks they understand what asales process is or what what it is for. I'm curious to know you know if, if youthink about it, why is it so critical for a business to get it right? Why isit critical for them to have it and then make sure that they have the rightone? It's really interesting! You know you say that you think everybodyunderstands what a sales process is and what it's for, I'm not sure, that's completelyaccurate. I was trying to be nice. You know, like people, make a lot ofassumptions about what a sales process is and that's where there are so manyproblems, and you know they're a great sales person selling a product thatfits the market really well, it's going to make it look easy they're, going tobe making a lot of money and there's going to be a lot of stories aroundthat, but the real hard work and the real hard grind in the early stage of abusiness, which is where we do most of our work, is working out. Who thatsales process is actually for. You know, like the ideal person, for thatparticular product or service, may not be who initially, they built it for, depending how much research they'vedone and how many times they've had conversations with people rather thanjust selling to their friends to start with, and so you know, the goal of apeaceable sales process, for that we focus on, is helping founding teams beable to effectively on board sales people and give them a fighting chanceof getting up to speed in time to be effective for the company from aeternal investment perspective and be...

...effective for their career, in terms ofhelping them actually make money and move toward their personal goals andthose those two things are hard work. So once you've got those parts right,it's really then dialing in the marketing investments to support thesales process, improving forecasting so that you actually know hey. If we dothis, we should win this number of clients, and that means we're going toneed this number of people in customer success to look after them we're gointo need to do x number of things, because of that's what our businessdoes, and also keeping the board and the investors informed and aligned withwhat you're doing on a day to day basis yea. If you don't have something thatyou can talk about, that is a systematic step by step, it's harder tokeep people aligned with where you're spending your time and where you'respending their money. So the there's some of the things that's the goal forus of helping develop a effective sales process is checking those boxes. Welland everybody. You know everybody on the board definitely wants to knowwhere their money is going and so having something where you can pointsay: Hey here's. The progress is huge. The challenge with some companies thatI've worked with in the past I've seen them really consider their salesprocess a differentiator. Maybe it's a differentiator in the way that theychoose to do business or the way that they view the customer journey and, andI'm curious, how do you give a consistent process or approach a salesprocess is going to work for the organization and still give them roomto. I don't know put in there. You know that special little, something thatthey consider a differentiator. Have you run into that before and how haveyou been? So let so let me be clear: We did mostof our business with bet companies that are between two hundred and fifty sandannual revenue and about twenty million annual revenue, and so in that worldthere is a lot of creation required to get to a repeatable sales process andthen there's this moment where it starts going well and the team wants tochange it because the you know we started doing well and now let's go andsell to a completely new industry, because that would be a great thing tobolt on. Wouldn't it, and so you know, there's always room for the uniquenessthat has to be right. What's going to set that business apart, the way thatthey deliver the value that their service or product brings and theability of everybody to communicate that unique list consistently is whatthat sales process needs to do so. Wrapping the sales process around theirability to communicate that uniqueness is the key and then trying to keep thattrain on the same rails. Heading in the same direction is the next piece and soyeah you sort of asked how we do that we've got a check list of sales andmarketing assets that we look at t to make sure, first of all that theyactually exist and then to see hey, look, you know if they exist, have theyjust been drafted or have they been released to people know where they are?Have they been refined for each ideal customer that they're going forhopefully not too many of those, and then is the team actually fluent inusing those tools? And that's really how we look at it? We got to check this.Does it exist as it have a heart beat? Is it been rolled out? The people knowwhere it, lest that t know where it lives and are they actually fluent andusing it, and that lets us be really objective because any VP's, a salesrevenue leaders listening to this, you know, if you're not doing that to makesure that things are actually making it into people's hands and being usedregularly. There's huge value in making that part of your check list, and you know the more often things arechanging the more often you have to check, and you know, if you're moreimmature. Obviously it's part of a more robust on boarding and training program.If you're earlier, you got more of a...

...dynamic life where you've got to bechecking a bit more often, but that's how we approach it check this firstlevel of understanding among the team using them and then, like I said, we'vegot a simple grading system, so we work out what needs to be built, what needsto be rolled out? What needs to be reinforced, and that gives us a greatplace to start so. Uniqueness has to be built into all of those first. Theyhave to exist. It has to be there to be unique, so have you run into I? CanI've got a picture in my head of a specific individual where this happened,but you ever run into sales or sales exact or exact in a company that arevery invested in their current state sales process, believe that it isbullet proof and perhaps have a emotional reaction, shall we say to thethought of changing it, evolving it making it better. Have you run intointernal friction is probably the best word. Idon't want to say you know saboteurs, but people that are invested in thinkthat hey what we're doing right now works. I don't know why we need to doanything different. Why wouldn't you do invest in this right now to change it?Have you run into individuals or situations like that, and how do you?How do you address them? How do you help them kind of come over the fenceto understand that this is really to make the organization better? Yes, I have yes, we have, although typically whenwe get brought into a business, it's because they've brought in a salesleader and it hasn't worked out or you know, somebody's departed and left themwith a need for sales leadership until they can find them. The right nextperson or they've got a flat line in sales, or you know, there's some reasonwhy they want outside perspective and typically at the point where we arebeing asked to advise on these sorts of things. It's when that person s isabout ready to listen, okay, and you know so, yeah we've definitely run intothat before. Although you know we're coming in to help them to solve agrowth ceiling that they've hit or a growth problem that they've come uponand to get past that and in absolutely the way of working with those people issharing more information and sharing examples and sharing data and provingto them that that's. The way of this is how it's going to work, and you knowyou can quickly make some small changes that can bring those people on to yourside of the table. A bit more if they arearound but yeah generally, we are going in to help solve the problem or tofulfill a shorter medium term, need where you know they value the experience ofsales leadership, but don't necessarily have the budget for somebody full time,Gotcha, okay and I'm going to I'm going to come back to that. So on the on thesales process, part of it when you're younger, smaller company. You knoweverything is in a constant state of change, constant state of flux, you getto a certain part. Things start to level out a little bit. Do you have arecommended best practice for frequency of revisiting a sales process for anorganization dependent upon stage of growth? Is I mean it's never going tostay? You know static, but is there? Is therea kind of a regular cadence at which they should be double checking in thatprocess to evolve it that you've seen over the year? Let me give you anexample yeah, so we started working with a SAS business at the front oftwenty twenty and so yea. We now been working with them fifteen months or so,and there are a nine year old business when we went in to help them andthey've been at multi million revenue got down to a couple of hundredthousand back up to a higher number and then back down again and yeah. Theyneeded to focus right. So the first...

...thing was: let's get everybody focusedon one ideal group of customers document that So we rebuilt the salesprocess so that everyone was using the same sales process. We documented itsix to nine months later. They were absolutely. They started getting a lotbetter, but they were a very different business. Six to nine months later,because they've been rocking it throughout the those six months theycontinued to develop and it was easy to bring in a couple of additional salespeople at that time. So that was great so year, one five x, the revenue gotmore people going into q to of this year, we're rewriting the sales manualand building out additional pieces for them, because they've gone into largeraccounts, and so you know, as you have as your organization develops. You'redefinitely going to need to keep documenting the things that havechanged so that you can bring other people into it, but you know it may bea six month check in just to make sure that you've got everything documented.It may be a little less often if your organization is more mature and you'rejust running groups or pods of sales people in an organization you know, soI built a service business years ago team of forty seven people, and webuilt it from nothing, and you know once we got the sales process nailedand trained people on to it. We didn't need to change it. We just needed tokeep adding people to it and over three years we grew four thousand percent. Soyou know it depends on the organization and if you are adding additional layersto your sales motion, that means going to an additional different type ofcustomer side of customer typically or you just changed. The way that youdeliver. One of our other clients is a very high technology. Business they'vegot a software and hardware element to what they do and the implementationside of the hardware has been simplified a lot over the last year,and so you know rewriting what their standard sales process looks. Like isnow a requirement because six months ago they were delivering it differently.So yeah you just got to keep your ear to the ground on hey, look, what's theeasiest way to get value to this customer and have we documented that sothe next salesperson who comes into the team can actually read this or watchvideos of it or both and have that right and- and does that mean that yoursales process still operates in the same stages? You know qualificationthrough clothes and handover, or is there some more qualification orsolutions work that needs to go in the middle now, because you've evolved abit. So there's not a specific set. You Watch time to do it, but you know I'dsuggest a sort of sanity check at least every six months. Just to just to go,hey look. Are we still doing the same thing? Are we still trying to andobviously more frequently, if you need it less frequently, if you're alreadyat a stage of maturity where you've just got your ideal customer in frontof you all the time and you are just adding sales people and going for themovie okay and so and when you think about all the companies you've workedwith and and P sales processes and organizations. What's the biggestmistake that you see kind of consistently made when people arethinking about it, revising their sales processes, something maybe our audienceshould be aware of and hopefully be able to avoid yeah. So it's interesting. I wastalking about this with a group of agency owners. This think it was lastweek in a slat group, and these guys are all awesome. They've got thebusinesses that are blowing up and they've hiring sales people and there'sa lot of good stuff going on, and I said you know one of the most commonthings that happens at this stage. Is You get really excited? You're sellingto your ideal customer really really well, and the founding team certainlygets this idea. Hey, let's go and sell to them, or those people and thosepeople as well and then hire some more sales people to go after those newsectors- and I said, hang on guys red flag like that is a great way to setsomebody up and not have a repeatable process for them to follow straightaway, which means that they're less...

...likely to succeed. You know like if youcan really nail down your core market and build a team. That's big enough tobe serving that whole core market or getting towards it. That's going to beyour quickest route to revenue and you may be getting bored pressure. You maybe getting investor pressure to go and diversify, but you know the softwarecompany I was just telling you about a minute ago- has now won over theirboard and the board says actually look. We now recognize that you are gettingmany more referrals and much more business in that ideal. Customer Groupthat we were questioning, then we ever thought was possible and it was becausethere was a consistent sales process with data to show you know. If you stay in it, you get tocross the chasm that Great Book Jeffrey, more cross, O the Chasm. If peoplehaven't read it definitely worth a read. So getting back to that getting excitedand going into other markets before you're ready to go into the market is avery common thing that we see and they wonder why people come in and theydon't succeed, not surprising. We think we got thisone covered, so the next shiny object comes up, we've seen it all see it allthe time and in companies as they grow, and so I'm curious, let's kind ofswitch here a little bit and talk about mind raisers. So how did you get intothe CRO as a service space like give me give me the story? What's it what's itlook like and where did mine racer come from, and how did we end up where we'reat today? The quick story is, I got very lucky asa salesperson, and I worked for a lot of really awesome entrepreneurs andinvestors who kept over promoting me and I had to keep making it work. You know I was a very, very motivatedsales person. I was doing great deals. I became a sales leader, I had to workit out and you know in those early stage organizations you don't gettraining you don't really. They don't have the opportunity to support you inthat way and one of the lucky ones who worked it out and built. Some are someteams and developed a lot of confidence around very fast growing organizationsand then, once I had become a sea over somebody else's company, which was myearly career goal. I then looked at that and I went okay great. I wasliving in Boston at the time. Didn't want to live in Boston forever.Personally, I was like I'd had a great time building my career there and Ithought right. You know I'm British. Originally I've got a green card. Icould work anywhere in the United States. Where do I want to go so I wentto New York City and I started giving away my time to start up so early stagecompanies to help them out, and then we are a couple of W twos. I got pulledinto along the way developed this repeatable process for helping earlystage businesses nail down their sales process, and then you know during Ovidwe had the most enormous demand, because everybody needed to pit reallyquickly and mind. Race has just been exploding ever since we're bringing infractional VP's we're bringing in marketers were bringing in on salesoperations, people and all these sorts of stuff to to project sales. Trainerssells coaches and we're trying to help a thousand peopleget up to their thousand businesses, get to the next stage by the end of twothousand and twenty five, and so you know leveraging the experience that Ihad and the framework that we then created. We were able to bring thatframework to lots of different businesses, and it's because people need it right thatwe just listen to what people need. They need the experience, but theydon't have the budget for a four hundred thousand dollar VP sales. Yet,and even if they do, it might be too early to have that kind of horse powerwhen they don't have a sales team to for them to manage right, and so youknow we help them bridge that gap of getting the experience and theresources to get stuff done. So it's been really interesting. You knowhelping entrepreneurs is great fun. As you know, it's full of all sorts ofinteresting challenges. You never know. What's around the corner, you never do.You know you know it's going to be chaotic, but it's exciting if you likethat space right. So that's really where mind rator came from o a d andthe team that we're building- and it is...

...great fun to help people and as you've,been going through this kind of, what's the largest, surprise or Aha momentyou've had over there at mine race room, I think the biggest surprise in ourharm moment is actually how commonly some of the mistakes. Businesses of business leaders who havenot got experience for sales leadership actually make our right to the the mostfrequent thing that we see, especially in the in the text, start up space. Isthat hiring a rap from a tech giant to a very early stage tech company and expecting them tobuild a start up sales process for an example, things like that are happeningall the time, and it's done with all the best of intentions. Hey. Thisperson succeeded in that massive company that we want to be right, let'sbring them in and they can bring that Magic to our company and that personalso thinks that their bullet proof, because they've had a lot of successwithin a very well built out organization, and then they come to avery early state start up with none of the support resources around them andboth founder and their higher, don't succeed and that they hadn't seen thatthey just not going to be able to close the gap. Things like that happen allthe time and nobody wants to fail. Nobody wants to make a bad hire, butthe first time you get into building a business like that, it's really hard tomake all those decisions and when you're in a in your career as a raplooking for a new challenge, it sounds really exciting to get in with an earlystage. Company have a big impact and it just doesn't work very well most of thetime it is to different worlds. It's completely different worlds, and peopledon't recognize how much they will ly on the resourcesaround them in large organizations until they've left. Absolutelyabsolutely all right. So, let's Change Direction here, a little bit. We askall of our guess two standard questions towards the end of each interview. Thefirst is simply as managing partner. That makes you a prospect for a lot ofpeople out there trying to tell you sureties and I'm always curious to know from ourguest when somebody doesn't have a referral in, like you know, a trustedtrusted resort trusted, introduction what works for you when somebody'strying to capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar. It's such a rare thing that peoplereally make the effort. There's a lot of noise, isn't there andyou know so the way that we work. Not only do I get prospected as managingpartner, but will also get prospected as veples or cro within the clientsthat were working in surly work, sort of white label as part of their team,and so you know, we see all sorts of prospects who were hitting up a s s SAScompanies, the Hittin as e as consulting companies, are hitting us upas agencies, and we get the same linked in message anyway. You know. Oh, I seeyou in this business and thought we should connect followed by a pitch andguess what that's not very alluring when you're trying to be a busy person.So the thing that works for me and the thing that I know among my peers in ourteam is that you know if we get somebody who's, actually read thewebsite and then written a message to mementioning something that I might be interested in or giving me somethingvaluable in a very short and concise message that has the highestopportunity of capturing my interest and, and that's that's what I findworks pretty well. I do love a good cold call, but most people do so likeit. I love a good one. Yeah most people are horrible at them and you know I really don't need awarranty for my vehicle and so every time I answer my phone, I'monconsistent ly thinking it's going to be one of those people, and you know so.You've got to be really good these days to get and some attention, but thosethat stand out. I still remember somebody who pitched me on a trade showabout a year ago and they'd really...

...researched who our customers were andwhat our technology did and why their trade show is going to be an excellentfit for one of our customers, who had been speaking at other similar tradeshows, and would we be interested in doing like a PR sponsorship packagewith their trade show and that's the best one I've had in years, becausethat person had really done the research they called me, and they justtalked to me about. They saw our customer on stage at this thing andthey thought that this would be a good fit, and would I be interested inlearning and hey here? Are some other people like you who are doing the samething? That was the best cold call I've had in years nice very nice yeah, it'svery rare, for anybody to put in the time it takes to master, really makingeffective calls. I mean a lot of people will dial and sit there and hope nobodypicks up the other end of the phone. But when you, when you put in the timeyou put in the pract, do the research and you're prepared it's amazing, whichyou can pull off so y? A last question for you wee call it our acceleration insight. If there's just one thing of all of the wisdom that you have there'sonly one thing, you could tell sales marketing or professional servicespeople, one piece of advice you give em that would help them achieve or exceedtheir targets. What would it be and why it's about listening listening pays dividends way beyondmany other things. You know so as a marketing professional trying tounderstand. What's going on in sales as a sales professional trying tounderstand what marketing you're doing at professional services, people tryingto provide services listening intently to what's really going on both insidethe organization when people are travel, decide how to communicate and from theclient about what they really say that they want and the problem that they'vereally got it's not as common as it should be for people to really listenlike that, and then leverage that information to understand that person.Some more because you know we're all we live in such a world of noise rot, andyou know if somebody truly listens to what I've said, and somebody reallybuilds that into what they're doing in that stage of their sales process orcommunication. It makes such a big difference, but that happens internallyas well. You building an organization, listen carefully to what the otherpeople are doing. Her were trying to reach that same customer, and it's justgoing to help you succeed. I love it great advice, Daniver listeners,interested in talking more about these topics or learning more about mind race,or where would you like us to send them new linked in website some place else?Yeah? So there's always good content going out on my linkin. If I do say somyself. Joking apart, a people can look me upan it is linked in linked, in's own domain and then my if you search forDan Morris Profile, it's all just one word there down Morris Profile, they'llfind me the stuff going out on there every day. We also got some resourceson there that you guys can check out and then also on the website is abreakdown of the review, refined roll out process that we use. So if you're aleader in a revenue organization- and you want to learn more about that- touse it yourself- go- have a look at that there. You might find that useful,as well as some other resources out there about, like top five non closedreasons, to follow, work and how to hire the best sales people. Those sortsof things are all available to you for free, so enjoy those. And, of course,if we can be of assistance, give us a shout excellent, and I can't thinkenough of taking time. That's been amazing having you on the show yeah. Absolutely! Thank you. So much.It's been a pleasure talking to you and yeah look forward to that conversationabout cars with anyone, who's interested all right, everybody thatdoes it for this episode. You know the drill be to be re. exactor with friends,Family Co, workers leave us serve view on. I tunes. If you like, what you hear,and until next time, we have value selling associates with well, nothingwith the greatest success. You've been listening to the B TBRevenue Executive Experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an I tunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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