Momentum Podcast: 822
Get Unstuck in Sales
by Alex Charfen
If you are an entrepreneur who has grown your business by doing most of the sales yourself, this podcast is for you. Offloading sales to someone else who can do them for you is one of the biggest catalysts for growth that you will have if you are in this position.
Sales is where I see entrepreneurs get stuck, resulting in a business plateau. If the business doesn't Plateau, staying in sales where I see entrepreneurs working too many hours and feeling stuck in the business's tactics.
If you have a straightforward process for successfully offloading sales, you can release this tactical activity in your business so that you can focus on strategy. Strategy and longer-term thinking are what will grow your business.
In this podcast I share the process for offloading sales so that you can grow the business you want.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. Last night, we held our CEO call with all the CEOs that have businesses in our membership. And a question came up that has come up over and over again in businesses where the entrepreneur themselves is doing most of the sales. So if you're in that situation where you've grown a business, you've done most of the 1 to 1 sales, and you are ready to really expand your company. This podcast is going to help you if you're in a situation where you already have a sales team. This podcast is going to give you some insight into how you can truly help that team sell sell more and sell with confidence. I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for Empire Builders Game Changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off. And don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy. And we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Should we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will? We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be. So this is one of those rare podcasts that I do when I'm in my car. And so if you hear the engine noises in the background, you're welcome. I love this car. It sounds absolutely extraordinary. But that's not what this podcast is about. Although, man, I would love to do a podcast, just an entire podcast series on cars. There's such a big passion of mine. So today I'm really going to talk about what I'm actually going to talk about is sales and offloading sales in an organization where the owner of the company, the CEO, the person who's a visionary, the person who founded the business, has been doing most of the sales. So last night we had our CEO call, like I mentioned in the introduction, and one of our members, Simon, who has just experienced incredible growth, like such an incredible entrepreneur, he's a little guarded with his numbers, so I'm not going to share his name. But he has grown a business in the last three years of being in our program from $8 million to last night. He in October hit a run rate, which is the monthly volume, monthly and total gross sales multiplied by 12 over $30,060,000. So from 8 million to 30 million, $60,000 is just an extraordinary level of growth in the past three years. And one of the places that he has struggled consistently and maybe, maybe his most significant area of struggle right now is offloading the sales of his organization from him, doing all of the sales to having a team and having sales people to the people that are doing the sales. And so that was a discussion we had with him last night. And so I want to share with you some of the insights I shared with him. And really the most important mindset piece of offloading sales in this podcast, because here's what I want you to get very clear on. If you're growing and scaling a business, if you are growing a business, your ability to offload what you do to your team will be your ability to grow that business. And if you are growing a business where you have done most of the sales and you have been the person responsible for sales, then your ability to offload sales is going to be your ability to grow and scale that business, because when you stay in the sales seat, you are staying in a tactical seat and that being in any tactical seat in your company, even though sometimes in visionaries and founders, we have to be in those seats, it reduces the amount of time we can put into strategic, visionary, future thinking. And that's the issue that our members have. So first, I want to share the biggest mindset piece about offloading sales. The biggest and when I say it's the biggest mindset piece, I actually feel like it's the biggest mindset pitfall that visionaries and founders run into when they go to hire a sales team and hand off sales. And here's what it is. You can't just hire salespeople who have been successful and expect them to be successful in your company. I know that sounds counterintuitive. It's like, wait, I'm going to go hire a really good salesperson. I'm going to hand over sales to them. Here's the issue with that mindset is that the way you have been selling in your company, the process you have used to sell successfully in your company, the mindset you have used to sell successfully in your company is exclusive to your business. It might be similar to other businesses. It might have some commonality with other businesses, but it is exclusive to your business. And where I see so many founders fall down and fail to offload sales and have trouble offloading sales is they hire good salespeople and then they say, okay, go do it like you need to go, you know, get sales. Let's do this. Here's, here's, you know, here's the customer list, here's the ah, here's the prospect list, here's the leads that we have. Go get us some sales. And I've rarely, maybe once or twice in my entire career have I seen that be successful. And it was because the similarities and commonalities between one business and the other were almost absolute. It was like somebody went out and recruited a salesperson. This out almost the exact same product, almost in the exact same process. And when I say it's only been once or twice, you need to take that in the context of I've worked with thousands of businesses, I've been doing this 30 years and so over 30 years. And so out of thousands of businesses, there's been a couple that have gotten lucky. And the rest of the time, when the owner takes the mindset or the attitude that, hey, I hired salespeople, they need to go sell, that becomes what holds them back. That becomes what makes salespeople look like they don't know what they're doing. And that becomes what ends that teach. I had to get somebody because it looks like somebody maybe already started at like the 5:00 drinking at 5:00 in the morning because this guy's crazy. I don't feel dangerous like somebody is going to hit. And that was one of those situations. And so. When we take on this attitude as owners, when we get to a place where we think I hired salespeople and they need to go sell, that is going to stop us faster than anything else. And so here's the converse of that. This is the advice I gave our member. This is the advice I coach when I'm doing consulting one on one. This is the system that you need to use or you should use or you can't use. Let's just put it that way. You can't use it. This is an area of concern for you. This is what you can use. So in order for salespeople to be successful, here's what I believe they need. Number one, they need a sales process. They need to understand the ecosystem that they're selling it. They need to understand how leads come into the company, how leads are nurtured in the company. And then what? What does that lead up to the sales call that they're on? So they need to understand the ecosystem, the process of how you're getting sales. And secondly, they have to have some type of a script or at least a sales call process. They share the process that you as the owner and founder of the company have been using. And then third, they need to know what you're thinking when you're on a sales call. Let me break each one of these down. So first, the sales process. In order for a salesperson to be successful, one of the first things you can do is show them how you're generating leads so they understand what that person has seen before they get on a sales call. You need to show them how you're nurturing leads, whether you nurture leads through an email list, through social media, through a YouTube channel, whatever those things are, they should be familiar with that process that you're using to engage with and continue engagement with somebody who might do business with you until they finally get on a sales call. And when a salesperson understands this, they understand how that person is coming on to the sales call with them, and that will give them insight and empathy for where that person is. And empathy is so important in sales, but it's hard to empathize if you don't know the process somebody has gone through. So when they understand the process, that is going to make things so much more clear and so much better for that salesperson. Now, secondly, they need a script. And here's what I hear from owners and founders all the time. Well, Alex, I don't really use a script. I don't use the sales process on the call. I just kind of feel the customer out and then I go where my instincts take me. Well, here's what I found after working with as many companies as I have. After hearing that statement as many times as I have, we will have a founder record somewhere between five and 20 sales calls. 20 is a lot better, by the way. If you get to 20, you're doing way, way better. Then we will have somebody on the team with that founder, get all those sales calls transcribed and start watching them. And what happens is the first sales call there might not look like there is a process. The second sales call there might not look like it. There's a process somewhere in between the third and the 20th sales call, a process starts to emerge and you start seeing, Oh hey, like you say, you don't have a process, but here's what you're really doing when you get on a sales call, one of the first things you're doing is you're building some report. Then you're asking the person why they reached out to the company. Then you're asking them what? What would be a successful outcome for the call? You're doing it in different ways. The dialog sounds different, but this is what you're really doing and what you will find if you listen to enough sales calls or if you have somebody on your team. By the way, there's nobody on your team to do this. You can do this with your own sales calls, and when you listen to enough, you will start to see what is that process, that unconscious competence, competent process that you're using. And when I say unconscious competence, here's why I say that you're so good at this. You don't need to have this script sitting in front of you now. You might have a script and you're in a great situation. You can hand it off to your salespeople. But in a lot of cases, one of the reasons why founders have such a hard time handing off sales is they have an unconscious competence. They're so good at what they're doing. They don't understand the steps they're taking. They just execute the steps and sell like crazy. And so once you can start listening to those calls and back out a script, you start seeing exactly what your salespeople need to be doing. Now, in a lot of organizations, salespeople understand the process. They have a script, but they still don't do as well as the founder does. And here's my goal. When you're hiring salespeople, when you first hire them, you can not hold them to the standard that you're selling. If you're closing 50% of all the calls that you get on, you want your sales people to be to work towards your number. But your initial goal for them should probably be somewhere between 65 and 80% of your number. So if you're closing 50% and you know they're going to close a percentage of that, like the 80% number would be 40%. The 65% number. I'm trying to do math in my head and I'm not doing it very well. Would it be less than that? But you want to give them a target that's less than what you've been doing. Remember, you have unconscious competence here. You're an expert at this. You're probably no, not probably. You are the best in the world at selling for your company. So we can hold somebody to that standard upfront. But what we can do is help them get there. With what? What I said before, the process, the script. And now here's the big part. What are you thinking as the founder when you're on a sales call, when you have somebody pull out the script and you look at that script? You should ask yourself, you know what? What is my mindset? What am I thinking? What is it? What are the actual thoughts? I am thinking as I ask these questions because there's a big difference between telling somebody, Hey, ask them why they got on the call with us today and then telling somebody as a salesperson, you're going to ask them why they got on the call with us today. And here's why I do this. I want that customer to validate why they're on the call. I want them to remember why they reached out to us to set this up. And it was their intention to get on a call with us. And I want that to be the first positive interaction I have where they say I got on the call because I think you can help me. I got on the call because I think you can move us forward. I got on the call because I love your podcast. I love your sales page. I saw your webinar, I talked to a friend, and I got a referral. Whatever those things are, we are causing them to consciously bring that back to front of mind as we are selling them, as we are talking to them. And so. That helps the salesperson not just understand, though, the what behind what you're asking the actual tactic, but the why and when salespeople understand why they are infinitely more successful. And so if you're a founder who has done most of the sales in your company, those are the three steps. The three steps are, number one, show the salesperson the process that that lead is going through, how they got on the call so that they can empathize with the experience that they've had. Number two, give them a clear script, deduce and back that script out of the sales calls that you've done. If you don't have recorded sales calls, take 10 to 20 sales calls and record them and go through that process. And number three, give them the mindset, the why behind why you're asking the questions. And once you start backing out that script, it will come to you. If you sit down and you go to the script, you think, God, there's really nothing here. Read the script a couple of mornings in a row, read it three or four times in a day, and you will start to think, Oh, here's why I asked that question, and this is why I take them through this process and give your salesperson the actual mindset behind it. You know, if you're going to take a company into really high numbers. Now, the company that I mentioned has an extraordinary market and an extraordinary founder where they raise 30 million without having fully offloaded sales. I've seen very few companies ever even approach a number that high without fully offloading sales. For most businesses, this becomes the biggest constraint to growth somewhere between one and 10 million, and successfully solving the offloading of sales and getting a sales team to be able to sell like the founder to be getting the sales team to sell as well as the founder, by the way. The eventuality is we want the sales team to sell better than you because they're only focused on sales. They're not running the company and worried about finances and looking at the future of the company and doing strategic things that are just selling. We want them to outsell you eventually. And. Once you can build a system where people are doing that, that, from what I've seen, is the accelerator to go from 1 to 3 million to 3 to 10. And if you're already at 3 to 10 million, you're in rarefied air. But if you can offload sales, that is your accelerator to go from 10 to 30 in most companies. And so this is a process you can use to replace yourself in this key area of actually getting people to convert and work with you as an organization. And if you're in a situation where you're running a business that's in excess of seven figures and you are the biggest bottleneck in the business, you can be the biggest bottleneck in sales. You can be the biggest bottleneck at marketing. You can be the biggest bottleneck in any discipline in the company. For most founders, they find that they're the biggest bottleneck across the board. Reach out to us so that we can help you. We go to simple operations dot com. That's the company that I run. We help entrepreneurs around the world. Install the systems, the structure, the process and the routine to help you systematically, consistently and permanently replace yourself in the company. Communicate with your team at a level where everyone knows what's going on and create massive momentum so you can make the impact. And let's get real the income that you want to go to simple operations dot com there's a button right there on the home page, click it, answer a few questions for my team, set up a call with us and let us see if we can help you. And thanks for listening to this podcast episode today. If you know someone who needs to hear it, please share this with them. And I look forward to talking to you in the next episode.