#21: Part 1 of my interview with Mary Grothe, a former top sales rep turned CEO of Sales BQ. Mary discusses the difference between growth and scale, the Inbound methodology, and the importance of fixing your entire revenue ecosystem versus just focusing on your sales team.
Episode #21: Scaling Sales with a Better Revenue Ecosystem w/ Mary Grothe (Part 1)
Tyler: [00:00:00] Hey, Sales Lift audience. It's Tyler Lindley. Your host here. Today, I have Mary Grothe from Sales BQ on the podcast. Welcome Mary, how are you doing today?
Mary: [00:00:11] Doing good. You know, it's 10:00 AM on a Friday as we record this and seriously, who does not love Fridays? I know,
Tyler: [00:00:18] right? Happy Friday. So, uh, Mary, for those of you don't know, Mary is a former number one B2B top sales rep who actually has turned now into a CEO of her own, agency, and, sales BQ is in the middle of an exciting rebrand.
So be on the lookout for some exciting updates there. Today, Mary and I are going to talk a lot, uh, to founders and sales leaders out there who might be in a place where they feel a little stuck. They feel like they're plateauing in their growth. And Mary and I had some great discussions last week about what to do
if your business gets into that place of where you feel like your numbers are flatlining. You don't really have a plan for next steps. How are you going to grow? Um, that's Mary and her company's specialty. So Mary I'd love your thoughts for those out there that are feeling like they might be in that place.
And they're wondering, well, what should I do? What should I be thinking about? Or what data should I be looking at? What advice do you have for those folks who are feeling stuck and plateauing in their business growth?
Mary: [00:01:17] Yeah, we, we need to set some foundation here for this conversation. So that there's context I sold for eight years.
I'm a number one rep former number one rep. I can still be number why'd I sell for sales BQ. And I'm the only one who does. So technically I guess I'm still number one, just joking. But in that time, my sales performance was two, three, four times the next person in the rankings. And that shocked the executive team, how is she selling so much, how is she selling so much?
And there were a lot of things that went into that equation, but it really came down to. I built my own process and methodology that worked for how I sold, it worked for the product I sold and it worked for the buyer. The company I sold for was a big fortune 1000 company who was known predominantly for small business, but I was in the mid-market.
There wasn't a playbook for mid-market and there wasn't any marketing for the mid-market. In fact, when you went to the website, it was like "payroll for small businesses." Like come on, people I'm talking to a 500 employee company. This is built for like a 10 employee company. So we in our competition loved holding that against us.
So I had to write my own playbook. I had to take marketing into my own hands. I had to take my outbound sequence and networking and event strategy and webinars strategy, and really mastering the knowledge of the technology so that I could be credible in sales conversations, not have to rely on sales engineer, really show up different than my competition.
So there were things that I did. That were different than other reps, especially selling for a big fortune 1000 company, because those are typically known to have a lot of infrastructure and they think they know, and they're like do it this way. And they wonder why your every year they have low sales performance, but it takes, there are a lot of sales people like me who are innovative and pioneers.
And they, I think what really feels us is. Why do something the way someone said to do it, if you don't get great results, if you can just innovate a new way, that gets great results. Like of course just do that, but not everybody has that gene. So fast forward I start sales BQ, and my mission is to rebuild sales departments.
People knew about my background. And so they said, can you turn our sales department into a team of high performers, top performers? And I said, well, I've done it. So I probably can figure out how to get your team performing at that level. Well, 18 months in 18 months into our journey. We realized that helping CEOs who were plateaued in revenue growth solved one part of the problem being just sales performance can only take you to a certain point.
If you help a sales person or sales team redefine their approach to sales and help them have more engaging, credible conversations with their buyers. You're going to see an uptick in close rate, but if you take that sales person and you put them back into the revenue ecosystem, that itself is broken.
They can only take their performance to a certain level and you're holding them back. So 18 months ago, halfway through our three-year journey here, we realized that if we wanted to scale these companies that we were working for. We had to take over the marketing engine as well as see the customer journey all the way through customer success.
and have a say in the rev ops component. So revenue operations being your entire tech stack from the first touch point of a customer all the way through delighting them, renewal, revenue expansion, or offboarding the client as well as the operational workflow of the customer and how each department interacts with the customer during their life cycle.
So we brought in marketing, we brought in revenue operations. All of a sudden we see a significant difference in the results that our clients are getting, because now we manage the entire revenue ecosystem. So step number one, Tyler, I had to give you that background because so often. CEOs founders or executive sales leaders that find a plateau.
The first thing they want to do is hire a sales trainer or bring in a sales coach or have the sales department read the newest and hottest sales book that was just released. They want to focus on who can we bring in for our sales kickoff? Let's bring in a really great keynote. Somebody that's done something phenomenal in the sales world, but those things are very short-lived and they only address one part of the problem.
Sales training is amazing. Sales coaching is even more tremendous when you can really dig in on more of a week by week basis and help reps specifically progress deals and work through their own individual challenges, not just trading as a whole accommodations, even more wildly powerful.
So not a knock there. It's just don't have incorrect expectations of the results you're going to get by only focusing on this piece, you have to rebuild the entire revenue ecosystem, if you want to scale. So step number one, if somebody is plateaued in their revenue numbers, I need you to answer the question, whether you're a CEO and owner executive sales leader, are you looking for growth?
Are you looking for scale? They're different.
What's the difference?
They're often used as the same word, right? The difference between growth and scale. Growth, let's say you have 20% EBITDA is where you would maintain the 20% EBITDA as your top line sales would grow. And so as your growing sales, it's costing you more money, so you can see if there's an expense for growth. In scale,
that's where your revenue disproportionately grows from your expenses. So you actually keep your expenses minimal. You may have a, like a early investment for three to six months of setting yourself up for scale. But the point is that investment is built in. Technology and automation and efficiency in ways that you can grow revenue, but not grow dollar for dollar, if you will, in ratio so that your EBITDA can actually.
Increase so that if you're doing 10 million now in sales, maybe that EBITDA is at 30% or 35% because you have found how to scale without requiring the same expenses. So that's the difference between growth and scale. So you have to determine, are you just looking for growth and pushing the same, whatever percent of the bottom line.
Or are you looking for scale to say, I want to take my company to this level and increase new profit that we've never seen before because of the amount of efficiency. So let me give you an example on that. One of our clients, historically, when they built out their revenue modeling, it was growth. So the way that they grew was by going up in head count in people, not a bad strategy, you're still growing.
And 20% of a million is less than 20% of 4 million. Right? So, I mean, the number is still growing, but what we showed them when we implemented we're a HubSpot agency partners. So we implemented the inbound marketing methodology and we took the requirement of having a very expensive sales team with Primo talent that comes with a huge ticket price and these long sales cycles, because there was such an effort of prospecting and not enough at bats, we took some of that spend and just put it into their digital inbound marketing funnel and using HubSpot's inbound methodology and getting hyper-focused on your target customer and attracting the right customers into the funnel.
We were able to set up a system where they were on average, getting three MQL qualified. So please hear me qualified inbound leads per week with a 67% convert to an SQL. So two out of three, we're moving into the sales funnel and that was more than the sales team per person per salesperson has ever had inbound wise.
So now we converted where their time was being spent from outbound prospecting to managing qualified inbound, not junk inbound lanes. And now they have more in the pipeline they've ever had. They're closing more than they've ever had, but we didn't have to increase headcount on sales. So now they have way more profit going to the bottom line and we're scaling them, but not increasing head count.
That's the difference between the two.
Tyler: [00:09:42] Got it. Yeah. That makes total sense. a lot to unpack there, a lot to dive into, I think one of the key things that you brought up is hiring, just to solve the sales problem. Let's bring in the sales trainer. Let's bring in a sales coach. Oh, we need a new sales manager.
Let's change up the sales process, let's hire a new sales rep. Like it's just, just focusing on that sales piece and really focusing on the sales team, focusing on what that team does or what that team looks like, or who's on it, or who's leading it and what do they need, how do we motivate them? You know, that is definitely one area that should always be addressed, should always be a focus of scaling.
Or growing for that matter, uh, a business that has plateaued. However, you know, you talked about building that ecosystem, which is not just sales and it's sales is definitely a key piece of that ecosystem, but you talked about marketing, you talked about marketing leading into sales, which leads into customer success and then revenue operations, kind of making sure that the entire process is running smoothly, that kind of a, you call it an ecosystem, uh, that it seems to be.
Something that a lot of people don't think about as a whole, they think more about let's just solve the sales piece. It tell us a little bit more about that ecosystem. Like how can someone, if someone's never really thought about building their revenue ecosystem or having a revenue engine as a whole like that, how would you even start to do that?
If you've been a sales, only sales driven kind of company, how do you make it more of a revenue and an ecosystem driven company?
Mary: [00:11:15] Well, step number one is performing an audit, and I like to say opinions are valuable, but data is priceless. And if you're ever tried to solve a revenue problem or get to a new state of revenue growth or scale, you have to be able to clearly understand the gap between your current state and your desired future state. The gap in the middle
is your pathway to doing something different than what you're doing now in order to get a different result, but you have to, to have it be a very data-driven decision and path. You can add some subject analysis in there. I do think again, opinions are valuable, but data is priceless. So step number one is audit your current revenue ecosystem, being what you just said.
Marketing sales, customer success and revenue operations. You have to identify every which way your company can earn a dollar from your customer. And then you have to identify who owns what. Too often we walk into an organization and marketing is focused more on brand awareness. But they've never been held accountable to driving leads.
If your marketing department is not making you money, what are they doing? And brand awareness can make you money, but you have to have campaigns tied to brand awareness. There has to be rhyme, reason, purpose. You have to be able to understand who that ideal client profile is and within that ideal client profile, each of the buyer personas
that are going to be engaging in the funnel and engaging in the process and engaging with your team on making a buying decision. So when you look at the three stages of a buyer. Awareness, consideration, and decision. Your sales and marketing teams should not be operating in separate silo functions. And that's what we've been seeing.
You can even add. I love HubSpot's flywheel where you attract, engage, and delight. Where it's not even a funnel, it's a flywheel because you can create an ecosystem where your existing client base is not only the gift that keeps on giving through purchasing from you and expanding what they're purchasing.
So revenue expansion buying more products and services, but also in their word of mouth and how they refer you and engage others in their network. To become a customer of yours and also how an existing customer can influence the sale of a new customer through case studies, testimonials, live references. If you're not engaging them all the way through the process, you're really missing out.
But if you look at the challenge with the audit is so often. Executive teams will say like, "well, where's marketing spending their time and what projects does marketing have?" Okay. That was a whole separate meeting. Now let's have a sales meeting. Now we're going to talk about numbers. How many opportunities do we have?
How many conversations are we having? What's our close rate. Why aren't we winning more? Who's beating us? Let's focus on just beating the competition. It's a very siloed conversation who are top performers. Who's the bottom 20%. Let's just cut a, maybe we should change the sales comp plan. Why don't we drop everyone's basis and make them hungrier so that they can close more?
I mean, you name it, I've seen it. It's crazy. It's siloed. Then there's like customer success or operations or whatever you want to call that department. And nobody's over there having a conversation about retaining customers, delighting customers, word of mouth referrals, revenue, expansion, upsell, cross sell.
And having them impact. It's like, Holy smokes, guys, you have one company. Why do you have three siloed revenue departments? That's not an ecosystem. That's three different communities under one roof. And I don't think they're talking to each other. So in that sense, Step one of the audit is I would recommend getting a very giant whiteboard, not just getting it, but mapping out your customer journey.
You've probably heard that price sounds like a buzz phrase, but truly understanding the day in the life of your buyer. So step number one, your ideal client profile. If you could have a million of this type of customer, this type of client profile, what is it? 500 employee company in the manufacturing industry.
That's in a geographic location that thrives closer to a metropolitan area, not rural, and they sell a product that's sold at a rate of fill in the blank, transactional, not a very expensive, long time to manufacturer, whatever they have. Um, Fill in the blank type, competitive advantage. They typically see this type of growth in the industry.
They're tied to these market triggers, not market triggers. And they typically have a decision team that looks like a, B and C. That's your ideal client profile then of that profile, who are the buyers? Look at the entire decision and influence team. Not just the decision maker, but everybody that should not is, should be involved in the process all the way down to your end user, your champions, the people that can completely destroy the deal because you didn't engage them.
And then they say something behind a closed door meeting that you're not a part of and your deal gets killed. So that person should be involved as well. Those are your buyer personas. It's mapping out those buyers and the day in the life. So getting down to not just the demographic. We have our VP of HR profile, Susan, she's a married woman in her young forties with children in high school.
And you know, like, okay, great. But tell me about Susan's life. Tell me about her challenges. How does she structure her day? Where does she get caught in the weeds? What is her wishlist when she shows up to work? What attitude does she start with and what changes that attitude by 10:00 AM when she leaves at five o'clock what makes her feel great about her day and what makes her feel like the work never ends, that she can't be successful, that her initiatives have no legs.
That executive team isn't valuing what she's bringing forth, where she's stuck. That's a day in the life of a person so that you can understand and come in and say, we know how to make Susan's life better. Based on the human being. She is, that's a buyer persona. Then you have in your audit, you need to go to that marketing team and say, how are we attracting Susan into our brand and creating an emotional connection with her when she's in her awareness stage?
Meaning, she knows things aren't ideal, but she may not have had the ability to qualify or quantify her problem, but she knows that something's not right. So what is your marketing doing? And brand awareness and content strategy and social strategy and hyper targeting in paid media in webinar event podcast.
Speaking engagements. What is the marketing department doing to attract Susan to the brand? When she identifies that things, maybe not be great. Then you have to look at how marketing accepts, the initial relationship with Susan. Are we able to identify where she is? Can we monitor and see what type of content she engages and can we see what she's opting into and downloading on our site?
Can we see how long she's spending on certain pages and where she's spending her time? Can we monitor her behavior as she's exploring? Can we then, nurture Susan in the stage that she's in, can we score her as an MQL, to alert as a lead score? Not a hand raiser, but to alert our sales team, that this might be somebody who's in awareness stage that we should proactively reach out to because she's not proactively telling us she's ready that we can have a sales person engage early stage and have an awareness conversation with Susan.
What do we have at that point? So we have to look at how marketing is performing. Are you auditing every step of marketing's process to determine what they're doing? So i just talked about Susan. What about every other person? If you're selling in the mid-market or enterprise, you could have five to 50 decision makers and influencers and different personas within your ICP.
And the best marketing departments have a way to communicate, personally, to each of those. They have different campaigns. They have different ICP set up of the system. They have different ways to speak to those people, a completely different content strategy to work them through. So then you have to audit the sales department.
How is sales engaging? Where are sales spending their time? Is it, what is the percentage of time on outbound versus. Inbound conversations. How much do these sales people make? Are they in the right roles? Do you understand that a salesperson is either a Hunter or a farmer that they're extrinsically motivated, intrinsically motivated or altruistic that their DNA is going to dictate
how do they show up to the role? And that most salespeople are in the wrong sales role, which is why their performance isn't where it needs to be? A Hunter needs to be hunting. A farmer needs to be farming. If you're altruistic, you need to be in account management or customer service. You have to be able to align with the motivators, the DNA and the skillset, and looking at how they're performing.
You have to look at how your territory's geographic segmentation is carved up. You have to look at how you're compensating these people. You have to identify what their systematic challenges are with lack of automation and the tools that you're giving them to have access to qualified prospects, not making them build their own lead lists, not making them surf LinkedIn without direction and accountability to try to build
a prospect list. You need to make the investment on tools to give them qualified prospects in a database where they can spend their time and leverage automation and be able to build their funnel and the calendar with qualified sales meetings. Are you listening back to recorded calls? Are you able to coach them through the sales conversation?
Can you identify by looking at the trends where they may be getting stuck in the process? Do you have some salespeople that are fantastic on the front end, but their follow through is terrible and they don't have attention to detail. They can't progress deals to save their life, or you have people that can set a meeting to save their life, but they're phenomenal in the sales conversation.
What are you doing to monitor this? What's your sales management layer are the, is the team motivated? Is the sales manager, proactive or reactive? What tone do they set in the culture? Are the salespeople inspired? By this manager or is it fear-based or maybe the sales manager is super checked out. They were once a top sales performer.
They weren't groomed into management. They don't know how to lead the team. I'm spewing off a thousand things here that you should be considering in your audit. And I haven't even gotten to customer success, but I'm hoping that you can see the amount of detail that you have to focus on solving a revenue challenge
isn't let's bring in a sales trainer or let's go hire a marketing agency and drop 12 grand a month. You have to go through this audit exercise to identify what you're missing, because it's not one thing. It could be a hundred things and then you have to build a plan. And these things take time. This isn't a one month fix.
All those things. I just feud off every company that we have an opportunity to work with. Usually there's something too to rebuild in almost every one of those things that I just said, and it takes time. So it's normal, but that would be the first step of the process. Is that critical focus on, on that piece?
Tyler: [00:22:40] Hey, Sales Lift nation. It's Tyler Lindley here. Thanks so much for joining part one of my interview with Mary Grothe from sales BQ, stay tuned for part two coming out soon. Hope you have a great rest of your day.
Hey sales audience. It's Tyler Lindley here. Welcome to part two of my interview with Mary growthy from sales VQ. If you miss part one, go back to the previous episode to catch the first half of our interview, or you can dive right in to the second half of our discussion right now. One of the things that you mentioned was, you know, kind of cold outreach, having having the sales team do their own prospecting and a lot of that being cold driven in that.
You know, whoever they're reaching out to is not expecting that outreach, it's completely cold and you don't really know what the situation might be. There's been no kind of indication of interest or indication that they're even in a potential place of opportunity versus warm outreach versus having someone who.
Maybe has been qualified by marketing to a certain extent, or maybe has raised their hand on certain key pieces of content or identified themselves as a certain ICP fit. Um, that, that customer profile, they are one of those buyers and they are struggling with these issues that might indicate an opportunity.
How can we, you know, it, you're talking about kind of this inbound philosophy and cold versus warm outreach, but how can we build, how can we help to structure that and ensure that our reps are only reaching out to those, uh, warmer leads? Um, if they're, if they're all they're doing right now is cold prospecting.
Um, how do we make sure that they're, you know, using their time wisely and doing some cold prospecting, but also balancing it with having. Those warmer conversations have more sales ready leads.
Mary: [00:24:42] Yeah. Well, we have to, we have to be honest with ourselves right now. You need a technology that can give the salespeople visibility into who those people are.
Step number one. So we usually meet CEOs at a point where they're very hesitant to make an investment in technology and they want, I, well, some of the CEOs we work with are. More old-school and traditionalist that they grew up in an era where salespeople had a phone book. And no computer. And there's this thought that has lasted the last few decades of, well, this is how it used to be done.
It's like, please done that way anymore. I don't want to hear it one more time. I don't care. Like I help CEOs understand if you're going to have that conversation with me, we need to just have it and get through it super fast because I'm not going to have this time and time again, it is not 1985. It is 2020, almost 2021.
So you have to be willing to be an organization that's willing to show up that way, the way the buyer works in this day and age. So your perception of the sales unicorn of yesteryear like that sales person doesn't exist anymore. That profession is an existing word. If you're going to rely on salespeople to manually build lead lists and to do this cold outreach and to not invest in technology and not invest in database partners and not invest in this, you're literally throwing money out the window and you're holding salespeople back.
Not only are you throwing money out the window on missed sales opportunities, but you're throwing money out the window on retaining potentially really amazing talent that could go find a hundred other companies that have made the decision to invest in technology and have an amazing revenue ecosystem that they can just show up to where they have qualified opportunities or visibility into those warm contacts they want to be in that role.
They don't want to work for you. So you have to realize. But by not making a potential 10 to $30,000 annual investment in your tech stack and into your database partners and other partners, they're going to help with the revenue ecosystem. If you're not doing that, you will lose it within a couple of months on salespeople that don't want to work for you or there.
Their ability to perform at the highest levels completely held back. So you have to acknowledge that. So why? I think it's because there's more of that old school methodology or mentality, I should say of how sales should be done. That perception has got to be removed. It just doesn't work anymore. And I think that if somebody, let me, let me rephrase that.
It probably still works for those that are super proficient in it, but we are not raising up sales talent. We have not in the last 10 years, the last decade, the sales talent that is being groomed and coming up through the ranks, just like how they, as children were brought up on technology. In their last five to 10 years in their sales career, they were raised on having technology.
So you have to realize that the talent that is available in the market and the talent that you want on your team was never raised to have to do all this cold manual stuff. And so if you're still an employer that thinks that that's a better use and that you just want to wait to find the sales unicorn, that can do all this stuff there, you're there they're there.
They're becoming extinct. Hey, they're aging out of the sales profession. And so you have to realize the talent you have, what they're used to and how they've been set up for success. And you have to mirror that. So that initial investment into technology is key. It's number one, when we first started sales BQ, we would work with our clients no matter what tech stack they had.
And this was a myth. On our part. We're like, Oh yeah, Salesforce. Okay, great. Okay. Oh my gosh. What are all these fields? I don't know who set this up for you? We don't know. It was like three consultants ago. Where did all this information come from? Well, we bought a list back in 2006 and imported it. Well, when's the last time this list was cleaned up?
Well, I don't know. Well, what are you doing for email automation? No, we don't do that. I don't want to spend money on that. I want the salespeople to send the emails. So what visibility do you have and who's coming to your website and who's interacting and engaging with your brand. Has anyone here doing social lists?
What are you doing for webinars strategy? What's the followup follow. Oh, well, we don't have anything for that. No, we're not doing that. We're not okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. So let's figure this out September wide. You've got to make this investment and you have to have the right tech stack. So in, in 2019, we.
Went through a whole process where we evaluated five or 10. I dunno, I didn't do it. Our VP of rev opposite a CRNs on the market. And we made the decision after a very, very extensive evaluation and working on the same, like five to 10 different CRMs over 18 months with our varying clients, we made the decision to put all of our eggs in the HubSpot basket and we have never looked back and this technology has changed the game.
For our clients. And HubSpot is a partner that continues to invest in R and D. And to be able to roll out features for this SMB, like small to medium-sized businesses, easily scaling into the one to 5,000 employee organizations. Now with these new enterprise features, we are proud to be a HubSpot agency partner, and we have never had an issue selling it when we go into our CEO's and we map out current state.
Versus desired future state. And I can map out where their dollars are going and where they could be and their ROI that's being held back because of the lack of the technology performing for them, we call it people being required to do processes manually that shouldn't could be automated. And then we show them the difference between the two.
It's a no brainer. There is not a client yet that has not gleefully signed on the dotted line for HubSpot. And when our team is able to build. The HubSpot instance for them to make this thing sing. This is what happens. They make money. And it's amazing. So getting your team in a position where they can have visibility into customer's behavior and into those warm attributes, it takes a sales person.
Trust me, we get to work with them all day long salespeople. Wouldn't you rather have a quick snapshot of the 10 things your buyer's done to interact already with your brain and have a glimpse into their business profile and their day in the life, and be able to research them through LinkedIn and other tools to see who this person really is, and then see the behavior and their interests on how they're interacting with your brand on the website.
That, but they haven't reached out to you. So it is, you know, it's not cold, it's warm, it's not hot, it's warm, but to be able to strike up a conversation based on their behavior, in the, what is showing to you could potentially be their interested, open up a conversation 100%. Yes.
Tyler: [00:31:18] Right. Exactly. And it goes back to the point you were making about growth versus scale.
It sounds like you believe that building some automation and some more process and systems that allows you to scale versus grow growing, where your expenses stay. The same scale is where you can keep expenses relatively flat. Well increasing growth, uh, while increasing revenue. Um, that's where you're, that scale comes into play.
If, if people are scared though, to automate things, if people are scared of them, that they want that human touch, it's always been relationship-based and it's always been well. I've leaned into my, into my team and I've leaned into whether that's the marketing team or sales team or service team. Like, I really lean into our folks.
What separates us is our people. You know, when you, when you hear automation, they might think those, those leaders might think, well, we're taking our people out of the process. How do you, how do you combat that? You know, folks that might be scared to automate pieces of their business, automate whether it's on the client facing side or internally, how do you, how do you overcome that kind of fear of automating certain things that might take some of their best people, which they view to be their best asset out of the process?
Mary: [00:32:27] Yeah. Yeah, you can automate and still keep it personalized people. I know it is a sensitive subject. If anybody listening to this that has that fear and has a LinkedIn profile, you probably have that fear because of the bots and the spamming that you're receiving on LinkedIn, where it's that connect and pitch and the constant.
Non-personalized spamming all day, every day, as well as some emails that you might be receiving, that you get these junk emails and think I don't want my company being perceived in the market as a robotic automated spammer. So just because a lot of companies are doing it wrong, that doesn't mean. That you can't have a winning strategy that still embraces your uniqueness and brings in personalization, but the process is still automated.
So I would challenge their thinking to say one. I align with your fear because I get spammed all day long, but every time I see those fam messages in a way, it encourages me because the, every now and then one out of a hundred messages, a rep takes the time while still using automation. To personalize it and speak my language.
And they get my attention because the spam and the noise is so bad that the person who makes a decision to do something slightly different, they stand out and I give that person my time of day and that conversation. So I want to be encouraging to that fear-based thought and align with you and then say, There are proven ways to do it.
So some of our favorite pieces, like with our HubSpot automation and no, I mean, this isn't a HubSpot commercial. I'm speaking from the heart. We have worked on so many different technologies and if you want to learn anything about my heart or what I stand for, I'm an open book and you can just go firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you will. See where my heart is. We only exist to grow our client's revenue. I am a person that is so high urgency, and so results driven and has zero patience for mediocrity, subpar performance, or wasting time doing things that could be done in a more efficient matter. That's my DNA. So everything I say is very honest and truthful from our experience.
And it's set in a way to position you for success. So I hope that there's some value and credibility when I'm making these recommendations. It's because we have done this for over 100 companies in the last three years, HubSpot automation has a way to personalize it so that when people are receiving the quote unquote automated message, it feels like it was written for them.
So some of the best technology partners out there have ways for you to customize it. So that would be my. My encouragement is don't let the spamming crap that has been inundating. You be your perception of what automation is.
Tyler: [00:35:22] Yep. No, I totally agree. One thing, um, that you brought up earlier that we haven't touched on a ton yet that I'd like to dive into a little bit is we talk about what happens from, you know, once, once a sale is made, once someone is a customer and then they, they probably start working with a.
It customer success team or service team or account management team whoever's managing that customer. Post-sale, you know, that's an, a very important part of the process that handoff, uh, specifically as well as the things that are done to, to manage that customer now that they are paying you and, and what you can do from that point on.
What advice would you have for these leaders who are trying to work on that, that sales to success handoff, how can you, how can you do that more effectively? And then once the handoff is made, what can you, what can you do to retain, retain that client upsell, you know, give referrals, those kinds of things that you need to do to stay in business?
You know, w what would you, what recommendations would you have post-sale for these types of leaders?
Mary: [00:36:25] Yeah. The client experience from the day that they sign should not. This is typical. Okay. I'm a client. I signed the contract. I get an email from my new support person and my implementation person. Welcome to ABC company.
We're so excited to have you as a client. Let's set up our introduction call. I book a 30 minute meeting and the implementation person opens up the call with, so tell me a little bit more about your business and tell me why you made the decision to buy this. And really we're going to, uh, go through a, an implementation survey here and I have to start from zero.
And my response is go talk to my sales person. I already went through all of this. We've already, we've had multiple meetings. How, you know, none of this is not good. So step number one is find a way to bring in a transition specialist, whatever kind of name you want to give them could be a project manager could be pre-implementation could be whatever you want to call them.
And they. We call them. Um, at my old company, senior implementation project managers have them for short, and this person would get involved on any qualified opportunity that had made it through the initial demo. And we had a qualified project with. Understanding that this was somebody making a buying decision within a certain timeframe.
We brought in our sip them, the sip them then became intimately aware of everything that the client needed. And then it was a responsibility to meet with the implementation team and the operations team to download. Everything they needed to know so that when the first implementation call happened, it was seamless as seamless as possible for the customer.
Additionally, the sales person had to be on that call and be a part of the handoff then. Eat you as a corporation, you have to define your roles in operations, implementation, customer service, customer success, account management, right? Hello. That's like potentially five different people working with the customer.
You have to have very clear outline of who is doing what in the customer experience. Ecosystem. I love that word. We'll just use it again. I was trying to come up with a different one. I'm like, but I think I like ecosystem here. So when you think about who owns the relationship and then who's responsible for what?
So we helped one of our clients redefine their customer experience. One. We had redefined the implementation process, because what I told you at the beginning of this topic is what was happening. The sales person would sign it. They go to implementation and the person, it was the first time ever learning about this company.
Terrible. And so we ended up creating a smooth process. Like I just told you about with a them then. When we got into that, we had clearly defined roles. So they had a technical component. They had a portal. One of the biggest things they had was tech service. Like I lost my username and password. I can't lock in.
There's a glitch. Something's wrong with the portal. So like tech support. So we created a role that was solely tech support and stripped that out of the customer success person, because the customer success person was responsible for all of those things. And what we found is that the tech support line item deserve to have its own support.
And so when we ship that out, that way we can have a more technical person that enjoys and really feels fulfilled to helping people reset usernames, passwords, and fix technical glitches, um, and could speak that tech language. That we did that second, we then had a customer success layer that was about the customer experience.
So the fulfillment of the product, the ordering of the product, that fulfillment of the product, shipping communication delays, I, anything there that had to do with the experience of being a customer was put into customer success. Then we had an account manager or a relationship manager that was responsible for everything above tech support and then to the layer of experience, to maintaining the relationship.
So this person was about ensuring the relationship was with the organization with all key players and executives. So how many times as an account manager, do you have a relationship with one contact at the company? But if five people were on the decision team to make the decision, and you're only maintaining communication with potentially the, the day-to-day user that the person who's interacting with the most.
What are the executives and other decision influencers doing over the course of one, two, three, four years, is your competitor building a relationship with them? And you're not, is somebody within their family or immediate network entering into the profession and potentially about to steal that business from you.
And you had no idea if you're not having conversations with the executive team in a market trigger or event happens, and the company is in danger and maybe they're looking at. Uh, phasing out downsizing they're, uh, being set up for sale acquisition. Maybe that was part of their strategy the whole time.
What if they're sitting on a Hill, maybe they're acquiring, what if they're going on a huge step for growth? Somebody has to own the relationship from an executive standpoint and be intimately knowledgeable and aware of what is happening with that company so that they can be proactive and get ahead of anything that happens with that customer too often.
Companies lose customers and they have no idea why, if you're not nurturing the relationship with your customer, your competitor is. How do you think your sales person won that business for you? The same way that the competition, by the way, smart sales people, when they lose a deal, they wait three to six months and then they re-engage and say, I know you chose my competitor.
How are things going? And how was implementation? How has experience been so far? And they're trying to drive a wedge. They're not going to give it up. Good. Salespeople will not let it up. So how are you? Combating that with your client experience team and providing an experience so pristine, not only will they never consider leaving your service, they're willing to spend more and buy more out of your product and feature set, and they're willing to refer you and be an ambassador for your brand.
But if you have time, attention in detail on those components, you're leaving so much money on the table. The next thing is that, do you even know how much revenue is sitting in your base, your client base? So one thing we help our clients with is we do an export out of their system. I like to do this exercise in Excel.
It's a list of every single one of their clients. The size. So sometimes like the value of a client is driven by how many licenses they have, how many employees they have, how many transactions they have from whatever that marker is that indicates the volume of the value. So you'll have the name of the client, the contact info, the size of the company, whatever marker it is, it dictates how much value they're worth.
Then across the top of the Excel spreadsheet, you should have every product or service you can possibly sell. Now you've made a grid. Now by line I'm in a client, you put the amount of dollars they're currently spending and in any of those buckets, and then you put the amount of dollars that they're not spending, that they could be.
And all the other buckets, then you run a calculation to say how much a client is worth today and what the client would be worth at max penetration into all products and services. Oftentimes sales people are only selling about 30 to 40% of products and services. So it's a land and expand. But what are you doing then to expand revenue?
You landed it, but then does it fall flat? So you have to build a process. You need a playbook for customer experience and customer success, just like you do for marketing, just like you do for sales. And ideally you should have one holistic revenue, playbook, and one revenue strategy with everybody doing their part, which is what we believe in.
But when you get to customer success, you need to have a certain amount of time for implementation. Then you very clear handoff in protocol, in communication to the customer for those different roles that we talked about. And who's doing what then you have to set cadence for communication. So your account manager, your relationship managers should be doing those quarterly business reviews or some sort of that.
I know there's like you don't give QBR is anymore. Okay. Something to maintain a relationship with them and be intimately involved at the business level and with the executives and decision team, the customer experience should be absolutely pristine. Leaving no room for bad nasty remarks on social media, bad scores, bringing in NPS scoring and tickets.
Uh, co close case, whatever, having visibility into how we're servicing customers. And then also on that bottom layer for like the tech support customer service and whatnot. So I was just having that broken out. Then you have to have that account manager or somebody responsible for understanding a timeline, any plan for revenue, growth and expansion.
So in this spreadsheet, you'll be able to see Holy smokes. We have $3.2 million. Sitting in our base unsold. Well, what's your plan. If you have account managers and you need to divvy up those accounts and the account manager needs to do planning, just like a sales person one, and they need to map out a plan for every single client and say, here's my plan to upsell.
Now I'm not an idiot. I know not all clients are all fits for all products and services, but you need to be able to come in and take out 3.2 million that you have, and then refine it and say what's viable revenue. So of the 3.2 total. What's realistic. What's viable. What could actually be sold based on who these clients are, then you have the viable number and that's what the goal should be set.
You carve it up amongst your account managers, and then they need to have an executable plan with management. That's going to hold them accountable to it because so often account managers, aren't held to the same level of standards that your salespeople are with quotas goals, metrics, and what are you doing to coach them in their conversations and ensure that they're doing the right things to expand that revenue.
Maintain the relationship and Holy smokes, we're running out of time and we haven't even talked about soliciting referrals and how marketing can leverage happy customers and what are we going to do,
Tyler: [00:46:25] right? No, totally. I, I think all of that rings true and we can certainly, you know, I think we can continue that conversation in the future.
Mary, I want to, if, if folks that are listening, want to reach out to you and get in touch with you, what will be the best way for them to do that?
Mary: [00:46:41] Yeah, you can drop us at info at sales, bq.com that comes to me and my marketing strategists will make sure you're taken care of as quickly as possible. If you like this type of content, you can follow me on LinkedIn, Mary growthy.
You can also subscribe to our quota crusher podcast, which is mostly sales driven, but there's a lot of ways you can just. Google me you'll find me, you'll see me everywhere. And of course you'd love to hear from you. Awesome.
Tyler: [00:47:06] Yeah. And we'll link to some of those in the show notes. If folks want to connect with Mary online, highly recommended.
Thanks so much for joining Mary. I appreciate it. We'll do it again soon. Okay.
Mary: [00:47:14] Thank you. Thank you.
Tyler: [00:47:16] Thank you so much for listening to today's show. You can find all the links discussed and the show email@example.com. That's the T H E sales S a L E S. Lift L I F t.com have questions for me. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look, seeing you back here next week, and we hope today's show brings you the sales lift. Your business needs. Remember ideas plus action equals results. You've got new ideas. Now it's time to take action and the results will follow. See you next time.
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