I’m glad we cleared that up…

There are a lot of sales training companies on the market. With all the noise, we’re always grateful when people come to our little corner of the internet and ask more about how we are different at Factor 8. Hey, we all try to categorize vendors and do apple to apple comparisons (Before starting Factor 8, I evaluated vendors as a Sales Leader too!)

So please, allow me to explain Factor 8. Unlike most training companies, we were built by people who get sales. And we try really hard to not be apples. In fact, let’s call this the apples to . . .um. . .beer…comparison. 🙂

Here’s why you should drink beer with us instead of buying apples from them (this is getting better and better!):

  1. THIS ISN’T YOUR DAD’S SALES TRAINING: We teach digital sales / phone sales / inside sales / telesales / voice to voice sales…however you and your company phrase it. If you run a team that doesn’t primarily sell by knocking on doors, setting up face-to-face meetings, or giving live PPT presentations, we’re your vendor. Not sure the difference? Go ask any inside rep who’s been forced to attend the field’s training. We hear horror stories about this about once a month. We’ve all tried it. It. Doesn’t. Work. And in addition to wasting precious selling time, it makes your inside reps feel insignificant. Instead, teach them strategies to get people to call them back, start a call, navigate phone trees…you get it.
  2. GET ON THE PHONES: Don’t want sales down time? Sick of skills not getting applied? We got you covered baby. In every Factor 8 class we teach a skill, practice the skill, and then go back out on to the floor and get on the phones to try that skill! No kidding. Nobody else does this. Here’s why you should care:
    1. you may get better sales results during a training day than a regular sales day. Yes, that happens a lot.
    2. you may pay for the sales training before training is over. Again, really common.
    3. if you’re paying for new skills, why not make sure your people can actually do them before your trainers leave?
    4. when reps try the skill, see it works, and get results, “training fall-off” is really a non-starter. In the wise words of a recent rep who came back to class over fifteen minutes late, “This Factor 8 shit really works!” He was asking the prospect questions and just couldn’t get him to stop talking to get back to class in time! High-class problem, right?
  3. CUSTOMIZED TRAINING: This is a really big deal. Even if you don’t consider using us, ask vendors to show some specific examples of their materials customization. If your reps have to “translate” the generic sales theory in their heads to figure out how to use it, well, they’re not going to use it. I think this is the number one reason we see fall off from training application. They can spit back a “right answer” right after training because it’s in their short-term memory. But they don’t know how to use it and aren’t using it post-training so no wonder they can’t remember it a month later. Our workbooks include messaging examples, references to your product, your customer’s top objections, and even recorded calls from YOUR reps. Seriously, we’ve never taught the same class twice. Don’t practice selling a widget. Get experts to help you practice selling your services to your customers in your industry. THEN it sticks.

Quick aside: you guys, this is why most of you haven’t heard of Factor 8. It’s really HARD to customize each class. It’s not uber PROFITABLE to customize each class. It certainly isn’t SCALABLE to customize each class. This is why the big dogs don’t do it. They’re in the business of selling workbooks. Pre-printed, mass-produced workbooks. That’s why their idea of customization is a one-page role play at the end of a chapter. Not bad, but not good. Kind of like comparing apples and beer. By the way, it IS super EFFECTIVE to customize each class. That’s why most of you came to us by a referral.

  1. EXPERT COACHING: Here’s my last thought. Every Factor 8 Advisor has made the calls, coached the calls, and probably even run the team. My facilitators are ex reps, ex managers, ex Directors and ex VP’s. ALL from Inside Sales. And in every class, we coach live calls and recorded calls. Don’t let an adjunct professor or HR employee teach your people how to sell! Anyone can read a facilitator’s guide, how many can add value to messaging and delivery right on the spot?

Bottom line: Your sales training should get immediate results. By providing the right training with customized materials with live practice and expert coaching, we get SPIKES in performance. Account managers uncover millions in pipeline. Hundreds of new buying contacts are added to the database. Triple the voicemails get returned. Close percentages double. These are pretty standard Factor 8 results. Check out the case studies!

Thanks you guys. This has been a lot of fun. When I’m talking to prospects on the phone, it isn’t polite to throw-up values and differentiators! It certainly isn’t helpful to LIST them all! (We teach your reps to never “stack” values, we teach them to ask questions and then pick the differentiator and value that best matches!). But man it’s fun when you just get to brag.

We’ve built something amazing over here. We’re not trying to be the biggest, just the best. That’s why each year over 50% of our business is from referrals. I hope you’ll use these differentiators to demand more from your own providers. And if they can’t deliver…we’ll be right here waiting for you. With a beer!

LB

What’s the 1 thing you wish you knew when you were 22?

Hindsight is 20/20, right? Sales Hacker set out to collect valuable advice from people who all started in some way or another in B2B sales or marketing and asked, “What’s the 1 thing you wish you knew when you were 22”. I was invited to give my piece of advice and I was delighted to share. There’s so much good advice in here from successful sales entrepreneurs like David Cancel from Hubspot, Lesley Young from Box, and Lynne Zaledonis from SalesForce.

Dig in and enjoy! The article can be found here.

sales hacker sales professional career advice

P.S. Are you making plans to join us at AA-ISP Leadership Summit this year? This one is gonna be good and not one to be missed! Here’s a quick video highlight from last year’s summit. How about a discount code? Use JoinFactor8 for $100 off registration. See you there!

A Thank you Note to the Worst. Boss. EVER

This month Factor 8 turned 8 years old. I’d have missed it completely if I hadn’t gotten your LinkedIn Congratulations. Thanks you guys! So it’s on this auspicious occasion that I want to publicly acknowledge the complete tool that I used to call my boss. My friend, you drove me right into entrepreneurship.

Can you picture him or her? If you’ve been to one of my leadership seminars, you could actually picture MY boss (you BET I show his picture!), but how about YOUR worst boss? The worst jerk you ever reported to? Got his or her picture in your head? See how it makes you feel in the pit of your stomach? I actually still get a little involuntary sneer on my face when I do. Now answer this question:

How many of these guys or gals work for you today that you don’t know about?

Inside Sales Managers are some of the very worst offenders in the crappy-boss arena folks. We’ve taken young and inexperienced sales reps and promoted them. Then we gave them little to no training and let’s be honest, not a lot of great role models (we do have a pretty young profession). So this is it, I’m going on record to blatantly say:

Poor Sales Managers are THE NUMBER ONE REASON that you have high turnover on your inside sales team.

And believe me, they appear completely differently to you than they do to their team. Here are a few nuggets to consider:

  • Who has the highest turnover and lowest? If you’re not tracking this, start!
  • Who has the highest number of reps making quota (vs. just percentage of the team to quota that can be carried by one or two sellers)
  • How are your managers doling out leads, inbounds or web inquiries? Is there an objective process in place?
  • Do each of your managers have regular 1:1 meetings with every single person on their team?
  • How soon do your managers reach out to your employees after they’re hired (hint: Before they start and day one are best practices)
  • How often do your managers touch your customers (the good ones, not just the ones that are pissed).
  • How much training have you given your managers?

Call to action 1: Folks, you need INSIDE SALES MANAGEMENT training – not just the good touchy-feely stuff from HR. Check out my LBTV posting on what training you need here.

Call to action 2: Consider re-appropriating your rep training budget for your managers (you’ll get more ROI from your rep training that way).

Call to action 3: If you have under five managers, check out the online training from AA-ISP. Sure online training isn’t as good as live, but this will take you a good way down the field.

MAN that’s a lot of calls to action. Hope this was helpful everyone! And boss man (you know who you are): You were really truly awful.. Thanks! 🙂

 

Inside Sales Management Training

How To Get Budget for Inside Sales Training

If your Inside Sales team is relatively new, chances are you don’t have a defined training budget at your disposal (am I getting warm?). I’d also venture a guess that your somewhat green team could definitely use some inside sales training. (Still warm?) Which means that either:

  1. You’re individually training each of them yourself (ouch!)
  2. You’re sending them to some form of field or other training that doesn’t seem to actually fit
  3. You’re pulling out your hair and ready for some help! (ooh! Now she’s hot! Ha ha)

We’re here to help!

Getting budget for Inside Sales Training

 Step one: Determine what we need.

The average company spends around $1000 / rep / year on training. Companies that score in the “best practices” range for sales spend closer to $2K. This goes right next to your incentives and recruiting budget my friends. Every year. In the meantime, ask for the equivalent of $1750 / Rep. You have some gaps to fill. This should buy you a few days of training per rep.

 

 Step two: Fight for the budget.

Enter the Big-Bad–Doesn’t-Want-to­-Spend-Money-On-Your-Silly-Little-Team-Boss:

“Why would I spend money on training! I heard that by the time you back to your job, you’ve lost 90% of what you’ve learned in training and 3 months later the rest is gone too. And by the way, these Reps will be gone in six months anyway, right?” (Whoa Boss Man!)

Don’t panic…we’re gonna get through this. Ready for your side of the negotiation?

You (Superstar Inside Sales Leader): Sure, sometimes that is true (with bad training) but did YOU know that:

  • A recent survey found that 40% of employees who receive poor training leave their positions within the first year (and site “lack of training” as a reason for leaving!)

So providing good sales training will reduce attrition!

  • A second study found that companies with training programs that “exceeded expectations” achieved 94.8% of quota – ten points above companies with mediocre programs (and X points above you today with no training???) – So providing good sales training will raise our performance to quota!
  • Best in class sales training improves individual performance by an average of 20% – So if we raise even 10%, we should recoup ____ $$ and pay for training in X months!
  • 85% of companies rated best in class in Sales use an outside professional sales trainer / curriculum – So we probably should buy this not build it. I’ll do the legwork…

 

 Step three: Find yourself a vendor.

So, what does good inside sales training look like? How can you prevent the “fall out”? Check out my recent video for quick tips to get the most from that training budget you fought so hard to get!

Hope this helps you Super Star Inside Sales Leaders out there!
Cheers!

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His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

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His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

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His stet corpora nostrum in


eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id.

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