A lioness in the salesroom

Valuable sales lessons from HubSpot and Dan Tyre’s bootcamp 

I am not a sales person. The thought of selling fills me with dread. I’d rather do a skydive (I hate flying and heights) and land in a snake pit (I’m petrified of snakes). I admire those that are, but I REALLY don’t like it and have avoided it as much as possible. 

No salespeople

I started Fresh eleven years ago with Keith and we’ve been successful in growing the business pretty much exclusively through referrals and word-of-mouth. However, for us to take the business to the next level, we need to do more. 

We started practising inbound marketing for ourselves 18 months ago to increase our web traffic and generate more leads. It produced amazing results! We doubled our site visitors, increased our lead generation 4X, won new business and implemented tactics that we had not previously engaged with, such as email, marketing automation and content creation. 

The inbound strategy helped us grow, so we took that knowledge and are helping other companies grow. We’re now a HubSpot Partner offering inbound marketing services and HubSpot platform management to technical, industrial, engineering and manufacturing companies. 

As part of the partner journey, I was offered the opportunity to take part in HubSpot’s Pipeline Generation Bootcamp. An eight-week programme to generate more opportunities for our agency. It’s led by Dan (the man) Tyre, who was the number six employee at HubSpot, after successfully growing and selling businesses, and is now their Sales Director. He knows what he’s talking about. 

I didn’t really know what to expect and was a little anxious about it. Eight weeks of selling. Urgh. Where’s that plane and snake pit? If Fresh is to have a thriving future, then we need all the strategic support, tools and opportunities available. I put on my big girl pants and took myself out of my comfort zone. 

BOOOOOOM. We started. Dan is a larger than life character that is full of energy, inspiration, knowledge and motivation, which rubs off on you! He is THE lion and we were the cubs who Dan was going to nurture into fully grown lions and lioness. 

Over the intense eight weeks, I learnt an enormous amount of information, skills, tools and confidence. One of the main takeaways was that my previous experience and preconceptions of sales was wrong. It’s not all about a sleazy salesperson, cold calling people and never taking no for an answer. Here’s my takeaways of what I learnt: 

It’s not cold calling, it’s warm calling

PhoneWarm calling is identifying a company that is a good fit as your ideal customer. They may not be aware of you or have an immediate need for your products or services yet, but your knowledge and experience can help them. You need to add value in an efficient, effective way before you can take something of value from them, such as their time. Adding value is offering them a tip tailored to their business or sharing knowledge/content. Dan calls this ‘Shelping’ – a hybrid of selling and helping. To do this you must have researched the company and person you are looking to connect with.

Be human

While we are in the business-to-business (B2B) industry, we deal with humans at the end of the day – human-to-human (H2H). When connecting with prospects, it’s important to build up rapport, be yourself, smile and have a sense of humour. The person on the end of the phone is often pushed for time with demanding roles, and a friendly tone with humour will put them at ease and help with building trust. 

SMarketing

Sales + marketing = SMarketing. To succeed, sales and marketing must be aligned in an organisation. These two departments are often in battle with one another – “Marketing aren’t generating enough leads” or “Sales are not working the leads we pass to them”. Encouraging SMarketing will open up communication and encourage collaboration, develop accountable goals and ultimately create more opportunities for growth. 

Active listening

Active listeningIt’s often the case that when connecting with people, we talk about ourselves and what our company has to offer. But to be successful we need to learn active listening to uncover the buyer’s pains and goals. This helps with rapport, uncovering their challenges and needs and building credibility by demonstrating that you understand them. Let them do most of the talking by asking questions such as “tell me more about that” or “why?”. 

Document your sales process

Every organisation is different. What works for one, won’t work for all. But it’s important to have repeatable steps that moves prospects through the buyer journey to ultimately become a customer. A process provides a framework to follow for consistency, that anyone in the organisation can look at and know what they should be doing.  

I am so glad I invested my time in the bootcamp and very grateful of Dan’s investment in us and would highly recommend others to take part. It’s a lot of work, scary and a commitment but also good fun, a huge learning journey and transformational. I am proud to now call myself a lioness and I’m ready to ROAR! So, a big fist bump and high five to Dan. I can’t wait to meet you in person. 

Lioness

If you’d like to discuss how your SMarketing operates, how you can implement sales enablement, or are looking to review your sales and marketing tools, feel free to chat with me

I’m not here to sell. I want to help!

About the Author: Amanda Kinbrum

Amanda Kinbrum

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