Transcript and Audio
Episode 16 – Shaun – Enterprise Software Sales
This is Brian Margolis and welcome to the Simplify Your Strategy, Magnify Your Results podcast. Where on each episode, I use the Pillar System to help a sales pro, entrepreneur or other results-based professional, create a weekly strategy to run a simple, more lucrative business strategy. So simple, it can fit on an index card, but so powerful, it’s actually helped create multiple seven-figure earners and is now licensed by some of the largest companies in the world to create strategies for their teams. If you’d like a free copy of my book on exactly how to do this, or want to be considered as a guest on a future episode, head on over to productivity, giant.com. Enjoy the episode.
Brian Margolis (00:43):
All right. So Sean Bourque, am I pronouncing that right?
Shaun B. (00:47):
You got it. If you’re a hockey fan, it’s just like Ray Borque.
Brian Margolis (00:50):
Just like Ray Borque. Hopefully he left you some of his money.
Shaun B. (00:56):
Absolutely not. That’s why I’m speaking with you.
Brian Margolis (01:00):
So you approached me through my website and you are starting a new position. You have experience already in software sales. Would this be considered software as a service?
Shaun B. (01:15):
Yes there is a SAAS component to it. Think of it as half software, half services is in this particular case.
Brian Margolis (01:22):
And you have experience with that, right? You were just with another big company for awhile doing sales, right?
Shaun B. (00:50):
Brian Margolis (00:51):
And now you’re starting a new position. So you’re trying to figure out what is your weekly strategy for this new position? What are your pillars? And so update me on, and we’ve obviously, we’ve never met. We’ve never talked before. You’ve just, I guess you’ve been following my stuff by email. Um, what, what do you know of the Pillar System to date? Have you read the book? Have you been through different videos? Where are you at? So I know where to start.
Shaun B. (01:59):
Yeah. Very surface level in terms of reading the book and, um, some podcasts you’re on, I found out about your system through the Salesman podcast. So that, that interview was my, it was my tipping point.
Brian Margolis (02:11):
Got it. So you have read the book. And you have listened to some other episodes. So are you coming here? Have you identified some potential pillars? Are we starting from scratch?
Shaun B. (02:20):
No, I’ve definitely identified a few. I’ll pull up my list here in terms of… and from my understanding from your work, Brian, we want to look at things from a learning objective, a let’s call it a proactive outreach bucket as well as an organizational bucket. So
Brian Margolis (02:37):
Yeah, I mean, there’s, there there’s three kinds of pillars. The first kind are what I would call consistency pillars, right? Consistency or activity, pillars. Those are the things that are in your control that you want to be consistent with each week. Right? The second type is the learning pillar or the effectiveness pillar. Right. What skill do you have to improve in that’ll give you the highest ROI. And the third is what I call strategic pillars. And these are also, you can think of them as multipliers in a way that by doing them, it makes other things you do or something else you do more effective. So that’s, in my mind, how I kind of break it up, um, before you even tell me kind of what you’ve come up with. And sometimes I take it from the top. Sometimes someone comes to me with pillars, give me your basic background, how long you’ve selling, what you’ve sold. And then on top of that, tell me like what tends to work and what doesn’t work for you.
Shaun B. (03:44):
Yeah. So I’ve been doing this for 10 years. Been in mostly software, a little bit of tech/hardware as well. So selling to verticals, including manufacturing, banking, I have experience in everything but healthcare and life sciences is one way to think of it. And in terms of what works for me in terms of prospecting, what works for me or deal-closing, what do you…
Brian Margolis (04:10):
What do you tend to do well, and what do you not tend to do well?
Shaun B. (04:14):
Oh. Sure. I’m very good at the account research portion. I can come up with pretty compelling value statements. Why take a meeting emails? That’s a pretty good strength of mine. In terms of a weakness, one thing I could always use help with is developing more and more contacts at a company, kind of once I get an opportunity going wider, going deeper within an account I tend to need help with.
Brian Margolis (04:45):
Got it. Okay.
Shaun B. (04:46):
Closing activities, really. That seems to be one that I could always use help with.
Brian Margolis (04:52):
Some of the closing. Okay. And with this new company you’re with, you’re literally just starting with them, right?
Shaun B. (04:21):
Yep. A month in.
Brian Margolis (04:21):
And who is your target market? What does your territory look like?
Shaun B. (05:06):
Yeah, it’s actually, it’s a bit in flux, but I have 10 accounts here in the Midwest that are some of the largest firms here. So, Northern Trust, you know, some of the large banks. I have to pick companies that are big enough to want what I sell. So I just, I went through the Fortune100 list and picked out the ones here in the Midwest. And that made sense. So a banking’s a vertical, manufacturing. CPG is another one.
Brian Margolis (05:36):
Oh, so you’re, so you’re not industry specific?
Shaun B. (05:39):
Shaun B. (05:40):
But you’re going for Fortune 100 companies
Shaun B. (05:44):
Thereabouts, right. Or what accounts that, let’s call it Fortune 500 to be fair.
Brian Margolis (05:49):
Okay. So Fortune 500 companies. And you’ve been assigned 10 of them, or you chose 10 of them?
Shaun B. (05:55):
I chose 10 of them.
Brian Margolis (05:57):
Okay… to go after, as like a starting point, or did you tell the company, Hey, these are my 10 and this is where I’m focused..
Shaun B. (06:05):
The former. So I picked 10 based on profile, likelihood to buy… some of those considerations. Okay.
Brian Margolis (06:13):
But you can sell to, you can sell to any large company, if you will.
Shaun B. (06:16):
Yes. Yep. If I have a lead that I think is super compelling within the Midwest here, I can go after.
Brian Margolis (06:24):
And is it like a geographical territory?
Shaun B. (06:27):
Right. That’s the most common breakup.
Brian Margolis (06:31):
Okay. So, they’ve given you a certain geography?
Shaun B. (06:35):
Brian Margolis (06:38):
Okay. And then what are you actually selling?
Shaun B. (06:41):
Yeah, it’s a data integration tool is the idea. So, three big problems that’s plagued the industry, one is data sits everywhere, right. The classic siloed story. So being able to tie that all into one view. The other being speed to actually get a query that you want. That’s another big one. So it’s, you know, instead of a customer having to learn SQL or some other, uh, arcane data language, it’s all done in natural language. And then, thirdly to that, it’s um, no, I’m sorry. So I’m sorry, the language, the speed, as well as the integration were the top three.
Brian Margolis (07:21):
Got it. Okay. So, so your ideal client is they’ve got data all over the place. Yeah, maybe their data talks to each other, but it’s kind of clunky if you will. Right. And so you’re going in there to, I guess, number one, make their life easier. Right. And number two, I’m guessing potentially save them money?
Shaun B. (07:45):
Exactly. Yeah. A good example that’s published would be British petroleum. They did a large project in where tying together a bunch of different ERP systems. So you can imagine someone of that scale, there’d be a big bit of an issue. And, with this, you know, you get that single cockpit, that simple view.
Brian Margolis (08:05):
Okay. And who do you go after inside the company? What are the titles tend to look like?
Shaun B. (08:10):
Yeah. These are people… There are various different like data titles. So chief data architects, data lake, you know, those those sorts of… chief data officer, those titles. That’s one area, another area really though where the money is and how we get, from what I understand, how we get off the ground is through the business owner of that unit. Right. And one challenge that occurs is making a, a highly technical, highly bespoke product relevant to a head of wealth management at a bank, right. Or someone within that group.
Brian Margolis (08:43):
Right. So, so one of your challenges, if you will, or one of the things you’re tasked to do is kind of route around and figure out who you should be contacting in that company.
Shaun B. (08:54):
Yes. That’s a…
Brian Margolis (08:55):
Titles these days mean pretty much nothing. Right. Everyone’s a VP of something. So you have to do a little homework and route around, and I’m guessing you also contact multiple people in the company.
Shaun B. (09:09):
Exactly. Yeah. I’m trying to build a coalition of the willing, being new. Right. I don’t know everyone, but I’m trying to start low- level, mid-level and understand the lay of the land in some of these larger enterprises.
Brian Margolis (09:19):
Got it. Okay. And then my last question would be, or I got two more questions. Do you have a budget?
Shaun B. (09:23):
Uh, yes. 5 million.
Brian Margolis (09:25):
Okay. That meaning, when I say 5 million, I mean do you personally have a budget that you can spend on these companies?
Shaun B. (09:32):
Oh, um, yes, no, I, I have a budget, yes, that I can spend on those companies.
Brian Margolis (09:39):
I was gonna say, 5 million. That’s a nice budget. I think bribery would probably be your best way with that kind of budget. So do these meetings have to be done in person, later on, or do these or are these still mostly virtual?
Shaun B. (09:55):
Later on there’s definitely a need for, technical deep dives and operational walkthroughs, if you will, to connect to solution development meetings more than anything else.
Brian Margolis (10:08):
Do you tend to hand those off or are you part of those?
Shaun B. (10:10):
Well, being brand new I haven’t ran into that yet. I’m just doing initially virtual prospecting introduction meetings.
Brian Margolis (10:18):
So this is a long, this is a long sales cycle.
Shaun B. (10:21):
Yeah. It’s your classic year-plus enterprise sales cycle.
Brian Margolis (10:26):
Gotcha. Okay. Cool. Alright. So what kind of goals have they given you?
Shaun B. (10:32):
Right. Out of the gate, finding a pilot that will convert is the biggest thing.
Brian Margolis (10:38):
That’s kind of like, step one.
Shaun B. (10:40):
Step one, right. And I’m incentivized to go after that. So, going into it’s…
Brian Margolis (10:46):
This is not a pilot that’s already happening. This is, or is it a pilot that’s already happening?
Shaun B. (10:51):
No, no, no. So find that new POC pilot, right, to work. So being able to identify and start one of those up is, I’m incented to do that, and that’s an idea of being on the right track.
Brian Margolis (11:05):
Got it. Okay. And is the pilot does cost them money though, right?
Shaun B. (11:10):
No, I can go and go. Yeah. Well it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s up to me really, but, it doesn’t necessarily have a cost attached to it.
Brian Margolis (11:18):
So what pillars have you come up with to date? Give me the starting point.
Shaun B. (11:24):
Sure, so right now doing some of the basic blocking and tackling, getting into these accounts. One pillar I have on a weekly basis is to just identify target opportunity areas, right? Do the necessary account research to come up with hypotheses on how to get in there. From that point another pillar I developed is a time to actually write out the sequence of messages that I do. So over the next month, let’s say do that to have my sequence. Thirdly, find a persona or contact list, have time to build that out and set up tasks in Salesforce, that activity. And then, finally, time to do outreach so dedicated half hour, twice a week to do outreach.
Brian Margolis (12:16):
Okay. So you have four of those, so let’s, let’s let’s break. Oh go ahead, sorry.
Shaun B. (12:21):
And then in terms of learning, I also have a time to do case studies/meeting reports. It’s actually learning the product and going through, and I find that to be really helpful to internalize the stories.
Brian Margolis (12:33):
So learning the product/case studies. Okay. So let me now let me go back over those five kind of one by one and kind of do a deep dive of what you’re trying to accomplish and then we’ll turn them into we’ll turn them into actual pillars. Right. Okay. So when you say identify target opportunity areas, all right. In English, what does that mean?
Shaun B. (13:08):
Yeah so that’s, as an example, let’s say I’ll take a big bank, um, in looking at a large bank and trying to figure out how to get in there, coming up with an idea for a customer to take a meeting. I need to do a certain amount of research. So that’s looking at LinkedIn to see what tools they use. Look at recent annual reports to see if, uh, you know, anti money laundering is a thing they need that sort of research.
Brian Margolis (13:37):
Is that a different service you sell?
Shaun B. (13:42):
Same, same tool. It’s data integration for anti-money laundering, if that makes sense. So it’s not necessarily an application, but…
Brian Margolis (13:53):
Okay so tools they use, public reports…
Shaun B. (13:59):
Right. So time to do that on a weekly basis.
Brian Margolis (14:03):
So learning more about the actual company?
Shaun B. (14:04):
Brian Margolis (14:05):
Okay. Alright. And then, so that’s different than the contact list because the contact list is you’re looking for who in the company?
Shaun B. (14:17):
Brian Margolis (14:20):
Okay. So ID target opportunity areas, tools they use, public reports, so on and so forth. Okay?
Shaun B. (14:26):
Brian Margolis (14:27):
Then I’m going to skip that email one. Let’s go to find your contact lists. So explain that one to me in English. I think I know what it is based on what I just said, but let me hear it.
Shaun B. (14:36):
Yeah so it’s going through LinkedIn, or we have ZoomInfo as an example and just going through and loading up those lists, finding the right people and doing any cursory, did they attend a certain school, did a particular person, come from a company that my company has worked with, some of that tactical work that comes into
Brian Margolis (14:58):
Yeah find out who they are and then do a little homework on them.
Shaun B. (15:01):
Brian Margolis (15:04):
Okay. Alright. And then, so one of the, basically the first pillar is you’re identifying opportunities, possible opportunities within the company based on what’s going on. The second or the third pillar to find a contact list is, finding the actual, who are the actual individuals and what can you learn about them? Alright. Then the second pillar you gave me create email sequence. Create the email sequence that is now, is that one of the things where, okay, I now have this person within this company, these are the five emails I want to send them over the next month.
Shaun B. (15:44):
Exactly, exactly. So, yeah, I kind of, I mark it by opportunity or, you know, what, what I think, so as an example, like anti-money laundering within a bank, I’ll build that as an opportunity, come up with a bunch of contexts against that opportunity and then build the email sequence for that campaign.
Brian Margolis (16:04):
Got it. And that email sequence, is that a short-term sequence or is that ongoing?
Shaun B. (16:10):
It’s, it’s about like a month, six weeks in terms of shelf life.
Brian Margolis (16:21):
Alright. So opportunities are not about companies. Opportunities are specific opportunities within the company. It could be in theory, you could be attacking multiple opportunities with different people in the same company.
Shaun B. (16:37):
Brian Margolis (16:38):
Gotcha. Okay. Alright. And then the outreach, how’s the outreach different than starting that email sequence?
Shaun B. (16:47):
Oh there’s just actually time to do it actually time to sit down and budget and make sure there’s no other distractions and that I’m sending the emails and picking up the phone and…
Brian Margolis (16:56):
Well, okay. Well, let’s, let’s break that down. Right. So when you say like, with this sequence, that’s an automated sequence I’m guessing?
Shaun B. (17:05):
Well, no, not automated. I mean, I have to go in and click and do the messaging. Cause I want also slightly personalize each message at times. I may or may not.
Brian Margolis (17:17):
Right but then once you’ve created the sequence, don’t you set it, like you’ve created the five emails, personalized them, then don’t you set it to like go out and then another one goes out a certain amount of time later, or…
Shaun B. (17:27):
I haven’t set myself up like that, no.
Brian Margolis (17:29):
Okay. So these, so you’re actually sending email one, seeing what happens and sending email two, seeing what happens.
Shaun B. (17:34):
Brian Margolis (17:36):
Gotcha. Okay. Alright. And that’s part of the outreach, right?
Shaun B. (17:43):
Right. So after I’ve built everything and done all my research outreach is just time to actually sit down and go through the list.
Brian Margolis (17:53):
So that’s sending emails and then that’s also, do you pick up the phone sometimes you said?
Shaun B. (17:58):
Brian Margolis (17:59):
Got it. Okay.
Shaun B. (18:01):
So I combine the two into one. I don’t know if that’s an issue, but it’s something that I…
Brian Margolis (18:05):
I mean, it depends how your brain thinks about it, right? Like if you, now, I guess I would say, like you said to do 30 minutes. Okay. To me — again, I’m trying to picture how you’re set up here — to me, is it less about time and more about, I need to make sure each week everyone gets the next email, the next phone call.
Shaun B. (18:34):
Oh, good, yeah, good distinction. I haven’t quite worked that out yet.
Brian Margolis (18:40):
Let’s, let’s talk through this then. Pre-opportunity contacts, I guess is, you know, you have your — here’s the way I’m looking at it — you have your contacts when you’re trying to get an initial meeting. And then you have your what a lot of salespeople will call your follow-up. Meaning now that you’ve had the initial meeting, you’re staying on top of them, right?
Shaun B. (19:09):
Brian Margolis (19:11):
Okay. So to me, you could try that, try thinking about it like this. Could you have a, I’m calling it an Excel sheet. You can do it however you want in Salesforce or whatever, but yeah. Can you have a list of open prospects? Right. A prospect list basically, meaning, you know, these are the people that I’ve started communicating with, right. Or I need to start communicating with, and then could you have a follow-up list of these are people I have communicated with, and now we’re working toward the next step, whether that next step is the initial meeting or… does that make sense?
Shaun B. (19:52):
Yeah. Like an active opportunity.
Brian Margolis (19:55):
Well, even just the first time they respond, once they’ve responded and they’re engaging you, they’re now on the follow-up list, if you will.
Shaun B. (20:07):
Okay. Yeah. I mean, I haven’t thought that far, I frankly, I’ve only had three meetings initially, because I haven’t thought that far ahead, but…
Brian Margolis (20:14):
Well I think this is important because the way I would look at it is that, once someone has communicated with you they’ve responded in some format, assuming they’re not like, you know, leave me alone, take me off your list kind of thing. But they’ve responded in some kind of way. You’re now going to treat them a little differently than just sending them the next automated email.
Shaun B. (20:38):
Oh, okay. Sure. Yeah. So kind of like a nurture stream, if you will, like a nurture list…
Brian Margolis (20:45):
Well just a pre- I guess almost like a pre-contact and a post-contact, right. Like to me, a prospect in this case is someone that you have not had a communication with. Right. It’s been one direction. We might call an opportunity. And again, you can use your own language that works for you, but I’ll just call it your prospect list and your opportunity list. Right. If Bob Smith now responds to you, okay. And he might respond in a number of ways, anything from, Hey, can you, can we re-engage next month too? Yes. I may. Some info or, you know, it is right. Or I have to, I have to talk to so-and-so, whatever it is. And you’re going to treat Bob Smith differently. If he hasn’t responded, he’s going to get the next email, then the next email and the next call versus Bob Smith, who’s now responded to you now it’s kind of a two way correspondence, if that makes sense.
Shaun B. (21:41):
Brian Margolis (21:43):
And I’m kind of separating that using like a functional definition of a prospect. One’s a pure prospect. And one is now, for lack of a better word, one is now an opportunity in your world is, is an opportunity to, to at least see it through to the end, right. Yeah. Okay. Okay. And those opportunities can range from, oh, the guy responded to my email or the lady we’ve emailed back and forth a couple of times with this lady, you know, all the way up to you’ve done demos. Right. And things like that. And the reason, the reason I’m saying that is, I think you should separate when I say so in other words, somebody makes it to the prospecting list. When you now have a name, right. You now have a contact and a plan. Right. Right. Think about it — you have Mary Smith and you, and you have the plan, which is, I’m going to send these five emails. Assuming I don’t hear back from her, I’m going to send these five emails. This is my anti money laundering sequence for, you know, first national bank or whatever. And so now you can actually start doing whatever it is you want to do, sending the emails, making the calls, whatever. Right.
Shaun B. (23:07):
I would say yeah, now have that sequence I built out to get the meeting and then once… I understand what you’re saying.
Brian Margolis (23:12):
Now once Mary Smith, once Mary Smith has engaged at some level, and it’s still not a leave me alone or no thanks or whatever, she now moves over to the, you basically just shift her or check a box in Salesforce if you like to use Salesforce, she’s now on the opportunity list. And the reason I’m saying that is because I think you could make this very simple, these would be long pillars but theyd’ be simple pillars. Meaning, one of your pillars could simply be review prospect list once a week. Right. What does that mean? That means you go down that prospect list of all these people that you’ve now, you know, what you want to do with them or you’re in the process of doing it. Right. Some of them may have gotten, not gotten the first email yet. Some of them may have gotten three already, but you can you go down that list from top to bottom each week and you make a decision name by name. Okay. Do they get the next email or do I want to call them? And sometimes you might say, I’m not gonna do anything with them this week. Right. Does that make sense?
Shaun B. (24:26):
Yeah. No, totally. I usually I’ll set myself tasks in Salesforce to do that for a particular person. So that’s how I manage it.
Brian Margolis (24:33):
Do you like it, if you like managing it that way? That’s…
Shaun B. (24:36):
I don’t, but I’m also limited by the software too right. So it’s how I had myself set up.
Brian Margolis (24:44):
I’m sure Salesforce can do reports, right?
Shaun B. (24:45 ):
Brian Margolis (24:50):
Okay. So if Salesforce can do reports, then if you have a field that you can create like a prospect field, right. Or a complete, maybe they’re called a CP, a complete prospect, meaning you tag them as CP, which means you’ve identified them and you know, the sequence you want to send them so on and so forth, right. Each week you run that report. Okay. And we’ll just have all the CPs. And then your pillar is by the end of the week, I need to have gone down this name by name and anyone who needs the next email or the next step that week gets it. Does that make sense?
Shaun B. (25:34):
Yeah. No, it does. It’s a different way to think about it. I usually, within, within my timeframe of…It’s just one way to limit yourself, right. Within that 30 minute or 45, however, I want to do it. I’m usually able to muscle through a lot of what I needed to get done, but a different way to think of it as going through that list and making sure everyone gets it.
Brian Margolis (25:54):
Well not sure everyone gets it, but make sure you’ve made a decision on every person. Meaning you might go down that list one week and there’s Mary Smith and you’re like, yeah, I literally just talked to her on Friday. Right. Or, sorry, I literally just not talk to her at this point. I literally emailed her on Friday. So that’s like her third email, plus I called her Monday. I don’t, I’m not going to hit her again. Right. You decide as long as you get to the bottom of the list and you decide on each one, no, one’s going to fall through the cracks. Right. Can you picture this or no?
Shaun B. (26:33):
I can. Yeah. I’m just trying to think through, as you’re saying that…
Brian Margolis (26:37):
So the pillar itself, the pillar itself is to complete your CP list. Okay. Right. You’ve at least put your eyes on every completed prospect. So you can come up with your own terms or steal these doesn’t matter, but you’re calling them a completed prospect, meaning you know who they are and what you want to say to them. Right. And so now you have this CP list, you go down that CP list every week and anyone who needs that next touch gets it.
Shaun B. (27:06):
Meaning that, I just want to repeat it so I understand so that I, on a weekly basis will come up with my ideas on the account. Right. I build like Bob Smith, the AML guy, I build out five messages I want to send Bob Smith. And then, during my time I outreach to him. Are you saying that Bob Smith is now a complete prospect because I’ve built out the cadence?
Brian Margolis (27:26):
Shaun B. (26:28):
Okay. So how would that would, so I put Bob Smith into one list. How would that be different than other contacts I have built out that are in that same target?
Brian Margolis (27:43):
So you have a completed prospect list, right? The second one would be an open prospect list. Again, you can come up with your own names. Meaning this is a person I, I want to reach out to they’re a potential prospect here, but I haven’t actually done the homework on them yet to reach out to ’em.
Shaun B. (28:04):
Oh, okay. I see what you’re saying. So complete names. I’ve done all my research. I have it all. It’s it’s it’s set up to, to cold call and cold email.
Brian Margolis (28:12):
Yeah. They’re ready. They’re ready for outreach now. They’re ready for outreach.
Shaun B. (28:22):
Okay. And I would tag that and build a list and I would say to myself, okay, if this person make that decision a case-by-case, do they need the next touch or what have you
Brian Margolis (28:32):
Yeah. And you can even say, I’m going to review it twice a week. That way you don’t feel like you’re only reaching out to people on Tuesdays or something. Right. You can say review your CP list twice a week.
Shaun B. (28:53):
Okay. And that would take the place of my outreach pillar that I have. That’s kind of a generic undefined pillar.
Brian Margolis (28:58):
Well that and this next one we’re going to put in place. So then you have, let’s just call it and I’m going to give it another name – an EP list — an engaged prospect. Or you can just call this follow-up by, you know, it’s up to you. But an engaged prospect is someone you’re in communication with. Right. You now move them over there. Now a they’ve gone from a CP to an EP. Okay. And again, you’ve come up with your own names. I don’t care. No CP to you. You come up with a CP, take them over from a CP to an EP and now you’ve got to review that list twice a week. And again, when I say the word review, I’m saying go down that list and if you think they need that next thing, that next touch, give them the next touch and if you don’t fine.
Shaun B. (29:51):
Right, I follow you.
Brian Margolis (29:53):
In other words, one time, it could take you 45 minutes to an hour to go down your EP list or review it. Other times you could do it in 15 minutes. You’re like, yeah. I hit most of those people the first time around. Let me, well, this guy just got added. Let me hit him or let me send something to her. Does that make sense?
Shaun B. (30:11):
Exactly. Yep. No, I get it.
Brian Margolis (30:13):
The idea is if you review your CP list and your EP list twice a week, that’s the core of this portion of your business. That’s going to be you reaching out and making sure no one falls through the cracks and as opposed to just saying 30 minutes, and then it’s kind of what you feel like doing or whose name you see.
Shaun B. (30:35):
Sure. No, that’s, that’s certainly a habit I fall into. And how about for the open prospects? Do I, is that just, I use my time to…
Brian Margolis (30:45):
So let’s talk about that in a second, but I’m thinking the CP list, you go through twice a week, the engaged prospect list you go through twice a week. Right. And then so open ones, right? The idea of the open one is to take them from open to completed. To move them over to the list. Okay. Well, you’re not going to be able to do that with everyone every week. That takes time. I mean, you might have, you might identify 32 people, right? Yep. You, you could have quite an open prospect list that you’re keeping okay. With notes and all that kind of stuff. So there’s a couple of ways to think about it. One, we can think about it in time. Okay. We can think about it in time, which is spend 90 minutes a week, you know, on the OP list.
Shaun B. (31:43):
Yeah that sounds like something I can commit to. And that’s generally how long it takes, like a good morning, you know, one morning, first thing to do.
Brian Margolis (31:51):
Now in that 90 minutes, like I would have a reference document. Like one of my modules is on reference documents, there’s stuff on the book. I would have a reference document, like a to-do list and an ideas list and all that stuff. So that when you spend that 90 minutes, you’re like, alright, where do I want to focus this week? All right. I want to write a couple of more email sequences. I want to write, like, I’m, I just want to write one or two good email sequences for, I want to pick two of these OPs. Okay. And write a good sequence. You know, you spend the 90 minutes as, as you see fit.
Shaun B. (32:26):
So are you suggesting that my email sequence or message sequence and the list building I should bucket that into the open prospect?
Brian Margolis (32:35):
Well, no. So I think just the email sequence you should bucket into the OP list. Okay.
Shaun B. (32:42):
That’s that’s my, okay. So
Brian Margolis (32:45):
90 minutes, I’m thinking 90 minutes converting OPs is what I would call it. Right. So 90 minutes a week, open up your Excel sheet or your reference document and you know, for 90 minutes you work on trying to get quality versus quantity. You’re trying to put the sequence and plan together for these OPs.
Shaun B. (33:13):
Yeah. Okay. So my sequence becomes the convert OP.
Brian Margolis (33:21):
Converting OPs. Yup. And I think the finding your, you know, the contact list one. Alright. That one then becomes, you know, identifying well, in the language we’re using now, it would be identifying OPs. Right. Does that make sense?
Shaun B. (33:42):
That makes sense. Yeah. Maybe 1X a week doing that.
Brian Margolis (33:48):
Well not 1X. That one would be a, it’s either going to be a time one or it’s going to be a results number. Right. It could be something like, and again, I don’t know, you know better than I do. I don’t know what these numbers look like, but it could be — and these are minimums — remember each week I need to identify at least three OPs.
Shaun B. (34:11):
Yeah. With me, I think cause I have some good tools to find contacts a time-based would make sense now, like 45 minutes I feel would be a good time to go through and find, you know, enough to keep myself busy for. Okay.
Brian Margolis (34:22):
So 45 minutes identifying OPs… Now the let’s see here. Okay. So then you have identifying your target opportunity areas again, I like that pillar. I just think you need, one of the rules of pillars is you gotta know when to cross them off. Right. You gotta know when to cross them off. So again, that one seems to lend itself to a time thing. .
Shaun B. (34:59):
That makes sense. Yes.
Brian Margolis (35:00):
You know, identifying target opportunity areas.
Shaun B. (35:03):
I can easily spend 90 minutes and have it be worthwhile. Right. I mean, going, especially selling to these larger Fortune500 companies, time spent sharpening the ax in that regard I think it would be well invested.
Brian Margolis (35:30):
So 90 minutes identifying, opportunities in the companies. Alright. So, so let’s put learning to the side or effectiveness for a second, right? These are the pillars I have so far, spend 90 minutes identifying opportunities within the companies, spend 45 minutes identifying… well this is a little confusing cause we called them OPs. Maybe we just call them prospects instead of OPs. Right. Well, let’s, let’s leave it OPs.
Shaun B. (35:59):
I like the consistency of OP
Brian Margolis (36:01):
So 45 minutes identifying OPs. Right. 90 minutes converting OPs, completing reviewing your CP list twice a week. You’re completing the prospect list twice a week. Um, reviewing your engaged prospect list twice a week. Right. Reviewing. And then, so that’s the consistency pillars, right? Me to me, that’s the thing that’s going to make sure there’s actually a strategic pillar in here too. But, um, you know, you’re spending 90 minutes looking for opportunities within the companies. What can you, you know, what problems can you identify? They could use some solutions to. You’re spending 45 minutes within those companies identifying open prospects, 90 minutes converting the open prospects and then doing your completed prospect list and your engaged prospect list twice a week, what you would call your outreach and your follow-up. Right. So you’re doing all the right things right. Consistently. Okay. Now we need to talk about effectiveness. And one of those effectiveness pillars was spending time each week, learning your product like with case studies, you know, to make you more effective inside of these meetings and all that. What kind of time do you think that requires at least in the near future since you’re new?
Shaun B. (37:38):
I think on a ongoing basis, perhaps like an hour to combination of, uh, I guess so half hour looking at case studies, meeting reports, that sort of thing. And then another half hour practicing presentations, going over the customer facing decks and trying them out.
Brian Margolis (37:58):
So do you want to cut it in half like that? Or do you just want to say…
Shaun B. (38:03):
I think cutting in half would that would help me at least be more effective and plan my time better.
Brian Margolis (38:10):
But is it of equal weight? Meaning…
Shaun B. (38:16):
They’re both the same. They both, I get the same effect out of both of them.
Brian Margolis (38:19):
Yeah. So I have a feeling week to week. It might be different. Like you might read a bunch of case studies take a bunch of notes and then you might spend a couple of weeks actually turning those notes into a presentation.
Shaun B. (38:29):
Okay. I see where you’re going.
Brian Margolis (38:31):
I don’t know if you artificially in this case, want to say, you know, 30 minutes on this every week, 30 minutes on that versus just one hour on your presentations. Yeah. And as part of that presentation, you know, that’s learning case studies, right. That’s learning the product and then that’s putting it into a, into a presentation and practicing that presentation. Right. It’s the input and the output, if that makes sense.
Shaun B. (39:02):
I follow you.
Brian Margolis (39:03):
So one hour on presentations, now, if you find yourself down the road, okay. If you find yourself down the road where you’re like, yeah, I love reading case studies and I read, and I spent all my time on the input part of it, but I never actually get around to creating the presentation and practicing then you can put a criteria into the pillar such as, you can put a criteria into the pillar, like, you know, of, of the 60 minutes, at least, you know, it can be like a 20 slash 60, at least 20 of the 60 minutes has to be on output. Okay. Because if not, you’re always going to, you’re always going to kind of default to what you are more comfortable doing than what you don’t want to do. Right. And that can go in either direction, but for now we can just, you know, leave it at that. The other, the other thing I wanted to ask you about, so you said you do have a budget, right?
Shaun B. (40:02):
Brian Margolis (40:04):
I think there’s other ways as you probably would agree to get in the door beside just email and phone. You can, there’s a lot of creative things out there, creative, you know, you can send things in the mail, all sorts of stuff that you’ve probably heard about over the years. Right. One of the industries I work in, we do these things called wow mailers, star mailers, and wow mailers, where, by sending like a gift with a note, and there’s a methodology behind it, but it opens the doors for some of the harder accounts. I think what you should be doing right now is almost think of it. Like you have a term paper due at the end of the year or something. I would spend 30 minutes – again, I don’t know what the rules are in your company, but unlike financial services and other things, you guys don’t have a ton of like compliance issues. Right. I think you might want to spend 30 minutes a week just learning prospecting ideas. Right. Basically how to get meetings with hard to meet people. Right. So for example, the focus on mailers, is that what you’re saying is that, well, let me get, let, let, let me just give you a couple of names, right? So there’s a guy named Stu Heinecke, who I do some work with. He wrote a book called, How To Get a Meeting With Anyone.
Shaun B. (41:33):
Yup he’s a cartoonist. He has the cartoons in that book.
Brian Margolis (41:37):
Yes! Right. Then he wrote a book called Get the Meeting. He’s got a whole podcast on different ways people have gotten in the door. He’s big into the greeting cards and the cartoons and whatever, but he’s got a bunch of stuff in there. Then you have guys, like one of the guys Dale Dupree, you may have heard of him. He’s, he’s big into prospecting. He has a bunch of different techniques that he teaches and he interviews people. So Dale Dupree, I think he calls himself The Sales Rebellion or something like that. I was interviewed on his podcast. I met him and his partner, Chris. Jason Bay, I also did his podcast. His website is blissfulprospecting.com. But my point is, there’s no shortage of information out there and creative ways to get in the door.
Brian Margolis (42:29):
And some of them even involve email and they’re just what you actually do with the email or what you say on the voicemail. I think you should spend a minimum of 30 minutes a week just learning. Just every week, seeing all the different ideas out there to get in the door with hard to meet people. Because you know how hard it is to get people’s attention these days and to get someone to respond. And so I think that’s an effectiveness pillar. I’m not telling you to act on everything you read. I’m just saying spend 30 minutes so that a year from now, you could teach a course on getting in the door. Right. Does that make sense?
Shaun B. (43:10):
It does. And question, could I use that as a placeholder? Like for example, when I’m out of prospecting mode and I have a lot of current deals going, would that be a good placeholder for, okay now I’m going to spend 30 minutes learning presentations, learning my company’s technology, or should I keep it within that prospect?
Brian Margolis (43:31):
To the point where you’re in the door and prospecting is no longer a big ROI for you, then you would just eliminate that pillar, it wouldn’t be a placeholder. It would just be something you’ll let… now having said that if it’s a cycle where it’s constantly like a boom and bust, boom and bust, so you’re always kind of prospecting in a way, then you might decide to leave it. You know, that’ll be up to you. I mean, your pillars change when the ROI on the pillar changes, right? Like it’s never going to hurt you to spend 30 minutes learning prospecting, but it may get to the point where it’s not the best use of 30 minutes of your time. So, yeah, but for now, I think, people get really caught up in sales and consistency and how many calls they make and making sure they’re sending emails and whatever. I don’t think people put time into the effectiveness to increase your batting average. Right?
Shaun B. (44:35):
No, I would agree. No, it’s, sending a well-crafted email or well-crafted cold call is better than spaghetti on the wall.
Brian Margolis (44:43):
Or dropping something in the mail or… so 30 minutes prospecting, I think, would be very valuable to you right now. I mean, in your industry, one good meeting getting in with the right person can be the difference between making your year or not.
Shaun B. (45:01):
Yeah, no, exactly. And I’m talking with my peers a lot in terms of how they’re doing it. Right. I mean, in addition to some of the thought leaders out there I’ve been investing time with coworkers like I said use that as the bucket to write a pillar rather than do that.
Brian Margolis (45:14):
So let’s do a quick review again, 90 minutes of identifying opportunities inside the company, right? 45 minutes of identifying OPs, 90 minutes, converting OPs, reviewing your completed prospect list twice a week, reviewing your engaged prospect list twice a week, spending one hour on presentations, both input and output, and then 30 minutes learning prospecting, right? Is there anything not being addressed?
Shaun B. (45:49):
Not from the ideas that I have and I’m working on now. I mean, there’s nothing that, this covers everything that I bring to this meeting. I’d love to hear more ideas in different ways how to skin a cat here.
Brian Margolis (46:03):
I mean, look, here’s the human version of pillars. Right. As long as I do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, my business works. Okay. As long as I do these seven things each week, regardless of that week’s resultsm I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s just a matter of time and pressure. Right. I know I’m one week closer to hitting my goals. That’s how I want you to feel at the end of the week.
Shaun B. (46:20):
Then I feel we’ve, we’ve covered it then. Cause that’s…
Brian Margolis (46:32):
And then again, your personal pillars, right. I’m a big fan of combining personal and professional pillars. Right. So if you decide, you want to put in personal pillars down the road, like, you know, workout three times a week or this or that, you know, you can add them in. You can add those in, but yeah I feel pretty good about these pillars though, for the position you’re in right now.
Shaun B. (46:56):
Yeah exactly my first 90 days it’s getting, it’s one learning the product, actually learning how to speak the language of the product and to just getting some meeting activities going and being deadly within the first 30 seconds in the first five minutes and then, you know, eventually get to executive presentations.
Brian Margolis (47:13):
I think like a lot of people, you knew the basic concepts of what you want to do each week. We just turned them into something that can actually be crossed off. You’re clear on what it is, you know, when it’s done. Right.
Shaun B. (47:30):
Speaking of which have a question in terms of scheduling this on a daily basis, I know in the book, if I’m not mistaken, it’s you want to do this first thing in the morning. Usually either that, or if you’re someone who can be an upholder and put it on the calendar, that’s another option. What are, what are some options to actually sometimes I find myself, you know, you get caught up in urgent insignificant activity first thing in the morning, you’re not getting your pillars done, which is fine, but I would love to have a fail safe on my head in terms of when these things should be done.
Brian Margolis (48:03):
There are, there are very few people that I’ve ever met that can something in their calendar ahead of time. Like, okay, every Thursday at 2:00 from 2 to 3:30, I do this and then actually honor it. Meaning by the time 2:00 on Thursday comes around that they haven’t either given the spot up to someone, a meeting or they actually feel like doing that at 2:00 on a Thursday. Right. So although it looks good on your calendar, look, I’ve always said, especially, you know, you’re probably working from home 90% of the time is my guess. To me. I mean the simplest methodology for someone like you is pro time. Meaning for example, what time do you get started in the morning?
Shaun B. (48:47):
Usually 8AM Central is my get-going time.
Brian Margolis (48:52):
Okay. So to me, do you sell… you’re selling within the country or internationally?
Shaun B. (48:57):
No, just within the Midwest, which is fortunately…
Brian Margolis (48:59):
So to me I’m doing this, if I’m you. I’m spending 8 to 11. Eight to 11 to me is pro time. That’s molded in my calendar except for absolute exceptions. Nobody’s touching it. . And what would I do from 8 to 11 every day is I work on my business. Your goal is to have a great day by 11. Right? That’s easy enough. Your goal is to have a great day by 11. And that doesn’t mean you don’t talk to anyone between eight and 11, because some of these pillars, when you’re reaching out, you might catch someone on the phone. Right. But from 8 to 11, you’re attacking these pillars and any other proactive, significant things that you need to do that week. And then when it comes to scheduling meetings, you’ll schedule meetings, your calendars open from let’s call it 11 to 5 or something. I know you’ll take breaks in there, and then you want to, obviously… I have a feeling your meetings are long.
Shaun B. (50:08):
I mean, yeah. Initial half hour. I mean, that’s just the initial intro, but then yeah, it’ll get hour and a half, two hours demo presentations.
Brian Margolis (50:18):
You need to keep from 11 to 5 or whatever time you’d like to be done 11 to 4, whatever it is. That’s your urgent, significant time. That’s your, that’s when I schedule things, that’s when I return phone calls. If it’s not part of my pillars, that’s when I, you know, do all that stuff. Right. I’m engaging with people or attempting to engage with people. I think it’s just such a simple way to do things. Now. I’ll tell you, Shaun, here’s the hard part. So there’s the account you’re working on and they say, yeah, let’s set up a meeting. And they’re like, hey, the three of us, you know, there’s three people on this end who want to be a part of the meeting. Can you do 9:30 next Thursday? Right. And you’re going, oh, that’s my pro time. Then what happens is it’s your willingness – and I think this is… I don’t think salespeople a lot of times realize how much they control their schedule, your ability to say, actually that doesn’t work. Could you do something, between noon and 4? Or could you do something on Friday between 11? Like offering them a few other windows, right? Not necessarily offering them time slots, offering them windows just by following up with that question. A lot of times that’s enough. Right? Rarely is it like, you know, well, sometimes you’ll get a thing. Well, so-and-so has to be on it. And the only time he has over the next 3 weeks is that time. Right. On these 2 days. Okay. Then that becomes an exception. Right. But you have to at least make the effort of actually that doesn’t work, offer them these other times. And if they come back and say, we can’t, then you can say, all right, well then I’ll make that Thursday work. I’ll just move a few things. But let’s plan on doing it.
Shaun B. (52:13):
In other words, definitely protect those first 3 hours.
Brian Margolis (52:16):
You’ve got to protect them. Now again, maybe you say it’s 8 to 10 30. I don’t know. But I think 8 to 11 is enough to get in the flow of things and round number. But it’s yeah. I mean, you’re not going to like come out of the gates screaming, right. You’re not going to, but if you just control the first part of your day, it’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable how much you can get done. And it’s unbelievable how even the rest of the day becomes great. I literally, this happened to me this morning. I literally had a company that I just signed up with that and I’m doing some work for them. And after the initial training, they want their sales team… they have these weekly meetings already in the calendar. And so they wanted 10:00 AM Eastern because that’s when they already have their sales meetings. Everyone’s already going to be on there anyway. And so the guy who set it up said, Hey, Brian, any chance you could do 10:00 AM? Are there any days you can do 10:00 AM? And I said, you know, I don’t my pro time, Even though I say in the book, it’s 7 to 10, these days, it’s really 7 to 11. Now I really try to keep it to 11. And I said, yeah, there’s no days in the near future that I have 10, are there any days they can do 11? And they came back and it’s not a contest. It’s just, they came back and said, alright, we can do this day at 11. Right. I’ve never lost a dollar that I know of because I don’t do meetings before 11. Right. I’m not saying every industry is the same and all that stuff. But once you have your pro time, you control your calendar more than you think. And exceptions are just that — they’re exceptions. Right. I know. It’s I know it’s exciting when someone says, yeah, I’ll do a meeting and you can hear like, oh, that’s open on my calendar. I’ll do it. You’ve got to have that mentality of just asking that one more question. Right. Just one more question. Like actually that doesn’t work. How about these times? And it’s amazing most of the time that, you know, you’ll find something makes sense.
Shaun B. (54:23):
I understand. Yeah. No, that totally makes sense. Well this is great. Yeah. I feel like we’ve covered kind of the basics of what I need to do in the first 90 days.
Brian Margolis (54:32):
Cool, man. Well, if you have any questions, just reach out to me.
Shaun B. (54:37):
Great. Thanks, Brian.
Brian Margolis (54:38):
Thanks for participating.
Thanks for listening to another episode of Simplify Your Strategy, Magnify Your Results. If you know someone you think could benefit from this episode, be their hero and share it with them. If you’d like a free copy of my book, or you want to be considered as a guest on a future episode, head on over to productivitygiant.com. Have a great day. And thanks again.