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The Three Steps to Drive Growth with Aaron Ross {Hey Salespeople Podcast}

August 22, 2019

If you know and love the book, Predictable Revenue, you have Aaron Ross to thank.

The award-winning author and Co-CEO of Predictable Revenue, Inc. is an expert on driving growth, building successful outbound teams, and increasing productivity.

In this episode of the Hey Salespeople podcast, Aaron and Jeremey discuss why managers should not just be focused on hiring more salespeople, and how to be more effective with the salespeople you already have. Make sure to listen for Aaron’s three immediately actionable steps for increasing organic sales growth and the one major pitfall to avoid.

aaron ross podcast

Listen to this episode for answers to questions like: 

  • What did Aaron learn from his ten-year-old daughter about selling?
  • What are the three secrets to driving organic growth?
  • How so you sales compensation to be more motivating?
  • What constitutes a perfect meeting?
  • What is the #1 way that SDRs sabotage their outbound efforts? 

Listen here, and keep reading for some of the highlights from this episode below.

Successful Outbound Teams

Jeremey: Let’s get into building successful outbound teams. I know one of the new examples that’s in your From Impossible to Inevitable refresh.

Aaron: Yeah, a lot of people heard about Predictable Revenue, there’s a sequel called From Impossible to Inevitable. The new version is coming out with a bunch of updates. It’s really a growth book for your CFO, CRO, CMO. It’s for that C-level group – on how to understand what stops a company from growing. Why do companies stagnate or plateau? How do you break those plateaus grow faster? And how do you keep it up?

One of the new case studies is about a private equity firm and their premise is, ‘we’re going to go in and triple your the valuation of the company in three years. The enterprise valuation is $100 million today. We want to get it to $300 billion in three years.’ What’s interesting is that from their data, there are different ways they can increase the value like infrastructure, technology, the company pricing and packaging, bundling, acquisitions, and buying other companies and combining together.

However, the number one way to increase the valuation of companies is through organic sales growth. This is 70% when they grow a company’s valuation. So from $100 million to $300 billion, 70% of that increase comes from ramping up the organic sales growth, which means the company has a lead generation system and a sales team, and they’re doing their own thing.

They’re not just buying other companies to increase the top line. There are these three metrics that they really focus on. Number one is for more leads, number two is perfect meetings, and number three is world-class follow-up. More leads, better meetings with those leads, and following up. That is the number one way that they focus on driving and increasing organic sales growth for these companies.

Jeremey: I view that as being much more effectiveness or productivity-focused than necessarily capacity focused. It’s not just about more salespeople, it’s a lot more about being more effective with the salespeople that you already have.

What to Avoid to Achieve Growth

Jeremey: What is the biggest problem that prevents growth?

Aaron: The biggest problem is that 75% of some huge number of SDR teams have blended roles.  For the vast, vast majority of B2B companies, you have to separate them. The thing is, the jobs are completely different. The metrics are similar – calls, emails, meetings, close rates – but the jobs are completely different.

Think about an inbound SDR. Their job is really to respond to these inbound leads. Those that probably need to be responded to within minutes or hours or a day. So that cycle, that rhythm is very fast. The kinds of conversations are totally different. “Oh, hey, yes, you’re looking at our website, you’re already interested in us. Great.”

The outbound job is a rhythm that takes weeks to grow from a sort of cold account where you haven’t accepted the opportunity. So they’re completely different jobs. They kind of get lumped together just because they just happen to share some similar metrics. And they’re both junior roles.

That’s the number one thing that will hurt your outbound efforts. The best outbound prospectors and teams really are doing at least 80%, more like 90% or 100% outbound. As soon as you can, you need to separate those roles: the inbound lead response from the outbound prospecting.

Jeremey: Also, inbounds are routed and the routing is one of two directions. One is we already have an SDR and engagement with an account and that inbound comes in, and then we route it to that person. Otherwise, we route it here, if we’re not otherwise engaged with that, we route to the inbound person. That person is pure inbound.

When the person is already engaged, we route. But, since we’re using a sales engagement system, that first email basically goes out within moments and is still automated.

Ideal Response Time

Jeremey: There’s the conventional wisdom that we should respond within five minutes. Should you respond within an hour?

Aaron:  Let’s blow up this whole five-minute thing. Come on.

Here’s where it does work. If you’re in a consumer commodities market, where someone puts a lead form in, I want to buy office chairs. It goes to four people for quotes. The first person calls you back I’m going to just go with because I don’t want to deal with it. On the flip side, you’re looking for a procurement system. You’re looking for a B2B system where the product matters and the people matter. I just don’t buy it. I’m not going to take the first person that calls me because I’m trying to solve a system that may or may not be yours. I’m going to have to talk to more than one person.

Sometimes it can be true, but don’t take that as gospel because it’s not. By the time you talk to buyers, 70% of their buying cycles are already done. This is true for inbound leads. That is not true at all for outbound ones because, by definition, you’re going to catch them before they’re thinking about solutions.

You want to catch people before they are through their buying cycle, right? By definition, for outbound, the “rule” is not true. The stats get thrown out, people go, oh my god, we have to be five minutes calls. That’s not accurate.

The internet just spreads all these messages, whether they’re valuable or not. You have to use your judgment as to when they fit. You only know by testing it by trying it and say ‘hey, did that actually work or not?’

A lot of people who promote these stats sell tools to enable you to take advantage of that. They’re the people who promote the five-minute call response, or who sell technology that calls prospects within five minutes. I’m not saying this bad, I’m just saying you have to take it with a grain of salt. Don’t always take it at face value, because – especially in B2B – you don’t need to call people within five minutes. It’s not necessarily bad. But you don’t have to have a panic attack if you’re not doing that.

THERE’S A LOT MORE AFTER THIS! Listen to the full podcast for more on driving sales growth. 

If you have a passion for the art and the science of sales, are looking to further your career, or just want to hear some great, practical tips, ‘Hey Salespeople’ is the podcast for you. Subscribe so you can follow along as Jeremey interviews the brightest minds in modern sales to bring you immediately actionable advice. Listen and subscribe here.