Effective sales onboarding is critical when you’re ready to grow your sales team and set up new hires for success whilst avoiding disrupting the successful team you already have in place.
What processes do you need in place to find the best recruits - and onboard them as efficiently as possible?
For answers to these questions and more I'm joined by John Lund and Matt Schultz of MyB2Bcoach who share their step by step process for rapid onboarding that you can start to put into practice today.
In this episode we cover:
- Onboarding models and assessment tools
- Sales onboarding best practices to improve ramp times for new hires
- Implementing structures that are crucial to hiring
- The impacts a structural hiring approach has on an established sales team
- The importance of using LinkedIn as a touchpoint in the hiring process
- LinkedIn profile pointers for sales professionals
- Advice on the steps required for moving new hires toward live calls
- Building up a resource of tactics that elevate the entire team
All this and a lot more on this episode of Coach the Sale.
My B2B Coach website
Matt Hayman: John, Matt, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing?
John Lund: Excellent.
Matt Schultz: Doing well, thanks.
Matt Hayman: Great. It's great to have you on board. I know you guys are Refract customers and we're going to get into a little bit of that further into the interview, but before we start, John, maybe if you could just start us off, what is my B2B Coach? How did it come to pass and give us the audience a little bit of background on you as a sales professional?
John Lund: My B2B coach is a sales company designed to help small and midsize businesses grow and accelerate their sales staff. I came about it because I just love helping small and mid business. I'm always a David take down Goliath kind of person. I've had a long history in owning businesses and running sales staff along with a long history in strategy training for businesses. I've coached. I've had hundreds of sessions coaching businesses and I've just noticed there was an area where the frustration of the sales ownership or the ownership of the team was frustrated with their sales team and actually vice versa.
John Lund: The sales team's often frustrated with their ownership team. Just because they're not getting the coaching and support they wanted. So when looking around for how to solve that problem, I knew I could do it through the strategy side, but I really looked for a tool that would help me really take the coaching and strategy, and make it stick. And that's when I really found a Refract to be that excellent tool for helping that, creating those habits of sales. So that's when it all started and came about, and it just really has been recently and it's been a, it's been a fun success early on.
Matt Hayman: And we'll get into, nice to always get a plug for Refract into the podcast. We'll get into that in a bit more detail. Matt, what about your role within the business? How did you come to work with John?
Matt Schultz: Well, my role within the company is as a sales coach. So I work with the different sales representatives from the companies we work with, but I'm also in charge, and building out that team. John and I have known each other for over five years and discussed this concept of, out of a need that was brought to us from, brought to John from, from various contacts he knows. We discussed this over the previous six months and was happy to come on board and help this. There's a definite need we see within these organizations that really need help with their sales structure, and their sales skills. So that's kind of my role.
Matt Hayman: So John, from your perspective then, when you're working with a business that's engaging you, do you see common patterns? Are there particular pitfalls or traps that small to medium sized businesses fall into that, that are normally the first starting point for your work? What are some of the common pitfalls that businesses of that size typically fall into?
John Lund: I think that the one that's been the most obvious is that the owner is a great sales person selling their own business and they make the judgment or the error that just because they can sell it, everyone else should just naturally be able to. I call it, the owners kind of a sales unicorn and it doesn't work that way when you hire a sales staff. And if you haven't taken the to define and most of them have not, really who their ideal customer is, who is the cast of characters, how do they play versus the competition?
John Lund: They're really setting their person out for failure instead of success. And that's where we come in is to help get all that great information out of that owner's head onto paper, into a proven process. So I'd say as pitfalls, the owner just thinking this person is an extrovert. They seem like they'd get along with people, therefore they should automatically be good at sales, is one of the things that she, the most common issue when we were out there talking to owners.
Matt Hayman: Do you typically as well see business owners in those sorts of businesses, typically hiring people like them or people that they might aspire to be, or are they more sophisticated in how they go about hiring? What are some of the patterns that you see in terms of who those business owners are attracted to?
John Lund: They're very much about the first thing you said. They're just hiring people like them. Again, the outgoing, not much pre-thought into the selection process, exactly what they need. They're not using assessment tools, which I think can be a big value in this situation. So no, I think they're very much about them.
Matt Hayman: So in terms of, we're going to talk about, particularly in this interview, we're going to talk a little bit about onboarding in particular. I know you guys have a particular model that you use. From what you're seeing and the businesses that you work with. How critical is the onboarding part of the whole process for you and what you see?
John Lund: I will start with that in our interviews with owners asking how long does it take to be a salesperson to become profitable? Profitably means that at least they're covering their own costs. Depending on the industry it's been anywhere from nine months to two years is the expected timeframe for them to become successful in the sense of at least paying for their full loaded costs. And so that period is critical to get them up to speed and that's where our program was really designed and come in to do that, to really get those people up to speed three to six months faster than they normally would be. It's a very critical time for them.
Matt Hayman: And what are some of the results that you see when you work with businesses? How fast are you able to improve that or how quickly can you improve that ramp time full for new hires when they follow a more structured process and get you guys involved?
John Lund: We have seen a pickup from at least three to six months in where people start to land. The more engaged the people are in our training, and more engaged they are and using the practice tools that we offer, the faster they get up to speed. But in general we're speeding it up by at least three months and in some cases six months to get them up to speed and land their business.
Matt Hayman: And Matt, from your side, what are you seeing as the critical components of improving that ramp time? What, what are the factors that make the big difference in narrowing that window?
Matt Schultz: Well, I think the number one thing is developing a strategy. One of the things that we have seen is a lot of owners just don't have a real good plan or structure in place when they onboard someone. So it's typically a training process of sit with another salesperson or go on some sales calls with me and how I do it and then just do what I do. What we're able to do is formulate a specific plan and then teach them the specific skills using Refract, you know, to really talk about how fast they're speaking, the number of questions that they're able to ask in a phone call, how to structure emails, the things that they have got to know before they engage with a customer. How to ask the right questions to develop and find those pain points with customers. So we teach them all this over a 10 session plan using Refract to really get them ramped and ready to sell within a short amount of time.
Matt Hayman: So John, in terms of what you were seeing, how critical would you say it is that a business or sales team has a structured onboarding process?
John Lund: Structures is the key to success. Pre-hiring, even having the salesperson know exactly how the first 12 to 16 weeks is gonna matter, gives them confidence that the company's investing in them, gives them confidence on getting comfortable with the, how the sales or the company is positioning its sales and who its competitors are. And how to position their company to their ideal client. Without that, we've seen very much a throw them to the wolves mentality, like they're just out there trying to go knock on doors.
John Lund: It might not be a good fit. Therefore, create lots of losses are a lot of no's instead of a lot of yes'. We always believe in yes momentum. Getting clients to start saying yes, gives more confidence to the salesperson. And we found without that structure that just doesn't happen because other daily fires or fire drills take the owner sales manager's attention away and the salespeople become frustrated, along with the owner's frustrated, because results aren't happening even over at nine to 18 month period of time. So getting that structure upfront, getting that plan up front has been critical to success.
Matt Hayman: And Matt, from your side, what do you think is some of the reasons why business owners may not have that process in place? Is that because they've typically been the ones closing the deals themselves? Or is it because they just, maybe they're not a big fan of structure? They think it maybe inhibits sales sales professionals. From what you're seeing. Why do you think sales leaders or business owners aren't putting that process in place early?
Matt Schultz: Well Matt, I think there's a couple of reasons. First is the owner is typically wearing multiple hats. So they're trying to run their business, trying to grow their business, build strategy, and then also run the sales team and close deals. So I think it's a lack of focus. The other thing is there's just, it's an investment in your staff, and I think that's difficult to make depending on where you're at in the business cycle and the size of the company, is trying to get that investment in your sales team. I know a lot of owners just have the feeling that I'm able to sell this company, they should just be able to go out and sell it. And it's just not that simple. People need to have a plan, they need to know what really differentiates their company from their customers. They need to know how to sell and how to position it. So I think those are a couple of reasons why I think owners just with this concept in general.
Matt Hayman: And then in terms of hiring, how, what do you see is in terms of patterns around hiring, are business owners typically hiring people like themselves because they naturally feel that because they are good, that they've closed a lot of deals in the past, that they should be hiring people like them. What are some of the patterns that you see in terms of those early hires and their similarity or not with the business owner?
John Lund: Exactly what you said. They're very much hiring a mirror of themselves, somebody that matches up with their speaking style to their outgoing-ness, without doing really the research and the due diligence on who's the best fit for that hire. And with that, with a lack of onboarding, it's often leading to failure. We're seeing failure rates often in the first two years of a new hire of 60 to 80%. And that's a very costly hiring mistake as part of, especially for a small business when these people are going to be costing them five to $10,000 a month every month to make that investment over that long period of time. And then to have them not work out is always unfortunate for the business owner.
Matt Hayman: Yeah, and you guys created a model that's specifically designed to improve the onboarding process. Can you give us a sense of some of the impact that you see by implementing the process that you guys have developed? What's the sort of impact on a typical sales team or the new hires within a sales team by using a more structured approach like the one that you guys have developed?
John Lund: One of the largest things is that actually just knowing there's a plan going into it gives everyone through the whole model confidence. So the owner, the recruiting arm of the company can show a pre-hire, hey, here's what's expected. That even helps select better talent. The people that are excited about learning and growing, and getting trained tend to join the company. Versus people that go, "Oh, no. I've already been there, I've done that. I don't need any help."
John Lund: Everyone needs practice. Great athletes need practice. And so just having the structure is the first step. The next part is getting into the 12 week ASAP program. It gives confidence every step along the way, every way, every week they're getting better and improving, and seeing results. We have seen a 75% increase in success for people that engaged in the ASAP program and have gone through all the 10 steps of the program. They're seeing closing rates a lot higher, success rates a lot higher. I truly believe it's because of the confidence, how comfortable they are in asking the right questions at the right time to the client based on the strategy we developed. It's been an amazing thing to watch
Matt Hayman: Matt, go on. You were going to mention something as well.
Matt Schultz: I was just gonna say it's really an advantage. We're in a marketplace where unemployment is under 3%, so when we talk about the beginning of the process, from hiring someone and onboarding and training them, this really offers owners a competitive advantage when selecting talent, because the market is very tight. So if you can bring someone on board and really show them what their first 90 days is going to look like and how you're going to invest in that employee, I think it really gives these owners a leg up in selecting great talent for their sales team.
Matt Hayman: And before we get into the actual model itself, that's kind of where I wanted to go to is how do you, before you've recruited, identify and select the best talent, the people who are open to learning more? John, do you have any pointers when you're working with a new sales team who may be, are in the process of hiring, do you have any pointers as to how they can identify people who would be a good fit for implementing this type of model in their sales process?
John Lund: Absolutely. So it was part of our process. We first go through what we call strategy day. That's where we get all the information from the leadership team to understand who are their ideal clients, their competitors, their cast of characters, what makes them, we call them MVP, the most valuable player to their clients. We get all that put together, which helps us identify the targets to where to recruit from and to get the right talent, and then we have a proven process for hiring.
John Lund: First they will recruit and interview them. The company would, to make sure they're just a good cultural fit. If they're not a cultural fit, let's not move them through. They have to be a person that you want to work with. Then we will send a great assessment tool to them and we'll do the interview for them. A very sales focused interview.
John Lund: Make sure that these people have the right salary cap in their head. Everyone kind of caps out at salary at some level. We want to make sure that these people can reach their goals, that they're driven and they have a proven track record of success, and then the third interview is for the client to interview them one more time, to be able to get them. So that really helps select that person. As part of that, we're obviously showing the candidate, hey, here's what your first 90 days is going to look like coming on board.
John Lund: Are you willing to really dive into this and learn and grow for those first 90 days so we can get you up to speed as soon as possible to maximize your commission. And it's just been a great tool that has not been used many times by small businesses and just creates a structure around the onboarding process.
Matt Hayman: Excellent. Let's get into the model itself then. Now, clearly if people are interested in the model and how it can apply to their own teams and maybe get you guys involved in that conversation. We'll share details of how to do that at the end, but for now what I want to try and do is extract components of the model that anybody can implement today, and then if they are interested potentially follow up with you outside of the podcast.
Matt Hayman: John, kick us off. Give us some of the insights into some of those early sessions. What are you trying to do? And if you wouldn't mind, share some insights into what specifically you're doing within some of these sessions in a way that people who are listening to this can start to use with their own teams potentially.
John Lund: The first thing we're going to do is go through our sales stack roadmap, which is our strategy training, accountability and coaching. Just set them up on the model. We start with really the simple parts of it, understanding of their ideal clients, and make sure they understand the emotional and logical reasons that an ideal client would purchase from them. And we're going to then start in the early practice sessions, and Matt can chime in here in a minute. With the early practice sessions, with just the basics, things as simple as answering the question in a social setting or in a sales setting, you know, what do you do? How much do you cost? Why would I buy you over the current competitor I'm purchasing from?
John Lund: Because we've built in some of that knowledge to those strategy days, they'll be very comfortable in answering those questions and be able to get to the next level of questions very quickly with any prospect that's in front of them. So we really start with the basics just to make sure they're very comfortable those first few weeks. Have them start practicing voicemails to be good at landing those, and eventually into live calls. I'll let Matt take it from there on the next steps of the process, but the beginning is really understanding, again, that ideal client, the competitors, what makes them the most valuable player to their clients. So they have that, like I said, confidence and comfortable, and they're conversational in how they're asking questions of their prospects.
Matt Schultz: Matt, I think you know, one of the real, one thing that's been really eye opening for me as a sales coach is something as basic as writing an email, introductory email, or doing a cold call to a customer. When we're speaking with veteran salespeople, how uneasy they can be at placing that first call. So the first few sessions, that's something that we really work on and through Refract, it's really helped customers when we look at some of the quantitative things that they can review themselves in terms of how fast they're speaking.
Matt Schultz: One of the things we've noticed is as we've looked at the group of people that we're coaching, from the first three weeks of training where the average word per minute was around 208. as we get to the three month period, that words per minute rate has dropped down to under 140 as a group.
Matt Schultz: So we see the qualitative things where we can teach them to speak slower, we can net out their voicemails and have them practice from going, you know, a minute long to the goal, which is around 30 seconds long. So we really work on simple things like that, how to make a good email. And then we move forward into our sales strategy, which is our three, tho, one process, which is we teach them how to place a phone call, follow up with an email, make a LinkedIn connection.
Matt Schultz: Our whole strategy in terms of the sales process, we teach them over a few weeks. So it's, and it's, everything is additive. We're just adding skills with each session, each week. And the nice thing about using Refract is that ability to practice in between the coaching sessions.
Matt Hayman: So something you mentioned there, Matt, that that I'm particularly interested in as well, is the use of LinkedIn. This is, it seems as though your approach draws quite heavily on LinkedIn as a touch point within the process. How important would you say having sales professionals comfortable using LinkedIn, understanding how LinkedIn works, how important is that from your side?
Matt Schultz: I just think it's so instrumental. Most of business is going to be, LinkedIn will be a portion of it. We know when you place a phone call and they don't answer, they get your voicemail. They're either going to check out your LinkedIn profile and your company webpage. So I think both of those have to be mirrored, and reflective of your talent and your services. So it's something we really teach and focus on, and making sure that the people that we coach are using that as a great resource for their sales process.
Matt Hayman: And give us some pointers in terms of a profile, because that's something I personally am very passionate about is making sure that your profile does justice to you as a professional. Do you guys have any just tips, quick tips, and hints that people can implement straight away? John, how about you? What should people be doing? Sales professionals in particular, what should they be doing with their LinkedIn profile to make sure that it really shows off them in their best light?
John Lund: I think the simplest thing you can do is think about what the customer is looking for, not what you did for the business that you worked with. So a lot of people use LinkedIn to kind of do a highlight reel, maybe like high school and tell about what they did. They won an award or they did something versus what did I do for the customer? And if you can put it in the customer's, instead of me winning the internal award, I grew my average customer's sales by 73%, is a much stronger LinkedIn profile if you're a customer facing.
John Lund: So what I always try to do is just look at all your past jobs and positions and saying, what am I doing for my customer? Not what did I get or what award did I win and all that. I think that shines more and is what the customer's looking for. So that's my tip on LinkedIn.
Matt Schultz: Matt, I'll give one other tip, and we learned this through the coaching session is make yourself visible. Make it easy for your potential clients to find you. Make sure that your email and the voicemail that you leave is mirrored to a name that they search on LinkedIn, so they all sync up. So you're easy to find on LinkedIn.
Matt Hayman: Excellent idea. Good stuff. So let's move ahead in the 12 week period that you guys work with the model, the 10 sessions that you guys offer. Let's move on to starting to make live calls. Give us some pointers or give us some suggestions on what makes an impactful open for the calls and how you're typically working with these new hires to improve their ability to make those initial calls. John, how about you? Why don't you kick us off first?
John Lund: The first thing is just to have a plan when making a live call. What are the two to three questions you're going to be feeling very comfortable to ask about? So you've done some research, you've listened to them on their social media. Every one of your prospects has been broadcasting, whether it's on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or if they're publicly traded, they're out on their quarterly call, so you should know some good information about them. Don't go in blind.
John Lund: Then we ask them to really start with a very casual question, like it might not even be time for us to meet face to face. Just to see if I could ask a few questions I work with, and we're going to be talking about our MVPs here. I work with owners who have been frustrated with their onboarding sales results. Is that something that's you've experienced? And then let the client answer. So we want to be very much conversational in style. Ask some very non, we call them nonthreatening questions or safe questions. Have two or three of those planned, so people can feel comfortable making those calls and getting the live call started.
Matt Hayman: Talk to me a bit more about those safe. That's not a phrase I've necessarily heard before. Matt, how about you, give us some pointers on on, well, both what safe questions are and what they're not, but also some examples of what makes it very good safe question in that initial open?
Matt Schultz: We define safe questions, are questions that would not put your potential customer on the defense. So if you want to ask a question, it's very easy to say, do you have turnover in your business? Are you losing sales reps at a high rate? That's a simple cut and dry question, yes or no answer for the owner, but it may put them in a little in a defensive position.
Matt Schultz: A safe way to phrase that question is, Mr. Owner, typically with businesses your size, we see a high turnover rate in the sales department due to lack of a good strategy or poorly constructed compensation plan. What are your experiences with turnover? What is your turnover rate that you're currently seeing? Are you experiencing any of this in your business? So it's just a way of phrasing the question which opens more conversation as opposed to just a yes, no, and maybe put the owner in a defensive position.
Matt Hayman: How do people typically respond to those? Presumably, I mean they work very well. They're well received by prospects in the main, I'm guessing because of that nonthreatening approach.
Matt Schultz: Absolutely. And that that's the goal is to get the customer to open up where you can actually learn about some of their pains in their business and find a solution. That's what we're there to do is to help that business to bring a solution to some of their problems that they are having internally.
Matt Hayman: Now I know you guys are customers of Refract, and call recording features quite heavily. I'm guessing that listening, having some of your agents listen back to those initial opening questions and how prospects respond is quite illuminating for people, or what's the general feedback from the guys that you're coaching? John, how about you take this one? How do the guys you're coaching respond to hearing themselves ask these types of questions and hearing the sorts of responses that come back from prospects?
John Lund: At first, very nervous about listening to themselves with a live call. That's kind of the normal part. What's been amazing about it is just how fast they learn. Like right in the middle of listening to a seven to 10 minute call. There'll be like, stop, wait a minute, let me listen to that again. Wow. I didn't do very well right there.
John Lund: I could've done better right there. That was a buying signal and I didn't catch it. So they learn very quickly to adjust because of their learning. Because it's a little bit painful to listen to yourself not do well on a sales call. So that learning has been tremendous. We've had some great examples of success of people listening and even calling back a client because they missed some buying signals, and then end up getting the deal, which has been really fun to watch.
Matt Hayman: Yeah. Brilliant. And how about you, Matt? How important is recording the calls and reviewing those calls in the learning process?
Matt Schultz: Well, I'd say it's probably the most important part of the training is the ability to practice, to go back and review your work, make adjustments, and then move forward. One of the salespeople that we work with is called the training and the use of Refract, transformative for him, in all this sales training, the most transformative tool that he's had.
Matt Schultz: It's so important and I think one of the advantages that this program offers is the ability to alter the way you do things. We talked a little bit earlier, Matt, about some of the qualitative measures that Refract offers, but it's also the, or quantitative measures, but it's also the qualitative things where you can go back and look at how you presented something and if it didn't sound exactly right or you didn't communicate exactly what you wanted in that instance, where you can make a change before you actually go out and present that in front of a live customer. It's really a great tool for adjusting your pitch and making it exactly how you want it in a safe environment.
Matt Hayman: Yeah, and it's important to say as well with the podcast we don't tend to typically talk about Refract too much. This can be achieved with other methods. It's quite straightforward to record calls nowadays for a lot of people. So this isn't something that's exclusive to Refract, but yeah, it's good to hear how it's used in the wild and that's definitely something we hear time and time again is the ability to listen to those calls, and review them is really, really important.
Matt Hayman: But another thing that we hear and I want it to get your take on this, John in particular, is building up a bank of evidence or building up a bank or a resource of those recordings and sharing them with other people. Because what we typically see at Refract is a compounding effect. As more people engage in the platform and share those examples of good practice, it elevates the standards across the team. Is that something that you've seen in your work?
John Lund: Absolutely. In fact, one of our first steps that we do after our strategy day is during that day, the leadership team always tells great stories. They'll tell great stories, how five years ago they helped this customer. Three years ago they helped another customer or prospect get out of a jam by doing something pretty special. We make sure we get all of those stories actually recorded into Refract, so that every time a new hire comes on board, they can see the three to 10, 12 great stories about the company, so that they have them in their bank, in their memory bank to be able to use when they're in front of a prospect.
John Lund: So that's where we start with the recording. And then you're absolutely right. The more people that are using it, the more great situations we've recorded, the great live calls recorded, or even some of the ones that didn't go so well, but we can point out like, hey, here's something to learn from, from another sales rep.
John Lund: Again, it's just accelerated the learning of new hires and new people, because they get to see the world in a different way than just being thrown, like I said, thrown to the wolves and good luck and make your own mistakes in front of your own clients. They get to learn from other people's mistakes and then practice with the Refract software. It's been fantastic.
Matt Hayman: And Matt, from your side, do you have any examples of people potentially who have heard good practice from other people and it's improved or sped up the process of getting better? Any examples of how this process has helped, maybe an individual that you've worked with and your coaching?
Matt Schultz: Yeah, actually I'll just, I'll give you one from this previous week. We have a group of sales team that work together and share experiences, and they've been having a kind of a lull in getting responses from their voicemails and emails, recently. One of the things we coach teams upon is doing enough emails and phone calls, and to track your metrics, and so they know their response rates. So they know exactly when there is a lull, and when when their response rate goes down, and then to make changes.
Matt Schultz: One of the people that we work with recently noticed something was wrong, went back and listen to her voicemails and didn't really like it. Made a change, and noticed that her response rate went up to over 40% on the phone calls that she was making. Shared that with the team and shared the best practices out so they could all kind of make that change together. So that was just a great instance where recording it, realizing it went down, practicing it, and then instituting it for the rest of the team as well.
Matt Hayman: I love examples like that. It's great to hear that.
John Lund: Matt, could I give a great example about voicemails?
Matt Hayman: Yeah, go for it.
John Lund: So one of the things, and this was not something we quite expected, but one of the things about recording voicemails and practicing voicemails, and then practicing speaking at the proper speed, that we didn't quite realize is that a large percentage of voicemails become, I call them text mails, it's on our phones, or our tablets, or computers where the voicemail has been translated into text.
John Lund: And we notice that when people were speaking too fast, often the translation was not good and either you got the straight line, which means they didn't translate it at all into text, or even worse, I got a call from a company the other day and the way the voicemail translated was that the FBI was calling me and I wasn't super excited about the FBI calling me.
Matt Hayman: That's definitely a pattern interrupt though, isn't it?
John Lund: Yeah, right. But it's an example of if you don't speak clearly and slowly there's a good chance, especially if it's a cold call and that doesn't translate well, that they'll just, it gets very simple to delete off your phone just with a quick swipe, that call. So really, the recording of voicemails and watching how they translate has been a very big step in, I think, helping the response rate to calls, because it's always being translated properly.
Matt Hayman: I think as well, it's also about the human ear as well. The transcription process sort of shines a light on something that might not be very clear, but it's the same as if you're calling somebody and you're very quick to talk and they can't hear all of the words that you're saying or it becomes a bit of a jumble. I suppose the transcription process really just puts that under a magnifying glass, and exacerbates any problems that might already be there.
John Lund: Exactly.
Matt Hayman: So with one eye on the time, guys, I'm keen to just get both of your take on perhaps one or two components of the process that you consistently see are the ones that make a big difference. If you could pick, your program is 10 sessions, it's a 12 week period. There's clearly a lot of work goes into that. If each of you could extract one or two elements that seem to make the biggest difference. John, we'll start with you first. What would one or two of those sections of your process be and why?
John Lund: The first is getting the strategy or narrowing the focus. It just makes the whole process easier. It makes it easier to coach. It makes it easier to run the sessions. So I truly believe that getting the focus strategy of who they are going after, including down to the person inside their ideal customers, is the first large step that needs to happen for them to be successful in sales. So that'd be step one and then I'll have that Matt follow up on once we start using the 10 session process. He can can follow up with what he believes is the best in there.
Matt Schultz: I think it's really important to learn how to make the phone call, how to make the email, and that's kind of baseline information, Matt. But I think one of the skills that we work on with clients that everyone can use is the developing the safe questions and how to ask questions. I think it's, as a salesperson in a training company, we want to help other companies. And being able to ask those questions that identify the problems that the client may be having that you can help with, is how you're going to develop those business relationships and get them as a longtime customer. It's helping them identify the problems that you can help solve, and the questions are the really the key to that.
Matt Hayman: And what about the the followup? Because you know, having done the podcast now for a little while, I've spoken with a lot of sales trainers, a lot of sales coaches, and the theme that comes up time and time again is the active listening part. And not being too concerned about the next question you're going to ask, more about listening to the answer that comes back. My assumption would be that safe questions generate, broadly speaking, they generate a lot of content from the prospect. How important is it from your perspective, Matt, that the sales agent is listening to what comes back and not just thinking about, oh, they've answered that question now I need to ask my next question.
Matt Schultz: It's so key to have that patience to allow the prospect to kind of get everything out, for you as the salesperson to take that information in. One of the things that we teach is we call it building the bank, which is allowing the questions to be answered in full, and not responding right away with how you can solve that first problem. We want to build the bank, kind of get all the problems that they're experiencing as a small to midsize business out, and then provide one big solution to them where you can just have that patience to allow them to tell you everything that they're experiencing. And you can formulate that plan and address all the issues, all at once.
Matt Hayman: Excellent. So let's just quickly go through each of the 10 sessions. If you wouldn't mind, maybe if we switch between the two of you for each one, would you mind just giving us a really, really super quick synopsis on each of the sessions, some of the things that are included in that? John, how about you start with session number one. What would you typically look at in session number one?
John Lund: I'm going to pull that up. It's going to be, we go over the stack roadmap on the session number one. Just make sure they very much understand all of the key parts of the strategy, the ideal client, the cast of characters, the protagonist versus antagonist. We're going to make sure they have a very good understanding of that, and then we're going to assign them some basic practice.
Matt Hayman: For session number two, where do you go from there?
Matt Schultz: Yeah, then we move on to, after we have them record voicemails, the first session, we're going to review those, provide feedback to them. We're going to have them work on what we call their 30 second commercial. If you place that phone call and someone answers and they ask about yourself or what you do, how do you respond to that? The 30 second commercial, and then we start talking about how to listen to their clients and potential prospects, and the information to sell up internally with drip marketing.
Matt Hayman: Excellent. John, session number three. Where do we go from here?
John Lund: So session number three, we're going to really start talking about LinkedIn as part of our three, two, one process. How to create 20 new quality LinkedIn connections. Have them again, continue to practice five actual voicemails that they can really nail down, so they can do them without thinking in the future. And then start with some live farming calls. Maybe some existing clients they got given that maybe have not been active. We want to start again a little bit safer where they might, they will know the company. We want to start with some farming calls, so they can get some live calls being recorded.
Matt Hayman: And Matt, session number four. What's next?
Matt Schultz: Session four, we're going to talk about the three, two, one strategy, which is placing the phone call, the follow up email, the LinkedIn connection, and then we're gonna review the voicemails as well. And then we're going to talk about the questions you have to be able to answer, which are if you get someone live, which was, you know, how much does your service cost, why would I choose you over a competitor? And then we move on to session five, which is really, we're just going to kind of take one step back at the session five and enhance everything that we've done at that point. Make sure that everything is additive, that everything that we've taught them over the previous four sessions, that they've got put into their strategy and they're doing on a weekly basis, and then we're going to make sure that they're getting some live call recording done for the fifth session.
Matt Hayman: Excellent. John, talk us through session six. What's covered there in brief?
John Lund: Session six is where we start increasing their funnel. We need more names at the top, so we're going to really talk about the birds of a feather kind of flock together, about how to ask for referrals and how to extend their LinkedIn. We're also going to start introducing the three more safe questions for them to get to start to practice and get really good at.
Matt Hayman: Now, I'm absolutely not going to encourage you to give away the secret sauce. Let's summarize the last three. Give us a general sense of where you go in these final sessions, in terms of the work that you're doing with your clients.
Matt Schultz: For the last three sessions, we are really going to review and make any adjustments in terms of the calls and the process. We're going to make sure that we're adding in the accountability that we talked about the follow up earlier, that they're maintaining the followup, that they understand that to build the bank, to take all that information they learn and how to present a really good proposal to a customer. And at the end we're going to celebrate with them. That they've gone through our 12 week session, and they're ready to go out and start getting some business for their company.
Matt Hayman: And what does that celebration typically look like for you guys? Is that, how much of an emphasis do you guys place on celebrating the achievements throughout the process?
Matt Schultz: It's a big part of what we do. Sales people, I think by nature are competitive. So we have different levels that they can graduate from with high honors, regular graduate. And we have benchmarks for them all through the process in terms of the voicemails, the phone calls, and the different metrics that we use to measure their success throughout the 12 week program.
Matt Hayman: Awesome. I really appreciate you going through all of the sessions. It's, I think what it does, the reason I wanted to do it was to demonstrate to people what a really solid process looks like. I think just trying to sort of wing it and guide people a little bit is such a contrast to what you guys have just talked about. It's absolutely night and day. So hopefully listeners to the podcast will get that sense of you know, this is what a really solid onboarding process looks like. So John, back to you. How can people find out more about your business? And if they are interested in finding out a bit more about how you guys can support their teams, where can they go to get that sort of information?
John Lund: Simplest way to get ahold of us is through our website at myB2Bcoach.com. So, myB2Bcoach.com. You can obviously contact us. We also have a blog. You can also follow us on most of the social media, the Twitter and Facebook, and LinkedIn, where we provide a lot of this information for free out there. We allow some great information to be shared. We want people to succeed, I want people to succeed. And they can get ahold of us through our website.
Matt Hayman: That's brilliant and it's probably just worth noting as well. You guys are involved in coaching beyond just the onboarding process, right? Talk to me about some of the other offerings that you guys have.
John Lund: So yeah. What's really exciting is after the onboarding process, we will continue on with biweekly coaching instead of weekly coaching, still get them practice. And then we move into two more areas over time. One is called, we call it FUD, which is fear, uncertainty and doubt. How do you create fear, uncertainty, doubt in a prospect's mind about a vendor that they're currently very, very happy with?
John Lund: We want to make sure that you do it nicely, but they start saying, hey, maybe I should give you a try versus their vendor they're currently happy with. But you have to do that in a strategic way using fear, uncertainty and doubt questions. And then the next section that we do the next training to even elevate them higher, is called Elevate. And that's to get a salesperson comfortable with going straight to the top. We're going straight to the owner or the President, or the Vice President in charge of their purchasing decisions.
John Lund: So this can be an 18 month program of continually increasing the confidence, increasing how comfortable they are talking to higher levels of people, and how good they are at stealing business from an existing vendor of that potential client. So it's really exciting that we can keep continuing on and it gets better and better and better as we have more data in the system to be able to share with them, to ramp them even quicker.
Matt Hayman: That's fantastic. Guys, I really appreciate your time. John. Matt. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.
John Lund: Thank you, Matt.
Matt Schultz: Thanks, Matt.
Matt Hayman: No worries. Cheers, guys.
John Lund: Cheers.
Matt Schultz: Thanks.