Sales is the best profession in the world—when done the right way.
But what is the “right way” to “do” sales? According to best-selling author and well-known sales trainer, John Barrows, it all comes down to being authentic, doing a ton of prospecting, and developing a better mix.
In our latest edition of The B2B Sales Show with Don Erwin, you’ll learn John Barrows’ best practices for taking your sales career to the next level.
Always Be Authentic
It may sound simple in today’s highly competitive and tech-driven environment, but authenticity is still an essential building block for sales success.
“Authenticity is actually becoming a differentiator,” said John Barrows, Founder and CEO of JBarrows Sales Training. “People try too hard to make their personal lives look perfect on social media, which doesn’t translate well into a sales career.”
Leads want to interact with the real you—not a manufactured version of yourself. That being said, they probably don’t need to know your innermost secrets, greatest fears, or entire life story. “Sales professionals must continuously find ways to be authentic but still do what needs to be done,” Barrows said.
If authenticy is so important, why aren't more sales reps taking note? According to Barrows, there are several explanations.
“Sales is the least educated profession on the planet, with only about 70 universities offering a sales-related degree,” Barrows said. “Despite this reality, sales is usually the default job for young people who are just starting their careers.”
Add on an impossible quota, and it’s understandable why so many sales careers end abruptly.
“A company gives a kid fresh out of college a couple scripts and a territory and then tells him that he’s fired if he misses his quota,” Barrows said. “This can cause normal kids to do some unnatural things in order to hit those numbers.”
Aside from being more authentic, what else can a sales rep do to become more successful? Working harder than everyone else is a good place to start.
“I’m not the brightest bulb, but I’ll outwork you,” Barrows said. “Suck it up, and go get it. Work harder and smarter than everyone else. Go make it happen!”
What does it mean to work “harder” and “smarter” in sales? Look no further than your pipeline.
“One solution to almost any problem is a big, fat pipeline,” Barrows said. “You get that by being really good at prospecting.”
Modern outbound communication platforms, such as Mixmax, can accelerate your pipeline development activities for a fraction of the effort. Automated email sequences, customizable templates, and one-click meetings help you eliminate busywork, reach more customers, and maintain a consistent and authentic tone.
Develop the Right Mix
What specific steps must you take to build a healthier pipeline? The answer hinges on a variety of factors such as lead volume, lead source, and departmental alignment.
Quality vs. Quantity: “If your ACV is less than $2,000, unfortunately you will need a quantity approach,” Barrows said. “Even so, still try to be targeted with your messaging. Don’t just blast out template emails without customizing based on persona, competitor, or other factors.”
Inbound vs. Outbound: “Segmenting inbound and outbound sales roles is important,” Barrows said. “If you tell an inbound rep to also start doing outbound, they’ll likely chase the worst inbound lead before ever making a cold call.”
Sales vs. Marketing: “The best organizations are sales-driven,” Barrows said. “That being said, aligning sales and marketing around case studies and call blitzes can deliver positive feedback that benefits both departments.”
Do Sales Better with Mixmax
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