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1. What people are saying about “Predictable Revenue”... “Reading Predictable Revenue is like having a delicious conversation with a sales guru who generously…
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  • 1. What people are saying about “Predictable Revenue”... “Reading Predictable Revenue is like having a delicious conversation with a sales guru who generously shares his sales process, results and lessons learned. I’m so impressed, energized and refreshed to hear such relevance mixed with humor and unabashed logic. This book is honest, relevant and logical and it’s rated A++ because it’s guaranteed to make you think and convinces you to change things up…fast. Now, please excuse me as I’m running out to a funeral for my phone. After reading my favorite chapter on RIP Cold Calling there’s no doubt its dead and gone and Aaron tells us why.” -Josiane Feigon, CEO of TeleSmart and author of Smart Selling on the Phone and Online “Ijust finished reading your book. Unbelievable! Inow know what's wrong with our sales process…” -Pat Shah, CEO, SurchSquad “Ihave read Predictable Revenue and it's Entrepreneurial Crack!” -Damien Stevens, CEO, Servosity “Working with Aaron Ross has been nothing short of amazing! His methods applied to our sales organization helped us produce a profitable and scalable new stream of predictable revenue. We saw at least 40+% new business growth. The best part is, we had a blast while doing it!” -Michael Stone, VP Sales and Strategy, WPromote (#1 ranked Search Marketing Firm on the Inc. 500) “The concept of the sales machine is brilliant. Aaron has done a great jobdistilling a complex concept into a simple-to-read, consummate bible for entrepreneurs and executives.” -Promise Phelon, CEO, UpMo “Aaron has created a work that is useful to established companies and entrepreneurs. The material is easily digested and applicable to businesses large and small.” -Brent Mellow, CEO, akaCRM “The companies I’ve seen that have followed Aaron’s advice have outperformed. What more can Isay?” -Tim Connors, General Partner, US Venture Partners “Aaron’s one of the leading thinkers of the Sales 2.0 movement. I am inspired by Aaron’s vision, amazed by his creativity, and thankful for his counsel.” -Daniel Zamudio, CEO, Playboox “Aaron has been a great advisor for AdaptAds. His ‘cautiously but surely’ approach matches that of AdaptAds. He brings invaluable learning experiences in terms of building a sales team. He’s accessible, with the most astute of perspectives.” -Yogesh Sharma, CEO, AdaptAds “Aaron is the quintessential example of how great leaders can be if they set aside their egos, create a clear and bold vision, and empower their people to execute like mini-CEOs. I took over the team that Aaron created at and I’ve been amazed by his leadership in building a solid foundation set for explosive and sustainable success. Thanks Aaron. You’ve made me look mighty good around here!” -Ryan Martin, Director of NewBusiness, “Aaron is really unique—on the one hand he is a savvy and experienced businessman, and on the other hand he is a grounded and balanced person who truly enjoys helping others become successful. He’s able to think like a bootstrapping entrepreneur and corporate chief at the same time. He knows that yesterday’s methods aren't enough to create sustainable and predictable growth in the new economy. It is a real pleasure to know and work with him.” -Eliot Burdett, Founder and Managing Partner, Peak Sales Recruiting “Aaron has an amazing ability to assess, guide, and teach CEOs how to shift their approach to business to help them create more predictable revenue, a sales staff that runs itself as a sales machine, and to reduce stress and increase freedom in their lives. It's been my honor to work with him and witness the changes he helps others bring forth.” -Onna Young, “After attending my first CEOFlow Sales Machine gathering, I realized many of us CEOs face remarkably similar core issues. Better yet: the experience and advice from one entrepreneur is incredibly timely and relevant to another. There’s nothing better than having a conversation with a group of bright, motivated leaders to focus on what makes a company great.” -Andrei Stoica, Founder, ConnectAndSell “There is something extraordinary that happens when smart business leaders sit down to talk about their ideas for transforming business, and Aaron Ross is a master at guiding these conversations to help find the real gems. I think a best-selling business book could come out of every one of these events—wish Ihad the time to write one of them.” -John Girard, Founder, Clickability
  • 2. “Aaron Ross quickly grasped the issues and provided extremely helpful and creative ideas firmly rooted in his expertise about business growth. Most impressively, he did this with sensitivity to my personal motivations and comfort level. Thanks to Aaron, Inow feel at ease moving my business to the national level.” -Klia Bassing, CEO, “Aaron is insightful, intelligent, and highly dedicated to the missions he designs for his life. The focus, drive, and determinationAaron demonstrates are admirable qualities that inspire. I would recommend Aaron to any company that is looking for a good person, who is also a strong and formidable leader.” -Kim Santy, Founder, Soul Shui “Aaron has always looked out for and fought for the best interests of people who work for him. Beyond that, he is smart, strategic, and can go just about anywhere he wants to go in this industry. He’s a quality guy who Iwould jump to work with in the future.” -Brendon Cassidy, VP Sales, EchoSign “You are doing good helping people Aaron, your work will not go unnoticed. Sharing and helping others is a true talent of yours.” -Ryan Born, CEO, AudioMicro “As usual, Aaron's inspiring and his innovative Cold Calling 2.0 tactics are refreshing. I love that Aaron makes sure to include helpful advice on how to hire and compensate the best talent for maximum success. You can have great sales tactics and tools, but it will all be wasted if you put the wrong butts in the seats and neglect that talent! Follow Aaron's hiring advice and you'll see great results like Idid.” -Kevin Gaither, Founder and CEO,
  • 3. Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
  • 4. ISBN: 978-0-9843802-1-3 Copyright © 2011 Aaron Ross. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying, without written permission of the publisher. It is illegal to copy this book, post it to a website, or distribute it by any other means without permission from the publisher. Aaron Ross PebbleStorm, Inc. 8605 Santa Monica Blvd, #39743 West Hollywood, CA 90069 Contact: (310) 751- 0656 Limits of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty The author and publisher shall not be liable for your misuse of this material. This book is strictly for informational and educational purposes. Warning - Disclaimer The purpose of this book is to educate and entertain. The author and/or publisher do not guarantee that anyone following these techniques, suggestions, tips, ideas, or strategies will become successful. The author and/or publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to anyone with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book.
  • 5. Dedication Thank you, Rob Acker, Shelly Davenport, Cary Fulbright, Frank Van Veenendaal, Ryan Martin, Marc Benioff, Jim Steele, Brett Queener, RTL, John Somorjai, Erythean Martin, all the past, present, and future members of the Enterprise Business Representative sales teams around the world, and my many other friends and supporters. Thank you, Tim Connors, Roberto Angulo, and John Girard, for getting me started on the sales consulting path after Thank you, Jon Miller & Maria Pergolino, for your support with the Predictable Revenue book and message. And last but not least… Thank you, Marylou Tyler, for helping wildly expand the vision, growth and fun of, and Kristine Castro Sloane for taking such great care of me, this book and PebbleStorm!
  • 6. Foreword It's popular now to believe you can grow a business through values like purpose, happy employees and customers, vision and fulfillment. They work, as proven by companies like Zappos! But - "purpose" isn't enough, and if your sales are sucking wind, it's really hard to be happy. It's all well and good to want to make a big difference, make money, create a fulfilled, happy workforce and change the world... but how are you going to do all that if you are living month-to-month, paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling constantly with your financial goals? In order to make a difference that sticks, you also need solid, simple and sustainable sales practices. What if you could implement an enjoyable sales process that can generate a predictable flow of highly qualified sales opportunities, month after month? What would your company’s revenue and growth look like if you could grow new business sales by 40%-300% — without having to make another unproductive cold call ever again? I wrote this book to help executives and sales organizations feel the success, freedom and peace of mind that come with having predictable revenue. My Purpose: To Help You Make Money Through Enjoyment My purpose, which my sales teachings are a part of, is to help you make money through enjoyment (your purpose and passions), so that you can live a free, fun and fulfilled life that combines money and happiness. An important part of enjoying work in a company, whether you’re an executive or an employee, comes from creating predictable income and sales, and freeing yourself and your team from the day-to-day slog of constantly wondering where each new customer will come from. You Can Make As Much Money As You Want, Doing What You Love In addition to Predictable Revenue, I have two other bodies of work. Unique Genius helps you discover your purpose and turn it into a business you love. CEOFlowhelps you turn your employees into mini-CEOs. Through mentoring hundreds of people, and from my own experience, Ihave learned these truths: 1. You can make as much money as you want. 2. You can do anything you love. 3. Your work can fulfill you and make a difference in the world. 4. You can feel powerful, valuable, and capable of making an impact. 5. You can have the peace of mind and freedom that comes with having all the support you want from people that you trust and respect. You can get a free ebook about this at Above all… jealously guard your enjoyment.
  • 7. Contents CHAPTER 1: Where The $100 Million Came From Start Here The “Hot Coals” Sketch The Painful Planning Mistake Boards and Sales VPs ..Make Every Year Have You Ever Felt Like an Utter Failure? The $100 Million Sales Process Make Your Lack of Money an Advantage CHAPTER 2: Cold Calling 2.0, Ramp Sales Fast Without Cold Calls The First Breakthroughs Terms and Abbreviations RIP Cold Calling’s Cold Calling 2.0 Story Cold Calling 1.0 vs. Cold Calling 2.0 Could Cold Calling 2.0 Work for My Company? Why Account Executives Should Not Make Cold Calls Case Study: HyperQuality Triples Results In 90 Days CHAPTER 3: Executing Cold Calling 2.0 Getting Started with Cold Calling 2.0 The Most Important First Step Why Sales Development and Market Response Should Be Separated Choosing a Sales Force Automation System How Cold Calling 2.0 Works, The Process Get Clear on Your Ideal Customer Profile (“ICP”) Building Your List of Targets Run Outbound Email Campaigns Sell the Dream Pass the Baton (When Is an Opportunity Qualified?) Improve Call Effectiveness without Scripts Move Prospects through “Account Status” Assembly Line Stages SDR Compensation SDRs: Account Executives Are Your Customers Example Simplified Training Plan for a New SDR CHAPTER 4: Prospecting Best Practices A “Day in The Life” (SDR Example) The Top 6 Prospecting Mistakes Reps Make My Favorite Prospecting Questions 7 Quick Prospecting Tricks Time Management and Focus Tip: “3 Goals for the Day” Example Dashboards in CHAPTER 5: Sales Best Practices Sell to Success 9 Ways You Lengthen Your Sales Cycles Obsess about the Decision Making Process, Not the Decision Maker
  • 8. 9 Steps to Create Free Trials that Maximize Conversation Rates A 3-Hour-and-15-Minute Sales Process Killer Salespeople Uncover True Problems Behind Desired Solutions Prospects Should Earn Proposals My Favorite Sales Call Question of All Time CHAPTER 6: Lead Generation and “Seeds, Nets and Spears” Distinguishing Leads: “Seeds, Nets and Spears” Example of “Nets” Marketing Funnel Example of “Spears” Prospecting Funnel Defining Prospects, Leads, Opportunities, Clients, and Champions Use “Layers of the Onion” to Sell for You How to Generate a Steady Flow of Inbound Leads Marketing Automation Best Practices: “How Marketo Uses Marketo” A Way to Generate Real Leads from Trade Shows & Conferences CHAPTER 7: Seven Fatal Mistakes CEOs and Sales VPs Make Not Taking Responsibility for Understanding Sales & Lead Generation Thinking Account Executives Should Prospect Assuming Channels Will Sell for You Talent Fumbles (Hiring, Training, Incenting) Thinking “Product-Out,” not “Customer-In” Sloppy Tracking and Measurement Command-and-Control Management Bonus: Under-investing in Customer Success CHAPTER 8: Sales Machine Fundamentals “Happy Customers Create Extraordinary Growth” Sketch What Works in Sales Has Changed 9 Principles of Building a Sales Machine Separate the Four Core Sales Functions If You Sell to Sales Executives A Totally Different Vision for Structuring Sales Teams CHAPTER 9: Cultivating Your Talent Happy Employees Develop Happy Customers "Where Do IHire Great Salespeople?" The Very Best Salespeople Should You Consider Commission-Only Salespeople? The Importance Of Follow-through The Best Kind of Sales Training A Self-Managing Weekly “SalesforceU” Training Meeting CHAPTER 10: Leadership And Management 6 Responsibilities Of a Manager Retaining Star Employees
  • 9. How We Created Sales Machine Alignment through’s V2MOM Planning Process 3 Ways to Inspire and Improve the Sales Organization Why Do Salespeople Resist Following Directions? How to Design Self-Managing Teams and Processes Engage the Whole Team in Designing Their Compensation 10 Ways to Improve Sales Force Automation Adoption CHAPTER 11: Next Steps and Resources Where Will You Go from Here? Follow These People Consulting Services Unique Genius: Why Do You Matter? About the Authors
  • 10. 1 Where the $100 Million Came From I’d never done business-to-business sales in my life before I joined, which actually helped me create the breakthroughs I did…
  • 11. Start Here I'm going to start by addressing head-on one of the biggest misconceptions in modern, effective sales: that adding salespeople is what grows revenue. Do you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your own sales organization will be a “Sales Machine,” cranking out predictable revenue, generating new leads on demand, and meeting your financial goals without your constant focus and attention? I created a sales lead generation process and team at that helped increased revenues by more than $100 million in the first few years. Partners and I then taught the same process to other companies, helping them double and triple their new revenue growth, like Responsys (the #1 Saas Marketing Platform), WPromote (the #1 search engine in the Inc 500), and HyperQuality (tripled their results in just 90 days). It’s common for 80-95% of our clients’ sales pipeline to come from this outbound process, driving the bulk (or all) of their growth. Of course you want more revenue, but what good is it if it isn’t predictable? One-time revenue spikes that aren’t repeatable won’t help you achieve consistent year-after-year growth. You want growth that doesn’t require guessing, hope and frantic last minute deal hustling every quarter- and year- end. The book is based on more than eight years of experience at and consulting and advising dozens of other technology and business services companies including SuccessFactors, Responsys, Servosity, Clickability, AfterCollege, 4INFO, CitrusByte, Savvion, Trulia, WPromote, X1, BrightEdge, NEOGOV, Bovitz Research Group, and others. Three Keys To Predictable Revenue Building a Sales Machine that creates ongoing, predictable revenue takes: 1. Predictable Lead Generation, the most important thing for creating predictable revenue. 2. A Sales Development Team that bridges the chasm between marketing and sales. 3. Consistent Sales Systems, because without consistency you have no predictability. Both at and in consulting with companies, I've found time and again that the biggest impact on predictable revenue, the lowest hanging fruit, is made by creating an outbound sales development team that focuses 100% on prospecting (that means no closing deals and no working inbound leads!) You will learn all about what actually works in the "Cold Calling 2.0" sections in this book. Bite-Sized Chunks Sometimes all it takes is one good idea, one right practice, to get things moving again. I write this book as a series of bite-sized chunks of ideas that you can scan and try out. My intention is provide you a resource guide or manual that you can open to any page and find something useful to learn and apply. Are You New To Sales, Or ANew CEO I wrote the book primarily for people who have some sales experience, so we jump right into topics early in the book like "Fatal Planning Mistakes" and "Cold Calling 2.0." If you're new to sales, sales management or being a CEO, I'd recommend you first read "Chapter 6: Lead Generation & "Seeds, Nets & Spears", and "Chapter 7: Seven Fatal Sales Mistakes CEOs and Sales VPs Make." Those two chapters will help give you more of a "Sales 101" foundation before getting into the rest of the book.
  • 12. The “Hot Coals” Sketch What CEO or VP Sales doesn’t relate to this image? You’ve all been through, or are feeling now, these “Hot Coals” of stress, missed results, and uncertainty: Usually the cause of the “hot coals” is a shift from organic growth “A” (based on getting customers through founders relationships and hustling or organic internet marketing) to proactive growth “C”, which is based on investing in programs that generate predictable growth. Shifting from organic growth to proactive growth requires new habits, practices and systems, causing a lot of delays and frustrations. Appreciate that the shift is a process which does not happen overnight. Stay committed, persistent, and patient as you get through the “Hot Coals,” whether it takes months or--in many cases--years. My goal for this book is to help you get through the hot coals as quickly, easily and profitably as possible. That will only happen if the management team and board understand the same fundamental principles around what creates predictable revenue (and it’s not about hiring more salespeople).
  • 13. The Painful Planning Mistake Boards & Sales VPs Make Every Year Reminder: if you are brand newto selling, I'd recommend starting by reading Chapters 6 and 7. I'm going to start by addressing head-on one of the biggest misconceptions in modern, effective sales: that adding salespeople and working them harder is what grows revenue. For companies selling products worth less than $100,000-$250,000, the old school strategy of hiring
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