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4 Time Management Hacks that Every Salesperson Should Master

Last time in our Selling Like It’s 2014 and not 1994 series, we talked about getting personal…with your emails. This week, we’ll tackle timing. Doing your job well isn’t about working harder. It’s about working smarter. So, let’s work smarter by zeroing in on your best skill: selling.

Your time is an asset. It’s also your nemesis. As a friendly reminder: you only have 86,400 seconds in a day, here are four no-brainer ways to make all those seconds count.

1. Define Your Time

When you’re in sales, you’ve got a defined role and purpose within your company. Most often, your role aligns with the company’s goal: sell products that people want.

But how do you go about doing this day in and out? First off, define your role within a company. If you’re in inbound sales–focus on that and vice versa if you’re in outbound sales. If your speciality is crushing it with medium-sized sales teams–go after them and crush it. Whoever they are, be sure to identify them and target your audience with laser focus.

2. Build Your Arsenal

There’s a sea of sales tools out there–be sure to build that right arsenal of sales tools that’ll fit your needs. Use the best sales apps and tools that grow and improve your outreach strategy. If Salesforce is your preferred CRM platform, look for sales communications tools that integrate with the platform for optimal and seamless cross-functionality.

If you’re into social selling, refer to our own social selling stars here for guidance.

3. Reach Out At The Right Time

Remember strategic research? Stay on top of current happenings in order to reach out at the right time. You say it’s hard to focus your time and strategically research everyone in your pipeline? Yes, that’s true. However, it’s easy to follow @TechCrunch for all the latest Tech news, get LinkedIn alerts when key employees change their employment titles, and get in the cadence of writing simple and sweet emails that always provide context and benefits.

You’re already scrolling through updates on your social media newsfeeds, why not follow the top sales news magazines, sales thought leaders, and sales conferences?

4. You Can Say No

In the sales world, the one word you always want to hear is yes. When you hear that magic word–you feel like you’ve struck gold. Yes to your product. Yes to setting up a meeting. Yes to everything. However, sometimes, you have to say no.

Take control of your time. Chances are, as a salesperson, your manager measures your performance by results. Block off heads-down time and pump out those emails and pitches. It’s okay to be selfish with your time. It is, afterall–yours.

Want Another Sales Hack?

Selling is all about time management and knowing when to strike. Sometimes, it’s also about knowing how to use your machine, aherm, your computer. Be sure to consult our resident Computer-Keyboard-Time-Optimizer’s Dan Smith and Jenn Nguyen’s post on 7 Essential Shortcuts That Every Salesperson Should Know.

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5 Things I Learned at the Sales Hacker Conference: Part 2

I was lucky enough to attend my second Sales Hacker Conference. The first time around, I learned some of the most valuable “sales hacks” in my career.

This time around, I learned a few more! As our CEO TK always says, “Don’t be lazy. You’re in Sales.” Here are my notes so you can hack be a Sales Hacker yourself:

1. What type of emails do executives respond to?

John Barrows breaks it down best…

2. Always use humor

No joke. Carolyn Betts (CEO from Betts Recruiting) got 250 salespeople laughing with this video: S*** Not to Say In an Interview.

 

3. Do your research and keep it personal.

I try to always have a personal “talking point” with each customer. Whether that’s knowing where they’re from, which school they went to, or their favorite sports team.

3 personal hacks that will cut down your time:

  1. Setup LinkedIn saved searches to catch trigger events right away
  2. Feedly will aggregate all your news
  3. Use Gagein for instant company alerts

4. Collaborate

I loved Sales Hacker New York, but one of my top takeaways from Sales Hacker San Francisco remains true.  Post-it advice from Doug Landis.

5. Become a Superhuman

Be personal on a large scale. How? TK’s 5×5: Personalizing Relationships at Scale.

Quick tip for sales emails:

*Bonus Hack: Love your team and customers

Stay tuned for Customer Success Hacks at the GainSight Pulse Conference!


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The Best Quotes from the Sales Hacker Conference NYC

The ToutApp team attended the Sales Hacker Conference in NYC last week. It was an event that brought together the top sales leaders, experienced CEO’s, and VP of Sales in the country (including our very own CEO, TK) to speak about their best sales hacks and give advice about B2B sales.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from the conference. Learn from them, tweet them (#socialselling), and get excited about the new direction Sales is moving in!

Best Quotes:

1. John Barrows
CEO, Sales Trainer
Twitter: JohnMBarrows

“65% of emails are being read via mobile–send yourself an email, open it on your phone, and you should never have to scroll more than twice.”

2. Tim Bertrand
SVP WW Sales, Acquia
Twitter: timbertrand

“Invest your time, invest your energy, and it will all pay off.”
“Find the prospects that feel real, and put leads in front of your best reps.”

3. Tawheed Kader “TK”
CEO, ToutApp
Twitter: tawheed

 

“As a salesperson you have to become a mini marketer. Start with 5X5 Campaigns”  **Join our webinar next week on this**

“Use engagement data to drive next steps and constantly iterate around your content– be a mini marketer within your sales process.”

“A company’s blog is the gateway into their soul–keep on top of what they believe.”

“The 5×5 method will help train new people. Touch points with data showing them what works and what doesn’t. It will also drive consistency across the sales process.”

“Don’t get lazy, you’re in sales.”

4. Jaspar Weir
Co-Founder of TaskUs
Twitter: jasparweir

“Cold calling is dying.”

Quick Facts:
-It takes ~8 calls to reach a prospect
-2% result in an appointment
-2.5 hours to set one appointment
-Cold Calling is dead.

“Build a culture of on going learning, cadence, and community.”

5. Kyle Porter
CEO, SalesLoft
Twitter: kyleporter

“Culture first.”

“For sales people today, it’s not enough to be human, you have to partner with machines.”


6. Aaron Ross
Author, Predictable Revenue
Twitter: motoceo

“Sell ideas, not stuff.”

More Pictures from our team (happy as clams):

       


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5 Sales Hacks That Will Change Your Business

Secret Sauce:

I’ve tried to write this without giving away too many secrets. My best hacks I keep to myself because if they became overused, they’d be obsolete. I won’t bore you with Rapportive hacks or any of the 101 stuff either. I hope you enjoy these and put them to good use.

Sales Hack #1 –  Frienemies

Salespeople are almost always taught to connect with their prospects on Linkedin. What they aren’t taught are how to configure their privacy settings. Therefore, if you are connected to someone and they haven’t fixed their settings, you can see when they have a new connection.

Now why am I telling you this? Well first go out and connect with reps at your competitor’s companies. Most of them probably haven’t played around with their settings and won’t think anything of it when you asked to connect. Once you’re connected, just wait to see who they connect with. When they connect with a prospect, you’ll be notified via news feed and you can send a very well timed email. Just don’t mention how you knew to send them an email at the perfect time.

Sales Hack #2 – Cold Emailing

There are plenty of articles out there on writing cold emails but people maybe don’t realize, or maybe don’t mention how situational it is. I believe that writing a cold email to the VP of Marketing at Verizon is very different than writing to Marketing at ToutApp. Smaller organizations give more people decision making power and need more info upfront but for bigger orgs, less is more.  I like to aim high in their org with a simple “introduction Request” email that usually gets forwarded downstream to the person you’re supposed to be talking to.

This works for a few reasons:

  1.  It gives you a chance to not say anything that will make them shy away from you. If you give too much info you may end up over selling or trying to hit the wrong pain point with the wrong value  prop. Get on the phone and get some info before you pitch them.
  2. You get forwarded or intro’d down stream, so their boss is literally telling them to talk to you.
  3. It’s easy for them to get it off of their plate. They can respond with nothing other than the right person being Cc’d on the email.

This can work really well for reaching out to high level employees at big companies. Just don’t think cold emails in sales will work in every occasion.

*Side note – I haven’t shared this anywhere else but it seems to be getting written about plenty these days but in different contexts. Soon people will wisen up and it will stop working. Until then, try it out and see if it works for you.

Sales Hack #3 – Messaging

Too often I see people asking for favors in a manner that presents them, well…asking for favors.  When I left Udemy I wrote my personal network asking for people to introduce me to companies that needed a business development rep. I knew I wanted to stay at a small startup but I wanted to hear out all of my options and I didn’t want to start hearing offers while I was still with the company.

One thing to know and never forget. It’s not what you ask, it’s how you ask it. Instead of saying. “I just left my company. Do you know anyone who is hiring?” you say, “I just left my company. If you know anyone looking for a killer BD rep, do them a favor and introduce them to me.” It completely flips the script. That’s my favorite example but keep this in mind when trying to sell something. Whether is written or verbal communication, a lot can be done just by how you phrase things.

Sales Hack #4 – Web Scraping

One of the main points of the Sales Hacker Conference is to get salespeople to embrace all the new technologies that have rapidly evolved over the last 2-3 years. Web scraping is now easy to do for non-technical salespeople. This can open so many doors in the outbound lead gen space.

One tool I like to use is Import.io. In the event space, I can scrape lists of companies that have sponsored similar events, raised a certain amount of funding, are located near my next conference, etc. If you’re customers are restaurants you can easily scrape sites like yelp. If they’re lawyers you can scrape Avvo. You need zero technical ability to use Import.io for basic web scraping and list building. Oh, and it’s free to use!

Two other great tools for list building are LittleBird or FollowerWonk. Both allow you to scrape twitter bios. At Udemy, if I needed to onboard someone that taught PHP, a PHP expert will usually have PHP in their twitter bio. Same thing works if I want to find people in sales in the Los Angeles area.

After I’ve scraped lists I like to get emails using Salesloft or Toofr and fire away emails using ToutApp, of course.

Sales Hack #5 – Outsourcing & Automation

I’m an automating machine. I automate as much as I possibly can. The entire process of list building and outreach can be taught entirely to a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines at $3 an hour (which is a nice wage there so don’t feel bad).

The web scraping in Sales Hack #4 can be taught to anyone. Once they have company names they can find the proper title, first name, and last name of anyone at almost any company solely using linkedin and the company’s About/Team page.  Once that have that they can use Salesloft or Toofr to pull emails. Then upload them as a group of multiple groups into ToutApp. Create a template or a few, and have them send as frequently as you’d like. You just automated the entire outbound sales process up until you receive a response.  I can even instruct my VA’s to set up a call if the incoming email takes me longer than 30 seconds to read.

This process allows you to build massive, targeted, and fresh lists for very little money. Go ahead and try it for yourself!

*Bonus Hack*

I use ToutApp to send the bulk of my emails. When I’m emailing a group of less than 20 people, sometimes I like to add a personal note as the first sentence.  I’ll usually add a column to the spreadsheet I’m uploading with the group I’m about to email called Personal. In the cell for each person I can write my custom personal line for each email. When I upload the sheet, I map it to a custom field {personal} and then dynamically add it into my template. This is the best way to send personalized emails to an entire group.


Max Altschuler is the Founder of the Sales Hacker Conference, Previously the VP of Business Development at AttorneyFee (which sold to Legalzoom), and the first sales hire at Udemy. If you want to see more Sales Hacks like these, sign up for the Sales Hacker Conference on April 24th in NYC or subscribe there for updates on future events and livestreams.

Follow Max at @maxalts


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5 Things I Learned at the Sales Hacker Conference

I came across a great article earlier this week and learned when you’re really, really tired you are actually more creative. Instead of taking a nap at my desk I decided to harness my creativity and share the most interesting things I learned at the Sales Hacker Conference yesterday. 

1. If you can’t explain it to a 10 year old, you’re doing it wrong.

Aaron Ross challenged everyone to pitch his daughter Aurora. If she “got it”, you win Predictable Revenue.

Top right is the picture of my book signed by Aurora. She rocks. 

2. You might not always end up where you thought you’d be.

This made me laugh.  “When I was 5 years old I was convinced I was going to be an actor.. but I’m doing the next best thing. I’m in sales.”- Doug Landis, Box. 

3. Three things + a bonus one that I need to do differently ASAP. 

Learned this one from Doug too.

Tips on a post it–

3. Everything you do has an impact in sales and in life.

Let me bring you up to speed here. A month or so before the Sales Hacker Conference I’d been working with Armando Mann and his team over at RelateIQ to roll Tout out to the team. Fast forward to yesterday and I’m sitting in the audience listening to Armando's awesome presentation and I hear my name dropped. He mentioned how he’d shared my emails with the team as an example of the type of messaging they should be using.

I realized that every email, call, interaction you have makes a difference.

4.  “The right sales tools will give you superpowers.”

I couldn't agree with Armando more.

If you’re looking for some sales superpowers, here’s the tools I use:

  • ToutApp (duh) 
  • Salesforce
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • My Calculator
  • Google Apps
  • Join.me
  • Gotomeeting

4. Time is money. Don’t waste your time on things that don’t produce results.

For example during Jasper Wein's presentation from TaskUs, he shared “Cold calling is dying. 2% of cold calls result in an appointment.” 

** Tip: Instead of cold calling I use the “warm email intro”, leveraging my connections or my team's connections.  If you want to go in cold, the best way is to start a conversation over email or social media teaching prospects with relevant content. 

5. You don’t need a lot of time to put together something amazing. 

Life long sales hacker, Max Altschuler put the conference together in just under 6 weeks. Wow. 

My good friend Matt Ellsworth's blog puts it best, “There is one thing that will guarantee failture: Time (It's not on your side). Time kills all deals- said every sales manager ever.”

Keep me posted on how your sales hacking goes. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email tara@toutapp.com. 

Learn about how sales teams kickass with ToutApp or if you're just looking for more sales hacks sign up for a free trial

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