Why on earth would a middle-aged sales performance consultant and coach voluntarily enlist in an 8-week sales boot camp? Valid question. Could it have something to do with improving my sales prospecting? Read on, and find out.
Over the course of my career in sales – which began all the way back in the 1980s – I have seen one or two changes. Some good, some not so good, some downright bad. But, it’s clear to me that in times of change (for example, Covid-19), whatever it was that got us where we are now, will not be enough to take us where we want to be. Change is permanent. However, before I try to explain why I signed up for 8 weeks of intensive battle-hardening, let me quickly (1 paragraph, I promise) tell you my story…
My career in sales began in the financial services (both B2B & B2C) in the UK way back in the early 1980’s. Since then, I’ve worked with some great colleagues, and some truly superb sales managers. I firmly believe that most of us in sales are trying to figure out how to be better at what we do. Fast-forward 4 or 5 decades (depends on how you count ’em…) and my career has taken me across several verticals: financial services, major infrastructure, enterprise software, innovation, angel investing and consulting. In that time, I have seen first-hand that great sales people do not necessarily make great sales managers. And good sales managers do not necessarily make great sales coaches. Karma struck when I had the good fortune to have been chosen as an internal sales trainer / coach in the early 2000’s. Having always been interested in continuous improvement & the finding a “better way of doing what I do”, this seemed like a natural progression for me. Little did I know that it was the catalyst that led me to coaching, motivating and consulting with business owners and sales leaders, to help them become the best they can individually be.
OK, I kept my promise (1 paragraph 😊)…So what’s all this about a boot camp? It’s developed and run by HubSpot as a key component in their partner program (WhiteBridge has been a HubSpot partner for several years now). So when my partner contact – Peter – mentioned it to me, and advocated for me, too…well…it would be rude to say ‘no’, wouldn’t it? Of course, Peter had warned me that there would be a lot of work, and that it was not for the faint-of-heart. He wasn’t wrong!
Let’s face it: most of people with even a modest level of experience in sales associate prospecting with cold calling, right? Me too. I began prospecting since the early 80’s. Cold calling is not easy, but it becomes easier the more we practice at it. However, I honestly believe that it is not for everyone. Prospecting – and all other sales activities, for that matter – are all fundamental skills we need to master, even in an economic downturn such as many of us are experiencing at the moment.
Our ‘drill sergeant’ – the unstoppable gyro and Inbound guru, Dan Tyre – was true to his reputation. He challenged us all, gave us lots to think about, and – naturally – lots to do. Totally worth it!
He introduced us to a new (for me) prospecting model that really is a paradigm shift. Sharper segmentation, improved contact rates, increased conversion rates, less ghosting. What’s not to like? Oh, did I mention that all this fun sales work can be supported by automated processes in HubSpot? However, as we discussed earlier, the only constant is change, and change we must (should).
The work we did was built upon the Inbound Sales approach, which genuinely removes a lot of the pains associated with cold calling. Result? Cost-effective lead generation and customer acquisition; increased prospecting effectiveness for your sales efforts. After all, any way of improving our sales prospecting effectiveness and/or efficiency is a good thing, right?
Free Guide to Sales Prospecting
Download your free copy of The Complete Guide to Sales Prospecting.
But, I hear some of you asking…What is Inbound? Simply put, it’s an innovative way to grow your business, by generating leads more cost-effectively. It’s a transformational process that delivers a sustainable competitive advantage.
For those of you who want to know more about these, you can learn more in upcoming articles. If you who haven’t heard of HubSpot, yet: they are the industry leading Inbound software platform to help you grow better.
The 8 weeks passed in a flash. Dan challenged us all, gave us lots to think about, and – naturally – lots to do. Totally worth it!
I came away with an entirely different perspective on what Inbound sales is, who it is for – and, also, who it is not for. More importantly, my head was buzzing with excitement over how my clients – existing and new, alike – could create and win profitable and sustainable new business.
I think it’s realistic to say that I don’t have a fear of cold-calling. However, like many of my peers, it was not really my favourite sales activity. Aligning my prospecting approach with the inbound methodology helped me to initiate contact in a more natural, more relevant, and more impactful way than I have experienced otherwise. Automating some of the more routine work is also very cool, and a massive time saver.
Would it be reasonable to imagine that it can and should work for you too? Quite possibly. Let’s put that on the agenda the next time we talk or meet.
In summary, whatever it was that got us where we are now, will not be enough to take us where we want to be. If we are not getting better at sales, we are getting worse and dropping behind our competitors. Change is unavoidable. Some changes are good, some changes are not so good. However, in order to grow, we are required to change.
Invest in yourself. Take the time to talk with your mentor, with someone you trust and respect, about what you could change to propel you and business to the next level. You won’t necessarily have to go to a boot camp, but you might well enjoy the conversations, the experience and be delighted by the outcomes.
WhiteBridge is a HubSpot Authorised Partner growth agency that works with ambitious business owners & with sales and marketing teams to scale quick, effective and sustainable growth.
Most of our clients are in technology, SaaS &/or software. However, we also have some great clients that would describe themselves as creatives &/or professional business service companies.
Want to discuss how your business can be prospecting more effectively, winning more clients, and increasing your competitive advantage?
Find a date and time that suits you best, and let’s see what we might achieve together…