Sales Systems: The Key to Scaling

Sales Systems: The Key to Scaling

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey and Ryann Dowdy, Founder of Be In The Room and CEO & Co-founder of Social Sellers Academy talk about the important elements of a sales system that will help increase sales and lead to company growth.

Covered in this Episode

Do you know there’s a distinct system to selling? A sales system helps salespeople stay organized, manage contacts more effectively, track sales deals more efficiently, and ultimately save time. In a nutshell, a sales system is a program that automates the management of your sales possibilities.

The process of leveraging a brand’s social media channels to connect with prospects, create a relationship with them, and engage with potential leads is known as social selling. Engaging with potential customers on social media can help you become the first brand that comes to mind when they’re ready to buy. It can also be used to replace ineffective relationship-building and sales approaches such as cold calling.

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In this episode, you will learn about sales systems and gain a better understanding of how to increase sales for your company.

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Highlights

  • Building a system that is easy (03:12)
  • Defining your target market (05:10)
  • Defining goals (10:15)
  • Growth vs Scale (12:33)
  • Organizational honesty (15:30)
  • Recruitment and Hiring is a sales activity (22:15)
  • Growth inside the organization (25:55)
  • The first thing to do to increase sales (28:41)
  • Handling unrealistic expectations (29:45)
  • Training salespeople (33:22)
  • Salespeople that aren’t active are the worst (34:33)
  • F.A.B (36:50)
  • Asking your customers to buy something (41:40)
  • Correctly defining a “prospect” (45:20)

Key Quotes

You have to be able to communicate your mission, your vision, your values to a salesperson if they’re ever going to be able to leave your office your building wherever and sell things… we have to find people that are aligned with that mission vision and values before we can ever scale a sales org.

Ryann Dowdy

If you can’t service the people that you’re already doing business with or you can’t manage those accounts or provide value or support any of it, you have no business trying to double your list of people on your account.

Matt DeCoursey

If you get people in the wrong roles and they’re doing the wrong stuff. They’re going to quit or they just won’t do a good job.

Matt DeCoursey

Today’s episode with Matt DeCoursey and Ryann Dowdy is packed with an exciting discussion on how to scale your sales system. You don’t want to miss out on this episode!

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Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00

Matt DeCoursey

And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow all right. There’s a system to selling and there are keys to scaling a sales system. But do you have the keys? You need to scale your sales. God, say that nine times in a row really fast and I think you’ll at least know how to say something really quickly. That’s all that’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode: sales systems. And for those of you that are regular listeners. You know this is a very very popular subject and it’s also one that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve got a great guest to chat about it with today. Before I get into who that is today’s episode, Startup Hustle is sponsored by Wix. Yes, our friends over at http://wix.com know a thing or one about turning a scrappy startup team into a global organization that serves none of the people. And they want to share what they’ve learned with Startup Hustle listeners and their new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff by Wix when you tune in for the Ready for Takeoff you get to hear from Wix founders and company leaders. They share super short lessons to help you build better programs and teams faster and hey that’s a topic I can get behind. Subscribe and follow the Ready for Takeoff by Wix Podcast wherever you listen to the show so wherever you’re listening to this. You can probably find them as well. Now I mentioned I have a guest today and with me today I’ve got Ryann Dowdy, and Ryan is the founder of Be in the Room. That’s an internet publishing and advertising services company. You can connect with her on Linkedin and we’ll put a link for that in the show notes and you know without further ado Ryann welcome to Startup Hustle. 

1:40

Ryann Dowdy

Hey man I’m excited to be here.

1:41

Matt DeCoursey

I’m excited to have you here now if we need to start somewhere. Let’s do a little bit of your backstory and let people know why we’re credible here. 

1:52

Ryann Dowdy

So I ah started my sales career on accident in Orlando Florida selling radio advertising in 2005 so I accidentally fell into a sales career spent about 15 years selling marketing and advertising solutions. So everything from radio advertising, ah Tv, Print, Digital if you can advertise on it I probably sold it and got really good, Matt, at building sales team. So I fell in love with kind of the startup space. The martech industry worked for several startup companies helping them build and grow sales organizations and then for there decided to become an entrepreneur and teach female entrepreneurs how to sell. Then started a company teaching sales teams how to sell and now spend most of my time consulting you know one on one with all sorts of organizations. It’s actually been kind of a wild ride since I’ve done some reinvention helping them build sales systems and organizations that can actually scale. 

02:45

Matt DeCoursey

That’s exactly what we were talking about before you came to the studio today. Yeah, it’s really easy to in my opinion as a founder to be able to sell what your business does, and maybe as a CEO, and a lot of people believe the CEO should be the top salesperson. In regards to like the pitch and finding and building relationships. But one thing that is really hard is building a system that is understood easy to train and you know hopefully even easier to implement across a sales team that is beyond you. And so much about being a successful entrepreneur or startup founder needs to be about building things that are bigger than yourself. So the real question is I mean where do you start with that. 

3:37

Ryann Dowdy

I’m actually not going to tell you to start where you probably think I’m going to start. Um, which is kind of fun and what I’ve learned when founders try to go from you know chief salesperson to leading a sales team. They go straight into like hows and tactics and numbers most of which they get wrong anyway. But I always suggest starting, Matt, with like the mission vision values of your organization. Right? You have to be able to communicate your mission, your vision, your values to a salesperson if they’re ever going to be able to leave your office your building wherever and sell things. So. It’s really starting with identifying those things and not just the stuff that’s on your website right? Like we all know that if you’re. Thinking about scaling a sales org your business is making money you probably have a website all of those things. But for me, it’s like we have to find people that are aligned with that mission vision and values before we can ever scale a sales org, right? Sales has been reduced to It’s a numbers game and it is, right? But if we just focus on numbers and we just focus on. Metrics and all those different things. We miss an opportunity to make sure that we have the right people in the sales organization to actually be successful. 

4:38

Matt DeCoursey

So when we hear phrases like it’s a numbers game that actually in my opinion flexes both ways because at Full Scale. It’s not a numbers game. It’s not like hey we got to find one people to reach out to because one off, that’s way too many, right? and I’m more concerned with like who are the 28 on that list. That’s that none of a percent that’s that really high quality lead so when you hear things like it’s a numbers game. Think it’s important to understand it goes both ways. You know some of that’s just like overkill. So is the first part to accurately and clearly define who you’re trying to reach as well. 

5:16

Ryann Dowdy

Well sure I mean I guess I made that assumption that we already knew that 

5:21

Matt DeCoursey

I think it Startup Hustle we like to start with. The understanding level of what like a None ar old or maybe a labrador retriever may have came on and then we kind of work our way up from there. But I think it’s important to define that so you get so many people that they said well my product appeals and could be used by everybody right? Not a good thing. No, it’s not a good thing. It feels like a good thing when you none think about it, you’re like wow my total addressable market is huge right? But then. Okay, so what do I do, I am advertising at the super bowl then right? How do I define like who I’m looking for and what I need we can use Full Scale as an example our best and fastest-growing clients are software companies that have between None and 50 employees when we meet them and those are the. For those of you that follow sales those are Glenn Gary leads right of sorts meaning like the ones with the golden bow the ones that make a lot of sense. But um I think that defining who you’re trying to reach is a challenge for I think a lot of startup founders and business owners think they know and aren’t even right. 

6:31

Ryann Dowdy

I think that that comes from Matt a fear of not being enough right? like if I pick somebody right? if I pick software companies with between 10 and 50 employees. Are there going to be enough of those for me to truly scale. Are there going to be enough of those for me to hit? My goals so we’re like you know what we don’t want to get too tight into a niche because we don’t want to limit our growth. So I’m not sure if it’s they don’t know the answer Matt or if the fear of if I get too granular with who I want to serve is that going to stunt growth. So I think that myth is actually a bigger challenge than what we know. You know there’s not a business so I started I told I started selling radio advertising when I was 21 years old in Orlando Florida and the demographics when we sold radio it was like we reach adults 25 to 54 that’s at a demo that’s a family reunion right? like that. That’s not a demographic you know, but that’s how we’ve been selling media for years. Right? What my you know 54-year-old Aunt has in common with my 25-year-old sister-in-law very different things right? So for me I think it’s a matter of understanding and kind of getting over that idea that niching down is actually going to be a problem and really understanding who gets the best results from our product in service. And who um, who finds it easiest to pay for our service like I think sometimes people are afraid to say that um I forget who I was listening to and I wish I could give her credit and know it was a woman. It’ll come to me. But anyway she was like we want to sell water to thirsty people in the desert it does us no good to sell water at Sam’s Club.

7:59

Ryann Dowdy

I mean it does if you’re selling a commodity right? But to your example, you don’t need 28000 leads at Full Scale right? You need what you need so we want to sell water to thirsty people in the desert meaning who is willing to pay a premium for water because they need water that bad or the results that your product or service gets them is that amazing or their opportunity. To use your stuff. Um is that great. So for me I’m always looking for that idea of who is that thirsty person in the desert that is looking for water and then build from there and also understanding that just because you choose one target market from a sales perspective doesn’t mean that nobody else ever buys your stuff. 

8:38

Matt DeCoursey

sure sure and I mean we get outside of that boundary occasionally just for us. It’s those are the accounts that stick the longest and grow the fastest that make them the best leads of course now are there enough of them to make a dent. Yeah, and. Thing is that might only be that we mentioned a list of None Yeah, that might be the entire list right? But I only need 56 of those so none of a percent right? would more than double the entire volume of a company. Currently has None employees right? So pretty impactful sure and now certain types of businesses or products are meant to be the complete opposite of that sure they need none leads and but those are typically things that shouldn’t. You talk about scalability. So how much of that is has to be no-touch or frictionless like http://gigabook.com is a great example for $15 a month I cannot talk to you on the phone, of course, to help you with your account right? And that’s actually a rule. We have a Gigabook like you have to have more than. None seats that you pay for us to even consider having a phone call with you right? You can kind of create a lot of organizational drag by not understanding that. So at what point do you have to start figuring out. Okay, we’re crowding our pipeline. But bunch of junk leads right? are no good. But 

10:13

Ryann Dowdy

I agree wholeheartedly I think it’s clearly defining the goals where are you trying to go right? Are you trying to serve none people are you trying to serve 56 right? Like what it does. It’s it varies based on what you sell what your price point is again what you can actually service right? My guess is. Um, you know http://gigabook.com’s pretty scalable right? like there is no limit of how you can um, serve your people but obviously in Full Scale every client you take on. You have to think about how does that impact the internal organization right? You have to put a new person in a seat potentially to serve x number of clients. So I think it goes back to really. Almost goes back to what I said about mission vision and values and again not the marketing stuff that goes on your website but for you as an organization as a founder. What is your vision for the organization right? Do you want to? you know be the premier provider of software development services for you know the top 1% of software companies or whatever it is. Or do you want to be the scheduling software that serves startup companies across the world right? We have to figure out what that vision is and how we want to make an impact before we can even start thinking about sales numbers 

11:16

Matt DeCoursey

when we go back to the mission part of it though. So we’ll once again, we can use Full Scale as an example like our mission is to help. Companies build software teams quickly and affordably right? That’s it. That’s the whole mission There’s not nine paragraphs right? Eight bulleted lists like that’s what we do and we don’t get out of that. People ask all the time can I get virtual assistance. So if you’re not aware out of the None employees we have None of them at the time of this recording or in the Philippines right? So people can I get a virtual assistant. No, it’s not what we do can I get this can I get that? No. What do you then? What do you do? we. Predominantly provide full-time service for people that don’t have short-term needs and want to build a team but it’s really easy as an early-stage company to ah oh, but these people want to pay me money I need the sales. And I will tell you right now as you begin to scale, you will quickly. Ah you will quickly come to the realization that you either need to fire a bunch of clients or you need to stop bringing in the wrong people because when you get outside of the mission right? Then. So is that where the vision comes in? 

12:33

Ryann Dowdy

I think so so I think the most important thing maybe to define in that matter is the difference between growth and scale right? The word scale gets thrown a lot yeah around a lot right? We help businesses scale, we help businesses scale, we help businesses scale to me scale means you have something that works and we’re trying to you know catapult that thing right. But growth is the beginning where yeah, you might take clients who are looking for Vas you might take clients who are looking for something else because you do need cash flow in the beginning right? You do need to see who do we? Best solve a problem for who is our thirsty person in the desert for our product or service to me. That’s the growth stage of business where you do a lot so when I first started became an entrepreneur. I um I started teaching so that’s a lie I did not start teaching sales to female entrepreneurs I started just teaching sales right? Anybody who would hire me that had a sales problem I helped them fix it and I very quickly learned what I liked to do what was truly scalable for me what I could do that didn’t require more of my time right? How can I get out trading time for money and then I niched into our tagline at the time as we helped high achieving women leave their 9 to None and build profitable businesses right by learning basic sales skills that was kind of my whole thing. Um, but my first probably 15 clients did not feed that niche right? because I wasn’t in the scale phase of business I was in the growth phase of business. So I helped one company develop sales process I helped somebody else write an email sequence right? I helped somebody else. Um actually figure out what their value proposition was what the heck they were selling to people. Right? So I think what you’re talking about is the grow phase of business right? when we’re ready to scale. It’s when we know what we have right? which in your instance fulls scales instance. It’s a team of software developers in the Philippines that help businesses um, you know grow team quickly. Whatever 

14:20

Matt DeCoursey

Which is not scalable because people aren’t scalable 

14:22

Ryann Dowdy

amen to that? 

14:24

Matt DeCoursey

yeah. A lot of people get that wrong. They think it is. They’re like oh I want to scale my business by adding more people. That’s not the definition of scale I would agree. Yeah, that could be growth. Yep, but not scale. 

14:35

Ryann Dowdy

Sure yeah, and so I think that’s where people get stuck with this whole idea of scale versus grow and sales process and all the other stuff and I think that’s probably why a lot of people struggle to hire salespeople is because it’s really hard to train a salesperson to sell 42 different. You know, different iterations of a product right? If you had a product suite this big. You know it would be really hard to hire a salesperson. You have a product suite this big for those of you that can’t see my hands right? It’s a handful of products that full that Full Scale serves their clients or maybe there’s a handful of ways and so I think that that’s what’s really important is people. The None thing they want to do is hire a salesperson. Um, but it’s really hard to teach that salesperson. How to sell the deals that you’re scratching on the back of a cocktail napkin because you are the visionary right? like you have that in your head. They’re never going to have that. So I think it’s the difference between growth and scale, to be honest with you. 

15:27

Matt DeCoursey

I think a lot of it is also I’ve been using the I don’t know if this is a real term but it is now I’ve been discussing organizational honesty. And for me, I had you know we’ve had a very mixed bag of trying to grow a sales team. Yeah, and along the way, I had to be honest with myself about my expectation. What salespeople were going to do because they came back to me and I’m like well why? why aren’t we having conversations with these none people and they said to me they’re like well Matt it’s easier for you to get them on the phone than it is for me sure most of in there and I’m like we’ll tell me more like ah because I’m trying to reach you. And are you do you respond to emails like the ones that I’m sending is it. You know I honestly spend a lot of time avoiding that right? just because it’s overwhelming. So I think that that honest approach to like what you. With the growth of your sales organization is like you may have to temper your expectation. Yeah, ah about how easy it is yeah because it’s once again, easy to be the founder. The CEO, the person with the vision the excitement and you’re. Your message is heard of a little different sure. 

16:49

Ryann Dowdy

It’s the perceived importance. Yeah, you have CEO in your title It’s so funny I just had a conversation the other day with a woman who was introduced to me. They’re trying to hire salespeople. They’ve cycled through 3 or 4 of them. We get on the phone I’m like tell me what’s happening and she’s like we’ve had a sales guy for eight weeks and he’s only closed 5 deals and I’m like cool how much with the deals and she was like five grand I’m like so he’s close $25000 in eight weeks something that it’s incredible. For a stranger off the street who did not know your company eight weeks ago to be able to show up and again these people are they’ve got leads coming to them right? But that idea that okay well Matt closes. You know, 80% of the sales calls. He gets on like your sales. Never going to do 

17:32

Matt DeCoursey

which I don’t by the way. Yeah yeah, I mean just saying like that’s back to that realistic understanding right? Yeah and wants to give you an example if we had well if any of our salespeople brought in 5 new accounts right? in two months that would actually be a big win for us right. So think about the difference between that and now our average client spends about 20 grand a month right? That’d be huge that would be a big win right? 

17:58

Ryann Dowdy

because if yours if you hired a new sales they brought in 1 deal in eight weeks that would be huge right? because we’re talking none in revenue right? Yeah. So I think it’s just it’s it’s understanding the expectations and it’s. This idea that if you think of how you got started like when you start I don’t know the whole startup story of Full Scale. But I know when I started my business I had an idea to start a business in 2018 I kicked it around a little bit I made a few dollars a year and a few dollars there and a few dollars there it took me. A really long time to be making not a really long time took about a year to be making consistent money in my business that was predictable and then I could count on and that’s me I am the founder right? It is my mission my vision. My baby I’m I was service delivery at that point the game right? I was out there selling myself and we expect a salesperson to come in. And figure out how to do it in ninety days and if they haven’t paid for themselves in ninety days we’re kicking them out and again I think it depends on what you’re selling right again to use the example of um, you know a a lower scale service or something along those lines. We’re having a different conversation. But when you’re selling you know I would consider is none a year is that considered an enterprise sale if you’re so. Like an enterprise product to CEOs. That’s a totally different sales process than selling software to you know middle managers 

19:13

Matt DeCoursey

or to selling fans to people that are on our studio right now which by the way for those of you listening. It’s like 10000 in our studio right now. So if you hear like water dripping that’s me sweating. But. You could really sell me a fan really easily in here right now. But that’s a different transaction and you’re right? That should be like a frictionless transaction of course some of that is is also like we talk about I don’t want to get so deep down the rabbit hole of like salespeople because some of. Scaling a sales process is well. You look at my co-hosts and someone does a weekly show Andrew Morgan right his whole business at http://marknology.com is helping people understand the landscape associated with selling shit on Amazon right. And that’s like a completely different approach but it requires a lot of thought understanding and once again scalability so you know you look at Amazon and this is a great example these people like I don’t they take 30 or 25% of my sale. What are they giving you for that because? What would a salesperson cost you to go out and sell that manually you’re hoping you pray you’re hoping that your salesperson sells something then you have to deal with fulfillment. You have to deal with a lot of other stuff so in some cases less is more I would agree in some cases. It’s not so I mean there’s a lot to be figured out. I think the people component of a sales process for me is the hardest sure the most frustrating hardest part and highest failure rate. 

20:42

Ryann Dowdy

But so you run a team you know out of the Philippines that’s what 264 people I would argue that people, in general, are the hardest part of running a business. 

20:49

Matt DeCoursey

Oh good. Without a doubt and that’s the people. So why does software startups and companies trade at such a high multiple? It’s because software shows up to work every day it doesn’t complain. It doesn’t quit. It doesn’t get a different job. It doesn’t you know it’s there, 24/7 and that’s so when we think about this. Back to that Buzzword of scalability. So the true definition of that is something is a system process or platform that you can dial up for immediate demand now and then you have companies so Full Scale is actually a mix between the two because we have a whole platform that manages clients applicants and our actual management and that’s what makes us scalable. That’s why we’ve grown so quickly because without that I am like 10000 spreadsheets and not a whole lot past that so to give you a comparison. Over the last three months 2500 people have applied the work at Full Scale that’s incredible I know but overwhelming right? But we but our system che that up and spits it out because it’s able to automate so much of that. That’s an example of scalability. We went from 150 applicants a month to none by the way there was a month in there where it was a total shit show because I broke it on purpose right? I literally broke so that’s part of our sales that’s still a sales process recruitment and hiring is a sales activity of course because you’re selling people on why they want to. Quit a job and putting work for you. So some of that we had to learn how to keep people engaged and do a lot of other stuff to automate it. But that’s a better example of scalability now growth on the other side like just I like to give practical examples. We get more sales from our existing clients than we do from new incoming like first orders right? and that’s growth you can grow the company right? You don’t necessarily I could run the so we only service for like 42 clients. Yeah and with that do. 10 million in revenue that’s wild it is but I could manage that with spreadsheets I don’t need a platform to do that. Sure. But the future growth. So what happens when all right? So many startup founders and business people. They have this plan and their home mentality and all of it. Structured around what happens when the sky is falling and they do not give any consideration to what happens if all of this goes right? Yeah, so that’s that’s been the challenge for us and you have to prepare for the folks you have to prepare for this stuff months in advance. Sure you can’t decide to be ready to be the None person company. As you’re hiring your none person right? because you won’t get there now. It’s going to fall apart quickly. Yeah, so when we start planning our sales process. How do we? How do we look around the corner and I think that’s the hardest part as a founder a business person and sometimes a salesperson is understanding what people are going to buy later. Sure things trends change. There’s a huge article and I like to sound fancy and let people know I read the wall street journal ooh fancy. It makes up for the fact that I dropped out of None colleges. So 

24:05

Ryan Dowdy

and you read your $10000000 company. 

24:06

Matt DeCoursey

There was yeah right so there I won an award from Forbes but I couldn’t. Couldn’t graduate from college. That’s true I said that on like the very none page of the Million Dollar Bedroom book I love it. So you know dropped out of None colleges but I might be a junior now. Um, there’s a rumor that I’m going to get an honorary degree from a university in Cebu. And I’m not going to confirm or deny that that yeah’s I told him I only want to postgrad out I’m like if I don’t get letters after my name I want it. That’s fair, it’s fair. It’s fair to say but by the way, speaking of selling I should ah. Remind everyone that our friends over at Wix. Yes, the website and building platform know a thing or None about turning the scrappy startup team into a global organization serving none of people remember when Wix came out by the way I do yeah and I was 

24:59

Ryann Dowdy

I played in marketing. So yeah. 

25:01

Matt DeCoursey

They’re huge now. So but they want to share what they’ve learned with you in a new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff by Wix I think if you like this show, you’re going to like what they’re talking about too. You know the average podcast listener listens to like 7 different shows. So some people are probably like why are you advertising the wix podcast because we know you listen to other stuff too. So it’s where their company’s founders and leaders are going to share super short lessons. Super short’s not easy to say ah designed to help you build better products and teams faster. You can subscribe and follow they’re Ready for Takeoff by Wix right now on Apple Podcast Spotify and pretty much anywhere else. You listen to a podcast. So yeah, by the way our producer loves it when I make my own personal commentary in the middle of the share of the ad reads but we’re still talking about you. Wix. So remember that. 

25:52

Ryann Dowdy

So you said something about the growth that I want to hit on you said that a lot of your growth comes from inside of your organization and I think that is something that a lot of business owners and founders, in general, they overlook that step when you say sales? yeah. They think okay I need to go out need to go get new leads and new people and new customers and I make it easier to sell the people already in the boat. We I just had this sort um opportunity I’m I’m doing some consulting for a um, a women’s organization right? Their professional organization for women and I’m doing some consulting for them and that is one of the things that we talked. About was like what is your member services team doing to you know to make sure your people stay to retain to upsell. You have 3 different membership levels right? Like what kind of revenue does your member services team drive and she kind of just looked at me and cocked her head a little bit like that was the craziest question. She’d ever been asked and I’m like you’re like used to be a None person membership. You have literally nine hundred thousand leads in your database and you’re out here trying to figure out how to cold message on Linkedin like you’re missing the point. My friend. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t bring in new people because like you said trends change people change people grow up needs change etc. But the idea that sometimes growth happens within our organization. What’s the next thing that our clients need to use. The none thing that we sold them. Once they’re using that and using it well is there something else that we can give them is there somebody else we can partner with that can give them that thing because so often and I’m a salesperson and a consultant and so I really like it when you’re like my sales process is broken because I can fix that but sometimes the answer is what’s already in-house. What leads do you already have what opportunities do you already have. Um, and how is your internal organizations set up to make sure you’re retaining clients renewing clients and selling those people more stuff 

27:37

Matt DeCoursey

I think a thing to understand with that is can you also service the people that are in the boat. That’s the issue we have at Full Scale. That’s so challenging on. So. Knowing that people aren’t scalable and that people possess different types of skills. Some skills are more in demand than others and we have a bunch of clients that have an insatiable appetite for certain kinds of skills which means I’m not really doing a new client or account of favor if I’m bringing them in for something where I can’t fill their seats. Sure. I think that a lot of product companies ran into similar issues during the pandemic because there were supply chain problems and you know because if you can’t service the people that you’re already doing business with or you can’t manage those accounts or provide value or right support any of it. You have no business trying to double your right? The list of people on your account is that fair and say?

28:35

Ryann Dowdy

A hundred percent 

28:35

Matt DeCoursey

How do you fix that problem? Hold my beer. 

28:41

Ryan Dowdy

Not my special she at ah you know it’s not but you know for us. The first thing that we do you know I just made a hard pivot in my business. Um. And you know I’m now running a women’s organization which is incredible and fun but literally from go our onboarding process includes how do we upsell and retain and get referrals from these people like that was one of the first processes we built right? Ok, we have a new customer How do we onboard them. And then it’s like okay, how do we let them know what our next step is how do they let them know how to give us referrals. How do we make sure we retain them what things do we have in place to make sure that we are not on a hamster wheel of bringing people in and dumping them out the back. Yeah. And it was literally and I’m a salesperson for crying out loud and that was where you did the none crash. You just said you don’t know how to fix it but you just described how to fix it valid and that’s the thing and I believe in responsible selling right? You know like you are not going to last as a company. As a salesperson or anything if you get in the business of not of non- delivery. So let’s talk about that from a sales leadership perspective because as somebody who is not too terribly far removed from actually being a salesperson inside of an organization and not. And entrepreneurs or founders so many founders and Ceos have such unrealistic expectations like you said of what their sales team can do should do will do et cetera that these salespeople aren’t selling responsibly they aren’t selling honestly because they’re worried about keeping their damn jobs. So what’s our responsibility as founders and owners or they’re just trying to make a commission that too. But I think a lot I mean you know that could be part of it. But I think sometimes it is this idea of like I have to put numbers on the board or I’m going to get walked and sometimes that leads to bullshitting about what your capabilities actually are sometimes that leads to. You know saying? Yes, we can meet that demand when we know that we can’t because of that. So I think some some of that sits on our shoulders as founders and then as the folks that we hire to run our sales organizations whether it’s a vp of sales or a you know chief revenue officer or whatever. We really need to make sure that that person feels empowered to say no and I think Matt the none time we met one of the things that you said to me was that we say no to more people than we say yes, so right? like a lot right? Yeah and some of them just aren’t ah you know aren’t a fit because they just. Financially not just the people who can’t afford you but the not. But yeah, yeah, we’re not because we’re not set up as an organization. Well we can service only a finite amount of clients that want to build things from scratch right? which I refer to as the day one startup sure and that is not that’s a different phase. And and the software development lifecycle so it requires ah, you don’t have any understanding and the thing is is we specialize and and hiring and employing experts right? and those experts want to work on expert shit right? They don’t want to go back to day one. They want to. They want to join teams that have processes and have other smart people involved I’m not saying that a day one startup doesn’t have smart people involved but they don’t have experience people involved in so as cases so that leads to a lot of frustration and you get back to that people component. My business is is None people-drive.

01:03:48.80

Matt DeCoursey

So if I get people in the wrong roles and on the wrong teams and that’s where where our sales process becomes really complex is we have to understand the skills and passion that a service provider has before assigning a service provider to a client. Right? Because if you get people in the wrong roles and they’re doing the wrong stuff. They’re going to quit or they just won’t do a good job. So the idea is is like okay so I use this example yesterday as we’ve recently hired a new sales director and I was like you can’t just assume that he would be great at. Opening ah a sales territory in France right? because he doesn’t speak french right? right? So you know, just because you know sales doesn’t mean you can do certain types of things. So and that’s that’s been one of the biggest challenges that we have. As we’ve tried to multiply our efforts ah is understanding like and defining where people are going to get it. Yeah, get it. Want it capable right? or the things and if you don’t have all 3 out of 3 you don’t have the right person in the right role. But then that goes back to like true scalability of a sales organization is having systems and processes and things in place so that you can figure out. Is it a people problem. Is it a you know because so I grew up selling advertising and marketing right? and so selling advertising and marketing. Sorry to any advertising and marketing listeners sparks garbage at training and teaching salespeople right? We bring people into organizations you get trained this way you get trained this way you get trained to this way and then all of a sudden salespeople suck nobody wants to work.

01:07:09.46

Matt DeCoursey

Right? We want talk about how shitty all the sales people are but really, it’s because you don’t have you don’t have a testing ground. You don’t have a foundation to figure out why is Matt so successful and Sarah’s not right or what is missing in Joe’s training that’s keeping him from being successful. And so that is where I do think it is important to have systems and processes and training set up as a founder for those people because it’s going to be impossible to tell is this person performing and why or why? not right? The number of people when I was leading a sales training organization that would come to me and they’d say. So and so is not performing and I’m like cool give me the data give me the numbers. Give me the information tell me what’s happening and they’re like well I don’t know and I’m like well there’s your problem. My friend you haven’t laid it out if you know you have to tell a salesperson you have to do x amount of this y amount of this z amount of this and you have to track it. Yep, follow it or keep up with it here. Yep. And None of the earliest and I’ll never I can hear his voice in my head right now activity breed sales and you’ll find that salespeople that aren’t active are indeed worst right? I want to back up to something mostly salespeople are terrible just in general tell me more about that. Just think that if you talk to anybody that’s in sales. First off if you say are you a good salesperson. They all say yes and if they say no then they shouldn’t be in a sales role. Okay, but you got to keep in mind with your back to that level of expectation. Not everybody can be in the top 5% no because it just does. That’s not the way it goes and. Most salespeople are not they think they’re stuck they they think that it’s their job to explain features sure not the advantages and benefit of what said features do. But at what point is it the company’s job to teach them. How to do that day. 1 Right? What’s the benefit. What are the so Fa features advantages benefits. So I try to train everyone that if you’re talking about something that’s a feature if you’re not ah if you’re not following or including within that statement. The advantage that you have over the competitive. Whatever so and then the benefits so people buy the benefits. They don’t buy the features they buy the they you know the benefit is ah okay so one that’s so remarkably untrackable and intangible is peace of mind. But maybe. Sells at the highest premium of anything you’ll find out. So if you can figure out how to explain why your feature has an advantage over the other product and why that creates peace of mind. You’ll make a lot sales. The problem is if you use the word peace of mind in a sales conversation. People will tune out because nobody thinks that’s what they actually want.

01:12:28.34

Matt DeCoursey

I think that’s the challenge but not that salespeople suck that we’re selling the wrong thing right? Let me demonstrate. Let’s say you are okay so we’ll go back to Gigabook and you say okay, you run a rafting you give canoe tours. Um, right? So but you can only do one a day and the problem that you have is why you’re out giving a canoe tour you aren’t there to answer the phone for the other people that want to book so the advantage that we have is a fully customizable platform that will let you control the group size that you have including limiting it. But the real benefit of what gigabook is going to do for your canoe tour service is it’s going to take appointments while you’re out on the river and that should generate peace of mind. So now you can actually pay attention to where you’re driving and not be thinking man am I missing that next booking or do I have to hire someone at. Ah, $3000 a month cost to do what gigabook could do for $15 a month sure that’s davis f a b right? there? Okay and you know so can I take it one step further yeah, please so all of that. Yes. Right? 1 step further people buy based on emotion and they justify with logic. So I want to know why the canoe tour operator what their goals are what they want what it means for them when their tours are fully booked out for the next thirty sixty 90 days because that’s I think what most people are missing That’s what you’re selling right? The vision that that business owner like imagine having a team of canoe tours imagine being able to open another location imagine being able to retire my spouse because my canoe tour business is so wildly successful that my spouse doesn’t have to go to that job that they hate anymore. So it’s it’s the feature feature what you say feature. Fa yeah feature advantagement right? But then it’s also like what’s in it for them. Yeah, because sometimes we stop at fabm we’re like cool peace of mind’s amazing. Peace of mine is optional. Right? And for $15 a month. It’s not yoga book. We found that people felt like they were chained to their business. Sure would get out it. They would get the the canoe comes off the river and oh my god I’ve got all these emails I have these text messages to reply to. Um, I really want to launch boats 2 and 3 but I can’t because I’m just even struggling with number 1 right? I mean by the way that’s a definition of scalable so like $15 more a month per boat. You can now add more bookings in there and it’ll it’ll take care of you know, like a lot of different stuff so and $15 a month is also a very different solution.

01:17:32.92

Matt DeCoursey

Then you know a $20000 month solution. So we’re having a little bit different conversation. There. But do you know what? I’m saying like because to me, it’s like oh I’ve got all these emails on a goll these phone calls to me. It’s the step of and my wife is pissed off all the time because all I do is play on my effing phone trying to fill the next door and the next door and the next door. Right? Because that’s what you’re selling as much as you’re selling a piece of technology. That’s why I think that I don’t think that salespeople suck I think that sorry friends most founders suck at teaching their salespeople how to sell that. Yeah I think I still think salespeople suck but I’ve become kind of elitist in that regard. Maybe. I have a little bit because I just like I have bought so much shit that I don’t need because I’m just shocked when a salesperson actually asks me to buy something like I literally you know ask people to buy stuff and you will sell more stuff and I want to. Talk more about that after did that I let you know that what I have a sound effect but so don’t push I to put noter I’ll come back and record this entire last 5 minutes um want to see what happens once again, today’s episode of Startup Hustle was sponsored by Wix and are you an entrepreneur or founder trying to figure out how to successfully navigate the rocket ship that is known as hypergrowth. Do you want to take control over your company’s online presence internally and externally while our friends over at Wix Enterprise can help Wix Enterprise is a platform that provides business. But an all in None solution for all types of growth and business needs create high-per performing websites for your business all of which are backed by enterprise-grade security as well as expert support to help you manage and scale online head over to http://wix.com for more info while you’re there I want to give you a reminder that. You should tune in on Monday when Matt Watson and his guest Bob Rasin will be sharing the lowdown on exactly how startups can partner with major companies who knows maybe even winx so here we are 40 minutes later and got the sales conversations fly by. Do want to remind everyone so I’ve lost £3 during this episode so freaking hot in the studio today I can’t ah I can’t get past that all right? So we talked about a lot of stuff and if we really wanted to get into sales systems and the key to scaling that would.

01:22:28.12

Matt DeCoursey

Require a series. Sure. So yeah, we were just getting into ah a few things but you know here we are at wrapping stuff up. So if we have to go back to what we talked about today. What are like what are the most basic elements. Ask people to buy shit. Um, to find the way you do that I like how we buried that at minute 30 it should have but maybe I should have led with that because I realized was talking about this yesterday I think any organization would immediately increases their sales if you get in the habit of the data actually supports that too I think it’s like it’s over half don’t. But that’s one of things salespeople suck because they start talking to someone and then they’re afraid to ask them to buy something are they afraid to ask them to buy something else because they weren’t taught how to do it correctly and what to say and what to do and how to handle that objection and what objections they might possibly get in. And or with a client or a prospect and then they feel that they’re going to offend them if they try to sell them something sure where and I’m offended if you don’t try to sell me something sure so sometimes offended people just laugh. He’s just skeptic to ask can people. Well how do I do that did you want to go ahead and get this when can we get started right? Do you want me to send you a contract right. That’s it pay pay and fuller payment literally sold tens of millions of dollars worth of stuff in my life with those 3 lines so simple and sometimes you got to ask more an None you almost always do the data says you have to ask 3 times so depends um, depends on what you’re selling valid. But if you don’t ask probably not going to sell I think are is always no. Kind of just is like maybe some very high level advice and life forgetting what you want is ask tell my wife that all the time. Yeah, so like why didn’t we didn’t do this or that um, did you consider asking because if I knew that that was a need or a desire or something that would make you happy I will help. Fulfill that possibility kind of like the possibility of getting a fan and so sorry I can’t get past it I’m like ah it’s ° in Kansas City today and I’m getting the stark reminder that our new podcast studio has a. An inactive aired air conditioning duck rides across the table for me chugging ozarkka 100% natural spring water and the benefit of that folks is not dying of a heat stroke while require to be thirsty people in the desert. My friends and say Matt. And we are here. You didn’t know when you mentioned that so early that you were selling to yourself and I really should have just taken this bottle of water over for you. You get the like wolf would sell me this pen here and I’ll sell you this water right now for five bucks exactly you won’t give me that I’ll pay myself None

01:28:08.58

Matt DeCoursey

Right? So ask people to buy shit so was that was that the thesis statement that is the thesis but I think it really it cut it does. But I think like the basics are to to round it out is really understand growth versus scale right? to really understand like you said in the very beginning who is best suited. To buy our stuff right? Who is you know the thirsty person in the desert right? and then really understanding that there has to be some sort of. System process activity to use your word right? activity for those for your sales team to follow if you really truly want to see is it working or not yeah, you got to write it down right? No one writes it down ever. It’s shocking. It’s it’s. Wild the number of people who don’t know that part in their business and again understanding that your numbers your metrics even if you start tracking your metrics as the founder your salesperson’s metrics are not going to look like yours possibly for years and you have got to let go of that. Well I wrote a script I just because. I answered this four years later at Full Scale I answered the same questions I handle the same objections. So for those of you listening a prospect that has no objections with what you sell is probably not a prospect They’re probably not interested in buying you know a little bit people that are interested in buying have objections they are not problem. This isn’t a problem that’s a sign that they’re interested because if they’re not most people don’t even bother to object. They don’t ask about it. They don’t and if you don’t ask them to buy anything. They also won’t object for the record. 

45:40

Matt DeCoursey

So as we around this out, you help people sell stuff right? 

45:44

Ryan Dowdy

I do help people sell stuff. So I’ve been in a little season of reinvention. So that’s why Matt has. Asked you to connect with me on social media. So we’re in a couple sales organizations and now really I’m just spending my time consulting. So um, you know in true startup fashion. Is there a website for that currently, the answer is no um but if you connect with me on Linkedin and you want to talk sales system sales process is hiring? All of those different things that we hammered out today I love to help people do those things. 

46:09

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah and I’ve had an experience just chatting with you about all different things in sales and yep Ryann you get it. I do you want it and you’re capable of doing it so you meet the criteria of now i. Ten years ago I would have given different advice because I used to try to do everything myself. So and I’ve really you know as I talk to you about different stuff along the way. Oh as I’ve gotten older and wiser and calmer and happier to get to a successful destination I’ve been reached out to hire more subject matter experts a lot of yeah I could walk into but similar to yourself I can walk into so many sales processes with a fresh set of eyes and so like oh my yeah this is really bad and this is you know and it’s a different problem selling ah things in different places to different people and different industries. There’s not a uniform answer other than ask people to buy shit amen that is universal 

47:17

Ryann Dowdy

Can that be the name of this podcast?

47:19

Matt DeCoursey

It probably should and I maybe should start a podcast. I think it would go over None big 

47:25

Ryann Dowdy

I don’t know what my podcast title is but if it could be asked people to buy shit I would be really happy. 

47:29

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah except for Apple might know like that I think we would run into future marketing and censorship problems because I gotta say even when we put out the Startup Hustle Youtube channel we learned how like that. None word. So one of our guests on that was Heather and Kyle from Casey Hempco don’t put the tag hemp all right in anything because then they think you’re trying to sell weed sure we’re not that’s is that easier than selling stuff water to people in the desert. Yeah, you? Okay there you go and that’s where we’re gonna end today episode I’ll see you down the road.

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