Part of Lucep’s ongoing series to bring you the indepth interviews with some of the best people in the sales industry so you can learn tips and tricks on how to improve your sales strategy, this week we interview Jeb Blount.
Jeb Blount is a sales acceleration strategist and published author with seven books to his name. Through Sales Gravy, Inc. and his other companies, Jeb has been working with startups, SMBs and Fortune 500 companies alike, helping their sales organizations achieve their peak potential. Jeb’s most famous book, and a bestseller, is “Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling.”
The book will show you how to avoid an empty pipeline and feed your sales organization with a sufficient quantity of qualified leads by making use of a balanced prospecting methodology. In this book, you will learn practical approaches to prospecting such as the 5 Cs of Social Selling, 3 Rules of E-Mail Prospecting, 5 Step Telephone Framework, 7 Keys to Text Message Prospecting, etc.
For example, the 5 Step Telephone Framework will teach you how to cut right through the typical resistance and objections that sales callers face. You will find out how to double the callbacks you get from voicemail, and develop the confidence needed to get past the usual brushoffs and reflex pushback by customers responding to cold calls.
If you want more tips to improve your phone sales check out Lucep’s post on Get Better Results From Your Phone Calls
How good he is at prospecting and keeping his pipeline filled with qualified leads can be judged from the fact that he spends a good par8t of the year delivering training programs and keynote speeches to top sales teams and the leadership of companies from all over the world. Not to mention the fact that Jeb Blount is among the most downloaded sales podcasters on iTunes with over 8 million downloads, has a newsletter with over 225,000 subscribers, and has been named as a Top 30 social selling influencer by Forbes. Also, SalesGravy.com is among the world’s most visited sales-related websites.
Q&A With Jeb Blount
Q: I read an inspirational article about you on Forbes which talks about how you started SalesGravy in 2006. How do you start a new sales firm right at the beginning of a global recession, and come out of it with a website that is the second-most visited one by B2B sales professionals after LinkedIn?
A: I’d like to tell you that there was some unique thing I did or a silver bullet but there is nothing that exciting. I simply focused on something I was good at and had a passion for – selling and leading salespeople – and worked really, really hard. Building Sales Gravy was a grind – the same grind most successful entrepreneurs endure to build a company.
Q: In Fanatical Prospecting, you talk about a ‘balanced prospecting methodology’ and leveraging email, social media, cold calling, messaging, etc. Can you expand on this a little bit?
A: There are a lot (far too many) pseudo experts in the marketplace who pander to salespeople. These so called experts preach that they can make prospecting easy – usually by promoting one form of prospecting while disparaging others. The truth, that they choose to ignore, is top earners in all fields balance their prospecting activity across all prospecting channels including phone, email, social, text, in-person, cold calling, and referrals. By balancing prospecting activity – appropriate for your industry, customer base, and territory – across these channels you gain a greater statistical probability of getting in front of the right prospects, at the right time, with the right message.
Q: What role does technology and automation play in prospecting and sales acceleration? What are your recommendations for some must-have tools in order to be successful at this?
A: I hear so many people saying that “selling is harder than it has ever been.” If you believe this then take a look around you. Today salepeople have more tools, more avenues, and more opportunities to learn about and engage with prospects than ever before. Information is easy to get, we can connect through multiple channels, and the tools (software and hardware) are powerful and inexpensive. This is why sales is far easier than it has ever been. Some tools I like include Tellwise and Cirrus Insight for email prospecting; Kite Desk, Sales Loft, and Discover.Org for leads; Buffer and Hootsuite for Social Media automation; and, Feed.ly and Pocket for information gathering.
Q: It seems you have an uncanny ability to inspire people and make them follow you, and you explained how you do it in your series of books (People Follow You: The Real Secret to what Matters Most in Leadership; and People Buy You: The Real Secret to what Matters Most in Business). But if you had to say just one thing to CEOs and managers looking to inspire their sales teams, what would it be?
A: Get in the trenches with them. Go out in the field with them. Sit side by side with them in the sales bullpen. Coach and invest time with them. It’s easy to set behind a computer and look at dashboard but when you get up and go get face to face with your sales team you’ll earn their respect and they will run through walls for you.
Q:What advice do you have for people who want to be fanatic prospectors?
A: Block time on your calendar (usually first thing in the morning) for daily prospecting. The do it! The rest will take care of itself. Oh, and of course, read Fanatical Prospecting, the one book I guarantee will make you more money this year.
If you would like to read other interviews that Lucep has conducted with sales experts you can find them below.
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