Jake Van Buschbach 0:00
Hey everybody, Jake from umbrella IT services here. Hope you're having a great day. Today we're going to be speaking with Rob Malik from business works consulting. Rob helps other business owners overcome sales obstacles. He helps them develop sales departments helps them refine existing sales departments. He equips them with the tools they need to achieve success. And he taught me a lot during this interview. I hope you find it as valuable as I did. So, without any further ado, let's jump into it. I'd like to give Rob Malik A big thank you for coming on today and talking with us about sales consulting, sales training and his book sell more by selling less. Rob, thank you very much for coming on today. How can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get into the sales consulting field? Yeah, I've been doing what I'm doing now for just about 19 years. How do I get into it? Well, I made the decision that I wanted to go solo I've been a sales manager while sales rep sales manager sales Vice President and decided they want to go sell most so it
Rob Malec 1:00
just hung my shingle, I really had a desire to help people to help people to grow their business, and everything came from that. Very cool. How would you define sales consulting? Exactly?
Well, there's not a lot of them out there. Interestingly, there's a lot of sales trainers, people who will help you with your sales skills, meaning how well efficient effective you are in leading sales interactions with buyers. What I do is, is a little bit different, and that is to help set up the foundation for a company and its salespeople to sell. So sales process infrastructure, so the steps you follow to make a sale, what's that recipe sales methodology, how you go about executing on those steps to bring a sale to life and turn a lead into a paying customer. So laying down that infrastructure is different than just the one piece of helping people to improve their sales skills.
But laying down the foundation allows a company to be successful where they are. And to scale up and to add salespeople and have them be successful quickly and relatively speaking easily. Gotcha. And do you notice that startups benefit the most from this as an established company struggling with these kind of things? What What is your ideal client look like?
Well, it's not only startups who struggle with it companies of every size wrangle with us every day. So you think classically about the most highly trained IBM sales reps, they have entire departments that exist only to help, excuse me, make the sales process more efficient, more effective, it's sort of that 1% mentality how to go 1% better every day. Somebody we have sales, thousands of salespeople Of course, that 1% better will will multiply and exponentially generate more revenue. If you
You're a startup and you have no infrastructure. Startups need to be the best salespeople they need to not only sell their idea sell their dream they need to convince investors to give up seven figures worth of money to invest in their future. Yeah, yeah, size companies will also wrestle with is an owner operated a bootstrap, they've done well for themselves. But now the sales sales group is generating as much as they can. The business owner would like to work more on the business than necessarily in the business. And they wrestle with Well, how do I do that? How do I let go of the sales function without having it wander and stop producing the lifeblood of the company, which is revenue? So companies of all sizes wrestling, does that make sense? In your experience, is it is it more the system itself that's important that you described earlier and the processes and tracking all of this stuff that gets you that extra 1%? Or is it the ones who
superstar on the sales team and trying to track down other superstars to join your sales team or is it a little bit of both?
Now it's absolutely the system. If you are a company that has one superstar salesperson, and you're reliant upon them, and if they decide to go elsewhere, tomorrow, you are in big trouble. That's not a great place to be at all. So when you get really square as a company on what a salesperson should be doing, and haven't documented how they should be doing those things. As salespeople progress and your salesperson becomes a manager or the like, they can easily backfill and integrate new salespeople into the company and have them ramp up to success far more quickly than if you don't have that foundation laid down. Well, in that scenario, no foundation. Often you'll have to wait 12 months for salesperson to be productive. Wow, that function laid down you can be productive in three to six months and that's what I've been seeing recently. Gotcha. So it
Jake Van Buschbach 5:00
really is a full year of turnaround for a new salesperson kind of get their claws and get the engine revving and start to see results.
Rob Malec 5:07
If you don't have your foundation, absolutely.
Jake Van Buschbach 5:09
Wow, that's crazy. So as part of a foundation I've been looking into, I'm just starting to dip my toe into the field of sales here myself as a start up. And I've been looking through a lot of different CRMs. am I wasting my time with CRM as a small business owner? Or is this a crucial tool that I that I should be spending more time on?
Rob Malec 5:29
Oh, absolutely crucial. Gotta have one. Okay. Even as recently as five years ago, they not everyone had a CRM. But now because there's so many, and they're all quite good, and the user interface, and the mechanics of using them are so simple that quite simply, you are selling with one and a half hands tied behind your back if if you don't,
Jake Van Buschbach 5:51
yeah, no, I'm starting to get a little bit overwhelmed here because we've started to do marketing and we've launched our new website and I've got a CRM and a ticket management's For our existing clients, but now that we've got all these prospects, and there's a lot of incoming leads, I'm starting to start to feel like I'm juggling a lot, my calendar is starting to go a little bit crazy. So it's good to know that I'm making a good decision moving to the CRM is what would you say makes up some good features of a good CRM? I know that we've spoken briefly about how you like to use Zoho CRM, but what what are some fundamental staples of Zoho or other CRM that you recommend to your clients that make you recommend them?
Rob Malec 6:32
The fundamental staples are first and foremost that it does, in fact, have a represent page number, your sales funnel so that you can understand for each and every opportunity you're working on, where in the I'll call it stage of production, that sales opportunity is. Some people say well, the early stage stuff, I don't really need to track that and that's absolutely the most important piece to track those deals that are closest to turning into money and turn into a closed one last deal rather, those are all very top of mind. It's all the stuff early stage funnel that where that that's where the money is. And then as you work those through and convert them in some fall away, because you're naturally not a fit and the light, those ones are is easy to lose track of. So you do need to have the sales funnel represented. Absolutely. You need to, they all have a task reminder function, but you need to use that function, so that every sales opportunity you're working in, if someone was to look at the CRM, you would see that there is a record of what's happened. And there's a task reminder for the next thing to happen in the future. So you need to use that diligently. The other piece now this is quite easy is to have your email connected to your CRM. And so you can still use Gmail and outlook to send your emails out though, but having the connector will allow those emails to be connected into the opportunity record and see And that makes it super, super easy for you to track your opportunities, what's happened and what should happen next. Because if you don't have that, it's hard when you sit down to do your business development work, you have an hour or so set aside to do it. If you're a business owner, if it takes you 20 minutes to get organized and pull the thread from your last business development session, now you're down to 40 minutes of workable time, and it takes you 20 minutes to sort of get in the swing of it, you end up with 20 really productive minutes using a CRM effectively, five to seven minutes to check your notes. And then you've got 53 minutes of productive time, you'll generate far more sales if you use a CRM. Sure,
Jake Van Buschbach 8:42
gotcha. So you mentioned a lot of stuff there that I kind of want to dig into a little bit because again, just just getting started here. This is very educational. In terms of a sales funnel, what what does that usually look like for you is different based on if people are selling products, if they're selling services. I've heard that it's good for Most people to have several different funnels active at one time. What What do you usually recommend as a beginning sales funnel? Or is that something that's very unique to the businesses and there is no umbrella solution?
Rob Malec 9:13
No, they the the mechanics of selling and the sales funnel are somewhat like the golf swing, you know, they components are set. Yeah. And they're classic and they're always there. How you apply them will vary based upon you know, sort of the the lie of the ball and the distance to the hole and the wind and all that kind of stuff. But generally, your sales funnel should be divided into your leads into first meeting, I call it a diagnosis meeting, first past diagnosis meeting, which is when you're trying to learn what pain points they have. Deep Dive diagnosis meeting is the next stage where you're going more deeply and try to quantify the pain points they have. solution, that phase when you're talking about what might your solution be to meet those needs. And negotiation, which is now your negotiating price, and you're trying to close the business. So any business could do well with those five basic funnel categories. You can divide them up further, if you like. Yeah, but those are the five core ones that you should have.
Jake Van Buschbach 10:15
That's awesome. And when you're doing prospecting, these kind of things, I've heard that it usually takes about 90 days to get a sales funnel operational and working. Is that true? In your experience,
Rob Malec 10:26
you should be able to have a sales funnel up and working inside of four weeks. Oh, wow. And by that, I mean you have your CRM selected, you have it configured, you have the sales funnel stages all blocked out, and you start working the funnel and moving opportunities through if it takes longer than four weeks. Generally, it means you picked a CRM that's more complex, or generally that means you lack clarity at that moment in terms of how you want to approach the sales function, how you want to begin filling the top of the funnel and how You're going about the mechanics, if you will, deals through
Jake Van Buschbach 11:04
data. And when people are starting to implement these tools and these kinds of things. Is there any specific mindset that they should have or any sort of contact specifically that the contact methods they should be considering? Because I, maybe this is still happening, but I don't imagine there's a lot of door to door sales still going on, especially in a city like Vancouver in 2020. Given the the current health crisis, have you noticed that any effects of COVID on salespeople is phone becoming a lot more common remote meetings, email sales are picking up? Or is the old school, shaking people's hands and kissing babies still still the way to go?
Rob Malec 11:46
No, none of that is possible at all now, and over the last several years, it's been trending more toward remote meetings and the like, and of course, now is our only option. Can't go out and meet people. And only now are some clients saying, Okay, come in, but they're also being very diligent around social distancing. What I've seen in Vancouver is a lot of clients last week who said, Okay, well, we need a demonstration. This was for another clients products, our boardrooms limited, we can only have so many people. So you can only send one person. And so that's how it deals with people or being. So now it's comfort in reaching out electronically. Is comfort in using tools like LinkedIn and the like, to generate your leads. Yeah. And you know, the part about what are the what's the best mindset to have? I would say in sales, it's and if you're new to sales is don't take it personally. Which is to say you got to reach out to lots of people. Yeah, most of those people won't have a need for your products or services at that time. Yeah. And if they don't, they likely won't reply to you. If you're sending email. Yep. And that's all it is. So if you look, and you say, well, the way I'm going about my outreach is my authentic voice. I think I'm being appropriate. And the way I'm approaching people, if they either say no, or they don't respond, that just means they don't have a need at the moment and keep looking.
Jake Van Buschbach 13:19
Yeah. And how do you follow back with people that you've messaged already, but they haven't responded without being spammy or pushy, because that's one of the biggest reasons why I never kind of dove into sales, because I just didn't feel like I wanted to wedge myself in authentically into people's lives. But whenever I did manage to outreach, I noticed that people were usually very positively responding to my messages and these kind of things. But for those folks that I never did hear back from, I just kind of left it and never circle back around even though somebody had recommended them to me or they've clicked on some part of my website and downloaded something. How do you recommend people can reach out again without feeling kind of spammy.
Rob Malec 14:02
Well, there's two parts to that. If it's someone who you're reaching out to, I use a four week protocol to get started, okay, which is email, and voicemail in week one, email or voicemail, one or the other in week two, week three, you can let it rest if you want or back to either email or voicemail. And week four. It could be if you feel that, well, this is not really going anywhere. Then you could say, I'm here when you're ready, if you'd like some help a message like that, or you can set the stage for the next series of follow ups. And so that's the piece where people often have questions and it relates to authentic and what does authentic mean to you and to reach out to someone monthly. Depending upon your product or service may feel very natural For you. For myself, it's about every three months. And my reach out usually the pushy part and people feeling what's authentic. The two different things. Generally pushy is when you're asking for things. And to stay top of mind, you don't need to ask for anything, you can simply reach out and say, for instance, it could be a have a great summer kind of theme to your message. So here's what's up in my business. Here's what I'm seeing by way of sales. Have a great summer. i'm john john, need to ask for anything, you don't need to say, hey, let's talk Hey, if you need my services, click on this link. And that's the method that I use. I think, you know, in the early stages of your reach out, you'll have those links in that content there. And for the stay in touch piece.
We'll know why you're staying in touch.
Jake Van Buschbach 15:56
Yeah, of course. Yeah.
Rob Malec 15:57
Yeah. So what I found is that There have been instances where 678 emails go by, I don't hear from from the person I'm emailing to. And all sudden they respond and we do a big project together. Yeah. And often people will say thanks very much for staying in touch with me. I've been busy or whatever the case may be. It's just that funny intersection of timing where you reach out. They happen to have a need at that time, where you can help. And then they'll respond. But you could do that 10 times previously, and they don't have the need. They don't respond.
Jake Van Buschbach 16:34
I like the fact that again, it's not all about the hard sell. Because I've always been very good at soft selling. I've been very good at building relationships with people. But I'm just not good at saying like, give me money. This is what I want. You need this service that if people are clearly having an issue, then I like fixing their problems, but I don't like pushing things on people. That's not a perfect fit for them. Which is Why we have we have very, very good customer retention above 95%. And very good customer satisfaction ratings because no one has things that they shouldn't need. But it's also sometimes resulted in things where I haven't properly up sold other services that would have complimented the main service. In your experience again, nowadays that everything is kind of getting commodified commoditized over like LinkedIn, for example, I have, I don't know, 15 messages from people saying hello, I'd like to sell you this web design service or Hello, we do this programming service, maybe your interest. How do you recommend sales consultants and other business owners can kind of differentiate themselves from this flood of private messages and this sea of emails that people are receiving nowadays?
Rob Malec 17:46
That's a great question. LinkedIn is is becoming a way to get marketed to. And yeah, I know there, there can be an irritation factor for sure. The way to differentiate yourself So I believe using LinkedIn is using connections to connect you to others. So if there's someone that you really want to meet that you think is a perfect fit for your business these days, many people are on LinkedIn. And so the number of degrees of separation between you and people you want to meet is often it's just one. And so if you want to stand out, then ask that person in the middle that both you and this person you want to meet, know, to introduce you. And so I developed a series of it was basically email templates to us. So I would email the person that knew both of us, and ask them if they could connect us on email. And I asked her that specifically because I found that LinkedIn connections not everyone, despite people being active, not everyone received LinkedIn messages every day. And so doing the connection through email was better. Better meaning more effective. The person and it was someone that I knew well, the people would invariably say, yeah, sure, I'm happy to help help you get connected. I knew they were a bit lost in terms of what to say. And so I would send them an email template and say, here's an email template, you copy, paste that in whatever way you like, and send that to the person copy me. And that will get us all connected. And invariably, I would see that exact message just copied and pasted into the email connecting me to the other party. Yeah, and that would help separate. Absolutely, for sure. Some people are still using LinkedIn for mass marketing, and I'm not fairly against that. I haven't haven't seen it be effective for myself in my business. My business comes from referrals, much like other small businesses, but LinkedIn definitely has this place.
Jake Van Buschbach 19:50
Yeah. And when people are helping you out like that, do you offer them incentives or Well, how do you usually do that because I usually have a lot of People offer to help me out with that kind of stuff, which is great. But I've never reached out to someone saying, Hey, can you introduce me to this guy? And did it and how does that go in your experience?
Rob Malec 20:09
Right? Well, the thank you part is interesting because there's the notion of well, should I give them some sort of Thank you should I give them something monetary? Whatever I found is this that first and foremost, people really want to help and if you're a entrepreneur, business person, those around you know that it's it's not the easy path, and so they're quite willing to help. And when they introduce, well, should I give money, it gets kind of weird because you know how much money is too little money you're going to be an insult is too much money going to make them feel awkward. And so I would default to something thoughtful. So if you got a nice referral from someone to send them something something as simple as a Starbucks card, or an Amazon gift card, or even flowers like that. thoughtful by design, not expensive, but because people are really liked to help, that positive feedback is awesome. That makes sense if it's a business to business relationship where you have, I was involved in a lead Group A number of years ago where it was we had a we had a shared agreement that if one person brought me business that I would give them 10% of that deal. But that was set up upfront. Yeah, and we all agreed upon that and we were all comfortable with the number and that's why monetary work but I found otherwise monetary becomes awkward.
Jake Van Buschbach 21:36
That makes a lot of sense. I usually do that for my clients as well just generally speaking around Christmas time. And yeah, I'll start working in those little thoughtful gifts as well. I know that a really good one that I always resort to is the manicure pedicure kind of thing. Just get a gift card or something like that. So usually around 200 bucks, give or take $20 depending on where it is. And ladies love it. Grab the guy's pair of air pods or something like that. Just whatever right think about the person you're giving it to, and then kind of give them something nice. That shows you put a little bit of thought into it and usually works out really well. So, and I do like the percentage based business, the business relationship as well. That's great to know. So what other kind of strategies and guidelines Do you usually recommend people implement while they're working with the CRM stuff? Because it seems to me that the processes are going to be the most important part of what we break down today. So I know that you would be wanting to have this introduction set up via LinkedIn or via email, so that you can set up your diagnosis meeting that you were talking about earlier. So when I go into one of those meetings, what would be some of the mindsets and strategies that I would want to bring with me to that meeting?
Rob Malec 22:52
in my estimation, I believe that sales is helping. Mm hmm. And that's why I believe you do not need to be an extra divert, you do not need to be a person who loves to talk a lot to be great at sales. Often the opposite is better if you're a person who likes to listen, ask questions and learn. You're in a far better position to help people because that allows you to give room for the buyer to speak and helps you to learn their needs. And so in terms of CRM and selling overall, it's every day and not a day should go by that you don't do something to put a drop in the bucket of business development be reaching out to existing contacts, reaching out to new new contacts that you're trying to make, or moving deals for. So that's the first thing is every day, when it comes to your sales meetings is prepared to help and by what I mean by that is prepare your questions. And so selling to my mind is is understanding people's current situation. They know the course this is all relative to where you can help with your products and service. versus how they're doing things today where they would like to be by way of what's their desired improved future state as it relates to that, and what's in the middle, what are the pain points in the middle that they're experiencing challenges sticking points that are stopping them from getting to where they want to go?
Jake Van Buschbach 24:19
Rob Malec 24:22
yeah, understanding those things puts you in a position to then I think meaningfully in an irrelevant way to talk about what you have to offer as a solution. Rather than if you flip it around. If you were to come in, Hi, nice to meet you and start talking with all the great things you have in the back of the buyers mind that they're saying, Well, that's all wonderful, but how does that help me? Yeah, I know. We haven't talked about what my needs are, and how you can improve my own situation.
Jake Van Buschbach 24:48
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Not Not every hammer is not good for every utility, you know. So let's say that I've established a good sales team. I've got everybody. So let's say I'm established a good sale. process. As a small business owner, I'm noticing I'm starting to close a high percentage of my leads. People are really happy with everything. They're saying, oh, transitioning from another IT company to you, as has been so easy and your team is so great at it. And I'm ready to hire my first sales rep. What do you recommend? The very first part of that process looks like when you're trying to find or is even before you're trying to find somebody. So you've got your sales process down, it's working, you're ready to expand your sales team. What is step number one?
Rob Malec 25:32
Step number one is job description. which at first blush sounds kind of strange. Well, I know I want someone who's going to sell but inside of the job description, what exactly are they doing? And how much of it are you going to ask them to do so? Do I need to tell people you have to generate your own leads or I'm giving you leads? How much does this person have to travel? What size of deal with a typically selling five figures six figures seven figure Do they have to manage anybody? What else? What are the requirements for CRM and the like? So you need to get that job description really clear. So that when you post it a personal read it and say, Okay, I totally get what's involved in this job. It's not vague, it's quite clear. And the places to post today, your options as far as finding that salesperson, you can hire a recruiter if you have that money. And there's all the job posting boards, LinkedIn is very effective for job posting. Indeed, all the other platforms where you can post job descriptions and people can post resumes and like and then in the hiring process, really you need to have a pulse check interview, okay, does this person seem to have credibility? basically do I think at first blush they're a bit second interview is to understand their sales history and answer the question is what was sufficient to make them successful in the business Role sufficient to make them successful in working at my company. My name is with my situation as it stands. The third interview is a shomi interview which is they should prevent present you something. Okay? It's very simplistic. My first 90 days in the job here's what I'm going to do. And the reason we have this job interview is it will give let you sit in the seat of your of your customers and experience what this person has to bring.
Unknown Speaker 27:29
Rob Malec 27:31
And the last interview then would be
culture check if there's anyone else that needs to interview this person at your company and then you can make the final decision but where see where business owners typically will fall off is we'll meet someone that really liked them. And wow, that person likes to talk they're hired and they skip the skill check and they skip the show me part. And then you know, you've hired someone, you offload the selling to them because they Goodness, I've got someone doing this. And then they get six months, 12 months down the road and find out it didn't work out. And they're left wondering why. And so what I found in the interview process, and I've had clients say this where to go. Prior to this interview process, I would have hired the first three people I met I really liked. But in the end, we've got a salesperson who was affected that we really love as well. They had both hearts.
Jake Van Buschbach 28:24
That's so great to know that it's usually three to four interviews. And then I really like the show me part of it, and not getting too emotionally attached on day one, because my technical hiring process looks very similar to that. So it's good to know that the sales process should also not be Hey, how are you? Good. Oh, I like the way you're talking. I like the way you're moving and shaking. You're hired, you know. So that's, that's really good to know. How do you recommend that you can kind of two questions here, how can you filter out people that are going to be the snake oil salesmen who are going to be able to recognize that This is a startup or this is a an inexperienced, sales team sales manager, etc. And they're gonna be able to tell you what you want to hear. And question number two would be what are some traits that you would recommend that you look for, especially when you're just developing a team, and you're not going to have like a junior, you're going to need somebody who's gonna be able to come in and kind of pave their own way and build upon the foundation that you've set up.
Rob Malec 29:25
Right to the first part, having a four hour interview process, the person's true personality will show after hour four or five or six that you spend with them. Okay? And so the this notion of snake oil salesmen or the like, often, if we get swayed by someone who is a sort of very articulate someone who is they quickly bond with you, and in the first half hour you feel like your best friends after the multi engine review process, their true personality will show through in any Oh, you can determine, okay, that's all sizzle and no steak or it's it's both the piece about expectations, what's required for them to do that, you know if this is a startup or the like, you really need to be candid with people and give them the hard reality if the job market today is unfortunate, there's a lot of great salespeople who were let go from their previous position to develop it. And there's people who really, really want a job. And so we need to be, I'd say brutally honest with if you're a startup, we are a startup. We don't have money for zoom info. We're using the free version of CRM right now. We don't have travel budget, and this is how many paying customers we have and we need this many more. really be clear with people what they're buying into. Because if there's any great and I and by the way, you have to repeat it about five times. Yeah. Before it cut through that person's desire to have a paying job. Mm hmm. I have seen situations where a salesperson will come in. And yeah, they heard startup, but they get in there and now sudden they're spending 90% of their day prospecting. Yeah. And they go, Oh, hold on. I'm a senior sales person. I don't like to do that anymore. Oh, totally. And this was part of the job. And, you know, the hiring parties had said, we're a startup and they go to the office in the startup environment. For some reason, there was a disconnect there. So I'd say be brutally honest. Be prepared to say at least five times and have the person really clear. And again, this goes back to the job description, what their duties and tasks are, paint a day in the life for them in vivid colors. Yep. And also have them understand what resources they have and what resources they don't have. And be really clear, here's what we're expecting you to bring to the table, sales process knowledge, etc. Sales Funnel management in the light. Yeah. And in asking those asking for those things in the multi step interview process, you'll be able to see if they happen when they go,
Jake Van Buschbach 32:21
GA. And you mentioned there that you might hire someone as a senior sales consultant or senior sales rep. And they might not be used to prospecting and doing these kind of things. Now, if you've got your process nailed, I'm assuming you're going to understand what expectations responsibilities and deliverables exist for that person. So is it best to shoot for the stars? Like someone in my position to find somebody to immediately take over the sales role in the business? Or is it better for me to get someone who's going to be doing lead generation because that's personally what I need, and then have them grow into that role and your experience with either established businesses or startups. Usually the best fit when first starting to build out that sales team.
Rob Malec 33:04
The best fit is to hire the person who is on the cusp of being promoted to the next role. Gotcha. What I found is if you hire the person who's been promoted four times, they don't want to go backwards and do the heavy lifting work. Yeah. They're out of prospecting mode. And they think, Well, my skill set is to be put to a higher task, which is closing business. If you need prospecting, hire that person who has two years experience and they want to get into an outside, outside now meaning outbound sales role, not just lead gen. Find that person. They're at their current job, they may be frustrated, maybe there's nowhere for them to go. You have a lot of runway for them. They still need to use the skills that they're great at. But that can quickly turn into a full sales job unless the business development if they happen to be good at that. Oh, You know that what you want to get to as a business owner is if you have that person, and they become a salesperson, and you really get dialed in on your process and methodology, then you as a business person can say, Well, if I hire this person at x thousands of dollars investment in the year, they can now be productive in three to six months. If I can carry that first six months of salary, knowing that they're going to start bringing some sales around that six month, okay, that that investment works for me, I can do that. If you don't have those nailed down, you hire a salesperson, and they simply do their best to make their way. It's hard for you to scale because you don't know exactly how your investment is going to work out when you invest in a second person. Third, if that first person is great at filling the funnel, they'll have generated enough work for you to hire another salesperson who can turn that into money. They increase the sales funnel and then you hire your sales third, your third salesperson and that's how that would go.
Jake Van Buschbach 34:59
That makes sense. ton of sounds. So I've got a revelation here. But before we move on to that quick question would be do you recommend incentivizing salespeople through just a flat salary? Or do you recommend having commission or pure commission? Or what's been the best system in your experience? Or again, is it something that is not an umbrella solution? It depends on the business itself.
Rob Malec 35:23
Generally speaking, salespeople should have a commission portion to their compensation. Your total target compensation would be a combination of base salary plus commission.
Jake Van Buschbach 35:37
Rob Malec 35:40
yeah, so the compensation should incentivize the behavior that you need from a salesperson so if you need growth, then don't have a big fat salary in a small commission, which incentivizes the salesperson just to manage their existing accounts. Mm hmm. They need a permission so that when they bring in a when both of you when you That's how they make their living. And if a salesperson doesn't like that setup, but that's what your business needs, then they're just not the right salesperson for you.
Jake Van Buschbach 36:09
Gotcha. And when you say big commission, what would that look like? So is that a 5050? split? So if you want to get that person to rapidly grow your company, and you want to try to get them to hit a six figure salary or something like that doing 5050 is that a big commission or a big commission be 70%? And the salary is 30%. What What does that look like?
Rob Malec 36:32
So, very simply to set compensation you look at Okay, well, total target compensation is a combination of base salary plus commission. What's the total target compensation number is 50,000 60,000 70,000. And then you can imagine in your mind's eye like a slider where you say, Well, if I want them to earn this much at 100%, of quota then It needs to be this much salary. And then that much commission, if we have a sale, which is a six figure sale, meaning there's more absolute dollars inside of the margin, you could have a 40% salary because when they bring in one big sale, then that would be a bigger commission check. I've seen as high as 70% commission a 30%. salary. That was a more mature business where the salesperson could count on a certain amount of revenue coming in as a lead generation. Hell, yeah. If you're just new starting out, it's better to be more like 65% base salary and 35%. commission and how that commission uncapped so the more they sell the more than they, yeah, they brought up million dollar sale for you tomorrow, that you would pay them and you would pay them well for that.
Jake Van Buschbach 37:49
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So yeah, some that you kind of triggered there is what you're recommending in terms of hiring a salesperson. That's exactly what I'm doing in terms of hiring my technical folks. So sales is simply another technical skill to learn. But as a business owner, I'm, I'm a geek, you know what I mean? I'm an IT guy. I don't understand the technicalities of sales the same way where if I were to ask you to explain how to purchase a server or ascribe a server to a client, I wouldn't be able to determine what I need in terms of a salesperson. So do you recommend any resources that people can look into to learn more about the technical side of sales, and just kind of have a crash course where they can begin to use the same technical processes that they're using to hire their internal staff to hire their sales staff?
Rob Malec 38:38
Well, to learn about sales, there's a couple of
base courses that I would recommend Dale Carnegie, believe it or not, has a great program called the sales Advantage program and if you have no experience in sales, and are afraid of going into the sales call because you don't know what to expect, this eight week program will walk you through all the nuts and bolts in the basics. Being prepared introductions building report asking questions, all those sales one on one things.
There's also the
there's a Canadian sales professionals Association. The CSP, I believe is called and they also have a series of courses that are great for sales building blocks. And then from there, there of course, it's an unlimited landscape of books and courses and things that you can buy, depending on how much time and effort you want to put into learning some, some sales books, some go to sales books, if I was appointed down to two that in my experience are really, really good. If you look at SPIN Selling, by Neil Rackham, that's a great book that gets you deep into asking questions and good solid sales questions. And the new strategic selling is another book Which is by Steven Hyman Diane Sanchez, which is a great book on creating sales strategies. If you were to do anything after your one on one training, those two books will get you started. There's a whole wealth of material out there.
Jake Van Buschbach 40:12
That's great. Thank you very much for those resources, because I think a lot of folks are going to benefit from those. So once people have gotten through those books, and they're all set up and a little bit more advanced, what are some of the things that you see people struggling with usually? Is it refining the sales strategy? What kind of issues come up?
Rob Malec 40:30
Typical struggle is around filling the top of the funnel. Hmm. And that struggle comes from not doing it every day. And it's it sounds overly simplistic, but that's all it is. It's not the fun work. There's not a lot of positive reinforcement. And after a week of doing it, it's no fun. I'll go work with people who are responsive. People who know and like my service and are paying me money already. Yeah, and that's the number one struggle is keeping the top of the funnel. Gotcha.
Jake Van Buschbach 40:59
So yeah, the only book that I've ever read about sales is called fanatical prospecting. And they said pretty much exactly what you just said, which is, you've got to be doing it every single day you've got if you don't do it this week, you're gonna feel that crunch in about 60 to 90 days, and you're gonna go, where'd all my sales go? And then it's gonna take you another 30 days to kind of get that stuff up and running again. And that so when they're prospecting, what do you recommend people kind of do in terms of a strategy for that to make it a little bit less of a grind, and to see better results is it set up a specific window every day where it doesn't matter? It's like going to the gym, like you have to do it. It's the same way that you go to the gym for your bodily health. You've got to do prospecting for the sake of your business. So you got to do it every day from eight to 9am. Is something like that practical or how do you overcome that speed bump?
Rob Malec 41:49
Yeah, so there's two things is set the appointment with yourself. I color code all my different reading types and green, green for go is my Marketing meeting. Very cool. And the next thing is getting a daily goal, which is a daily productivity goal. I want to each day reach out to two people in my network that I haven't spoken to in the last three months. And I want to reach out to two people who are specific leads for my business. And the numbers multiply nicely. So that's 10 each a week, that's 40 each a month, and then you're going to have half of those fall away that aren't to fit or non responsive. And you whittle down then to having enough, bonafide leads, yeah. And enough in your funnel that will pay the bills because if you're a small business owner, and you have mouths to feed, there's a lot of stress that goes along with Am I gonna make payroll this week? Yeah. And if you can keep your activity levels and your result levels up, you'll be fine.
Jake Van Buschbach 42:49
Yeah, that makes sense. And when you're reaching out to these folks, again, you've mentioned before Phone Email is the four week process you outlined earlier. That's the thing to stick to when you're just getting To the prospecting.
Rob Malec 43:02
Yep, yeah, absolutely stick to the four weeks. And then after four weeks bear in mind, it takes you know, this is classic about us about seven touches or so before you can have a meaningful interaction with someone, the four weeks, of course, will take you through your first four, you'll need to figure out for your business in your authentic style, how you will continue to reach out to people. So you get to that seven touches and beyond.
Jake Van Buschbach 43:27
Yeah, so most of the time, I'm assuming it's just introduce yourself pay for what I do. If you need anything, give me a shout. Nice hat by, you know,
Rob Malec 43:40
there's tons of resources on marketing, on messaging on how do I tackle those first, those first interactions that can help people to at least design the content. And then ultimately, you'll find your own voice,
Jake Van Buschbach 43:54
if that makes a lot of sense. So when you see some of these Junior guys Starting to reach out and doing this kind of stuff internally. What are some some of the struggles that a business owner can look out for when they're hiring their first staff member? Is it? Again, I'm gonna assume here, this is what I do with my technical staff. We do weekly meetings every Monday. And then every Friday, we do a follow up meeting based on the previous week's goals, just to make sure everyone's on track. Is that a good strategy to have to internally manage your sales staff as well? Or how do you recommend that we manage the sales stuff?
Rob Malec 44:29
Well, the first struggle salespeople will have is who is my ideal customer, and who should I be aiming for? And once you get square on that, and the next pieces, where do I find those people? And you know, there's the one to one marketing, which is you reaching out to specific companies and then the one to many marketing, which is, can you find associations with like where there's 100 of your ideal customers in one spot, so the one to many is a great place to be in terms of Managing the sales team, you need to manage the funnel. And then you need to manage the activities. And those need to be two separate meetings. So I an easy cadence is, if you meet with your salesperson once a week for an hour to understand who is in the funnel, how many companies are in the funnel? How many phone calls have you been making, how many meetings you've been having and the like. And by the way, all those are in your dashboard and CRM. So the meetings to talk about them and dive into that more deeply. Then in week two, you can have a meeting that's more about let's look into specific deals you're working on. What have you been saying what you've been doing? How is that been going? Is it stuck? Is it unstuck? Is it moving nicely? If so, why? So you can capture best practices and replicate that and try to eliminate things that aren't working for you and take them out of your sales process. So it's a really, it's a two week tempo. So one week is strategy. High Level one week is tactics and next week is strategy and when we next week is tactics. And then monthly, you should have a sales get together where it's a deep dive and understand sales understand deals that have been brought on how they're going. So that we salespeople can make a connection between Oh, I did this, I found that, and they're a great customer, or I did this I found out to the customer from hell we don't want.
Jake Van Buschbach 46:22
It makes a lot of sense. Yeah. So I think that answers with the majority of my questions, but in relation to you and what you do specifically, you mentioned sales is helping. So what are some of the frequently asked questions and what kind of issues do your most of your clients ask you? So when you're working with with an average client, what does an average client of yours look like? And what kind of struggles are they going through?
Rob Malec 46:51
So my average client is typically a business that is healthy that has been growing, that the owner is either the Rainmaker or the owner has been in managing two or three salespeople, and they reach a point where they feel stuck that sales productivity or production is lower than it should be, or it was good, but now it's declining. They can't figure out why or they don't have the time to figure out why. Or it's a business owner it says we've been doing well, I want to double the business. I can't continue to manage this team. I need some help to manage it and scale it and so that's who I typically work with. By way of classic challenges that they would have, it is
my top of my funnel is not falling off.
How do I feel it?
buyers you know, the middle of the sales funnel goes screaming through to give me a price and we give them a price and we get stuck and the buyer becomes non responsive buyer goes dark. Generally, interestingly, the part where I can't close the deal is not a pain point. It's usually filling the top of the funnel the middle funnel part top of the funnel address which is just the consistency of doing it day to day, the piece about buyers getting the price and then going dark. Generally there's something going on inside the sales process where we don't know the buyers needs well enough. We're not what we have as an investment towards a better improved future the one that the clients told us they want and we don't know their needs well enough. We haven't determined their buyers decision making process. So when they just go dark, we don't have anywhere to turn we have nowhere to go. So there's there's a whole bunch of mechanics inside there are things going on. But generally if you quote too quickly and too early, all you're doing is selling price, and that's really going to hurt you. Interestingly in sales, if you have something you have to demonstrate, and you demonstrate it too early to quickly in the sale, you often will short circuit the time you had To learn about the buyers needs, so when you do the demonstration, it's a demonstration of a solution connected to what the buyer told you where their problems. Yeah. If you go straight to demo and say this is really cool, it's really neat. And then you leaving the buyer to say, Well, here's how it's going to help you. They can't figure it out. They got a million things going on. So your sale goes to number 15 on their top 10 list of things they have to work on. Yeah, that's typically what I see in the classic pain points.
Jake Van Buschbach 49:25
I'm starting to understand the title of your book. So selling more by selling less so it's all the listening and you got two ears and one mouth.
Rob Malec 49:35
As simple as that. Absolutely.
Jake Van Buschbach 49:36
Yeah. Very cool. What's your favorite part about what you're doing? Is it working with startups? Is it working with these established businesses that have all of these moving parts already? Do you like building out those those sales machines? What is it that that you truly enjoy working with?
Rob Malec 49:54
Well, my favorite part in the doing is finding the sticking points. And resolving it, opening things up. And the joy, the jazz, and the job for me is helping people. So to help a business owner make their business into what they dreamed it could be, really brings me a lot of facts, a lot of satisfaction. And that's because not because the business is this thing, and then it looks great, but it's this thing that provides for them and their family and their life, and their children and their grandchildren sometimes. And it's very, very, very satisfying to help people build something that they thought they could build, but they were stuck, and have it affect them. So personally, it's wonderful.
Jake Van Buschbach 50:38
Yeah, yeah, I definitely understand what he's saying, as an IT guy. It's also being part of that bigger picture. And being the internal external part of that family is very cool. In terms of tools, when people are working inside of the CRM and these kind of things, do you have any other tools other than the CRM But you just they're absolutely fundamental. And you recommend every business, every sales consultant every sales rep uses?
Rob Malec 51:08
Well, I think in general terms, sales, sales is a tough job because of the piece where there's often days and weeks that go by without a lot of positive reinforcement. These days, salespeople now are working from home. And so we're all quite separate. And it's a very solo endeavor many times. And yes, there's glory when a deal closes, but there's a lot of heavy lifting that goes on in between and rejection and like so. One tool that's great that I use is subscribe to something, a newsletter that resonates with you, or your team, or fits your company values and represents that and have it go into people's inbox every day. And in the weekly meetings, talk about that. What do people get from it? And there's many out there that are motivational Some that are helpful, some that are thought provoking. And often they're not in the realm of sales. They're ones that are outside sales. There's this daily email called the stoic, and it's all about stoicism. And there's a whole history about that based upon rolling times, and Marcus Aurelius and all these people had this way of looking at life and dealing with challenges. And that comes into your inbox every day. And then you read about it. And it just sometimes gives you that little bit of support that little bit of Okay, I can go out I can do it or some different way to look at a really challenging situation. It's absolutely not a sales thing. But it's super helpful. So maybe there's something in thinking about your team, your company, your life that resonates with you, and might resonate, resonate with them.
Jake Van Buschbach 52:48
Yeah. It's very funny to hear you say that because I know a guy's a financial advisor, just sales for them. Use his own independent advisors, of course, he's doing sales and every time I go on my Instagram, I can see it's This person has followed another stoic page. And I'm just imagining that his whole Instagram in the morning when he's scrolling through it is just all of these Greek and Roman quotes and a lot of this stoic stuff. And I followed a couple pages of it as well. And again, like you said, it's it's tough being in a position of a salesperson, not a lot of positive reinforcement. As a business owner, you have a lot of those dark periods as well. And it is nice being able to see things that are kind of echoing the sentiments of what you're currently struggling with and being able to kind of get through that. Do you have any other resources, or market leaders that you recommend people check out? I know, you've mentioned a couple of books already. Is there anything in particular, or any one in particular that you kind of keep up to date with to keep the ideas flowing and keep things fresh?
Rob Malec 53:50
Well, the daily stoic is one that I get every day. Again, another one that is absolutely not sales related to call players Tribune. It's a It's a website, Derek Jeter is behind the site. It's stories about athletes written by the athletes themselves. And, you know, we see the athletes receiving the medals and receiving the trophies. And what we don't see is the hard road that got them there. And I find it very inspirational to see how a lot of these folks came from. You know, they could be any kind of life situation, good, bad, privileged, happy, unhappy, but how they managed to keep striving and working and create something that wasn't there before, you know, this championship mindset that they have, and the business owner and the salesperson and anybody really, every day you have those challenges. And so it gives me a lot of inspiration around all here's a different way to look at something, here's a way to approach it. So that's something I use by way of the sales one, sales ones in particular, there are so many out there and there's so many different voices, I think you would need to find the voice that resonates with you. If you were just to Google Zig Ziglar, and then every other sales guru would pop up behind that. Yeah. And then you could one that resonates with you.
Jake Van Buschbach 55:11
Awesome. That's great advice. Devin, anything else you want to discuss before we wrap up? Or do you feel like we've touched on everything that you wanted to hit?
Rob Malec 55:19
No, this has been great. Thanks very much for the opportunity to chat with you.
Jake Van Buschbach 55:22
That's awesome. Do you have anything you'd like to promote? Before we start wrapping it up them?
Rob Malec 55:27
Well, I do have my book sell more by selling less? I am. I have been keeping it hardcopy on purpose for the last several years. It's intended to be a very easy to digest book, the focus of which is how do you sell value? How do you stop selling features and benefits and what does all that mean? So that's what's inside the book. It'll be coming out in a pub and in PDF format as well for electronic consumption.
Unknown Speaker 55:51
So all the information about that is on my website, Rob Malik, calm, awesome, and that's the best way for people to get in touch with you.
Rob Malec 55:59
Absolutely. My phone numbers, they're all my contact informations there perfect.
Jake Van Buschbach 56:02
I'll throw all that stuff down in the links in the description down below as well. So if anyone wants to check that out, they can do that. So, again, Rob, thank you so much for coming on today. I think this has been an incredibly educational interview. I hope people find it valuable. I hope it gives everybody a little bit of insight into the world of sales. And everybody please make sure to check out Rob's book and yeah, thank you again so much for coming on today. Rob.
Rob Malec 56:25
You are welcome. My pleasure. Have a great day.
Jake Van Buschbach 56:27
We'll talk to you soon. Bye. I think that does it for today's video. If you could please leave a like on this video. It really helps us out. If you want to see more videos like this then please hit subscribe. If you have a suggestion for a future video or a guest you'd like to see on the show. Please leave a comment down below or email us at Tech Tips at umbrella it services.ca Have a great day and see you all soon.