Predictable Revenue… turn your business into a sales machine with the $100 million best practices of salesforce.com.  Written by Aaaron Ross, who created $100 million in repeatable sales at Salesforce within a few years, and is currently helping companies multiply sales through his company Predictable Revenue.  And co-author Marylou Tyler, ex-CEO of Predictable Revenue, and current co-founder of a sales consultancy.

Ross went from founder of his own 50-person company to working the 1-800 sales line at Salesforce.com.  After his startup failed, he decided to get the best training possible in setting up a professional sales organization.

The holy grail for many businesses is: predictable, repeatable, and scalable revenue.  You want to develop a system, where you can say: if I add one more salesperson, they can perform X activity, that will yield Y results.  That way, you can forecast your cashflows and invest behind your business to grow.

If you DON’T have a robust process, you have no idea how much new business a salesperson can bring in, or how long it will take.  So how much can you afford to pay them?  How many salespeople can you add?  How can you grow?

There are three keys to repeatable revenue:

  1. First – predictable lead generation. Identify the companies that you want to target, build your lists, and track the conversions of your outreach campaigns from one step of your sales funnel to the next.
  2. Second – a dedicated sales development team. As soon as you hire a second person on your sales team, you need to specialize: one person for lead generation and qualification, and another for demos and closing.
  3. And third – consistent sales systems. You want to document your entire process in a system so that every salesperson is following the exact same process and you get reliable numbers back.

The authors’ prescribed approach to achieve predictable revenue is “Cold Calling 2.0” – even though it has nothing to do with cold calling!

It’s about prospecting into cold accounts to generate new business, and it’s supposed to replace cold calling completely from your organization – because salespeople hate it, and your prospects hate it even more.

  1. [Ideal Customer Profile] The first step is to clearly define your ideal customer profile.
  2. [Build List] Then, you build a list of contacts that match your profile.
  3. [Email Campaigns] And you send out a “lost puppy” type of email. Here, you’re asking someone to direct you to the right person about your offering.  You’re not selling anything, so you take the pressure off the interaction.  Then, you send a new email saying that so-and-so referred you.  Now, it’s not a cold-email anymore but rather a referral.
  4. [Sell the Dream] The next step is to have a live call where you “sell the dream”. Get information about the prospect’s goals, and help them connect their needs to your solutions.  Once they see and believe the dream, they will do the selling FOR you.
  5. [Pass the Baton] Finally, once you’ve qualified the lead into an opportunity, you pass the baton to an Account Executive for the close.

Predictable Revenue is full of actionable advice and examples.  Not a true step by step guide, but it gives enough to start developing your own unique sales system through an iterative process.  You will test different approaches – different emails and call scripts – refine them, and figure out what works for YOUR business.  The dream is that, in a few months, you should be enjoying your very own ‘predictable revenue’.

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