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Scott Kaplan
Quick Hit Sales Tips
Develop Sales Skills To Drive Revenue Growth
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Scott is the Founder and Chief Coach for Quick Hit Sales Tips, a sales consulting company. He has been a GTM leader for the past 25 years where he has developed strategies for Sales, Marketing and Customer Success teams with tactical implementation plans to drive repeatable and predictable results. He has helped countless Board Members and Executives, across multiple industries, attack new markets, scale their Go-To-Market teams, integrate acquisitions, and develop best practices for sustainable growth. His passion is to help make great companies better and help sales teams excel. He has trained over 15,000 people on his sales and sales management foundations to provide the skills and resources to ensure sellers succeed and drive growth.

In this episode

Scott Kaplan of Quick Hit Sales Tips observes that sales is one area where most CEOs think they should and must do better. Frequent pain points are needing to level up the sales skills of their team, getting new hires up to speed, consistency, and management. Scott points out that these issues are often caused by a lack of experience in using the right sales tools, poor coaching skills in the leadership team, and sales being under-resourced.


Scott recommends that sales people constantly improve their sales skills and be open to coaching. Sales leaders need to be able to coach on deal strategy, selling, and skill development. They need to put together the right programs, tools and structure for scale and create a results driven environment. This should result in sales attainment going up by at least 20% and deliver a wide range of other benefits in addition. Scott provides a 4-step implementation plan to get your sales team to perform at a top level. Listen to the end for Scott’s gift to our audience.

Develop Sales Skills To Drive Revenue GrowthScott Kaplan
00:00 / 34:11

A glimpse of what you'll hear

03:27 CEOs often have unrealistic expectations of sales people.

07:24 How to set expectations for the sales team.

13:38 What sellers and their management need to do.

16:52 How this impacts revenues in a material fashion.

20:11 4 steps to implement an effective sales management program.

25:12 Learn about Scott. Email Scott at scott@quickhitsalestips.com.

Episode Transcript
(Note: this was transcribed using transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast.)

00:00:04:13 - 00:00:22:18

Centricity

Welcome to the Best Kept Secret video cast and podcast from Centricity. If you are a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business.


Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co-founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.


00:00:42:23 - 00:01:12:11

Jay Kingley

I'm Jay Kingley, co-founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to our show, where our guests share their provocative perspective on what their target market is missing out on. I'm happy to welcome to the show. Scott Kaplan, founder and chief coach of Quick Sales Tips. Scott helps companies develop strategies for sales, marketing and customer success teams with tactical implementation and plans to drive repeatable and predictable results.


Scott is based in Los Angeles, California. Welcome to the show, Scott.


00:01:16:23 - 00:01:26:22

Scott Kaplan

Thank you, Jay. Nice, nice to be here. Big fan of your podcasts. I love talking to you and I appreciate what you've done so far with some of your other podcasts.


00:01:27:02 - 00:02:06:13

Jay Kingley

Well, thank you very much. Let's start with an issue which I have always found, to be honest, the combination perplexing and amusing and that is how so many CEOs and founders of businesses do look at the sales part of their company. And in particular, you take your company. It starts out as very founder dominated. Typically in the early days, the founder is the chief salesperson person, but at some point under a success scenario, that company grows and it grows beyond just the founder being able to bring in revenues.


So we start to recruit salespeople now. Any other function in the company we understand we bring someone in, they have some functional skills. Sometimes they even have some experience in the industry. But there's an onboarding process, there is a training and mentoring process and we expect a ramp up in terms of their ability to contribute to the company.


And that's true in every function except for sales. And first, some strange reason people think salespeople are these magical beings who walk in their first day on the job. They put out a desk. At the end of the day, the CEO walks by and says, How many clients did you get on your first day? Like, just magic happens.


And the only magic I ever seen happen is in a Disney or Pixar movie, while worth the price of the ticket, but not how the real world works. Scott As someone who is expert in the area of bringing on salespeople and growing that function and making sure that revenue is on the trajectory that companies need, what are people not understanding or people getting wrong about this point of view?


00:03:32:16 - 00:03:51:14

Scott Kaplan

Yeah, I love that point of view. And personally I do believe that we are magic and everything else that's out there because, you know, we're sellers. We have this nostalgia. We actually have movies that are made about us because we're a car salesman or you're Robin Williams, or these big names are going to go out there and talk about us.


But yes, you're right. It's that idea. And we hear CEOs, our head of sales, go to their one day, one week seller, say to bring in the embed as a joke. But like we all know, there is some truth to a lot of those types of jokes because you hit the nail on the head. JAY It is. How do we bring in that revenue?


How do we go out there and make sure that we can do that? And a founder led, a CEO led type of sales organization, they can go out there and get a good few couple of customers. They can maybe bring in some larger customers that have that vision that a soldier, they can connect to executive executives. But you also mentioned the word scale that only goes so far.


And when you need to get that scale, there's a lot of frustrations that come into it, come into play with how do we do that? How do we get the right type of person who understands how to connect with not just our clients in terms of people and their personas, but with what the value is? And how do we go out there and uncover the pain that our clients have?


And our solutions can solve a lot of different items. So we have to make sure, one, we're really clear and we get over that frustration of how do we go out there and sell? What is the problem that we're going out there and solving? And I'm a firm believer that that's where sellers really need to understand and how to attack their sales at the top of their market to truly help customers.


And so if you think about that dynamic, it takes a while to understand how do our solutions solve items? And as you continue to get better at that onboarding in that realm, you get a lot better. And one of the key problems we solve for that persona, for that vertical, how do we solve it better than anyone else?


So we know what to make sure we position it correctly, not just to make a sale, but to solve that client's needs. And I believe we could do both very ethically in sales, right, to solve those needs better than anyone else's out there in the marketplace. And so when I talk with a lot of CEOs or smaller companies are trying to go from CEO or founder led and really trying to get that scale is how do we have consistency in our sales process?


How do we execute more flawlessly and continually so we can have something that's repeatable? What message resonate? What are some of the use cases I really find valuable to customers? How do we convey that and prove that value and to get customers to buy in? And those are the types of items of information that we look for to really know how do we target ourselves and hit our target market and be more precise in the marketplace.


And as you learn that, as you get better, as you have more tools of that, as you have more experience, that your success can really go a lot quicker.


00:06:29:22 - 00:06:56:09

Jay Kingley

My favorite definition of happiness, which is happiness, is the difference between reality and expectations. And, you know, my corollary is it's a whole lot easier to manage expectations than it is to change reality. So it's. Scott, I think one of the issues here in terms of what's at the root cause of this dynamic is this issue of expectations.


And you have the CEO who is in most cases, not a professional sales person, even though they have been bringing in those initial clients just through their personality and perhaps network that they have, and now they're professionalizing the function in order to scale their business. So what's going on with what I would say is a mismatch with expectations versus reality.


How should a CEO who's looking to address this issue, how should they set a fair set of expectations?


00:07:32:23 - 00:08:03:20

Scott Kaplan

That's a that's a good question. I'll say it's not just maybe just the CEO, but in addition, the layers that go down all the way to ad sales are up. The head of sales, the support mechanisms that are out there to support the sales as well. So it's really the expectations is going to CEO has a vision. He's going to be able to buy into that vision and have that that opportunity as sellers and as we get more out, we're trying to find people that maybe aren't in market and we need to do some ideas of why they need to go out there and make a change.


There's different dynamics with regards to how we need to go out there and sell. So having the tools and resources, for example, I love talking to people about you understand your sales process where you get to the layers and details, not surface of it. Let's get to those layers and details and whether that means you have a quote unquote sales playbook or not, or you have a defined sales methodology or a sales process, whatever it is, you have to make sure you know what you want to go out there and do to drive it.


Do you want to have that consistency? You want to arm the sellers so they can build that confidence. If you give me a roadmap that, hey, this is going to happen and call it 70, 80, 85, 90% of the time, I'm going to build my confidence. I know what's going to happen or where I can go out there and take it.


I get the excitement behind it. I get the confidence behind it. I get that eagerness behind it. So I have that momentum that continues to propel the activities that we have to do, whether it's cold calling or demos or whatever the case may be. It continues the success of those activities to make sure we can go out there and use that to say, I'm bringing in this deal, I'm getting this type of success metric.


Sometimes, obviously, salespeople talk about money. They want to be successful, make money. Great. I got no problem with that. You're going to work hard and get a lot of money. Love it, love it, love it. People also love helping clients. They want to be able to. They can go out there, provide value for people and provide good, fantastic.


There's lots of ways to drive that type of success. So sellers have that capabilities to identify and then be able to execute upon it. How the tools have the resources, have that knowledge base. You have so much more fun in selling. You're engaging with clients, you're helping people out and you're having conversations because you're good at what you do with that propelled business floor.


They don't just spin around where they sends them information. As customer, they don't go back. To me, the frustrations of sales not being able to close a deal or meeting a big deal to come in just to hit your monthly or quarterly number, those start to fade away because you have that consistency that yields that ability to go there, drive a sales result engine that you're trying to drive the rep level.


And then think about it from a company. How do you build that step by step by step? So all of my reps can do that. And how that success.


00:10:24:02 - 00:10:54:16

Jay Kingley

Is, we alluded to earlier, this doesn't happen in a day. This doesn't even happen in a week. And the two stages and I want to put a little bit of a spotlight on the first stages. How long does it typically tanker? What's the range to set my expectations, I bring that sales rep in day one. How long until they're fully functional up to speed and I see them then you've got your whole revenue cycle which is which is very company product service specific.


But how long till is it going to take me to get someone so that I can say they're 100% acting at the level that they should?


00:11:02:17 - 00:11:21:07

Scott Kaplan

And so I think a lot of times people work for that to ramp up time and how they want to go out there and take a look at it. If you're in that sales development role, that BTR type of role where you're doing prospecting and just trying to set those meetings, typically one or two months, what I've seen for best practices and what I help people implement to be able to understand what do we need to do?


How do we go there and have relevancy target ICP Target market ideal customer profile for those who don't know what ICP is, how do we have that right focus to make sure we know how to go out there and leverage? How do we have the right tools and systems that we can be effective with? And then there's key sales skills that they have to go through.


I have a lot of five key sales skills for those types of roles so they can go they're really be efficient at executing that. And if you can have a you don't have a lot of complexity and it's very precise, you can get it down to one month. Sometimes you need that extra month for multiple products, more complex enterprise level sales.


If you're talking about the 80, those who have a quarter carrying type of individual contributor type responsibilities, quarters and such, they're going to go out there and have a longer ramp time. But the ramp time that I define is how do you have the ability to have the pipeline build that you wanted up and be able to go out there and close the deal?


I've seen best practices. Yes, you want that four month level. So think about a 3 to 6 months sales cycle, which I understand that can be part of it. But as you finish your training and I work with people all the time on what is that training environment and how do we do it? If you have a solid onboarding infrastructure as you're able to do with self-learning training led as well as manager coach to be able to have those types of environments, which doesn't mean overly complex or anything else, but you have that fluidity.


You can get a ramp in that four months to where they should be able to start to hit that first deal and have the consistency to achieve their quota. So if I'm mapping out when do I give them that first quarter, if we have that infrastructure and we're building to that and then I work with the models of my private equity customers and how do we ramp at the board level and CEO and CEO level, how do we get to that four month level for those enterprise and strategic reps that we're trying to go out there and get to is put forward?


00:13:16:18 - 00:13:53:08

Jay Kingley

I think some structure, some things that have to be put in place in order to get your builders in your. He's ramped up up to speed so they can become fully productive in their role. And of course, I think there's lots of companies out there that aren't doing what you suggested and therefore are really struggling. So for those that see the light, for those that capture the wisdom that you are sharing and talk about expectations of benefits to their business from this type of approach.


00:13:53:13 - 00:14:12:13

Scott Kaplan

So I'll go any kind of two questions that kind of the idea of like what they should be doing and then what they'll trying to get from it. I think those two kind of go hand in hand and I'll even break it down, really. What should sellers be doing? Their sales management? So starting on the seller side, I'm a firm believer that you have to constantly improve your sales skills.


What you're able to do within your role and to your customer base, and really make sure that we can drive that. I don't believe the ABCs of selling is always be closing. While I love the movie and the movies, I should say that I'll go beyond that. I believe the ABCs of selling is always be coached, right? Always be coach.


And if you think about the people that make millions of dollars for us, those celebrities, whether you're an actor, right. Or whether you are a professional athlete, even if you're the top of your game from a medicine perspective, as a doctor or surgeon, you're constantly improving your skills. How can I go out there and do it? You're learning things on what you did wrong.


What I need to go there, do right. What else will help me do things right in the future? Maybe it's technology, maybe it's a different process. But you think about all of the different coaches that we have on baseball teams or basketball teams or, you know, a psychological coach that you have or a golfer, you know, versus their caddies only coach versus maybe a strength and conditioning.


There's all these different types of coaches that help you and you have to look at improving your skills. If you want to be that a player, if you want to continue to drive and really strive to hit that. So that's a key thing for sellers to go out there and get you. And then for managers, those frontline managers that are supporting and their chief revenue officers that are creating this infrastructure from a team one coaching environment, it was always the coaching, then the managers voices is always the coach, right?


Always go out there, make sure there's your coding that's putting together the right types of programs, the right tools, the right infrastructure, the right structures to have that scale and then be able to drive. The results that you're talking about are really critical. So that's why I like to break it down by seller, those kind of sales leaders to make sure we can go out there and do that.


But if you think about how you want to go out there and continue to grow your sales results, and we all know that sales, you typically have a quota increase every year. How are you going to go out there and do that order? Quota remains the same. Maybe take away some territory. I never thought that as a rep, formations say that I initially had a gut reaction, emotional reaction when I three if I'm a good seller and I know what I need to do, I'm going to figure out a way to go out there and be successful.


And so to look at those different items, how can I find more of those ways to way? How can I have their, you know, reproducing ability to drive that success? And I found some great things that work out incredibly well. I guess I'll give one sheet, one thing I'll give an example of. I can tell sales reps if you want to 25% increase.


I can give that to you right now. And typically it's a referral program. I will get more people with it right now. We'll talk later how you go there. I looked at information, but you have a strong referral program. I mean, a strong referral program that you use all the time. You'll increase your results 25% at a minimum.


00:17:04:02 - 00:17:14:15

Jay Kingley

I'm the CEO. Maybe I'm the chief sales officer. I'm doing what you say. What business results do am I going to get from adopting this approach?


00:17:14:23 - 00:17:44:16

Scott Kaplan

Yeah. So one your close deals a lot quicker, right? So the velocity of the sale, the average days of a sale, you'll have that. You'll also have a higher value of sales. So I'm less discounting, more add ons, more cross sales because you're developing their relationship, understanding the needs multiproduct sales, you'll be able to get a lot of those items going out there and by default, by having these things we already mentioned the ramp time, but what we're going to go to and I mentioned probably one or two months for our BTR and then four months for me.


I'm sure people had an emotional response to that saying How the heck is that possible? But all those let you achieve those growth rates that you want to get to. I've been fortunate to work with a lot of companies that have had the 100% year over year growth rates, not just to get from 2 million to 4 million, but how do we get from 20 million to 40 million, 40 million to 80 million?


But how do we go out there and do that year over year as regards to creating scale and those types of capabilities? And the other thing that I'll say, it's not just being able to have people make money and have that ramp time of that team. But what you actually start to do by doing the engine, you retain so much of your reps, you don't have people moving to this company or that company.


You retain a lot and they're thinking about like the referral program that I said, they start to refer people to you and you start to build a culture of like minded people. Similar work ethic, similar drive, and you get exponential growth with regard to what people are doing and how they're driving. And so there's a lot of tangible benefits besides just did we hit the number?


How are we ramping? Right? How do we get more sales? Right. How do we get more sales quicker? How to get to higher value sales and how do we get more people in quicker to be able to go out there and achieve those types of sales is.


00:19:02:11 - 00:19:42:04

Jay Kingley

One of the things that I have learned in working with C-suite officers, including CEOs, including heads of sales that are going to be responsible for greenlighting that type of initiative that you bring forward is this sense of security that they have in their own role, in their own position, I mean, short of some scandal, some major ethical or legal reach, the number one reason that C-suite executive, particularly the ones that we're talking about, have their ten years cut short, is a failure to deliver growth in revenue.


As I always say to the people that I work with, getting clients is job one, because you could be the greatest in terms of the product that you're offering, in terms of the service that you provide. And if you don't have clients that are willing to use it and buy it, then what was the point of being so great at it?


So I think emotionally there is nothing like that feeling that I don't really have to worry every single day as to get called in, in front of the board. Or if I'm has sales to the CEO's office and being told that I am being replaced for a failure to delivery. So I think you put all those together. You have got something that's very compelling here.


Scott So let's go on and talk about implementation. So you sold me on thinking this way. What are the steps that I need to take to make it happen?


00:20:38:03 - 00:20:53:11

Scott Kaplan

One of the things I always love to do, and this maybe goes back to some of my seven habits of highly effective people. Days as you can tell, I'm old enough to love the seven companies in the world and those different dynamics I'd like to see first to understand I love to see what we're doing, how we're doing.


I really kind of get that outside perspective that's coming in because I compare it to best practices and sales methodologies. I love talking with different people in one once executive cross-functional. So to understand how the whole team works together and I typically talk with sales class to really see how do they take those different dynamics of what's being pushed out of the executive level, what's coming in multi different cross-functional, multi department level, to see how they're actually able to go out there and execute.


Or so I'm looking at those sales sales team. I review the calls, listen to calls with the different tools that are out there today. Really easy to go out there and do that and make sure that I can really understand how do we go out there are looking at the key steps of what we do to go out there and do.


How do we break down the specifics? Let's not keep high level. Let's get to those nuances that we know drive success. Let's build the repeatable aspect of it. Let's make sure that we don't just have examples, scripts and everything else. Let's teach the team how to use that right. The way that I take a script, the new take a script will be different based off of our personalities.


Well, what's the meaning behind it? But also, how do I properly apply all of my trainings? All my focus is about practical application. I know the theories are selling the theories on trade or talk about theory very little bit. But what's the practical, applicable piece that I can use that I can use in this next meeting of this next call, this next customer interaction?


And so you want to make sure that you understand the myriad of different types of sales skills that are there. There's a lot. And what we need to go out there do, why do we need to do it throughout our sales process? And breaking down those and having that roadmap is critical. And then as a as a sales leader coach to when you start talking with people, they think it's a big thing and it's really difficult.


I tell people all the time, it's like going grocery shopping. You, me, walk in with the list. You got it written down, you got it in your head. You got it on your phone in a note or usual I can you get it for my wife in the text is beyond two things. I forget something, so I have that list ready to go.


It helps you prepare for the store. It helps me execute as I'm going up and down the aisles and before I even look at the list to achieve the things I want to go out there and do. Because what happens if I don't? I have to go back to the store, right? I have to do something else. So my sales process or I miss an ingredient, I have to go through that sales process.


When I miss something, that means I might have a likelihood to not close the deal or not close it as the velocity piece, not close as a higher value, right. In terms of the dollar amount that's out there or the opportunities for their product sales. And so there's lots of things that if you just think about that dynamic, you've got to be able to go out there and execute and think about you've been doing grocery shopping a lot longer, you've been in professional sales, and I'm willing to bet you professionals sales is more important than your grocery shopping.


So if we know what's more important and we know it's harder than going up and yet we do it for progression, why don't we do it for sales? Boggles my mind. And if you break down what the expert medical or actor is like, I mentioned our actresses and the professional athletes, they have that process to continually go back and execute on the fundamentals and continue to work themselves to execute flawlessly.


How do they prepare for that interaction? Execute and how do they evaluate afterwards?


00:24:03:06 - 00:24:33:03

Jay Kingley

The most important thing for any enterprise, particularly those that are growing, is the ability to drive new clients and revenues. And at the end of the day, that is all about sales. As I think you have pointed the way, it's a lot about structure, it's about process, it's about mindset. And I appreciate, Scott, you giving a roadmap for our audience for things that they need to do in order to make this happen.


So we are now going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to learn a bit more about Scott.


00:24:40:12 - 00:25:03:06

Centricity

Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have t