In presenting a seminar to Olympic shooters, Lanny Bassham was asked, “Mr. Bassham, in the 1978 World Championships, you shot a 598/600 to win a medal. What happened with those two nines?”
Lanny answered, “Do you really want to know? Do you really want to know how I got nines? That will not help you. You don’t want to know how I got two nines. What you should be asking is how I got fifty-eight tens. Besides, I can’t remember how I got the nines. I do not reinforce bad shots by remembering them.”
This is what Lanny calls the Principle of Reinforcement and what he teaches not only to World Champion athletes, but also Fortune 500 corporations, business owners, the United States Secret Service, the US Navy Seals, and Olympic teams all over the world.
You can use the same principle for your business growth to help answer question like these:
- How can you keep your pipeline full?
- How can you facilitate growth and avoiding flatlining for months at a time?
- How can you keep your team motivated, innovative, and open to adapting and moving quickly -even when the pressure is high?
- How can you find the best resources to help you meet your goals?
Look at your wins, and if it helps, take a look at others’ wins too.
He says that too often people take a look at an event or circumstance that went wrong. And then they look at that, and say, ok, what went wrong here?
While there might be value in that, Lanny insists that’s a mistake. Instead, he says that you must realize that the more you “think about, talk about, and write about something happening, the more you improve the probability of that thing happening.”
His argument: Focus on your wins.
That’s exactly what we’ve done here with some of our top client sales development campaigns. When we asked our account managers what they believe contributed most to the success of each campaign, we identified some recurring factors:
- Priority on Building Trust & Relationships
- Relevance to Your Market
- Partnership Mentality
- Established Sales Process In Place
This was a pretty insightful exercise for us. It might help your company reach your goals as well. Let’s dive in…
Success Factor #1: Priority on Building Trust & Relationships
We’ve found that clients who understand the importance of building real trust and relationships with the right kinds of clients tend to get better results from our campaigns.
Know How To Build Relationships & Turn Conversations With Anyone Into Potential Referrals
Take the company DragonSpears for example. DragonSpears is a custom software development company located in Chicago. With a laser focus on building high functioning software teams and writing clean code for the Cloud era, they needed some help.
Their Co-Founder and CEO, Patrick Emmons, was looking for new channels to strengthen their outbound sales process. Like many other software development and consulting companies, DragonSpears exists in a very competitive environment. They were looking to stand out above the competition, especially on their local scene in Chicago.
Beyond simply targeting prospects with outbound messaging campaigns, DragonSpears was aiming to become true thought leaders. They were looking to build trust with their prospects in order to help their sales teams close more deals.
Using our unique approach to outbound lead generation and sales development approach we recommended for their industry and proposed budget, DragonSpears saw consistent appointments on their sales calendar. Of these prospects, they were able to close a $1MM deal.
Why the Win:
Reflecting deeper into why their campaigns worked, our account manager reports that Patrick and his team were knowledgeable of the LinkedSelling multichannel process and “he knew how to build relationships & turn conversations with anyone into potential referrals.” He also found ways to add even more value to his audience via in-person events (pre-COVID) and other creative ideas, building trust and a personal connection with potential clients.
Develop & Leverage Trust With Your Audience Via Name Recognition
Another example is the Purple Guys. Thanks to our work with them, they were able to book 95 quality sales appointments in six months.
As a Managed IT service provider, the Purple Guys had a very seasonal clientele, where most only considered looking at a new company at the end of the year. With the aim of targeting local prospects they’ve either had past convos with or they knew would be a good fit, they had a very defined goals:
- Create better thought leadership,
- Increase and scale brand exposure,
- Get more qualified sales appointments with decision makers at SMBs (to get in front of their ideal customers more frequently to close more sales)
- And increase their top line revenue.
They also wanted to move away from what was primarily a referral based lead generation and sales development model.
Why the Win:
As a result of campaigns targeting local prospects, many knew John Schram, President of The Purple Guys. This gave them advantage because many of their prospects were already familiar with the company itself. In other words, the Purple Guys developed and leveraged trust with their audience. They also had name recognition, evident from the responses we received from the campaigns. This was a primary factor in why quality prospects were more likely to get on the phone with his team.
As you can see, building trust in your market and with your audience really makes a difference in how willing your prospects are to get on the phone with your sales team.
Target A Very Specific Target Audience, Including Owners, CEO’s & Presidents
Another client campaign, Arete Advisors, is a consultancy that offers both technology and business advisory services. They needed a way to generate consistent sales opportunities. After following the outbound lead generation and sales development campaigns we created for them, they saw consistent, quality leads every week, exceeding their goals most months.
Why the Win:
According to the insights from the LinkedSelling account manager who worked directly with them, Arete Advisors had a “very specific target audience that included business owners, CEOs, and presidents in Texas. They originally provided us with 1,000+ original connections to send LinkedIn message campaigns to” (just one of the services we offer as part of our multi-channel outbound lead generation approach).
This gave our team more than enough runaway from the start to immediately start prospecting and building real business relationships. We noticed that their team is also very active on social media, and often did even simple things like wishing most of their LinkedIn connections Happy Birthday and congratulating them on promotions, new jobs, etc.. Believe it or not, we believe this helped with relationship building and helped primed their prospects to be open to discussions. Additionally, both of our contacts on the Arete Advisors team were not only active in the campaigns we executed, but also put their trust in us to run the campaign the way we felt was best.
Build Trust With Your Title & Profile To Open Up Discussions For More Opportunities
Our client, Compliance Architects, is a recognized Industry Leader in FDA GMP Consulting. Providing comprehensive, hands-on GMP consulting and quality and compliance services to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech industries, they’ve worked with some of the world’s leading FDA-regulated companies. They came to LinkedSelling because they needed a consistent, full pipeline of qualified prospects.
After implementing our multi-channel outbound campaigns, we were able to deliver 48 quality sales appointments in 3 months with a goal of 10 per month.
Why the Win:
According to the account manager who worked with them, they had a tricky target audience. However, it helped that they had real world experience and authoritative titles. So when prospects got a personal message from Jack Garvey, a lawyer, engineer, and CEO of Compliance Architects, his title and profile built a lot of trust with his prospects and opened them up to discussing business opportunities.
As you can see, building trust and relationships is one of the key recurring factors we see with our clients – and we believe that it’s a major reason we’ve been able to keep their pipelines full of quality sales opportunities.
Success Factor #2: Relevance to Your Market
In order to build the trust and relationships that are required to get a prospect on the phone with your sales team, you need to be relevant to your market. There’s really no getting around it.
We talk about this all the time: it’s crucial that you start with your prospect in mind when going after sales. This implies that you know them, you understand their pain points, and that you’ve developed an in-depth prospect profile. Many companies have several of these (also known as avatars). The reason why you need to know each type of prospect you have is so that you can speak directly to them and provide value that’s actually helpful TO THEM SPECIFICALLY.
Here is a great example of how relevancy contributes to a consistent flow of sales opportunities…
Understand The Process, Understand Marketing and Understand Sales
Influence & Co makes content marketing simple for their clients. They help companies strategize, create, publish, and distribute content that accomplishes their goals. Influence & Co also had goals – they needed more clients, and they needed a consistently full pipeline of quality sales opportunities coming through the door. After working with us, we were able to deliver a consistently high sales appointments volume, with approximately 12-15 appointments per month.
Why the Win:
Diving deep into their campaigns, our account manager attributes a large part of this success to the fact that Influence & Co “understood the process, they understood marketing and they understood sales. In addition, their brand was also well known and – most importantly – they sell something that’s pretty enticing to their prospects. They sell influence and published articles in giant publications to content marketing professionals and senior marketing executives.” If you’re a company wanting to become a thought leader in your space, this is highly intriguing to their prospects. And their prospects responded.
Another example of a client of ours who really capitalized on being relevant to their market by keying in to their message…
Make Sure Your Target Audience Is Turned On To Your Marketing Messages
Lootok is a consultancy that helps businesses develop crisis management programs that not only focus on compliance, but that are specifically designed to build upon an organization’s maturation, integrate with other Lootok services, and leverage Lootok’s strategic cyber, IT resiliency, and software partners. This holistic and resilient approach to managing risk is very enticing to their prospects.
As a result of our organic 1-on-1 outbound LinkedIn campaigns (again, just one of the multi-channel approaches we use to deliver quality sales opportunities), Lootok saw major appointment volume and got an unheard of LinkedIn connection acceptance and group growth. In 3 1/2 months (even through the holidays) we generated 66 sales appointments on their behalf, gained 600 new LinkedIn connections (with a 50% acceptance rate!) and grew a group from zero members to 360.
Why the Win:
As stated by our account manager, “their target audience, including risk, crisis, business continuity directors and managers we were going after, was turned on to our marketing messages.”
This means that the messaging we were able to create on their behalf was extremely relevant to their market. They definitely had their market, their messaging, and their offer dialed in, in a very attractive way for their clients. Lootok also had somewhat of a big name in the risk management and business continuity space, and people were responsive to them. We helped Lootok find a way to add value and be relevant to their prospects. This allowed them to stand above the noise and position themselves above the competition.
Here’s another example of how relevancy contributed to a full pipeline…
Focus Your Offering On Trends And How Those Trends Are Affecting Specific Industries
EBCO is a client who delivers world class quality manufacturing, repair and rebuild services, from heavy metal fabrication, heavy machining, and turnkey assembly, to light precision fabrication and precision sheet metal fabrication. They’ve been in business since 1956! That’s 64 years of business!
They came to us, like our others clients because they wanted a consistent lead flow. As a result, the outbound lead generation strategies we utilized on their behalf averaged 18 sales appointments per month over the course of 15 months!
Why the Win:
The account manager who worked directly with EBCO believes that one of the main reasons they saw so much success booking appointments was that “their offering focuses on trends and how those trends are affecting specific industries.” Their prospects were open to having conversations with them because it was a unique offering that they wanted to hear about. In other words, their offer was relevant to their audience.
Relevancy makes such a huge difference when you’re trying to get quality prospects on the phone. This is again why it’s imperative that you understand your audience; you must know what they want, what interests them, what drives them, what they need, and what they’ll respond to.
Success Factor #3: Partnership Mentality
We’ve found that we can help clients get better results when both of us approach the multichannel outbound campaigns as partners – not as a solely vendor/client relationship.
One of our core company values is “Linked”. To us, this signifies that we truly approach every project as a partner, equally invested in helping you meet your goals. We believe that our wins and losses are felt collectively. And regardless of the relationship, we work together to push all who are around us to get the best results possible.
One example of how a partnership mentality has benefited our clients is seen through our work with Avela precisely because they understood how a partnership mentality makes a difference.
Trust Our Expertise; We’ve Got Your Back
Avela is a China and Asia Pacific sourcing company. As they say, “Landing your goods in your loading dock!”
Thanks to a true partnership mentality between us, we were able to deliver sales appointment numbers that were consistently high month after month, with high prospect engagement overall.
Why the Win:
The partnership mentality is a true credit to the success of our work together. As the LinkedSelling account manager explains,
“The team at Avela is very patient, respects the LinkedSelling process & doesn’t overthink or micromanage every step. They have a true partnership mentality, trust our expertise, and that we’ve got their back.
Avela also has a very niche target, so being able and open to working with us to optimize and adapt again and again, helped a lot.”
Those clients who share this mindset with us tend to get the best results as well. Here are a few more examples starting with Microshare…
Be Sure You Understand the Process
Microshare is a company that originally focused on helping businesses find cost-saving opportunities by using technology to harness and share previously hidden insights on client operations and real estate portfolios. Since the pandemic, they’ve provided an offer via their “Clean = Safe” Smart Facilities solutions that has allowed some of the world’s largest firms to reopen safely.
Microshare was a delight to work with and through our partnership, we were able to consistently deliver 10 appointments a month over a 10 month period targeting facilities executives at large corporations.
Why the Win:
Even though their offering is immediately relevant, especially in today’s business environment, we credit the success of their campaigns to 1) the fact that they had an innovative offering for their clients, and 2) they understood everything we were doing and why.
This trust allowed us to be creative, to push the boundaries, and to deliver results, consistently keeping their pipeline full.
Be Engaged in the Process
Offering supply chain services and software technology, IndustryStar had a problem; they needed to fill their pipeline with more leads. They tried almost everything to do that – including creating webinars, direct email campaigns, newsletters, white papers, blogs for thought leadership, and attending trade shows to find new opportunities.
Through these efforts they were generating some leads, but the investment in time and money was beginning to provide diminishing returns. And their control over their lead quality left something to be desired.
When targeting C-suite executives in the manufacturing and consumer products sector, it can be a challenge to reach the actual decision-maker. The time had come to quit devoting resources to strategies that returned diminishing results AND took up large amounts of time and energy.
Why the Win:
As their account manager explains, “IndustryStar is probably one of the most invested clients we’ve worked with. CEO, William Crane, was very engaged in our process, which is why I think it was such a great partnership. He always gave extremely helpful and detailed feedback to us so our prospecting and messaging was always on point. We also worked with him to segment his prospects into different groups so that they could get very targeted messages.”
Without a partnership mentality, we wouldn’t have been able to optimize our results and continue delivering high quality prospects consistently.
Provide Feedback So We Can Refine Our Process
Critical Mission Consulting is a consultancy that empowers business leaders with accurate situational awareness by providing complete communications, financial and legal solutions. Through our work together, in just 5 months’ time, we’ve helped them book 91 total sales appointments.
They also have a few deals in the pipeline and they have signed on several referral partners as well.
Why the Win:
Straight from the account manager, “This is another client who’s very invested in our process as well. They provide excellent feedback on any prospecting I do so that we can refine it very well. Also, their product offering is solid (PGI Insurance) and it’s something that people are interested in.”
As you can see, a partnership mentality really makes a difference in how well campaigns are organized and executed. We’ve got your back, but we need your help – and your insight and expertise as well in order to truly understand, connect with, target and nurture your ideal prospects.
Sales Factor #4: Established Sales Process In Place
As an outbound lead generation and sales development agency, we use a multichannel outbound system to deliver a full pipeline of quality sales opportunities for our clients. From there, our clients are responsible for getting the most out of those opportunities as possible.
One company that exemplifies how having an established sales process in place benefits your lead generation efforts is Strategic Energy Group.
Know The Value of Relentless Follow-Up
On a mission to provide environmentally responsible resource management that creates a competitive advantage for their clients, they’ve had excellent sales appointments numbers and have closed a $60k deal.
Why the Win:
Our team attributes their success to really having a true process in place for closing the prospects we provide. Hear it from our account manager, “Ed is a true real knuckledragger. Dude had relentless follow up on his leads and it was certainly the reason why the campaign was a big success. Ed understood the value of a phone call even if it wasn’t apt to lead to a near-future sale. He also gave us a recorded testimonial and multiple sales references in his time.”
As you can see, we do our best to deliver sales opportunities on a consistent basis, but you’ve really got to go after them with an established sales process if you want to take advantage of all your leads like Ed at Strategic Energy Group did.
This is why we’ve found that those who are most successful in taking advantage of the prospects we deliver have a good sales process in place.
Another example of clients who really understood this is Streamline Technologies…
Appreciate The Consistent Flow Of Leads
A very notable client is Streamline Technologies for whom we’ve delivered over 160 appointments in about 28 months and are still running.
Why the Win:
We attribute a major part of their success, after we deliver the sales opportunities is that they really know how to follow-up and close the deal. From the account manager,
“A long time client, Dan de Palma has been on for a long time and is a very understanding business development and sales professional. A real delight to work with, he understands the follow-up process and appreciates the consistent flow of leads and network building we provide.”
We Fill the Funnel, You Stick to Your Sales Process
Finally, Industry Newsletters also deserves a mention here because thanks to their great follow-up, they were able to build off our partnership together and really take advantage of the sales opportunities we provided. As a result, they saw consistently high appointment numbers and closed deals monthly.
Why the Win:
“They have a very niche service we’re marketing and a niche target we’re going after. I think a lot of the success of this campaign comes in partial because their services sell at a lower price point (each deal ranges 2k-7k/yr) and also due to our clients sales experience, and having a set sales process that she knows works for her. We are able to consistently fill their sales funnel with quality leads and Laurie sticks to her process of discovery call, demo, final decision call to close deals regularly.”
Hopefully these will help you take a look at your teams and see where you can implement these same principles. If you’d like some help knowing where to focus first, talk to a sales development expert on the LinkedSelling team.
We’re here to help and can provide real insight into which sales development strategies will work for your business, industry, budget, and ROI expectations. Just click below to schedule an appointment.