We’ve been through a long journey together, the same journey your client goes through to purchase from you.
They found out about you through your outbound and inbound sales and marketing campaigns, they moved through the funnel consuming and engaging with your content and information and now … It’s time to make the sale!
So we’re about to talk about the Account Executive role in selling using the Client Magnet System.
But to make it easy to understand, we need to get our bearings. So let’s do it like we always do, with the #1 B2B client acquisition framework, the Client Magnet System.
The Client Magnet System is the complete model for uniting and aligning Sales and Marketing and creating an Inbound and Outbound client acquisition engine in your business – that attracts more leads, boosts sales and energizes your growth!
And remember, you want to align Sales and Marketing because they are just like the wheels of a car. You want them working together, moving in the same direction.
There’s 4 layers, or stages: Tools, Traffic, Client Acquisition, and Post-Sale. We go over all of it in this video series, but in this video we are discussing AE (Account Executive), in the Client Acquisition layer, on the Sales side of the map.
So it’s important to know how we got here and review again what’s going on. I mean, why is the sales side split into two roles and why doesn’t it just say salesperson?
Well, if you recall from the video before last when we discussed the Sales Development Rep (SDR) position, we talked about why we would split the role of the salesperson into two roles.
It’s simple. Sales is a big job and without a salesperson bringing in new business, a business dies … quickly.
Remember, no matter what product or service you sell, selling it is your first job.
And salespeople work hard and carry a lot of stress on them all the time. They don’t get paid to come to work, they are paid to produce sales.
But think of what they typically have to do to make a sale. They have to find, prospect, qualify, follow-up, meet, demo and close prospects. It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. Not to mention overcoming the voice in their head that’s telling them to run, screaming from the building!
And what makes this even more difficult is that salespeople avoid the uncomfortable parts of their job: like prospecting.
So they spend most of their day meeting with inbound prospects, presenting and following up.
But if they aren’t outbound prospecting, their leads dry up and they have a bad month or two, don’t make quota and their business suffers.
This creates unpredictability and you can’t grow your business without understanding what is happening and predict what will likely happen. If your sales predictions are off, your strategy and budgets have to be modified.
Predictable client acquisition and sales are vital to a successful business. Everything else in a business is dependent upon it.
So to better control the sales process, many businesses have adopted a split role model for their sales teams which makes the process more efficient – like an assembly line, but also more personable, because it’s easier for each salesperson to focus on the prospect when their tasks are limited and specifically defined.
OK, so now you know why you should split up the salesperson’s job into two roles, but how do you do it?
You can see on the Sales side of the map that we have split the role into two roles. The first one being Sales Development Representative (SDR), and the second is Account Executive (AE).
In our model, the SDR focuses on the first half of the Sales Cycle. They identify, prospect, and follow up with the Prospect in an effort to set a meeting with the Account Executive.
The SDR role is a hunting role, while the AE role is a harvesting role – they close the deals that the SDR’s find.
It takes teamwork to deliver a streamlined hand-off that keeps the prospect engaged, but it’s easy to do and prospects don’t mind it if you create a process, and confidently explain it to them.
The AEs Role
The job of the AE is simply to present or demo and close the deal.
You could have the AE follow up with the prospect if they don’t purchase, but that takes time. Time they could be spending presenting, demoing and closing.
You see, you want the SDR constantly prospecting and following up, and you want the AE constantly presenting, demoing and closing because they each get really good at their roles. I mean, very good!
For instance, if you have a 5 person sales team, you can take your best closer, make them an AE and make everyone else SDR’s. Here’s what will happen, your outbound lead volume, your number of sales, and your closing rate will go up.
If you were getting 20 leads a month before, you will get 30. If you were closing 20% before, you will close 30% – 40%.
These are typical results for the first 6 months to a year, and over time, the results increase as both the SDR’s and AE’s get better and better at their roles.
… AND THAT’S IT! WELL …
There really isn’t a lot to the AE’s role. Their job is simply to present, demo and close.
If I were to go super deep into it, I would have to explain what the actual presentation or demo would look like and what you would actually say to a prospect to close them. But that seems like the topic of another video to me.
Before I let you go however, I would like to mention Sales Management’s role in all this and it fits here. Basically, the AE and the SDR need continual training. It helps them in two ways. First, it keeps them motivated and engaged in the process. Second, it helps them know what to say, when to say it and how to overcome objections.
You may think that the SDR’s and AE’s will learn the best way to say something on their own. But what happens is they let fluff and nonsense enter their communications. They get lazy and pretty soon everyone is saying something different again.
You want to script what they say and have them say it verbatim. If the script needs to change, they should let their Sales manager know, then a new statement or response should be workshopped with Marketing; tested, refined, rolled out and trained and trained again so everyone says it the right way every time.
[That may not be a popular opinion, and others may let SDR’s and AE’s use their own language to get the idea across. But for me, if the SDR’s and AE’s say it my way and do it my way, I can predict the response they will get. I know that for every 100 leads that go through our outbound sequence we will get 7 meetings and we will close 2.68 deals.
It’s predictable because we use scripts and we train.
That’s all I’ve got for you this week.
::: Articles Discussed in the VLOG :::
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