Ep 7 – Remote Selling A Forced Change

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Podcast Transcript

Shelly Miller  00:10

Love the music.

Mike Miller  00:13

Yeah, pretty cool. We’ll change it up every now and again. All right. Well, welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast. It’s your hosts Mike and Shelly Miller from Mindwhirl coming to you today with a new topic, a topic that I think is pretty cool. It is. What do you think?

Shelly Miller  00:32

It’s all a virtual pandemic weirdness. With odd things happening.

Mike Miller  00:36

Exactly. We’re coping, right, we’re existing. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re coping and that’s what this topics is about. It’s all about change. How to handle it in the new environment, the new pandemic environment. Yes. So that’s what we’re going to talk about. So, let’s get started. So basically, I’ve been getting a lot of emails about virtual selling in the remote environment and the pandemic COVID all that stuff. You know, what do you do? How do you sell now? We’re having to figure out how to do it remotely? Yeah. Oh my god, right?

Shelly Miller  01:15

Yes. We’ve been talking about it for weeks now. We’re just continually amazed at the number of emails and webinars that pop up.

Mike Miller  01:25

Exactly, yes. Just like every day, I get another email about how do you handle remote, you know, selling. There’s webinars, tools, zooms stock has gone up 3,000%

Shelly Miller  01:41

Virtual training days to help you figure it all out.

Mike Miller  01:44

Yeah, exactly. So, that means that people are obviously worried about how they’re going to sell and keep their business afloat in the pandemic and not, you know, obviously retail. And, that kind of stuff is it’s hard and we’re not speaking to that. We’re speaking towards business to business. Right. So, so those businesses who have sales teams, and

Shelly Miller  02:14

are still struggle struggling with working virtually and remotely.

Mike Miller  02:20


Shelly Miller  02:20

We are months into the pandemic.

Mike Miller  02:22

Yeah. Which apparently some are, yeah. Now that brings up the thing about change. And that is that, you know, first off, no one wants to know. So it’s always, you know, you always if it’s not fixed, don’t if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Yes. Yeah. So you want to stick with what you know what’s working for you. The thing about it is is that for 10 years, we’ve been developing the client magnet system. So that you could basically streamline and optimize your client acquisition Right, you know, stage phase of your, of your business. And really what we’ve done is come up with a model. And it’s not just us. I mean, there’s other people that are brilliant at this as well. But they, and we have all devised a method where you could basically, sales has been virtual anyway. Yes. I think for the last six years sales has been virtual. And if your business hasn’t

Shelly Miller  03:35

adopted it,

Mike Miller  03:36

yeah, then you’re a little behind. It’s true. And then the pandemic has forced your hand forced you to change. But the thing is, is that the model that we’ve developed is, it’s already It’s already in play. It’s already working. You don’t there’s nothing to figure out, you know, so it’s not really as stressful.

Shelly Miller  03:57

It’s not. It’s six years. So, like you said, it’s also proven so there’s nothing that there’s not going to be it’s not a big change. It’s just follow a new process. It’s not that painful as you said.

Mike Miller  04:12

Right. Right. Exactly. So, and the best way to explain that to make it obvious is to explain this, I think anyway, told me if I, if I will, okay, if, if I explained the sales, the normal salespersons job,

Shelly Miller  04:32

Yes. Let’s start there. I think that’s a great place to start.

Mike Miller  04:34

Okay. All right. So, you know, this is what 80% of B2B businesses do they have a salesperson. Now, that could be one salesperson, five salespeople, a call room, you know, it just it just depends, but typically what they do is they, the first step is they find leads, people that they could reach out to that might be interested in what they have to sell. That’s the first stage. Now, if you want to do personalization and everything, which we suggest, yeah, then there’s extra work there. And then you want to reach out to those people somehow. Okay, that’s a big job, especially since we know that it takes about nine to 12 calls for anyone to respond

Shelly Miller  05:28

For the prospect to respond

Mike Miller  05:30

to your emails or calls, right. So yeah, you’re, you’re calling out to people. To get 50% of that list to respond. You have to call list in its entirety. Nine to 12 times. Yes. So 50% response on nine to two. There you go. So it’s a lot of follow up. It is, right. Mm hmm. So job it is. But what’s the goal? The goal is to get a meeting it is. So now Can they close so they get a meeting? Can they close that meeting, and one Call one call close, or do they? Wait one call close? Okay, so the thing is, is that if it takes two, right, and actually there are one call closes, you can do it. It just depends on your business itself, what your processes and how structured it is, how structured your product or services. But anyway, if you can’t do one call closed, then you have to do multiples. Two, three. Yes. So usually then that’s when you talk discovery call. So if anyone’s saying a discovery call, that means that it’s a multi call close.

Shelly Miller  06:41

Right, good point. Very good point.

Mike Miller  06:44

Yeah. So so you do the discovery, then you come back with a presentation or proposal. Well, you had to put that presentation or proposal together. And if it’s a large client, you really want the business. You’re going to spend a lot of time on it. I’ve seen salespeople spend 1216 hours on a slide deck presentation that they’ve that they basically already had all the pieces to, they just want to refigure it and rework it and then customize it and personalize it to the person that they’re talking to. Right? And go and this is going to help Jim because Jim does this and he’s gonna get these feet benefits from this, you know, because it’s in their company, for the prospect that they’re dealing with.

Shelly Miller  07:25


Mike Miller  07:26

That’s a lot of work it is, then, let’s say they give the presentation and the people are like, it sounds real good. I’m gonna get with what’s his name, and we’re going to talk about it and we’re gonna, you know,

Shelly Miller  07:37

Yes, let’s just say that happens.

Mike Miller  07:40

Let’s just say that even though it’s very uncommon. All right, I got a new toy, sorry. Even though it’s very common, you know, so that’s really what happens so then they have to follow up.

Shelly Miller  07:56


Mike Miller  08:00

You know, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So in that process, what is the thing that is the weakest? What does the sales rep not want to do? prospect?

Shelly Miller  08:15

Very good. I was thinking, not 80 call backs or creating 15 hour slideshows, but that one’s even better, prospecting.

Mike Miller  08:24

Yeah, well, after prospect, you’re right after prospect. They don’t want to prospect. The next thing is they don’t want to call more than once. Right? Right. So there is no nine to 12 times, right? Forget that. They just rather find new people, but then they’re always getting low hanging fruit. Anyway, I’ll skip that for now. So what happens then is that it’s a it’s a big job and things start sliding through the cracks, right? They don’t get the follow up, done. They don’t right. aspect and exactly what happens? Yes. They don’t make enough calls, you know, for the callbacks and the follow ups, they, you know, just things start sliding because it’s too big of a job. And you need to hit it Well, well, if there’s if it takes nine to 12 touches are calls to get someone’s, you know, attention, then that means if you had 100 people on your list, you’d be making nine to 1200 calls a month. Just to cover, see what I mean? Yeah. And then you split that by 20 days, because that’s all there isn’t a month. Mm hmm. So I mean, you know, sales isn’t an easy job at all. But what makes it harder is if you have to do the whole process yourself. The whole sales process. Yes, exactly. The whole sales process. Well, it’s been split up right. You can Split the sales process into two roles instead of just one role. You can have a sales development representative on the front end who finds leads, and then reaches out to them and does the prospecting.

Shelly Miller  10:15


Mike Miller  10:15

Then for them exactly. They’re the hunter. And they gather meetings up. And they refer the meetings to the sales to, to the account executive. Yes, right. Exactly. account executive is the closer Yes. So really, what happens is the account executive just closes people all day long back to back meetings. And they get really good at that. And the sales development rep, they just find people Mm hmm. And reach out to them all day long. And they get really good at that. Yes. And it’s just natural. Both roles get extremely good at their thing because it’s all they do.

Shelly Miller  10:58

Right. I love a simplified example because really, you just have to hear that to know,  okay, so you’ve taken that big sales process job and pulled it into two positions. And now both of those people are able to be an expert at what they do.

Mike Miller  11:18


Shelly Miller  11:18

And your company makes more money because that team has to sales more. Exactly because they get to focus on the one thing you have people because people have realized that there are really just hunters and closers.

Mike Miller  11:32

Yeah, you  will help the wise personality

Shelly Miller  11:35

Exactly. You will find people who, can do both. But it takes the load off of them if you break the sales role into two positions.

Mike Miller  11:46

Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s, it’s a preferred way to go.

Shelly Miller  11:50

It is. The numbers prove it.

Mike Miller  11:52

Yeah, because it basically if you take a sales team of four people, and you take the best closer and you make them the accounting executive and let’s say that they each got they were each able to get one meeting a day. So you have three SDRs and one account executive, right? Three hunters one closer, okay, those three hunters get better at their job. It only takes them like two weeks to be getting four appointments a day for the closer. The closer so so it’s the same it is right? Mm hmm. Except it’s not the same because the closer is better at it because you know if you got four guys they all close at different percentage rates. Yeah, he took the best one. And now all he does is practice closing. Very good point.

Shelly Miller  12:40

Yes. they will get better and you’re going to get more sales

Mike Miller  12:43

You’re gonna exactly so it’s like an instant, not instant two weeks, but it’s almost instant surge in business just by swapping the process up a little bit. Yes. But here’s the other thing. So, talking about a virtual, you know, how do you handle client acquisition and sales in the, during the pandemic? And how do we cope with virtual or remote teams or work from home?

Shelly Miller  13:13


Mike Miller  13:14

Right. So the thing is, is that that SDR role that I’m talking about? It’s been outsourced for about three, four years now it has. So what that means is that not all and not the majority of b2b businesses, but there’s been a some you know, leading edge people cutting edge people, I hate that word. Some some people who are willing to take a risk and change yeah and change. There you go, thank you. And outs and change their sales process and then outsource the sales development role to virtual teams. Yes. Now the company have been successful. They’ve been successful exactly because because basically then you could go well wait you know I’ve got one guy he’s a really good closer I just like for him to close and for the same price as the three guys I hate doing this but the same price is the three guys I could get six guys virtual mm hmm you know on another team and or a virtual team they could feed him meetings yeah your ad then he do five six meetings a day instead of just four. Right? So now you’ve cut your costs, boosted sales Yes, boosted lead generations and boosted sales and it’s just gonna get better from there. Mm hmm.

Mike Miller  14:41

Money. Yeah, money, you know.

Shelly Miller  14:46

Did Mike mention he got a new tool

Mike Miller  14:47

Anyway? No, I didn’t want everyone to know. But now you know. No way. Thank you. Okay, so home that makes it Listen, you know, makes it fun and interesting.

Shelly Miller  15:06

We like to keep it fun. But it’s fun and interesting to grow your business to understand that if you you might have to change and change does seem painful, but it’s worth it.

Mike Miller  15:19

Exactly. Exactly. So the thing is, is is you have to change. This model is there and it’s been proven, and it works. And just simple, simple math that we just did shows you how your business can grow, how you can make more profit, you know, you know, top line profit, just changing up the process a little bit. It does, right. So, isn’t you don’t have to be scared about the change or the pain. Because it’s not like you’re really reinventing, reinventing anything,

Shelly Miller  16:04


Mike Miller  16:06

Because we’ve already got the model we do we already know how it we’ve

Shelly Miller  16:09

had the model for a while, not just you know, the last 30 days, the last six years!

Mike Miller  16:16

Exactly. And when you think about it, it’s all the perception of the customer anyway. So let’s say, and I’ll get into it more in a second with territory. But let’s say you’re selling the southeast. Well, you don’t go from Charlotte, to Huntsville, Alabama, and the same day so that you know, or you don’t even go around Charlotte in the same day. You usually call people on the phone.

Shelly Miller  16:40

Yes, you do.

Mike Miller  16:41

Right. So as far as the customer, the prospect knows, it’s all virtual Anyway, you don’t have to be sitting in a cubicle on the fourth floor, in your office. Oh, not at all.

Shelly Miller  16:56

Not at all those and that’s kind how you see it benefit of COVID. It’s basically just forced that, you know, we were all, you know, a lot of people were feeling that anyway, but with COVID and forcing us to have to work from home, people are realizing it works.

Mike Miller  17:13

Yeah, exactly. And so since it works, maybe it’s a maybe it’s a good opportunity to look at the client magnet system. So you can see how your client acquisition system can run most efficiently and effectively. You they can be in the same building, but now that they have to be remote, you can see how amazingly effective it can be remote, right? And that’s, that’s really how we developed it. So it works with whatever you have. But since you have to be remote now, it’s easy to be remote.

Shelly Miller  17:50

It is totally easy to be remote. I mean, more than half of our clients are remote using the Client Magnet System. So we’re seeing great numbers. We have four years now. So go ahead and make the change, transition right into it.

Mike Miller  18:05

Exactly. It’s super easy, you know, and you’ll you’ll thank yourself later because like I said, especially now when we have to be lean, and you want to run lean, changing that sales process, splitting it up into two different roles. makes it a lot easier for your business to make money. It does. Because just even if you kept everybody, Mm hmm. They’re going to get better at the thing they’re assigned, because it’s all they do.

Shelly Miller  18:35


Mike Miller  18:36

Right. So I just wanted to answer some of the questions because the emails and stuff they come up and we got a couple here. So you know, what’s the answer to it? And the first one is, how do you handle territory’s in a virtual selling environment? No,

Shelly Miller  18:56

I don’t mean to be rude, but I thought that was a silly one when I read it, you know, it’s like, why would that change?

Mike Miller  19:04

Yeah, exactly. Why would it? Do you have territory’s now? How do you How did you? How do your salespeople

Shelly Miller  19:12

It’s not hard to navigate through, it’s not that hard, you know, thing now you know

Mike Miller  19:17

exactly you either assign them to industries. But there’s only so many of those. So, you know, if you have 100 sales reps, then you have to assign them territories. Yes. geographical territories. Mm hmm. So,

Shelly Miller  19:34

You know, that’s a no brainer question. Exactly. The answers already in it.

Mike Miller  19:38

Exactly. And if and I would say that if you’re the company you’re working for, doesn’t have clear territories and they’re like, whoever comes first or whoever gets them or whoever puts them in the CRM first has them. find somewhere else to work?

Shelly Miller  19:56

That has been our experience. We could do like three more podcasts with what we’ve heard and experienced with sales. So take that advice from Mike. It never works out when they just go run willy nilly, right? Just call anybody you want. So, if they do that there’s no territory and anybody can have anything. It is best to walk away.

Mike Miller  20:24

Yeah, exactly. Because then it’s, um, it’s doggy dog. There’s no way it is just just walk away. And there’s other things if if. I don’t know if we’re gonna, actually this kind of gets into it. How do you keep your teams motivated and engaged remotely? Yes. Well, the thing is, is you frame it the right way. First off, they don’t have to get up and go and out in the rain and the cold. Right? They save an hour of traffic going get into what to do. Mm hmm. And then an hour going home Right, right. They have more To themselves? Sure, do number one. Number two, especially if you’ve split up STR and a roles, they have more time to focus on the thing they’re doing. So they should get up every 45 minutes and they should stretch their legs get a coffee, get a glass of water, they should do jumping jacks something, you know what I mean? Yes, I do. And, and you could, your company could suggest it or maybe even put out a little pamphlet or ebook about what they could do, you know, and how to structure their day. And, you know, fun little games and adventures and things like that.

Shelly Miller  21:41

Right? I mean, it’s your you, you have to motivate yourself, your employees when they’re in your office, in your building. So, believe me, you can think of ways to motivate them outside your office. I’ve seen all kinds of things I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a lot of mentions on Fitbit. Hey, do you want to partner with me? Can I partner with you? And companies could do that too. Hey, you know you’re working from home, don’t sit too long. You know, you need to get up every 45 minutes, as you mentioned, let’s take a challenge,  a step challenge. Want to do a how many closes challenge? Did you do this week challenge challenges have been working? Well, yeah, I’m at home. We’re all at home workers. But I think that the most important thing is to look at, is that you’ve always needed to motivate your employees. Just because they’re at home doesn’t mean that you don’t have to, it just means that you need to think about some incentives for them at home.

Mike Miller  22:43

Right? And you would think money is a great incentive. And that’s what now most businesses would do. They’d be like, get out there and we’ll give you you know, tickets to Bermuda or some crud you know, or you know, extra spiffs or bonuses or whatever. If you make more sales now Thing is, is, they might may not be able to reach those goals, number one, number two, that doesn’t motivate everyone actually only motivates like 15% of your sales force. What motivates them? Well, first off, you should seek to find out what motivates them so that you know how to treat them as individuals. But most of the time, it’s lifestyle, and their time and appreciating them and what they bring to the table like so. That’s why I’m saying, Look at the time you save two hours a day you don’t have to travel and cold or, or rain, you know, you don’t have to battle traffic, you don’t have to get cut off. That’s your time. Here’s some suggestions for what you could do with your time you can exercise lose weight. Think about how good you’d feel in 90 days. If you worked out every day instead of Yeah, you know, I mean, there’s so many things that you could do. Then, how do you ready yourself for remote work? Well, I just said it, you know, you, you keep a good attitude. See, because we work from home. That’s what we do. So we have learned how to motivate ourselves. And it really is, it’s all about a schedule, and a plan.

Shelly Miller  24:23

It is and adapting to your environment, your age and the length of time that you’ve worked from home. Right. So you know, you’ll notice that you change you know, there’s different amounts of minutes that you need to get up. You know, you work 45 get up for 15 right. You’re the type of person that you want to, work best in the morning, do that. You need to take a walk at lunch, do that. I mean, they’re there. It’s it’s experimenting with yourself and being patient. That’s really what it is and knowing that you can you can do it. You have to know what is working for you and what isn’t, and then find the solutions to those problems.

Mike Miller  25:06

Yeah. So really, you need to be able to pay attention to what’s going on. Pay attention to yourself, you know, do see what you like, what you don’t like. So then the other one is accountability for remote teams, accountability for remote teams.

Shelly Miller  25:26

Because where are they accountable before? This is the same?

Shelly Miller  25:29

Yeah, same as at your office?

Mike Miller  25:32

that that suggests to me, I mean, honestly, honestly, it suggests that you’re not able to stand behind them and yell at them. So what do you do?

Shelly Miller  25:42

Yeah, that’s true.

Mike Miller  25:44

That’s crazy. To me. It is basically it’s it’s you give them a certain activity level, and you give them a quota. If they’re not hitting the quota, then you look at the activity. level. If they’re hitting the quota, you don’t care what the activity level is.

Shelly Miller  26:05

That’s exactly how it is right there. I mean, it’s just that easy. And you had that in your office.

Mike Miller  26:13

Yeah, you have that

Mike Miller  26:14

while they’re working from home. Exactly. There’s no difference. And then the thing is that this is 2020. And it may be a weird year. But we’ve had technology which allows us to work remotely. For what, eight years, at least. Yeah. So my suggestion is you focus on working remotely like try to get your business to to be remote, because then you could weather any storm because it’s flexible. Good advice. Yeah. Especially if there’s going to be pandemics.

Shelly Miller  26:50

Well, you never know. Now, I don’t think any of us thought about this pandemic. So why would we, just not plan for future. Now that we know that this could happen.

Mike Miller  27:01

Yeah, exactly.

Shelly Miller  27:02

So if you changed, put the change in and got your virtual team up, ready, working, you know where they were able to work from home. Why wouldn’t you do that now? And keep it that way?

Mike Miller  27:18

Because you’ll find that it’s a lot cheaper.

Shelly Miller  27:21

Yeah. cheaper for you and your team makes more money.

Mike Miller  27:25

It’s a win win. It’s a win win. And there you go and win. Awesome. Well, that’s all the time we have for this week. So we’ll see you next Thursday.

Shelly Miller  27:34

See you next Thursday. All right. Thanks again, for listening to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are sold. Plus, check us out on YouTube. Grab some marketing tips and insight and subscribe to our channel while you’re there.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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