Have you ever found yourself so caught up with working your deals that you end up ignoring the growth of your sales pipeline?
In this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl talks to Rod Santomassimo, a rockstar business growth coach and OutBound Conference presenter, about why it's crucial to approach your number as a business and sell like a CEO. The two of them will teach you how to avoid one of the most expensive sales mistakes – depleting your pipeline. They also delve into why adopting an entrepreneurial mindset is a big deal in sales, as well as how to achieve this. Subscribe now and learn how to simultaneously build your sales pipeline while selling like a CEO.
Darryl Praill: How is everybody doing this week? Oh my goodness. My friends, my friends, my friends. It's another week hey. Anyway, I don't know. Time flies by. That's all I got to say. I'm glad you're back, I really am. It's like every day, every week, every month, every quarter we have to sit back and say," So I'm still in the sales game, man. What keeps me here?" I remember the first time I got into it, I had no clue what I was doing. Like I literally had no clue and I was thrown to the wolves, but I looked back and look at the training was horrible. I told you, you all know this, I sold copier. But reflect back on what they did in that first job. And it was like," Here, here's how the copier works." Right?" Do we have duplex? We have co- leading and here's the different price points," right?" And here's the supplies. And you should always try to up on the supplies and that's it. Now here's your pass, here is your territory. Go out and work it." You just go door to door and" we'll let you shadow somebody for a day." And there was just that, you can shadow somebody for a day." And here's your binder with your pitch deck. This is what you have to follow." That was it. That's is sum total of my training. It was an hour or two at the most. And because it's not too hard to sell copiers at the end of the day, right?" Oh, if you want to know more, here are the manuals." I'm not making that up. Go sink or swim. And it was interesting. I remember early on how the first few months sucked, right? So they always do. They suck, as you try to figure it out. And especially when it's your first gig. You're still trying to figure out what the hell it means to be an adult and pay bills responsibly and get to work on time. It's not like you're in school anymore, where if you wake up late because your out until late the night before, you just skip the class. Like this is now your ass is on the line. And so a lot of growing up there, at the same time, you're doing skills development. And I remember I had about three, four months and I had a really good month. I mean, it was a really good month. I was really proud of myself. I closed a lot of business. But then something happened. It was the next month, I had nothing. And I had nothing for months. Because I had actually depleted my pipeline. I got so caught up, you know, the Cardinal sin, we all make. You so caught up in actually building your pipeline, and then I'm sorry, and then working the deals you've built, because now you have to close them, right? Is that you stop building your pipeline. And there was a huge lesson for me. And I remember, again, I used to listen to a lot of Zig Ziglar in the car, on the cassette deck, driving from appointment to appointment. And he talks about that. You have to always be building your pipeline. You cannot take your eye off that price. And what Zigs was teaching me and what the school of hard knocks was teaching me is that if you stop planning your business, stop planning your pipeline, stop planning a month, three months, six months down the road, it will kick you in the ass and you will be poor for three to six months until you get that pipeline back up and mature again. And that was an expensive, painful, hard lesson learn. So there was that. And then I tackled that, I figured it out. And it was interesting, the first time I became a VP of sales and marketing, and I really owned the whole team, I got to live that all over again. And I thought I was past that. The difference was, I was living in all of them cause I was living it through my team who were making the exact same mistakes I were. Now, what do you take away from this? What you take away from this is that if you're going to be successful in sales, it's just not about the right sales skills, it's about actually approaching your territory, your path, watch your quota with a mouse mindset. I mean, here we are in a mindset again. You guys are tired of me talking about mindset, but I'm going to use the word again it's cliche. A mindset about, this is your business. You own it. No one else. You can't count on marketing, you can't count on inbound, you can't count on other leads to be flipped to you by sales. Those are all bonus. You have to have the mindset that those are bonus. And I've got a grand total of zero from anything else, no more leads, no more opportunities that I will still make my number on my own. And you got to be looking not just at the account levels and the opportunities now. I'm going to be looking longer term. And it's interesting because I remember having a conversation with somebody recently talks about our sales skills. We talk about entrepreneurs, we talking like 10.99s, we're talking teams. And as it was the conversation to have with an individual you're going to meet today. And it was a great touch point. because it's like, well you're right, because a 10. 99 independent sales rep understands that they eat what they kill. So they better have a lot of traps set long term, because there's no other base salary guaranteed for many of these people. Same for CEO, same for entrepreneurs. But the sales person on a sales team who has perhaps a draw available to them or a base salary available to them, they can get comfortable and that's the kiss of death. And that's when you might decide that sales isn't for you. And yet the irony is if you would just treat it, your patch, your number as a business, like a CEO does, and entrepreneur does, you wouldn't be in this situation. So how do you do that? If this is your first time selling, then you've never been a CEO or an entrepreneur before I'm going to guess. So let's bring the best of all those worlds together. And that my friends is where we're Rod Santomassimo comes in. He's with a Massimo Group. You can check him out @ massimo. coach. That's M- A- S- S- I- M- O, Massimo. And he's pretty cool. He's got a national best- selling book out there, Knowing Isn't Doing. He says, and I love the way he positions this, he says that," we've assisted our clients in building thousands of six figure businesses. All right? So that's not a bad gig. Hundreds of seven figure businesses, that's interesting. And then even eight figure businesses." So this is the cat who understands how you should be approaching your number, like a business, like an entrepreneur. And we're going to hold your hand through it today. Rod, my friend. Welcome to the show.
Rod Santomassimo: Darryl, love to be here. Thanks for having me as always.
Darryl Praill: Oh my friend. Here's the thing where people may not know. Now this is your first time seeing Rod, all right? So again, multitask, go to his website, massimo. coach, check him out, follow him on LinkedIn. You guys know the drill, do it. But he is even mark setting. Rod is going to be at the Outbound Conference, outboundconference. com. You can watch it virtual, you can be there live and in person. That's right, live and in person. So if you like what you hear today and you think Rod's a pretty cool shit, then you need to hook yourself up with Outbound. Because one, you get to see Rod again, two, you get to see whole much other people who are already smart, like Rod. These are salespeople, teaching salespeople. So check it out outboundconference. com. Rod talk to me about how did you get here? I got to ask you that. What's the story behind where you said," I need to help these people build their businesses because it's all about the revenue pipeline, if you will.
Rod Santomassimo: Well, first and foremost, thanks for having me. And you're absolutely correct Darryl. If you're not going folks to Outbound, you better be there virtually. It's going to be an amazing, amazing event. As far as how I got here, and I did that thing like a lot of folks out of school, out of grad school, started doing jobs, employee, different sectors, then some entrepreneurial stuff, failed, more employee or entrepreneurial, more failure. I did the whole rollercoaster of career until 2008 during the great recession, I guess we call it now. I was a high ranking executive in a international company. And the way I got there was, and this is my superiors told me," Rod, your treating this like it's your own company." I said," Yeah." You're an employee, that's how I felt. So, that gave me more opportunities and I got way up there in the ranks until of course the great recession when I was told," Hey, we love you, but you're gone." So like, our friend, Jeb Blount had the same situation, right?" We love you, but your gone. So I said," No more with this working for someone else." That it was my mindset at the time. It's about mindset. So I said,"I think I could help other people." With all the failure I had, I think I'm ready to build something. So in 2008, I started building the Massimo Group. Darryl, the group was me. Let's face it.
Darryl Praill: Of course, it is. Good marketing.
Rod Santomassimo: Right? So along the journey, today we have, I think 33 coaches across North America, we started thousands, 3, 500 plus clients. And we just help people build the business and life they desire. Now, the way I did that was I took that same attitude." Okay, I'm by myself initially, but what am I going to do?" And that was, I realized I needed to be the CEO, and therefore I needed to have five divisions like every company has. And yes, I was a janitor as well. Don't get me wrong, I was. But I took a perspective of," I'm not just selling now, I'm trying to build something." And when you build something, you got take a step back and say," what am I trying to build and how am I going to build it? And we can get into that Darryl. But then that's where it got me to realizing the CEO mindset and start producing really high revenue sales to where we are today.
Darryl Praill: All right. So let's start with that. So you talk about... You said some very key there. You said," I had a CEO mindset" and I want to explore that a little bit. What does that mean? Again, if I'm somebody who's 25, 28, maybe 30 years old, I may be trying to sell to CEOs. When I get on the phone with them, I am so out of my league because they're just in a different world of life experience and responsibilities and contexts that I have imposter syndrome. And I really doubt myself here. So with that as the backdrop, how do I develop my own CEO mindset when I'm not even sure, honestly, what a CEO truly does that day to day.
Rod Santomassimo: Okay. So let's break that down. What does the CEO do? He runs a company. What's a company? Every company, I don't care if you're Amazon or you're Joe Plumber or whomever. Pick the coolest CEO you know. Now this generational gap of your listeners, some might say a Gary Vaynerchuk, Mark Zuckerberg, some of you might say, some may say Jeff Bezos, or whomever else, right? Pick the coolest CEO you know, and say, what are they responsible for? Well, every company has five divisions, right? So you, think of you having five divisions. First one's obvious, what's this call about? Sales. You have a sales division, there are certain things you need to do in sales. And we get into that, to really generate revenue there. We'll talk about exactly what that is. Then of course, there's marketing. Now people think sales and marketing are the same thing. They absolutely are not. They just not. I mean, sales is prospecting. Marketing is presence. So you have to ask yourself, how am I building my presence in my marketplace, amongst my prospects and influencers and clients? So that's a marketing element, right? You've got sales and marketing. That's easy. Then you have of course, finance as our friend Jeb Blount would say," pipe is life," right? So how are you financially? What are you building financially? Are you planning as an independent contractors, even as an employee? Are you budgeting? Are you planning? Do you have P& L, you looking at your numbers. Really important. Then of course, you have the operation side. And for some folks, operations is as simple as what CRM am I using? Right? Or we all can tell which one you should be using, but what CRM am I using to operate my company? Think about it in those terms. And the last one is the obvious one, is the human resources. Now you might say," Hey, I don't have a team. I don't need that." No, but you got to increase your own value. You have to motivate, train, retain yourself in many cases. And some of you are building teams. That's a whole other thing. So if you think about that, if you look at every day and saying," Okay, how am I doing on sales, marketing, finance, operations, and human resources?" And you plan your day, a months and quarters out based on those five elements, you'll start building a business versus just focusing on one thing, which is channeling, most of you sales. And then you fall into that trap of course, we all know as the transaction treadmill, where you're just focusing on doing deals, but you're not growing anywhere. So those are the five divisions Darryl.
Darryl Praill: So, I love that because when you initially said five divisions, I went in my mind, I'm going, so what are those five divisions? And I thought sales and marketing right away, I thought finance or ops, and I liked that you used the word ops, I think, that's a better word, but then I was stuck with between was, was going to be HR or was it going to be like development? And I was curious, so you didn't say development, is it because you see it, because I could be developing content, I could be developing software, could be developing widgets, who the hell knows, right? But I think about you, and I'm projecting here, I could be wrong. But if you're all about coaching and training, then I'm going to assume you're going to be developing, new content. For example, COVID hits, okay, this is how you sell when everybody works from home. So there's a development aspect. Is that something you would have put into your business, or is there a reason you left that off?
Rod Santomassimo: No, I put that in ops. Operations
Darryl Praill: You put it in ops. Okay, that's what I was wondering.
Rod Santomassimo: And that development are put there. Great point though, but yes. And you're right. He did create new programs when COVID hits, your absolutely correct.
Darryl Praill: Absolutely. And that's the whole point, right? Because even, I think I'm from a sales point of view because you've said, boy, you said a whole bunch of here. Look at operations. You've said develop, and we talked about development, right? To create a new content. That could be for a sales rep, that could be," Hey, listen, the world has changed. COVID has hit. Or in your case, 2007, 2008, we had an economic crash." How does that change my outreach? How does that change my script? How does that change my lead development? Right? All of a sudden, maybe I prefer a hell of a lot more on referrals or maybe now I'm just going to go milk my base and ride it out and focus on the install base as opposed to new business. All of that is all part and part of operations. What I also like about the operations part, you mentioned CRM. I'll expand a little bit of that and say, that's not just CRM, I thought it should be your whole tech stack. So for a sales rep, if you have access to tools like, conversational intelligence, like a gong or a course, right? That's going to tell you, are you listening too much? You talking too much? Or you're missing triggers, or you got a lot of filler words, all those kinds of tools that are all required to improve. Because when you run a business, nobody wants a trend line that's flat or going down, they want a trend line that's going up. And if you can make it a hockey stick, God bless you. We love you even more. So it's always about improving your operations, not just being status quo. Now you said a whole bunch of things here and you made it in passing. You said," plan your day, your months, your quarters, you're going to build a business." So help me understand that. If I'm a sales rep, I'm going to say to you," Rod, I love you. You sound like a really nice guy, but I'm just a sales rep and I'm part of a team. And my boss tells me what to do. How can I plan my day, my months, my quarters? I don't get it."
Rod Santomassimo: Yeah. Well, I get it if your an employee. But what are the goals? Look, hopefully your boss is asking you and cares about your personal, professional and financial goals. Hopefully they do. First is here's the quarter, go make it, right? That's just an environment we would try to strive for. But you should have your own personal, financial, and professional goals. You got to set them out. What do they look like? And it's all revenue based, right? So I make these goals, make these goals, as I create this revenue. If that's where it's based on, then let's start tracking the metrics to get to that revenue. Yeah, it comes down to metrics, lead metrics, lag metrics, as far as what exactly we're going to do. So for example, Darryl, our coaching clients, we do track metrics, simple metrics, calls attempted, completed, meetings scheduled, proposals provided, contracts depending on the industry, different metrics. But I'll share this with you. If you're not tracking your metrics, you're in trouble. You just are. In fact, we found that the clients that we work with that agreed to track their metrics, they don't make a little more than those that don't, they actually make three to four times more than those that don't track. So I would say from a goal standpoint, let's figure out as an employee, what do you want to make? Let's break it down to, for lack of your term quarters, if that's what it is. But I want to know the why's behind everything. Why financially? Why professionally? Why personally? And then I can craft a plan to say, this is how I'm going to go out into the day. As far as your day is concerned, once I know what you have to do, then I'm going to allocate some time every day back to Gerber, right? Everyone's read Gerber, I'm sure. How much time are we working on the business versus in the business? During the day and your work in the business probably 90% of the time, but 10% I'm going to make sure I'm improving. I'm working with people like Darryl and others and say, what am I saying this? They're saying that. I'm doing this, I'm getting that. These are the blocks I'm having. And by the way, none of us, no one on this call can know what your obstacles are, unless you track your numbers. We just can't.
Darryl Praill: So, dude, I'm going to share a story with you.
Rod Santomassimo: Okay.
Darryl Praill: Because you're just resonating with me. So one of the things we do here at VanillaSoft, I've never really shared this. So every single rep here at VanillaSoft, I'd love your reaction to this one, has tasked every single week with listening to that week's Inside, inside sales podcast. And then they share with the team a one ish minute video of what they got out of that week's episode. So every single rep here at VanillaSoft is going to be critiquing what you're saying right now, Rod. And they're going to be listening to me as they listen to me in real time, say, as I'm talking to you right now going," where the hell is Darryl going with this? I'm feeling awkward and uncomfortable." One of the things that I have said to them on multiple occasions, and I think a lot of reps, not just VanillaSoft, reps across the board, nod their head at this, but don't actually do it. You've just hit it. One is, you got to be tracking the data, but two is, I'll go one step further is, you've got to be analyzing the data. I see too many reps go," Oh yeah, I had this many activities yesterday, phone, email, social, what have you? Yeah, I could probably do some more, whatever. I should probably do some more social." Yeah. I don't ever actually see them analyzing it, right? And being intentional about their approach." Ooh, my activity numbers are dropping." Like I look at us, we use an account- based philosophy and I can look at specific reps who's account- based activity, in other words, reaching out to their assigned target accounts it goes lower and lower and lower and lower. And in my frame of mind, that should be a warning sign to you. If you're looking at your data and you're seeing that your outreach outreach to the account based marketing stuff is going lower and lower and lower, then that means my pipeline is going to get smaller. And target accounts tend to have a higher deal size than just inbound activity. Inbound activity tends to be a lot smaller as a whole. So I should be worried about my pipeline and my business to your point. And I should be saying," what do I need to do to do this?" Which kind of gets to the next point, You talked about" plan your day." And I made a comment about saying" let's time management." That's about being intentional, and not reactive. You use the comment," how much are you working on the business versus in the business?" And I find a lot of people are working in the business and giving short shrift as you're working on the business, which again goes back to the data and the analysis and being intentional. So if I'm not a numbers person, which is ironic because I'm in sales and it's all about the numbers, how do I adopt that mindset? Some of the issues I see are people simply they're going through the motions as opposed to really making an effort to have a repeatable process. Well, that's how business scales folks. Business scales we can have a repeatable process that's full of efficiencies. And that could be as simple as time management, as planning your day, as planning your calls and following a repeatable process as opposed to winging it. So how do I teach somebody these skills? How do you teach an entrepreneur these skills? Because a lot of entrepreneurs are a little bit of ADD." Oh this, you want to buy? You want to buy? You want to buy?" And I'm reacting. So how do you teach them to step back and control their day, control their quarter, control their year?
Rod Santomassimo: Well let's talk about, you brought it up, production time management. Let me give you a really simple acronym. This works. I mean, we just want our clients. I do it personally. This works. So the goal of everyone, a salesperson, imagine this, imagine if you got paid every day, every day that you work and off it goes if you don't work, you get paid. So the question you have to ask yourself at the end of the day is of course, was I paid today? Was I paid today? If you can answer yes to that question, you going to make a lot of money, let's face it. Your company's going to make money, everyone's going to be happy, everything's good. So what does that mean? So let's break it down. I paid, IPAID, acronym. One, I, of course identify, identify who you're calling that day. What you need to do. I identify every day, the top list of people you're going to call. Now, there's a simple mathematical way to figure out who you should call every day for entire year, but just identify. So I have a list of every day, you know, I got this list. Obviously, P, IPAID, I pay, P prioritize. Prioritize those nuggets you've got to do first. Eat the frog, all that good stuff, right? What am I going to do with those top three, five accounts, players, people, things, transaction where I got to get done. You're prioritizing. A is allocate, based on who you are, if you're by yourself or in accompany or team, you allocate time, blocks or time in your schedule, you allocate people, right? Delegate things out, or you allocate money. Sometimes you need money to get certain things done. If you're an IC more approached to you. So identify, prioritize, allocate. Second I ind IPAID, hardest one of all, implement. That means you're disciplined and dedicated to look at your day, you've allocated your time slots for prospecting, to follow up, to research, whatever you're doing, right? And you're implementing that. You're not letting anyone interrupt you because it's so important you do that. And five, the D of IPAID is either you're going to delegate it to someone else, you can, or you're going to delete it from your day. Delete it. Now you notice, I didn't say defer, right? I'll do that tomorrow. That's a deferment. The problem when you say, I'll do it tomorrow, and the next day I'll do that tomorrow, it becomes de- motivating. Something that's it's a stress for you. So we don't say defer. We never say defer. So either identify, prioritize, allocate, implement, delegate, or delete. If you do that every day, every day, if you do that and you ask yourself, was I paid? We have found pipeline gets full, fine goes up, CLI clients goes up, profits, production. It all works.
Darryl Praill: All right. So let me throw one at you. So a good CEO, a good entrepreneur also knows or recognizes eventually when something's not working. And if they have people on their staff, that could mean an improvement process or an actual dismissal, because they're just not working. Now. I'm a sales rep, I'm a CEO of my own business. How do I deal with myself when I don't adopt an IPAID approach? When I don't value the P factor, the three P's around prop, presence and prospecting? Value proposition, presence, and prospecting. How do I discipline myself? How do I teach myself? How do I change my behavior?
Rod Santomassimo: You know, it's funny, your public companies have quarterly reviews, right? With the press and announcements of where the stock is. And then private companies have quarterly reviews or they should. First of all, we do daily reviews at Massimo, we do. My sales team we did it every day. Talk about the pipeline, talk about the prospects, see where they are. And every night on a Slack channel, all sales associates tell us calls they attempt, calls they completed, competitions they had, contracts they signed, so that it becomes competitive. So, you know pretty quickly, if you're not producing based on benchmarks. You just do. So, one thing you have to figure out is how am I producing against expectations? Right? You have goals that could tell you right away. If you're doing KPIs, you know your certain key performance indicators you'll know, the numbers never lie. Darryl numbers never lie. People lie, they do, but numbers never lie. So your numbers would tell you where you are. That's why I love numbers. They will always tell you how you're doing. Now, if you're not performing, you got to get help. You have to ask for help because there's a gentleman, I don't know Darryl if you know him, a guy named Nido Qubein, amazing inaudible leader, and you all can YouTube him. He says," if you want to become more valuable, you better increase your value." It's very simple. So you have to work on yourself, you just have to come, that's part of the HR division, by the way, right? Am I making myself more valuable? Am I seeking help? Am I seeking training, coaching books, audio things, and whatever. That's part of the process. Now, if you are not increasing your value, if you are not increasing your performance, then yes, you may have to ask yourself, is this the right position for me? That's something you just need to ask yourself. Darryl, let me asking you a question. Do you believe that there are natural salespeople? Or do you believe it's something you can learn?
Darryl Praill: I believe we have natural attributes. Some perhaps more relational, some perhaps a more analytical, but I believe it's something you can learn. I truly believe it's something I think you can learn, but some will naturally be better than others because they have natural gifting. But I totally believe it's something you can learn and I believe it's a repeatable process. And I think the problem with sales is that too many people try to wing it.
Rod Santomassimo: Yeah. So it's funny, you're talking about the copy. I was thinking about your, your original oriented story of copy machine, go out there, shadow this guy, right? So you probably knew every feature and function of that copy machine,
Darryl Praill: I did. But I knew nothing about my buyer.
Rod Santomassimo: Nothing about buyer, nothing about selling. And by the way, when I grew up, I did commercial real estate and we all learned," this is a lease, this is a sale, this is a office building, these are tenants," but" Oh, how do I sell my profit on that?"" Just go do it." Go crosstalk.
Darryl Praill: Exactly. Yeah. Now, the beauty is, we're so much smarter now. And the resources are out there.
Rod Santomassimo: Oh, so much.
Darryl Praill: Like Outbound conference, great example. Another reason why you should go to the conference and see Rod. We're out of time, dude. I'm sorry. But that's okay. They always say, leave them wanting more. Folks, I mean, I have loved today's conversation. The idea of treating your own goal, your own sales goals as a business, whether you're a CEO and entrepreneur or a 10.99, or part of a sales team, you own your business. And it's a mindset, it truly is. Rod has given us a lot. He refers to it as a CEO mindset, which is how you are the CEO of your business. He talks about the three P's, which is what is your value prop? What is your presence? Which is marketing. And what is your prospecting doing? That's your sales. But then he, I love this, he mentions Jeb Blount back up on conference," pipe is life." And so when you're actually, and I saw it brought up the finance department. So when you're planning your business, it always comes back down the pipe and everything you're doing is about that pipe, right? And he talked about the accountability, his daily sales reviews he does with his teams, the activity sharing they do publicly, numbers never lie. It's all about the data. The first thing I did when I became CRO was I implemented a revenue ops team. Why? Because I needed data. I need to make sure we had the data we needed, because the numbers never lie. But most of all, what I love about his point was IPAID today. IPAID, Identify the top of some people to call. Prioritize the important stuff to do first. Allocate time people, money. Implement your discipline, you're dedicated to prospecting. And Delegate or Deleted, but do not defer it. So, that's IPAID. That my friends is the one, the only Rod Santomassimo. You can reach him at massimod. couch @ coach, sorry about that. And, but more than anything, just sign up at outboundconference. com, use VanillaSoft 100 for our discount code, you'll love it. Follow him on LinkedIn. In the meantime we're out of time. I'm Darryl Praill, this is VanillaSoft, and you just listened to another episode of The Inside, inside sales show. See you next week.