There are many Dark Gurus in Sales Training. It’s a crowded field of 6,000+ sales consultant companies. Many of these folks have elegant theories but have not “sold” in the field since the era of photocopy machines door to door. There’s still validity in any method albeit theoretical or practical.
So how on earth do you choose wisely and know you’re going to actually going to receive “results-focused” sales consulting services. I’ve taken a different track after 20 years carrying a bag in the field.
I take a hyper-tactical approach that I call, “I sit in your chair.” We trade places and I get as far into the weeds, and as granular as possible. We will share the screen to review all aspects of your role. If that’s the VP/CRO we are reviewing Salesforce reporting, rep opportunity reports, I even work with ventures on optimizing the P&L – all across the GTM.
At a rep-level, I am auditing sequences/cadences and playbooks. Or, we are creating them from scratch. I will actually do the sequence writing, set up the AB tests with you, and make the cold calls, leaving VMs to measure the potency of these tactics. Even my mentor has cautioned me, “Justin, you’re going to burn down your hours getting this tactical.” I do everything asynchronously sitting in the Slack channel for 1:1 and 1:many communications.
This is because I come from large scale people management before SaaS in multiple countries. In 2007, I ran a team of 1,000+ with a Meebo account that would sync AIM and gchat. Recently I sat on the Board of CloudTask where I helped to train the trainers, streamline ops, and coach the content team for an operation in Medellin of 300+ heads.
Why do I get so far in the weeds? If you think of Bikram yoga, Bikram could look at the human body and determine what was off. Then he knew how to prescribe the exact kind of yoga for each student. When I coach a team of 5 – 15 reps, I will individually analyze each one. Maybe Johnny has an overly formal approach to sending LinkedIn invites, he stutters on his voicemail and is too pushy handling objections on cold calls. The rising tide lifts all boats as I do completely bespoke sales consulting. I’m not sure it’s ever been done this tactically before.
The biggest complaint I hear about other sales consultant companies is they are “far too strategic.” “We spent 30K and all we got was a packet with theory,” is the common lament. I create superhuman scaling sales systems that are fully customized methodologies. It’s not “my way or the highway,” or let me just “bring you the Justin Michael Method.” We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We do a “won-sales-analysis” of what’s working, we augment from there and we AB test with my tactics. Don’t want to send emails that look like text messages? Let the data speak. Let’s run both sequences in parallel and see what happens to open rates, reply rates, conversion rates and ultimately the quality/caliber of stakeholders and opportunities in the pipeline.
Sandler proved that Reinforcement is everything. I work on retainer as a fractional XDR Mind because it can take 27 repetitions to learn a skill. Over 90-120 days, we cement in the new consistency. Smart daily activity, behavioral change (getting comfortable making cold calls and Triples – call, vmail, email). Reps gain confidence through repetition and gain a curiosity toward AB testing and this makes them self-actualized where they will begin to drive their own performance instead of you as the leader, constantly having to dangle carrots and sticks.
My process eats my time and “burns down my hours” in the beginning. But coming back to the initial commentary, I ran large and small Tiger Teams in the field over the last 20 years. Just like in Pro Sports where Phil Jackson is super close to every Laker, the closer I got to the fine grain, the more change for the better I saw, the higher results. I learned this growing up playing tennis, soccer, and hockey competitively – making my way to the All Star team in several. The best coaches were as strategic as they were tactical. They individually took the time to help groom, mentor, and change each aspect of my game. Then I became excellent modeling what they actually did. It wasn’t theory. It was leading by example. Ultimately what happens is reps ask a ton of questions in the beginning but start to gain that unconscious competence of mastering a skill. The most powerful outbound rep you can have on your team is one that gains confidence about what “good” is. Instead of a wishy washy approach to throwing paint at a wall and seeing what sticks, my custom training systems and approaches give reps the confidence of self reflection, discernment of best practices, and turn them into mighty prospectors who go on to crush top funnel for their entire careers.
There was recently a gathering in Tel Aviv inside a company that raised 200MM. A half dozen reps brought up my name because I had trained all of them on mobile marketing teams over the last decade. It was truly gratifying to hear that but not surprised because the methods I teach are grounded in the real-world and actually work. Apply them wisely and you will advance as far as you can dream.