The first thing every sales person should do is listen to Jay-Z, then hit it: Madlibs w/ the Funnelholic

We have been doing Madlibs now for months. It’s been really cool getting thought leaders to contribute their versions.  My buddy Dennis Shiao once nicely wrote to me: “Madlibs is awesome but we don’t get to hear from you.” Ok Dennis, it’s on! Today I am doing the sales version of Madlibs and will do the marketing version later this week. Enjoy!Sales tips


                  Photo by flickr user NRK P3 used under Creative Commons license

  1. The b2b buyer is cute, really cute. And cuddly. No really, most important thing about today’s buyer — they use the internet (tons of internet), they don’t answer the phone and they have lots of people in their decision process.

  2. The biggest innovation in sales is technology. Right now, I am big on the sales productivity tools on the market and am about to start jumping up and down as predictive analytics makes life even easier. (Note: I am not one of those idiots who doesn’t understand that core selling fundamentals trumps technology but the question was about innovation)

  3. The coolest thing happening in b2b sales is  everything. Sales is so cool right now. Technology, metrics, scalable processes, content selling, social selling, buyer persona mapping. Sure, there are a lot of old-school laggards out there, but every day I talk to a new sales leader who is looking at the world from the year 2013 and beyond and trying to bring their team up-to-date.

  4. My favorite Sales 2.0 technology is e-signature. I have a lot of choices for that answer, but I have too many personal examples of how it is saved me or made my life easier. I am also giving that answer because my CEO Docusign-ed a document we had to get in by EOB Friday at 4.30pm from the river in Idaho. How can that not be my favorite?

  5. My favorite sales book is Sales Mastery from Barry Trailer. The first sales book I ever read. In my first job interview ever, VP of Sales at Oracle told me to come back when I had a real suit and had read this book. I did both. (He never talked to me again but I still got something out of it)

  6. My favorite social media channel is Linkedin. (for sales). The modern sales person lives in CRM, Email, and Linkedin.

  7. Social selling is amazing and amazingly misrepresented. It’s not a selling philosophy (yet) but it could be. Social selling does not replace good selling, instead  it makes good sales people more effective.

  8. I use Linkedin to prospect, to call, and to find out who is checking me out. I have also been getting great traction from InMail.

  9. Cold calling is a term that I included in Madlibs to create controversy. (seriously) If you define cold-calling as reaching out to people you don’t know, then it is alive and well but with new strategies and tactics designed to reach and engage buyers. If you define cold-calling as war-dialing all day, then it is exists but is getting harder and harder to do.

  10. In b2b, the idea of a funnel is awesome. As the Funnelholic and an ardent defender of the funnel, can I just say that the funnel still exists because you start with a lot (leads) and end with a lot less (deals)?  Sure buyer’s aren’t buying in a linear fashion, but the funnel as a way to look at the overall revenue machines is still relevant whether you like it or not.

  11. The first thing every sales person should do is listen to Jay-Z, then hit it. I have one thing I have learned in sales, if you don’t set aggressive out-of-the-gate productivity goals (like call goals), the day gets away from you. I schedule my east coast calls well before 9AM PDT to get my day going. If I don’t have scheduled calls, then I prospect out immediately.

  12. Voicemail is part of the overall sales campaign. Not great in isolation, but extremely effective when combined with email and multiple touches.

  13. The biggest mistake sales people make is a failure to listen. I have been taking sales calls recently for clients and the listening skills from sales people are a big fall-down point. I had a buddy who always exceeded his number. He was not that engaging of a guy and actually, was very similar in personality to an engineer. BUT: He painstakingly understood his customers and what they were trying to do and then created well-crafted, spot-on responses. They had trouble saying no. His ability to understand them and convince them we could deliver was so good, he closed as well as anyone without being a “closer”. This was 15 years ago. I miss him.

  14. The biggest myth in sales is that sales is dead or dying. It’s not.

  15. My most forgettable sales experience was when I sold timeshares in my teens. I thought I hated sales, but then I learned that I just hated being a part of something shady.

  16. The hardest part of selling is the dark period. That’s the period(s) in the sales cycle when you don’t hear anything from the buyer. What makes it harder these days is buyers just don’t respond. It’s excruciating: They don’t respond to tell you its’ going well, they don’t respond if they have chosen someone else, etc. and your boss is asking you what’s happening and isn’t excited to hear: “They aren’t responding”.

  17. The next “hot-thing” in sales will be predictive analytics. It’s here today but only going to get better.

  18. In 2015, sales will be the year of “more” More technology, more inside sales models, more social..

  19. My favorite sales saying is “BOOM”

  20. Over the next couple years in sales, I can’t wait to see more hyper-efficient, scalable, repeatable revenue machines. It’s happening right now so get on the bus.

  21. Madlibs with the Funnelholic is harder than I thought. Before I sent them out, I should have tested my own answers…(:

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter