Don’t call them “salespeople” if you want people to return their calls! And other sales hacks from ToutApp’s founder

Two weeks ago, I told you that I wanted to try an experimental group where Mixergy members get to talk about their sales issues and ToutApp‘s founder, Tawheed Kadar, would help them out.

To be honest with you, I was worried that the experiment bombed because there wasn’t much conversation within the group. But after reading the quality of questions and answers I’m really encouraged. Below are some of my favorites. I edited the questions to keep them short, but otherwise I pretty much kept the Q&A as it was in the group.

What do you think?

Rob
Rob Rawson: How many times should my salespeople follow up with prospects that don’t return their calls?

Tawheed Kader of Tout
Tawheed Kader of ToutApp:

This may be a subtle thing, but the title of the people is hugely important. Most people don’t want to talk to a “salesperson” — which is why the industry invented titles like “Account Manager” “Associate” or in our case “Email Happiness Officer” — so just by changing your tone form “Hey, I sell your Job ADs” to “Hey, I’m a Hiring Expert, I help Hiring Managers get more hits on their job listings and here’s how we can help” can increase your conversions.

Kyle
Kyle Bye: How do I figure out who the right contact is at the schools I’m calling to run our business competitions?

Tawheed Kader of Tout
Tawheed Kader of ToutApp:

I think the general principle that applies here, at least in terms of Sales, is that you need to find the person that’ll feel “awesome” for being your champion inside the school. The person that already is promoting programs within the school and will feel awesome for being the one that introduces your competition to the students/faculty.

With that said, my guess is that the administrators in the school are going to be too busy running the actual school and dealing with the day to day issues.

Unless the school has any sort of specific classes/programs around business/entrepreneurship (unfortunately — most do not) you’re probably not going to find a teacher highly vested in this either.

So, following that line fo thinking, I’d find the person that comes the closest. Off the top of my head, I’d target the High school guidance counselors. They’re the ones that are staying on top of the best colleges, talking to the highly motivated students from juniors to seniors about college prospects, what looks good in applications, etc. I’d approach them with a “unique way” that students can get that extra edge — particularly students that are thinking of majoring in anything Entrepreneurship/Business related.


Dan Corkill: What kind of commissions are paid by SaaS companies where the price is <$300 per month?

Tawheed Kader of Tout
Tawheed Kader of ToutApp:

When it comes to SaaS, the key thing you look at for this formula is the average lifetime value of the customer. Now I’ll admit this is a bit of an early “science” and people are still figuring this out. But the gist of it is the same principle that applies to investing in stocks — you want to buy low and sell high.

Similarly, the amount of money you pay on average to acquire each customer (either through ADs or Salespeople/commision) needs to be lower than how much on average you’ll make from that customer.

So – the first step is to figure out how much is a customer on average is worth to you. From there you can work backwards to figure out how much you’re able to spend on acquiring customers.

Here’s one of the best resources I’ve found:
http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/saas-metrics/

Travis
Travis Ketchum: “What habits should I focus on? Blistering fast followups? Or something else?”

Tawheed Kader of Tout
Tawheed Kader of ToutApp:

I think this depends on where you are with your product/company/organization. I’m guessing that most of us here are in the earlier stages of developing our sales funnel and figuring out how to sell our product — so I’ll cater my answer around that.

We’ve found that you have to maintain a constant “zoom-in-zoom-out” mindset when it comes to the earlier days of establishing a sales process.

Meaning — you need to maintain a discipline of focusing a sufficient amount of time in each parts of your funnel (lead gen, follow ups, and closing) and then make sure to zoom out to look at your whole funnel and pause/reflect on how the overall thing is doing.

This sounds obvious — but is really hard to do. Sometimes our own affinity takes over and we stick to just one part of the funnel we just like doing. Other times, we gravitate toward the parts of the funnel that are easy (following up instead of closing).

You need to constantly be zooming in and zooming out, making sure you pay attention to each of the parts, improving upon them and then looking at the whole picture to make sure the flow is right.

ONCE you have a repeatable process, then you can figure out which area you want to focus on to improve.

Christopher Sutton
Christopher Sutton: Any advice for soliciting testimonials from customers? I feel sheepish asking people to praise us!

Tawheed Kader of Tout
Tawheed Kader of ToutApp:

Over at Tout, we took a pretty straight forward approach to our customer testimonials. We didn’t ask for favors, we didn’t make it all about us.

When we see someone has been using us for a while, we just approach them and offer to feature them on our blog. We phrase it as a “win-win” — you say a few things about Tout, you talk about what you do in your business, and we’ll feature the whole thing on our blog for our general community to enjoy. This way, we get some props, but more importantly, we use our channels to promote their business.

Yael Grauer
Yael Grauer: How do you handle the need to constantly be selling/marketing and trying to work in a vacation?

Tawheed Kader of Tout
Tawheed Kader of ToutApp:

There’s a point of diminishing returns in anything you do. Go take a vacation.
Tawheed Kader

  • http://SonicTruths.net Christopher Sutton

    Andrew, I’m curious to know: what made you choose Facebook as the platform for this Q&A, and do you think it had a positive or negative on the discussion? Would you use it again?

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    I’m not sure it’s the right approach. What do you think?

    I went with this because a few people told me that they talk in FB groups because FB is good at showing them there are new conversations for them to engage in.

  • http://SonicTruths.net Christopher Sutton

    I think that’s probably true for a group of people having occasional discussions on a particular subject.

    In this case though, we were all trying to do a structured task (submit questions, get answers from a particular expert) at once, and I felt the Facebook group didn’t really suit that. It felt a bit like being in a room full of people all talking at once!

    That said, it did serve the purpose, and I’m not sure a strict Q&A platform is the way to go either – personally I learned some interesting things from the other participants as well as Tawheed himself.