The Modern Selling Podcast
Building A Sales Team That Closes More Deals, with Kraig Kleeman, Episode #131
Jan 16, 2020 · 46 min
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What would happen to your company’s sales revenue if you were actively building a sales team where every member was progressively becoming a top performer? You know the answer - your company’s overall success would skyrocket. On this episode of The #ModernSelling Podcast, Kraig Kleeman joins me to discuss how he consistently helps sales organizations level up their entire team’s performance.

Kraig is recognized as an expert on the sales process, sales transformation, and professional motivation. He’s consulted with more than 150 companies and his proprietary sales methodology, “The Must-React System,” has resulted in 250,000+ meetings with senior executives. Join us as we discuss how sales leaders can build a sales team that excels at selling.

This episode is brought to you by Gong.io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to http://bit.ly/gongio to get started.

Your Organization Needs To Implement A Sales Maturity Model

Kraig’s experience dealing with organizations on every level - from startups to well-established companies - has shown him that all companies struggle to some degree with maturing their sales organization to achieve optimal results. His “Sales Maturity Model” is a simple but experience-based framework that enables any sales leader or sales front-line person to begin assessing their organization, themselves, their team, and performance. Then, they can apply that data to create appropriate benchmarks and make improvements systematically.

Listen to our conversation to discover the ways Kraig implements training around this kind of assessment. You’ll experience the same advice he’s given to sales teams across the globe that has made him a recognized leader in the sales training world.

4 Key Areas That Will Enable You To Build A Sales Team Effectively 

When Kraig first begins working with an organization, he digs into the following four key areas, in this order.

1. Data integrity

Kraig wants to know if the data the organization is using is accurate, relevant, and truly helpful. If the data is bad, the strategy and process that uses the data will be worthless. If he finds problems in the dataset, the first order of business is to make a plan to clean it up and secure the right data moving forward. You can and should do the same thing in your organization.

2. Load Balancing

When Kraig is looking at “load balancing” he’s assessing the number of SDRs compared to the number of Closers. Is the ratio as it should be? Sometimes making changes to the load balance can be the single most important thing to driving additional revenue. Kraig says that in order to know what you should do, you’ll have to test your situation to see what ratio is best for you.

3. Content and Messaging

This is my favorite topic of the four and critical for successful sales teams to get right. Kraig always suggests that the entire cache of sales and sales enablement content an organization uses should be pre-created so SDRs do not have to think about any of the content at any level. When it comes to messaging, pre-scripted messaging that matches the phases of the buyer journey is what needs to be created and used team-wide.

4. Coaching and Culture

In his travels as a sales consultant, Kraig’s observed that sales coaching is widely neglected - and that it is the sales leadership’s responsibility to ensure it’s happening. Kraig points out that when coaching is done person-to-person, consistently, and positively in the context of principles that are proven to persuade, it can boost performance that will amaze Senior Leadership.

Having a healthy sales culture is also a vital piece of the puzzle and it goes far beyond the creation of a team mentality. Kraig suggests that sales leaders begin to profile the individuals within the organization according to their strengths and areas of need - for the purpose of connecting them with peers who they can help and with others who can help them.

Effective Sales Teams Know The Power Of The 4 Pillars of Buyer Thought

Kraig has observed that too often in sales conversations, sellers focus on the wrong things. Features, benefits, and the trustworthiness of your company are all important topics of discussion, but only when they are used within the framework of how the buyer thinks.

Kraig lays out four pillars of the buyer’s thinking:

1 - Topics

2 - Trends

3 - Metrics

4 - Outcomes 

When we train our sales teams to appeal to buyers according to the way they think in these four areas, amazing things happen. Why? Because the entire team is using hyper-personalized language without having to spend inordinate amounts of time dissecting the buyer’s LinkedIn profile.

What Sales Leaders Should Do NOW To Begin Maturing Their Organization

During this conversation, Kraig gives an overview of what he calls the 5 stages of a sales organization's maturity. It's his belief that as sales leaders systematically move the members of their sales team through these stages, they'll be building a sales team that will excel.

1 - Beginning

2 - Developing

3 - Emerging

4 - Accelerating

5 - Leading

Kraig wraps up our conversation with a powerful tip for all sales leaders. He encourages you to educate yourself and your team on the power of the spoken and written word. When you understand just how powerful language can be, you can apply it in ways that tap into your buyers' thoughts and address the challenges of their particular roles within their company. The impact this subtle change can have is one that you have to see to believe

This episode is brought to you by Gong.io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to http://bit.ly/gongio to get started.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:37] Getting to know Kraig Kleeman - the world’s greatest cold caller
  • [6:37] What is meant by the “Sales Maturity Model?”
  • [9:12] How Kraig got the moniker, “The World’s Greatest Cold Caller”
  • [11:58] Four key areas needed for a sales organization to mature
  • [32:40] How to assess your sales team’s maturity level
  • [37:05] The first steps sales leaders should take to build a sales team
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