Amos Schwartzfarb pdf Sell More Faster The Ultimate
Sell More Faster: The Ultimate Sales Playbook for Startups (Techstars) Amos Schwartzfarb pdf
Amos Schwartzfarb pdf
From 2005 to 2008, I worked for Amos at Business.com, leading salesteams that sold online advertising. I started with the company in 2001 asan individual contributor when there were just three salespeople and in 2002 was promoted to director and took over the Inside Sales team. Myboss gave me quite a bit of latitude, but this was my first real salesmanagement role. I used my best judgment to lead sales, but I didn’treally know what a “sales strategy” was (and I didn’t know that I didn’tknow).
Still, I brought much-needed metrics—orientation, organization,and process—to the team and scaled it out to over 30 sales repsThat said, it could have been better. We really didn’t have a good leadgeneration strategy because we really didn’t know who our highprobability targets were or even what our Ideal Customer Profile was. Wedidn’t have a good understanding of how we made money and where weshould be selling ads on our site for the most incremental revenue.Prior to Amos taking over sales and client services, the salespeople couldjust call on anybody they “felt” would be a good fit for our onlineadvertising products (cost-per-click advertisers, or CPC).
For example, itwas very easy for a salesperson to go to Overture (formerly goto.com andacquired by Yahoo!) and type in high-value keywords like “webconferencing” or “web hosting” and call on advertisers buying thosekeywords. It felt like shooting fish in a barrel. But looking at the bigpicture, we learned that by selling to the upteenth web-hosting advertiseron our site we were merely shifting clicks around, generating very littleincremental revenue for our company.
It was like shooting fish in abarrel, except it’s the same fish you keep hitting over and over.I remember a great quote by Tiger Woods’s former golf coach, ButchHarmon: “If you don’t set a target, you’ll hit it every time.” Yep, we hadno target. No specifically articulated idea of who we should be selling toand how we should be generating our target lead lists. So somesalespeople would call down lists in local business journals, some wouldcall down Dun & Bradstreet lists, some would call on competitors’customers—calling anybody the salesperson thought would buy and
generate revenue for them to hit their quota. We weren’t considering ifour ads would actually drive new business to our customers, if they couldbecome recurring revenue customers, if their ads would add value to ourown site. If they were a reachable business, they became a target. Thiswas incredibly painful. Salespeople would regularly tell me that they’dspend about two hours per day merely doing research to find newadvertisers to call that they thought could generate revenue forthemselves. Two hours of research each day—this means more than a fullday every week not selling! That’s a tremendous waste of a sales asset.That’s no strategy.But still, by 2005, our company had grown from $225,000 annualrevenue to $6 million. I was proud of my team contributions and lovedthe fact that my boss gave me the leeway to make decisions and be heldaccountable. Then I heard that my boss was going to take over a differentteam and that our CEO was bringing in one of his mountain bikingbuddies…
Amos Schwartzfarb pdf
a guy named Amos from HotJobs.Who was this new guy? What kind of name was “Amos”? Was myfreedom and scope going to end? What was he going to change? As youcan imagine, I was nervous about getting a new boss. Sure, things weren’tperfect, but the charts were going up and to the right (by hook or bycrook) so what was this new guy going to do that I wasn’t?And then I watched him take over the sales team and run his W3playbook. It’s really simple…you can’t sell and grow your revenueseffectively if you don’t know who you’re selling to, what they’ll buy, andwhy they’ll buy. The simplicity of that framework made it easy for me tofollow and makes it easy for any sales leader or entrepreneur to follow tosuccess. I was learning what a real sales strategy was. He was teachingme something new…something that I knew I would be able to use againand again in my future roles. It worked! And it worked fast. In a matter ofmonths, the team was moving in a concerted direction because we wereoperating under a real sales strategy for the first time.From 2005 to 2007, our revenues grew from $6 million to over $60million annually, and we were acquired by RH Donnelly in 2007 for $345million. While I had limited sales leadership experience, being a part ofimplementing this strategy at our company gave me a whole new
perspective and helped to shape my future sales leadership opportunities.And here’s the thing: I’ve since learned that there are a lot of people whopreach convoluted, aggressive systems as “sales strategies,” but almost allof them fail growing companies and leading teams. However, Amos’ssystem worked.I like to think of this time as before W3 and after W3, because the impactwas so clear.
Before, sales targeting was a free-for-all. “Call anybody youlike,” we said. “If you think they’ll buy what we’re sellin’, go for it,” wesaid. So our intrepid sales folks bunkered down in the trenches, pleadingwith accounts to find something—anything—to sell them, even if it wasclear they saw no value in our ad space. There was no time for follow-upor customer development, let alone a funnel that could actually helpdirect efforts.Fools!After, sales targeting became a fine-tuned machine that put precision andaccuracy at the top of the pyramid. We had a funnel. We had a process.We actually thought about who we needed to talk to and why they wouldwant to talk to us. Now we get to tell our valiant sales folks what everysmart team wants to hear: “We’re giving you the list of high-probabilityprospects who already buy cost-per-click advertising and who will fit intocategories on our site that will generate the most incremental revenuefor us. It will generate this cash because we have a relationship with thesecustomers that’s as valuable to us as it is to them: this targeted list ofcustomers buy from us because we can give them a better ROI for theironline advertising dollar by delivering higher quality clicks from ourniche search engine.”This was transformative because now we had the ability to orchestrate thecreation of organized lists for the salespeople based on the strategy thatwas best for the business, which fueled our segmentation and leadprioritization strategies for the whole sales team; and everyone mademore money.By following this simple approach, we went from throwing pasta at a wallto orchestrating a lavish dinner party so desirable that R.H. Donnellywanted to pay $345 million for a seat at the table. Those who were part ofthe leadership team went on to start their own companies, lead $500
million sales teams at Viacom/MTV, and take other Los Angeles startupsfrom nothing to millions. But for me, the most important lesson learnedwas what a real sales strategy consisted of. I took his approach to myopportunities and repeated the playbook with success. I’ve used the W3approach when I started my own business in Sales Strategy andRecruiting and while at ZipRecruiter, where I grew the sales team fromtwo salespeople to over 400 in less than six years.
Amos Schwartzfarb pdf
What this strategy did for us at Business.com and what it continues to dofor anyone who uses it is simple, but important: it personalizes the salesprocess. As a CEO, founder, sales leader, or up-and-coming sales rep justtrying to gain a foothold, it’s easy to focus so much on the numbers andthe selling that you can grow blinders to the most critical person in theprocess: the customer. They don’t have to buy what you are selling, so youhave to know why they will benefit from it. You have to know where theyexist and what they’re worried about. And having that simple—but solid—formula to ask who, what, and why helps center the sales and growthprocess so that companies and customers can thrive.—Kevin GaitherSVP of sales at ZipRecruiterMarch 2019
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