Thursday, November 1, 2012

Interview with the COO of the Innovative New Company,

As online marketing expands, its becoming more accessible for everyone. No longer does successful online marketing require huge monthly ad spending and massive SEO campaigns. Recently, a new company has brought to the sales market an innovative marketing service that is designed specifically for territory based sales representatives. The company is This company provides a comprehensive online marketing solution that is geo-targeted for a sales rep’s territory. The company provides a platform that helps a sales rep gain notoriety and visibility in their territory with online search marketing, social media marketing and online advertisements.

I had the chance to sit down with COO Ryan Corey to discuss how his company is paving a completely new path for success in outside sales.

Will: What is your background and how did it bring you to launch 

Ryan: I actually started my career as a territory based sales rep, or district manager for ADP. I did that for a year and half or so with some success and some tough times as well. I then moved on in 2003 when I was presented with an opportunity to become a marketing and sales person for a small firm. I immediately sunk the majority of my time in to learning web marketing, which was a really new medium at the time. We had a ton of success from that point forward. I also had the chance to start my own website on the side, that took off and I sold that after about three years.

The launch of this company came as the result of knowing what internet marketing can do for anyone and anything and the fact that there is no solution out there for outside sales reps. There really is no good reason why there is no other company like ours. Internet marketing is extremely effective and very cost efficient.

Will: It appears as though the service is basically three pronged. Including online search, social media and online ads. Can you briefly explain these?  

Ryan: Sure. First we establish a website for the rep that allows them to show up in local search results for searches that relate to their product or service within their region. The website we establish for them also helps to establish their name as a brand, which is something that many sales thought leaders like yourself talk about frequently. The website stays active with monthly blog posts that relate to their industry, product or service, which further builds credibility and their brand.

The social media part of the service focuses mainly on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. We grow these accounts, build followings of people in the sales rep’s industry and region and we specifically target their prospects and the people associated with the organizations they are selling to.

The online ads are extremely powerful. We geo-target the ads so that we make the sales rep and their product or service specifically known to their targets before they make a call to set the appointment. These ads will make the rep well known to their prospects in a similar way that the most successful real estate agents put their message all over a community in which they work. The real estate agent becomes a well-known figure, long before their future clients need to buy or sell their home. Its further branding and notoriety in their sales territory.  

Will: How does the company set up and manage a sales rep when they sign on with you?  

Ryan: Each new sales rep is assigned to an account manager. The account manager handles the set up and daily duties that are involved in growing the sales rep’s presence. These are trained and knowledgeable online marketers that know what to look for in optimizing an account month after month.

Will: What expectations should a sales rep have when signing on with your firm. 

Ryan: Just like any other form of marketing, it takes a steady approach over time. Sure there can be some immediate success, the service can generate phone calls or emails at any time. But ultimately, the campaign needs to continue to run to ramp up. As it does, we gather more data on what is working for that particular rep, in that particular territory, with that particular product or service that they sell. As we gather more data, we are able to tweak settings, test more and optimize the campaign. I would say though, so far with our early clients, month three seems to be an impact point.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Hiring Salespeople From Your Competitors Always the Right Thing to Do?

I recently ran across an article by Lee B. Salz titled "Beware of Hiring Your Competitor's Sales People". Lee makes some great points on why focusing purely on hiring salespeople from competitors in your industry is a bad idea. While I'm not totally against hiring salespeople from your competitors, I certainly agree with Lee's main points in his article.

If you are a salesperson making a transition to another company in the same industry, you definitely need to have a great explanation ready for your customers (especially if this involves bringing your old customers over to your new company). "I'm making better money" would not be a great answer. "My company was sold, so I'm not sure what the future will hold for either one of us" would be an example of a great explanation. Whatever the circumstances, make sure your message is very clear to your customers on why you are leaving.

Please check out Lee's article by clicking here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Should I Trust My Sales Manager’s Advice?

A good portion of salespeople wonder at some point during their tenure with a company as to whether or not they should trust their sales manager’s advice. I wanted to tackle this issue head-on this month as this is an important subject which impacts all salespeople.

Generally speaking, you should trust your sales manager’s advice. However, this doesn’t mean you should stick your head in the sand when he or she gives you advice, either. It is always important to weigh their advice and mix in your own experience & knowledge before taking action. It is also a good idea to engage your sales manager with your own thoughts after you have been given his or her advice. After all, two heads are certainly better than one. Issues and problems which come up when working in a sales capacity can be complicated, so never be afraid to seek out your sales manager’s opinion before moving forward.

If you know for a fact that your sales manager’s advice cannot be trusted, I would think very seriously about continuing with your present employer. At the very least, you might want to consider making a lateral move within the company. Poor sales managers who give bad advice will ultimately not only impact your moral in a negative way, but will also impact your sales numbers and income at some point in the future, too.

While the majority of sales managers do a good job, there are still far too many sales managers who fall into the “poor” category. This can even sometimes happen at companies where the company is great but the sales manager seems to sabotage sales at every stage of the game because he or she is a poor manager in general. Whatever the case may be, it is always a bad idea to continue working for a manager who doesn’t know what it really takes to sell or is simply incompetent.

The bottom line is that you ultimately need to trust your sales manager to sustain long-term success. Don’t be afraid to seek out their advice when you need it. And if you can’t trust your sales manager, you need to move on to another company or make a position change within the same company.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Consistent Salespeople Retain Customers

I have had the fortunate opportunity to have lived on both coasts and the Midwest in my adult life. I also lived abroad in Asia for year. I have been to every region of the country at one point or another, and visited many states in-between them. Of all the national chains around, there is one business in particular which always seems to be the same no matter where they are operating.

That business is McDonald's. No, I’m not here to pitch their food, service, or nutritional information. What I will say, however, is that they are certainly a model of consistency we should all immolate as salespeople.

Think about it. Do you ever wonder if the food at McDonald’s is going to make you sick? Do you worry about their restroom being dirty? Do you worry about the food not tasting the same when you are half way across the country eating at one of their restaurants for the first time? In my experience, these thoughts never arise as they maintain a high degree of standards which are followed by each and every franchise owner. No matter where you are, you know what you are getting when you pull up to the “golden arches”.

This leads me to my next point. Do your customers know what to expect from you when a problem arises? What is their expectation of you when it comes to keeping them up to date on your new products or services which can benefit their company? Do you maintain consistent communication with your customers or just show up when you think your business with them is “on the rocks”? Do you trash your competitors in conversations with your customers, or do you operate like a real sales pro?

Displaying consistent confidence in areas such as those I mentioned above will keep your customers in a business relationship with you more than anything else. After all, do you really think your customer wants to take a chance on a new company & new salesperson when they already have confidence in you and know what to expect? Can you see how being consistent with your customers will negate price, service, and quality to certain extent?

Being consistent sounds easy on paper, but is hard to practice in reality. If you can be consistent in the way your operate as a salesperson, however, you will keep your competitors from taking away your customers. And if you cannot retain business with the vast majority of your customers, you will ultimately find it impossible to sustain any substantial sales growth.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Industry Experience & Formal Education Levels are Overrated When It Comes to Finding Successful Salespeople

Industry experience and individual education levels are often overrated when it comes to hiring new salespeople. Passionate, motivated, and goal-driven individuals are far more likely to achieve sales success regardless of their industry experience or education level.

This is not just my opinion, either. A recent article posted on the Gallup Management Journal confirms this, too. Studies have shown that hiring salespeople with more industry experience or higher education levels does very little to improve a sales team's results over the long-term. Instead, companies that are succeeding in this economy with their sales team are going after the top talent and nurturing their own top performers.

I'm certainly not trying to deter anyone from gaining industry experience or obtaining more formal education. However, this is not the driving force in what makes an individual salesperson successful.

For more information on this very important topic and debate, please check out the Gallup Management Journal article when you get a chance.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sales Happenings Around the Web...

Yes – I am still alive. Many of you emailed me, and I want to apologize for posting so little in the last couple of months. I’m planning on getting back to providing some really good material here on Top Sales Blog between now and the end of the year. Unfortunately, I have been very busy in other ventures as of late – but hope to get back on the “horse” very soon as sales theory & discussion is my passion.

First, I wanted to give a quick “shout out” to Brad Trnavsky over at Sales Management 2.0. Brad has launched a new Sales E-Book that is really good, and I would encourage you to get his free download when you get an opportunity. The book is on Sales 2.0, so if you are interested in Sales 2.0 you should definitely take advantage of it. If you don’t know what Sales 2.0 is or have never heard of it, you most certainly need to download this book to get up to speed with your competitors!

Also, on top of having the best community sales management website – Brad is backing this up by also having the best sales podcast on the web, too. Please make sure to check out the Sales Management 2.0 podcast. He is posting a 45-60 minute interview every week from published authors and sales experts from around the web focusing on specific topics. It is not just for sales management folks, either. If you work in sales in any capacity whatsoever, I would encourage you to give his sales podcast a visit. I really enjoyed his recent interview with Tom Schaber. is offering a free B-to-B Intelligence Day on Aug 26. If you are looking for leads (as all salespeople and sales managers should be!), you should take part in this free trial. You will have free and unlimited access to deep intelligence on 45 million professionals at 5 million companies for a 24-hour period. Please visit the Sign-Up Page to get on the list.

A new book coming out that I will be reading is Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, and Get Results by Deborah Shames and David Booth. The following is a "teaser" which was communicated to me about the book:

These tips go against the grain of traditional presentation advice, but they work. For example:

•Having a CEO present alone is often the worst mistake you can make.
•Don’t open with a joke! You’re not that funny.
•Don’t lead with your name and your business. No one will remember you.
•The goal of your presentation is always to persuade, not to educate.
•You must have a specific role, and it should NOT be an “expert.”

For more information on the authors and Own the Room, please visit:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Give Em’ the “Goodies” in Your Presentation

Good presentations can be extremely effective when trying to “turn” a prospective customer. While there is usually too much emphasis that is put on this part of the sale (i.e. “the close”), it is not doubt an important part of the sales process in most cases.

When giving presentations, salespeople often spend too much time on the wrong things. For the most part, prospects really don’t care more...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

SBU Post: Going Beyond the Usual Probing Questions

Your time in front of a prospective customer is extremely valuable. The hardest part of the sales process can sometimes be just getting quality time in front of the prospect to ask questions. When you get to this point, you definitely want to make the most of your opportunity. You never know, this might be your only chance to advance the sale.

It is a great idea to take an evening to sit down and come up with a list of some great probing questions. It’s not like you will be doing this from scratch, either. This will be the time to search your memory more...