The Definitive Guide to
Presented by Find New Customers
By The Fearless Competitor
Jeff Ogden, President
Find New Customers
Follow me on Twitter @fearlesscomp
● Section 1 - Executive Summary 3
● Section 2 - Introduction 5
The Slow Death of Interruption Customer Engagement 5
Key Sales Challenges 6
● Section 3 - Problem Assessment 7
● Section 4 – Recommended course of action 9
● Section 5 – Case Study 12
● Section 6 – About the Sponsor 13
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Section 1 - Executive Summary
CSO Insights, experts on the world of sales and
marketing, recently surveyed over 2,800 companies.
They found most were raising quotas, despite low
quota attainment the prior year. In fact, quota
attainment has been steadily declining for years and
CSO Insights expects it to drop even more.
Undoubtedly, you’ve experienced these kinds of
challenges firsthand. Top executives ask for more
and more, looking for revenue growth, however:
• Lead flow has dried up
• Decisions are delayed
• Budgets are tight “It’s like you’re a high school
track coach. 1⁄2 of your high
jumpers can’t clear 6 feet. Yet
• No one returns calls we move the bar up to 6’ 3’.
One way to look at this is to compare sales quotas to How’s that going to help?
If most of our jumpers can’t
a high jump competition. You used to clear 6 feet, clear the first height, why will
but it’s getting harder and harder. Now the bar’s raising it help?”
If it was tough before, now it’s nearly impossible. CSO Insights
What’s a sales leader to do?
In this white paper, we’ll examine the root causes of these challenges and explore how the
best companies have adapted to deliver superior results. Our goal is to provide you with a
road map you can use to put steps in place today for improved fiscal results.
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Fortunately, you don’t just get ideas from Find New Customers, Our All-Star cast:
but also from some of the brightest minds in sales and
marketing. Many top sales experts contributed to this white Jill Konrath,
Selling to Big
In this paper, you’ll learn how smart companies are rethinking Kevin Temple,
the whole approach to sales. Dave Stein said “Companies need
to start running sales as a business, rather than as a weekend Jim Dickie,
pickup football game.” And you’ll learn how the best are using CSO Insights
technology to deepen relationships, empower sales Dave Stein,
conversations, increase forecast accuracy and more. ES Research
Best of all, you’ll find a series of concrete steps you can begin KLA Group
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Section 2 - Introduction
A phenomenon happened in sales. Almost since the telephone was invented, salespeople
have cold-called prospects – interrupting them with a sales story. After the advent of email,
another form emerged. Email “blasts” became the cost effective cold calling method.
Other outbound marketing channels included Pay per Click and TV/Radio ads. But if you
were among the truly ambitious, you could blow your entire marketing budget on the Super
THE SLOW DEATH OF INTERRUPTION CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
The advent of high speed internet connections and technology like Caller-ID, CAN-SPAM,
and DVRs slowly but surely are rendering so called “interruption” engagement obsolete. It’s
not that it never works – after all, even a blind squirrel can find a nut – but rather than it’s
become so easy to stop, its effectiveness drops lower and lower. To illustrate let’s look at a
classic interruption marketing approach – credit card solititations.
Look at the increased mailing of credit card solicitations (dotted line) and what
happened to responses (solid line). As the number of mailings grew over the
years, the response rate dropped lower and lower. The law of diminishing
returns is in full force.
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Businesses that rely on salespeople to cold call prospective clients are experiencing sales rep
churn and missing their numbers. It’s clear something needs to change.
KEY SALES CHALLENGES
Here are the things that experts are seeing today:
• Can’t get that elusive first and second meeting
• Deals are shrinking, decisions are delayed, and discounting is rampant
• In the eyes of the prospect, all options look the same. There is little differentiation.
• Salespeople today meet a prospect better informed than ever. Prospects know your
product, your customers and probably your pricing.
• Buyers are tougher than ever. With shrinking staff, each person needs to do the job of
multiple people and companies can get top talent for key roles like Strategic Purchasing
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Section 3 - Problem Assessment
CSO Insights does a comprehensive study of B2B sellers each year and compiles a
remarkable analysis of findings. The Sales Performance Optimization Study is their flagship
offering – now in its 16th year – long experience means they not only know what is
happening now, but what the key trends are. (You can purchase this study by clicking the
Jim Dickie, Managing Partner of CSO Insights recently shared some key data in a webinar
that shows just how ugly the world of sales has become. Jim showed what he calls the
“Formula for Disaster:”
• Only 59% of salespeople made quota (the lowest ever recorded)
• 86% of companies raised quotas (with poor performance, how does raising quotas help?)
• 67% froze or reduced lead generation budgets (fewer leads + higher quotas = disaster)
• 13% reduction in sales training
• >25% invested in sales tools (Less training and less tools leads to lower performance.)
Higher quotas, less investment, fewer dollars for new leads – it’s clear something’s got to
In order to get more detail of where companies are falling down today, I asked each of our
experts for the top 3 or 4 problems they see in sales organizations today.
Let’s look at what each had to say.
● Jill Konrath, Selling to Big Companies
1. There’s a large chasm between marketing and sales. Marketing is not providing what
Sales really needs to close business.
2. Sales pipelines are shrinking, which results in fewer deals to work.
3. Lack of differentiation. To prospects -- all options sound the same. It’s hard to win
when everyone is alike.
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● Kevin Temple, Enterprise Selling
1. Salespeople are working on fewer deals. So they need to get more from each by cross
selling and up-selling.
2. Improve qualification. Spending time on engagements that can’t close robs from those
3. Motivate to take action. Stop losing to “no decision” by building motivation and
4. Businesses need to redo the selling process to better align with the way buyers buy.
● Dave Stein, ES Research
1. Buyers are tougher than ever. They’re more experienced and highly trained, with titles
such as Strategic Sourcing -- rather than Purchasing.
2. Companies need to do a better job of salesperson selection. We tend to hire those good
at interviewing but not skilled at sales.
3. We’re teaching the wrong skills when we do teach. Few salespeople are in formal sales
training and most sales training is tactical, rather than focusing on needs of buyers.
4. Too many businesses lack a sales methodology. Most is product-oriented, but Sales
really needs understanding of how and why buyers buy.
● Kendra Lee, KLA Group
1. Sales lost the ability to sell new customers. We’re so focused on the base, we forgot.
2. Companies rely on Marketing to create and nurture leads, but the ball is dropped on
3. Inability to engage in selling with new leads drives up sales costs, lengthens sales
cycles, and lowers our win rates.
With those challenges cited, what can companies do to improve the success rates of their
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Section 4 – Recommended course of action
The goal of this white paper is to provide the sales executive with clear and actionable
information he or she can use today. So let’s plan a course of action with steps in a particular
order. Keep in mind that all sales begin with a qualified sales-ready lead, so you have to start
at the beginning. After all, Jill Konrath’s “Bold Prediction #2 is ‘Sellers must become
STEP 1 – HOLD THE PRESSES
If you are going to effect change, you cannot simply flip a switch and expect it to happen.
After all, a sales team engaged in ineffective cold calling and email blasts cannot be changed
overnight. Stop! Not everyone. Just you. You need to clear your mind and dedicate yourself
to changing direction in a responsible manner.
STEP 2 – GAIN INSIGHTS
Before you begin re-organizing your processes, collect information and ideas from the best.
A good place to start is the five experts who contributed to this white paper. The other
experts offer a great deal of good content too.
Another good way is to read and learn. Since we’re starting at the beginning, here are some
highly recommended books, eBooks and white papers to review.
• Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin (Why mixing new customer attraction approaches on top
of old products doesn’t work.)
• How to Find New Customers white paper by Find New Customers (me)
• Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing e-book by Marketo
• eMarketing for the Complex Sale book by Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions
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STEP 3: DEVELOP CUSTOMER PERSONAS AND PROVOCATIVE SALES/
Your goal in this step is to learn what makes buyers tick. What are their problems and
concerns? Where do they turn for information? Whom do they trust? What are their
personal goals and wishes? These are called personas. For more on personas, read this blog
article by David Meerman Scott of WebInkNow How well do you know your buyer personas?
Your personas will become invaluable in everything you do – your website, your marketing
content, sales conversations and more. And a deep understanding of prospective buyers will
enable you to clearly understand how best to talk to buyers – using provocative language
that drives behavior. Document everything you learn you learn in Step 3.
STEP 4 – RE-ENGINEER THE SALES AND MARKETING PROCESS
With the information gathered in Steps 1-3, you are well-equipped to work back from buyer
personas to buying process to sales engagement to marketing and so forth. In our case
study, you’ll learn about a company that experienced great results from this approach.
A customer-based go to market approach is something that few companies have considered,
but a handful has enjoyed great results. Only 45% of companies have a customer
engagement strategy. 1
“Online Customer Engagement Report 2009” e-Consultancey with CScape, December 2008.
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STEP 5 – AUTOMATE THE PROCESS WITH SOFTWARE TOOLS
Once the re-engineered process is in place, it’s time to look for software and tools to
automate the new process. You might wish to consider software to identify trigger events
like InsideView, marketing automation like Marketo or HubSpot, or a tool to monitor online
conversations like Radian6.
One fundamental application that every organization needs is Customer Relationship
Management software (CRM). There are many fine CRM offerings on the market.
One of the reasons CRM is so important is that that’s where you keep the information about
customers, prospects, etc. and enable those provocative conversations. Kendra Lee of the
KLA Group told us salespeople today have lost the ability to manage new relationships.
CRM can help new reps get up to speed quickly and empower experienced reps to use the
right words at the right time with the right people.
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Section 5 – Case Study
(Please note that much of the content below
appeared in Ardath Albee’s book eMarketing for the
Complex Sale on pages 164-166. We apologize for this
Jon Miller, VP of Marketing and co-founder at Marketo used
these concepts to create their “secret sauce” for lead generation.
In just two years, Marketo has signed up their 400th client,
which makes them one of the fastest growing companies in
history, second only to Salesforce.com.
The company involved the sales force from the start. They
started small and continually improved the process, holding weekly meetings, reviewing
reports and discussing ideas for improvement. They developed a 30 touch campaign with
four different tracks based on role.
Marketo also asks for information incrementally, allowing the earning of trust before they
start asking for more information.
Nurtured prospects showed a conversion to lead rate of 4 percent per month compared to 1
percent per month for those who only received the monthly newsletter. They also learned
that over time, only 8 percent of non-nurturing prospects would become sales-ready vs. 25%
of those in a nurturing program. And their sales team enjoys a win rate of 30-40% of
marketing supplied leads.
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Section 6 – About Us
Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple” has a very basic idea.
We wish to improve the performance of business by helping companies learn how to better
acquire new customers. We do with with an unusual approach – we’re YOUR advocate.
As I like to say, we act as your VP, Marketing for a period of time. Your VP of Marketing
would a trusted advisor. That’s our approach too.
More can be learned by visiting http://www.findnewcustomers.net. If you wish to contact
us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 284-4930.
By The Fearless Competitor, Jeff Ogden
(516) 284-4930 office
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