Antonio Falco Interview – ‘The Sales Director’ talks Lead Qualification
We interviewed Antonio Falco aka ‘The Sales Director’, and had a Q and A session with him to find out more about him and his sales techniques. He discussed his secret to sending out effective emails and what you need for a good sales strategy.
Who are you and what do you do?
So, what do you do?
I work with companies to increase and develop their sales. That’s a combination of looking at their sales strategy, their sales process and their sales capability. And more importantly their sales people. There are 3 things that I focus on, The People, The Strategy and The Numbers.
The People. When it comes to the people you need to understand the essence of the individual and what makes them tick; the job of the sales director is to motivate, manage, develop and direct. If your sales team is not delivering the results your business needs, you have to ask yourself how much longer your business can afford to not get professional help to fix the problem.
The Strategy. There is an awful lot of talk about strategy but what does that mean? Most businesses don’t have a clear and focused sales strategy. Too often the strategy is to sell to everyone. That’s not a strategy, it is just relying on hope. So, you have to ask yourself, what are some of the key elements of a sales strategy? I think there are 3 initial points to think about, A) What does my customer look like? B) What is the plan to approach them; how are you going to do it? C) Knowing why they would buy from you; what do they want to hear from you to make the sale? But the key to any sales strategy is always having the right person to manage and deliver on that strategy.
The Numbers. They say selling is all about the numbers, because it is. Sales people are judged on their ability to deliver their numbers, their sales target. But in order to achieve your sales targets, I am looking at skill levels and sales activity. So, how many calls are we making, how many emails are we sending, how many sales meeting are we having, how many proposals and demonstrations are we giving? Without activity it doesn’t matter how good of a sales person you are, you will never make your numbers. I believe in a strong work ethic, which is about getting through the numbers – the calls, the emails etc. only then, can you build a pipeline and a forecast that eventually delivers the sales numbers.
What about lead qualification?
Getting sales qualifications right is the key starting point. The question is, how do you do it? I mentioned earlier that you have to understand who your potential customer might be, so you have to begin with mapping out some basic criteria, for example – What industry are they in? How many people do they employ? How big is their turnover? Where are they based? Who is the key person that is going to buy my product/service? These are some of the initial questions that allow you to start to build a database of suspect customers. But before I go any further let me just qualify some terminology. A suspect is someone that you think may want to buy your product or service because they fit a set of criteria that you believe your customer looks like. A prospect is someone that you have begun to qualify, by knowing that they potentially have a need for your product or service. A customer is someone who has given you the money, for your product or service. Too many people talk about customers when they really mean a prospect and it’s important to understand that distinction because it keeps you focused because you know they are not yet a customer until they have given you their order, it keeps you on your toes and focused on the job in hand. To fast track your qualification, Jeffrey can help you identify a prospective customer. Jeffrey will get you to the point where you know there is value in having a conversation because Jeffrey has already partly qualified the sales lead to whatever point you have decided. To keep it simple here is an example; if all you want to know is that you are talking to the right person (the one that makes the decision) and that they have a budget, before you speak to them – Jeffrey can do that. At that point you then have enough information to engage and that simple but complex qualification will save you time, effort and money.
What drew you to Jeffrey AI?
In business, especially small businesses, time is of the essence and so in the search for new customers, if you can get an intelligent, well qualified lead, that is invaluable. Jeffrey helps you through that initial process.
How do you think Jeffrey will be able to help you?
If you are looking for a way of streamlining your initial part of your sales process, qualification is key and Jeffrey can help you do that.
What do you think is the secret to an engaging email sequence?
In todays busy business life, people need a reason to open your email. They need to have a compelling strapline that will say to them ‘ I need to open this email’. The skill of course, is in writing that strapline. A lot of the time it is down to trial and error which is very time consuming because it is easy to get into correspondence, a to and fro of emails only to discover that your message has confused your audience and you have wasted time and effort. Because Jeffrey takes care of any initial response and tries to qualify to a point of interest, this allows you to try lots of versions till you get it right.
How often do you think you should be engaging with your audience?
For sure, no engagement is not a good thing. So, I would say, at least once a quarter. But what you should be asking yourself is; have I really got something interesting to say? And if you have and it is of value to your audience then once a month or even once a week is possible. It is all about content.
At the end of the day, sales it all about the results, and you have to demonstrate that you can make it happen. Success is not a flash in the pan, it is not about singing a song on stage and becoming a star in 2 minutes. Real success is hard fought and in sales you have to be consistent and persistent. Most sales people fail because they simply don’t do the job, it is not about being a superstar, but it is about getting down to the nitty gritty and doing the work. Sales is incredibly simple but fantastically complex.
Sales is an Art, Sales is a Science and Sales is a Profession.
Links to Antonio:
- Grow Your Business & Sell
- Sales Techniques that Work
- Brexit If It’s Meant To Be It’s Down To Me