Prospecting Advice from the UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer

Author:

Benjamin Dennehy
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Episode

118

Prospecting Advice from the UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Benjamin Dennehy

Founder at The UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer

With a title like “the UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer,” you know that you’re likely going to ruffle some feathers. You’re going to make some people uncomfortable. Because you’ve likely not achieved that title by telling people what they want to hear. 

Which is why, on this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration, we sat down with Benjamin Dennehy for a conversation all about his career journey and how he came to be known as the UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer.

Some things we talked about: 

  • Why anybody can have a career in sales
  • Benjamin’s sales and prospecting best practices
  • Why you shouldn’t automatically hire someone with sales experience for your sales role
  • The pros and cons of LinkedIn Prospecting
  • The right ways to use CRMs as an SDR

Why anybody can have a career in sales

Great salespeople aren’t born; they’re made. It’s a sentiment Benjamin shouts to those thinking they’re not good enough. The reality is: It’s all about training — some more than others. But once that head space is cleared, every individual has the possibility to become a great salesperson regardless of their individual uniqueness. 

But what about confidence? Yes, it can be trained but can be a huge challenge for some. Benjamin’s response: Confidence isn’t so simple. Part of confidence comes down to belief. If a salesperson doesn’t believe that they’re allowed to act a certain way, it’ll keep them from rising above the rest. 

Think of how you act in a library versus a public park. When we talk to people, compare it to the library — the daily conversations we have set a standard that we apply to most situations, sales included. 

But sales calls are not daily conversations. There’s a very specific intention to those calls. By shifting a person’s belief to treat daily conversations and sales conversations differently, the real salesperson starts to emerge. 

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They believe that the person they call is better than them. They believe that the person they call is more authoritative than them. They believe they’re not allowed to challenge.

Benjamin Dennehy – The UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer

Benjamin’s sales and prospecting advice

There’s two types of salespeople: Those willing to be creative and fight for their sales calls and then those who expect to be spoon fed. Benjamin shares some of the ways a salesperson can stand out:

  • Ask for a fake employee: If you lead with a fake name, the employee you initially reach with the company won’t know how to help you. Now ask for the name of the managing director and extension. After a few days pass, you can then call the managing director directly. 
  • Run through the last 4 digits of the company number: It can be time consuming, but continually calling numbers will help you find the correct contact. 
  • Pattern interrupt: People don’t like to be told what to do. So, by disarming a cold call and asking for permission to pitch to them, you’re helping the prospect open up.

The pros and cons of LinkedIn Prospecting

Linkedin, like any social media, is a marketing platform — it’s all about creating content. And you can absolutely use it as a way of prospecting, but, according to Benjamin, it can be detrimental if you’re not careful. 

Salespeople can easily start to believe that they don’t have enough information about a potential before they reach out with a call, leading to some procrastination. Just as we discussed earlier, a salesperson needs to dispel the belief that the prospect is better than them or have authority over them. 

If a salesperson is handed a list of CEOs to call, the immediate next step is to pick up the phone. They can’t spend hours on Linkedin trying to learn everything they can about the prospect. 

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They say they need to have some sort of personal connection. No, they don’t. They need to pick up the phone.

Benjamin Dennehy – The UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer

This is not to say there isn’t a time and place for research. But in between sales calls is the wrong time. 

Prospecting Advice: A key takeaway

Anyone can be a salesperson. It just requires clearing out the mental trash that’s been reinforced through a person’s life. The quicker the clutter can be thrown away, the faster that person can start allowing themselves the ability to call CEOs without the worry — are they better than me?

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Anybody can learn to do sales. This isn’t rocket science. We’re not designing nuclear reactors.

Benjamin Dennehy – The UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer

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About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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