Episode 30: Scott Sambucci, Founder and CEO of SalesQualia

Scott talks about his passion for ultramarathons, adapting to the ever changing sales environment, things to consider in your sales strategy and more.

This week on The CoSell Show we are thrilled to have with us Scott Sambucci, Founder and CEO of SalesQualia, and Author of 'Stop Hustling, Start Scaling'


Topics Discussed:

  • Scott's passion for ultramarathon's and how he swam from Catalina Island to the shore of Rancho Palos Verdes
  • Now more than ever, the sales environment is changing, and what do about it.
  • Things to consider in your sales strategy, and how to track and measure success.
  • Download a copy of my NEW book – "Stop Hustling, Start Scaling"



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Follow Along With The Podcast Transcript

Pete Ryan: [00:00:09] Hi everyone. Thanks so much for joining. I mean the Cosell show today, I have an awesome guest with me. Scott , Sambucci, who is the CEO and founder of Sales Qualia. Scott, how's it going, 

Scott Sambucci: [00:00:24] dude awesome. I'm thrilled to be here. 

Pete Ryan: [00:00:26] Yeah, I think so. Yeah. thanks so much for joining. Yeah, so I think maybe just as a starting point, if you just wouldn't mind providing a bit of back about your background and kind of what's led you to.

Scott Sambucci: [00:00:41] Yeah, for sure. So I moved out to Silicon Valley back in 2001, early 2002 with startup number one, and basically over the course of the last 20 years, I've worked at three different B2B tech startups. And in all three cases, I was the first basically non-engineer the first market salesperson, head of sales, whatever title you give to that person.

And in all three cases basically took those three companies from zero revenue to the first couple of million in revenue each. And so I did one startup in the tech space, another in the data analytics world, and then a third more recently at blend, which is a lending software company. Kind of recently hit unicorns status.

So it's been fun to watch that company take off. After I left, I started joke with people. It's a good thing. I left because as soon as I left there and it really grew because I was only there for the first couple of million in revenue. Now they're a $3 billion company. So what I've done over the last five years with sales Qualia, after I left blend, I got to a place to my career where.

Frankly like the, the travel and the requirements of working at a startup just got too tough for me personally, I've a wife who was working on a PhD at the time. We had a two year old son. I live in Davis, California. So it was a two and a half hour. Can you each way to San Francisco and those are the weeks I would technically home.

So that doesn't count the weeks I was flying to Dallas or Chicago or. DC or New York for meetings and implementations. So I got to a place where I'm like, okay, I think, I think it's time for me to move out of 

Pete Ryan: [00:02:15] that was doing the math here. That's about 40 hours of commute time a week. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:02:20] Yeah. I got really good at podcasts.

I've got really good at podcasts or 20 hours. 20 hours. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it was a lot and it was taxing mentally and physically, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. It was, it was awesome to be there for the first couple of years. Getting out at like helping the team get out of, okay, we built this thing.

Can we sell it to landing some of the biggest customers companies like nation star, Wells Fargo, freedom mortgage, and really seeing that go from literally zero to one. And so that, that experience really gave me an addition to the other two startups, kind of the backdrop to do the work that we do now at sales quality, which is working with early stage.

B2B companies helping them to ramp up and scale up their sales process. So we're a sales coaching company that has a program implementation program that helps founders build repeatable systems around lead generation pipeline management, customer success team building when it comes time to hire and manage the team as a founder.

So that's what we do every day.

Pete Ryan: [00:03:26] Awesome. Awesome. And you've been doing this your, your business for the last, what nine years or so? 

Scott Sambucci: [00:03:31] Yeah. So I started off as like a side project side gig 10 years ago. Like a lot of, a lot of companies. It was just like a hobby in a lot of ways. I, I wrote a book.

I self-published a book in 2010 and then that led to being invited to teach a workshop at the lean startup conference. And so I did that. And then after that conference, somebody, a friend of my interest in Cromer. I used to run a meetup group called the lean startup circle. And he's like, Hey, you know, could you do this workshop at my meetup group?

And I was like, yeah, sure. So I made a little money there. And then after the workshop I had somebody come up and said, Hey, do you do one-on-one coaching? Do you help people out? I'm like yeah, I do. And so I was kind of like on the side doing workshops at night or helping some, some teams out here and there for about five years.

And then when I got to the point in my life where it made sense to step away from working at startups instead of working with startups every day that was the 2015. So it's been a little more than five years that we've been doing this. Full-time. 

Pete Ryan: [00:04:30] Awesome. Awesome. Congrats. And yeah, congrats on the books as well.

It's incredible. Yeah, so yeah, so I, I think well before we kind of jumped into business, right? Like we always ask the question, just, you know, for the listeners to learn more about you personally, is, is there anything about you that's you'd want to share this, like not on your LinkedIn profile that you know, most people wouldn't know 

Scott Sambucci: [00:04:57] Well, this has all my LinkedIn profile, but it's I don't know.

It's a little more subtle. I run ultra marathons and I do long distance endurance events. So I've done three iron mans, and I've also done some long distance swimming, some marathon swimming. I swam the Catalina channel, which is a 20, 21 miles swim. I swim across Lake Tahoe, which is 10 and a half 11 miles, and I've done several ultramarathons including three, 100 mile races and two, 200 mile. races. So that's what I do in my spare time. 

Pete Ryan: [00:05:28] That's that's insane. 

Wow. That's so, so tell me about the swim to Catalina. Like did Catalina and back, 

Scott Sambucci: [00:05:37] so it's a two hour boat ride out there and the whole time you're like on the boat, I'm like, I got swim back. Like, this is insane. Like I took a nap on the boat on the way out and like, ah, you know, it's just, this is fun.

And then so yeah, so we started that trying to think we hit the water around four in the morning from Catalina. So it's completely dark and you're just getting in the ocean and like way off in the distance, you can kind of see a couple of lights and you're like, all right, here we go. So we had we had like a larger guide boat.

And then we had a kayaker who was kind of my, my sight line. So she was only about 20 feet from me at all times, and also for safety. And you're like, all right, here we go. And you just start swimming. And I remember a couple of key moments of that swim. There were a lot of like, like really cool right around six 30 in the morning when the sun started rising, I could see it coming up over my right shoulder.

And at that moment, it occurred to me based on my paints that I was gonna finish right at sunset. And I thought to myself, I just saw the sun rise and I'm going to be swimming all as the sun. And it was actually in a weird way, like very calming because throughout the course of the day, it was like in a weird way, like a nice natural meter as to how far I was, is like very like a very sort of natural.

A way of not worrying about like, you know, what's my pace and what time is it? I'm just like, well, the sun's right overhead. So I'm about halfway home and then the sunset. And then I ended up hitting shore about 20 minutes after official sunset. So that part was pretty cool. Another part. That was pretty cool.

I stopped one time and my wife called from the boat and sh and I remember being in the water and I could hear her or these kind of like clicking sounds. I couldn't figure out what it was. I think it wasn't a boat. I'm like, what is, what are those clicking sound? My wife called out. She said there are hundreds of dolphins.

All around you, right? Oh, no way. I didn't see any of them, but I could hear them like such a cool way of thinking about like, again, it's just like you're in the ocean and it's like, there's nature. 

Pete Ryan: [00:07:49] Yeah. You got the dolphins, you know, protecting you guys from the sharks. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:07:53] Well, yeah, that is, is on my mind.

Pretty much nonstop for the 14 hours I was out there. I was just like, cause there are sharks in that water and it's 3000 feet to the bottom of mean it's a really deep, really deep channel. And in fact, I joke my mother-in-law cause she's asking about it. She's like, what about the sharks? I said, don't worry.

We called the coast guard and we had them do a sweep. With a big net and they got all that works out of the shower. She's like really like, no. 

Pete Ryan: [00:08:22] Oh, that's incredible. 

Congrats. I mean, that's awesome accomplishment. 

Ep. 30 - Podcast Quote (2)

Scott Sambucci: [00:08:27] So I have fun with that stuff. 

Pete Ryan: [00:08:29] Yeah. Very cool. 

Yeah. So yeah, just kind of get it down to the topic.

Right. Which is and this is really something that you've, it sounds like you've experienced, right. Having worked at startups where. You know, the engineering team, the product team, they're working on finding product market fit. And and then it's really on the onus of the sales team to find, go to market fit.

Right. And so yeah, I it'd be great to kind of talk through some strategies and best practices that you've. Obviously learn and share with your clients along the way. So I'll, I'll kind of leave it at that. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:09:08] Yeah. I mean, if you don't mind, maybe I can just share my screen. Cause I've got a model that we like to teach in different capacities.

So let me just flip this over. You should be able to see my iPad here. And so this, this is a model we call it idea to impact and the way this works is it's. If you think about every startup out there, every founder, they started literally with an idea like, Hey, somebody ought to do this. Or. Whatever solutions in the market are insufficient or Hey, SharePoint sucks.

Somebody, somebody ought to fix that. Right. And but the idea isn't enough and even just building the product isn't enough. It's like ultimately if you talk to most founders, what they really want to do is get to a place way out here where they're making a real impact and that impact could be for customers.

It could be for market, it could be on the climate. It could be financial environment. Like there's a big. Impact that they want to make. And that journey usually looks something like this. And there's these three distinct phases that every startup goes through. There's the true startup phase. There's what we call the ramp up phase.

And then there's the scale-up phase. And so, and I'll bring this back to sales teams and go to market and just a minute. So the startup phase, what we usually describe as being like the key outcome you're trying to get to is your first 10 paying customers. You know, this is assuming enterprise B2B kind of stuff.

You're just like, look, I built this product and it's designed to solve a problem. Are the people willing to give me some money to like actually use the thing that I built? And that's where you oftentimes you're undercharging or you're not even quite sure who your ultimate customers are going to be.

It's before you get to product market fit. You're just trying to really, in a way we talk about just proving viability. Like, okay. I've got a product. People are paying me money. Like this is a real business by definition. It's no longer a hobby. It's a real business. You're trying to prove liability. And that's where once you've gotten that viability, that's where you need to.

And this is sometimes really challenging for a lot of founders because those first 10, your hustle, it's hard work. It's introductions, it's network, you're grinding. And you don't even like, just like whatever it takes, I'm going to get those 10. But you can't keep doing that. Right? The hustle and hard work, you start to run out of energy.

You run out of hours in the day and what you have to go to is from viability. And you have to get to a place of what we call repeatability repeatability. And that's what the ramp up stage is all about. And repeatability what we refer to our systems. And this is the go to market piece that you're talking about here, because when we talk about systems, what that means is the repeatability.

You need to have repeatability in terms of how you're generating leads. In a predictable way, filling the funnel with the right ICP is you need to have repeatability around how you're managing your pipeline, everything from like, how do we run our demos? How do we answer objections? What do we say to the technical people who ask for our technical documentation?

How do we price? You know, when people ask about pricing and that all needs to start, start being consistent. And then of course you have your customers, like how are you implementing making sure that they are they're happy. And getting the results that you're promising to them. And so, as it pertains to like go to market strategy, I think that the biggest challenge, a lot of founders run into, or the mistake they make is they get to this place of like viability and they get so much pressure from investors and they get so much pressure on themselves.

And they read about people in tech crunch that are, you know, like the blends of the world that are the new unicorn. And they think, okay, I got my first thing customers, how do I scale? I got a scale. It's like, well, there's actually a second step before you get to scale scale is the third step. Because if you don't have repeatability in your go to market, if you don't have like systems for lead generation, if you, if you're just bashing and blasting on outbound and hoping that out of a thousand people respond back for the demo requests, like that's not scalable.

Like, there's no way you can do that. If you don't know how to a live event of your own, whether it's a webinar or a conference call or your own online event and generate leads out of it, like you're not going to be able to scale lead generation. So we just think about the systems part of this, because once you have the systems, then that's where you get to scale.

Because once you have the systems, that's where you can get the scalability piece. That we just talked about, and that's where you're hiring your team and you have really clear metrics based on the systems you've built. And that way, you know, what kind of people to hire based on your lead gen strategies or the kind of account executives you need, or the kind of customer success people you need and you know how to measure them because you've run those systems yourself and know what the conversion rates should be.

You know, what the ACDs should be, you know, what the time conversion should be in your pipeline. So that's kind of how we think about this going from idea to impact. 

Pete Ryan: [00:13:58] No, this, this is terrific. And just to kind of double click on systems, right. So I think a lot of people might be assistance is like, you know, getting the right software in place, like, you know, software systems, right.

Or is it more a process or a mix of both? How do you normally define? 

Scott Sambucci: [00:14:14] Yeah. So I'm really glad you asked that question because I think people do oftentimes think of systems as. Like you said, I see like what CRM should I use? People ask me, what's the best tier. I'm like, you know what, the best CRM is the one you actually use, but that's not what we're talking about here.

When I think about systems, I'm thinking about assistance approach to the business. Thinking like when I, when I talk about a lead generation system, that's saying, okay, if I, for example, run a webinar, that's designed to teach our target. Market our target prospects about the problem that we solve than the system means.

Okay. If I'm going to, if we just build a timeline and let's just say, I'm going to run a webinar on March 15th, right. And that's the date of the actual event? Well, it's actually the event. Isn't a system. The event is just, you're going to run a webinar. A system means that for the two or three weeks beforehand.

No T minus two T minus three, you actually have a way of getting people to register. You ha we call that the signup phase. Then you have a way of warming them up, right. Getting them excited so that they actually show up to the event. And then after the event, how do you, how do you pull through. The leads that came to the event or didn't register, but didn't come to the event and turn those into sales conversations.

That's the fourth phase, which is the payout phase. So this is an example, when we talk about like an authority voice system for lead generation, it's, it's that it's that entire sort of like four to six week process that as a company, we say, look, I'll March 15th, we're going to run this event. And we know we should be able to get a hundred people to register.

50 people should show up. And of those 50, the people that show up, we should probably booked 10 calls. With our sales team coming out of that. So I know reliably, if I run this once a month, then I'm engaging with the market. I'm teaching them something really important and most important. And walking out of there with filtered leads that are opted in to a sales call because we've taught them stuff, as opposed to us like trying to push demos on people.


Pete Ryan: [00:16:23] Yeah. And I'd imagine you'd want to. Yeah, it does. Thank you. And I'd imagine like, you know, with this system, right. As an example you'd want to really test it iterate at every face. Right. So it's like, you know, for your first event you know and yeah, what's, what are your kind of some recommendations and best practices there, right.

For any startup, that's kind of like just, you know, they want to get one system. Right. And like how, how do they kind of go about nailing that so they can then get to the scale phase? 

Scott Sambucci: [00:16:55] I, I would say thinking short cycles, short production cycles, just like you would any. Like, like we use the product development paradigm a lot when it comes to working with clients every day, because that's, that's a paradigm that a lot of founders are used to as engineers, typically engineers and product people are the ones that have started companies.

And so the perception that they often have mistakenly about sales. Is like, it's a thing that you do to people where it's like this black box and I have to hire somebody who's really good at sales to do the selling and our thesis and everything we teach is like no sales is a process just like built product building is a process.

Engineering is a process capital raising is a process. Hiring is a process. Well, sales is a process too. And so your job is to figure out what, how does that process work in your company? And so people go, Oh, okay. I can get that. So they kind of get buy into this idea that sales is a process. It's not something you do to somebody.

And so then they go, well, now what, what do I do next? Well, what we do next is we say, well, let's think about it like a six week sprint. Where if you said, look, one of the things we want to do is we want to get really good at running a webinar once a month, because we think that's a great way for us to show our authority, voice, teach our market and then pull through leads.

We go great. Well, let's build a six week project around this March 15th date. We'll pick that as the date and between now and then we're going to help you with the email templates that you should be sending out to your list of people to get them to register. Here's the four or five touches between the time they register and the actual event that you should be sending to people to get them excited, to make sure you warm them up.

Maybe it's a case study. Maybe it's a short video. Maybe it's a link to an article that you wrote. So by the time they come to the webinar, they're actually excited to learn from you. They already know that you're the voice of authority and that way at the end of that webinar, where you invite people to book a demo or hop on a call with you, it's a really easy way for them to slide in.

So let's just think about that as a six week project and you just do it the first time and we're going to make some mistakes, but that's okay. Because the only way to learn is through implementation. So implement equals learning. And when you do it the first time, then you do it, then you go cool. Okay. We learned a bunch.

Let's do it one more time. Let's fix the stuff that we didn't do right. The first time. And usually by the second or third time now you've got this kind of system that you go, Hey, every month on the 15th of every month, we're going to run this webinar. And the sales team and the marketing team is going to put know, invite people to join.

And that's part of our prospecting plan of action for a company. 


Ep. 30 - Podcast Quote (1)


Pete Ryan: [00:19:30] Yeah. And it, it seems like too yeah, so it Cosell, right. We have our engineering team and they do a retros record, you know, retrospectives every, every, every month. Right. And you know, and it kind of S you know, this right. It's like on the revenue side, we need to be doing this, right.

It's like, what's working, what's not. And, you know, what are the kind of what are the key metrics that we're going to measure? Right. And I feel like once you have that, then you can kind of 

you know, you can figure out like what to, what to work on next. Right. Cause it's, you know what, you know exactly what levers you have to pull.

And I feel like that, yeah, your book like goes through this, right? It's like, it gives you essentially a framework to. To to put in place and it, it, it can work across, you know you know, most startups. Right. And so. If we, if we kind of now look at it from the lens of, okay, you know, I'm the CRO or a sales rep at a larger company you know, where maybe there's like a little more red tape.

Yeah. W what do you kind of recommend there and, you know, implementing your methodology for, for larger enterprises? 

Scott Sambucci: [00:20:44] So for us, we, we, we talk a lot about like the systems that you and I are, you know, we're using this word system, so identify selling systems, right. And so I'll share my screen one more time.

So we th we talk about what we call the nine sales accelerators. So these are basically the nine core systems selling systems that. Every company, if they want to grow and scale, they need to have in place. So there's a little bit of a complicated diagram. I usually sketch this out in a webinar, but this is the finished product.

It's basically, it's pretty simple to read you think about, okay. Prospecting is about lead gen. So how do I fill the funnel? How do I have a 30 voice? And how do I qualify my leads? Those are the first three. Okay. Now I've got a qualified lead. They go into my sales pipeline. So now I need to have a pipeline pull through strategy.

That includes how am I demoing the product? How am I partnering with my prospect to build mutual action plans? And how do I keep momentum? Because I'm selling to the enterprise and there's all kinds of reasons why deals can die. Right? And now we get to decision with the prospect that we want to convert them, to paying customers as well.

What are the key things there? Well, one, we need to be sure showing them why they're going to buy from us, and that might be an ROI assessment or a cost benefit analysis so that the CFO doesn't see the price as a cost. They see it instead as an investment. How do we help them reduce risk? The perception of risk, because we're a startup.

Like they want to believe it's like agent molder and the X-Files they're like, I want to believe in your product, but like, gosh, I can't stake my career on this decision. So it's our job to help reduce risk with POC or pilot paid pilots or phased implementations. And then of course your customer success plan.

And so to answer your question about like, if I'm at a, if I'm a more established. Company, maybe I'm series a series B company. We have some of this stuff in place. The first thing we we invite people to do is like, just do a diagnostic. Like we have this diagnostic a self-assessment that we've run with teams.

We say, look, we're just basically gonna measure these nine accelerators on a scale of one to four. And I love one to four because there's no middle ground. Right. You can't say, well, I'm like a five in this and a five in that. And a fight like, no, no, no, no, either a one, a two or three or four. And through that analysis, it'll start to identify places where you're strong, maybe where you're weak, where you have gaps, where we have opportunities to improve.

And that allows you as a CRO or a head of sales and say, okay, like of all of the places in our sales process, the place we really need to dial in maybe is our demos. Maybe we're getting a lot of off prospects are going dark after demos. Why is that? Maybe we're not definitely in the right way or maybe it's something one step before that maybe our lead qualification strategy is really bad or we don't have one we're giving demos to everybody that requests it.

So it allows you to kind of like rip open your own process and kind of figure out what's not working the way it needs to work for you to get to the place you want to go. That next stage of growth. And then from there you can just focus in and again, treat it like. Sprint you. Okay. If you had, if you're doing a product sprint, you're like, okay, these are the bugs we got to fix in the product.

It's the same thing. These are the bugs. We've got to fit in our sales process. So that's what we do with, with clients is do this, help them with this self-assessment and that helps them zero in on where to focus first. 

Pete Ryan: [00:24:00] Yeah. And for the the class that you've worked with, right? Like, is there a particular part of the process that you're kind of seeing the most struggle with?

Scott Sambucci: [00:24:08] Yeah, there's there's three, three that always seem to come up. So number one is lead gen filling the funnel, I think. And it's too much. Everybody just copies what everybody else does. It's batch and blast, or they're not doing any outbound. Cause they're scared too. And then the reason they're scared to do is cause they get crappy outbound set to them and they don't want to be like that.

And they're like, well, if that's what outbound is, I don't want to do it. And it's like, well, what if I didn't have to be like that? What if you did outbound the right way? And they're like, Oh, I just thought 1% response rate is what you're supposed to get. It's like, no, what if you did it the right way? And you got 15%.

Yeah. Like, Oh, that would be awesome. Okay. Well, let's go work on that. So just lead gen in general is one, the second is lead qualification and lead qualification. Plus even a deeper level of that, like customer discovery getting really, really clear, like why, why are they interested? What's the, one of our coaches is Megan, miss yak.

And she talks about director level objectives. Like just because the person in the middle of the organization wants to see your demo. Does the, does the senior person know this is a problem? Do they, is there a director level, you know, executive level directive around solving this problem? Or is it just somebody in the middle of the organization feeling pain and hoping that they could do a demo, get a proposal and run it up the flagpole.

And that's, that's where you end up spending six months on a deal that was never real in the first place. So filling the funnel is one lead qualification too. And the third is ROI. I think too often, like you spend months. Working a deal through the pipeline. And then people are like, okay, send us the proposal.

And we do all kinds of fancy stuff with like, Oh, you know, here's the list price, but I'm going to do this discount. And normally we charge for implementation, but we're not going to do that. And we think we're giving them a deal and it goes to the CFO's desk and they just see a number as part of the proposal.

It should be more about, well, let's turn this into an implementation plan. Let's turn this into an ROI assessment so that you guys are clear when I put, you know, 125 K. On this document in this contract, that you're a hundred percent clear that that investment of 125 K means you're going to solve a $15 million problem over the next three years, because that's an easy decision for a CFO to make.

So those are the three key areas that we often find are I mean, there's, there's others, but those are the ones that tend to really kind of surface frequently. 

Pete Ryan: [00:26:31] Yeah. Yeah. My, my co-founder Brennan Cassidy, he, you know, he would always say for the companies that you would consult at, right? Like. The first question is how are you getting your leads?

Right? Cause it's like everything down the down the chain, you know seems to kind of fall apart when you don't have enough leads. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:26:50] And again, the lead you do get you're like, I got it. Like I only got two leads and this month I got to get two of them to convert. And even if, and the worst is when those two are don't match your ICP and they don't have budget.

And now you're trying to fit the square peg in the round pole. Cause you have this pressure, you got to get revenue and you got to show. Growth now you're stuck. And even if you do get this customers, you get this winner's curse of like, great, we got this new customers. Oh shit. We got these two customers now.

And then you've got to tell the engineering team, Oh, by the way, we got to add this integration. Or we got to change things around the product roadmap. It's like, well, no, like if you do a better job at the top of the funnel, that gives you so much more control. Over the business. When you, when you can actually get it on a lead qualification call and talk to somebody and say, you know what?

I really appreciate that. What you're doing. It just seems like we're not a fit. There's so much power and confidence when you could just tell somebody, you know what, we're not a fit. Yeah. I really would love to help you, but I can't hear two or three other companies. You want to go check out when you're in that position.

Then you will have so much more control of your destiny as a, as a founder. 

Pete Ryan: [00:27:56] And I mean, you say you save your company time, money, and resources, right. From, from ultimately walking away. And yeah, I mean, based on what you're saying too, it seems like, you know, after you get it, you know what to say? You nailed the kind of lead funnel, right. You're getting a ton of leads. Yeah, it just, it's much better to work kind of smarter versus harder. Right. And asking the right questions. And yeah. So I was reading an article recently and it said that I'm trying to remember where I read this, but it's like in every enterprise sales cycle, there's about like 10.2. Oh yeah. And, and, and so yeah. What would you say for, for any any startup, right. That's, you know building out their sales team and their sales motion, and you know, they're doing this during COVID when, and then also in a world where there's like 10.2, decision-makers like Yeah. W w what kind of like words of advice would you kind of have for that company?

And this is more kind of just a general, general thought that you may have, because obviously you'd have to diagnose the problem right. And speaking with them, but, 

Scott Sambucci: [00:29:08] well, I th I mean, and this is, this is a challenge that, again, a lot of startups have if they're not doing lead gen the right way or not qualifying the right way.

And so one of the things we, we, we work on with our clients all the time is like, like let's first acknowledge. This is a fact. Let's not pretend that we can get one champion and that one champion is going to be able to shepherd the 125 K deal through the organization like that. Just ain't going to work maybe one in a hundred that way, but the other 99 are not.

So you just have to like acknowledge and accept. This is reality that there's going to be 10.2 decision makers. So if we acknowledge and accept that, so then the third step is like, well, let's take action. As early as possible. So even going all the way into lead gen, when you're doing your outbound, one of the things we do is talk about multi multitouch.

How many times are you touching your prospect, but also multi reach, right? If your outbound sequence or your lead generation sequence is only targeting one of those 10.2, then, okay, you're going to get a conversation with that one. But what happens when you have to talk to the CFO? What happens is you have to get the CEO's approval.

What happens when you have to get the director of engineering's approval? Well, now you're six months into a sales cycle and you're hoping to get an audience. So what if you could just, if you know, you're going to have to talk to those people, eventually talk to them as soon as possible. And even if they don't reply to your emails, even if they don't join the webinars that you're inviting them to, at least you're getting in front of them.

And you're getting a scope of the, the land in which you are trying to sell so that when you do need to get those meetings to talk about technical questions or risk or compliance or procurement. Then those people know who you are. So our advice is like, acknowledge that you got that 10.2 people to sell to so sell to them as soon as possible.

So that if there's a no, if the CEO is like, Hey, I get it. I totally appreciate what you're doing. That's a problem in our company, but it's not a priority. It might be a problem. It's not a priority. Come back to us in three months. Great. I'd love to hear that in to have an outbound sequence, then need a month.

Number seven. After I'd been doing demos out of my ears and setting proposals to people that think that they could get budget from the CFO, if they just have like a good enough case. Yeah. That's that's all we're trying to do is filter out. Who's real. And who's not as soon as possible. 

Ep. 30 - Podcast Quote (3)

Pete Ryan: [00:31:27] Hope is not a strategy.

Scott Sambucci: [00:31:29] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's the thing about prospecting. It's really it's not people think when you're prospecting, whether you're doing outbound or you're doing a 30 voice stuff, or you're going to conferences, people think it's a selling activity and it's not lead generation is a sorting activity.

Right. I know for a fact, you, you asked me earlier about some of the books on my shelf. One of the books in my shelf is the ultimate sales machine by Chet Holmes. And he talks about like the raw numbers for any product in any market. It's like only 3% of your target market are actively buying a solution to the problem that you saw.

7% are open to buying. That's only 10% out of 10, out of a hundred, the other 90% just ain't buying. And it's not that they don't have the problem. They don't acknowledge that the problem exists. Sometimes it's not a priority. Sometimes they don't know the problem exists. So in that prospecting phase, the most important thing to do is just figure out who's in market and who's not, who wants to have a conversation and who doesn't then, then you can start the selling.

So work first, then sell. 

Pete Ryan: [00:32:34] Yeah. Yeah. And I'll bet too. You know, that the whole concept, you know, crossing the chasm, right? Like if you're a startup, you have to find those early innovators. Right. If you're talking to kind of, you know, a laggard, right. They're going to fall into that 98%. Without an app.

Right. So it seems like the market maturity of your product plays into it too. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:32:56] And that's, what's hard about the go to market strategies because you know, if you're a founder and we talked about the startup phase, you're just trying to get your first 10, a lot of senses first 10, like I've been in situations that when I was at Altos research, our, one of our very first data customers was Goldman Sachs.

And our, our CEO, our founder of the company got that customer before I was on board. And I was like, that's pretty awesome, dude. Like they're buying data from us and spending like $20,000 a year. He's like, yeah. I was like, how do they find us? He's like, I don't know. He's like, how are they using? I don't know.

It was just like, but it was Goldman Sachs. They were literally early adopters. They were going out looking for an alpha when it came to trading mortgage securities. So they sought us out. They found the company, they wrote the check and then eventually they stopped writing the check. We didn't even, we just, we had those and we lost them.

We don't know what have we got. And we don't know how we lost them. And that often happens those first 10 customers. They are early adopters. There are people that, you know, come by your booth and you, and they're like, Hey, I've heard about you guys. Or what is it that you do? And all of a sudden you fast, they fast track a sale.

And you get like a a hundred thousand dollars enterprise sale and two and a half months, you're like, Oh, Oh my God, this is going to be so easy. Like, no, it was easy because that was the person was an innovator. Right. And that's the mistake they make from a go-to-market standpoint is they think it's always going to be that way.

And it's, it's usually not. So you get this confirmation bias, like, Oh, it's going to be simple. We just have to find more of those people where you can't. There's only is a small population of those people. If you really want to start thinking about growth and scale, that's where the systems become so important.

Pete Ryan: [00:34:33] Well, Hey, listen, Scott. I could honestly talk with you for hours and 

No, but you know, yeah, you're, you're a bad-ass guy and 

you know, it's honestly a pleasure speak with you. I guess if there's anyone that's listening that wants to get in touch with you, like what's the best way to do that. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:34:54] If they want to get in touch with me personally, they can just go to LinkedIn and search Scott Sambucci I'm the only person on LinkedIn.

That's Scott Sambucci you can send me a DM there. I think more importantly, I think if you're a founder, whether you're, you know, just getting out of the gate, you're somewhere mid stage, or even later that I would, I would recommend grabbing a copy of stop hustling, start scaling. That's the book that you mentioned, and we actually provide, you can buy a copy of Amazon if you want to, or you can get a totally complete version of PDF version of the book.

On our website. If you go to sales Qualia, Q U A L I A .com / book salesqualia.com/book. You just pop in your email address. We'll email you a full and complete electronic copy. Plus, that'll get you access to worksheets that go along with the book. So you turn it into an actual tactical exercise for yourself as you're working through and doing the reading.

So that would be the best thing to do at salesqualia.com/book. 

Pete Ryan: [00:35:48] Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Scott. I appreciate it. 

Scott Sambucci: [00:35:51] Yeah. Thanks for having me. Thanks.

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