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- Learn how to create a consistent, healthy, and quality opportunity pipeline that never runs out of clients
- Find out how to fix your sales and marketing machines, so you continue attracting quality clients for retention and growth
- Discover how to create intent, not just interest in your clients, so your message is anchored on the improved result for the client’s business
- Check out more of Tony’s FREE content and resources at https://www.salesiqglobal.com/
Do you find your business lacks forecast accuracy and adequate pipeline coverage?
Is your market narrowly targeted, and do you create a message that speaks specifically for them?
Tony Hughes has 35 years of corporate and sales leadership experience having generated record-breaking results as a salesperson, head of sales, and CEO leading the Asia-pacific region for multinationals. He is a best-selling author, consultant, trainer, and keynote speaker.
Listen in as Tony points out how to understand and focus on your customer persona and create a message that will make them take action on the necessary changes they need to make running their business to reach an improved result.
Check out these episode highlights:
- 01:19 – Tony’s ideal client: My ideal customer profile is a technology or professional services company.
- 01:27 – The problem he helps solve with his clients: The number one problem is a lack of consistent opportunity pipeline. The secondary problem is the progression and closure of those opportunities. And then the third problem is retention and growth with existing clients.
- 02:30 – Symptoms of the problem his clients face: Not enough salespeople, not enough salespeople on target year to date, a lack of forecast accuracy, or lack of adequate pipeline coverage.
- 03:28 – Mistakes clients commit before consulting with Tony: Some common mistakes people make as leaders is they try to manage the result, instead of managing the right effective activity that feeds into the objectives that create the result.
- 05:53 – Tony’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): We need to instead lead with the opportunity to drive and improve results. And when they ask for more information, we talk about the strategy that achieves the result, not our capabilities. So, we leave with result, strategy, and then capability; reverse the order.
- 06:42 – Tony’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): Check out Tony’s FREE content and resources at https://www.salesiqglobal.com/
- 07:15 – Q: What’s causing most people to fail? A: And the reality is, most people are really busy doing enough not to feel guilty, rather than getting busy doing what it actually takes to be successful.
Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:“Create a customer-centric narrative where you have a point of view on how they can drive improved results in their role.” -Tony Hughes Click To Tweet
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Tom Poland 00:10
Greetings everyone! A very warm welcome to another edition of marketing the invisible. I’m Tom Poland, and joined today by Tony Hughes. Tony, very warm welcome to you. So where are you hanging out?
Tony Hughes 00:21
Thanks, Tom. I am so excited about the conversation today. I’m based in Sydney.
Tom Poland 00:24
I’m in Sydney, Australia. And I’m just a bit further north couple of hours flight, folks, from both Australia’s East coast. For those who don’t know, Tony, he’s very, very well known in general, in South circles. He’s got 35 years of corporate and sales leadership experience. He must have started when you’re, what 10, or something? But he’s personally generated many record-breaking sales results as a salesperson, he has been the head of sales. For many companies, he has been the CEO, leading the Asia Pacific region for many multinationals. He’s a best-selling author as a consultant or trainer. As a keynote speaker, he knows a thing or two about converting leads into sales. So that’s a bit of a clue as to what the subject matter is going to be about today, folks. Tony, our title today is The Future of Revenue for Business Owners. And our seven minutes is going to start now, first, number one, who is your ideal client.
Tony Hughes 01:19
So, my ideal customer profile is a technology or professional services company.
Tom Poland 01:24
Perfect. And tell us about the problem you solve for them.
Tony Hughes 01:27
The number one problem that all business leaders told me is that they have lots. But the number one problem is a lack of consistent opportunity pipeline. The secondary problem is the progression and closure of those opportunities. And then the third problem is retention and growth with existing clients. And I help them in all three of those areas.
Tom Poland 01:46
Wow, very well articulated. So you’re essentially unplugging one bottleneck after the other by the sound of it.
Tony Hughes 01:52
Yes. And creating a consistent healthy quality opportunity pipeline tends to be a curable ill. For other things going on inside the business, any business that doesn’t have enough consistent opportunity pipeline ends up trying to do unnatural acts, pulling forward business and actually pressuring customers. So, we need to fix, you know, every piece of our sales and marketing machine. But that’s really the most important thing.
Tom Poland 02:18
Okay, thank you for that. Of course number three, just under six minutes left. So we’re doing well for time; what would you say are some of the typical symptoms of individuals and organizations experiencing a need for your services?
Tony Hughes 02:30
Well, if the sales leader or the CEO feels like they’re aging a whole year of their life at the end of every quarter, then they probably have the problem. So, not enough salespeople, not enough salespeople on target year to date, a lack of forecast accuracy, or lack of adequate pipeline coverage. Every business will be different, but typically, in the tech sector, businesses are looking for three and a half to four times pipeline coverage to de-risk actually hitting the number. Most businesses are operating with typically about half of that. And that’s the root cause of a lot of stress in the business.
Tom Poland 03:09
Wow. And that would be stressful. Look, we’re talking about growth-oriented companies here. They’re focused on sales, customer acquisition, and so on. So they’re going to be trying things. So what would you say? Question four is, what would you say are some of the common mistakes that your successful clients tried before they found your solution? Four and a half minutes left.
Tony Hughes 03:28
Some common mistakes people make as leaders is that they try to manage the result instead of managing the right effective activity that feeds into the objectives that create the result. So, you know, sometimes you can pull a lever of more revenue, but not much. And you don’t get to pull it very often before you burn the people you’re pulling the lever with. We’ve all heard of, for example, software vendors that will go into a licensing audit to try and generate some revenue at the end of the quarter. Well, that does massive damage to their relationship with the customer. They don’t get to go and repeat that typically. So, manage the activities that feed into the objectives that create the result is really important. And the other thing is to have clarity about your ideal customer profile, then understand the buyer personas to whom you sell and nail your narrative. Create a customer-centric narrative where you have a point of view on how they can drive improved results in their role. That’s the key to driving effective engagement and creating pipe.
Tom Poland 04:26
I mean, this is, you know, it’s a great danger, folks, if you listen to this, you think, yeah, I’ve heard this before, you might think, well, it’s common sense. But it’s not commonplace, is it, Tony? It’s extraordinary how many large and reasonably successful organizations have forgotten these critical points that you’re making. So, worth playing that one back again, Tony, do you want to add to that?
Tony Hughes 04:49
Yeah, well, Tom, one of the big mistakes or traps that sellers and businesses fall into is that they would, I describe as good enough to fail. They’re good enough at creating interest but not good enough at creating intent. So it’s one thing for the customer to become interested in what it is that we offer; it’s a very different thing for them to decide we need to change the way we operate. You know, create a real intent to change the way they’re running their business. And that’s what we need to lead with the commercial value of change. We need to speak to both head and heart both emotion and logic. But what’s the improved result? What’s the brighter future for the clients in changing the way they operate unless we anchor our opportunity to that? It’ll just drift away on us.
Tom Poland 05:36
Sounds like a very specific, tangible, measurable benefit for engagement. So, let’s go with question five, just two more minutes left. The valuable free, like a top tip, you could give people that won’t solve the whole problem for them, but it might stop them off in the right direction.
Tony Hughes 05:53
Most people lead with, this is who we are and this is what we offer and how it all works. But that is the wrong thing to talk about. That only appeals at best to 3% of the market, the people that are looking for what we do. 40% of the market has a level of dissatisfaction and frustration with the current state. So, we need to instead lead with their opportunity to drive and improve result. And when they ask for more information, we talk about the strategy that achieves the result, not about our capabilities. So, we lead with result, strategy, and then capability. Reverse the order.
Tom Poland 06:27
Very interesting. And most people are starting the opposite way around before they establish an interest. Thank you for that. One and a half minutes left, valuable free resource. That’s question number six, where can people go to learn more about what you do and about this subject matter.
Tony Hughes 06:42
So, if you go to tonyhughes.com.au, I’ve got webinar and podcast tabs; there are details of it. My books are there, as well. But there’s lots of free content in the form of podcasts. If you also go to salesiqglobal.com we’ve got e-learning content. And again, lots of other fantastic content around these concepts there, as well.
Tom Poland 07:03
Fabulous. They’re not just about transforming your own results, folks. But there’s information there on transforming your sales team. 46 seconds left. So, what’s the one question I should have asked you but didn’t? And the answer, please.
Tony Hughes 07:15
What’s causing most people to fail? And the reality is, most people are really busy doing enough not to feel guilty, rather than getting busy doing what it actually takes to be successful. So, if you’re a leader of a business, really think about I need clarity about my ideal customer profile, so I focus on the right areas. I need to understand the people to whom I sell, nail my narrative and message, and then execute the right levels of activity to break through.
Tom Poland 07:42
Perfect! Tony Hughes, thank you so much for your time and your wisdom. Folks, this one is worth replaying and taking notes on. Thanks, Tony.
Tony Hughes 07:49
Tom Poland 07:51
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