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No matter if you’re an embedded member of a long established company, a single entrepreneur just striking out, or if you’re in the first, hopeful stages of start-up-dom — you need a way to reliably predict your revenue.

Last week, we teamed up with the fantastic Aaron Ross, author of “Predictable Revenue.” Aaron played a significant role in the behemoth success of Salesforce.com, and his book has been dubbed the Silicon Valley Sales Bible.

Aaron’s webinar was a crash-course covering Predictable Revenue basics like:

  • The three fatal mistakes sales leaders make
  • How to build an outbound sales machine that can triple your pipeline
  • Why salespeople shouldn’t prospect

First Mistake: Being Afraid to Pick a Niche.

cookieYour business can’t be everything to everyone. In other words, maybe passion led you to baking the best chocolate cookies on the planet. Perfect, delectable, addictive chocolate chip cookies. But that seemed too small, so you started whipping up snickerdoodles and sugar cookies, and that went okay, so you started making lemon bars. But maybe dessert wasn’t thinking big enough? So, now you’re making pizza.

Woah, cowboy. There’s a lot of great pizza out there. There are a lot of cookies out there too, but yours were perfect. Don’t be afraid to stick with what you’re good at, even if it is small. People who love chocolate chip cookies will love you.

Second Mistake: Believing Sales Team Size Drives Growth

Are you expanding your business? Amazing! Should your first move be to hire more salespeople? Maybe not.

Here’s why. One word of mouth lead from a current customer could be worth more than ten marketing leads. You can have the best sales team in the world, but if their leads aren’t good, they’re still going to struggle to make conversions. With great leads, even a mediocre sales team could do a bang-up job. What kinds of leads is each of your team best with?

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Third Mistake (part a): Not Specializing Sales Roles

Most of the time, not everyone is good at everything. Closing a deal isn’t the same thing as maintaining an ongoing client relationship. And screening inbound leads is different too. Having a team of well-honed specialists creates predictable results. Because once you have one specialized salesperson, they can train the next person with the benefit of expansive insight in their area of expertise.

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Third Mistake (part b): Dabbling

This leads us to dabbling. Dabbling is what turns you (or your sales team) into a jack of all trades, and master of none. In “real life,” dabbling moves you to show off that song you remember how to play from 7th grade music class, or to lace up your sneakers for the 5k you were inspired to run. Dabbling at home makes life fun. At work – you want to be an expert among an army of experts. Expertise marks the difference between the tinkerer and the virtuoso.

Want to learn more?

You can catch the full recording of the webinar on our website. We also highly recommend reading the book.