7 ingredients of success from former sales director at Salesforce.com
Aaron Ross helped grow Salesforce.com from $US5 million to $US100 million with his Cold Calling 2.0 process, the subject of his bestseller Predictable Revenue.
Here, key points from our interview on sales and hyper-growth from his latest book From Impossible to Inevitable, co-authored with Jason Lemkin.
And, in our GREAT EIGHT, how he pushes himself when the going gets tough.
The Seven Ingredients of Hyper Growth
1. You’re not ready to grow until you nail a niche
2. Overnight success is a fairy tale. You need sustainable systems that create a predictable pipeline
3. Speeding up growth creates more problems than it solves. Things will get worse until you make sales scalable.
4. It’s hard to build a big business out of small deals…figure out how to double your deal size.
5. It’s take years longer than you want – don’t quit too soon or let a Year of Hell discourage you. Be prepared to do the time.
6. Your employees are renting not owning their jobs. Embrace employee ownership to develop a culture of taking initiative beyond a job description.
7. If you’re an employee, you’re letting frustrations stop, not motivate, you. Stop waiting for someone else to fix it, and turn your frustrations to your advantage to define your destiny.
How can you “sell money”? Prove to your customers that your product will make them more money, spend less of it, reduce the risk of losing it.
What is a qualified lead? 500 leads through a webinar may be worth only 5 word of mouth leads. Sales accepted leads (the right “fit”), that's the key metric.
Twilio cloud communications platform makes every employee, whether they're a lawyer or an HR, code a program on the Twilio platform, to get a feeling of what they do and what it's like for a customer.
Every company goes through at least one year of Hell. I guarantee you that you're looking around, you're like, "All these people are crushing it." Remind yourself that you're not failing, you're on the right track. It's not supposed to be easy all the time.
Even David Ulevitch, who founded OpenDNS, a company he sold to Cisco for $600 million, had a couple of years of hell, one when started declining. It took a year to turn that around.
Aaron’s GREAT EIGHT, 8 getting to know you questions
Book you would recommend: Wooden's an easy read. It's a little blue book about coach John Wooden, the UCLA basketball coach.
What was your first job? I picked golf balls up at a golf course. There's this kind of plunger you get. I didn’t even drive in the cart. That was the cool job.
If you weren't doing the job that you're doing now, what would you like to be doing? Organise adventure travel or adventure sports. I love race cars and guns and motorcycles and flying, and I don't know, just adventure stuff like that.
Who's another thought leader that you admire, and why? I'm on the Gary Vaynerchuk bandwagon. I do like Gary V. I think he's an interesting guy. He's always a passionate guy. He has a lot to offer.
How do you push yourself when the going gets tough? The going has been tough every day for 10 years. I went from zero kids to 9 kids to 11 kids and built a $5 million business. So I use... I call them.. forcing functions. An example; I will commit to doing a book and I'll tell people. I'll get a co-author or maybe a publisher, and then I have to do it. It kind of just makes things happen.
What is a strength that you admire in yourself? I am very insightful and creative around looking at patterns and things and seeing the essence of a few key things that make the biggest difference.
What’s a weakness or a flaw that you're working on? I could make a long list, but one challenge I have is not doing enough to take care of myself physically, kind of energy-wise, mentally.
Where do you see your future self? Geographically, we're moving the family to Edinburgh in Scotland. And professionally, for at least 10 to 20 years, I’ve had this feeling that I'd be... it's not even a desire, it's just kind of this feeling that I would be really famous where people would stop me on the street.
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