Sales are the lifeblood of any business. Without it, you might as well not have any business at all. That is why you have to increase the number of sellers you have. There are many ways to increase it. You have affiliates, ambassador programs, and more. Join your host Doug C. Brown as he lists down the best ways to grow your sales team so that you can increase your brand following.
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The Best Ways To Increase Your Number Of Sellers And Get As Many People Selling For You
I like to do these solo episodes because it’s a focus on one subject on how to increase your revenues and/or your profitability in your company. I want to talk about increasing the number of your sellers. What does that mean? That means you want to get as many salespeople selling your product to service as humanly possible. I love what a friend of mine, Mitch Russo, said, “You don’t have a sales force. You don’t have a company. Why? Sales is the lifeblood of any business.” How do you do it more efficiently? How do you increase the revenue? How do you dramatically increase the revenue? How do you bolster the profit?
One of the ways of doing this is getting more sellers out there for you without having to pay out all the high-base salaries that come along with hiring top-producing salespeople. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to hire top-producing salespeople. That means you can have alternatives or additions in order to increase the sales force in your company. You don’t have to pay them out of pocket. There’s no base salary. What do I mean by this? There’s something that I’ve been doing for years called building agencies. I’ll give you an example. I had a company. They were doing $4.5 million a year. They had a sales team. They were calling out on corporate clients and I came along with him and I said, “You could potentially build an agency in your company.”
What is an agency? An agency is one of those things that you build a system and then people become authorized to sell your programs, products, services. In this case, they were a telecommunications company. People were coming to support their services. They were training them on what to sell then people would go out and sell them and pay a percentage. In this case, it was a recurring percentage, which was even more inviting to people at that time. What happened to the company? They went from $4.5 million to over $10 million in a couple of years just on that one idea alone. Any company out there can hire additional salespeople by utilizing the strategies of increasing the number of sellers through an agency model.You want to get as many salespeople selling your product to service as humanly possible. Click To Tweet
Affiliates are another way of doing this.
What is an affiliate? An affiliate is somebody you make an arrangement with that will sell your product, service, or your offering, and they will get paid a commission. What’s the difference between that and an agency? An agency can represent your company brand and an affiliate will typically promote that company brand. They’re linked, very similar. I want to give you a bunch of ideas here so that you can think, “How do I go out and get an increase in the number of sellers from my company, but I don’t have to come out of pocket with base salaries to do these right out of the gate?” Joint ventures are another way of doing this. You find something that has a complimentary business. You two get together. They have a client base. They introduce that client-based to you. You sell your services together.
In other words, peanut butter and jelly make up a great sandwich, but there are jelly manufacturers and peanut butter manufacturers. If they get together, now they need a bread manufacturer. All three of them come together. You can’t eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dry, can you? No. You got to have a beverage company involved there. Do you see what happens? People start bringing lots of clientele into the fold and they buy your products and services. It’s complimentary to another person. Therefore, they’re not going to feel threatened that, “If I help this person, they’re going to take my clients from me.” They’re collectively everybody’s clients, but you get your part sold out of that. What does it cost you? It cost you a little bit of time, energy, and focus on how to set it up, but you don’t have to pay anything out when it’s a JV like that.
Now, if it’s an affiliate, you’re going to pay it out because you’re going to pay a percentage out. A lot of times, JVs will partner up with you and they’ll take their piece, you take your piece, or you work out a split right up front that we’re going to sell this for X and we have four joint venture partners in here. We’re all going to split it 25%. As long as you’re covering your margins, it gets a client for you and if you do what I talk about in expanding the sale, you’re going to have the opportunity for upsells, cross-sells, and a multitude of expansion within that sales process itself. Partners are another great way to do this. You’ve got to be a little careful with partners because you’ve got to have a clear agreement with partners, but partnerships that are good work out well. Partnerships that are not good don’t work out well.
Other People’s Networks
Partners are another way of thinking through this. This is the question I would ask you to ask yourself, “How do you utilize someone else’s network of business? How do you utilize someone else’s influence in the business?” That’s what you do in referrals, but how do you utilize what they already have because many times, these people are sitting on a lot of gold, but they don’t know how to monetize it. Your job is to teach them how they can monetize it in a safe way that wouldn’t threaten their clientele. You can increase the number of sellers by going out and hiring your own top producers. There’s a process for that and I teach that as people know. There is a process. You want to follow a process and not be in such a rush to hire top producers because you’re looking for personality traits and the ability to have the DNA to do the sales job.
In other words, there are DNA that happens with, let’s say, hunters. They’re different than people who are farmers. What’s the difference? A hunter is somebody who likes to go out and get new business constantly. They love cold calling, for example. They love the challenge of getting a new client. Farmers are those people who love taking care of people. They don’t care for cold calling. They don’t have the will to go out and do what a hunter will do. Those are different sometimes, very much from the profile and again, you’re looking at the personality, but the profile, the DNA, we call it sales blueprint DNA, if you will. Do they have the ability to do these certain things?
If you take a manager, for example, one of the big challenges I see many companies make is they look and go, “This guy is my top producer. This gal is my top producer. They are my top producers. I’m going to make them a manager.” That might not be the best thing for you to do for them or for yourself because the DNA of a manager is different than the DNA of a hunter, not always, but in most cases. That hunter loves to be out amongst the people, loves to be out hunting. A manager loves to manage. A manager loves spreadsheets. Salespeople, top producers don’t care for spreadsheets, don’t care a lot about CRMs and putting information systems to manage the sales process, but a manager must also care about that and coach their people.You don't have a sales force, you don't have a company. Click To Tweet
You can use affiliates, joint ventures, and partners. You could hire superstars. You can build an agency and that will increase the number of your sellers on the street for you. With joint ventures, that’s complementary businesses. Partner with competitors to drive your business up. Why would you do that? Sometimes you don’t have competing products even though they’re competitors. Let me give you an example. I used to do this all the time when I worked in the telecommunications business. I would sell dial tone and dial tone being the thing where you pick up and you hear a sound while you’re on the phone. Cell phones don’t have that, but in the old days, they did.
Dial tone, data, emails services, different things that we would sell at our telecommunications company. However, we didn’t sell phone systems. I could sell phone systems, but they weren’t our primary offering. They were a competitor. A phone vendor and my company were competitors, but the reality is we deferred the phone system to them because that’s what they sold and made their money off of. They could sell dial tones. They could sell for other companies, but we would get together and we’d say, “Do you want somebody to buy a new phone system from you?” If you’ve ever seen phone systems, you’ll know that people don’t buy them every year, but usually every 5, 10, 15, 20 years sometimes. If I could come in and be complementary to what you do, I can look at their phone bills and reduce their costs. Let’s say I could reduce a company’s cost by $1,000 a month and you have a new lease that’s $300 or $400 or $500 or even $600 a month.
That company is going to be interested in upgrading their technology and increasing their profitability by doing expense reduction. People love this. I used to do this all the time. Why? People who are selling phone systems are like, “I can sell more phone systems and they will be using me as the number to increase the sellers for their company, as well as other friends that I had. I was using their company to increase my number of sellers. It worked out, even though we were competitors.” Sometimes you can even find a way to even compensate the competitor when they give you a return back. It’s a win-win play when it’s the right competitor.
Let’s talk about ambassador programs. Ambassador programs is where you take your internal clientele and you turn them into salesforce. How do you do that? Ambassador programs, people love recognition for one. They also love to get paid. If you have clientele that’s willing to go out and promote your name, they’re willing to go out and bring you to a live event that they’re doing. I don’t know. I went to one where it was the battered woman society and the city itself was raising money. They had all of the people that were the shakers and movers there. They had the mayor, the governor, and all of those types of people and it was a black-tie event. I got the opportunity to come there and talk about what we do to be able to fund part of that for the cause they were looking for.
They acted as an ambassador. They brought me in and introduced me to the clientele. Ambassadors don’t have to necessarily put on live events but what I am saying is they will promote you. For people who love what you do, it’s not just a referral. They’re bringing the business to you. Referrals are another way of getting more feet on the street, but I put that under an expansion of a sale, but referrals are where somebody introduces it to you and then you go and do all the work.
In this case, a lot of times, they’re walking you through because they’re the ambassador. They’re walking that client right through your door and going, “This is what you should be doing based on my experience.” You can build an ambassador program very effectively.Sales are the lifeblood of any business. Click To Tweet
Another way of doing this is licensure. What does that mean? You grant somebody a license to utilize your process, your patented services and your systems.
You license that and you will see that similar to a franchise where they’re granting over the rights to utilize the process and their actual name in the case of a franchise. You can create licensure around about anything and guess why people will do that. It’s because they’ll take your licenser and guess where they are going to buy. Let’s say it’s a product. They’re going to buy it from your manufacturing company. They’re going to buy it from the place that they need to buy it. Why wouldn’t they buy it from you? It’s because you’re giving them a license of a process, which includes what you do anyways. They will pay you a licensure fee. They will pay you per sale, but you’re increasing the number of sellers and in that case, many times, you’re increasing the number of operations people within your company for nothing but the cost of the sale itself. It’s a cost-effective way of being able to drive more sellers into your business.
The last one is certification. Certification is one of those things where you have a process or a system, and what you’re doing is not licensing it per se but bringing people in and training them. You’re training them on how to do your business, similar to, in some cases, how a franchise would do it. However, you’re not granting them a franchise license, nor are you getting into franchise law when you’re doing these types of things if you do this right. With certification, you’re granting them the ability to be certified. If you do this right, people will pay you a monthly or annual fee for their certification to keep their certification.
When I was in the medical field, we had to go out and get what we called continuing education credits. We had to have a license each year. I’m going back to license and we pay for our license. To keep our current license active, we needed to go and create extra activities that showed the governing body that gave us that license. “I’ve done these courses and here’s my fee.” They would collect that fee every year, but we take it to a deeper level in a certification. We’re teaching a process and a system that if I was in the medical field, for example, I could be certified like I was a Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist. I was also a licensed one when I worked in the field.
When you’re certified, you’re granting out the process and the license. A lot of times, people will pay you an annual fee to do that. Some of the most common ones are software. Some of the other common ones are coaching, consulting, methodology and marketing practices. All kinds of things can be in a certification. Let’s recap what we talked about. We talked about increasing the number of sellers for your company without you having to come out of pocket on base salaries and without putting forth a ton of money for the client acquisition. You’re going to have to create a process around this. It’s going to be some energy and some expenditure that will go out to create the process. Once you create the process, it’s duplicatable again and again. The more sellers you get on the street, the more sellers you get virtually selling your products and services.
We didn’t even talk about online, but everything that you read right here applies online as well. You can expand your reach, utilize other people’s networks and expertise, and pay them a percentage. This is how you increase the number of your sellers and you increase your profitability because your acquisition cost is usually much lower than something that’s internal. You’re not coming out of pocket with all these base salaries, nor are you taking the risk of hiring somebody and then having to let them go and figure out all of that type of thing that happens along with it.
Let me recap. You can do affiliates, joint ventures with complementary businesses, partnerships or joint ventures with competitors, and partnerships but be careful on the partnerships because the good ones are great, but the bad ones are not so good. You can hire internal people and you can put them on full commission. That’s another way of doing what we would call top performers or hiring superstars. You could do this on commission only but be careful of your state laws and laws that govern because you don’t want to be construed as an employee earns. There are parameters around that. You can build out an agency. They sign an agreement that says this separate company and you’re going to support them as an agency and they will be your agent for your company.
You can also do an ambassador program where you take your best clients and turn them into client advocates and bring you business. You can create licensure where you have a process, system, patented product, or a hardware piece, and you can license it for somebody else to use in part or in the whole of what they’re putting together. Finally, you can do the certification. You’re taking a process, taking a system, and you’re wrapping around the training aspect of this, and you’re certifying your partners or certifying people to utilize your methodology, your service, your product, whatever it might be, and you’re granting them the ability to do that. The cool thing about that is in many cases, they will pay you a monthly or annual fee as well as sell your product or service. You’re getting a double whammy, if you will, on that sale.
If you like this, please give it a five-star review. If you have any future things that you would like me to talk about here because I’m here for you, please, let me know. I’ll plug my own services. If you want advisory services, coaching or consulting, reach out to me at Doug@BusinessSucessFactors.com. LinkedIn.com/DougBrown123 is my LinkedIn address and you can certainly call us at (603) 595-0303. Another episode of the show has been brought to you. Go out, sell something, make some money, and have a great day.