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bedpan
Apr 23, 2008



Help me BFC!

By a serious of bad life decisions and a corporate bankruptcy, I've found myself with a sales position for a B2B chemical company. We handle botanical extracts, vitamins, and things like that.

I have no idea how to even start finding my client base and the company's guidance has been very vague.

How do I even start? How do I do sales?

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Elephanthead
Sep 11, 2008




Toilet Rascal

So they hired you and gave you the instruction of go sell what we have? I am not sure accepting this position isn't a bad life decision. In general terms you need to find the people that buy what you sell, make a list of them and get them to have meetings with you by creating a list of actions you will take to get them to meet and follow through with those actions. There are some nifty software programs that will help you create a database of this crap. I think GNC just went bankrupt so yeah.

bedpan
Apr 23, 2008



Elephanthead posted:

So they hired you and gave you the instruction of go sell what we have?

Yes. I have a list of in-stock inventory that they would like to move and a list of products that we can bring in.

Elephanthead posted:

I am not sure accepting this position isn't a bad life decision.

I know that feeling.

Elephanthead posted:

In general terms you need to find the people that buy what you sell, make a list of them and get them to have meetings with you by creating a list of actions you will take to get them to meet and follow through with those actions. There are some nifty software programs that will help you create a database of this crap. I think GNC just went bankrupt so yeah.

I understand the general point of what I am trying to do, I guess, but my problem is trying to find the potential clients in the first place. I am having difficulty making contacts with the co-manufacturers and the other potential avenues for our products. Where do I start looking?

bedpan fucked around with this message at 19:27 on Aug 6, 2020

DELETE CASCADE
Oct 25, 2017

i haven't washed my penis since i jerked it to a phtotograph of george w. bush in 2003


if the sales team at my company is any indication, you gently caress around for a few months until they figure out you are not productive and fire you

Moo the cow
Apr 30, 2020



Presumably you have existing customers?

If so, first step is to work those. Make them happier with you. Introduce them to your entire product range and sell new poo poo to them.

I'll bet that the majority of your customers aren't even aware of half your products - let alone why they should buy from you.

bedpan
Apr 23, 2008



DELETE CASCADE posted:

if the sales team at my company is any indication, you gently caress around for a few months until they figure out you are not productive and fire you

It has already been a few months so naturally I am nervous.

Moo the cow posted:

Presumably you have existing customers?

If so, first step is to work those. Make them happier with you. Introduce them to your entire product range and sell new poo poo to them.

I'll bet that the majority of your customers aren't even aware of half your products - let alone why they should buy from you.

I have a single existing client in my area. They are going through lots of changes that prevent that account from being viable at least for a few months more.

Aside from that I have nothing. I know I need to prospect and look for new business but I am baffled as to how to go about this.

CelestialScribe
Jan 16, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


bedpan posted:

Aside from that I have nothing. I know I need to prospect and look for new business but I am baffled as to how to go about this.

I think sales may not be for you.

Moo the cow
Apr 30, 2020



Buy/steal 3 books called 'how to be a salesman' or similar.

It doesn't matter which exact title as they all rehash the same basic principles anyway.

You'll be surprised how much useful stuff you can get from them.

Thesaurus
Oct 3, 2004




steal office supplies while you can

?

bedpan
Apr 23, 2008



Moo the cow posted:

Buy/steal 3 books called 'how to be a salesman' or similar.

It doesn't matter which exact title as they all rehash the same basic principles anyway.

You'll be surprised how much useful stuff you can get from them.

This is going to be what I end up doing.

Thesaurus posted:

steal office supplies while you can

?

A downside to working from home is that the office supplies I steal are my own to begin with

theHUNGERian
Feb 23, 2006



Do your best Ricky Roma impression.

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


In my industry we generally buy/maintain lists of leads, who are in theory the person at an organization that might be a fit for us that is responsible for buying our services. We cold call and email the poo poo out of them and occasionally sign one. Your company is dumb if they do not have a lead/sales management platform in place already. Hubspot is a big one. Check out zoominfo if you have an idea of the type of company your potential customer might be and need contact info.

CarForumPoster
Jun 26, 2013


bedpan posted:

I understand the general point of what I am trying to do, I guess, but my problem is trying to find the potential clients in the first place. I am having difficulty making contacts with the co-manufacturers and the other potential avenues for our products. Where do I start looking?

Commonly in B2B sales you'll have someone, often called a Sales Development Rep or Business Development Rep, whose jobs it is to generate leads/prospects and to get those leads/prospects into meetings with an Account Executive. Sales jobs that have you do both roles, one being the grind of banging phones and the other being relationship building, tend to not be great. They're pretty different skill sets.

bedpan posted:

It has already been a few months so naturally I am nervous.


I have a single existing client in my area. They are going through lots of changes that prevent that account from being viable at least for a few months more.

Aside from that I have nothing. I know I need to prospect and look for new business but I am baffled as to how to go about this.

Some basic questions to orient the type of place youre in:

-How many sales people? Do they have this SDR/AE split?

-What is the current average lifetime value of customers?
If the average customer LTV is <$2K, customers probably dont generate enough money to have sales people. You're selling cutco steak knives. Get out.
If its in the roughly $2.5K~$25K range, that tends to be a decent spot for inside sales. You should be landing them through calls/emails. Sales cycles usually need to be short.
If the average is $>25K, that can usually support outside sales.

-Whats the ideal customer profile for the company?

-Do potential clients need your item at a certain time (e.g. time of year or in response to an event)?

-How does your company track manage leads/sales/prospects (e.g. what CRM, what are the primary tools etc.)

sanchez posted:

In my industry we generally buy/maintain lists of leads, who are in theory the person at an organization that might be a fit for us that is responsible for buying our services. We cold call and email the poo poo out of them and occasionally sign one. Your company is dumb if they do not have a lead/sales management platform in place already. Hubspot is a big one. Check out zoominfo if you have an idea of the type of company your potential customer might be and need contact info.

I fukkkkken hate purchased lead lists but our customers need us in response to an event happening so we scrape the web to find those events. Thats not true generally so ces la vie.

Also whatever you do dont start cold emailing a bunch of people from lead lists.

CarForumPoster fucked around with this message at 00:57 on Aug 12, 2020

Who Is Paul Blart
Oct 22, 2010




I’ve been selling for years and basically just do this without talking about your balls


https://youtu.be/B2SopWQTTYE

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


If they’re not giving you leads then they expect you to sell to your family and friends until you run out of people you know well enough to tolerate you selling poo poo to them, at which point they’ll move on from you to the next sucker.

You’re effectively still unemployed and should keep working at getting a job. Might pop into the resume/interview thread for help with that.

e: oh, you said B2B? Then I haven’t the faintest clue what the gently caress their business model even is, if they’re hiring people with no sales background and no industry contacts for sales roles and giving them no guidance.

Eric the Mauve fucked around with this message at 20:01 on Aug 16, 2020

bedpan
Apr 23, 2008



sanchez posted:

In my industry we generally buy/maintain lists of leads, who are in theory the person at an organization that might be a fit for us that is responsible for buying our services. We cold call and email the poo poo out of them and occasionally sign one. Your company is dumb if they do not have a lead/sales management platform in place already. Hubspot is a big one. Check out zoominfo if you have an idea of the type of company your potential customer might be and need contact info.

As far as I know, we do not have a lead/sales management platform in place. I'll take a look at those two services, thanks!


CarForumPoster posted:

Commonly in B2B sales you'll have someone, often called a Sales Development Rep or Business Development Rep, whose jobs it is to generate leads/prospects and to get those leads/prospects into meetings with an Account Executive. Sales jobs that have you do both roles, one being the grind of banging phones and the other being relationship building, tend to not be great. They're pretty different skill sets.

This is most definitely a sales job where I would have to do both.

CarForumPoster posted:



Some basic questions to orient the type of place youre in:

-How many sales people? Do they have this SDR/AE split?

-What is the current average lifetime value of customers?
If the average customer LTV is <$2K, customers probably dont generate enough money to have sales people. You're selling cutco steak knives. Get out.
If its in the roughly $2.5K~$25K range, that tends to be a decent spot for inside sales. You should be landing them through calls/emails. Sales cycles usually need to be short.
If the average is $>25K, that can usually support outside sales.

-Whats the ideal customer profile for the company?

-Do potential clients need your item at a certain time (e.g. time of year or in response to an event)?

-How does your company track manage leads/sales/prospects (e.g. what CRM, what are the primary tools etc.)

I think there are just a couple other sales people aside from my boss (who is the CEO and owner of the company).

Average lifetime value for a customer would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I am unsure what we would think of as an "ideal customer." I am from the nutraceutical/dietary supplement manufacturing industry and so I find myself contacting similar factories.


Eric the Mauve posted:

If they’re not giving you leads then they expect you to sell to your family and friends until you run out of people you know well enough to tolerate you selling poo poo to them, at which point they’ll move on from you to the next sucker.

You’re effectively still unemployed and should keep working at getting a job. Might pop into the resume/interview thread for help with that.

e: oh, you said B2B? Then I haven’t the faintest clue what the gently caress their business model even is, if they’re hiring people with no sales background and no industry contacts for sales roles and giving them no guidance.

I do have a few industry contacts but so far those industry contacts have been unproductive.

bedpan fucked around with this message at 01:24 on Aug 18, 2020

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CarForumPoster
Jun 26, 2013


bedpan posted:

As far as I know, we do not have a lead/sales management platform in place. I'll take a look at those two services, thanks!

Average lifetime value for a customer would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I am unsure what we would think of as an "ideal customer." I am from the nutraceutical/dietary supplement manufacturing industry and so I find myself contacting similar factories.


Google that phrase and start making one then find companies who fit it. I’d start with the current clients that keep the lights on.

With that LTV you’re in the relationship building business. It’s not really my area of expertise but it is the subject of many books. You’re a whale hunter.

It also definitely supports an SDR.

FWIW Sales can be a really lucrative position and if you figure out a process to do it better, by starting from scratch in this case, it can be very rewarding for your career.

CarForumPoster fucked around with this message at 12:26 on Aug 18, 2020

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