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JBarrows Filling the Funnel Course Template

Learn how you can customize and reinforce Filling the Funnel course tips where sales plays are happening to maximize revenue.

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When we met with John Barrows who founded JBarrows Sales Training, this concept of losing valuable information through our short-term memory was nothing new to him. He offers individual and group online training, in-person and remote training, for growing sales orgs who want to learn how to boost their productivity and drive more revenue.

“The biggest piece that’s been missing for us is reinforcement after our classes are over,” said John. “Everyone is energized after the course and can’t wait to take what they’ve learned and implement it. But, what happens when you get back into your day-to-day workflow? You struggle to recall the concepts. You’re on a sales call and remember you had training on objection handling or selling the value but don’t have the information on hand and struggle to recollect.”

“That’s why I was so excited to hear about Spekit’s solution. Now, through our partnership, all of that valuable information a rep has learned through our course becomes accessible and reinforced as the reps are prospecting, making their calls and closing deals. It’s able to move from short-term memory to long-term memory because it’s available and accessible directly within their day-to-day workflow,” said John.

Check out a few of our conversations with John Barrows to learn how you can maximize sales velocity and revenue by reinforcing training right when and where your reps need it:

The Fundamental Process of Sales

The fundamental process of sales, AIDA, was the first process to put any structure into sales. AIDA is:


These are the 4 mental stages ones needs to go through before making a purchase.


Prospecting isn't about selling your solution, it's about selling the next step in the sales process, it's about selling time.

In other words…

Prospecting is about gaining attention and creating interest.

You have about 5 to 15 seconds to get a prospect's attention through social media, email, call, etc.

This, in turn, earns you extra minutes to create interest by asking a question or putting forward a value proposition.

This, in turn, will earn you a meeting where you can create a desire.

ProTip: Sell time! Quantify what you're asking for - 15 mins, 30 mins etc.

Sales Equation

The Sales equation is made up of 4 stages:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Meeting
  3. Proposal
  4. Close

By understanding the conversion ratios, we can figure out what needs to be done to make improvements in the process

Here are the ratios for each stage:

This means a Sales rep would need to make 1600 cold calls to get 8 meetings. Of these, only 4 would go into the proposal stage and only 2 deals would close.

By adjusting the ratios you can improve your conversion rate.

ProTip: Research! This will help you elevate over other sales reps and improve the prospecting stage.

You could have accessed this content directly within Salesforce, Outreach, or wherever your sales team is working.

All this content (and more) is available to import and surface where your sales reps are working. Give your reps the bite-sized reinforcement, guidance, and coaching they need – where and when they need it.

See Spekit in Action

Identifying the target audience

Several characteristics help you qualify a lead in your sales process. Each company has its own sets of characteristics that will help you categorize your leads into the following:

  • Tier 1 - these are good leads
  • Tier 2 - these are average leads
  • Tier 3 - these are poor leads

Here are some examples of qualifying pointers that can help you categorize your leads:

  • Industry
  • Size/ Revenue
  • of employees
  • Competitors
  • Technologies used

It's important to find the right bracket under each qualifying pointer to help you make the most of your prospecting efforts. Here's an example:

ProTip: Try to check as many characteristics as you can before you reach out to your prospects through research.

Finding the right leads in an Account

Once you've figured out who your target audience is, you need to figure out who to contact in these Accounts.

There are 2 main approaches when trying to crack into new accounts:

  • Top-down approach
  • Bottom-up approach

These two approaches are separated by a power line. Each company has a power line that distinguishes between those who can make decisions and those who can't.

The Top-down approach is recommended because:

  • It's easier to find exec level folks on social media, blogs, etc.
  • They love to delegate and will give great referrals
  • Each company has a power line. This distinguishes between those who can make decisions and those that can't

ProTip: When speaking with an exec level individual don't sell your solution, ask for referrals.

Identifying important roles an Account

When prospecting, we need to identify people in an organization we should be focusing on and people we should be avoiding.

  1. Poser: The one who says I’m the guy but down the road, you’ll realize he’s not. This is the most dangerous person on the list and needs to be avoided
    • You won’t really know what they’re intention is.
    • You can get stuck with then and waste a lot of time.
    • This, in turn, could cause you to lose deals.
  2. Coach: This is the person who gives us the information we need and tells us what we need to know. They further help us navigate internal politics.
    • In most cases, the information they do give us may not be of any value.
    • They are not included in decision making and are usually on the sidelines of it.
  3. Champion: This is someone on the inside who can advocate for us and get things done!
    • They can steal budget
    • They agree to be your champion

Tailoring messaging when contacting execs in targeted accounts

When speaking to executive-level personals in an org, it's important to get and keep their attention and stay above the power line as long as possible. Keep in mind the qualifying pointers when reaching out to these folks.

Here's a summary of the things you should and shouldn't say when talking to your prospecting:

ProTip: Research! Do some research before reaching out. Something as simple as going on their company website and personal LinkedIn will give you an upper hand over other sales reps.

Triggers used to increase the response rate

Once you're aware of the do's and don'ts when speaking to exec's in an Account, you need to know what to say to them.

There are several factors and triggers that can be used to increase the chances of getting a response rate from an executive at an Account.

More common factors as we discussed earlier are messaging based on Industry they work in or their role.

Other common Factors include:

  • Social Media Presence
  • Existing # of office locations
  • Look and Feel of the Website
  • Mission and Vision Statements of the company

More specific factors include:

  • Launching new products
  • New Locations/ Geographic expansions
  • Hiring/ Growth
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • New Leadership roles
  • Quotes from executives (this gets the highest response rate)

How to find relevant information

There are two ways you can find information to use when reaching out to folks in an Account.

  1. Going on the companies website
  2. Have the info come to you

Going on the website:

  • News and Events section:
    • Visit the news and events section of the company.
    • Press releases have great information you can use.
    • Search for anything under 6 months, it will be more relevant.
  • About us:
    • Visit the About Us section if you couldn’t find anything in news and events.
    • Look for mission or vision statements.
    • Some companies even post their financial reports here.
  • Executive profiles:
    • You could find interesting goals or mission statements here.

Have the information come you:

  • Set up your systems so that the right information comes to you based on your set triggers.
  • There are several tools you can use for this:
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Google Alerts
    • Owler
    • InsideView

Develop your message

An elevator pitch is a short description given by sales reps when they make a call to introduce an idea, product or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time.

This description typically explains who the product is for, what it does, why it is needed, and how it will get done.

The historical elevator pitch fails for many reasons. These are:

  • The message is way too long.
  • Talks all about you, for example, your product gives so and so features, rather than providing any value to the prospect.
  • The messaging is too general, doesn't use any triggers.
  • The messaging is super cheesy. Make sure your tone and pitch are audience-appropriate.

The historical pitch lacks attention grabbers. These are things you can say that will get the attention of the prospect in the first 15 seconds and engage them further.

  • Short: Keep it short, 1 sentence.
  • Peak Curiosity: Make sure what you say makes them want to hear more!
  • Results: The prospects are more focused on results. Show them what you’ve been able to achieve for customers.
  • Unique: Tell them what’s unique about your product.
    • Showing them results, such as case studies, is what makes you unique from competitors.
  • Specific and Targeted: The more specific you are with your messaging and the more targeted you are with your audience, the more likely your prospect will respond to you.
    • This leads to a higher conversion rate!