Our weekly CIENCE Enterprise Sales Development (ESD) podcast is an engaging space that gathers some of the brightest minds involved in lead generation, marketing, data, and technology. Hosted by Eric Quanstrom, CMO of CIENCE, we introduce top-tier guests who share their experiences, insights, advice, and philosophies behind their success.
In our Best of ESD series, we feature sales titan Kevin “KD” Dorsey, Practice Lead for Revenue Leadership at Winning by Design, and one of the major voices in enterprise sales development.
KD offers his best sales advice, including his 8 Mile Method and how to adjust messaging that sticks with your audience. He also talks about what sales development representatives (SDRs) should ask to drive the conversation. Check out these great highlights from our featured podcast.
Meet Kevin “KD” Dorsey
As the VP of sales experience for companies like SalesPop and SnackNation, Kevin knows what it means to be the head of sales enablement. Here are some of our favorite moments from this episode:
Philosophies for success in sales
Kevin starts the conversation with his own thoughts of what to bring to the table while engaging with new prospects. According to his experience, the whole “I was hoping to get fifteen minutes of your time next week to talk about how we could three times increase your pipeline production” speech doesn”t work anymore.
Sales must start on the right foot, or they won’t start at all. In KD’s opinion, the messaging involved in the first contact touch is nowhere near where it needs to be to get a conversation going.
“If I look at where a lot of companies struggle when it comes to their prospecting and pipeline generation, the messaging is way too product focused and way too company focused versus problem and persona focused.” —Kevin “KD” Dorsey
Kevin’s perspective is that it takes time to perfect the messaging that must be displayed to the different levels of the buyer’s journey. Companies nowadays are addicted to speed in most of their deal-closing processes without paying enough attention to how their SDRs build a dialogue with their prospects.
Listen to the full podcast now:
Enterprise Sales Development with Kevin Dorsey
Eradicating bad sales habits
KD believes that companies are moving too fast and in a short-sighted way, which doesn’t pay off in the long run. This will only lead to the propagation of bad habits that grow deep inside the infrastructure of businesses, damaging it from within.
One great example of a bad habit he mentions is having too many leaders in place that don’t have proper training in sales. This creates a gap at the top of understanding what’s really going on in the market, which affects the whole sales chain—from managers to executives.
Another notorious habit inside the sales process today is failing to leverage every piece of customer data available. According to Kevin, companies still don’t understand the relevance of making data-based decisions and how every single touch point with prospects, clients, and even lost sales give away the ingredients to craft more compelling interactions with people.
“If people understood how much science, effort, and data has gone into tech companies to get us addicted to their products, if we applied the same mindset and methodology to nailing our sales processes, things would be a lot better.” —Kevin “KD” Dorsey
Kevin conveys that if we never talk about how emotions pull into sales or never talk about what fear and novelty do to people, this produces another bad habit in sales. Integrating the human factor in the lead-conversion equation is vital for understanding what customers need from us.
Watch it now! See the Kevin Dorsey podcast on YouTube
Entering the sales profession
KD is not shy about this point—he strongly believes that people don’t take salespeople seriously enough, which leads to a lot of the problems that we see today in many businesses.
In his mind, sales professionals are as prestigious as any other high-tier specialists from every industry out there. However, salespeople don’t necessarily need to access an institutionalized education for years to achieve their profit goals.
“I actually don’t want sales to be a degree program because you actually are being taught and then spending four years in a classroom. There would need to be a balance of the practice and execution needed to get people up to speed.” —Kevin “KD” Dorsey
The 80/20 rule
Kevin agrees that vendors have a unique opportunity to learn a crucial skill for life—how to deal with objections. According to his 80/20 rule, it is possible to deduct how eighty percent of sales-driven conversations will go. By analyzing the most common objections, it is possible to maneuver most interactions in favor of the offering party.
“You know 80% of the reasons why people won’t buy from you. 80% of the calls will go the same way. That 20% might catch you off guard, sure, but it is impossible to script everything. You may very well script what you can.” —Kevin “KD” Dorsey
According to KD, the reason why someone asks questions like: “What do you do?” or “What your product is about?” is to find a reason to say “no” as quickly as possible. Thankfully, Kevin offers some proven sales tactics to step up the SDR’s game.
The 8-Mile Method
KD’s popular 8 Mile Method originated from dissecting the final rap battle scene in 8 Mile, the 2002 film starring Eminem. His method is specifically designed to help SDRs refine their messaging every time they come across a regular sales objection.
“No one in that crowd wants to like Eminem, just like no prospect wants to talk to the salesperson. They’re inherently against us, but Eminem teaches us how we can still win them over.” —Kevin “KD” Dorsey
While Kevin encourages every sales representative to be flexible and creative during each call, having a way to deliver fast-paced, on-point responses to the most obvious objections helps SDRs get consistent results. This is how the 8 Mile Method works (minus the rap part):
1. Say the objections first. By putting the objections out there before the prospect does, you diminish their impact. This also helps to build credibility as the sales reps say what the prospect was thinking.
2. Stay grounded. Prospects usually look for reasons to disagree more than for reasons to agree. If you try to sell your product as “the best” option in the market, leads will try to find reasons to deny that statement.
3. Ask the questions. The person asking the questions controls the conversation. Sales reps should be able to generate an ask-answer-ask chain, as the information provided by the prospect is the one that leads to a closed deal.
4. Nail timing. The odds that the prospect has time for a call in the next two days are pretty narrow. If the sales rep gives them at least one week, it is more viable that the prospect can open a window of a more meaningful conversation.
5. Secure the catch. The sharpest SDRs send the invite for a meeting and ask the prospect to accept it while they are still on the line. They even make the prospect promise they will do all within their power to show up.
6. Tell the whole story. The social proof that actually works is the one that presents the beginning of the process. People can not relate to the end result if they don’t know how it started.
Sweaty palms aside, Kevin sums it up with one strategic move to help you Eminem your way into a conversation:
“On your cold calls, y’all, if there’s any objection you’re getting regularly, you 8 Mile it.”—Kevin “KD” Dorsey
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