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November 24, 2020

Why Your Company Should Start Building A Sales Force

GUEST: David (Ledge) Ledgerwood, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Add1Zero

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You need more sales, not more advice. 

And to get there, you need to build a sales force that has the capacity to work full-time from setting appointments to closing deals. 

To learn more about building a revenue machine, I caught up with David (Ledge) Ledgerwood, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Add1Zero, which provides lead-to-close sales execution for B2B technology companies.

In this episode, David explains:

  • His professional journey and how he founded Add1Zero.
  • When businesses should build a sales force and what to look for in a sales team.
  • How to determine a good or bad sales lead. 

The Birth of Add1Zero 

Before the first internet boom, the idea of learning entrepreneurship didn’t exist.

So anyone who knew anything about business became consultants. It was just the thing to do at the time. 

At least, that’s what David did until he made the decision to pivot.

How did he go from working as a partner at a consulting agency to founding an agency that focuses on lead-to-close sales execution for B2B tech companies? 

The simple version: the idea of bringing companies more sales was stuck in his brain.

The longer version: In David’s many years of experience, companies hired interim CFOs and interim COOs, but they never viewed VP of Sales as a fractional leadership role. Or they hired sales coaches and sales consultants who would analyze but didn’t close. 

Compelled by the belief that companies should only pay for people that close money, he was determined to figure out how to go from talking about how to get more sales to actually getting more sales.

That resonated with people. And Add1Zero was born. 

I looked around and there’s a lot of people who do fractional sort of sales coaching and sales consulting and ‘we’ll help you build your strategy’…but nobody ever talked about just closing deals. And I thought, ‘Shouldn’t we just hire closers? That’s what we want, right’?”

Ledge Ledgerwood at Add1Zero
 

When To Build Your Sales Force

If you are a tech-enabled B2B services company, you should not hire your own sales reps until you’re at 5 million.

But it doesn’t make sense to internalize the expenditure of doing that on a full-time basis until you hit that mark.

Before you get there, companies like Add1Zero help you increase revenue and improve customer service. They book the call with prospects for you clients, do the appointments, close the deals, etc. Basically, everything in that space between the top of the funnel and closing the deal.

If closing deals is about performance, the most important metrics to track stem from “For every dollar that a company payed us, how much did we bring back in top-line revenue?” That’s a vastly better proposition than paying someone on rolodex. 

That was the concept that led to the Add1Zero idea, that you ought to have actual revenue, you should pay only for people that close money. You don’t need a VP of Sales. You just need sales. That’s what matters.”

Ledge Ledgerwood at Add1Zero


Driving Leads Through The Funnel

Qualification is about optimizing at every stage and clearly defining what it is that moves a thing from one stage to another.

David and his team consider the top of the funnel people — the outbound and inbound and marketing sales combination — and the bottom of the funnel people — those who work from appointment to close — as separate.

They think of the process like a math operation: if you can drive up each of the conversion point percentages step to step in the funnel, then the higher you go in the funnel the more difference it makes at the bottom to change the equation. 

Final Sales Tips

David left us with three stellar sales tips:

  • Personalize your connection requests. Show potential connections why you’re valuable. 
  • Work your network, but don’t say “maybe” to sales people you know you’re going to say “no” to. (Sales reps eat “noes” for breakfast!)
  • Package your offerings into named packages. It will give you power over your pricing and bundling, and shows a level of authority. 

Once your revenue machine is in full gear, it’s time to build your sales force. 

Until then, you don’t need a VP of Sales. You don’t need another sales consultant. You need lead-to-sales execution. 

This post includes highlights of our podcast interview with David “Ledge” Ledgerwood, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Add1Zero.

Subscribe to hear this episode and many more like it. For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.