Episode #53

With Kevin Snow

Learn Sales, Automation & Networking From 14 Year Army Officer 

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53 – Sales, Automation, and Networking with Veteran Army Officer Kevin Snow

Kevin Snow is a 24-year sales and marketing expert who has served 14 years as an Army Officer for the USA. Kevin has a unique approach to business, which he learned and brings from his time with the military and being deployed. Through his years, Kevin has done technology sales, started and sold an app company making apps for Blackberry, and helps people network properly! Today, Kevin helps mid-large sized businesses manage their sales department by implementing process’ and automation that work. At the end of the episode, we talk about networking and what to do (and not to do) when networking for your business. Kevin is a wealth of knowledge and you will surely enjoy the episode.

Starting and Selling an App Company

  • Around 15 years ago, when Nextel was the big thing.
  • Kevin was a sales rep for them both on the direct side and working for distributors. He sold business apps to businesses.
  • Kevin and a few buddies developed apps for Blackberry Phones!
  • They sold it before they even started developing the app!
  • Lesson: Is there something you can do based on what you know from your current job where you can partner with some friends and fix something your business has a problem with?

What is Time-On-Target?

Launched 13 years ago after being deployed to Iraq with the USA Military. When he came back, Kevin had no business skills and did not know what he wanted to do.

He realized there was a need for scaling of small businesses. Traditionally, they would hire salespeople and expect them to grow the business. Then they would fail.

Here is the breakdown of how small business would work with salespeople:

  • The owner realizes they’ve reached a roadblock or bottleneck, now they want more sales.
  • The owner hires a sales rep for the business
  • The owner gives them a brief rundown of the services, how to price, etc.
  • The owner gives the salesperson collateral, business cards, and a company car
  • After a month, two months or three months, the owner gets frustrated because the salesperson is failing at what they were supposed to do, bring in sales.

Time-On-Target worked with businesses who have hit their first plateau and they want to grow past that. Kevin would come in and they would actually create a training program, from sales processes to job descriptions, to how to actually sell the products and services.

After doing that for a little bit, Kevin found his true passion was in sales and automation, so he double-downed on sales and automation, with a focus on technology in the process.

The question to ponder: Are you using a manual process’ that can be easily automated with technology? Think of tasks that are repetitive and mindless.

Where can you get started with a CRM?

  • Every side hustler needs a CRM! You need to track your contacts in business, even if you hate using them!
  • CRM will tell you who to call and when, what to say, and other notable snippets that will keep you organized in the process.

Best CRM

  • Pipedrive.­com: If you are new to tech, implementing CRMs and not analytically driven
  • Zoho.com: If you are more technical, enjoy reports, and think analytical
  • Nutshell.com: If you are driven around the process of the sales cycle. They are a niche CRM around the sales process only.

Should Every Business Have a CRM?

  • No, but you have to have something that works for you
  • YES, you need to be using something
  • If a spreadsheet works for you, then that is fine. But know that it is not ideal and try to weigh the pros and cons of each platform

What Can You Tell Us About Sales?

  • Kevin is an introvert and thus, gets his energy by being alone
  • Kevin had to learn how to sell with his introverted personality
  • Learn how to sell based on your personality and what you enjoy!
  • Kevin loves to listen, so he asked tons of questions, and kept asking questions to dive deeper into the problems.
  • He studied how to ask questions properly and he continued down the rabbit hole of getting better at asking questions.

Dane Maxwell:

  • Dane Maxwell, Founder of The Foundation, was mention in the episode on how he creates software around asking questions
  • Dane’s philosophy is to ask as many questions until you uncover problems that are solvable by a software, but the process can be duplicated in the sales process as well

What Are Some Great Questions You Ask?

  • Favorite Question: What does success look like?
    • He then makes them get detailed. He keeps drilling down their answers and finds out truly what is success.
    • The FIRST answer is not what success really is.

Where does automation come into all this?

  • Automation is a time saver
  • Automation will automate: tasks and messaging
  • One of the biggest issues with salespeople is finding content and knowing when to send that content to your prospective client. Automation solves this by finding the exact content that your prospective client needs at that time, with no guesswork involved.
  • At the beginning of a buying process for a prospective client, they are looking to see if they actually have an issue.
    • Top of the funnel content ideas on the website: case studies, blog posts
  • At the bottom of the funnel of a buying process for a prospective client, they are looking to see checklists.
    • Top 5 things you need to do before you outsource your IT Department
      • They are looking for validation on the decision they are going to make!
    • When someone downloads that type of content, the leads get sent right to sales since they are ready to make the decision.

What Tools Do You Use For These Process’?

  • Kevin uses Ontraport, which is like a Hubspot for marketing content, emails, and tracking users.
  • They then use that with automation to send people the right information at the right time.

What is the budget you need to set aside for the tech stack in your business?

  • You absolutely need two technologies, your CRM and your Marketing Automation Platform.
  • Some CRMs will do marketing automation, but it won’t be exact of a true marketing automation platform.
  • You can find really good software’s for $100-$200/month
  • Zapier can also be a Band-Aid solution at the beginning and is free at the beginning!

Networking

Networking has got a huge negative rapport with people. Networking is supposed to be about building relationships. The problem is, most people go into it with an ulterior motive, if I give you a referral you will give me one, and that is wrong.

Givers Gain: If I give you something, you’re going to give me stuff back. This is not how it should be!

The New Way of Networking:

Kevin still likes BNI (Business Network International), and Kevin gets them to interact on a peer-to-peer level.

The best way to get people to interact with each other is to do roundtables, where they all help each other and they all get to talk about their problems in their business.

If you are thinking about doing a mastermind, try doing each meeting as a roundtable discussion!

The DO NOTs of NETWORKING

  • Don’t hand out business cards as your first interaction!
  • If you go to a networking event, do not sell! You can always tell who the salespeople are, not who the networkers are because the salespeople are the ones who are coming up, trying to talk to you and trying to sell you things.
  • Do not try and just collect as many business cards as you can!
  • Do not go in without a plan on who you want to meet, what you want to accomplish, and have a reason to follow up other than selling the product

Favorite Questions at Networking Events:

  • What do you want to accomplish while you’re here?
  • If you can help them with it, do it! They will remember you for it.

Army & Military

Jocko Willink, Leadership, Strategy and Tactics¸ was mentioned and recommended!

Going through the army changed Kevin’s perspective on business by coming from a mission-centric approach.

The mission-centric approach is, we need to accomplish X, how do we do it.

Another lesson that Kevin learned was being able to make a decision and making it quickly. You do not always need to make the right decision, but you need to make a decision.

Reverse Engineering / Backwards Planning:

Kevin gave a great example of how they do backward planning in the military by sharing an example of capturing a town.

Backward planning allows you to find the issues before you run into them.

Why is Reverse Engineering Good to Know for Sales?

  • When bullets start firing from another direction, you need to adjust and adjust fast, or your army will die.
  • In sales, the bullets are objections. You need to understand all the different ways bullets can fly from and know where you will go and what to do for each one.
  • The same can be said with objections, know all the angles, and have a game plan for each objection.

How to Connect With Kevin:

LinkedIn: Kevin E Snow

Kevin’s Favour: If you got anything of value from this episode, find someone else who is at the same stage of business and introduce them to The Hobby Hustler Show! I am flattered by this favor, thanks, Kevin!  

Hosts & Guest

Matthew Alexander

Kevin Snow

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