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Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com Paperback – July 8, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 274 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

A Video From The Author, Aaron Ross:
 

About the Author

Before Predictable Revenue, Aaron worked at Salesforce.com, where he created a revolutionary Cold Calling 2.0 inside sales process and team that helped increase Salesforce.com's revenues by $100 million.  The same process has since also helped companies like Responsys (sold to Oracle to $1.5 billion), and Acquia (named the #1 fastest growing company in North America) dramatically speed up new sales growth. 

Aaron graduated from Stanford University, is an ex-Ironman triathlete and graduate of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and five children (also expecting two other kids coming the way via adoption), loves motorcycles, and he keeps his work to 25 hours a week.

His next book is underway with Jason Lemkin, The Predictable Revenue Guide To Tripling Your Sales.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: PebbleStorm; 48200th edition (July 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984380213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984380213
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I definitely enjoyed the book Predictable Revenue and really like the author's style. Ross did an amazing job helping Salesforce.com generate its opportunities, and this book tells his story of building the lead generation function from scratch and gives some great examples of his leadership style.

I would have liked it to have been more specific, but it still fully deserves a 5 star rating for being the course on "Bay Area Lead Gen Scaling 101." Having built and managed a 5+ member lead generation team from scratch exactly like the author, here are my thoughts on the book:

Ross' Vision:
1) Don't let the so-called "reality" stop you. (Love this comment)
2) Subteams and miniCEOs, cool idea for teams within companies. (Great vision, his best)
3) Design CEOs and VPs of Sales out of the sales process. (Hmm, interesting. Agreed)
4) The future of sales is on new user acquisition and important titles like VP of Lead or Demand Gen. (Agreed)
5) Design self-managing teams. (Good)

The 4 things Ross nails especially well:
1) "Prospects should earn proposals." (This is the best line ever, I always say this)
2) Always get prospects to talk about their business, not selling the product. Ask "why" 3x or more. (Great!!)
3) In 6 months, follow-up on all past opportunities. (Important)
4) Ask yourself in order, "what can I:"
A. eliminate
B. automate
C. outsource
D. delegate

Some facts:
1) "Short and sweet" emails get over 9% open rate vs. sales-y at 0%.
2) Responsibilities of VP Sales includes: goal setting, involvement in big deals, culture, etc. (See full list)
3) Most inbound leads come from small businesses, not enterprises.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstandingly valuable book despite its very poor editing (repeated or fractured content, abrupt transitions, random “filler” esp. at the end of the book, etc.).

The fundamental premise is that the conventional wisdom of growing sales by solely growing the number of salespeople no longer works without having a highly structured and highly specialized sales process consisting of the following:

1. Begin with inbound lead generation via referrals
2. Employ dedicated Market Response Reps whose sole job is to qualify and pass inbound leads to Account Executives they are aligned to. Market reps should adhere to the following process:
a. Pre-qualify / score leads to remove junk
b. Respond immediately to “Contact Me” or “Request a Trial” leads. Respond in 24 hours to most other leads.

3. Employ dedicated outbound Sales Development Reps whose sole job is to qualify dormant accounts or targeted accounts meeting you Ideal Customer Profile (see 3a). They should use the following process:
a. Define an Ideal Customer Profile
b. Assemble lists consisting of 6-month or longer dormant accounts and/or those fitting the Ideal Customer Profile
c. Each day before 9am and then after 5pm, send 50-100 short and sweet plain text emails to high level executives
d. Follow up each email with a call.
e. Repeat the email + call cycle 3 to 5 times over 21 days until you set up a scheduled discovery/qualification call. After 21 days, recycle the lead.
f. Once you reach the prospect, start with “Did I catch you at a bad time?”
g. During the discovery/qualification call, your goal is to ask great questions and listen.
h. Hot hand-off leads to one of the 2-5 Account Executives they are aligned to.
i.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We all want predictable revenue right? We want to know that if we get 5 qualified leads we can turn 2 of those in to paying customers that are worth $XX over time.

We want to have a process to take leads and qualify them for our business to move them down that sales funnel.

If that’s what you’re looking for then this is a decent book to read. I say decent because it regularly feels like a ‘sales’ book for Salesforce.com (which was where this sales process was developed though the author is no longer employed there).

My favourite points were around how to nurture and qualify leads. It’s important not to just ABC (always be selling) and to ruthlessly qualify the leads that come in. You don’t have 50 ‘best’ leads you have 5 maybe 10 that you should be working on the rest are a waste of your time.

I feel that this book is better for larger organizations that have a dedicated sales team. Smaller business like mine (which is just me) can benefit from the talk of process and cutting leads so you only focus on the ‘best’ ones, but are going to struggle with parts of it since a 1 person business by definition struggles with having many duties divided up on one person.
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Format: Paperback
I'm extremely impressed- I really enjoyed the concise writing style of this book. It reads more like an exact how-to manual than theory and principal which I totally enjoy. I've underlined and noted more stuff in this book than I have in any other business books I've read. I may be a little biased as my company leverages Salesforce.com internally as well as for our clients so I was able to really connect with the thought process in the book (and saw salesforce.com grow and innovate from the outside during the years Aaron was inside). Initially I was thinking, 'okay- this book is going to be a little too basic', however as I read on, it gathered momentum and outlined with the least number of words concise practices I'm now in the midst of implementing. There are very few books I've read which make me want to take immediate action like this one did.

I'd recommend this book to small/mid-sized business owners who have grown naturally from referrals and word of mouth who are looking towards being able to further automate themselves out of the company and free up more of their time for bigger thinking. A naturally grown business tends to have a smaller sales engine- and in some cases barely one, but a heavy dependency on the owner/operator for the referral modality to function. This book outlines a proven practice to transform and automate that.
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