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C-Suite Chats with Christian Valiulis


In September, our CRO & Forbes Business Development Council member, Christian Valiulis, answered questions about various business topics. Here are his thoughts.

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September 2019 C-Suite Chats With Christian Valiulis

Each month, members of the Forbes Business Development Council come together for Q&A sessions about relevant, important topics in the business world. The council recently discussed topics like approaching new prospects and creating a successful referral marketing system. Here’s what Christian Valiulis, our very own CRO and member had to say:

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Question 1

Not everyone makes a great salesperson, so for new graduates who may be looking to get into the sales industry, how can they be sure it’s the right fit for them? What’s one skill or talent every new salesperson should have, and why is it important for success?

Christian: Resiliance

The most successful salespeople have this Sam Beckett mindset: “Try again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” You need to look for people who are resilient, who can look at a lost deal as an opportunity and not a defeat. Keep this in mind when interviewing recent graduates, and ask for examples of a time when they failed. You should be able to tell if they would be a good fit based on their response.

Even if they already have their own methodologies for closing a sale, new graduates looking at getting into the sales industry need to know what sort of characteristics are essential for being the best salesperson. Read about which critical skills are most important for new salespeople to master in 12 Critical Skills Any New Salesperson Should Master For A Successful Career.

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Question 2

Approaching new prospects for the first time can be daunting. Without a previous relationship to draw from, successful salespeople have to rely on other techniques to make their case and close a deal. What’s the best way a salesperson can connect with cold/new prospects, and why is that strategy particularly effective?

Christian: Correct, Challenge, Consult

Connect with cold and new prospects by using these three Cs of sales: correct, challenge and consult. Correct the prospect’s issue to highlight their “blind spots,” then challenge their assumptions about their problems. Finally, consult with them on ways to solve their issue using your solution. Assert yourself as a valuable asset to the prospect, and you’ll make a meaningful connection with them.

Dealing with new customers can be a nerve-wracking ordeal for some salespeople. Overthinking discussions with other people can lead to them being less confident as a result. For any salesperson, this could be disastrous. For tips on how to break the ice effectively and establish a rapport, read 13 Strategies For Connecting With New Sales Prospects (And Why They Work).

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Question 3

Machine learning and AI have the potential to drastically improve the day-to-day work of salespeople — especially in terms of time saved. What’s one way salespeople and/or teams can leverage machine learning and AI to cut time, costs and other factors holding them back from success?

Christian: Let the Data Do the Work for You

Use a predictive data tool like InsideSales.com to allow you to standardize and scale your processes, creating a more consistent performance from your sales reps. Utilize predictive data around current and past customers to determine the best time to make contact. Let the data do the work for your reps, so they can focus on learning about the business.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) form two of the most powerful emerging technologies to enter the world of business today. Both of these advancements can be used in tandem with one another to benefit sales teams in the short and long term. Read about ways sales teams can leverage AI and ML to increase the efficiency of their operations and overcome the most common hurdles they may encounter in 11 Implementations Of AI And Machine Learning That Truly Benefit Sales Teams.

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Question 4

 Learning to sell means understanding your client’s needs — their problem — and how you can solve it. What’s one key element of problem-centric selling every salesperson needs to master in order to be successful?

Christian: Know Your Client’s Business Better Than They Do

Know the solution to a prospect’s business problem before you speak to them. Use data from current customers to talk about common industry challenges they might not have experienced yet and how your solution can be the right fit for them. Having the insight to industry challenges shows you are looking to help solve their business problems, not just trying to make a sale.

Every successful business must deeply understand the specific needs of its clients if they hope to land a sale. As a business owner, you’ll also need to tap into your client’s problems and position your business as their solution. To read more about this type of practice and how to do it properly, read 12 Techniques For Mastering Problem-Centric Selling Every Salesperson Should Know.

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Question 5

If successful, a well-planned referral marketing system can be invaluable to the growth of a business. What’s one thing businesses should consider when creating a referral marketing system, and why is it important?

Christian: Analyze Before You Implement

Starting a referral marketing system is not a small feat, so you need to know the likelihood of your clients referring you. If they aren’t satisfied with your service, they won’t buy into your marketing strategy. Utilize your Net Promoter Score (NPS) to understand how likely your customers are to recommend you. If you have a consistently high NPS, consider looking into a referral marketing system.

Referral marketing is a great way to recruit new leads through your current customers and it can be invaluable to the growth of your business. If you want to capitalize on referral marketing, you’ll have to be organized and prepared. For more information on this topic, read 11 Ways To Build An Effective Referral Marketing System.


About Forbes Business Development Council:

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only organization for senior-level sales and business development executives. Find out if you qualify at forbesbizdevcouncil.com/qualify.

About Christian Valiulis

Chief Revenue Officer Christian Valiulis at APS is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. As a national human capital management and full-service payroll processing company, APSdelivers a unified cloud solution backed by guaranteed payroll tax compliance services. Christian oversees marketing and sales, channel partnerships, and strategic product and service alliances. Connect with him on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his most recent publications.