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How can I stand out when applying to the Sales Representative job at Signpost?

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Mitchell Earl answered

Signpost is targeting a demographic I really like for sales roles–small business America. A quick word on B2B SaaS sales to SMB: it’s a tough customer base. Churn and price sensitivity are higher than usual (beware clawbacks and low commissions). Not to mention, one-to-one sales can be highly inefficient if deal size is small (more on how we’ll use this to your advantage in just a minute).

But, when it comes to SMB budgets and sales, they’re much more likely to open their wallets for products that boost the bottom line than for cost-saving products. Which makes sales at Signpost a cool opportunity. Oh, and Signpost just raised a whopping $52 Million, putting them over $110 million of financing to date–not a bad time to join the team.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, on to how the sausage is made.

Skills/Responsibilities that stand out:

• Prospect
• Outbound calls/emails/demo/follow up/close
• Small business clients (with one to five locations)
• Monthly quota
• Experience with Salesforce/CRM

Suggestions:
• Lead List
• Pitch a new market

How I’d play this one: This is where we get into the real fun. If you remember in the original job posting, Signpost mentioned their ideal SMB customer is one that has one to five locations. Easy to look over if you’re not looking for it.

But why is this important to your pitch? Well, traditional sales to SMB can be kinda tricky. First, it can be tough to identify a small business owner that has multiple independent locations, unless it’s a small chain or all located within a relative geographic proximity. And if you’re not selling to people who own multiple locations, well, the unit economics don’t always work so well, unless what you’re selling has a really high ASP (average selling price). Which, if that’s the case, also makes the sale more difficult because SMBs usually operate with pretty tight margins, meaning buying decisions can often be a choice between your product or their annual family vacation.

So, why does all that matter? Well, for your pitch, we’re going to focus on finding a proven, repeatable, lucrative SMB market with high-quality prospect data, lower-acquisition cost, and easily-identifiable multi-unit opportunities.

What market is that, you ask? The SMB franchise market. And to win this job, I’m going to walk you through a step-by-step recommendation for building a lead list and pitching this market opportunity.

The goal of these tactics are to:

Prove you’re both aware of the challenges of the role, and show you’re smart enough to overcome them
• Bring something tremendously valuable to the table

The Lead List and Pitching the New Market: If you really want to go overboard, I’d do a little research to either understand the SMB industry standard of cost-per-lead, or try to get a pulse on how much moola Singpost is shilling out to build the prospect lists their team is calling into. Because if you can pitch a substantially better cost-per-lead (not to mention potentially higher selling price and higher closing rates), then you can quantify the value your pitch brings to the table–which makes this all the sweeter.

Do that–even if you’ve got some rough numbers. Then, we're going to write the process for building lead lists.

So, a while back, several state governments decided they wanted to huff and puff and get really involved in the regulation of franchises operating within their state borders. Well, for this particular use case, the impact of their regulation turned into something useful in the form of publicly available information.

A second point: each year, franchise organizations must resubmit an application with the state that discloses their business ongoings (which is then e-filed). These Franchise Disclosure Documents often detail every single location for those brands operating in the United States and who owns them. Catching on yet?

Basically, these documents are a jackpot of potential new customers for any company that serves small businesses with something valuable.

I’m not going to tell you where the lists are, because that would make it too easy on you. But if you can find one, you should be able to easily turn it into a rich prospect list, then do some simple research to add phone numbers or email addresses to the list (if they’re not included).

First step: go find the lists.

Second step: convert them to prospect lists.

Third step: document your process, the time it takes, and how much it might cost to efficiently append missing contact information. Also, run the appended info through an email validation software just to be safe.

Then repeat this process on two to three major U.S. franchise brands in the markets Signpost already has penetration in (like professional services, health and fitness, or landscaping).

Using the cost-per-lead research you started with, show the potential cost-savings of these new lead lists in a short presentation (I’d use Google Slides) and a video recording of you talking through it (Loom).

Lastly, find the VP of Sales or a sales manager on LinkedIn that works in the Denver office where this job will be. Shoot them a quick message with links to your presentation, and tell them in exchange for an interview, you’ll share the lists you build and the repeatable process you used to build it.

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