Tag Archives: outbound calling

Attaining ROI with Live Conversation Automation

ROIYou know you need more live conversations, but what is it worth?

As is the case when considering any new money saving solution, the return on investment you attain from a Live Conversation Automation solution is an imperative step when deciding whether or not to move forward. You know in your gut that a dramatic increase in live conversations with customers and prospects will pay off for your company. The challenge is determining how much value it will bring and whether it is worth it for your company to spend the dollars, cost and effort required for deploying any new solution. Outlined below are some of the top reasons ConnectLeader’s customers tell us how they have attained ROI with Team Dialer. Continue reading

How Can Busy Full-Cycle B2B Sales Reps. Make Time for Prospecting

[fusion_text]toomanydirections

In most organizations, sales groups are split into business development teams and sales teams. However, there is a growing trend, especially in smaller organizations, to utilize full-cycle (or full desk) sales representatives. Full-cycle reps are responsible for the full sales cycle from prospecting to closing to account management.
This model works well in early stage companies that have a smaller client base. But as the business grows, these sales reps take on more and more responsibility. Full-cycle reps end up taking on a lot of different responsibilities and managing existing accounts and their current pipelines take up more and more time.

The result, less time is spent on qualifying and prospecting. If a strong lead generation program isn’t in place, then these full-cycle reps can see their sales pipeline dry up really fast.

Increasing Sales Without Adding Headcount

The first solution appears to be obvious, just hire more salespeople or hire business development representatives. If budgets are limited, this may not be possible or cost-effective. Are there ways to increase the sales pipeline without adding headcount? Below are a few tips to help your full-cycle sales reps to keep their pipelines full.

Organization – Sales reps can easily get distracted and do the activities they like to do instead of the activities that will make them more money. Sales managers can make daily calendars and set aside time for specific tasks. Designating one or two prospecting times per day keep the reps focused. Using a calling automation technology makes this option cost effective as dialing rates are 8 to 10 times that of manual dialing. We recommend creating an outbound calling playbook to set prospecting goals, keep track of voicemail scripts, sales positioning statements, campaigns, and new product information.

Technology – There are many software tools and applications that can help sales reps be more productive. The most important tool is the CRM which should be the center of your sales process. Integrating other sales productivity tools with your CRM will make it easier for your reps to use the tools.

Some of the technology tools and services we use at ConnectLeader (in addition to our own Team Dialer and Personal Dialer products) include Salesforce.com for our CRM,HubSpot for marketing automation, ZoomInfo, TriggerQuest for prospecting data,GotoMeeting for online meetings, LinkedIn and Twitter for social media, GaggleAmp for amplifying our social feeds, and Adobe EchoSign for electronic document transmittal.

 

Coaching – When sales teams get busy, non-selling tasks need to be minimized. However, training and sales coaching time should not be reduced. As the speed of the sales cycle increases, sales teams need to be well-informed and capable of responding to a constantly changing market. Coaching for inside sales reps can be challenging unless you have a way to monitor the sales calls and provide advise. Our products include a feature called Remote Coach offers the option to monitor the call or “whisper” to the rep. during the call. This feature really helps us speed up the onboarding process.

Prospecting Strategies – Uncovering new sales opportunities should not be an unpleasant task for salespeople since the benefit of their efforts will directly affect their success. If the well seems to be dry, try some different strategies. Here are a few ideas we find successful:

Target Account Profiling

Profiling People:  Identifying all of the parties in the sales cycle (for ConnectLeader we want to know everyone involved in the sales process including C-level, senior executives, group managers, sales operations, and marketing). Your account profiles will vary based on your product or service.

The purpose of target account profiling is to understand each person’s responsibilities, involvement in the sales process. Essentially we want to know who is who.

  • Profiling the account for existing technologies, processes, and methodologies.
  • Understand issues or challenges in the selling process.
  • Profiling the corporate process around budget cycles, purchasing, and technology evaluations.  This helps you understand what to expect when there is a buying event.

Obtaining Referrals

We often hear customers complain about bad data in their prospecting lists. Just to be clear, having an incorrect contact name or wrong title is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is an opportunity to gain intelligence about your target account without the pressure of having to make a sales pitch. Most people strive to be helpful to other salespeople (especially if they are in sales themselves). They are often more than willing to pass you on to the person you are looking for.

Multi-Channel Prospecting

There seems to be an ongoing debate over whether inbound leads are better than outbound leads. We find a better strategy is to use a multi-channel strategy to reach out to our prospects. We use a combination of email, outbound calling, social media, and automated voicemail drops to touch our prospects in as many ways as possible.

.[/fusion_text]

10 Ways Your Sales Team Can Benefit from Outbound Calling Software

[fusion_text]10yards

Every day we hear reasons why companies don’t need to use outbound calling software. Often people confuse our product with call center software or lead generation services. So we put our sales heads together and came up with a list for 10 reasons WHY your sales team can benefit from outbound calling software (aka. live conversation automation, sales acceleration software, sales dialing software… you get the point).

  1. You have geographical sales territories that are not being adequately covered
  2. There are aging leads that your inside sales tean haven’t  called because they don’t have enough time
  3. Your reps have so many inbound leads they can’t keep up with today’s batch
  4. Reps have so many Open Tasks they never catch up
  5. You have Data Subscriptions (Discoverorg, Rainking, Zoominfo, etc) that are not  fully leveraged because your inside sales reps don’t have time to call them
  6. Event Follow Up Lists go untouched
  7. Maintenance Renewals  are not being adequately converted
  8. Sales reps are not penetrating key accounts because the team doesn’t have the bandwidth
  9. Your CEO wants to increase sales next quarter by 500%…. without hiring any new sales reps
  10. Marketing can’t get enough customers to attend the company user conference

Companies of any size and shape can benefit from improving their sales calling productivity. No matter what their outbound calling velocity is, your sales reps can  make more dials, have more live conversations, and eventually close more deals.

file-1003762041[/fusion_text]

Tips for Building a High Growth B2B Sales Team

[fusion_text]Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to welcome Chris Salisbury to the ConnectLeader sales team.  Chris was formerly with Dyn, the Manchester, NH DNS Provider. Chris will be sharing his sales  tips for ConnectLeader in future B2B Sales blogs. 

When I started out at Dyn, I was the single sales rep. among a team of engineers. It didn’t take much time before they wanted to kick me out of the office because I was being “loud” and talking on the phone all day. It seemed my colleagues preferred a more “Zen-like” environment.

The early days, the b2b sales process was pretty chaotic as we struggled without the proper sales and marketing tools. Everything started to improve when our company adopted Salesforce.com as our CRM platform. In those days, we made lots of cold calls and followed up with emails. We learned that Engineers liked to hide behind email and once they were comfortable, they would accept a phone call.

Managing the Growth of a B2B Sales Team

As the company grew, my team expanded to 8 to 12 sales reps. and at the height of our growth managed  450+ accounts and a full book of business. What really pushed the team over the top was when I started assigning my book of business to my sales team. I would assign the the accounts based upon the traits and personalities of each individual sales rep. This strategy really worked well and we quickly became the fastest growing team in the company.

Finding Reps with that “Sales Mojo”

The traits I looked for in new sales reps was an individual who was hungry for success, driven, passionate and have lots of energy. Some folks call this “Sales Mojo”. Most importantly, I looked for focus. During the interview process, I would ask “if I handed you the world as your sales territory, how would you start?” While there were always lots of variations on the answer, I was looking for focus and direction. Do they have a definitive plan. Some of my most successful reps had direction, planning, and focus down to a science. If they started going off course, they would review their plan and simply re-adjust or pivot. Of course, sometimes being focused and persistent can have a downside. I spent nearly three years chasing one account, even sending  a piece of granite to Europe (New Hampshire is known as the “Granite State”). Unfortunately, they never became a customer. I still wish I could get that one back.

My only regret from my experience at Dyn was that I didn’t have a dialing productivity tool like Personal Dialer from ConnectLeader. I used to make 50 to 60 manual dials as part of my daily prospecting regimen. It would take me all day and it was a real pain. Now I’m making an average of 150 dials a day. But thanks to ConnectLeader’s technology, it takes me about 1 1/2 hours to make those dials. Now I actually have some extra time time to write a blog post or two.

Feel free to contact Chris Salisbury directly at:

Direct Telephone: (603) 952-2512

email: csalisbury@connectleader.com

twitter: @ChrisSalisbury

file-1003762041[/fusion_text]