Tag Archives: Sales Productivity Tools

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

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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.

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The history of Software – ConnectLeader is on the map

[fusion_text]capterra-software-history-previewComputers and software have come a long way in a short time. Software-as-a-service has revolutionized how companies develop and use software. Salesforce.com and Capterra led the way in 2000 and now SaaS software is the rule, not the exception.

Marketing automation companies like HubSpot and Marketo revolutionized the demand generation process. Now B2B sales productivity is the new wave as more and more sales productivity apps integrate with Salesforce.com, Oracle CRM on Demand, and other cloud-based CRM applications.

SaaS Sales Productivity Tools Revolutionize Inside Sales

Learn More About ConnectLeader

ConnectLeader Team Dialer was launched in 2011 and the sales dialing application with Personal Dialer right behind in 2012. New innovations and features continue to make ConnectLeader the fastest-growing Saas-based sales productivity tools.

What some of our customers say about ConnectLeader:

With the ConnectLeader Team Dialer solution, I can make about 100 dials per hour and have 10 to 12 conversations,” explained Serpa. “Manually, I can only make 30 dials per hour and have a few conversations.”

Scott Serpa, Inside Sales Manager, Xangati, Inc. Read full story…

 

 

ConnectLeader is a great tool for sales teams, or anyone who needs to make a large volume of calls, to increase productivity and outreach. The support is always helpful and responsive.”

Sarah Beals, Client Solutions Manager at LogicManager See Review…


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Sales productivity trends for 2015

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In 2012, the global ecommerce market surpassed $1 trillion, and it has not slowed down. Projections estimate that in 2015 Americans will spend $338.9 billion online, which represents an ever increasing percentage of the total US retail sales1. Customers are also turning to the internet when they are interested in learning about products, relying on digital media for nearly every stage of the sales funnel.

As customers increasingly appear online, sales teams must be able to meet them in digital media, responding to their needs and processing the sale seamlessly and effectively. Sales productivity in the upcoming year will depend upon sales teams learning how to effectively manage lead acquisition and conversion using digital tools and techniques.

How digital will impact sales productivity tools

As the sales world becomes intertwined with the digital world, several fantastic tools and apps have been developed to help sales teams better manage their tasks to improve their conversion rates. To be effective, these digital sales tools must be able to help sales teams improve their lead cultivation through online sources.

Some new tools that will likely become increasingly popular in the upcoming year include:

FunnelFire

FunnelFire helps companies make more money by empowering their salespeople to sell more effectively. By combining a sales best practices framework with a robust data platform, sales teams can effortlessly research, monitor and contact their accounts in a proactive, value-added manner.

RelSci (Relationship Science)

Marketing above the noise and to the right people revolves around building relationships with potential customers and their go-to sources. This relationship capital platform helps sales teams discover existing relationships with key decision makers at target firms so they can better leverage their relationships to close the sale.

 

Yesware

This software gives the team the tools they need to analyze messages and sales-driven data to improve the marketing and sales automation process.

These tools help teams improve their sales productivity because they make it easy to analyze and utilize data from across the internet, from personal emails to industry news. Now sales teams can learn in real time the leads most likely to convert and leverage their resources accordingly.

How digital will impact the sales process

By the time the average customer contacts a company, they are already 60 percent of the way through the sales process, so sales teams must be able to adapt. In 2015, sales teams should focus on understanding and utilizing the content creation and engagement that marketing teams have been using with increasing success. The digital arena is not just for marketers anymore, but rather encompasses everyone who works in engaging customers in producing sales.

Sales teams will need to learn to cut through the digital ‘noise’ that so many customers experience on a regular basis. Since customers see thousands of advertisements per day, it makes sense that most of them are tuned out. Using techniques such as storytelling and humor can help teams break through the noise and reach the customer.

Sales reps should anticipate the importance of cultivating relationships with clients. This means that the various digital tools should help them gather and understand information about their prospects. They should also have a firm understanding of their customer persona and what the lead is looking for so that when they approach a potential customer, they can deliver a personalized response that addresses the challenges and problems the person is trying to solve. By focusing sales efforts on those with previously demonstrated interest in the product, the team will experience higher conversion rates and better resource management.

The digital world is changing how sales teams drive their productivity. By embracing the internet for online communication and data gathering, sales teams can understand their leads on a deeper level, allowing them to produce more meaningful conversations and improved sales productivity.

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ConnectLeader Makes 50 Best Sales Management Tools/Software List

[fusion_text]docurated_best50salesproductivityIf you are looking to  improve sales productivity with your inside sales team, then you should take a look at the latest blog from Docurated, a leading provider of content managment solutions. They’ve compiled a helpful collection of sales productivity tools titled 50 Best Sales Management Tools/Software. ConnectLeader was among the list for the first time (# 45). The list featured a number of prominent CRM solutions including Salesforce.com and NetSuite. It also featured a number of less well-known applications that could really help your sales productivity.

Interesting Sales Productivity Solutions


I scanned through the list of solutions and found some pretty cool and new (at least to me) solutions. Let me know what you think of my choices or if there are other apps that you have used and would like to gloat about. Below are a few of my favorites.


WiseStamp Email SignatureWiseStamp-Screen-Shot

Raise your hand if you’re tired of the old basic email signature. WiseStamp is a simple app that allows a company to create a unique brand across the organization. This app also has a lot of horsepower behind it including central signature management, professional templates, and you can even customize legal statements.


 

 DemoChimp Automated Demos

demochimpscreenIf you sales team is like our sales team, they are making lots of live demos every day. However, being able to automate and customize demos is really interesting. DemoChimp allows you to ask your prospects a list of questions which you can use to customize the demo. Then the demo can be shared by the client team. You can check out their own customizable demo on their website.


 

Bunchball Nitro Gamification

NitroScreenShothoopla and other gamification platforms are helping motivate sales teams and increase their sales productivity. What I like about Nitro is their ability to also engage customers, loyalty programs, and channel partners in order to drive revenues. They offer lots of analytics and technology to improve the customer experience.


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10 Ways Your Sales Team Can Benefit from Outbound Calling Software

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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.

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Can a Sales Playbook Benefit Your Inside Sales Team?

[fusion_text]Sales Acceleration Technology is creating a buzz in 2014.

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Sales acceleration technologiescan help companies shorten the selling cycle and accelerate growth. However, if the sales process is too complex or even broken, then adding technology to the mix isn’t always the answer. So how can sales leaders identify process problems and make technology investments even more productive?

In a recent Bridge Group survey, Improving Sales Productivity was the number one goal for sales executives in the high-technology sector. Documenting the sales process and creating a sales playbook is one tool to move toward a more productive sales process.

In our recent webinar, Creating an Outbound Calling Playbook, we asked our attendees a survey question:

Who is using a Sales Playbook? (We had 45 responses)

  • 76% said they were not using Sales Playbooks
  • 24% of the respondents were using Sales Playbooks

Sales playbooks and documented sales processes have been around for many years. Early technology leaders like IBM and Xerox were known for having extensive sales processes well before the term sales playbook came into vogue.

Factors Driving the Need for Sales Playbooks

A recent whitepaper published by Sales Consulting firm The Alexander Group identified several factors that are driving the interest and/or need for sales playbooks:

  • Increased buyer sophistication and accelerated buying processes
  • Proliferation of multi-channel sales model
  • Role specialization like inside sales, technical sales require greater coordination and collaboration complicate the process
  • Reduction in new hire training and onboarding
  • Reduction of quality coaching and mentoring by managers whose time is being diluted
  • Over reliance on self-guided training methods
  • Improvements in software and technology

Benefits of Using a Sales Playbook

 

Clients who implement playbooks typically see engaged selling time increase by as much as 15 percent within the first six months of adoption.” 

Kyle Uebelhor, Director, The Alexander Group
The Power of Playbooks, Sponsored by Qvidien

 

 

Companies that document their sales process:

  • 10% shorter average sales cycle
  • 4% overall higher quota achievement
  • 6.5%  increase in top line revenue growth

Types of Sales Playbooks

Sales reps who depend on making outbound sales calls for prospecting, engaging and closing new business can accelerate the calling process using the ConnectLeader dialing platform. Learn more by visiting www.connectleader.com.

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