Tag Archives: sales productivity

View Webinar Recording: From First Day to First Sale

How to have your new reps hitting their numbers in record time.

View the Recorded Webinar


One of the keys to achieving aggressive growth is the ability to significantly compress the amount of time it takes to have new sales reps hit their numbers.

This live webinar will feature Edwin Castillo, Board Member and Advisor for Playboox and former VP of Sales Training at Salesforce.com.

Sales executives and managers will learn best practices for developing onboarding programs and sales productivity tools that will have your new sales reps achieving quota in record time.

Our Featured Speaker: Edwin Castillo 


As the former Vice President of Sales Training at Salesforce.com, Edwin brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience regarding best practices for how to design, implement, lead, and evolve top-tier Sales Enablement and Training programs that help drive superior performance and achievement of aggressive growth targets.

He has expertise in the areas of onboarding, sales university development, sales management training, enterprise deal management methodology training, strategic account planning, inside sales training, and training certification. He has led development and deployment of these initiatives at companies like BlueCoat, DocuSign, Juniper Networks, ServiceNow, Apttus, Appirio, and Wells Fargo, among many others.

Edwin is responsible for defining, developing, and delivering Playboox consulting strategy and programs with a commitment to helping our clients drive measurable and transformational change. He has a JD from Hasting College of Law at U.C. Berkeley.

View the Recorded Webinar

Sales Acceleration Dialing Solutions Help Acquire New Customers

StateofSalesforce_borderSalesforce.com recently published a State of Sales Report for 2015. They surveyed 2300 sales executives who indicated their top 3 sales objectives are to acquire new customers, grow value of existing customers and create deeper customer relationships. Sales dialing automation tools are designed to help companies generate new revenue by increasing sales productivity.

The sales executive’s primary job is to generate new revenue and acquire new customers. Revenue growth is typically related to increased spending in the form of hiring new reps, expanding marketing expenditures or increase sales productivity through coaching, training, and investing in better technology.

Sales acceleration dialing solutions increase revenue growth and decrease the dependence on hiring new reps.

Sales acceleration dialing solutions help inside sales reps make more calls and have more conversations in less time. These solutions typically lead to productivity increases ranging from 30% to 800%. So how can these tools help sales executives meet their top 3 objectives?


 Sales reps selling to businesses need to identify and speak with potential buyers. Sales reps often make the mistake thinking they can influence the buying decision solely with email or social media communications. This may be true for highly transactional sales or ecommerce websites, but for B2B sales reps in industries like high technology and business services, a telephone conversation is a necessity to engage and qualify the customer prior to conducting a discovery call or demonstration.  Business sales are often more complex and sales reps need to understand the buyer’s needs in order to recommend the best solutions. For these companies, the telephone is the most cost-effective method for conducting these conversations.

Envision Technology Advisors Increases Sales Productivity by an 8-to-1 factor

Envision Technology Advisors offers best-in-class technology services for businesses and organizations of all sizes. They know technology and understand the value technology can provide a business when properly implemented.

“You can put a rep on the phone and have them dial 100 people, they’re going to spend a day getting that done, said Knapp. “Or you can put that same rep on the phone and have ConnectLeader dial that same 100 people and get it all done in an hour. I’m picking up an 8-to-1 efficiency gain.”

Todd Knapp, CEO, Envision Technology Advisors


Envision Technology Advisors improve sales efficiency by 8-to-1 factor


Envision Technology Advisors offers best-in-class technology services for businesses and organizations of all sizes. They know technology and understand the value technology can provide a business when properly implemented.

Todd Knapp, CEO and Co-founder of Envision needed a solution to help his inside sales team deal with an ever growing flow of inquiries from their customers and new business prospects. Todd discovered ConnectLeader and when he first heard about the sales productivity gains their customers were realizing, he didn’t totally believed it. So he continued researching. But after looking at a number of different sales dialing solutions, Todd came back to ConnectLeader because he found that they were both unique and integrated with Salesforce.com.

Once Envision started using ConnectLeader, they found out there were other benefits. Envision provides data visualization and storage services so they resell equipment from Dell, Cisco, VMWare and others. Envision was able to receive a 30% increase in MDF from Dell because they were able to spell out a structured process using ConnectLeader.



Once Envision started using ConnectLeader, they found out there were other benefits. Envision provides data visualization and storage services so they resell equipment from Dell, Cisco, VMWare and others. Envision was able to receive a 30% increase in MDF from Dell because he was able to spell out a structured process using ConnectLeader.

“Dell is one of our key partners,” explains Knapp.  ” The company you’re working with wants to know you’re spending money the right way. Our MDF with Dell increased 30% because of ConnectLeader. This happened because I went to them and said I want marketing funds. They said what are you going to use it for and I was able to point to a definitive and meaningful process that they were excited about. Very excited.”

Knapp also credits ConnectLeader with a major increase in his inside sales productivity. His team was able to use ConnectLeader as the centerpiece for creating a structured selling process.

“You can put a rep on the phone and have them dial 100 people, they’re going to spend a day getting that done, said Knapp. “Or you can put that same rep on the phone and have ConnectLeader dial the same 100 people and get it all done in an hour. I’m picking up an 8-to-1 sales efficiency gain.”

B2B Sales Productivity Trends Presentation 

About Envision Technology Advisors

We are technology consultants focused on innovation and cloud evolution.Founded in 1998, Envision Technology Advisors offers best in class technology solutions delivered by the best people in the industry. In addition to cloud and managed services, we specialize in both desktop and data center virtualization, as well as assessments of existing virtual environments. Other integrated solutions include wireless infrastructure and design, network consulting, and web site design and development.With two offices – one just outside of Providence, RI and the other a few miles from Downtown Boston, Envision is one of New England’s most comprehensive, business oriented technology companies.Envision has been named a “Best Place to Work” for the past 7 years – a testament to the wonderful people of Envision who have helped us establish a company culture like no other.Learn more at www.envisionsuccess.net

How to Avoid Losing The Inside Sales Team When You Miss Your Goals


WrongDirectionIn an ideal world, your inside sales team would never miss their monthly and quarterly goals, but anyone who has ever run a sales department knows, that is not possible. Between summer slowdowns and just occasional ‘off’ months, every company will have months where they do not reach their goals.

Image: bigstockphoto.com


Although occasionally missing sales goals will not be completely detrimental to the company, you want to make sure that one bad month will not turn into two or three. You can do this by ensuring that your sales team remains motivated and enthusiastic about their jobs while also determining what exactly went wrong in the last month. Here are a few sales coaching steps you can take to avoid losing your team when you miss your sales goals.

Diagnose the problem

You should begin by breaking down the month and determining exactly what went wrong. This services two purposes. First, it will help the inside sales professionals learn from their mistakes to avoid making those errors in the future. Secondly, it can help keep sales professionals from becoming too discouraged. When people have an identifiable reason why their last month went wrong, they can be inspired to do better in the future.

The key to making this process a success is creating a positive, collaborative environment. There should be no accusations about who made mistakes. Instead everyone should work together to learn what the problem was and try to motivate each other to succeed next time.

sales productivity review

Give people concrete areas to work on

Once the source of the problem has been identified, you then need to give people concrete directions about what can be improved. Vague instructions, such as “be more helpful when making initial contact with qualified leads” will not be beneficial. Instead, give your sales team ideas that they can easily implement as they begin contacting new leads. For example, guidelines about how to identify the customer’s pain points and examples of the types of assistance and offers that will resonate most with that customer will help them close more deals.

Celebrate small goals

Every sales team has something to celebrate, even when they did not reach their overall goals. Maybe someone new to the team managed to close their first sale. Perhaps the team was able to close a sale with a very big name client that had been nurtured for some time. Whatever the victory may be, find a way to celebrate it. Having a small party, luncheon or other fun gathering can help your team take their mind off the past disappointment and get them ready to tackle the next month. This type of recognition of hard work will also help them feel appreciated and therefore motivated and inspired.

Look for ways to improve

Part of the sales manager’s job is to provide the tools and training to help their team improve. Look for ways to improve your sales productivity. Are there ways to generate more leads? Are you optimizing your IT systems by using a CRM system and marketing automation? If you are looking to grow at a faster rate, there are a number of sales acceleration software applications available. Many of them integrate with popular CRM systems like Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics CRM, and Oracle CRM (aka Siebel).

Key your eyes on the target

When the inside sales team does not reach their goals, it can be disappointing for all the professionals involved. As the leader, however, it is your job to get everyone excited and ready to succeed in the upcoming month. Use the above ideas to let your team know that they can reach their goals and that you believe in them.[/fusion_text]

12 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity


12 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity


Download this digital guide to learn how to avoid the bad habits that drain inside sales productivity.

We’ve compiled two of our most popular blog posts into one convenient digital guide. Bad habits can drain any inside sales team’s productivity. Don’t make these mistakes in your organization.

 A few highlights:

  • Having a cluttered workspace
  • Procrastinating
  • Not using the best sales acceleration tools
  • Not getting enough sleep

Request the Digital Guide


Sales Productivity Trends – What Sales Executives Need to Know

[fusion_text]Sales Productivity TrendsImproving sales productivity continues to be a leading concern for senior sales executives. Understanding these concerns and how executives are solving these problems can help sales leaders boost their sales revenue.
Dr. Richard Rocco of DePaul University Center for Sales Leadership shared his findings of over 7 years of research in the field of sales productivity in a presentation earlier this year.

Learn about:

  • Top drivers of sales effectiveness
  • 3 key drivers
  • Sales productivity trends for both B2B and Consumer companies
  • Methods to improve sales process

Click here to download presentation.[/fusion_text]

10 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity (Part 2)


Inside sales is a competitive field where professionals need to bring an incredible work ethic to the job each day. Unfortunately, some find that their habits can hurt their sales productivity and their careers.

Here are the second 5 bad habits that every sales professional should focus on eliminating. Continue reading

Sales productivity trends for 2015


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 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.



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.


Sales Operations Manager – Guardian of Sales Productivity


For many companies using CRM and Sales Automation Systems, the sales operations team has become the guardians of the sales process. When implementing any new sales automation solution, the sales operations team plays a critical role in ensuring the integration and adoption of the new process.

Since ConnectLeader offers out-of-the-box CRM integration with many of the top CRM systems including Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, and NetSuite CRM, the sales operations team plays an essential role in overseeing the implementation and integration of the ConnectLeader Dialing Platform. In fact, our customer support team tells us having the sales operations team onboard is the single most important ingredient in optimizing the Live Conversation Automation process. So what is special about the Sales Ops position? What factors defined an optimal implementation?

The sales ops manager decides which activities can be handled by technology and which cannot which means he or she must understand the functions done at each level, how to track the transactions, and how each decision affects the cost of sales.”

Barry Trailer, Managing Partner CSO Insights

Source: The Evolution of Sales Operations, by Kim Wright Wiley, Selliingpower.com


The Sales Operations Manager is the expert…

in implementing sales automation solutions. They are able to merge the acronym-laden world of IT with the high-velocity sales world. Of course the prime driver of the sales operations role is the nearly universal acceptance of Customer Relationship Management solutions for businesses of all sizes. The CRM has become the hub of the high-technology and business services world where ERP/MRP systems are the hub to the manufacturing organization.

B2B Sales Lead Generation has become process-focused

Today’s sales ops teams have to be concerned with sales processes that include automatic lead nurturing, bi-directional data synchronization, and real-time sales analytics. Marketing automation is also playing an important role in automating and accelerating the sales process. Sales operations managers need to the one person in the organization who actually understands the selling process from top-of-funnel to close. Even small improvements in the sales process can result in significant improvement in revenue growth.

Guardian of the Sales Automation Process

The Sales Operations Manager really earns their pay when it comes to evaluating new sales productivity tools. One wrong choice can bring a well-run process to a grinding halt. Today, there are so many new sales and marketing productivity tools coming onto the market, that assessing the capabilities and effects these tools have on the overall process is a critical responsibility.
Takeaway: Sales executives need to pay just as much attention to hiring the right sales operations manager as they do to hiring their sales and business development managers. [/fusion_text]

Tips for Leaving Effective Sales Voicemail Messages


For this blogpost, I asked the ConnectLeader sales team to provide tips on leaving effective sales voicemail messages. ConnectLeader uses voicemail as part of our outgoing marketing and prospecting campaigns. For instance, we dropped reminder voicemails in addition to emails and social media messages to promote registration for a recent webinar.

Highlight Singular Solutions

Leave messages that highlight a singular solution that your product/service provides even though it may provide many solutions.  You then create a series of messages that each highlight a separate solution.  The idea here is to be able to touch on something that eventually WILL resonate with any one prospect contact.

Leave Limited Information

Have a voicemail  that only states your name, company name, and phone number and then say  you would appreciate a call back.  This is often mistaken for one of that contact’s prospects or current customers, and thus, gets return calls.

Keep Messages Short and Concise

Try not to have any voice mail that exceeds 20 to 30 seconds. Keep messages concise and to the point. Don’t ramble.

Start and end voice mails with your name and phone number.

Often times your contacts will quickly write down your number and call you back without listening to the entire message.  You might want to leave out the company name at the start but then mention it at the end. This gives you cover when someone thinks you’ve deceived them by not giving a company name.  Truth will be that they simply didn’t bother to listen to the entire message.

Use pre-call planning strategies

Creating a ‘calling plan’ is more effective than calling records randomly without a plan. Taking a few minutes to  plan your session and pre-record your messages will allow you to make more dials and connect with more conversations.

Use a call-to-action

Make sure you ask the prospect to take an action. Call you, visit a website, visit a trade show, etc.

Take time to record a quality message

You may only have one chance to impress the person you are leaving the message for. Take the time to record a quality message even if it takes several times to record it.

The Benefit of Pre-recording Voicemail Messages

Leaving voicemail messages can be a very tedious and time-consuming task for business development and inside sales reps who are making high volumes of outbound calls. By pre-recoding the voicemail message, the sales rep. can simply choose the appropriate voicemail message to drop and move on to the next call.