Do: Speed Dials... Don’t: Speed Talk

by: Patrick Morrissey, Sales Manager, ConnectLeader

I’m sure many of us have unsuspectingly picked up the phone only to be ambushed by a fast-talking sales pitch. Despite making our best effort to extend professional courtesy, we simply don’t have time to listen to a sales pitch most of the time. The result is that we will typically do our best to end the call as quickly as possible so we can get back to work. Whether we are “in a meeting,” “late for our next meeting” or we simply choose to hang up, we will rarely feel any guilt about our narrow escape. We need to get back to work and the person on the other end of the line does not seem concerned about our time. So why should we feel any guilt about ending the call? Otherwise, we are stuck on the call waiting until the salesperson unwinds, often making a sales pitch that has nothing to do with us, our problems or our role within the company.

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

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The 3 Qualifying Questions Inside Sales Reps Must Ask

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Inside Sales Management Debate: Sales Lead Assignment

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Image: Bigstockphoto.com

You're a new inside sales manager and one of your first jobs is to to set-up a sales process. How do you structure your inside sales organization? Do you use a traditional sales territory process or do you use a round robin process. There are pros and cons to both methods. So we did some research and received input from industry experts. You can decide which system works best for your organization. Of course, we would love to hear your thoughts. You can share your comments on this blog and we'll share them via Twitter at #salesterritorydebate.

Personal Insights from Patrick Purvis, Director of Sales, DiscoverOrg

As far as our no territory/round robin system, I’m a fan and have us holding on to it for as long as possible. I see the pros as:

  • Even playing field for the reps performance (for us anyone who got the Bay area would automatically become our top rep by default)
  • This creates better morale and healthy competition
  • Even distribution of leads so no one has too many or too few leads in their pipeline
  • Quick reaction to inbound leads, if our SDRs get a hot inbound lead they have 18 Account Execs they can put on the phone right then

There are some cons of course:

  • The biggest challenge is handling lead distribution in systems like Salesforce & Marketo, which aren’t set up for a round robin system, especially when you start putting exceptions in (i.e. we have a major account list that actually IS assigned to our most senior reps).  It gets pretty messy and we’ve had to create a fair amount of custom workflows
  • You could also argue that we lose out on becoming specialists in a territory/vertical.  i.e. if we had one guy always handle Information Security companies, he would become really knowledgeable about that space
  • Our SDRs aren’t paired with AEs, and you might get better communication if they were paired up by territories.  At the same time, you lose out again on the even playing field – a bad SDR or bad AE could screw the other member of that team

We’ve debated the strengths/weaknesses of no territories for a long time and will undoubtedly continue to do so, it may become unmanageable at some point, but until then I’m a fan.

What are the pros and cons of round robin lead assignment?

Posted by Steve Richard on Thu, Nov 15, 2012

After reading our article in the Washington Post, Lanham, MD based PR and communications software juggernaut Vocus invited us in to see how we could help them with lead generation sales training.  During the conversation, they told us about an interesting process that they use to ensure that each of their inside sales reps are equally fed intro sales meetings by the separate lead generation team.  I asked them if I could share it with our community and they said OK. Here are the details:

  • Each member of the lead generation team calls into their territory of accounts to generate qualified sales meetings.
  • Whereas most companies pair a lead generation rep with one or more sales reps, Vocus has no such pairings.  Each lead generation rep is independent.
  • When a lead generation rep schedules a phone meeting, it simply goes to the inside sales rep ‘closer’ who is next in line.
  • The inside sales rep ‘closers’ are simply in a rotating queue ensuring that each rep is well fed with qualified opportunities from a rotation of lead generation reps.
  • They use a snazzy implementation of salesforce.com to ensure that this rotation continues without a glitch.

So I sat back and thought about the pros and cons of this process:

  • Closers no longer feel short changed if they get a weaker lead gen rep.
  • Everyone gets meetings from all of the lead gen reps.
  • Everyone gets the same number of meetings, so from closer to closer, every calendar is balanced with the same number of meetings showing the true sales skills of the rep.
  • Because of the rotation, the inside sales reps have no territory. This eliminates every issue and complaint commonly associated with sales reps and territories — It’s not possible to complain!
  • Lead generation reps and inside sales closers never get the chance to develop that chemistry that, at its best, can make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • - I could see the closers getting frustrated over the lack of continuity.  For example I’d be willing to bet that the notes on how the meeting was scheduled vary wildly from rep A to rep B.

 From B2B Lead Blog

2. Match leads based on product or industry vertical expertise

People sell from different backgrounds, giving them unique talents based on their past experience, current and past customers, personality and motivation. Leverage this. The more you know about your salespeople, the more you can use that information to match them with leads they’ll have the most success with. This is why round robin lead distribution can be deadly to conversion. It assumes every salesperson is the same.

 

How to Create a Round Robin Lead or Case Assignment Rule

Posted on  by shellblack

First off, what is a “round robin”? Simply put, it’s a rotation through a group. In the context of Salesforce.com, the term round robin frequently comes into play when assigning Lead or Case records to users. For example, you might have five sales reps working new Leads and, as an administrator, you want to divvy out all new Leads equally among the five reps. So if you had a 100 new leads, you would want each rep to get exactly 20 Lead records.

NOTE: This example will be for Leads, but the same concept applies to Case Assignment Rules

A round robin assignment rule allows you to equally distribute new Lead records without having to manually assign them using a rotation.

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Tips for hiring a senior inside sales rep (Part 2)

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What I look for when hiring a junior inside sales rep

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Before you make decisions based on your gut instincts,take a look of some of the questions I like to ask and what answers I should be hearing.

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Oh No! You didn't make your inside sales quota! Now what?

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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.

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How to reduce stress and stay healthy in an inside sales job

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A job in inside sales can be very rewarding. However, the environment in which sales representatives must work is often stressful. Likewise, because inside sales representatives must spend most of their time sitting at a desk, staying healthy can also be difficult. Below are some tips inside sales representatives can follow to reduce stress and stay healthy while on-the-job.

Reducing Stress

Organize your workspace.

Organization can go a long way toward relieving stress. Keep your workspace as clean and clutter-free as possible to reduce your anxiety and promote productivity.

Set a realistic schedule.

Setting goals for yourself is an excellent way to increase your effectiveness as a salesperson. Develop a practical schedule for each day you spend on-the-job and follow it as closely as you can. Not only will you be more productive, but you will also experience less stress.

View stress as an ally, not an enemy.

Although you can take steps to reduce your stress at work, you will never be able to eliminate it entirely. However, a mild amount of stress can be positive in some cases. According to Time Magazine, people who saw stress as a beneficial, motivational force performed better at work and experienced fewer psychological symptoms than those who saw stress as debilitating.

Staying Healthy

Learn about office ergonomics.

One of the most common problems experienced by inside sales personnel is soreness and/or stiffness resulting from remaining in a seated position for most of the day. To reduce soreness and stiffness, make your workspace as ergonomic as possible by:

  • Using good posture.
  • Adjusting your chair height so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor.
  • Using a wrist rest.
  • Using a telephone headset.

Be active on your breaks.

As an inside salesperson, most of your day involves sitting in one place. Use your breaks as an opportunity to walk around, wake yourself up and burn some calories.

Bring a nutritious lunch.

One of the worst things you can do when you work a desk job is to eat a vending machine lunch or order fast food. Instead of settling for these quick, unhealthy alternatives, pack a nutritious lunch at home and bring it with you to work. If you work long shifts, consider bringing some healthy snacks as well.

Be healthy outside of work.

To improve your overall health, make sure that you continue to take care of yourself outside of the office as well. Eat a wholesome diet, exercise regularly and enjoy your favorite leisure activities to reduce stress and stay in shape.

Staying healthy while working on the phone.

Staying foruces on your daily goals can make you feel better with yourself and provide a sense of accomplishment. Since inside sales reps must spend much of their day on the telephone, using productivity tools and ergonomic tools. A good headset will avoid muscle cramps in your neck and keep your hands free for making notes in your CRM system. A sales dialing automation program can reduce the amount of time you take dialing the telephone and navigating voicemail trees. Pre-recording voicemail messages will also help you save time and have a better chance at making your monthly sales quota. That's the best stress reducer!

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/office-ergonomics/art-20046169

http://business.time.com/2014/01/22/5-scientifically-proven-ways-to-reduce-stress-at-work/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2013/03/20/12-ways-to-eliminate-stress-at-work/

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ConnectLeader Makes 50 Best Sales Management Tools/Software List

[fusion_text]If 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.

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About the ConnectLeader B2B Sales Blog

The ConnectLeader B2B Sales blog is written to share productivity tips, tools, news, and other information relevant to managers and senior executives interested in B2B sales productivity, demand gen, inside sales, sales operations, and business development issues.

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