Sales veteran Jim Lochry, SVP for corporate development at ConnectLeader, knows how to win. In order to become successful, Jim had to learn the art of understanding a customer’s problem, mapping their need to a solution, and then demonstrating how to deliver a tangible ROI. Jim’s sales pedigree can be traced from his work at such large companies as Oracle, and for such start-ups as Versant, Extricity and Peace Software.
As Jim sees it today, the key to better sales is arming sales and marketing teams with more effective technologies to communicate with their customers. Marketing automation solutions which work with CRM systems, are a usual area of investment. But, “the more important investment,” Jim says, “is on giving salespeople better tools through sales acceleration technologies that drives qualified business leads, reduce sales cycles, increase top line revenue, and bottom line profitability.”
“The key challenge for sales reps,” according to Jim, “is to have more engagements with prospects.” In this day and age, though, customers have surrounded themselves with walls. [IVRs, voicemail, gate keepers, email blocks, etc.] So, the need is to utilize technology to better reach prospects and improve pipeline management.
“Advances in technology,” Jim says, “have allowed for more effective targeting of the best prospects.” These advances have improved ways to message a value proposition to customers. The result has been more productive ways for salespeople to communicate with prospects by utilizing a multi-channel approach that goes beyond just phone dialing software.
“Unquestionably,” says Jim, “sales and marketing teams need to leverage the data that resides in the CRM system. But the CRM system on its own doesn’t deliver significant productivity improvement. It is the ability to leverage the data that is key.” The data must be prioritized based upon a predictive sales intelligence engine, such as ConnectLeader’s Adaptilytics. It is the ability to keep data updated, enriched, and accurate that is critical to a salesperson’s success.
“The challenges sales teams are facing in lead development,” says Jim, “in many cases, are the result of a lack of communication between marketing and sales.” Sales lives in the world of day-to-day execution, feedback, and results. Marketing has the ability to plan, be more data driven, and not have to worry about short-term result measurement. “It is incumbent,” says Jim, “that sales organizations provide real-time feedback to marketing on lead quality, messaging effectiveness, competitive insight, and real market demand.”
Communication improvement and lead development are directly impacted by the dialog sales is having with the marketplace. “I recommend,” says Jim, “increasing the amount of conversations salespeople have with prospective clients through technologies that deliver multi-channel communication, along with data enrichment capabilities, and predictive sales analytics, to prioritize who the best prospects are and the best time to reach them.”
“At the end of the day,” says Jim, “the most important asset any sales person has is their time.” The ability to maximize the amount of time engaged with prospects is what determines a salesperson’s success. “The old adage about sales being a numbers game still applies,” says Jim. “The difference today is that an effective deployment of sales acceleration technologies, such as Click Dialer, Personal Dialer, Team Dialer and Adaptilytics, will lead to successfully meeting and exceeding sales objectives.”
“Remember,” says Jim, “the best leads you will ever get are the ones you generate yourself!” They are not the ones bought, or the ones from RFP’s you receive. The ability to reach a potential buyer before they decide who will be included in their selection process, or even participate in arriving at key criteria for selection process, is critical. “The first one in,” says Jim, “is often the winner because they have the ability to educate, build trust, and influence the eventual outcome.”
So, don’t make the mistake of waiting for marketing to deliver the ultimate sales qualified lead. “Take control of your own success,” says Jim Lochry, “and don’t be dependent on opportunities to magically fall into your lap. Doing your own prospecting can be a grind, but it can really pay off!”
Author: Senraj Soundar, CEO, ConnectLeader