There are many best practices to keep in mind to help you your competitors in terms of phone sales. The secret is quality leads, and making more phone calls to each lead than competitors. Sales teams need a way to make calls as efficiently as possible in order to get more done in less time. You can rely upon automatic phone dialer software to improve sales productivity and reduce manual labor.Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Continue reading
[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.Continue reading
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).Continue reading
Sales Acceleration Technology is creating a buzz in 2014. Sales acceleration technologies can 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?Continue reading