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Sales Outreach Best Practices: Outreaching The Right Way

If you manage a sales team, you are engaged in some sort of sales outreach. But what exactly is sales outreach? It’s more than just picking up a phone and dialing a number. Sales outreach means engaging with prospects or past customers who have gone cold but may have the potential to become active. This engagement can be done over the phone, via email, text messaging, or social media.

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How to Increase Your Close Ratio: Sales Tips for 2018

Increasing your close ratio doesn’t just mean more closed deals. It means you have more productive conversations with qualified prospects. If you’re looking to have a higher close ratio in 2018, read our tips below to learn how you can be more effective in the new year.

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The Virtue of Restraint - 6 Reasons for Not Bashing the Competition

I believe that one of the key components to sales success is to resist bashing the competition.

Throughout my career in software sales, I have observed many of my colleagues take an aggressive stance toward the competition when talking with customers and prospects. I’m sure many of us have encountered the slick sounding salesperson who can immediately rattle off a list of reasons why the customer can avoid doom and destruction by staying away from our competitors. While this may look and sound impressive, I have rarely seen it work out well for my colleagues, or for me. Instead, I have seen those salespeople who have a more evenhanded approach toward the competition have much more success building rapport and having an open dialogue with the customer. 

Outlined below are some of my top 6 reasons why I recommend for not bashing the competition.  

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Avoiding Sales Burnout - Tips from a Sales Pro

Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Chris Haig as a new blog author. Chris has 20+ years of software sales experience and we're pleased he's going to share his knowledge and insights about avoiding sales burnout and other B2B sales topics. 

After twenty years of selling software and IT products, the one thing that's been getting harder year after year is the one thing you can't avoid in sales. You have to get people on the phone to have discussions. No matter how many articles people post about how 'cold calling is dead', it's simply not - no way, no how. Why else would the big trend be to move to Inside Sales teams and Business Development Rep models? The trends don't lie. E-mail and website tools also have their place, but anyone who's been in Sales for a while knows you can't hit those magic numbers waiting for leads to come to you. It just doesn't work that way. Two to three percent responses from e-mail campaigns won't do it either. Those inside sales teams and BDR's are not just servicing incoming inquiries (in most cases).

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Key Sales Tips for Sales Hackers

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The recent SalesHacker Conference in San Francisco. This is literally a start-up conference company pulling together some of the hottest sales and marketing talent in the sales software productivity space. After listening to 12 presentations over an 8 hour period, my head was literally spinning (that was before happy hour!). Thanks to one of the sponsors PipelineDeals, the conference sessions are summarized on the Saleshacker.comwebsite. Here are some of my insights and sales tips on this information packed day.

The Give and Get Spreadsheet (John Barrows, Sales Trainer to the Tech Sales Stars) @JohnMBarrows

John did a great job of kicking off the proceedings. He spoke about negotiations and the "art" of gives and gets. The concept of beating someone in a negotiation is an outdated concept. As a salesperson in today's interconnected world, you need to understand that every deal you make or blow up may impact your next deal or even your entire career. Developing a reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator is okay as long as your opponent (now your customer) is still standing. John discusses the need to develop a process for creating a balanced negotiation where both parties feel they are receiving a fair value. His simple, but effective spreadsheet helps manage this process.


7 Deadly Sins That Startups Make & How To Avoid Them

Presented by: Gabu Luna-Ostaseski @gabelunao

 

The following sins directly relate to the sales process:

The All in One Salesperson – One common issue at startups is that their salespeople spend too much time doing things that don’t drive revenue. I encourage startups to focus on figuring out how to make things more efficient, automate, and specialize.

How to Avoid:

  • Segment job roles
  • Delegate or outsource low leverage taks
  • Remove client success from responsibilities

Flying Blind – If you don’t know what should be happening at each point in the sales process, you’re not ready to scale. How are you going to grow your company and reach your goals if you’re flying blind? You need to break down your goals and understand what you need to be doing day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month at each point in your sales process in order to be successful.

You don’t necessarily need to manage by revenue in – you should also be managing by specific actions that should be completed. For example, think about the # of bookings that each sales rep should be making each week, each month, each quarter, etc. in order to grow your business to your goal.

How to Avoid:

  • What gets measured gets managed
  • Trending in reporting
  • Identify and manage lead measures

10 Key Rules to Scale Sales

Presented by Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks

 

Again, my favorite sales process related rules:

 

Target your initial customers 

As a general rule, we’ve found that it takes 100 outreaches to get 10 conversations to get 1 deal. Our first 10 customers came from 10 different sources. We obtained customers from email, LinkedIn, conferences, referrals, and social. I had to go out and target customers where they were at.

One key learning that I have had at Betterworks is that your CEO has to do your sales early on. Don’t rely on a hired gun to get your first 10 sales. As you start to scale and gain some repeatability, you can start to bring in more salespeople.

Scaling requires outbound sales

There is a lot of latent demand out there for better solutions. In order to be successful with outbound sales, you need to tighten up your target market definition. By tightening up your target market, you will be able to develop better personas to contact.

I think of my phone as an ATM. I know that outbound reps can turn 10 numbers into dollars. There is so much opportunity out there.

Remember – with inbound leads, businesses already know that they have a problem and they want to know why they should choose you. With outbound leads, you need to identify that there is an issue and then transition to why you’re the best solution for them.

 

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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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