Editors Note: Recap post by Kyle Smith, Inside Sales Consultant at The Bridge Group, from the Sales Hacker Series in Boston.
- Defined Sequence
- Buyer-Based Messaging
- Regulate Time Blocks
These are my big 3:
CRM not Crazy Riddled Mess
Do not take your CRM for granted. I have worked with many teams in early-stage companies who did not have the luxury of a CRM and were still working leads on excel spreadsheets.
If you have a CRM, make sure you use it appropriately. Managers create a uniform, documented process for logging activities, tracking metrics and maintaining database cleanliness.
If you can’t consistently track things like activity metrics, connect rates, and conversion rates, then you as managers will not have any insight into why one rep over-performs while another one underperforms.
You as reps will then not be able to be coached up on deficiencies that could be leading to you not hitting your number.
Local Presence Works. Period.
I have seen multiple articles on LinkedIn recently claiming that local presence has already come and gone as a successful sales tool but my numbers, those of my team and my clients say otherwise.
Personally, I have seen a 12% uptick in connect rate from local presence while one member of my team saw a 30% increase.
I’m low volume these days, but an added benefit is the reduced clicks, manual dials, and advanced reporting.
Who uses email tracking software? As an individual contributor, you can track your own open/response rates and make adjustments knowing what is and is not working.
If you’re lucky enough to have the team version you can also see what other reps are using that is successful and steal those templates for your own use.
The pre-scheduling feature is also a huge productivity boost. We have moved away from the “double-tap” methodology (leaving a voicemail and immediately sending an email) because we have found it to be ineffective.
The benefit of the double-tap was the ability to send a customized email with all relevant info still fresh in your mind without needing to revisit that contact page.
With pre-scheduling, you can now have those same efficiencies without using the double-tap and you can also send an email out at times when your prospects are most likely to open and respond. I target VPs of sales so for me, that means early morning, after 5 or often Saturday mid-morning.
Use this to further describe what I meant with the email pre-scheduling. A defined call sequence does 2 big things – optimize connect rate and take the decision of “what do I do next” out of the hands of your SDRs in execution mode so they can focus on prospecting.
The sequence will change based on what level, industry and department you call into and also inbound versus outbound but building one and using it across the team is the only way you can get to repeatable, scalable and identify areas for improvement.
Going Outbound for Dunkin’
Almost equally as important as the timing of the call is what to say when you call. The themes of each message must tell your story and touch on the ways you could help your target buyer solve business challenges.
All too often I hear reps calling and leaving the same VM or sending the same email over and over. You need to go wide and hit the hot button issue that matters to that person at that time.
How We Message to One Buyer…
…Won’t Always Work for Another
It’s a silly example, but so many reps are guilty of it. So we’re B2B and not B2C and we’re selling to CIOs and VPs of HR, but the concept is the same. You cannot use the same message to sell to different title levels because they care about different things.
A system admin is probably more tactical and a CISO much more strategic and big-picture so don’t articulate your value prop to them in the same way.
You also can’t always use the same messaging even selling to the same title in different industries. A CISO at a financial services company is going to have a different set of challenges and concerns from a CISO at a healthcare organization or hospital.
The important thing as a manager is to build this with your reps so they know what to say. Not wasting time deciding when to call and then what to say every time will make them more productive and also more successful because they’ll be using messaging targeted to each individual buyer.
Regulate Time Blocks
Multi-tasking does not make you more efficient, you actually lose time trying to shift gears and transition from one activity to the next. Who hear uses 2 monitors and leaves email open all day?
Stop that. Set time aside for specific tasks and sculpt your day around your prospect, not yourself. Understand when you will have the highest probability to connect with your prospects and schedule your ghosting hours for then.
Reps always ask when they’re new to a role or sales in general so I figured I’d just take a preemptive strike and give my unsolicited opinion. 2 books, Jill Konrath’s Agile Selling, and The Challenger Sale.
Both great for reps just starting, in new roles or just trying to get better. The Inside Sales Experts LinkedIn Group has 45K members and is a great place to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in inside sales and also ask questions and receive answers from your peers.