No matter your profession or where you live, at some point you have been labeled "an inbound lead." Whether it was on a personal or professional level, as an inbound lead you probably have had an unpleasant encounter or two with a pushy sales professional. In case you tried to block out the latter experiences, let's recap a few of the common characteristics. Your phone constantly pings with new messages, your emails seem to be filled with new offers on a near constant basis, and your LinkedIn profile is suddenly bombarded with notifications. The latter experience occurs far too often when sales associates don't follow a few golden rules regarding communication and follow-ups with inbound leads. Fortunately, this blog post is here to help!
Companies of all sizes, types, and locations need quality leads to continue to grow. In order to acquire those quality leads, companies can leverage a multitude of tactics, including using appointment setters and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). While both appointment setters and SDRs have a vital place in sales, the key to building the most effective team is to understand which role will fit best in your sales process and subsequently support your buyers on their journeys. In fact, selecting the wrong discipline for your sales process can lead to poor conversion rates, a negative customer experience, and a lack of growth. The good news is that we are here to help you build your own SDR team, so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of a winning sales team.
To coach or not to coach? That is the question. Well, at least the question of this blog post. Many managers struggle with the fine balance between knowing when to coach low performing employees and when to let them go or transition them to a new role. Whether you are new to your management role, or have years of experience, the following insights can help you to more successfully weigh the fate of lower performing workers.
In sales, first impressions often play a critical role in helping the prospect begin his or her buyer's journey. However, far too often businesses fail to remember that a Sales Development Representative (SDR) plays an entirely different role than an appointment setter. Failing to understand the key differences between these two roles can lead to fewer conversions, a limited number of prospects in the beginning portions of the sales funnel, and inevitably fewer sales. The good news is that understanding the following four differences can help businesses maximize their approach to contacting new prospects and warm leads.
Like the missing cog that keeps the wheel from turning, or the GPS that keeps spouting "make a legal u-turn," a broken sales process is not only detrimental to your business, but it is often easy to spot. Unfortunately, far too many companies ignore the broken sales process as they cling to outdated processes or strategies. The good news is that 2019 can be the year that you not only identify areas where your sales process is breaking down, but also take the steps needed to fix it.
Movies like I, Robot and Next Gen portray Artificial Intelligence (AI) as power-hungry robots. However, the latter portrayal couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, AI is posed to not take over businesses, but to provide support to sales departments of all sizes, shapes, and industries. Not only will AI support sales departments, but it will offer the tools needed to transform them into innovative spaces.
Pete Rose was one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball. As a player, Rose was a switch hitter and is the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, and the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman). Rose won both of his Gold Gloves when he was an outfielder, in 1969 and 1970. As a Coach, well... we all know how that ended up... so as a player, he was a rockstar, as the coach of his up and coming rockstars, he was a disaster!
In the words of Jeff Bezos, "Part of company culture is path-dependent - it's the lessons you learn along the way." This path-dependent approach stems from the belief that managers can help to mold employees through an environment that leverages lessons learned to encourage growth.
Inbound vs. Outbound... the debate over which leads are "better" has been a constant source of articles, blog posts, and general arguments amongst sales and marketing professionals. While this post, will spend a brief moment defining what makes a high quality lead, I don't feel the need to contribute to the debate anymore, since I have already written about this in the past. Instead, I want to spend a moment pointing out what so many articles have failed to do ... outbound leads and inbound leads are two different entities, so why are so many businesses treating them like they are the same thing?
Sales coaching vs. sales training. These two terms are often tossed around by C-level executives without truly understanding a) what their teams need to succeed, and b) how they can best help managers support their teams to increase sales and meet established quarterly goals. The challenge of course with the latter statement, is that many C-level executives don't like being told that they are not only wrong, but that they are doing their team a disservice. After all, when you have risen to the highest levels of power within your company, you like to think that you understand every aspect and that you, as the leader, are best suited for making all decisions. Unfortunately, appointing managers the task of being the "sales coach," is like accelerating in a no wake zone; not only is it dangerous, but you are inevitably dooming the entire ship to a disastrous ending.