Cold Calling. The phrase elicits the same shudder as the now infamous TPS quote from Office Space. We all got the memo. Cold calling has changed; it's no longer the same fanatical rite of passage for unpaid interns who are hoping to get the coveted slot on the paid sales team. However, for as much as cold calling has changed, it is important to note that it is not gone, nor is it demand generation.
If you're reading this post, then you might feel a little like the kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. You've done your homework, you know that you aren't supposed to have dessert before dinner, and yet you can't help yourself ... you reached for the cookie, without realizing that if you had just done a little bit of research you could have had a cookie on top of an ice cream sundae. In other words, perhaps you have a "fake CRM" (the cookie) and have now sheepishly realized that it isn't a "real" CRM. One might say that's the way the cookie crumbles, but all food references aside, you've come to the right place if you want to a) confirm that your CRM isn't cutting it, and b) discover what you should be looking for in your CRM.
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.
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.
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.
As a C-level sales executive a major component of your job is to lead. However, another major component of their job is to inspire their sales team. Being an effective leader is about more than giving a pep talk; it requires the understanding that training is not simply for onboarding new sales representatives. Instead, by embracing the benefits of sales training and sales coaching, leaders can not only inspire their team, but they can help them reach new levels of success.
Every time a sales associate picks up the phone, sends an email, or heads to an in person meeting the goal is simple ... improve the client relationship to get one step closer to a sale. This might be a simple goal, but far too often achieving it becomes a convoluted process filled with trials and errors. While experimentation can be helpful in the sales process, it is far more effective on a company level to leverage proven methodologies that stem from a cohesive approach. A well-written sales playbook not only streamlines the entire sales process, but it enables your team to more successfully handle a variety of sales situations, while simultaneously communicating a value proposition to each potential client.
First of all, what is a CRM? I had a new client recently ask me that question at which point I realized; maybe it’s not as commonly understood as I thought? Not only did I write this blog but we put together an Ebook, The Beginners Guide to CRM. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels — or points of contact between the customer and the company — which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.