EP Huddle #36
Many companies view 'sales' as a one-size-fits-all department within an organization. But, it's important to understand that in the modern age of selling, there are specialties within the sales process that help create a more efficient and productive approach to customer acquisition and growth.
Here are the key sales roles that maximize revenue, reduce cost and allow for effective training, hiring, on-going coaching and management.
Inside Sales: Inside sales combines outbound and inbound sales activities with a mixture of phone calls, emails, webinars, lead generation, target research and a variety of other "in the office" activities. Inside sales professionals can generate new business, develop opportunities and move them through the sales process resulting in a purchase order. And, inside sales reps can also work with customers after the purchase to grow accounts with cross-selling, add-on sales and renewal sales. Inside Sales is cost efficient, leverages technology to have maximum activity while maintaining high quality, and can either be the primary selling strategy or compliment a field sales team to help keep field reps in-front of prospective and current customers.
Key Inside Sales Activities:
Sales Development: Sales development is a subset of inside sales that focuses exclusively on generating new business and filling the pipeline with new opportunities. Sales development representatives focus on heavy prospecting, nurturing leads to stay top-of-mind, and are focused on qualifying opportunities. Sales development is a critical component for any sales team, as new opportunities are the lifeblood of any company's success.
Key Sales Development Activities:
Account Management: Account managers work with existing customers to ensure a high customer experience. They typically pick-up the relationship with a client once a purchasing decision has been made, and account managers are responsible for coordinating the on-boarding process. Account managers also review product usage information, help resolve customer problems and make sure everything is working properly to guarantee the customer continues to renew.
Key Account Management Activities:
Field Sales: Field sales is the traditional approach to selling. Sales reps are out in the field, working with prospective customers and clients face-to-face. Field sales leverages the personal touch method, but can be inefficient and time consuming as the rep needs to travel from one appointment to another. Field sales is most effective for high value sales and heavy relationship sales. Field sales reps are most effective when appointments are scheduled, and much of the in-office sales work is completed for them. This means they should be partnered with an inside sales rep (at the very least a sales support staff member) to ensure the high activity work is also completed.
Key Field Sales Activities:
Sales support: Every sales department needs support, and it's in the best interest of the company to make sure the field reps or inside sales reps are not the employees doing this work. Sales support includes list generation, target customer research, data analysis, data cleansing, quote generation and purchase order processing. Sales support is critical for an efficient sales team. The work is important to ensure a successful sales campaign, but it's preferred to have a staff member who's not tied to a sales number completing these tasks. Revenue generating sales professionals need to spend most of their time in front of customers (phone or face-to-face).
Key Sales Support Activities:
As a team:
Talk about all of the key sales activities that are done by each member of your team. Are there certain activities that should be completed by someone else in the organization? Are your salespeople spending as much time as possible in front of customers or prospects? How can you generate more business by creating a more focused and streamlined process? Are there certain skills that any of the above roles require that aren't in-line with your current structure?
EP Huddle #34
Prospecting is the lifeblood of your sales success. In order to achieve your sales goals, it's critical to always have a pipeline of qualified opportunities. And, this is never more important than when things are going well.
Why? Two reasons. One, prospecting needs to happen always, regardless of your success. Second, it's a lot easier to prospect when things are going well. You're going to be more confident and have a lot of positive energy, which is evident on the other end of the phone.
More importantly, it's too easy for salespeople and entire organizations to lose track of prospecting when they're focused merely on closing business. At the end of the day, revenue is the key metric to define growth and success. But, too many leaders ONLY focus on closed business. The prospecting work is reviewed less and managed much less frequently when sales are coming in.
Here are a few quick things to think about in order to maintain focus on your prospecting efforts, even when sales are coming in.
As a team:
How is your business aligned to keep prospecting during heavy selling times? Are there cycles during the year that make it difficult to keep developing new business while you're heavily focused on closing deals? What can you do internally to make sure the focus stays high? What technology or other resources can be implemented to help?
EP Huddle #32
Selling a product or service is all about matching up a customer's needs with the solution that you can provide. Bad salespeople try to cram features and benefits of a product down a prospect's throat, while the best sellers are able to effectively find ways to see the pain a customer is experiencing, and provide a solution to the problem.
Taking notes are an important part of the selling process. The goal is to capture key comments, ideas and concerns in a way that allows you to use this information later while you're crafting a proposal or trying to close a deal. Here are proven ideas to increase the effectiveness of your note taking, and ways to increase the likelihood that you're able to help prospects solve problems.
As a team:
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