The other day I was listening to an interview on selling blunders that Mike Schultz from RainToday, had with Dan Seidman, sales coach and author of Sales Autopsy.
Dan shared a truly horrific sales story, which I've transcribed:
Wow. Thankfully in Inside Sales, we're spared from making that same atrocious (and fatal) slip-up.
But that doesn't mean that we in Inside Sales should not focus on building rapport the new-fashioned way. More often than not, with information that's publically available on the internet, we can learn 10x more about a prospect than we could from a quick glance around their office.
So why shouldn't rapport involve:
- Doing some research
Think 2-3 minutes on LinkedIn, Google, etc.
- Being prepared
Being ableto speak to shared connections and recent company news
- Demonstrating that I'm a seller who won't waste your time
I'm prepared to speak plainly. Maybe we're a fit, maybe not. Here's what I think I know about you and your company. Let's get to a go/no-go on qualification quickly and directly.
Nigel Edelshain shared an excellent example of the Inside Sales slip-up in his Sales 2.0 Vendor Cold Call that Sucked!. Here's an excerpt:
Nigel's point is spot on. In the comments on his post, Krista Moon makes the point that Sales people cannot be expected to both do the leg work of pre-call planning and hit the activity metrics defined by Senior Management.
Sales people are pressured to contact too many accounts, and they don't have the time to actually do it right, no matter what tools are available. The whole way "sales" is set up and the job sales people are expected to do is the same as it has always been, but the process has totally changed. Seems to be a disconnect there.
I would argue that meaningful conversations is the metric. Banging through a list with vanilla messaging, unaware of the business issues, interests and other unique buyer persona qualities of the recipient is a waste of resource (for the vast majority of sales organizations). The trick is finding the right balance between pre-call planning and activity that makes the process repeatable and scalable.
Would you agree?(Photo credit: Ed Bierman)