On one of our internal chatter groups, a member of The Bridge Group team posed this question:
45 days in, what's everyone seeing that is changing & improving in 2013?
I thought it would be interesting to share the responses from our team members (folks not often featured on this blog). Just a fun and hopefully thought provoking piece.
Note: we broke the responses into two parts, this is the first in the series.
Voicemails are being… returned!
We all know our buyers receive dozens of sales voicemails on a daily basis. But something old has become new again: buyers returning some of those voicemails.
I’ve noticed that the voicemails that are inspiring action have the following in common: they avoid coming across as ‘white noise,’ they leave out the product puffery, and they are short and to the point. Think: sound bites that inspire.
When building messaging, most Reps will ask themselves, “What’s the big challenge my buyer is facing?” But the best Reps take it one step further. They ask, “Why aren’t they addressing it already? Where/how is their current thinking wrong or off point?”
Remember, each touch (voicemail, email, social) allows you to tell a different chapter in your story. It’s not about the action the buyer took or that you want them to take that is the core of your story. It’s about how you can improve their thinking so that they can build a better business.
- Laurie Page, Managing Partner
New Best Friends: Click-to-Dial & Local Presence
Sometimes just automating the most routine of tasks can create the biggest productivity boon! Here at The Bridge Group we walk the walk make outbound calls every day. We recently invested in a click-to-dial technology and I am so glad we did!
Even with limited budget, you can reap the rewards of click-to-dial (Skype is very effective for outbound prospecting). As an added benefit, your team can make calls from anywhere with internet access.
But if you really want to drive productivity, combine click-to-dial with “local presence.” Meaning when calling Boston, the prospect would see a local 617 area code and when calling Atlanta they’d see a 404 number.
This makes a big difference! I've seen that local number boost connect rates by 20-50%. If your outbound reps are still manually dialing the phone, think seriously about investigating a change.
- Cindy Littlefield, Inside Sales Consultant
Coaching Strategy Culture
Inside Sales Managers are being pushed to get new reps on the phone faster while constantly improving productivity & results. Reps are facing evolving products, competitors, markets & buyer behavior.
The challenge is that even amazing training has, at best, a 1 in 4 shot of sticking.
Everyone agrees that coaching is the missing link between what’s learned in the classroom and what’s embraced on the phone. But Managers forced to push more & more paper, have less & less time for coaching and reinforcement.
The emerging trend I see is Managers prioritizing and scheduling Weekly Call Clubs, Pitch Practice or Call Calibration Sessions. Reps are given pre and post work that includes listening to their own recordings - so that they have an active role in their development. These sessions are becoming the core of what Managers do and are no longer the first meetings to be cancelled when paperwork calls.
- Gail Milton, Senior Consultant
What positive changes/adjustments are you seeing?
Here's to a fruitful Sales Spring!