I got an email last week with the subject: "Knock Knock - It's the Fourth Quarter." That subject definitely caught my attention.
In it, Lee Levitt from IDC, lays out the case that what we do now will have huge impact on not only the 2nd half of 2009, but future success in 2010. Lee argues:
|What you accomplish in the next quarter...how your organization performs over the next couple of months...will determine not only how your year will conclude, but it will also set the stage for 2010. End this year strong and next year will go well. End this year weak and you will have less budget, less pipeline, less momentum for success in 2010.|
So how can we ensure that Inside Sales is ready to meet these pressures? Here are a few tips you can implement to focus your team:
- Help Them Grow and Cultivate Territories
Give your team the goal of adding 5 to 10 new contacts a day to their calling cycle. The top of the funnel is more important than every before. Reciting the same message to the same prospects just isn't going to get the job done.
- Help Them Focus on High Yield Activities
Everyone gets swamped with meetings, emails and other distractions and before you know it mid morning has arrived and no one has made a single outbound call! Make sure your Reps follow this simple 10 x 10 rule; make 10 calls by 10:00 AM every day.
- Help Them Maximize Leads
Your team just received a batch of leads from a recent marketing event and it's time to follow up. Many times, Reps will look at the list and see that they are all low level prospects.
So how do you satisfy Marketing, best use selling time & add to pipeline? By placing 1 call and 1 email to the low level responder and then letting them self-identify. The key to this strategy is to make sure your Reps remember to focus on the Account and not the Contact. If the account meets your Ideal Customer Profile, then Reps should target the decision makers even if they were not the ones who responded to the marketing event. You still need to talk to them right - so why wait?
- Help Them Tune Up the Messaging
Make sure Reps give prospects a reason to call them back. Is their messaging clear? Is it concise? What about compelling? Lee points out that we "need to rearchitect the sales conversations. Why should a given prospect buy now? Why should a client upgrade now? (Hint - it's not because you need the revenue!)"
- Help Them Be Successful
As Lee says, you are the secret weapon if you are a first line sales manager. When you spend most of your time coaching reps, rep performance soars. After all, your job really should be about coaching for success and not about data management.
As always, I'd love to hear your comments. What steps are you taking to address these issues?