INSIDE SALES EXPERTS BLOG

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Inside Sales Experts Blog

Inside Sales Experts Blog

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Are You Looking at the Wrong End of the Donkey?

Posted by Trish Bertuzzi on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

 
If you have your finger on the pulse of Inside Sales, you know that breaking the ‘prospecting’ and ‘closing’ functions into two roles has crossed the chasm. Role specialization is here to stay. 

One of the big benefits is that specialized teams are responsible for a very clear piece of the sales process. You can measure effectiveness, add or subtract headcount, and course correct as needed.

Sadly, it’s not all joy in Whoville.

I’m noticing a concerning trend. More and more often, when revenue goals are missed, companies look at their Sales Development teams and assume that is where the problem lies.

In some instances, it certainly is. But I’d hazard a guess that at least half the time, the problem lies further down the sales funnel – right at the feet of either the Sales Reps or, potentially, the sales process itself.

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Topics: sales process, inside sales management

You're Hired to Lead a Startup, What's First?

Posted by Trish Bertuzzi on Tue, Mar 27, 2012


A few weeks back, I came across this scenario on LinkedIn (slightly anonymized to protect identities).

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Topics: sales process, inside sales management, inside sales strategy

Sales Lessons from 'Angry Birds'

Posted by Janet Stucchi on Fri, Feb 17, 2012


The Angry Birds phenomenon continues to grow. Not content with being the most downloaded app in 2011, the game is headed to Facebook. For those of you unfamiliar, here's the game's trailer. (In short, Angry Birdsplayers control a flock of birds attempting to rescue eggs that have been stolen by a group of evil pigs.)

Sounds crazy, but I can tell you that - it is addicting! So, how does this relate to Sales?

1. Be prepared – focus on your target

To win in Angry Birds, you can't waste birds by just flinging them out there and hoping to knock something down. Instead, you want to isolate a single part of the structure and strategically fire at it until you destroy it. In Sales, it is equally important to understand the structure or sweet spot you want to “attack”. In other words, knowing your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Many times, CEOs & VPs of Sales will tell me, "Our ICP is the Fortune 500." My internal response is to hope they get hit in the head with a flying bird. The F500 is not a sweet spot - it is a huge target that can swallow up your resources without gaining any traction.

Give some thought to the commonality where you've already had sucess. Is there a revenue size or # of employees where your message resonates best? Must other technologies to be in place for you to succeed? What functional areas must you target to launch the sales process?
Before you deploy your team, be sure you have identified your ICP.

2. Launching - hire the right people for the job

Now that you know where to aim, determine the right bird for the job. Since each bird has a different talent, you must deploy the correct one against certain obstacles. For example, launching a big red bird at a straw hut would be overkill; while launching a blue bird at a concrete structure would be like trying to use a feather to knock down a steel-reinforced door.

What skills must your Reps have in order to succeed? Strong time management skills to handle lots of transactions? Great message-tailoring skills to work deals with multiple stakeholders? Great detective skills to profile accounts and find the right contacts?

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Topics: sales process, inside sales management, target marketing

Prospecting Post-Mortem: 23 Sales Processes Reviewed

Posted by Matt Bertuzzi on Tue, Apr 26, 2011


Having Sales Reps prospect me is one of the most eye opening parts of my job.

Being a quant type of guy (nerd might fit too), I decided to track & categorize the sales processes that Reps have put me through over the last few weeks.

Here’s what I saw:

23 sales processes
13 sent a single email
6 added 1 call to the email
2 executed a generic 3+ touch process
2 executed 4+ touches (and sounded like they knew about my concerns & day-to-day role)

By my math, that's a less than 9% of Reps doing something more than drive-by prospecting. This left me wondering, what is it that drives 1 Rep to commit to a process – where 9 others fall short?

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Topics: sales process, lead generation, lead qualification

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