Every single campaign I've run here at AG has had its inevitable challenges. We've discovered the hard way that each campaign is like a snowflake: there may be many similarities between them, but no one is exactly the same. Sorry for the lame analogy, but it's true.
Shoot, we could be calling on the same product with the same message and end up seeing entirely different results. I understand it makes sense to go back to the well on the things that have worked for you in the past, but prospecting isn't as simple a process as most sales reps assume it is.
There are obviously many factors that play into the success or failure of a campaign.
Here are 7 of the most common areas that we’ve found can play a major role in your inside sales team’s success with any campaign:
Your List. If I've said it once, I've said it 1000 times. I would scream it from the mountaintops if I could. Your reps need to work with a good quality list with accurate contact information. There is no worse time suck for your reps if they are calling a prospect that doesn't exist.
Your Target Title Focus. Exclusively focusing your time into one specific authority figure at each company has proven to be an ineffective use of my reps’ time. Everyone only wants to spend their time talking to that home run title. Let’s be real: How often do they pick up their phone? That C-level executive might have a few other things going on in their day... outside of waiting by their phone for you to call of course. Consider getting a minimum of 3 other titles into the prospecting rotation that would be involved in the decision. This always helps to accelerate the speed at which we get to a yes or a no.
Your Vertical/Industry Focus. The broader you are in your vertical focus, the better. Similar to titles you call on, try to hit a minimum of 3 verticals during any campaign.
Your Collateral. While 18-page case studies may be wonderful, they aren’t necessarily great prospecting tools. Simplicity is necessary as your ramp up your calling efforts. Voicemails and emails should be brief and to the point as possible, and any collateral sent should be two-page fact sheets that sum up what you do quickly.
Your Outside Sales Rep’s Motivation. This is a tough one. There is nothing worse than an outside rep who has no appreciation of the work that goes into generating a lead from cold calling. If that's the case, they probably have never had to cold dial in their lives. It's important to have a mutual definition of what a lead is and a process for following up on all leads developed so that the self-entitled reps can be held accountable.
Your Inside Sales Rep’s Time Management. If your reps are not building time into their day for pre-call planning, they will make ineffective and inefficient dials. Come up with call plan for them to follow. We also make a point to have them focus on getting 15 dials in before 10 a.m. This helps them get their day started quickly and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Your Lack Of A Clean Process. Do you have any idea what happens to the leads when you pass them over to outside sales? Most of us do a post campaign analysis, but that is generally too late. Come up with a closed loop feedback process to make sure outside sales reps are doing the necessary follow-up on leads that have been transitioned properly to them. It always helps to loop their boss in when you're requesting feedback on the leads as well.
Sure, we could all use the excuse right now that we're in the doldrums of the summer months as a reason for why our inside sales team is struggling. Lousy excuse if you ask me; we all knew July and August were coming, right? Think about the 7 areas above as a checklist to potentially increase your team’s summertime performance.
Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.