The first month of 2013 has come to a close and I hope it was a succesful start to the New Year for everyone out there. Before we begin recapping this week's posts, first we need to share a great story from a good friend of AG's, Don F. Perkins at mindmulch.net. In his post There She Goes. There She Goes Again – How To Drive Away More Customers Don provides a "tale that demonstrates just how to drive away more customers." It's a great story about how Don's wife ventures out to by a vacuum cleaner, tries one of the Big Box stores first before eventually heading to a local merchant who specializes in just vacuum's and sewing machines. Her experience with the "Big Box" store was quite different from her one with the local merchant. The local merchant (Auger and Son’s for those in need of a vacuum/sewing machine) took the time to listen to what Don's wife needed, provided her with valuable options that met her needs and then stopped talking. The "Big Box" store, they directed her to an option that didn't meet her needs, and of course cost much more. They didn't take the time to listen, instead following up on their own agenda of pushing a higher costing option. It's a great tale from a great story teller and I highly encourage you to check it out.
Now, on to this week's recap.
Monday, January 28, 2013
We started the week with a great post from Director of Operations Laney Pilpel on bridging the gap between your inside and outside sales teams. This subject is one of the more common obstacles are clients have experienced and they are constantly looking for best practices in strengthening this relationship. When reviewing how we have overcome this challenge throughout our client engagements, three best practices stood out as being the starting point. First it starts with establishing a mutual understanding on the definition of a qualified lead so your inside team understands what intelligence needs to be captured for the outside rep. Having a realistic rep ratio was another practice that stood out. Inside reps can get overwhelmed when supporting too many outside reps and you will see the quality of opportunities being passed diminish. The final practice that we noticed is that you must encourage a close knit relationship between your inside and outside reps. Laney provides more detail on how you can accomplish these with your team if you find your organization is experiencing this as a problem.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
On Tuesday, Manager of Client Operations Mike Ricciardelli discussed how your sales reps should be building relationships with their prospects based on the types of conversations, not interrogations, they have. Often times reps are prospecting into an organization and are set on only finding the answers to their BANT questions. Unfortunately, this isn't the way to build a relationship with your prospect as it comes across as more of an interrogation than a conversation. Mike offers some suggestions for your reps so that they are having better conversations with their prospects. Connecting on a personal level by doing some background research before your call is extremely important. You also want to always be honest with your prospect if you expect the same in return. Mike's final suggestion is to understand your prospect's pains or needs, but converse about how those pains translate to your prospect's everyday work like. Reps need to know how your prospect is effected by the pains they are experiencing. It's a great read from Mike and for more information on having better conversations, check out our upcoming webinar with OneSource and Postwire.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Our last post for the week (my sincere apologies) came from our CEO, Paul Alves, who talked about the relationship between Marketing and Sales. In his post Hey Marketing, Do You Know Who Your Customer Is? Paul discusses how Marketing needs to look at Sales as being their customer. Aligning sales and marketing teams is a constant challenge for most organizations we engage with, and we've helped many bridge that gap. Building a process of developing and delivering high quality leads to your sales team will naturally begin the alignment process. Tracking your conversion rate will be your report card that will justify the existence of this process to your CEO and help your VP of Sales track the performance of the sales team. Paul states "Demonstrable value is what every customer wants, your customer (Sales) is no different." A must read from Paul and a great post to end the week on.
Thanks for reading this week's recap and we look forward to starting off February strong next week!