Last week was my 10-year anniversary at AG. At times, 10 years seems like eons ago, but honestly most of the time it truly feels as if time has flown by. During this period, I bought a condo, got married, had a child (who is now 7), sold a condo, and bought a house... all while watching AG grow from an 8-person shop to the 60 folks we are today.
Sales Prospecting Perspectives
Tags: Inside Sales, Data Quality, Inside Sales Management, Sales Prospecting Strategies, Coaching Tips, Compensation, Call Plan, Sales Managers, Teleprospecting Strategies, Closed Loop Feedback, Inside Sales Training, Inside Sales Management Tips
Good afternoon, Sales Prospecting Perspectives readers. How was your week? Were you able to build your pipeline for 2014? Were you able to prioritize your marketing initiatives for the first and second quarter? Are your inside sales reps' progressing in the field of teleprospecting? This week, we've compiled articles to help you increase the value of your business and inside sales team.
Last Monday, January 6, was apparently the most depressing day of the year. I heard this on the radio as I was driving to work, trying to shake off the cobwebs from the holiday layoff. It makes sense: I got used to the idea of kicking back, eating everything in sight, and spending some extra quality time with the family. Sure, I think many of us get used to the idea of living like a retiree. Unfortunately I'm about 20-30 years away from that... depending on how well the ole' 401K decides to perform.
We have a lot to recap for you this week as we had an extra guest post we included on Wednesday. But before we get into that, I wanted to share with our readers a great post I found this week from a great source for anyone in sales, Sales Benchmark Index. On their blog, Sales Force Effectiveness Blog, they posted a great article entitled Why Your Inside Sales Reps Don't Last. The top three reasons they highlighted for why inside sales reps leave were: Conflicts with Management (or management style), Compensation, and Personal Growth and Fulfillment. If you find you are having trouble keeping your team in place, take a minute to read this post and see if your team is suffering from some of the same symptoms.
I just read an interesting blog by Mark Emond in which he discusses how the marketing role, as well as the way B2B buyers buy, is evolving. He talked about how buyers now prefer to engage with a sales rep much later in the process than ever before. I totally agree and I have been telling my team for some time that the first, and often the second steps in the sales process take place well before the first conversation with a sales rep.
Today’s B2B buyers will research, and will likely engage with their social network prior to reaching out and engaging in a conversation with a sales rep. As a result, the sales rep needs to be prepared to engage in a discussion much farther down the sales path. The buyer will be much more educated upon first contact.
If you ask yourself, "What am I doing wrong?" and nothing comes to mind, you're probably not trying hard enough.
Everyday I call into insurance companies and try to figure out how they motivate their sales employees. For the purposes of my calling efforts, I can generally ignore anyone within an organization who is not compensated by some form of incentive or variable pay plan, which includes bonuses, MBOs, commissions, non-cash rewards, and so on.
It’s the start of a new quarter and time to crunch numbers and analyze the performance of your team.There is nothing more refreshing than ending the quarter strong and rewarding employees for strong performance. On the other hand, there is nothing more disappointing than seeing a talented inside rep end their quarter poorly and miss their goals. I believe that the best way to ensure a rep never gives up on a month/quarter is to use a reward system throughout this time that helps to achieve consistent and optimal performance from your team. To avoid confusion, this isn’t the big commission check they receive after their quarter is wrapped up and all is said and done. Assuming that a strong and motivating commission plan is already in place, keep your team motivated with incremental weekly rewards throughout the month and quarter.
My friend Tom runs an inside team for a software company in Boston. He gave me a call the other day asking for my opinion on his compensation package for his inside sales reps. We both compensate our inside sales reps based on performance, but Tom sees performance very differently than I do. Tom pays his reps by the number of opportunities they pass on a monthly basis. The more appointments you set for the outside team, the more money you get. Every time a sales rep has a conversation with someone you passed, the little cash register noise goes off in your head. I hear this from a lot of people that run inside sales teams.
If you are anything like my colleagues and I here at AG, figuring out the best way to effectively compensate a teleprospecting rep is a never ending struggle. Since 2002, we've done our best to refine the process and I think we may have achieved a keeper with our FY'10 plan.