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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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Culture, Respect, Incentives and Teleprospecting


Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you another guest entry from one of our BDRs, Jill Ryan. 

"Your prospect can sense a smile over the phone". How many times have you heard this coined in some way in the sales world? Sure it seems like a no brainer. We all keep our "screw you's" and thanks for nothing" on hold until we've finished squeezing our cheeks and praising them for the minimal amount of help and time of day. It's the concept we are trained on "always dial with a smile". No one ever talks about how difficult it is sometimes to sit in your cube for eight hours and really smile for cold calls.

I'm sure your wondering, where is this girl going with this? Just on a rant about her job? Actually the complete opposite. I think its common sense that a person in sales is more successful when they are focused, relaxed and happy on the phone, but that is evident of the culture they work in. If anyone watches the Office, they are prepared to laugh through a minimum of 60 percent of the episode. The show is based on a sales position out of Scranton, PA for paper products. On "paper", no pun intended, this sounds like the most boring job in the world. How could there be a show about a sales office selling paper be so funny? Because Dunder Mifflin has an office culture that makes an 8 hour day fly by, while getting the job done. Whether they are convincing Dwight that it's the wrong day of the week, or having public speaking meetings in the conference room, these people are constantly having a good time while somehow leading the paper industry.

I often compare AG to my own little mini TV series, much like Dunder Mifflin. I have never walked into this office angry to be here, except for the occasional Fridays when I wish I had gone home at a reasonable hour the night before. Our team has no problem "smiling and dialing". When I first came to AG, part of my interview process was to ensure that I would not contribute negatively to this culture. The president of this company's main mission with his business is to ensure a great company atmosphere. Specifically, we have no problem taking a little time off to have an office mini put tournament or leaving a little early on a Thursday for some Coronas. These perks come from a two things: Incentives and Respect. AG knows that cold calling is one of the hardest jobs out there, and everyone that works here has been on the phone crunching dials. As a result, management puts incentives in front of their BDR's (business development reps) to keep the client relationships strong and the lead rate high. A prime example of our main incentive here would be "summer hours".  At AG, if we meet our level of expectation during the week, we can leave at 12:30 on a Friday. I guarantee that from 8:30 Mon morning until about 12:15 Friday afternoon, this is the #1 goal of each and every BDR here. We all strive for it, and the majority gets it done.

So while training your inside reps on "smiling and dialing", it is essential to have some respect for the job itself. Put some music on in the background, discuss some fun summer incentives and put together a leader board so these people feel appreciated. Speaking from experience, we have got a great thing going on over here at AG. People that leave and come back to us always say "you'll never find an atmosphere like AG".  As great as that is to hear, it surprises me to hear that more companies don't take a similar approach. I have some talented friends in sales positions at different companies that are dying to have this type of work environment.  If more management folks looked at the value their team is bringing and showed some respect and incentives, maybe they could form their own little mini TV series as well. If you want your inside sales reps to "smile and dial", take a look at your companies culture.


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