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The official blog of AG Salesworks, Sales Prospecting Perspectives will give readers an insight to the challenges of managing a targeted outbound Sales Prospecting effort and team.

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Tips for Inside Sales Success: Closing the Loop with Quality Feedback

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One of my responsibilities is gaining feedback on the quality of the opportunities we pass, part of our Post Feedback Process.  So if you are one of our clients (especially if you are a sales rep at one of our clients) - I don't mean to bother you on a daily basis, nor be a pest when I follow up to gain your feedback; but to have the knowledge and understanding of how the call went is very important not only for AG but for you as well.  The value of gaining feedback from the outside reps on the quality of the opportunities passed is to ensure that your investment in your teleprospecting team is being utilized to the fullest.  You want to not only make sure that the follow up calls occur, but that the opportunities meet the criteria to move forward in the sales process and close within your average sales cycle.

I have written about the importance of closing the loop between Marketing and Sales.  It is equally critical to close the loop between your inside and outside teams! There can often be a disconnect between an inside sales team and the field reps. Once the lead has been passed over there is no further communication between the two parties as to how the call went. The value of having a feedback process in place is that you can make sure everyone is on the same page and that the inside sales team is aware of what makes for a good opportunity.

It is important to have a metric in place to measure the success of the opportunities that your teleprospecting team is generating.  It's great if your team is producing 20-25 opportunities a month, but if 1/4 of the follow up calls did not occur, 1/3 are not a fit your solution or if the prospect was only interested in information and not even in the market to make a purchase this year, the benefit of generating a high number of leads is quickly diminished.

There are some key steps that you want to have in place to ensure the success of your feedback process.

1. Cut out the middle man:  It works best if opportunities are sent directly to the Outside Rep. Some clients like to distribute the leads themselves, but I have come across situations where a client has forgotten to assign one of our opportunities and the follow up call was missed with the prospect. Because our BDRs rely on the success of the calls for their own compensation, they are diligent to confirm that the call between the prospect and sales rep is set on the calendar.

2. Open communication: Share the contact information between your inside and outside team; phone numbers, emails and even calendars. What may seem like a calm Wednesday on Monday can quickly turn for the worse. By having open communication between your sales teams, the call can easily be rescheduled and the rapport with the prospect stays intact.

3. Share the Information: If you notice that the quality from a particular inside sales rep always seems to be on the lower end of your scale, share it! It only fosters bad habits if you do not address the reasons for the low score. Maybe the opportunities are not mature enough to pass, or the inside sales rep is targeting the wrong person with the organization.

4. Establish a follow up process: There are many ways to solicit the feedback. You can send daily emails after the scheduled call was scheduled to occur, build weekly reports to be filled out by your sales team, or you can even discuss the appointments from the previous week during your weekly sales meetings - choose what works best for and what solicits the highest response.

Now that you have the process in place, here is an example of what AG likes to gather from our feedback process:

1. Did the call occur?  I look to ensure that the scheduled appointments that my BDRs have set up have occurred between the prospect and sales rep. If not, why? If there is a high no-show rate (15%) this may be an indication that the inside rep was too persistent on the phone and the prospect only accepted the follow up call in an effort to get off the phone. 

2. Was the call successful? Based on the calls that occurred you want to see at least 80% of the conversations deemed successful. This means it was with the right person within the organization, and there is a compelling need for your service or solution.

3. Does it have sales potential? Either based on closing within your sales cycle or the level of commitment to evaluation, you want to see at least 60% of your successful calls yielding the potential to close. 

4. Has this opportunity landed on your forecast? This is a very important piece of information to gather. Depending on your average sales cycle and the timeline of your teleprospecting campaign, it may take 6-12 months to see any direct ROI from your inside sales team. By gathering the information of potential pipeline, you are able to justify your investment during different stages of your campaign.

What are your thoughts? How do you measure the level of quality of your teleprospecting opportunities and the success of your campaigns?


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