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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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Building A Better Teleprospecting Rep - Step #1

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This is the first blog in a multi-part series introducing to you the three main categories through which AG Salesworks, evaluates, and manages the skills development of its Teleprospecting or Inside Sales reps.  We’ve found through the years that in order to have the highest level of talent in our space we’ve got to go well beyond simply hiring the best.  They aren’t the best when you first sit them down.  You’ve got to train them, coach them, reward them, and promote them.  Over the years, we’ve broken the teleprospecting job into three main disciplines.  In order for a rep to be optimal, they must excel in each.  Once we established the three main areas of skill that must be optimized, it became much easier for us to identify areas of opportunity and attack them.  The three main skill areas that we focus on for our reps are as follows.

      1.       Organizational Skills
      2.       Phone Skills
      3.       Work Ethic

This blog will focus on #1 Organizational Skills.  The only way to generate a fully qualified sales opportunity is to speak with the prospect live on the phone.  Therefore it is imperative that your teleprospecting reps have the organizational skills required to maximize their time on the phones.  Without a high level of organization, a teleprospecting rep has too much “noise” to deal with and will make few dials, thus talk to fewer people and sadly, pass fewer opportunities to sales.  Here are some easy ways to evaluate and improve on the organizations skills of your reps.

  1. SFA Usage:  How does their homepage look.  If you sit with one of your reps first thing in the morning, ask them to open (or whichever CRM you use) and navigate to their homepage.  Ask them to count the number of overdue activities they have (the answer should be 0).  If the answer is anything above 0 you can start what will end up being a very beneficial conversation with them.  Have your rep take 20 minutes at the start of each day to clean up their home page.  Address overdue activities, scan through the list to ensure all the follow ups make sense.  Also, have them take 20 minutes at the end of each day to prepare their home page for the next day.  Try to impart on them the importance of having a clean homepage and how managing it more effectively will actually help them see greater results and compensation.
  2. Pre-call Planning:  Ask your rep what he\she does before each call they make.  Do they grab the name and simply dial the number, or is there a method to their madness.  The best and most organized reps have a regimented pre-call routine they follow.  This routine will better prepare them for the call they are about to make, and increase the likelihood that they make the most of any live conversations they do end up having.  This shouldn’t be a big deal…review prior notes…hit the website to refresh yourself with what that company does…and get armed with alternative names to ask for if your contact isn’t available.  Organized thoughts prior to a call will always increase output. 
  3. Prime Calling Time:  The best times to reach prospects live are between the hours of 8am-10am and 3:30-5:30.  We know this internally, because our connect rates are generally much higher during these windows.  An organized BDR plans their whole day around the prime calling hours.  Ask your rep what their schedule looks like for the day.  Specifically, ask them when they make the majority of their dials and when they plan on doing their administrative tasks (home page cleanup, lead write ups, updating status on facebook, etc…).  Remind them that the best way to get more conversations is to stack the majority of their calls in those prime calling windows.  Have them open their calendars and block out those times for calling. 

While this may seem oversimplified, that is the beauty of it.  Organizational skills improvement can happen overnight if you put the right message and checks & balances in place for your reps.  The idea here is to identify easy ways (like the ones listed above) for them to manage their days better.  They will see immediate improvement in their performance, and you will get the ancillary benefit of teaching your rep to think more strategically about his\her day and how they organize it.  How have you instilled organization skills into your inside sales team?  Would love to hear about other successful techniques.

Next time we will focus on Phone Skills evaluation development.


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