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A Great Process Is Much Better Than A Great Player


When it comes to free agents, Bill Belichik (football coach NE Patriots…duh) often gets criticized for some of the talented players he does not resign. Every year he lets great players walk away from the team to join other organizations for more money and yet every year the Patriots are competing in the playoffs despite the loss of an “A” player. The Patriots manage to stay competitive every year because they have an “A” system.

Your inside sales team should be run the same way. I look on the job boards from time to time and see companies looking for “A” players that are “self motivated” can “work independently” and have all star experience. Everyone you interview is self motivated and can work independently at the time of the interview, but someone that can truly perform at a high level on their own is pretty rare. These “A” players are tough to find, are expensive if you do find them and they are so talented that they usually don’t stay in the inside roll very long. Finding an “A” player can be a needle in a haystack challenge for a lot of companies. Rather than having to find the perfect rep every time, I suggest working on having the perfect system. While it won’t mitigate your risk to the point that a trained monkey can do the job, it will consistently pump out reliable inside sales reps and reliable numbers.

Work out a call plan. How often should a rep call a prospect? What is their purpose when they call? How does the purpose of the call change depending on who they are talking to? These are all questions that you should have answered before putting someone on the phones. Too many companies that I talk to work out one or two elevator pitches and then leave it up to the rep to adapt the script and decide when/how often to call a prospect. Take this out of their hands. Your reps should follow a good call plan and not waste time wondering, “oh man I called him on Tuesday…..should I call again today….is this to aggressive…..maybe just an email…..I’ll just call next week!”

The numbers don’t lie! I am amazed at how many teams don’t use the science behind inside sales. Depending on your solution and target audience, there are metrics that will show you how many calls you need to make to get someone live on the phone, how many of those people will have a meaningful conversation with you and how many of those conversations will turn into leads. When your lead number is lagging, you look at the numbers and see which ones are off. For example: A rep should make 2000 calls per month. I know there is a 12% - 13% connect rate which should yield about 250 quality conversations per month. From the 250 quality conversations (QC) we have a 4%-5% conversion from QC to lead. This yields 8 – 12 leads per month. If a rep has a month where they pass 5 leads, I go back and look at the numbers. If the call volume was below 2000 then I know the effort wasn’t there. If the connect rate is low I can look at list quality, if the QC rate is low I have to question the pitch and objection handling and if the lead rate is low then we have to look at the value prop. These numbers will vary for different companies. The point is that you should establish benchmarked numbers that the rep can focus on hitting and that you can use to solve analyze and fix performance issues.

Have a call methodology. How long are your reps on the phone? At what point in the conversation do they pass the lead to sales? Do leads come out of your team with very different levels of quality? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you may need to come up with a unified call methodology that your entire team needs to follow. I suggest pitching your solution based on value rather than features. Call a prospect with the goal of showing them that your solution is going to help them save money, make money or mitigate risk. There is no need to have your reps get bogged down in a conversation about features and functionality. That is the job of sales reps and product specialists. Let the inside reps focus on qualifying prospects in or out following basic BANT requirements. Don’t make them study product features for 6 months before they are comfortable on the phone. Whether you use this approach or not, you should have a standardized methodology.

Great sports franchises dominate for years and even decades at a time. Great players come and go within these runs, but the teams always reload with new players and keep the winning tradition going. A great franchise does not rely on one or two individual talents. A great franchise relies on a great system and a great system gives you years upon years of success.


Great recommendations and analogies. 2000 calls per month is a tough task. I guess I need to get back to work.
Posted @ Friday, November 19, 2023 8:52 AM by Bobby Cintolo
Thanks for reading Bobby. The 2000 number is actually activities and not just calls (I miss typed). On any given day it will usually work out to about 70 dials and 30 emails. It's actually not a difficult number to hit if you only have to focus on making dials and passing leads. It gets tough when you have other jobs to do in addition to lead gen. This is where a lot of companies struggle; keeping people laser focused on passing leads.
Posted @ Monday, November 22, 2023 9:33 AM by Chris Lang
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