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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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3 Inside Sales Rep Production Killers

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Inside sales reps are usually trying to do one thing in their current career, advance out of inside sales. The inside sales role is often known as a stepping stone into the more lucrative outside sales role. In the effort to get promoted ISR’s often pick up tasks that they shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes the intentions are good and they are just trying to help their manager. Sometimes they are trying to do anything but make cold calls because it turns out cold calls are tough! I know from personal experience that there are days when I was getting killed on the phone and I would rather shovel sh*t than make dials. Sometimes it’s not the ISR’s fault at all. I see a lot of managers that don’t give their reps all the tools they need forcing them to do ancillary work rather than make dials. Here are a couple of major time killers to look out for. Are you perpetuating any of these?

List work – List work is boring, mindless and it takes long periods of time to get through. Whatever list you buy for your reps, make sure it is complete. If it doesn’t have the names, numbers and emails needed you either shouldn’t buy it or buy it and have someone data hunt to fill in the blanks. Don’t skimp and buy the list with companies only and then make the ISR pick through websites and Linked In to find contacts. Inside reps with a good list should be able to comfortably make about 100 activities per day. (70-80 calls and 20-30 emails) Inside reps with poor lists will probably make half that if you’re lucky. Half the calls equal half the production. Your ISR’s have a specialized skill. They can make dials and qualify people. Don’t make them mine for data. It’s like having a chef to make you toast. Get a good list.

Side Jobs – Inside sales rep’s love side jobs for 2 reasons. First off, their actual job is hard and the side job is probably easier so it’s a little break for them. The other reason ISR’s love side jobs is because it gives them a way to prove that they can do things outside of the realm of their current job so that you notice them and say something to the effect of, ”Hey you see how that guy took care of that? I think I see management material! Give him the Johnson account.” Yes…the fake manager in my head talks like a cheesy boss from an 80’s sitcom. There should be no side jobs while working in the ISR role. Every side job you give your rep will take 3x the amount of time it should so that they can stay off the phones or make it perfect to impress you. They then don’t have the time to impress you with calls. It hurts their numbers; which drops your lead numbers which then drops sales numbers.

Death by research – There is a common theory that you need to research a company before you call into it. This theory is true. There is also a common theory that the more you know about the prospect the better. This is false. I would say anything more than a couple of minutes research is too much. Do not think that way less dials is ok because they are “smart dials”. You can put your 40 smart dials against my 100 smart enough dials and I bet you I win by a lot. Know what they do and look for any tips on the front page of their website. If you make it to a white paper, you’ve probably gone too far. Yes, Sales needs to know a prospect’s business well. An ISR focused on lead qualification doesn’t.

There are a lot more, but that is a good start. Try not to do these things and watch your numbers go up.


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