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5 Tips For Inside Sales Reps To Boost Your Number Of Leads


With the major holiday months upon us, this can be a difficult time for inside sales professionals. Most organizations will withhold any new projects until the New Year and discovering current opportunities that fit your solution can be as difficult as fighting for that special sales item on Black Friday. There are ways to make these last few months of the year more lucrative for inside sales reps if you are prepared and are using the right tools. When most reps may be struggling to reach their quota for the quarter, I wanted to offer some recommendations on tools and tips that will help you in exceeding your goals.

1. Social Media– Social Media and Social Networking continue to grow at an alarming rate and has become a valuable tool for an inside sales reps arsenal.  Social selling, or Sales 2.0, is becoming the next trend in sales, replacing transactional selling as the concept of the times. For B2B prospecting you may want to avoid Facebook and Pinterest, these sites are more beneficial for a B2C environment, but get to know and get engaged on Linkedin and Twitter. Linkedin has the highest value for B2B reps with many professionals seeking out industry advice from their groups and networks.  Join as many groups as possible that are relevant to your industry and monitor the discussion threads for any questions or comments where your product or service could be useful.  Twitter provides inside reps access to “real-time” data on prospects that are experiencing pains or actively looking for solutions.  Monitor hashtags and terms that are a fit for your industry and follow any companies/persons that you are targeting. Create Twitter lists of your competition, customers and prospects to easily monitor what they are saying.  You never know when someone may tweet something of interest to you.  Remember the key to social media is it needs to be a two way conversation and you must stay engaged on the social networks.

2. Personalization– My grandfather would often quote Dale Carnegie saying that there is no better sound to a person then the sound of their own name. When you are calling into organizations, it is important that you remember the names of the executive administrators or network administrators who may influence the decision makers.  If you discover your target prospect has gone on vacation or is out of the office for a specific reason, make note of that on the account so you can refer to it later when you have the prospect engaged. You may also use any information gained to personalize your email subject lines to increase the chances of it being opened and getting a response. By personalizing your outbound attempts with the prospect or administrators you give the perception that you are more a friend, not foe, and makes you more memorable, which is extremely valuable when they are being inundated with sales calls all day long.

3. Utilize The Executive Administrators- First point, don’t EVER lie to the admins, they have heard all your tricks before and lying to them will only ensure you don’t get the appointment you are seeking. The best thing to do is befriend them as best you can and utilize them as a valuable resource. In most cases, the admins will know more general information than the actual prospects. If there is someone better for you to speak with, they will be happy to point you in the proper direction (anything to keep you away from their boss). When you have an admin on the phone, ask them probing questions to identify the org chart, decision makers, or best time to have a conversation.

4. Work Smarter, Not Harder- I often see inside reps begin their morning by going through their appointed tasks and start calling right down their lists.  Do you think it is beneficial to call California from your office in Boston first thing in the morning?  Schedule your day according to when your prospects may be available.  Start calling your East Coast prospects first and gradually move through the time zones accordingly (8:00 am-East Coast, 9:00 am-Central, 10:00 am-Mountain, 11:00 am-Pacific).  When scheduling your tasks for future activity, put notes on the activity that lets you know where they are in your call plan, whether or not they are a decision maker, and what time zone they are located in.  An example of this may be “VM 3 DM P”.  In this example an inside sales rep can identify this prospect without having to waste time opening the record. This prospect is on voice mail 3 of the call plan, they are a decision maker, and they are located on the west coast (p for pacific). As we all know, time is money and any way we can save a little time means the more outbound activities we can make.  Another point to working smarter, if you need to reach decision makers and are continually blocked by an admin, try calling before and after normal business hours when the admins have gone home for the day.

5. Prospecting Tools- There are always new tools that can be used for prospecting and I recently discovered a few worth sharing.  First, if you haven’t used an email verifier, start.  I recommend, it really takes out a lot of the guess work. Our reps use this to confirm email addresses any time they bring in a new company.  It isn't 100% foolproof, but it works a lot of the time and keeps reps from wasting their time guessing at the appropriate combination of first name last name email addresses.  Here are some other prospecting tools I would recommend: it links with your gmail account and gives you an update on your contacts right in your email.  If a prospect just tweeted about a subject, you can use the same subject in an email subject line to increase your open and response rate.  We had a rep use the tool and noticed one of his prospects tweeted about a Chipper Jones home run. The rep used the subject line “Chipper Jones is Awesome” and emailed the prospect right away. The prospect got back to him within minutes and they set up a time to speak the following week. - this tool allows you to detect, learn and control how companies could be tracking your activity.  It also gives you visibility into the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity. - this is a free add-on tool for chrome and firefox users. If you are not using email automation software programs, this tool provides some of the features the more expensive options provide, but for free.  Find out who opens your emails or clicks on your links. Create templates and it syncs with most CRM’s. It also has reporting features allowing you to optimize your email strategies.    

These are just a few tips and tools inside sales reps should be utilizing that can assist in increasing the amount of leads you uncover as we approach the end of the calendar year. There are other, more expensive prospecting tools (Rainking and GovWinIQ), but the ones mentioned above are free. The more time you have available, the more outbound activities you can make, equaling more qualified leads passed to your sales reps. No one likes to be left fighting over the last sale item available, so work smarter, personalize your messaging when applicable and maximize your time with the use of prospecting tools, social media and those imposing executive administrators.




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