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Sales Prospecting Perspectives' Top 10 Blog Posts in 2014


Happy December 31, everyone! Before we count down the ball drop, we want to share with you our top 10 blog posts on Sales Prospecting Perspectives in 2014. What drives our company culture at AG Salesworks is transparency - with employees, customers, and readers - so we want to show you what’s been performing well this year on our blog. It’s been a busy year, with many bloggers moving on, many new bloggers joining the team, and many guest blogging partnerships formed. This list will help you understand what our readers found most important and effective in the sales and marketing world this year, as well as our audience’s preference for receiving information as lists, how to’s, inforgraphics and more!

1. How to Write an Effective Sales Prospecting Email

Samantha Goldman’s post in January was the most popular post on Sales Prospecting Perspectives in 2014. With leads for our new email templates skyrocketing, we’re not very surprised. Writing better emails has been at the forefront of sales professionals’ minds this year, especially combined with voicemail and social selling. Former AG business development representative Samantha Goldman shared her tips for writing the most effective sales prospecting email, including keeping it short, creating relevant subject lines, keeping signatures consistent, and being persistent.  

2. 12 Tips for Building and Managing a Bigger Sales Pipeline

Our most popular guest post this year was this one by Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing, who wrote about a topic many sales reps are frantic about in the first week of January: tips for building and managing sales pipelines. Building a bigger pipeline is a common resolution for many sales reps, and Heinz attacked the issue with dexterity. He clarified why you (definitely) need a pipeline in the first place, how to approach your sales pipeline, and some key strategies for pipeline execution. We wouldn’t be surprised if these tips were also applicable for 2015, so it definitely merits a re-read.

3. How to Have an Effective First Conversation When B2B Teleprospecting

Over the summer, one of our most popular bloggers took on a hot topic: how to make a good first impression when teleprospecting in the B2B space. With sales development professionals cold calling prospects, this is an especially sensitive issue, and Laney Dowling handled it with aplomb. She gave 7 no-nonsense tips to holding a quality first conversation with prospects. We saw views multiply over weeks on this blog post, most likely because sales reps are still exploring the etiquette of cold calling, but many are afraid to write about it as thought leaders keep saying “cold calling is dead.” It’s not, and this blog gave some concrete tips for cold calling successfully and politely.

4. What Reporting Metrics Do You Use to Measure Your Inside Sales Team?

It’s interesting that the top five blog posts on this list are written by different authors. This blog was actually an excerpt from our Ultimate Inside Sales Prospecting and Management eBook, which sounds like a handful because it is. We shared the section we thought would be most interesting to sales managers - reporting metrics - and were met with a smattering of responses on social media and inbound links from other websites. This blog post shares the 5 most important categories to measure from a reporting standpoint as well as specific metrics, such as Connect Rate, and how to apply them and benchmark your team.

5. 6 Email Prospecting Tools Every Inside Sales Rep Should Be Using

Once again, we’re back at email: over the summer, I did some research and uncovered the top 6 email prospecting tools to use to boost your inside sales. Many were Gmail plug-ins or apps that research and scheduling easier for sales reps. With these tools, you can streamline your tasks and organize your inbox, leaving you more time to doing what you do best - actually selling. The success of this post is another indicator that email - and improving sales email functions and content - was a big trend in 2014.

6. The Best Sales Prospecting Qualification Questions to Ask

In this blog post, Laney Dowling posed an exercise for companies brainstorming qualification questions for sales reps to ask over the phone. There are two buckets of qualification questions according to Laney: general and specific. The latter are more important, and are needed to know the prospects’ environment and whether your product or service could make a significant impact. She stresses that these questions must make the best sense for your company. Her open-ended question at the end, “How do you define your qualification questions?” garnered a lot of responses on LinkedIn and even spurred a blog post response.

7. 3 Key Metrics to Track When Managing Your Inside Sales Team

Once again, a blog post focusing on metrics made it to the top 10 list. With exciting new auto-dialer technologies, inside sales reps can really focus on having fruitful conversations instead of stressing about hitting their activity number for the day - if managers are tracking the right metrics to ensure they’re focusing on quality, not quantity. Laney recommends tracking number of conversations, lead rate, and positive lead feedback percentage - not call volume. If you’re looking to emphasize the result of dials instead of the dials themselves, read this post to get some ideas for measuring your inside sales or sales development reps.  

8. The Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Teleprospecting Scripts

Whether you are creating teleprospecting scripts for your existing inside sales team or you are a manager of a newly developed team that’s investigating scripts, Laney shares some frequently asked questions she’s heard about sales scripts. At AG, we believe that sales scripts are helpful as guidelines, but that sales development reps should never read off of a script. Laney answers questions like “How do you create a script without having your team sound like robots?” and “Why shouldn’t you start your introduction with a description of your product or service?” It’s some excellent stuff, and the blog post performed so well because these are key questions at the forefront of our clients’ and prospects’ minds.

9. Inside Sales Reps: What Are Some of Your Personal Goals?

With everyone making New Year’s resolutions now, it’s surprising that this blog post by Samantha Goldman was written in March, but her timing is impeccable: sales development and inside sales should be making goals to succeed year round, not just on the last day of December. As an inside sales rep, there are many monetary and personal goals you can achieve, and you can utilize your team, your coaches, and your mentors as resources to help improve your prospecting skills and learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. Some of her personal goals were: Take on extra projects once comfortable (blogging, social media, training), manage time better throughout the day or week, and create new ways to handle objections. What are yours?

10. Why This Cold Sales Email Template Works So Well

If you didn't yet believ that our readers at Sales Prospecting Perspectives really cared about email tactics this year, hopefully this will convince you: our final top post, once again, was about sales emails. We sahred one of the more effective cold email templates out of our 10 Sales Email Templates to Revolutionize Your Messaging Strategy and explained exactly why prospects respond well to it. This customizable template will show your prospect that you are a trusted advisor who does your research, and who provides the prospect with just enough information to know whether they want to call or email you back. Check it out!

What were your favorite blog posts this year? We’re looking forward to sharing even more with you in 2015!

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About the Author   |   Allison Tetreault

Allison Tetreault is the Marketing Content Coordinator at AG Salesworks. She writes, designs and promotes new marketing content every month, monitors and produces updates for social media networks, gathers important data for marketing and sales efforts, and maximizes the potential of content marketing efforts.

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