Written by Tamara Schenk, Research Director at CSO Insights
Prospecting is often times quoted as one of the key challenges for today's sales leaders. Many of us have been the recipients of poor emails, calls or social messages. The question that arises is, how can I as a sales leader, effectively enable my sales team?
"Effective prospecting is never based on a “one size fits all” approach. Instead, it is tailored to the person’s role and industry. And that means “less is more.” - Tamara Schenk
Tamra Schenk presents several recommendations for sales leaders on how to manage the right activities, coach the related behaviors and focus on a sales leader's core responsibilities.
Don’t let your salespeople plan alone when it comes to prospecting
Many sales organizations present various call scripts, templates and lead lists with very little direction how best practices, measurement or coaching. This gap with skill leads to a focus on quantity over quality of activity.
Manage the right activities
Continuous collaboration between you and your sales team is critical for adhering to the right activities. Small iterations to your team’s activity such LinkedIn profile checks for the right buyer persona, defining the necessary personalization within emails or asking the right qualifying questions on calls. It is important to review the process, gather feedback and define next steps. This will ensure your process distills all the wrong activity and refines your overall approach.
Coach your salespeople during prospecting
To overcome the key challenge of prospecting effectiveness, sales leaders must coach sales reps on “being relevant, valuable, and different in every interaction.” This involves being live on calls, coaching reps on email and phone best practices as well.
Don’t confuse activity with productivity
The phase “less is more” holds truth when discussing sales activity versus productivity. Although activity is still a good leading indicator for success, determining conversations, number of positive interactions, and time within each deal stage are better indicators for productivity. A focus on mere activity can cause more damage that not generating enough leads.
Sales leadership and frontline managers hold the key to better prospecting. By focusing on the quality of prospecting and time on coaching, your sales team can better optimize your efforts.
Written by Brent Adamson, Principal Executive Advisor, CEB and co-author of the Challenger Sales and The Challenger Customer
Research from CEB, now Gartner, shows sellers working in “high burden” organizations have a 12% lower conversion than those that don’t. As Brent points out, the burden isn’t caused by customer difficult or product complexity, no, it’s caused by their own organization. From internal processes to data spread across multiple systems, this complexity causes 20% of stalled and lost deals.
CEB’s research outlines four opportunities to reduce internal complexity from burdening the seller experience:
Reduce Distractions: The best organizations minimize requests such as employee surveys, financial reporting and general administrative tasks but also align “non-negotiables” to what the sales rep can realistically handle. This improvement helps reduces distractions from selling time but also demands operational rigor.
Streamline Workflow: By streamlining workflow, it reduces the time and effort necessary to connect information from various people, technology and systems. Although sales enablement can provide simple and effective tools, time and effort are often overlooked when it requires a sales rep to move from one tool to another.
Ease Resource Navigation: Reduce the friction for your sales to track down the right resources. The numerous hurdles your sales reps have to jump over causes loss of time and effort. Sales enablement can focus on centralizing all data, answers and information.
Focus Selling Support: Focus your selling support with precision on the most critical parts of your sales process rather than spreading it thin. This means helping them to make better decisions on tools, activities that matter most.
* This is a summary off 4 Ways to Make Sales Enablement Actually Helpful for Reps whch can be found on the HubSpot Sales Blog.
To engage today’s buyer, there are specific core competencies needed to be effective in sales. This is especially true in a hyper changing landscape, which is why Max has outlined 30+ sales skills needed to become an unstoppable rep.
In soft skills, Max outlines three several key areas to focus on such relationship-building, listening and time management.
In hard skills, product knowledge, business communication and social selling are among a skew of skills necessary to be successful.
Within such a competitive field, sales professionals must continually develop and learn new skills to succeed. Continuous learning is key which is why sales reps must look for different places to learn, whether it’s a training program, coaching or a knowledge database. No longer is it the ABC’s, Always Be Closing, it’s all about the ABL's, Always Be Learning.
* This is a summary of The 30+ Most Desirable Sales Skills & Traits You MUST Develop To Become An Unstoppable Rep which can be found on the SalesHacker blog.