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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

Are Your Sales Reps PESTS or INFLUENCERS???

Posted by Jamie Shanks on Jan 30, 2013 10:49:57 AM

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Walk out onto your sales floor after reading this article. Worry if you’re hearing anything like this:

“Hi John, just checking in to see what you thought of our demo??? ”

“Susan, its Paul… did you read over our pricing proposal? Any thoughts???”

If you notice in your CRM that sales reps are calling, email, voicemail… Repeat - a prospect every few days to check in… GET WORRIED.

Why should you be worried? McKinsey & Co did a survey of 1,200 decision-makers across multiple industries. They wanted to know why a decision-maker didn’t buy from sales reps:

30%= Too much contact via phone & email

9%= Far too aggressive in their approach

8%= Lacked conveying value to their needs

Basically 50% of the time it was the sales rep pestering their way out of a deal! Calling a prospect and asking if they’ve made a decision adds no value to that potential buyer’s life.

What are the top performing sales reps doing?

Top performers are successful because they have built value & trust. The prospect can envision doing long-term business together. Remember that “people do business with people they like”, so driving a prospect crazy is the fast lane to failure!

Jeff Hoffman talks about the “Gives & Gets” in his sales training. In a nutshell, it’s the power of reciprocity. When you provide something of value to a prospect, the law of nature dictates that that prospect will return a favor. This could be as small as finally returning your phone call, but at least you got an answer. The same concept applies to any phase of the buying process. Depending on where that prospect sits in their buying decision, sending them value information can and will separate an influential sales rep from the pack. There is nothing worse than being thought of as a lonely sales rep.

Tactically, what can my sales team do differently?

We live in the era of information. There are 1,000’s of interesting, thought-provoking articles, video, infographics that would really help your prospects. Why aren’t your sales reps tapping into this intellectual supply?

1. Have your sales reps subscribe to FREE Google Alerts & Google Reader

This is so simple. Use Google to find stories that help your prospects think differently about their current business. The best articles create Inception – and plant a seed inside your prospects mind. This newly planted seed calls out “you need to find a better way of doing things.”

2. When sharing articles on LinkedIn, share to 1,2,3 prospects

Sending your amazing articles to your LinkedIn Updates & Groups is good, but not as powerful as sending it to one hot prospect with a customized note “I was thinking of your business, this might help”. We won a major client 1 year ago doing this very thing – sending an article every day for 3 weeks (helping them think differently).

3. Master the “DeadZone” with this routine!

The “DeadZone” is that time gap right after a demo or proposal where you haven’t heard any feedback. Fill that void with valuable insight, solidifying your sales team as influencers and truly insightful professionals.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out 42 LinkedIn Tips

Find the topic of Social Selling interesting?
Click Here to book a time in my calendar to explore further!

Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks

About the Author

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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