Welcome to your weekly roundup for Aug 11-18. This week we’re revealing the lies your sales team is telling you about their cadence and what to do about it, some fresh data around the death of the B2B sales rep, and how salespeople can extract full value from social selling.
What is the right cadence and how should companies begin building them?
This is the question that Dave Elkington, CEO and Chairman, InsideSales.com asked his research team. They analyzed 14,000+ cadences, made up of 144,000+ total activities, across nearly 9,000 companies and were able to determine five key components of a successful sales cadence.
1. Attempts: The total number of touch points made
2. Media: The type of communication methods used
3. Duration: The time between the first and last attempt
4. Spacing: The time gap between contact attempts
5. Content: The messaging used
With two different data sets, one from TOPO and one InsideSales, it appears most SDRs think they’re performing way more activity (about 80% more) than they actually are. The Cadence Audit also found that:
- The most common outreach practice is a single email (32 percent of respondents use this method)
- 61 percent of first contacts happen via email
- The second most utilized cadence is a single call and a voicemail (6 percent)
To see results, sales managers need to establish a winning cadence and then hold their reps accountable for executing. When they’re done right, they boost results by up to 110%, and when they’re not, they put sales on the line.
*This is a summary of The Lies Your Sales Team is Telling Your About Their Sales Cadence by Dave Elkington.
It’s been two years since Forrester predicted that 1 million B2B salespeople would be displaced by digital self-service. Now, two years later, the forecast looks even worse.
In a recent report, Forrester has predicted:
- Only 20% of meetings with sales pros focus on buyers’ specific needs; only 36% of B2B executives believe that salespeople understand their business problems and offer clear solutions for them
- 80% of sales conversations are still about selling products, and only 20% are about the executive buyer’s challenges and initiatives
- Consequently, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research online on their own today, up 53% from 2015.
Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder at Alienean, outlines how sales leaders and professionals can add value at every interaction, adapt to the changing buyer and ensure they have a job in several years’ time.
Interactive and Prescriptive Content Marketing
According to Forrester, investing in content marketing is wise, since buyers are educating themselves more and more online. In particular, focus on prescriptive content assets such as diagnostic assessments, benchmarking tools, product advisors and ROI/TCO calculators.
Fueling Consultative Sales Rep Conversations
In their original report, Forrester cited the only seller “archetype” projected for growth is the consultant. Unlike order takers, navigators or explainers, the consultant helps buyers navigate through complex solutions by listening, diagnosing, and making product and recommendations on the spot.
According to Mike Montague from Sandler Training, it’s because many don’t understand what social selling actually is. Sandler defines it as, “Using online networks and resources to add more prospects, opportunities, and information to your sales pipeline.”
Here’s how salespeople can extract full value from social selling:
The difference between social selling and social media marketing.
Social media marketing is one-to-many, owned by marketing; social selling, one-to-one, owned by sales.
Scale prospects, opportunities and information.
“There is always another selling opportunity. There is always more information that can help you qualify or progress in those sales opportunities,” says Montague. The great thing about social selling is everyone has something to offer. And this offer is scalable:
- Engage with your existing relationships: comment or like their posts
- If you have time, share your knowledge by writing or curating third-party insights
- If it’s referrals and introductions you’re after, start making them for other people to leverage your network and meet more people
Keep a one-to-one focus.
Remember it’s marketing’s job to build an audience, brand awareness and lead generation funnels. It’s your job to add prospects, opportunities and information to your existing sales pipeline and dig into those to uncover and develop qualified sales opportunities.
*This is a summary of The #1 Reason Most Salespeople Aren’t Getting Any Results From Social Selling by Mike Montague.