Sales Checkup: Out with the old, in with the new!

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Are you behind your sales goals or do you think you will finish the year sharing bottles of champagne with your CEO?

The first six months of 2016 have flown by so fast and it seems it was just yesterday we were building our 2016 KPIs, objectives and strategizing our action plan to achieve them.

Sales leaders are not paid for setting the goals! Achievement is the key, that’s why your company is paying you for and it will determine your level of commission.

 

Sales top performers use extensively mid-year check-ups regarding their accomplishments, objectives and unforecasted challenges they had to face during the last six months in order to perform better for the next half year. The check-up is not and should never be a punishment, blame, or excuse; but has to be seen as a renewal, correction, or replacement.

 

A methodology, so call 4-R Goal Review, has recently emerged in order to transform your mid-year check-up into a very productive and efficient strategy sales road map.

 

  1. Review

Take a deep look into the executed actions, the used metrics, and behaviors. Review and identify strictly and impartially if they are on track, or not! For each goal: Renew, Revise, and/or Replace.

 

  1. Renew

If your objective is still relevant and your action plan is still applicable then ask for renewed commitment, time-frame, and activities toward the objective. Renew the compensation that will be received when the goal will be achieved.

 

  1. Revise

If the objective is no longer achievable or the plan needs adjustments, revise. Ensure the target objective set up today is realistic according to the actual environment and by taking into consideration the issues faced during the first half year.

 

  1. Replace

If the objective does not make sense anymore for the company, remove and replace it by a new one. The new objective has to be meaningful, timely, and specific for the targeted business.

What’s next?

  • Schedule immediately a joint monthly 4-R Goal Review for the remainder of the year.
  • Celebrate objectives achieved and progress toward the rest.
  • Commit to the support or resources needed to achieve new objectives such as training, tools, marketing support, and so on.
  • Make your objectives as transparent as possible and determine how to keep them visible.

Schedule now the time for this sales mid-year checkup with your team and you’ll be celebrating December 31st with the highest bonus.

5 Sales Bloggers Every Sales Reps Should Follow – Part 2

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After Episode 1

Who is Disrupting the Sales Industry?

In this second episode we will focus again on sales bloggers who are revolutionizing the sales process and methodology and pushing the research in this specific field. Salestools.io – Outbound Sales Acceleration is always looking for new processes and features, develop by sales researchers, to help its valuable customers to hit their quota!

 

Episode 2: 5 Sales Bloggers Every Sales Reps Should Follow

Matt Heinz

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Very prolific author and sales blogger Matt Heinz has more than 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from various organizations in different industries with diverse sizes.

He always delivered remarkable results in terms of greater sales, revenue growth and customer loyalty.

The sales process Matt Heinz defend and promote is very simple and efficient. First you have to determine what is your objectives & what is your success. Second build a crystal clear customer profile. Third map your sales and buying process using the following scheme Pain – Solution – Objective. Fourth score your leads, execute and build relationship.

Matt’s company, Heinz Marketing, is specialized in strategic customer acquisition and retention strategy and execution.

Visit www.heinzmarketing.comTwitter: @HeinzMarketing LinkedIn: mattheinz

 

Geoffrey James

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Famous sales contributor at Inc.com, Geoffrey always offer a very sharp and original point of view on business in his articles. Quite provocative, his vision of sales best practices has emphasized the decreasing importance of cold calling in today’s society in his famous “Cold Calling is a Waste of Time” article in Inc.com. Indeed he highlights that prospects and decision makers have changed their behaviour while receiving a call from someone they don’t know which has turned cold calling into an inefficient sales process in comparison of emails. If you’re looking for a sales management blog that propose original content and gets straight to the point, Sales Source is for you!  

Visit Sales Source Twitter: @Sales_Source  LinkedIn: Geoffrey James

 

Jill Konrath

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Jill Konrath is a multi awarded sales speakers and bloggers by top rewards websites such as TopSalesWorld, OpenView Labs,  InsideView, etc. Sales management is her field, “sales effectiveness” and “agile selling” are her keywords. In Jill’s blog, she highlights the “How-to” process of selling. If you need advice about how to prospect, start sales relationship, handle objections, or lead a demo, her blog is the place to be. Moreover she emphasize the “smart” way of selling using different methodologies and tricks (monotasking, prioritizing, connecting,etc.).

Visit Jill Konrath Twitter: @jillkonrath  LinkedIn: Jill Konrath

Lori Richardson

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Lori is the CEO of Score More Sales and is recognized on forbes as one of the “Top 30 Social Sales Influencers” worldwide. Lori Richardson  has always emphasized the multifaceted (email, phone call, referrals, social media,etc.) approach of B2B sales prospecting. Moreover sales prospecting planification is the key to perform in your sales job! So when you arrive the morning you should know exactly by what you start, what’s next and what you do later on. No improvisation, only planification. Lori has accumulated a large knowledge about sales and provide very high quality tips on her blog. Very recommended blog.  Visit: www.scoremoresales.com Twitter: @scoremoresales LinkedIn: scoremoresales

 

Dave Stein

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Dave stein has a really untypical profile. First he got graduated in music and then switch to computer science. He founded & run the ES Research Group, the Gartner of sales training, for 8 years. Dave is now leading sales acceleration-related projects with IT companies he has invested in. His major book is certainly Beyond the Sales Process (2016) in which he highlights the best practices of 3 steps sales process (before, during and after sales). His main idea is a successful sales campaign has to start by a good understanding of the prospects and very good pre-qualification of leads. During the sales stage, sales reps has to build a trusted relationship with their prospect. The after sales stage is dedicated to nurture relationship, get feedback and find new potential needs, in current customers, that could be solved by the actual product linkedin for sales prospecting.

Visit: www.DaveStein.biz Twitter: @davestei LinkedIn: davestei

Episode 3 is on track, but you will have to wait to see who will be highlighted!

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How to structure your sales prospecting process?

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Researches and especially the one of the Sales Management Association show that following a very structured sales process can increase sales performance by 16% and 30% in profits. The easiest way is to implement  a sales structure is I think at the top of you sales funnel which means at the sales prospecting stage. This stage determine your process on how to generate lead and will determine further the responding ratio of your email campaign.  

In this article I will share with you how I passed from my first early adopters to 10k customers.

Step 1: Identify Your Buyer Persona

The best way to understand, define and clarify your Buyer Persona is to look at the basics of your current customers and group them around a fictive N°1 dream client. The basics of your customers can be very general characteristics such as job title, industry, locations, age, or more specific one that makes sense with your business.

Linkedin is a great help for this tasks by using the advanced research. Hubspot propose as well extensive lessons about Buyer Persona with very good templates and infographics.

Step 2: Trigger Events

Triggering events indicates you when there is a need for your solution. This process help you to prioritize potential customers who have the most immediate need for your product. Great tool to automate that is to use Google News, Google Alerts, Techcrunch, Linkedin or Angellists. You then just have to choose the right one that fit with your buyer persona!

Step 3: Use Lead Generation Software

Then you need to generate high quality leads and pre-qualify your leads before storing them in your CRM.

The best way to process is to use social media where you know your prospect spend their time and extract their contact info. Indeed using social media is very important as they offer a very up to date and accurate pool of data. Prospect update themselves their info and add more and more info day after day.

Lead generation software then will make all targeted prospects data easy to extract and export to various CRMs in a simple click. Forget the hardcore process of extracting manually all email addresses of your prospects and storing them in a CSV file. Today’s technology offer us very foolproof tools that automate sales process.

The best software on the market right now is certainly Salestools.io as it permits to extract 500 contact info with an accurate verified email addresses rate of 80%. Moreover they are integrated with +70 CRMs.

Salestools tips:

  • Define your targeted audience
  • Trigger Events
  • Use lead generation software

5 Amazing Tips For Sales Acceleration Every Sales Person Must Have

top-5-tipsFor sales reps, customer’s objections always like hedgehogs. The increasing cut throat competition in the quality and pricing makes buyer more choosy. The goal of a sales rep has to come up with a convincing response to these hurdles standing between the potential sale. A research shows that a sales conversation always contains at least one objection. In this article, we will put an insight on some of the most common objections like decision making, value proposition, pricing, urgency and lack of availability from the buyer’s perspective and how to come over it.

 

 

  • Decision Making: I’m not authorised for this

 

 

Any potential client making a statement of consulting his senior, partner is somewhere an indirect indication that the person is not very much impressed and is not ready to buy at that moment. As a sales rep, you must always respect the opinion and position of that person and explore an opportunity to reach out to the decision maker. Identify one concern at a time and sort that out before jumping into the another one. Instead of accepting  their “no” as a final response – keep the conversation moving on and find out the problems that they are facing – now present them the solutions you can offer and here we can book a call, webinar or  a meeting with the decision maker(s).

 

  1. Pricing: It’s too expensive for us

 

Regardless of the industry, pricing is the most frequent challenge sales reps all around the globe face. Even if the services are at a very reasonable price, human nature of bargaining always comes into the surface – it also depends on the demography and culture of the region you are targeting. Many sales persons offers a discount that seeds a question  in the mind of the buyer about the quality of the product. Instead of offering discount in the early stage of conversation, explore the more creative and practical ways to present the value to their business.

 

  1. Value Proposition: We may consider

 

In B2B sales, value proposition is comprised of certain factors such as price, time, market scenario and strategy of the company. If your buyer is not seeing the value of your services, you should start a more open and genuine conversation to help him. Here you can know more about his business cycle and make a quick assessment of how your services can help him achieve better results. Knowing all these aspects you can convince him the added value your product will bring to his company.

 

  1. Urgency: We don’t need at this moment

 

People usually don’t want to change or try new services and to come out of their comfort zone. It’s the task of sales rep to convince them. Provide them current trends and facts in the industry and if needed make them understand the stance of their competitors and how they are taking advantage for business growth.

 

5.Lack of Availability: We are too busy

 

You’ve mostly heard by the buyers to “Contact them at any specific time in future.” In such a situation, you need to present in such a way that they might regret if they lose this opportunity. Make the sales process simple and present some attractive offers that are available for a short period of time. Convince them the advantage of buying the product now instead of acquiring in future. Simplify the buying process as much as you can and address their current business problems.

 

Salestools Tip:
As a sales person, it’s very important to create a rapport and build a relationship based on trust. Put yourself in the customer’s place and look at the problems from his perspective. This way you can present the features that address their needs and are beneficial to them. These seemingly little perks makes the buyer assured that they are making the right decision and builds a trust that is beginning of a healthy relationship.

SIX KILLER SECRETS YOUR COMPETITOR KNOWS ABOUT EMAIL CAMPAIGN

image123Any business in the beginning is like a tiny plant. It requires proper care in the form of vision, planning and strategy. There are certain aspects that are needed to be considered for instance – lead generation, outbound marketing, email campaign and many more. Today a quick intro on some very killer steps before you start an email campaign. Here we go:

  1. Source of leads/list of emails:

LinkedIn provides a platform full of opportunities for prospecting and lead generation. In order to do so, you will have to put in service some extra tools to access personal emails or paid LinkedIn subscription. For that, Salestools comes up with a brilliant and highly productive solution.

 

  1. Catchy email templates:

There are various ways to yield successful results from your email marketing campaign. You can do it own your own or you can access ready-made templates available on the internet that suits your needs. Irrespective of the option that you may opt for, just make sure you follow the main rules of crafting a sales email:

 

– it should be short and more focused on your main message and make it as straightforward as possible. Nevertheless, make sure that you are providing the necessary data that brings clarity about your offer.

 

– it should talk about bringing benefit to the customer. Precisely tell your prospects the advantage of goods or service you want them to buy, keep the offer simple and clear.

 

– must be personal. Make sure it doesn’t sound like a robot; there is no better way to generate a lead than without referring to them personally

 

– it should be easy to respond. Do not ask for a lot, its not a genuine way to start a warm and promising seller-client relationship

 

– subject and body should be in tune. Your subject should reveal the nature of the email and the service you are offering

 

  1. Business Email Account

Irrespective of the fact, that this suggestion is quite obvious, but hardly people do notice it. Therefore, sometimes, when you open your spam folder you can see emails without corporate domains. Before starting the outbound sales, ensure that you have registered with a separate email domain that would contain your and your company’s name.

 

  1. Bring value for your customers

In a stage of turning the cold leads into your loyal clients, it always depends on the value that you bring to the person you are contacting. Make sure you provide them something they are in need of. For example, some pieces of advice, free offers and even added value are good when your customers can gain from it.

 

Creating value for your clients makes a bond of trust and respect that further turns your cold prospects into warm leads that are ready to buy from you and usually recommend you among their friends and contacts.

 

  1. Analysis

During the sales campaign, it is highly important to measure the performance and analyse the statistics of the campaign. Also, it would be significant to devote your time to evaluate changes in your prospect’s database, and analyse the efficiency of your conversion rates. You can also analyze the statistics on separate templates and delivery rates in a campaign.

 

Salestools Tip:
After analysis, you must have find the loopholes in your campaign. In order to improvise your email campaign, carry out split tests on your subject lines and email copies. Segment your prospects into different structures. Be personalized as much is possible. The more personal email you compose, more sales will land eventually and ultimately more revenues in the company’s pocket.

3 mistakes that hold your growth and limit your sales development

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You are struggling to find new sales opportunities? Your revenue growth is very limited? You do not achieve the forecasted KPIs? You are desperate to find new leads?

If you are a true entrepreneurs or businessman you have already experienced those stressful moment when you realize your sales and revenue do not meet your expectations and put the future of your business in challenge.

Wake up, read the article until the end and be ready to growth hack your business!

1) Share your knowledge

You own or are in charge of developing the business of a startup, small business or SME and you are used to handle a huge amount of the sales activity yourself. Your sales team need your valuable knowledge to be performant and scale your sales. Share as much as you can what you have learned about the sales process and what makes a good prospect. Explain clearly who is your targeted audience (actually build with your team your buyer persona, it will help to create a team culture and integrate your sales rep in the decision stage), when your leads are warm and how to close the deal.

  • Buyer Persona: Define with your sales team in the most horizontal way possible your customer profile. For that you can use the Buyer persona template provided by Hubspot. You need to answer the following questions:
    • What is the industry where perform your customer?
    • What is their culture?
    • What are the goals of your customer (individual and business one)?
    • Who are their customer?
    • What are their biggest challenges?
    • Which position your dream customer has in its company?

You do not want your sales team wasting their time sending email, following up and calling the wrong people.

  • Define what is a qualified lead: Get your sales and marketing team agree about what make a qualify lead. Filtering leads is the best tips to increase the efficiency of your sales team. Your sales reps need to know when they can forward a lead to their Account Executive. Moreover Set up and agree about a lead scoring and grading methodology to convert inbound lead into sales opportunities.

Provide your sales team with the knowledge they need to succeed. Without it they cannot succeed and grow your sales. Then you can set back and manage your team.

2) Provide Accurate Leads

Make sure you are providing the best quality leads to your sales reps. Indeed there is nothing worse than sending emails and having a 80% bounced email rate and calling wrong numbers. Your database has to be updated and cleaned continuously to provide only accurate data.  If you do not have any leads database or you have a very crappy one, use extensively lead generation software‘s to build a high class database full of targeted  contact info.

Salestools.io – #1 Customer Acquisition Platform offer a very innovative tool that extract up to 80% verified email addresses on various social media websites (Linkedin, Twitter, Crunchbase, Xing, Viadeo, Github,etc.). Their solution is integrated to most of CRMs (Salesforce, Pipedrive, SugarCRM,etc.)  and Zapier platform.

Your sales team deserve the best database, the most accurate leads and a foolproof tool. Watch right now the salestools webinar. https://salestools.io/webinar/

3) Prioritize your leads

Leads are are and should not be treated equally. A single approach to leads just isn’t going to work. Determine if your sales team are approaching cold, warm and hot leads the same way; If yes you have a problem.

Make certain all your BDR are following a very strict and structured process for how different kind of leads are handled.

Follow the BANT lead qualifying system to identify hot lead. A hot lead fulfill the following criteria.

B for Budget: Prospect know his budget and is ready for disposal when he has the “Go” from his management. Questions : Do you have a budget? How much is your budget? What is your budget range?

A for Authority: The contact you are in touch with can has the final word for the “Go” or “No Go” to make the purchase. Questions: Are you the person in charge/recommender on this project? Do you solely make decision on this project?

N for Need: When your prospect has expressed a clear need that fit with your value proposition, you should start consider the lead as hotter. Questions: Are you looking into this type of product/service to improve your process? What product/service are you currently using? Have you encountered any issue?

T for Time frame: This point determine the time you spoke with your prospect and how long it will take him to purchase your product. Shorter is the time frame to realize the purchase, hotter is your lead. Questions: When do you plan to purchase? When do you plan to implement the new product?

 

Warm Lead misses 1 or 2 criteria however what is a requirement to define a lead as warm is that a Need has been identified. Quite often the missing criteria are the Budget and the Time frame. Those leads just need to be nurtured and some time to be upgraded. Do not get discouraged, soon they will be your client!

A Cold lead has 2 or 3 disqualifies. For this type of lead you need to keep them in the nurturing process and continue to feed them with information’s about the product, its advantages, your own qualities and the competitive advantages of your company.

Do not messed up while qualifying a lead and attributing it to your sales reps. You don’t want to cold a warm lead by assigning the wrong BDR and missing a great sale opportunity.

 

4) Sales rep goals and low turnover

If you are experiencing a high turnover in your sales team, it means that something go wrong. Most likely your sales KPIs or compensation plan is inappropriate.

KPIs and compensation plan has to be motivating means to push your sales rep to boost company revenue. However if they are too high you will experience the inverse effect with low productivity, disengagement and leading to a high turnover.

KPIs should give your BDR a clear goal to achieve, and they should be able to visualize the steps they’ll need to take to achieve that goal. KPIs have to be defined after training and they have to be set in a fair way. An investment in sales training and peer accountability groups need also to be realized to make sure your sales reps are properly equipped for the job and continue to hone their skills.