Category: Sales Cycle

Top Sales Prospecting Tips

Sales prospecting is never fun. It usually means cold calling, getting hung up on, or even yelled at.  But when you realize sales prospecting doesn’t have to be this way, you become a better sales rep. Prospecting, the act of generating enough interest with a potential customer to start a conversation about the solution you are asking them to buy. Here are a few sales prospecting tips to get you pointed in the right direction.

Make Prospecting Feel Natural

No one in their right mind will engage with someone reading a script.  In fact, a scripting sales rep comes across as robotic and impersonal.  Based on our personal experience, the more natural the conversation is, the more engaging it is.

While some companies require scripts to guarantee you communicate suggested messaging to a prospect, you don’t have to sound like you are reading it word for word.  In fact, the most successful reps have internalized scripts and can hit the messaging without the word for word script.

Listen and Sell a Solution

In this day and age, you are not selling a product, but rather a solution.   While a car salesman is selling transportation as a product, they really are selling an experience… the comfort of driving to work in a luxury car or hearing your favorite tunes on a road trip.

Listen closely to the issue your prospects have.  Engage with general, open-ended questions and listen carefully.  In their answer is the key to the conversation.  Address it naturally and the sales will happen.

Look in Creative Places

A source of prospects is often hiding in plain sight.  Yes, your company’s CRM system is loaded with leads.  But what about the prospects who you don’t know about?  Think outside the box.  Use social media searches to find prospects who are having the very problem you can solve.   You can also share contacts with a rep at another company who sells a complimentary solution.

The key is to look beyond your mailing lists and get creative with finding prospects.  Heck, have you been to a technology meetup lately?

Don’t Close on a Prospecting Call

The point of a prospecting call is just that, to gauge interest and start a conversation.  You will very rarely need to close a deal on the first call.  The first call is about understanding if your potential customer has a problem you can solve. Only then can you start building a relationship and moving toward creating and then closing the deal.

In today’s market places, selling is complex a task. It requires multiple touch points with various individuals in the organization.  It also requires good marketing content. The strong the relationship you build, the more likely the solution is the right fit.  With the right fit, your future customer is less likely to churn after you close the deal.

Have Fun With It

These are just some of the tips to help you make the most of your sales prospecting efforts.  Prospecting and creating interest in your solutions can be a fun game.  Acting natural, be sincere, and find prospects in creative ways will make you the best rep on the sales team.

 

 

Why a Career in Sales is a Great Move

why a career in sales is a great moveA career in sales is a very rewarding, comfortable occupation.  While you don’t have to be born into it, you do have to learn to manage your accounts and pipeline for success.

Benefits of a Sales Role

Some of the benefits include:

  • Freedom
    • You can set your own hours. Depending on the role, you may even work from anywhere
  • Good Money
    • Experienced reps can make $1million per year at the high end
  • Rush of the Hunt
    • For many, the rush of closing the deal after chasing the client is remarkable experience
  • Solving Problems
    • You don’t just sell a product, but a solution
  • Entrepreneur Lifestyle
    • Use your skills, be your own boss, and take charge of you path
  • Personal Creativity
    • While most roles have preferred scripts and procedures, there is a lot of room for creativity

Make It Your Own

While you may be picturing a car salesman with a nerdy tie and a high pressure manager, that is a bygone era.  From inside sales roles responding to warm inbound leads to the entrepreneurial style of an outside team, there is a role for you.   You can also choose what you sell.  From airplanes to office snacks, combine your passion for a product with the lifestyle and live the dream.

Many professionals we have worked with here at Saalun speak to the creativity they have in accomplishing their professional goals.  While quota goals are often supplemented by lead or new account goals, the variety of tools available allow you to create your own method of engagement, tracking, and time management.

If you love the rush of the hunt, the satisfaction of closing the deal, and building relationships with people, you are in the right place. Start living the dream.

Getting Started with Pipeline Management

pipeline management the easy wayHitting your quota number at the end of the quarter is all about how you manage your pipeline.  This post is to give you an understanding of how KPIs play into pipeline management.

Know Thy Territory

First, understand your territory and the quality of your accounts.  Start by putting your accounts into three categories: A, B and C.  A’s are prime accounts, whereas C accounts are not likely to buy/engage.  Account scoring is a topic we will cover in another post. You also might be interested in our “Customer Scoring” course once it is released.

Analytics of Pipeline Management

Beyond knowing your quota number and who is in your territory, there are a few key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to track to help make more sense of your quota number and your pipeline.  These include individual sales rep metrics include:

  • Average Deal Size
  • Average Sales Cycle (SQL to Close – depends on playbook)
  • Lead Conversion Rate
  • Average Close Rate

Using these four KPIs and doing your own calculations, you can break down your quota number into something that makes a lot more sense. “Do the math” as we say and your quota number is a template for opportunities where you plug in your accounts.  The math tells you how many deals you need.

As a sales analyst, it was interesting to see which reps looked stressed when they saw their quota for the first time versus the reps who were calm, cool and collected.

We are not going to walk you through the actual math in this post (I know, sorry, but this post is teaser), but we will give you this quick tip:

  • Saalun Quick Tip: About half of your quota number should already be nearing close in your pipeline as you start the quarter.

Early Preview

Knowing the who’s who of your territory and doing a little math behind your number makes pipeline management a breeze.  Of course you have to build relationships and sell, but knowing the math is a huge step ahead.

As we get started, we encourage everyone to signup for our early preview mailing list.  Saalun will be offering more info as our courses are ready to launch and discounts on memberships. Join here.