Creating an effective, efficient, and reliable action plan to increase sales is the Holy Grail for all sales teams.
Sure, there are the Whales and the Unicorns who have the luxury of sitting back and listening to their phones ring all day but for the majority, a solid outbound process generating a plethora of qualified opportunities is the ultimate sales goal.
Consequently, the search for sales success is an adventure most SDRs and AEs embark on everyday, trying new things and mixing up their approach to glean what, for their organisation, is the route to the promised land. Once, or rather if, the hunt proves fruitful, the real challenge becomes replicating this success.
Now I’m sure the naysayers will already be saying, “but Jacob, warm referrals are the best way forward”.
I wholeheartedly agree and don’t for a moment doubt the power of your network in getting you in front of your target prospects.
However, how can we expect a brand new SDR, straight out of college, to be able to call on their network to generate their leads when it takes years to carve out a personal brand or reach the right level of seniority to mix, face to face, with the majority of your potential decision makers.
For them, and most other salespeople, the reliance must instead come on their prospecting skills. So how do we make sure we can scale, high quality outreach across different mediums of connection in order to crush our quota?
Hopefully, over the next few minutes, this piece will begin to shed some light on exactly that…
The 3 Weapons in the Sales Armoury
In his book, Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount states the following:
the foundation of a winning prospecting strategy, is balance
It’s hard, nay impossible, to disagree with this notion. Each prospect will have their own preferred medium of interaction so by mastering each potential avenue, a salesperson is best prepared to deliver fantastic value, no matter the method.
If we keep hammering one avenue to no avail, we end up moving away from being a trusted advisor, to holding the unwanted status of pushy, irritating salesperson.
Therefore, we must ensure that when it comes to email, the phone and social selling, each ‘weapon’ sits comfortably within our armoury.
Quality Cold Email:
Quality or quantity?
Back in 2016, Sales Hacker wrote a piece on this debate and as far as I’m concerned, the conclusion is as accurate now as it was then....
Quality beats quantity when making sales and prospecting wisely
There is so much noise in our prospects inboxes so it is essential for us to scythe right through, to the fore of their attention.
Here at Refract, we certainly subscribe to this philosophy and ensure that we never email a prospect without reason or purpose.
Whether it’s finding an article they’ve written or shared, citing a podcast or webinar they’ve attended or starred in, or even linking their sales success to the drive of their favourite sports team - looking at you of late Eagles fans…
Prospects leave a trail of outreach gems all over the place, there is no excuse for not being relevant and personalised - leave the spray and pray to the dinosaurs and make your prospect feel more than a field of data in your mail merge spreadsheet.
The Phone As Your Friend:
Disclaimer - cold calling is NOT dead, sorry to break it to you.
No matter what people may say, the phone remains a salesperson’s firm friend but only when it’s not used and abused.
A recent opinion piece I came across on LinkedIn detailed the following interaction:
Now we’ve all been there and no question, it sucks. But #wemoveon. Not every prospect is going to take the demo let alone sign the order form so the crucial thing is identifying and nailing the calls to those who are.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference - Winston Churchill
As a new starter, or a seasoned pro, we must always be looking for ways to learn and hone our pitch.
By ‘drinking our own champagne’, I’m able to listen to great openings, how to handle objections and the best way to secure next steps being used by my superstar colleagues..
If you don’t identify, or replicate, the approach of the most successful individual in your team you’re missing a trick. These people have identified what works for them, so listen, learn and adapt; there is a reason they’re reaping the rewards in their commission cheques.
The Power Of Social:
Connections, connections, connections.
At the start of this piece, I noted that a large network full of ready made referrals is dynamite for upping your numbers.
Naturally this will take time but don’t let that put you off from starting right away, especially for those long term, slow burning prospects.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is vital in this regard and if you can start commenting, liking, sharing, discussing and promoting ideas on the platform, this can only open previously closed doors.
By getting your, and your organisations name out in the public domain it lays the groundwork for your later direct touches via phone or email. Suddenly the conversation changes from “never heard of you” to “Refract, that rings a bell”.
Familiarity is comforting, and beginning a connection before diving in on the sell can go a long way.
Bringing it all together
For Senior Salespeople, a lot of focus is placed on closing opportunities as a key metric and for good reason. However, if there is nothing going in at the top of the funnel, you can’t begin to even dream of that far down the buying cycle.
Sales are driven by the opening of conversations, often with a cold call and if we can’t produce high quality outreach, we risk getting left behind.
All 3 weapons in our armoury must be merged into an effective cadence and by sharing best practices and winning formulae then we as individuals, and as sales teams, can take our prospecting to the next level.
If you want to explore how to improve the coaching of your inside sales force and learn how to automatically generate insights that will expose winning prospecting traits - why not schedule a tour of Refract, when we can share the experiences and value from leading sales teams globally.