Sales Hacks and How to Improve Your Lead Follow Up Conversions

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 @ 15:08 PM

I just returned to the office to find around 900 emails waiting for me  While purging my inbox, I found some interesting and useful items that I am sure you would want to know about.

I have previously written about how important it is to quickly and consistently follow up on inbound leads. This article from September of 2013 included two great infographics that demonstrate lead conversion statistics. However, Russ, from FindAccountingSoftware.com, emailed me a link to this case study on 63,256 outbound calls that has much more specific, useful information.  

Check out the article by Adam Bluemner!

Chad Burmeister, VP Sales at ConnectAndSell.com, emailed to let me know that Sales Hack, the book he co-wrote with ConnectAndSell's CEO, Chris Beall, is now available at Amazon.com. The cool thing about this book is that Chad asked a small group of sales experts to contribute their best sales hacks to the book. In addition to my contribution, there are contributions from other well-known experts like Gerhart Gschwandtner, Lori Richardson, Trish Bertuzzi, Dan McDade, Tibor Shanto, Kurt Shaver, Matt Heinz and others.

Speaking of sales hacks, earlier this month, I hosted a different group of 20 sales experts and we came up with some sales hacks of our own! I'll be writing about them later this week, so keep your eyes open for our Sales Hacks.

Last week, I hosted about 30 sales leaders from around North America and we spent the better part of two days on the art and science of coaching salespeople. Wouldn't you know that there were some cool sales hacks that came from those two days as well. I'll share those with you next week!

You might also find some use for Hubspot's Guide to writing follow up emails.  It includes a bunch of useful email templates that your salespeople might be able to incorporate and that could be useful for controlling your message, and upholding their professionalism, spelling and grammar.

Finally, check out these 11 articles that you might have missed while you were on summer vacation:

Why Inbound and Inside Sales Experts Think Sales Process is Dead Too

The Science of Sales Selection vs. the Marketing of Modern Selling

How the Right Questions Can Make up for Lack of Sales Experience

Trust and Integrity in Selling May Not Be What You Think

The Two Sides of Likable Salespeople

Bugged by the Difference Between Great and Lousy Salespeople

The Conversation Sales Leaders Must Have with Salespeople

An Ode to the Evolution of the Pipeline

Why I Was Kicked Out of a LinkedIn Sales Group

Keys to Selecting a Sales Training Company

12 Proven Sales Hacks to Increase Sales

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales leads, conversion ratios, inside sales, inbound sales, sales hacks

After Inbound 14 - Anatomy of a Hybrid Sales & Marketing Role

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

hybrid

Last week, when speaking on the Inbound Stage at Inbound14, my topic was Hiring for the Inbound Sales Role.  I asked the question, "Is this a sales or a marketing role?"

The audience desperately wanted this to be a hybrid - someone who could do both the marketing and the sales.  Unfortunately, a hybrid role it is not.

If you needed to hire an airline employee, would it be a pilot, flight attendant or a hybrid?  I once flew on a 9-seater with a lone pilot who, after reaching cruising altitude of about 1,000 feet, threw peanuts and pretzels from the cockpit...

They are different skill sets and attitudes.  One wants to fly high and the other wants to travel.

If you needed to hire an entertainment venue employee, would it be a food vendor, a security guard or a hybrid?   

They are different skill sets.  One wants to serve food and the other wants to show their muscle.

The marketer generates and posts content, performs some social selling, gets found, generates leads and works behind the scenes.  

The seller connects with the contacts, by phone or email, and must overcome tremendous resistance, get their attention, get them engaged, qualify them as a potential prospect, and convert them to an opportunity in the pipeline.  Or, if responsible for more of the sales cycle, convert that opportunity into something more, like a sale.

They are different skill sets.  One wants to generate and see leads come in, the other wants to engage those leads and convert them to opportunities.

One person asked, "If we could hire only one, which one should we hire?"  That's easy, with no leads, there is no inbound salesperson.  So, it becomes a different choice.  You must choose between a Marketer to generate content and begin developing inbound leads, or a more traditional, outbound salesperson to generate appointments.  If you can only afford to hire one, I would pick the one who could have an immediate impact on the company's ability to generate revenue.  That would be the outbound salesperson.

Inbound is still relatively new; and the people working in inbound roles, nearly as new.  There is much trial-and-error taking place, and the blueprint is still on the architect's table.  Anyone, who can tell you for certain how this role will evolve, has their own private-label, crystal ball.  For instance, take a look at traditional sales roles.  Those have been evolving for more than 100 years and are still changing - more in the last 5 years than ever before.  If we take traditional sales experiences and use those as guidelines for inside, inbound and social, the best we can reliably say is that these roles will probably be quite different five years from now.

The Fall Top Sales Academy offering is available (it's free) - you can see it here.  There is a sales management track and a sales track.  I'll be leading the session on October 8 and the topic is Mastering the Art of Coaching Salespeople.

Earlier that week, I'll be speaking at the EcSell Institute Fall Sales Coaching Conference in Dallas.  You can look here for more information.

Image Copyright: alexmit / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, inbound sales, top sales academy, inbound hiring

Is This an Example of Succeeding or Failing at Inside Sales?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 20:04 PM

forestYesterday I was in the office, preparing for the formal introduction of Objective Management Group's (OMG) award-winning, new and improved, fourth generation, Sales Candidate Assessment (view the 25-minute Webinar here) when the phone rang and I answered.

Not only was it a cold call, but it was one I could write about - the best kind!

The salesperson was from Oracle and wanted to know if I was aware of and had seen their CRM software demonstrated.  

It's bad enough when companies move to the demo too quickly, but it doesn't get any faster or more transactional than when they ask you if you've seen their demo with their very first question.  But hey, give him a break.  At least he asked a question instead of telling me he wanted me to see a demo...

I explained what my company did, and that we would normally be recommending CRM to our clients and he repeated his question - did I want to see a demo?  I repeated my statement, that among other things, we recommend the appropriate CRM solution to our clients, and don't need to see a demo.  His response was that he was from inside sales.  In other words, "I'm not supposed to figure out what you're trying to explain to me - I'm an inside salesperson!"

He said he was making a notation in the file (in Oracle's CRM application?) and he thanked me for his time.

Of course, if he was not an inside salesperson, he could have asked any of the following questions:

  • Do you recommend Oracle?
  • How many of your clients use Oracle?
  • Can we get you to recommend Oracle more often?
  • Which CRM applications do you recommend?
  • Why do you recommend those?
  • What do you think is the most important feature?
  • Why is that so important?
  • How do you think Oracle handles that feature?

On the other hand, his job was to schedule demos and I wasn't going to become one, wasn't going to count toward his quota, wasn't going to count toward his bonus, and wasn't worth another minute of his time.

From an inside sales perspective, he actually did his job because he cut his losses and moved on to the next call.  But from a practical, business development standpoint, he completely blew his opportunity to become aligned with a major influencer to the vertical into which he sells!

There couldn't be a better example of just how consistently misguided some of the inside sales experts are.  I just set myself up for two weeks of nasty tweets and comments from the entire inside sales community.  Most of them hate me for my opinions.  Most of them can't see the forest for the trees and the top of the sales funnel is represented by the first row of trees in the forest.

Speaking of inside sales, Dan McDade wrote a great post on everything that's wrong with inbound marketing and how it is causing inbounditis!  It's a must-read.

What is your opinion about the appropriate role for inbound and inside sales?

Image Credit: Foto4u 123RF.com

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, inside sales, objective management group, inbound sales, dan mcdade, oracle

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,700 Articles

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile

Subscribe 

Receive new articles via email
Subscribe
 to the Blog on your Kindle 

 

 

Most Recent Articles

Awards

Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

MVP2018_badge_winner_SPC

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Individual Blog -  Silver

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver


Top Sales Awards 2018 - Assessment Tool -  Gold

 2016 Top Sales & Marketing Individual Blog - Bronze

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blog 2019

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers

Top100Strategic

Top100SalesInfluencersOnTwitter



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs

 

Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader