Email for the Sales Force - How it Should be Used

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 @ 08:03 AM


emailIf you're anything like me, you get 300 emails a day and there simply isn't time to respond to it all during office hours.  That is one of the reasons why working hours often begin in the wee hours of the morning and don't end until the late night television shows are over.  

Email does not replace phone conversations, but it is a terrific tool for reaching many people with the same message.  Email is not engagement, but it is great for confirmations, sharing agendas, confirming details, sending qualified quotes and proposals at a specified time, asking a quick follow-up question, and providing a link to a testimonial, product feature, sample, form, resource or reference.

These days it has become very difficult to reach people by phone.  One upside of email is that  that it provides a non-threatening alternative to reaching your contact.  When you have the ability to send an email from Outlook and see whether it gets opened and read, it helps to explain why your calls aren't being returned.  If they open and read it but don't respond, or they don't even open it, their message to you is the same as the one they sent when they didn't return your voice mail message either.  Message:  

  • You are unimportant.  
  • You aren't adding value.  
  • You aren't helping me.  
  • You are wasting my time.  
  • I don't want to do business with you.

You are being passively rejected but at least you know where you stand!

On the downside, for sales teams and salespeople, especially those who are less socially inclined, it has become all too easy to hide behind email and avoid the phone.

Why are we talking about email?

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I have been using 
ToutApp for about a month and love it so much that I have shared it with my teams at both Objective Management Group and Kurlan & Associates.  ToutApp has been an unbelievable productivity tool, helping me manage email templates, multiple recipient groups and email tracking with ease.  For instance, I know from its dashboard that I recently used 5 different templates to email 91 people and can see, in real time, who has opened, viewed and clicked a link in those emails.  


Tout Live FeedI was able to share my templates across my team for consistency, respond to individual incoming emails in Outlook by simply clicking the appropriate template, and track whether my responses from Outlook were being opened and read.  Add the fact that ToutApp is a plug-in for both Outlook and Gmail and it becomes a must-have for the proactive sales team.  

It's never to late to get your salespeople using email in the most intelligent, efficient and effective way. 

Email me and let me know what you think!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, selling via email, email as a sales tool, toutapp

Bad Things That Happen When You Leave it Up to Your Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 @ 08:04 AM

path of least resistance smallHere are the 10 most common things that your salespeople will do when they aren't managed effectively, or, in many cases, when they are only managed on an as needed basis.

  1. They target who you want but call who they're comfortable with.
  2. They say they will ask questions but begin by presenting instead.
  3. They say they need help closing but they don't have enough quality opportunities in their pipeline.
  4. They say they're on top of everything but the information in their CRM is three weeks old.
  5. They agree to sell your complete line of products/services but continue to sell only what they're most comfortable selling.
  6. They tell you they understand and can leverage your value proposition but their strategy nearly always results in trying to win on price.
  7. Their forecast is what you wanted but the actual revenue always falls considerably short of the goal.
  8. They talk about finding new business but don't make any new calls.
  9. They talk about selling more consultatively but their idea of consultative is a list of 50 unrelated questions.
  10. They tell you they are out making calls when, in fact, they were out looking for a job!

How many of these 10 do you observe on your sales force?

We observe most of these - and more - when we begin working with companies.  The scenario that never ceases to amaze me though, is all of the veteran salespeople who put the following challenge on the top of their "I need help" list:

"Getting prospects to return my phone calls"

This particular challenge raises two thoughts.  

On the one hand, of course, I'll always help.

On the other hand, I'm thinking, "Are you kidding me?  Of all the things we could help you with, you want help getting phone calls returned?  How lame!  And how long have you been selling?"

It's just one more example of just how much selling has changed in the last five years while most salespeople haven't adapted to the change.  Most are still selling exactly as they were five and ten years ago, with the exception that they are relying more and more on email instead of the phone.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Email is great.  But you can't have a real-time, meaningful conversation, with both parties understanding each other, via email.

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, sales challenges, Sales Accountability, selling via email, sales problems

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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.

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