A sales job is never easy, on a daily basis you face rejection and constant disappointment yet you get up and head into work and do it all again the next day. Why? Because sales people have a natural optimism. Optimism about the customers need for your product, quality of leads, size of the market opportunity, level of engagement with the customer, depth of your account penetration, understanding when the customer is saying yes, they mean it, not just trying to get you out of the office or off the phone. It’s ironic that this optimism is the trait most likely leave them short of their quota.
It is great to see that your team believes in the value of your offering but too often you see individuals get distracted by the shiny new shadow of an opportunity rather than pursue the ideal candidate profile. The top performing entrepreneurs, lead builders, inside sales reps and enterprise field rep overcome their innate optimism with perseverance, desperation, process, intelligence and tenacity. The attribute that I treasure the most from my team and colleagues is tenacity, the ability to persevere in the face of adversity to succeed. There are many examples of tenacity but my favourite comes from the animal kingdom, the Honey Badger. They take a reductive approach to their activities and see it through to success. There very survival depends on it. If you don’t know the Honey Badger just watch this.
Tenacity is a great trait to encourage but how can you manage your team, plan your day to turn them into practice and succeed? Whether you are a rep, manager, VP or budding entrepreneur the themes are similar but I am going to break down the tactics into 2 categories inside sales and field sales, field sales also works for early stage entrepreneurs and lead builders
- Build a minimum of 8-12 touches into your lead follow up process. InsideSales.com research shows that this will lead to a contact rate > 90%.
- Minimise the number of leads that each rep receives. It is a fine balancing act, you want your reps to be successful you need to ensure you are minimising your cost of acquisition by exhausting all your leads.
- Use the lead as a clue to potential of larger interest in the organistion. Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes, put on your deer stalker, pull out your magnifying glass and find that larger opportunity.
- Make sure you measure the leading indicators that lead to individual rep success. Dials, meetings, demos, lead penetration. Close rate/Win ratio and revenue are great metrics but they are lagging indicators of success and too late in the process to have a meaningful impact.
- Once you have the leading indicators sorted there is nothing better that keeps your optimistic reps excited and engaged than competition. When done well it raises awareness and accountability
Enterprise Sales / Lead Generation Reps / Early stage enterprise entrepreneurs
- Narrow your focus to a no more than 10 companies that fit your ultimate customer profile and represent the largest opportunity. These are large complex organisations with multiple decision makers you need to ensure you are speaking the best decision maker for your solution.
- Ensure your current focus are from the same business segment or vertical. Many solutions/services are applicable for a variety of businesses across verticals, as you engage with more people from that segment you will collect intelligence and language specific to that vertical and can use that intel on your next call or meeting
- Build a base of influence within the account beyond the decision maker. Today decisions are being made by committee so you need to ensure that you have a broad base of influence throughout the organisation from the strategic decision makers, middle management and the lowest level in the organisation who are going to use and feel the benefits of your solution/service. This help create critical organisational intelligence that allows you to be a strategic partner for your decision maker.
- Measure your depth of penetration into your top 10. You need to pick your key leading indicators that help you understand what is the critical point of sales effort where you persist or pass-on this company in your direct contact campaign. These leading indicators can also be included any gamification effort.
- Automate a nurturing campaign to continue to the key decision makers and influencers within your ideal customer profile within that segment
Tenacity is the key to overcoming adversity, hopefully you found a couple of tips you can build into your own process