Whenever I am consulting a business to help them optimize their sales process, I try to get more into details of what are the good aspects of their current sales process and what are the bad ones.
More often than usual, I find following trends in their sales process.
Hiring more sales people for more revenues – This is a common myth among sales people where they think that more sales people in the team is the single best way to get more revenues. Sure, having more people in the sales team might increase revenues but it won’t increase revenues without building a scalable sales machine. If you don’t know what parts of your sales process work and doesn’t work for your business then hiring more sales people will only increase cost but it won’t proportionally increase revenues.
Thin pipeline – Most of the sales people who are looking to close deals have a thin pipeline of qualified leads. There are a lot of junk leads in their pipeline which just keeps them busy but never converts. We think that sales manager should put focused efforts to provide a strong pipeline of qualified leads and enough number of leads for salespeople to pursue.
Hate for cold calls – Customers hate cold calling and so do salespeople who close the deal. Cold calling has been an important step in sales process for a long time. Customers today treat cold callers as spammers which automatically acts against the sales pitch. In new kind of sales, cold calling has been replaced by cold emails + cold calls. Even salespeople who close the deal hate to do cold calling. If at all you have a cold calling in the process, there has to be a separate resource hired for it whose role is to just do cold calling, qualifying leads and pushing it to sales people for a meeting or demo etc.
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Based on all these common mistakes done by sales managers, we suggest a new way of doing sales in this internet age where a customer is well informed about the products and sales is done differently to develop a predictable sales machine.
There is a term for it in today’s world and it’s called inside sales – sales traditional sales person should adopt.
Following are the key aspects where inside sales and tradition sales different:
Dedicated roles for each team member: There are three major roles in inside sales process. 1. Database generation 2. Lead qualification 3. Lead closing. Each role is done by a dedicated team member whose job is to do only the role assigned to him/her. Example, if the sales person is good at closing a lead then they shouldn’t be doing cold emailing or cold calling to qualify the lead. It’s the job of a different person to qualify leads and that should be their only work. Focus is important for better conversion rates.
No cold calling only cold emailing: Customers hate cold calling and in today’s email age, you can find out if a person is interested in your product/service through a cold email. There is a certain way you write a cold email and the skill that salespeople need to learn with experience is how to capture potential customer attention through a cold email. Some of the things that sales people do is personalize a sales email that you are sending.
Different Sales team structure: Inside sales requires slightly different kind of team structure from traditional sales. There are three kinds of role in this new structure of inside sales and all are equally important. First rolewould be a lead database generator whose role is to generate enough number of leads which fit a predefined profile of potential customers, the second role would be a lead qualifier who uses cold emails followed by cold calls to qualify leads and makes the first contact with the potential customer and the third role would be a sales closer whose job is to close the deal and get the cheque.
Inside sales is also different in ways where there is no face to face meeting with the potential customer to close the deal and deal closing happens either online or on phone. This highly depends on the kind of customer you are going after as it might not work when you are dealing with enterprise level customers. It also depends on the ticket size of your product/service and lifetime value of the potential customer. Not having face to face meetings allows you to create a scalable sales process without having physical offices and employees at different geographies.
We highly recommend you to read about Novatise’s article on how to use Content Marketing to Drive Sales in Singapore