You Automated (part) of the Sales Process. Now What?
Over the last years we have seen a proliferation of sales accelerations tools, many of them have come and gone. The best tools have managed to stay in the marketplace and prove that they can really help automate the manual task of the sales activities, things like sending emails, leave voicemails, record a task in your CRM, schedule the next task, plan your next activity and execute on your previously formulated cadence or sales plays. Automation has helped teams data mine contacts, append phone numbers, and even find direct phone numbers of your target contacts.
With all that automation one might think we have more access to prospects, more conversations and pipelines are swelling. The reality, however, indicates that the skill set of many Sales Development Representatives at many organizations has declined due to the over-reliance on sales tools, sales acceleration tools and more. The organization has focused on automating the process but not honing on the skill set required to handle initial calls.
What are companies to do?
1. Train SDR team members on real conversations. Yes, tools have helped you accelerate the manual process. Your auto-dial will get you in front of many prospects. Do you know what to do? Understanding the fundamentals of prospecting will help you prepare for that first call.
2. Opening Statements. One of the biggest challenges SDRs have when given the opportunity to speak with a prospect is on what do say. Developing the skill of handling the opening statements will help them better handle that prospect successfully.
3. Switching from email to phone: Email is a great prospecting tool that helps the prospecting efforts. When you have two exchanges of emails, switch to phone conversion. Having a conversation over the phone with your prospect will allow you to ask questions, conduct your discovery, qualify and validate for understanding.
4. Conducting a pre-call planning exercise will allow you to prepare for your call, understand your prospect, objectives and next steps.
5. Role-play with your manager, coach or mentor will allow you to improve your first call skills, practice your pitch, stay on track and be perceived as a sales professional.
Despite a significant amount of sales acceleration tools, the best sales accelerator is a well-prepared salesperson. Next time your sales acceleration tools will land you the next prospect, practice the 5 points above to help you keep things moving forward. You hold the key to real sales acceleration, keep working on your sales skills. You will make a difference for yourself, the company you work for and most importantly your customer.