Your Inside Sales Prospectus Disclaimer – Previous Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results.
At the end of each mutual fund investment prospectus, there is a paragraph that reads “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Reading this disclaimer and seeing many sales leaders and executives run their inside sales, and sales development teams with an old-fashioned approach made me think of this prospectus disclaimer. Just a short while ago, I met with a group of executives; during our conversation, many of them expressed concern with getting more productivity out of their existing Inside Sales teams.
Below you will find some of the ideas from our whiteboard session.
- A different Vision for Sales Enablement: From the moment you hire your next rock star, the onboarding process needs to be revamped along with a comprehensive sales enablement structure. Many organizations are getting a significant return on investment by appointing a sales enablement leader, this person will align with the corporate strategy, revenue goals and design a strategy with clear objectives, and steps to help develop the skills that your inside sales needs. Leverage your sales data to identify a starting point, then move to fill the gaps you have, developing a comprehensive 30,60, 90-day plan; then extend to long-term planning of your enablement efforts.
- Include Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI): The second item we brainstorm from our session was the use of automation and technology to help automate some of the manual tasks. Building an extensive targeted list based on the ideal buyer persona could be one good starting points; the second it the adoption of sales engagement technology to improve productivity, drive better outreach efforts to improve engagement and drive more conversations with prospects.
“As pressure to grow intensifies, businesses are increasingly aware they need to take advantage of artificial intelligence and analytics technologies to drive higher sales performance.” David Elkington, CEO InsideSales.com
- Alignment with Marketing: We identified that two areas on this front. One was the implementation of a service level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales. This operational improvement allowed our client to provide 360-degree feedback on each marketing qualified lead (MQL), address leads quicker via response time; the second was improving the handoff process between sales development and sales team.
- Invest in Your Frontline Manager: This is an area often overlooked by organizations. The frontline sales manager or director plays a huge role. Unfortunately, in the fast pace, fast-growing Inside Sales/Development world, many talented individuals were promoted without a mentor, training and a blueprint for success. This great individual deserves your attention; they singlehandedly will make the most significant impact on your team productivity, coaching, motivation, retention, and results.
- Master the Omni Channel Approach: Omnichannel approach has been used by marketing to reach ideals customer via multiple channels. Best in class Inside Sales organizations are aligned with marketing to leverage their inbound content and put it to use to generate great outbound results. Prospecting takes new shape and form as more reps are leveraging the content to add value during their outreach efforts, and their phone conversations. The phone continues to be an excellent tool for a successful Inside Sales/Development representative, this combined with personalized emails, social media outreach, and a powerful value-added voice mail represents a recipe for omnichannel prospecting approach.
In summary, the above is not a complete and exhaustive list of our whiteboard session. This blog post was designed to help you with some ideas to fine-tune your Inside Sales engine and help you find incremental improvements. Just like the old GM-Oldsmobile commercial “Not Your Father’s Olds”
Just putting a new shell in the same old engine will not yield the results you need. Adoption of enablement techniques, technology and a better process with marketing will most likely give you the results you are seeking.