• Behind Every Great Sales Rep…

    One of our sales reps said to me the other day, “I can’t believe it, we just closed a deal at ‘XYZ company’! I have had an overdue task with ‘John Smith’ buried with my other tasks that I just gave up on.  My BDR found the new person responsible for this, grabbed their attention, and now they are a client.”

    In our business, we hear this same phrase reiterated in multiple ways from so many of our clients.  It is unfortunate that too many companies are missing out on great opportunities because their sales team isn’t properly armed with the right teleprospecting team.

    As I have discussed on so many different occasions, sales and teleprospecting are completely different animals and every company should have the right skill sets in place for both.  Here are the top 3 reasons why every great sales rep has to have a great teleprospecting team behind them:

    Time: In the example above our sales rep has pretty much given up on this account by letting it fall into the forgotten land of their overdue tasks.  A sales rep’s days are busy between scheduled calls, proposals, travel, etc., it is hard to find the time ensure that each of their accounts are properly followed up on.

    While your sales rep is probably very good at closing business, finding the time in their day to follow-up on all marketing generated leads and/or cold call to find new prospects is a completely separate job.

    Process: There needs to be a process involved, where you determine that X amount of touches that need to be made in Y timeframe for the ability to say that a prospect is “effectively” followed-up on.  A recent webinar I viewed says that 80% of deals are closed after the 5th contact.

    I find the same system holds true for teleprospecting.  It can take up to 5-6 times for a great prospect to move forward with the sales team due to schedules and timing of contact.

    Identify: The teleprospector’s job is to uncover key decision makers and determine pain levels – not to sell!  Our rep in the example above didn’t have the time to identify the new key decision makers in order to even identify this account’s pains.  It is also too frequent that companies say, ”a teleprospector can’t possibly understand our complex solution well enough to find new opportunities.”

    My response is always, “Great!  Your technology probably solves a unique set of problems, their job isn’t to sell, your teleprospector’s job is to find the right person to speak with and identify problems.  Would you like to see opportunities with key decision makers experiencing a set of problems your solution solves, put in the hands of your sales team?”

    While I’m sure your business has a great sales team that knows your space inside and out, how are you going to create more time for them to effectively follow the necessary process to identify new opportunities?  Ideally you want to have your sales reps following up on fully qualified opportunities and closing new business, rather than prospecting and qualifying leads, so are you providing them with the new business opportunities required to keep their pipeline consistent?

    Nicole Puddester is Manager, Client Operations at AG Salesworks.  To view all company blogs go to AG Salesworks blog site.

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