IT Staffing Sales Effectiveness
Sales best practices for improving sales win rates, shortening the sales cycle and increasing overall quota attainment. Sales strategies to make revenue growth repeatable, and scalable
The mere phrase ‘cold calls’ give many salespeople a case of the cold sweats and makes the hair on the back of their neck stick up. Nonetheless, cold calling is still a very effective sales prospecting technique for qualifying prospects and setting up the initial face to face sales meeting, when done properly.
The most common question I get from sales people at industry events, trade shows and certainly when I host workshops is "How should I stay in touch with my prospects and what should my sales follow up include?" Naturally, I respond by asking "tell me what you're currently doing?" The responses usually sound something like this:
Learn our proven 7 step methodology for turning cold calls into hot leads.
Having now written several hundred blogs on everything from sales prospecting, sales leadership, employee training and how to close deals, I decided to aggregate some of the more interesting and surprising sales statistics I've churned up over the years. I share them with you in hopes they may inspire you to improve the way in which you sell. The topics include cold calling, sales process, sales training, sales methodology and much more. Enjoy!
For those of you who know me and/or have been through my sales methodology training know that I'm not an advocate for the "just checking in" follow-up call. It really is a waste of a sales call and a wasted opportunity. Even still, many sales people including those with years and years of experience struggle to come up with a compelling alternative.
Seems like a silly question, right? But seriously, do your new hires (sales reps) know how to engage prospects in an intelligent and meaningful conversation? Most likely you’re chasing an aggressive annual goal and the only way to hit that goal is to get strong contributions from your new hires. Your concern of course is, how long will it take before they “get it,” before your new reps are prepared to hit the phones and engage prospects and customers in an intelligent conversation? The most common reason why sales leaders and CEO’s miss their number is because their new hires take too long “ramping up.” What happens is your sales reps are literally learning about their customers on-the-fly, through live sales calls. And you don't need me to tell you how hard it is to get today's sales rep to pick up the phone let alone engage in meaningful dialog! To hit your revenue and gross profit targets you must eliminate this “learn on the fly” approach and start teaching your sales reps who your customers are and how to speak with them from DAY ONE.
To scale efficiently and effectively staffing companies in the expansion stage need to stop focusing on the overall universe of accounts and instead focus on a specific subset of accounts who are most like their best customers. The key to achieving this is through account segmentation.
Yes, you read that correctly, these email templates will help you open doors and build relationships with new prospects. No, they will not work every single time but compared to the generic, “one size fits all” and overly salesy emails most sales reps send, I’m confident these will work far more effectively.
In most instances, the sales discovery call is the first conversation with the prospect-and often the most important conversation-AFTER YOU HAVE DETERMINED THE PROSPECT IS A QUALIFIED BUYER. I would argue that the sales discovery call actually sets the entire tone for the client relationship. Why? The discovery call is "make or break time" for the sales rep because he or she will either pigeon hole themselves in the commodity bucket or they will establish themselves as an authoritative thought leader who brings credibility and adds value to the conversation. Not only that, have you ever actually seen the calendar of a corporate decision maker? It looks something like the calendar below. When you you get on the calendar of a corporate decision maker (hiring manager), you sure as heck better bring your A game and nail the discovery call.
Think about how much time and energy you invest in reviewing sales metrics, sales pipeline reports, analyzing and updating your job board (assuming you have one in your office) and looking over sales forecasts in your CRM or ATS. Now also think about how much time and effort you put into preparing for and participating in sales meetings, and one-on-one meetings with your sales reps where you're trying to help them get those "late stage deals" back on track and closed. If you’re like most sales leaders than the answer is a LOT! For most sales leaders and IT staffing owners, the sales pipeline is the key driver for how the business is managed. The sales pipeline including the sales forecast guides many of the tactical and strategic business decisions from when, why and how to hire new sales reps and recruiters to making technology investments and expanding the footprint of the business. Your sales pipeline is your lifeblood!
One of the biggest challenges senior sales leaders face is how to on-board and train millennial salespeople. It’s a daunting task, and an expensive one. Getting new employees up to speed can cost up to 30 percent of a new hire’s annual salary. This is particularly true for more established organizations who have used traditional classroom-based (static content) as their primary method for training new hires.