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By Eric Morse February 4, 2014

Inside Sales Management: Are You Nurturing Salespeople or Robots?

nurture picHow many calls do you listen to every month? It’s really interesting the responses I get from Inside Sales Management to that question. A lot of the time the answer is, 0 to a few calls per month.

As Inside Sales Management, your job is to execute on a sales strategy, build, nurture and manage your sales team and achieve your team quota. I find that very little coaching occurs and mostly number audits. Time on the phone, time between calls, number of demos etc. Bottom line in my opinion, we are creating an industry of robots.

STOP. Start Coaching and Nurturing. Here are a few tips I find the most useful.

  1. Engage vs Talk- Can you’re inside sales team engage with the prospect or are they just talking? Can you effectively Paint-the-Picture of your solution to your prospect? As part of Inside Sales Management, test this out with EACH individual. Role play an initial call in your sales meetings or on your one on ones. When we first go into an engagement, we are usually amazed by the poor quality of conversations, inconsistency and the lack of engagement. Focusing on this area can quickly turn around your pipeline and close statistics. i have included our Free Paint the Picture workshop for you to download.
  2. Use of formalized campaigns- You as a manager need to sell a lot of whatever and on the phone. A campaign is a great way for salespeople to organize the key messages, bold claims, storytelling, offers, objection handling etc. it’s a great tool for training, to set goals, to increase efficiency and closing more deals. Typically campaigns are part of a sales playbook. Are you using campaigns or playbooks?
  3. Focus on Key Activity vs Activity- Are you as Inside Sales Management focusing on key activities or just activities. Examples;
    1. Activity: number of calls made, Key Activity: Number of Good Conversations
    2. Activity talk time, Key Activity, time spent moving the deal forward
    3. This is an area where you really need to look at your inside sales process. Do it work and is it effective?
  4. Storytelling and Personalization- So marketing has created great messages, but can you personalize those messages, can you build a great story around the message. If you can’t you are losing a lot of deals and wasting a lot of time. This is one of the areas I believe sales management can have a huge impact. Make sure salespeople can personalize the value propositions, business benefits and objection handling and have stories to relay to their prospect.
  5. Update Sales tools- When we look into the sales tools sales teams use, I find a lot of those being outdated, non-effective and just sitting on the shelves and doing nothing. Plan on refreshing the tools and provide easy access. What I mean by this is simply are the sales tools live documents, integrated into your CRM? Don’t let them become stale or obsolete.
  6. Coaching on objection handling- how often do you spend time on objection handling? Are the answers consistent across your sales team? Do they work? If not this is one area your people will come across as Robots and lose the deal. Send an email out to your sales staff on the top objections they get from prospects. Spend time on answering them, if you need a template, email me. Make sure they can effectively answer the objections to your prospect. This is also a great way to use personalization and storytelling.
  7. The weekly one on one- PLEASE, spend some time on skill set and deal strategy and not just numbers. These are individuals, in some cases new to sales. They need to be nurtured, coached and guess what this is your job… Make the meetings a value add to your people they will return to the organization will a lot of success. Reward behavior not just numbers.
  8. Spend some time on improving YOUR Sales Management skill set. There are tons of courses, books and seminars. Don’t get stale; you are the one they look to. Spend some time on yourself.
  9. Next blogs I will spend some time on Inside Sales Process and Playbooks.

Bottom line,Inside Sales Management, invest in people and their skill set. You will quickly see great rewards plus build the next generation of sales performers, leaders and management. 

Topics: Sales Management

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