How do you check the health of your pipeline?

    Try and identify “missing information”. Try to uncover what is not known to the salesperson. The more missing info tends to point to more risk.

    Missing info: Any engagement data, communication activity and other essential data for each opportunity in your pipeline. Missing info is a great symptom of your sales pipeline having an un-healthy look.

    Could you please share the best sales email template you’ve received?

    Me: Hello, Bob Perkins.

    Prospector: Hi Bob, this is [Name hidden] with xxxxxx, Im not sure we met but I wanted to say great job on putting on another successful Summit last week in Chicago. Was this your biggest one yet?

    Me: (He immediately got my attention and I chatted a few minutes about the attendance… and he shut up and listened)

    Prospector: Sounds like it was really successful…. Congrats! In fact, that’s why I’m calling. Besides being the Founder I see you manage an inside sales team as well…

    From here it was all back and forth and he convinced me to have a 2nd call with his company’s President to learn more about their outstanding prospecting training…. after a 3rd call I hired them to do some training.
    The KEY takeaway here: On cold calls bring up something about THEM or THE PERSON in the first 10 seconds. It’s called extreme personalization and it works! I like to say, use the word “you” or “your”. Noticed how he said “was this YOUR biggest event…”?

    What are the worst mistakes in outreaching sales executives?

    A few years ago I was driving to work and was talking to one of my reps on my company phone (on speaker phone) and my personal phone rang… without hesitating and while leaving my other phone live I answered…

    Me: Hello, this is Bob.

    Prospector: Hi, this is [Name hidden] with XYZ Recruiting.

    Our company specializes in sourcing and placing high performing sales reps and leaders. Our focus is in the high technology areas but we also work with a wide range of industries. A key benefit with working with our firm is both retention and sales performance, in fact, our average sales placement achieves 5% above quota and…

    Me: STOP! Do you know who your are speaking with? And do you know what I’m doing right now?

    Prospector: Oh, I’m sorry… you are Bob Perkins.

    Me: Well, what about my role?

    Prospector: Um, um, I’m not quite sure.

    Me: Well, I run an association that helps inside sales reps with prospecting…. would you be open to me giving you some advice?

    Prospector: Sure

    From here I discussed 2 areas:

    Stop spewing stuff about YOU and what YOUR company does… I don’t use staffing firms or recruiters so I could care less… but if I did it would still be a big turn off.
    Do your homework, i.e. even a small amount of pre-call research to know who I am, who I work for, and what I do.

    By all means, seek permission to continue.

    Although there are differing opinions on this, find a point earlier in the call and sense if your prospect is distracted or busy and ask if it is an ok time to chat. After the call I had totally forgotten my other phone was still live… needless to say she heard my entire “coaching session” with the prospector!

    What playbooks mean to today’s revenue teams?

    Playbooks is just another phrase word for “process” and “metrics”. We now know that operational adherence and following metrics does not correlate to high sales performance. It’s a wake up call. We keep looking for answers in the numbers while setting aside our most important asset… the person. Enabling tech that focuses on people actions vs the lagging indicators… that’s a good first step towards placing the achievement of REVENUE goals on the person, the personalization, and the quality vs on how many dials are made!

     

    What’s the effect of COVID-19 Outbreak on sales?

    We’re all in an unprecedented times right now. So many of our members and member companies are being disrupted, events canceled, conferences closing and even entire sales forces are being told they need to work from home.

    With that, whilst practising social network distancing, we can stay connected and united virtually. As we’ve always had.

    As sales professionals, let’s remember that our customers are also going through these tough times. Yes, we must continue to achieve our sales objectives but let’s share genuine empathy and care for our customers first.

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