There are times in every salesperson’s career when we find ourselves just “going through the motions.” We’ve all followed certain sales processes and strategies during our career and have been successful, so why change? There’s no doubt it’s hard to argue with success but it’s good practice to take a timeout every once in a while and reevaluate what’s brought us this far. The best sales reps that I’ve come across stay on top of their game by always looking for ways to improve and get better. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few tips that are easy to implement but can make a big impact on your quota!
1. Make contact with the customer in mind! We’ve all been contacted by salespeople over email. Does anyone like it when they get the same email week after week from the same sales rep? So why do we keep doing it? The simple answer is it’s easier to just click send, or put a customer into an automated email campaign that sends emails without giving it a second thought.
What if there were a way to see if your messaging was resonating with customers? Amazingly, there’s been a simple way to do this for quite some time in Outlook. There it’s called read receipts but sales acceleration software vendors have recently coined the phrase “email tracking”. Email tracking gives reps visibility into how customers are interacting with their email content. Did they open the email we sent last week? How many times have they opened it? Maybe we call the customer after seeing they’ve opened the email a second time. Or maybe we send an email with completely different messaging if the first email was never opened. I’d suggest experimenting with different strategies to find what works best for you.
This slight modification to your sales process may not get the response you want from customers, but it should definitely get a response!
2. Automate Automate Automate If you find you are doing the same thing over and over again on a daily basis and you’re doing it in a manual way, why not find a way to automate that process? It will save you time that can be reallocated to activities with a higher return.
One of the activities that is ripe for automation is e-mail. Did you know the average office worker spends over a quarter of their day on e-mail? The average for salespeople is even higher. Worse still, salespeople often send messages to customers and prospects with the exact same content, save for the recipient’s first name and perhaps the name of their company.
Would you like to get back 10-20% of your day to spend on revenue generating activities? Sales acceleration software can grant you that wish. For instance, many products allow reps to create email templates directly in Gmail in as much time as it takes them to click “send”. Some even track the success of your templates (and your team’s templates) in Salesforce dashboards so you can make adjustments based on open rates and conversion rates.
3. Drop Knowledge Do you know what customers love hearing? Hint: It’s not your voice! Customers love talking about their business, their industry, their department and the trials and tribulations they are facing on a daily basis - however small they might be. One of the best things you can do as a sales rep is come prepared to every call and every meeting with questions - or at least a strong background on your company’s interactions with them thus far. And the same goes for email!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were prompted with the most relevant information on a given customer before you jumped on a call, or responded to a critical email? Software like Groove makes this possible by surfacing the right data from Salesforce at exactly the right time. For instance, before you respond to that email asking about pricing for a renewal, get immediate visibility into their current pricing structure, contract terms and product usage. Or get insights into other conversations that have been happening with that customer across other teams at your company. And checking out their LinkedIn company page wouldn’t be such a bad idea, would it??
4. Stay On Point Do you sometimes get to a point in the day where there’s a break from the frenzy and you’re at a loss for what to do? This. Should. Never. Happen. Ever. There’s always something you could be doing to help drive your business forward! Check in on a new customer engagement to see if they need anything. Call into an old account to see if they want to revisit your product. Do some research on LinkedIn to find new companies to target in your outreach efforts. Certainly some of these activities are higher value than others, but let’s be clear: ANY activity is better than doing nothing at all.
To avoid these predicaments, there really isn’t anything better than the age-old task list. There’s a reason task lists have been around since the beginning of time and are used by everyone from stay-at-home moms to C-level executives: they keep you on point! Except for critical action items (read: deals closing this week/month/quarter), it’s really hard to keep track of the million other things you should be doing. Luckily, there are about one million task apps out there today. I recommend one that integrates directly into your email platform and your CRM system. That way, reps can track tasks underneath customer records in Salesforce then surface them in Gmail whenever it makes sense.