DO YOUR SALES LEADERS REALLY BELIEVE IN OUTBOUND SELLING?
In his new book Sales Management Simplified, Mike Weinberg says that a selling team is as good as their company’s leadership and the strategy they lay down.
Obviously the best leadership should come from the top of any well-run company. In order to increase sales performance, an enlightened company must increase their sales leader’s management acumen. A results focused culture must be created.
Sales leaders shouldn’t actually sell or fight fires; they should just manage and coach their salespeople. Out of those salespeople, managing and coaching sales hunters should be their first priority.
These sales hunters must prospect proactively and not just react to inbound enquires. It’s most unlikely inbound enquiries will fill all salespeople’s pipelines or anywhere near doing so.
According to Trish Bertuzzi in her book The Sales Development Playbook, the majority of companies source less than half their pipeline from marketing. Indeed, only 10% of companies source more than 75% of their pipeline from inbound inquires.
Face-to-face salespeople should be divided into hunters and farmers. Such a division will generate better and more profitable sales results, which everyone in any company is totally dependent on.
Top sales hunters are masters of the traditional aspects of selling, such as prospecting for new customers. Indeed, according to Jeb Blount in his book Fanatical Prospecting, top sales hunters spend as much as 80% of their time on prospecting and qualifying.
As good sales hunters are harder to find than farmers, keeping them happy and appreciated is essential. Invest in them and coach them more than poor performers. The results will be much greater.
In order that your good sales hunters are not beaten by a bad sales process, ensure that their sales process is aligned with the prospect’s buying process.
To show how challenging this can be, a 2012 CEB report stated that vendors only achieve a 12% mind share with their buyers throughout the entire purchasing process. Another report from ANNUITAS in 2014 stated that only 29% of companies align their content to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
The best way to rectify this is by asking each stakeholder in a prospect’s company to describe their buying process in detail.
How good are your sales hunters at matching the sales process to prospects buying processes?