Born and raised in New York City, Jeff Kalter graduated with a Bachelor of Science from New York Institute of Technology. Jeff began his professional career at Bruce Supply Corporation, a leading industrial supplies distributor in the United States. Thereafter, Jeff co-founded Central Foundries Inc., a global importer and manufacturer of cast iron and copper products.
In the late 90s Jeff moved his family to Munich, Germany, where he gained experience in the consumer market acting as Advertising Designer for companies such as ESCADA and Altmarkt Gallery.
Jeff was then recruited by a leading outsourced customer acquisition company responsible for global clients, including TOSHIBA, Cisco Systems and 3Com. His responsibilities included developing, implementing and driving customer acquisition programs with proven revenue of over 100 million USD.
In 2003 Jeff co-founded 3D2B in Rome, Italy. Today, Jeff is the CEO of 3D2B and resides between Rome and New York City.
According to a study by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, the top inside sales challenge is training and development. As a result, almost half (45.7%) are increasing their internal training programs.
Training, however, can be a daunting task. After all, inside sales training should be at least as thorough as training for field reps and probably more so. That’s because inside salespeople need the same skills and expertise as road warriors, plus they have additional challenges because they are not face-to-face with the customer.
For example, it’s harder to establish rapport with someone when you are not sitting across the desk from them and cannot make eye contact. Likewise, it may be more challenging to understand the lay of the land within a corporation. After all, the rep can’t see whether they are talking with someone in a cubicle or corner office.
Here are some key skills and areas you need to train your inside sales people on so they can do their jobs with the ease and confidence that leads to sales success.
“Our research shows that inside sales roles are growing 15X faster than outside sales.” — Mary Shea of Forrester Research.
If you’re managing B2B sales, you’re likely either expanding your in-house sales team or seeking to grow it by outsourcing some or all of the function. Much of the tremendous growth spurt of the inside sales function is due to technology which has enabled reps to be productive without the cost of face-to-face meetings. So, whether you’re using internal or external resources, understanding the technologies that provide the foundation for success is essential.
As a telemarketing company that serves B2B organizations, we know the ins and outs of technology. After all, our success depends on it. So to save you some time when assembling your technology stack, here’s an inside look at what works for us.
The field sales person used to be a lone ranger. He operated beyond the walls of the corporation, with his own schedule and tactics. Yes, he’d call in once in a while for help from customer service and marketing, but his efforts were not part of a finely orchestrated sales strategy.
Today the tides have turned. Technology has enabled inside sales people to be more efficient and successful in working with prospects and customers. CRM keeps the sales process organized, the Internet provides ready access to research, emails and social media aid in communication and online meetings can often achieve as much as the face-to-face alternative.
At the same time, field sales people earn 12-18% more than inside sales people. Plus, there are associated costs of travel and downtime while en route to the next client. Therefore, it’s not surprising that inside sales is growing at an average rate of 7.5% a year while outside sales is barely holding its own with an average increase of 0.5% a year.
That, of course, brings up the question of how to integrate inside sales with field sales to get the best of both worlds. After all, despite all the efficiencies of an inside sales team, there is still something incredibly powerful about face-to-face meetings.
Here are some insights to help you maximize sales results:
The more you can personalize your communications with B2B prospects, the greater your competitive advantage. Because of this, marketers and salespeople are scrambling to learn more about their prospects than ever before, including everything from firmographics to insights on individual personalities.
To communicate in a way that’s relevant, you need to dig deep to understand:
But how can you do the research efficiently and effectively?
Do you simply tally up your wins and losses, then look to see whether the trends are going in the right direction? If so, you’re like many other companies. Some will go a little further and ask the sales reps why the sale was lost. Most likely they’ll tell you it was the price or some other failing of your offering.
Those companies, however, that take a systematic approach to win/loss analyses gain a wealth of information. Ultimately, it enables them to improve their relationship with prospects and customers as well as the products, services or solutions that they sell.
Win/loss analysis is the systematic process of interviewing new clients and prospects who fell by the wayside to find out why they chose one path or the other. And that’s precisely the information you need to make steps toward ensuring the right prospects choose the path to becoming one of your customers.
So here’s what you can learn.
B2B companies are increasingly selling from remote locations over the phone. Perhaps a decade ago, most people would not have predicted this turn of events. After all, that’s when marketing leaders eagerly sought out the new promise of inbound marketing to produce leads and revenues.
For many years, we’ve seen arguments favoring inbound over outbound marketing. Marketers are now starting to realize, however, that they may have swung the balance too far in one direction. There’s no reason to choose between inbound and outbound tactics. Today’s effective marketing is “all-bound.” That’s because there’s synergy between inbound marketing and outreach in the form of emails, social selling and phone calls.
Having worked with hundreds of business development professionals, I’ve noticed that those who generate the lion’s share of revenues share certain habits and traits. The top sales people:
You purchased a list, and John Smith is now in your database. He has not, however, expressed to your company any interest in your products or services. As such, he falls into the category of “suspect.”
A call to John is cold.
And, understandably, whether they are the initiator or recipient of such a call, most people prefer not to engage in this activity. Luckily, today you can use LinkedIn to warm up the call and make the experience more pleasant and fruitful to both parties. Here are some tips to get started.
Seven seconds. That’s how quickly busy executives can form an impression about you and the reason for your call. For you, it’s the difference between a successful B2B sales call and a hang up.
If you’re cold calling and connect with a decision maker, and don’t want to be left listening to the dial tone, you’ll make every second—and every sentence—count. Open your call with a powerful, succinct message designed to intrigue and hint at the value you have to share.
Professional telemarketing agents will tell you, it’s not the slick pitch that closes the deal. And there’s no magical trick or gimmick to opening doors. Whether you’re inviting executives to your next seminar or scheduling a face-to-face meeting, it all comes down to how you present yourself, the way you set the tone for the call and how effectively you capture a prospect’s interest.
This seven-step blueprint will help you open your next B2B sales call on just the right note and build rapport rapidly:
When your marketing efforts start to pay off, delivering a boatload of quality leads, it’s exciting. You want to celebrate. But the game’s not over. Your sale is not won yet. You’re just at the starting gate of your demand generation process.
The bare bone fact is: Leads do nothing for your organization’s bottom line unless you can convert them to sales. And the quality of the lead alone does not predict how likely it is to convert. The magic is in the lead nurturing: how you treat a lead after you receive it.
This brings us to the study conducted by Velocify. They looked at data from 3.5 million leads from 400 companies and discovered the formula to maximize conversions. While they note there are differences between businesses and what works for each of them, the overall findings are