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15+ years

Recently, I received a call from a talented telemarketer. As a telemarketing professional, I love to challenge the agents who call me, asking tough questions and raising objections. At some point, the rep will usually hesitate or provide a less than perfect answer. However, in this case, every time I posed a question or raised an issue or rebutted a response, she had the textbook answer.

Also, there were no pauses. No ums. No unnecessary words. After a while, I wondered, “Am I talking to a real person or is this a robocall?” To find out, I repeated a question to which I had just received a perfect answer. The telemarketing rep then reiterated the same response word for word.

It was only then that I knew for sure that I had just spent twenty minutes talking to a robot. 

Published in Tele-Services

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what the world of B2B business development was like 15 years ago. Many may think telemarketing today is much the same as it’s always been.

It turns out, however, that the old dog of telemarketing can learn new tricks. While inside sales reps’ central communication device is still the phone, they increasingly rely on digital tools for a more holistic approach to lead qualification and B2B business development.

To understand how technology has empowered telemarketers, a little retrospective is in order.

Published in Tele-Services

Unless they filled in a form on one of your organization’s landing pages or called your sales department, it used to be impossible to identify who was in the market for products and services your company offers.

But of all the people looking for a solution like yours, how many actually give you a direct signal of interest?

Sadly, the leads you receive are likely the tip of the iceberg; a large majority of the market remains hidden from view. That’s because many potential buyers may not find your site or leave before registering for your latest e-book. If you sell technology products or solutions, however, your prospects probably seek information on third-party publisher and review sites.

Wouldn’t you like to know who the rest of these people are? 

Published in Tele-Services
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 00:00

The Cost and Cures for Inside Sales Turnover

In my last post, The Causes and Ramifications of Your Inside Sales Turnover Problem, I outlined why so many companies are facing constant churn among their phone agents. The issue is driven by the challenging nature of the job, the rush to hire and fill positions quickly and the intense competition for qualified personnel. Given the lengthy time to hire a new rep and bring them up to speed (from nine months to well over a year), it’s a costly problem.

But have you ever considered how this issue impacts your bottom line? Have you had the time to slow down and think about new ways to solve it?

If not, read on. 

Published in Tele-Services

You’re constantly battling with the revolving door of inside salespeople. You feel as if you’re always recruiting, hiring, training and then seeing the fruits of your labor walk out the door. It’s frustrating.

It may make you feel better to know that with turnover rates for telephone agents at 20 percent, you have plenty of company. But that doesn’t solve it. Understanding what drives the flux in inside sales is the first step in finding the solution which, so far, has eluded you.

The three primary drivers of the turnover issue include: 

Published in Tele-Services

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Sometimes you or your reps end a call with a prospect or customer and just wonder, “What went wrong?” If that has ever happened to you (and it’s probably happened to anyone who has ever made a sales call), keep the following tips in mind.

  • Do the Right Amount of Talking

    After tasting porridge from two bowls, one that was too hot and one that was too cold, Goldilocks tasted porridge from the third bowl and announced, “Ahh …this porridge is just right.” She ate it all up.

    In the same way, when you have a sales conversation with a prospect or customer, you can talk too much, too little or just the right amount. That, of course, begs the question, “How much is just right?” 

    Let’s start with how much talking is too much. Not surprisingly, recent research shows that salespeople like the sounds of their own voices. They dominate conversations, on average talking 75 percent of the time. That’s too much!

    The same study showed the top salespeople are less vociferous, speaking just 43 percent of the time. Star performers make the customer the star of their conversations. They do so by asking questions, listening and learning about the buyer and their needs. This process enables them to develop rapport and tailor a solution to the customer’s requirements. They add a human touch to the sales process that substantially increases their ability to seal the deal.

  • Ask Questions that Help Navigate the Sale

    For this process to work, you need to ask the right questions. For the most part, they should be open-ended — those a prospect cannot answer with a “yes” or a “no.” Such questions allow them to talk while you listen.

    For instance, ask “What are your objectives?” or “Who is involved in the decision?” The answers to these types of questions can reveal crucial information about the prospect’s problem and allow you to discover how decision making works in their organization. All of this is essential in helping you to steer your way to the sale.

    Importantly, these questions also enable you to move to the right end of the talk-to-listen spectrum.

  • Help the Buyer Visualize the Solution

    It’s not all about listening. Having asked relevant questions that reveal the buyer’s pain and their objectives, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What does the buyer want their situation to look like after overcoming the problem? Paint a picture that enables the buyer to envision what life could be like if they purchase your product or solution. Also, explain the dangers of not solving the problem.

    For instance, let’s say you’re selling a buyer-intent data solution to a marketing executive who has struggled to generate enough leads. You want them to envision being able to create online media campaigns targeted to people already searching for their product — and to find these individuals before their competition knows they even exist. If they fail to buy the solution, they’ll be stuck on the never-ending treadmill of always searching for leads. They also risk falling behind the competition. The dangers of doing nothing can be the most significant motivators to action because that’s the pain your buyer wants to avoid.

  • Define Your Differentiator

    You need to go further than painting a picture of how your prospect’s life will be better after they’ve purchased your product. They must understand what makes your product or service different and why that difference matters. In other words, you need to answer the question, “Why will I be better off if I buy from your company than if I buy from competitor XYZ?”
  • In summary, to ensure more successful sales conversations, ask yourself if you’re talking too much during sales calls. If so, build your curiosity, ask more questions and learn to listen. Make sure you ask questions that spur conversation and help you to gain an understanding of their situation. When you talk, translate your product’s features into their benefits to illustrate how they will make your prospect’s life better. And finally, explain how the buyer will be better off purchasing your product rather than your competitor’s.

    Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can outsource your inside sales and get rapid results.

Published in Tele-Services

Over the last couple of decades, the language of marketing has evolved. Today, the buzzwords include Big Data, artificial intelligence, marketing automation, content marketing, social media marketing, account-based marketing, influencer marketing and more. The thread that runs between these marketing methods is technology. While it enables them all, it does not tell the whole story.

Technology can make us more efficient, precise in our targeting and personalized in our B2B marketing outreach. It cannot, however, do the whole job. That’s because B2B products, services and solutions tend to be complicated and expensive. To educate buyers and to build the trust required to make a substantial investment, you need good, old-fashioned human interaction that is central to a couple of traditional marketing tactics.

While tried and true, these tactics have changed with the times. Let’s look at how these traditional techniques, now wrapped in new technology, have become more powerful than ever.

Published in Tele-Services
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:00

Tips to Master Inside Sales Time Management

Your reps spend more than 25 hours out of a 40-hour week on non-sales generating activities. At least, that’s if they mirror the average sales associate’s work profile.

This statistic is based on a study of over 200 sales reps. It showed that NON-revenue generating tasks take up on average 63.4 percent of a rep’s time. Even worse, the study included both field and inside salespeople and concluded that phone agents were on the low end of the spectrum. Field reps outperform them in revenue-generating time by 17.5 percent.

So, what are salespeople doing with their time? 

Published in Tele-Services
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:00

Three 2018 Sales and Marketing Trends

If you’re in the fast-paced world of sales and marketing, you likely aspire to stay one step ahead of the competition. It’s not easy to do because you must keep up with constantly changing sales and marketing trends. Here are three trends worth mastering in 2018.

  • Artificial Intelligence: Efficiency and Personalization

    Self-driving cars. Smart homes that decipher speech, schedule appointments and turn on lights. Amazon’s uncanny ability to predict what you want to buy.

    What do they have in common?

    All are examples of how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing our daily lives. But it’s not just in the consumer world that you feel AI’s impact. It’s entering the B2B sales and marketing stage and is on its way to playing a starring role.

    Salesforce’s Fourth Annual State of Marketing research reported that half of marketers are using AI today and 27 percent plan to use it in the next two years. In their analysis, Salesforce separated high performing companies from the pack, those companies that are “extremely satisfied” with their marketing results. These businesses represent 12 percent of the universe they surveyed. A striking 72 percent of them currently use AI. 
Published in Tele-Services

Sometimes sales fluctuate a little from month to month. And at other times, sales gyrations feel more like a roller coaster. You just wish you had more control over the ups and downs, allowing you to forecast your future revenue with some degree of certainty. For this dream to become a reality, you need an inside sales team that fires on all cylinders all the time.

How do you make that happen? Sales enablement.

You want to make your sales team’s job as easy as possible and help them to win more deals. That means offering training and coaching to increase success rates, adopting sales processes and technologies that improve efficiency, and creating content that helps move prospects through the buying cycle. Essentially, you remove the barriers to success, establish a predictable process and allow your salespeople to do what they do best — sell.

Here are five essentials of sales enablement that can help your salespeople to meet and even exceed their quotas.

Published in Tele-Services
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