This way of thinking is based on the assumption that there’s always room for improvement and betterment. Questioning ourselves and our decisions can take us a long way. As Elon Musk puts it: “You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”
More often than not, the solutions are short and simple. Following through with that is far from simple, but all it takes is a strong determination and discipline.
Matt Given, CEO of Intelvideo, shared his experience with Inc on how his idea of sales coaching has changed with a 2-minute conversation. As a young entrepreneur, he was fixated on the idea that a leader needs to act as if he always “knows the best” which wasn’t sustainable on the long run, but it did make his company grow to a certain extent.
He was in charge of growing sales groups in many cities across the US which made him work with their best sales performers – he understood that the best way to teach new sales reps is to first learn from the top ones – and meeting Michael Tiller, one of the top 10 salespersons nationwide, changed his professional and personal life.
The way Michael dealt with a first appointment with the decision makers of a huge possible sale astounded Matt – he seemed too comfortable, the whole time there was no presentation it was rather like a casual conversation, and it did not resemble the training program he was putting his sales reps through.
Michael later explained that even though it might have seemed as though it was nothing – it was a culmination of all the times he’s failed, blown a big deal, how many times he practiced and how many times he practiced that same appointment in his head or in front of a mirror.
It doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process.
Trial and error is a necessity, but if you have guidelines to follow it will give you a jumpstart. Building your own sales team may sound like a beginning of a horror story, but if you follow the advice of those who have already tried and failed, and eventually have learned what the best steps are, you will avoid those unpleasant situations.
If you’re creating a team you need to know your goals – identify all the key metrics and set realistic goals. After knowing what you want to achieve, you need to show your new team the process. What will also be of help is sharing your experiences – what works, what doesn’t, and what mistakes they should avoid at all cost.
We have already mentioned it in the introduction, with growth mindset the sky’s the limit. You should always improve the quality of your sales team and invest in training programs. As an inside sales manager, you should also collaborate with the marketing to understand what kinds of leads are your sales reps generating.
On the other side of the spectrum, learning other people’s mistakes might be more beneficial to you than following their success stories. We talked about this several times and we still believe that there are countless ways that things could go right so you should always experiment – but there are certain things that you should avoid. Good things are changeable, fluid, and bad tend to be static.
Sales Hacker is sharing some of the absolutely avoidable sales coaching mistakes even the best leaders make – but you could avoid.
From Marketing to Sales
For good sales, you need good marketing, and we’d like to share 4 ways in which you can nurture marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads.
Drip campaigns are one of the most common and still most relevant way of lead nurturing. But if they don’t work it’s not the end of the world. You could start writing newsletters that could keep the contact engaged on a monthly or quarterly basis even if you’re not actively marketing to them. You could customize your newsletter so these simple touch points could keep your company on top of their mind for a lead, and if they’re ready to buy, you’ll be the first they’ll think of.
Now that we’re on the topic of the newsletter – here’s HubSpot’s advice on writing email newsletters that will actually grab people’s attention and not end up as just a “Mark as read”.
You could also add a higher degree of a personalization to your lead nurturing endeavor through event tracking on your website to trigger workflows. This is a good way to nurture lost contacts back into the possible buyers’ area. At the end of the day, it’s all about personalizing and creating smart content. Nobody likes content that isn’t relevant to one’s needs. Putting all of this into practice should bring about more leads in time. Just be patient.
As customers have started to demand personalized engagement, and with the arrival of new technologies like AI, targeting and selling into specific accounts has never been more effective. It’s no surprise that account-based marketing has gained popularity as a strategy and that vendors are budding to meet B2B marketing and sales needs.
Sales teams are reluctant to implement account-based marketing as a new strategy because ABM is asking of them to work with fewer leads, and that kind of change may seem scary. Ernesto Castillo from the Marketo blog claims that sales teams are only holding themselves back by not implementing ABM.
Marketing and sales team need to align in order for ABM to succeed. Inverting the traditional B2B strategy of lead generation-based marketing brings in bigger, more valuable accounts and increases engagement with the target and existing ones.
Sales Glossary and Stats
If you need to freshen up your memory, Sales Hacker has provided an extensive back to basics practical sales glossary, created for everybody but especially for new sales reps who have just joined the game and need some guidance.
Out with old in with the new isn’t something that can be applied to the business, what should be implemented is the combination of the old and the new. Along with this timeless glossary, we’d like to recommend you some new stats about sales that are proving that sales process is changing.
Millennials in Sales
Everybody and their grandmother have heard of the saying that “Millennials are entitled and lazy” or (one of our personal favorites) “Millennials are killing our economy”, but those popular beliefs couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Every generation has something new to bring to the table, and surely Millennials can bring about a new perspective on sales. Baseline shares with us exactly that.
And if a Millennial feels like their place isn’t in the sales, HubSpot shares a customizable sales cover letter template to land a job. A good letter will tell your hiring manager that you are a good communicator who can express their ideas clearly, and as a salesperson that is exactly what should be one of your strong points.
Week in Sales No 18 – Wrap up
Sharing is caring, these are some of the articles we found to be most interesting in sales during this week of sales knowledge sharing.
Did you read or write anything that could help us learn something new?
If so, feel free to contact us and send us interesting links, we’d be happy to share the article with the world.