Calling as a Competitive Weapon | SalesAndMarketing.com
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Calling as a Competitive Weapon

How to break your sales reps out of voicemail hell

By TOM GRUBB

Time is the enemy when it comes to outselling the competition. The problem is there’s never enough time for your reps to connect and sell to all of the prospects and customers they'd like. Sales reps get stuck in voicemail hell and seemingly endless “digital conversations” that drag on like slow motion games of Ping-Pong. If you can compress the time it takes to get to your prospects and customers, you can cover more ground faster than the other guy.
How can you manufacture time? Think of it as a game of addition and subtraction: Do more of the things that drive revenue, and less of the things that don’t. It sounds simple enough, but in fact it’s very hard to add or subtract anything to or from a caller’s time because there are a growing number of activities consuming more of their time and very few that truly free it up.
On the time consumption side, they have to feed the CRM system, research online, attend sales meetings, go to training – oh yeah, and get on the phone and talk with prospects and customers. Notice I said talk with prospects and customers, not dialing, leaving voicemails, messing with interactive voice response systems, or talking to gatekeepers.
By reclaiming all the time your sales team burns trying to reach the people they want to talk with and applying that time to talking with prospects and customers, you gain competitive advantage. If your sales reps use live conversation automation to have 10 live conversations for every one that your competitor’s sales rep has, you are going to win more business on the basis of sheer velocity.
But there’s more than just raw speed in the advantage you gain. By accelerating your capacity to connect in real time by phone with the people you want to reach by a factor of 10, you can optimize sales performance in powerful ways that aren’t available when live conversations are spread out over days and weeks instead of hours and minutes. With the volume and velocity of your live conversations running hot, you can test, measure and optimize these key areas that impact performance:

  1. Targeting: Are you calling the right people in the right companies? Can you test new target profiles efficiently? Is your list source (bought, built or marketing supplied) on target? A/B target testing with live conversations makes targeting accurate, reliable and agile.
  2. Messaging: Is your message right? Can it be better? Compressing lots of live conversations into a short time window lets you test and adjust scripts and messaging by listening and learning in a concentrated and focused way.
  3. Training: Do you know if sales reps are performing at peak at the point where live conversations happen? Are they able to ramp quickly? Do you know how to identify who to coach and how? The ability to connect them to a rapid succession of live conversations in a controlled and assisted manner helps you train and maintain a high performing sales team.
  4. Data quality: What’s the accuracy and currency of the names and phone numbers on your list? When you’re running at a high volume of live conversations per hour, you can spot poor data quality trends quickly and make changes before they cost you valuable selling time and effort.
  5. Benchmarking: Can you analyze and understand your outbound calling performance on the basis of live conversations? Are you able to compare the impact of live conversations over different time and across business scenarios and standards? The ability to measure and compare business performance based on live conversations is critical to understanding how and where to improve your sales processes and organization.

Introducing high compression and acceleration to the process where your outbound callers have live conversations gives you significant competitive advantage. You can cover more ground in less time with fewer resources than your competitor, and deploy live conversations as a new class of corporate assets that enable you to outperform, outsmart and outsell the competition.

Tom Grubb is Vice President of Marketing at ConnectAndSell. He has 20 years of experience leading marketing at established and early stage companies including ThreatMetrix, Intuit, Embarcadero Technologies, Sybase, and co-founder at Bluecurve, which was acquired by Red Hat in 2000.