Many Companies and Sales Organizations do not know the proper level of System Administration resources they need for a Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) System. This page will help explain why a Systems Administrator is so critical to your short and long-term sales success and the cost of Systems Admin Resources:Read More
Have you ever dreamed about working from the beach on a nice sunny day? Recently, I was drinking my coffee in the morning and using my iPhone to check appointments for the day. I heard on the radio that it was going to be 90 degrees by mid-day. When I checked my emails, I saw that a meeting after lunch was rescheduled... so I started thinking about that 90 degrees and remembered that one of our local beaches in Half Moon Bay, California had a very good wireless data signal from AT&T (seriously, don't laugh).Read More
- It's NOT more Money!
- It's NOT a Trophy!
- A Sales Manager Can't Do It!
- So... What is it?
The other day I was browsing the Zendesk website to learn more about their Customer Service / Help Desk solution for one of our clients. As part of my review, I always look at the jobs postings (to see how fast a company is growing) and also scan the company Youtube videos. I came across their recruiting video called "This is Zendesk." I didn't plan on watching the whole thing. However, the more I watched, the more I liked it. The video sucked me in, bit by bit. After watching, I called over my business partner to watch it and give me her opinion.
We both thought it was great and walked away being very impressed with the company and the people. If I was looking for a job, I would have wanted to work there... all from a simple video.
The job market for top people is getting more and more competitive. There are so many bad companies to work for out there.
After watching this video, you too may want to work at Zendesk. .... or you can produce one of these videos for your own company today.
So, one of the Secrets to finding and hiring Top People is to... Produce a fun low-budget recruiting video about working at your company.
Please comment with any other great company videos that would get a new employee excited to work for your company.
Many Small Businesses are looking to increase sales this year by expanding or upgrading an Inside Sales Program. In this article we outline the Top Five business-to-business strategies for implementing fast-selling Inside Sales Teams in a company. There are many factors that determine which strategy is best for your organization. Although Social Networking and Marketing are very Hot Topics this year, you still need a fast-moving, high quality sales team to grow a small businesses. The common benefits of adding or expanding inside sales programs include:
- Shifting more experienced (and more expensive) Field Sales Reps to Higher-End Sales Opportunities
- Reducing the Cost of overall Sales Resources
- Establishing Sales Coverage around the US and World
- Responding to Sales Inquiries Faster
- Building a Sales Infrastructure that is flexible and can continue to quickly Grow Sales
Note: For this article we define Inside Sales Reps as staff with "Sales" Skills and Training. Reps that only focus on Social Marketing, Lead Qualification, Lead Generation and Demand Generation are NOT addressed in this article.
Strategy 1 - Close Low-end Sales
Less Experienced Inside Sales Reps can sell products from $100 to $5,000 over the phone.
They can either complete outbound sales calls and/or accept inbound calls through your Company's toll-free 800 (or 888) number. They usually can close low-end products within one to five calls and emails or social conversations.
Strategy 2 - Close Larger Complex Sales
Senior Inside Sales Reps can sell more complex products from $5,000 to $500,000 over the phone and internet.
These products and services need a one to 18-month sales cycle. The Reps work with your customers throughout the entire sales process.
Strategy 3 - Product Demo and Trial Period Follow-up & Close
Inside Sales Reps make follow-up calls to prospects testing your product. Prospects typically sign-up for a trial on your website. Reps then call during the trial, at the end of the trial, and after the trial period, to close business and make quota.
Strategy 4 - Established Customer, Reseller Sales & Account Management
Inside Sales Reps can be assigned to Existing Customers, Partners or Re-sellers. Their goals are to increase sales from existing customers, increase customer satisfaction and reduce your cost of sales. They also provide a great defense from your competitors' Sales Reps calling on your own customers.
Strategy 5 - Team Selling
Inside Reps can be teamed with Outside Sales Representatives in a territory.
Some Companies create a team territory between an Inside and Outside Sales Team. They share Commissions from the shared territory. In one situation, you can assign Inside Sales to the bottom 80 percent of their Customer/Re-seller territory and Field Reps to the top 20 percent of a territory.
In another case, a Fortune 1000 Account Territory Team will have an Inside Sales Reps Assigned to new Division Contacts and a more Senior Account Rep assigned to short-term opportunities and key contacts.
So How Do You Decide on Which Strategy?
Very often, the "Boss" or "Decision Maker" decides the strategy based on their past experiences, a business associate or friend's recommendation (yes, this does happen) and the company philosophy. When you have a new Sales Executive join the company, they'll usually bring a strategy that they've used in the past, like and have had success.
Building and growing an Inside Sales Team sounds like an easy concept. However, it's the strategy and implementation details that will make the difference between average sales and significant sales growth.
Please share your comments on other Inside Sales Best Practices that worked for your Small Business.
Here is a low-cost tip for quickly Improving Sales Productivity: Get Sales and Marketing to talk to each other! Unfortunately, Sales and Marketing Teams do not always work together very well. Sales Productivity often suffers as a result of having different metrics and goals. When the Teams do work together to focus on improving the existing sales process... sales results quickly go up and the cost of selling goes down. This is a "must-have" in today's business environment.
Here is a simple plan on how to get Sales and Marketing to quickly work together and focus on improving sales productivity in 90 days.
Simple Action Plan
- Create a small team to focus on sales productivity
- Summarize your current sales and marketing metrics Click here for Five Key Sales and Marketing Metrics (or Ratios)
- Document the existing sales process - Keep it simple
- Brainstorm ideas on how to improve the process and metrics
- Prioritize the top 3 ideas
- Implement the top changes
- Create a spreadsheet with the metrics, measure your progress and report your results
- Celebrate your sales productivity successes together
When you are in the middle of this project, just think about this quote:
"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible." C. Malesherbes