For some organizations the Inside Sales strategy is the foundation for the success of the entire sales team. Below are some key lessons and tips that will hopefully assist in the development and re-education of an Inside Sales Professional.
In order for an Inside Sales Associate or any Sales person for that matter to be successful, persistence and the ability to dig in and never give up is vital. Making up your mind and deciding to fully devote yourself to a goal and stopping at nothing to achieve it is the mentality needed for this role.
Of course, you will have people who are not interested, not in your target market, or do not have a pain/need. That is OK. Qualifying them and getting to that realization quickly allows you the opportunity to move on to new opportunities. However, you cannot give up on one NO. You need to relentlessly pursue target market accounts and prospects.
Having the ability to learn and be coached is also a tip for success in Inside Sales. With anything that is new and challenging, it is important to look to authority figures as well as peers for guidance. With all the training under your belt, you will still have times where you are not sure what to do or what to say. You should have the resources around you to get you through these, just be sure to elicit good advice, talk things through, ask questions and try new approaches. If you are open to this, your slumps and periods of frustrations will be shorter and fewer.
Be Thick Skinned
Handling rejection and objections will be the biggest test. Having thick skin and an understanding that this is inevitable and a natural part of sales will help you not be discouraged and move on to the next call. If you are in B2B sales, remember you are calling and interacting with other professionals, so as long as you remain professional, their objections will not seem so difficult to accept. This is just another learning opportunity. You also have to remember that the majority of the contacts and prospects you are reaching out to will not remember you so put in a follow up, send them an email, a LinkedIn invite or pass it along to someone else on the team. Do not be afraid to hear NO.
Use Common Sense
You will need to demonstrate the ability to have common sense and display logical decision making. The best way to describe this is to provide some examples.
- If you are told NO by a receptionist or the prospect within an account, do not just give up and move on to the next. Do some research, search LinkedIn, the company’s website and other resources to find another contact and call back and ask for them directly. Nine times out of ten the person you spoke with is a gatekeeper and it’s their job to get rid of you or they are not the right person you need to speak with.
- If you are told by a prospect to call back in two weeks to check up, you have to make sure you hold them accountable and follow up in two weeks or even a few days earlier. If you do not follow up at all, or you wait three weeks chances are they may remember and now see you as someone that is not accountable.
Half the battle is actually getting the folks you are reaching out to on the phone. Make sure to not take any phone calls or interactions for granted as you never know if and when they might be available. Be prepared for someone to answer and respond.
Make sure you know how you are going to approach the conversation.
- What questions are you going to ask?
- What value adds are you going to talk about?
- Did you do some basic research on the company?
- Are there similar companies in their industry you have done business with?
- Are you asking for the appointment more than once?
Getting the person to interact with you and engage in effective dialogue often times requires asking questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions, especially if they might make you uncomfortable at first. The more you ask the more comfortable and confident you will feel asking them.
The most important question to ask is for the appointment. The majority of the time you will have to ask for at least 3 times in one phone call. Get in the habit of asking for the appointment early and often.
Some good questions to ask might be:
- Are you the correct person to speak with?
- If not, who might be the best person I can speak with?
- Are you open to a brief meeting with one of our Sales Executives to learn about our company and the value we bring to each client?
Be an Active Listener
After you have asked all these compelling questions, it is almost more important to make sure and listen and create a plan of action based on the answers. If you are asking the right questions and having engaging conversations, then you should be able to pick up pieces of information that will help you secure an appointment right then. Asking good questions may also help with your next call with that person or with the person they might pass you off to.
Establish Your Network
Phone calls and email campaigns are incredibly important to appointment generating, but it is also important to build your network and you do that through maintaining consistent follow up routines and engaging your prospects and contacts through multiple outlets.
You will often find yourself reaching out to target market accounts, but they do not currently have a need. Make sure to set an approximate follow up time and follow through at that time. This will help you build a relationship with these prospects so when the need does arise you will be top of mind.
Use Social Media to build your network. Send LinkedIn invites to the people you speak with. Like and comment on their posts. Endorse their skills if you have a good relationship with them. Find them on Twitter, follow them and re-tweet their tweets.
Project Your Personality
So you have the persistence down, you are trying new things, you are overcoming objections, you are prepared for the call, you are asking questions, you are actively listening, and you are building relationships. What’s bring it all together? YOUR PERSONALITY
How you project yourself over the phone will determine how successful you will be in an Inside Sales capacity. It is essential that you focus on demonstrating a positive, eager and confident attitude when trying to close appointments.
These lessons will help guide you to stay on course, try new things, challenge yourself and build a passion and excitement for what you are doing. Believe in the product and services and ask for the appointment by using these best practices and projecting your personality. Success will be inevitable and you will be on your way to a successful future in sales.