22. Nancy Nardin, President at Smart Selling Tools
Salespeople should only use social to the extent that it helps them sell more. For instance, if your prospects are active users of LinkedIn, then you’d better make sure that you use LinkedIn to some degree. But I would not advocate that you start getting on board with tweeting and updating Facebook. We already have an issue with sales capacity and spending time with clients. So, it could actually mean death for sales reps’ performance level if they don’t use social the right way at the right time.
23. Mike Smalls, CEO & Founder of Hoopla
Sales managers struggle with motivating their teams because it is often assumed that motivation can only be driven internally from the person or that it requires a coin-operated model, such as prizes and rewards. However, we've seen companies increase sales productivity by leveraging properly structured competition and recognition programs to create motivation and engagement within their teams.
24. Bryan Kreuzberger, Founder of Breakthrough Email
Have you ever played the follow-up game? Before you leave a meeting, make sure you and the prospect have a clear next step. This step must be actionable and measurable. Here is an example: You will talk to them next Tuesday at 2 p.m. Here is an unclear example: I will follow up with you. To put this in action, in your next meeting ask, "What makes sense as a next step?" If they say, "Let's talk," then say, "Since we are here, how about we put something on the calendar right now?" Boom, you have your next meeting. If they ask you to send them something, then schedule a time to review it together. "As you requested, I will email you the proposal by this Friday. When does it make sense to review it together?"
25. Mick Hollison, CMO at InsideSales.com
Today’s buyers do a tremendous amount of their purchasing research long before they ever speak to a salesperson. As a result, it is critical for marketers to consider every potential interaction with a customer and how those impressions may be shared via social media. Ultimately, this age of the hyper-educated, constantly connected consumer requires that marketing and sales work more closely together than ever before.
26. Lori Richardson, CEO & Founder of Score More Sales
Be an example. Are you prompt? Are you professional? Are you engaged? As sales leaders, we have to set the bar high for ourselves as well as our teams. Sales leaders often look distracted while they are talking to their reps. Sometimes, it’s as simple as checking your smartphone when somebody is trying to tell you something important. It may seem insignificant, but it sends the wrong message. How can you expect your reps to stay engaged if you looked distracted and you’re the one who’s supposed to be setting the tone?
27. Brian Carroll, Executive Director at MECLABS
Garbage data in, garbage results out. Whether you do inbound or outbound marketing, the quality of your database and lists has a huge impact on your results. Attaining better information about prospects and where they are in the buying process is one way to improve the quality of sales-ready leads.
28. Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines
Find your trigger. Find the qualities that make a lead more likely to convert, and focus on those leads.
29. Mike Puglia, VP of Marketing at TimeTrade
The trust that a customer has in your company and in you strongly outweighs the techniques you use to sell. Establishing trust is better than any sales technique.
30. Larry Reeves, COO at American Association of Inside Sales Professionals
Use dual monitors. The increase in productivity is much more than you can imagine – a great addition for around $100.
31. Richard Brasser, CEO at rFactr
Social opens a secret door that puts you right in front of decision makers. 70 percent of our sales come through social platforms. The secret door is much more effective than the front door. If you are trying to contact a C-level prospect through a gatekeeper, or the front door, you aren't going to get in. You'll encounter a mote, alligators, guards and all sorts of horrible things to keep you out. But there is a 98 percent possibility that these executives are paying attention to social.
32. Atri Chatterjee, CMO at Act-On Software
80 percent of prospects who eventually buy are originally marked as bad leads. Don't totally count them out.
33. Jared Haleck, Senior Product Manager at InsideSales.com
Sales reps are competitive by nature, but too often that competitive energy doesn't get utilized on the sales floor. Gamification harnesses that energy by systematically placing them in direct competition with one another. As they are recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments, they become even more motivated to work harder.
34. Steve Richard, Co-Founder of Vorsight
Join LinkedIn groups. You are 70 percent more likely to get an appointment with someone on an unexpected sales call if you cite a common LinkedIn group than if you don’t. LinkedIn groups are a wonderful venue to engage in meaningful conversations with those who have similar interests. Groups allow professionals to understand what the hot topics are in their area, socialize with colleagues, ask questions and give helpful answers. Do NOT join groups to spam them and just share your content. You have to be engaged in the dialogue. But what most sales reps fail to do is reference a group in common with a prospect when they make a cold call. This proactive use of social media is an easy way to improve your conversion rate.
35. Peter Gracey, President at AG Salesworks
Automate your outbound and benchmark the results. If they don't stack up, re-evaluate your messaging. Chances are it's what you are saying, not how often you are saying it, that is costing you sales.
36. Josiane Feigon, Author and President at TeleSmart Communications
By the year 2020, 85 percent of the buyer-seller interaction will happen online through social media and video. Prospects now participate in sales presentations via Skype, web conferencing and video. These tools are quickly catching on and overtaking face-to-face visits and traditional meetings, which are expensive and too time consuming for busy buyers. Inside sales will soon surpass field sales. The only real question is: Are you ready?
37. John Wall, Host of Marketing Over Coffee
When you're sending emails, you live and die by your subject line. Making it personal or funny can increase your open rate 10 times or more. At the very least, try to pitch some value rather than pointless bragging. “Work Faster!” is better than “Version 10.4 now available!”
38. Mike Agron, Author of “WebinarReady”
Webinars, as a form of content marketing, are a great vehicle to educate and inform potential buyers, and the real goal should be to make sure they are engaged in the webinar so they are inspired to want to have a conversation with you after the event. That’s the time to start the sales process. Part of the post webinar follow-up is to use the intelligence and analytics collected before, during and after the webinar to start segmenting the leads into one of three buckets: sales ready, those that need nurturing, and those who aren’t qualified or a good fit.
39. Giles House, CMO at CallidusCloud
There's no silver bullet, but the most common challenge I'm hearing from sales leaders is time. If you can give a B or C player more time, you will almost certainly see a performance lift: more time to prospect, more time in front of customers, more time to prepare. Common things to cut: disputes around comp plan, time spent preparing quotes, time spent training.
40. Gabriel Padva, Founder of 30,000 FT Strategies
The new role of sales professionals is to educate their prospects on relevant industry issues, facilitate their decision-making process, and provide compelling evidence that makes it easy for their prospects to say yes.
41. Brandt “Bubba” Page, CEO & Founder of Launch Leads
When a prospect asks you to send some information, turn this into an opportunity to set an appointment. Gather the prospect’s email address and send your marketing collateral while you’re still on the call. Ask the prospect to click the link to make sure it works. Once they’ve seen your value, set the appointment.
42. Jason Garoutte, CMO and GM at Mintigo
90 percent of your opportunities come from 10 percent of the names on your house list, so don’t waste time with prospects who aren’t a good fit. Figure out what your ideal prospects are interested in by analyzing data from websites and social networks, especially LinkedIn and Twitter. New technologies, like Mintigo, are automating this kind of research. But even if you do nothing more than ask interns to research titles and shared content, it can still be enough information to double your prospecting success.