The rise and evolution of sales acceleration in recent years is forcing reps to improve the quality of engagement on sales calls in order to earn the buyers’ time.
Sales acceleration has been a hot topic in recent years. However, even though we can make lots of calls and send lots of emails with the same tired message doesn’t mean we should. Making the right calls and sending the right emails at the right time in the sales process is critical.
In fact, many have learned that what you respond to prospects with and the channel in which you respond really does make a difference. As sales tools help us refine and automate aspects of the sales process, this leaves us with an opportunity to pay special attention to the message and words we use when engaging prospects on sales calls. This is a key differentiator that can easily put you ahead of the competition.
Below I highlight four steps for reps to have better conversations on their sales calls.
1 – Simplify the Selling Process
If your reps’ sales calls are going to be a success, you’ll need to leverage the right tools to simplify the rest of your selling process. As sales acceleration evolves to support high growth, sales technology features are evolving to match this by turning five tasks into one.
Routine data entry and follow up tasks can be automated so sales reps can focus on selling and engaging with their buyers. With Velocify for example, sales reps are able to log sales activities with a simple click, which automatically updates the status, schedules the next event, sets a reminder, and even leverages automated trigger-based emails when applicable.
With less time being spent on activities, reps can focus more time getting to know their prospects.
2 – Create Contextual Conversations
To take your engagement to the next level, reps need to be empowered to have contextual conversations. Contextual conversations are fluid and require a certain amount of flexibility from your reps. This means reps aren’t just focused on a prioritized activities, but they become active participants with the buyer.
For reps to have successful contextual sales calls, they need guidance and a deep understanding of the nuances tied to the buyer journey. You can start by breaking down your buyer stages. View each stage as its own mini buying cycle by outlining the process specific to each stage, culminating in exit criteria that qualifies the prospect for the next stage. To help your reps identify where prospects are in this timeline, map questions common to buyers specific to the different points in the process within each stage. Be sure to include content your reps can leverage to support buyers throughout the process.
Additionally, factor in how your buyers evolve. Reps who aren’t creating contextual conversations can end up stuck on trying to solve the pain points discussed on the very first sales call. However, as prospects become more educated during the buying process, their needs change. If reps don’t evolve with this process, the prospect can move beyond the sales rep to find another solution. It is important to highlight to your reps that the purchase process is very much a collaborative experience as new pain points are discovered and new stakeholders become involved. They need to actively participate in the evolution and journey of discovering what works for them.
3 – Track Engagement Signals
Comprehensive sales acceleration platforms track input and output of your sales reps’ activities. This is a wealth of information that can be tapped into to improve your overall sales process. Data points like email open rates and replies can be tracked to understand prospect behavior. Each time a prospect engages with a piece of content, this is a valuable signal that tells you where they’re at in the buying process.
Even a lack of engagement is a signal that provides valuable insight into your sales process. It’s a signal that the content is not resonating and improvements need to be made.
Tracking engagement signals will help you map out what content is most relevant to buyers at specific stages of their journey and it can also help your reps have higher quality engagement and sales calls.
For example, arming your reps with knowledge of what content has resonated with a buyer before a sales call can give them an advantage. A prospect that downloads a white paper on annual planning, for example, tells the rep a bit about the motivation of the buyer and potential questions they can ask to get the buyer to open up. At a later stage, if the prospect is viewing pricing information and feature comparison data, it might be an opportunity to discuss their evaluation criteria.
4 – Alert Reps
In today’s world, buyers have come to expect a certain level of service and competition is stiff. Because of this, it is important to not only track all signals of engagement, but to set up real-time alerts for your reps for any important signals like an email open. Even better if you can set it up so alerts are centralized and prioritized in a single view.
Immediate notifications help reps ensure any outreach or sales calls they make are aligned with where the prospect is in their journey in real time.
Additionally, since most of the evaluation and decision-making process occurs outside of talk time, these alerts provide reps with the level of insight needed to understand the best way to stay engaged.
As businesses increasingly leverage technology to accelerate sales, sales leaders are looking for other ways to improve and maintain a competitive edge. The shift is moving towards improving the effectiveness of sales calls by training reps to become active participants in their prospects’ purchase journey.
Meet the author: Josh Evans joined Velocify in 2007, and is senior vice president of sales. Josh is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years building and growing sales, customer support and customer engagement organizations in the technology industry. Josh oversees Velocify’s sales organization, both the field and inside sales teams. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.