I feel like a broken record.
I keep shouting from the roof tops (or from my blog posts) about how the process of doing your job as a sales rep could be improved with technology. How the part of the sales processcalled prospecting could be less manual and more automated. How technology could help sales reps be smarter with their outreach and more timely in their prospecting process.
So how and why am I so hyped up on this changing world of sales? Gosh, I don't know...because I live it everyday, so I just seem to care about it. I want the world of sales to change so we can all have an easier time doing our jobs. I want sales reps to be seen as HELPERS and not as ANNOYERS to the end prospect.
When people ask, "What do you think of when you think of a sales rep?" I don't want their gut reaction to be this:
I want the feeling people have when asked that question to be more like this:
It all started 5 years ago when I realized that there was an easier way to prospect. A way to make me less nervous calling someone that has never talked to me before. I don't think anyone wakes up in the morning because like, YES, YES, YES let's make some cold calls. Cold calls are just that, cold. I learned quickly that to make a difference and book appointments I needed to be helpful and have something meaningful to say to the prospect if and when they picked up the darn phone.
I realized that you didn’t have to make cold calls or warm calls to people the same way each time. I could find out a reason/reasons to call the prospect — something that was actually helpful.
Making the call more about them — something I could say that was actually relevant to them, and helpful for what they are experiencing in their job right now to get the conversation going.
To be good at prospecting and to see results from prospecting other than someone hanging up on you…
You must have a reason to reach out to the prospect.
The reason should be something that is both:
Helpful and Timely.
Not rocket science, I know. So why doesn't every sales rep do it?
This process of finding a reason or reasons to reach out to a prospect takes time, dedication, patience that your research will pay off. It takes knowing that there will be less activity and your numbers on that sales dashboard that your boss looks at will be off.
That is why we need change. We need to change the sales prospecting process to be one of more detail, more research, more thought going into it. Rather than a game of being fast, calling everyone, a million times, until you get an answer.Those days are gone.
At best actually doing this process is manual.
There are lots of companies in the “sales automation” space that are working on this problem but I don’t think any one company is doing this perfectly yet. ***
The easiest way that I know how to be most helpful in prospecting is by manually using a bunch of point tools like LinkedIn Navigator, Angel List, Google Alerts, CrunchBase Alerts, etc to find reasons to be helpful and why what I sell could be timely for a prospect. The process of doing research, staying up to date on that research, updating CRM, scouring around for information...all of this takes the one thing we don't have enough of.
Imagine a system that took into consideration your lead intelligence from your marketing automation tool as well as research information on the companies that you are targeting.
The stigma of sales can change. It changes as we sales reps become more helpful to our prospects. This would benefit the sales rep and the companies that sales reps are prospecting into.
Instead of a sales rep reaching out about something the prospect doesn’t care about, is actually not something they even do in their role, and is not timely for their goals…
The world would be more like this...
You sit at your desk in between meetings and you get emails and calls that actually excite you. You wonder, wow, this sales rep is actually spot on. How is this possible that they know all this stuff about what is going on internally?
You think to yourself, wow, this sales rep did research on my company and on me. They actually have something that might help me and on top of that their outreach is timely.
Wouldn't that be a happier world to do business in?
Wouldn’t that be a great way to start a potential business relationship. Instead of the usual hang up and frustration by another pointless and un-helpful cold call.
Prospects would feel less likely to hang up the phone or say no to the sales rep. Because the stigma of sales would be changed. It would be a stigma of helpfulness and not desperation.
Sales reps would be seen as more helpful, rather than annoying and un-helpful.
We could all do business with better fits for what our products solve for and help with. We would be helping prospects at the potentially right time with the right reasons to help. It’s a win win for the sales rep and for the prospect.
The stigma of what sales is CAN CHANGE.
We our the answer to changing the stigma of what sales is. It starts with every outreach. So be more thoughtful, more helpful next time you pick up the phone.
If you find my articles interesting you can read my blog here: Women in Tech Sales.