Start-up companies often face a classic catch-22: they need to invest in a sales team to generate revenue but lack the funds for hiring more reps. What most companies fail to realize is that they already have the right staff; it’s their processes that are dragging them down.
Let me give you an example. While shadowing a rep earlier this year, I observed six total call attempts in a little over an hour. The rep never talked with a prospect live. He jumped from webinar follow-ups from a variety of different sources to following up with prospects at different stages of a campaign. In addition, he was calling prospects with different titles paths and company profile. Of course he felt it necessary to research before every call so he could be prepared.
Unfortunately, this chaotic pattern represents how most inside sales teams operate. They have nearly complete autonomy and are only responsible for achieving activity metrics. Since they don’t follow a lead generation process, there’s no way for managers to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
Scalability isn’t always about adding headcount. Every time I’ve consulted with companies on improving their lead generation and B2B appointment setting results, I have implemented process changes that can significantly impact production of the team without having to add headcount. Here’s how:
1. Invest in a quality data source.
Most data sources need to be cleansed to ensure titles are relevant and accurate, and contact information is correct and complete. Asking sales reps to do this detracts from their productivity, so I always recommend investing in custom cleansing so reps are handed great data. Spending time to cleanse the data also can significantly boost results. Cleansed data can increase response rates by 300 percent with the same team using the same messaging.
2. Structure data into groups of similar leads.
Leads can be grouped by lead source, title path, industry, company size and/or message tactic. This allows sales reps to prep once for calls to an entire group, instead of prepping for each call. This also gives managers the ability to customize messaging strategies to entire groups to improve results.
3. Implement a call cadence.
A cadence is a structured campaign approach that includes a pattern of emails, calls and voicemail messages. This allows managers to pinpoint when diminishing returns takes place, and to identify which aspects of the cadence work best. The process becomes very predictable and efficient. It’s important to note that there is no single or universal cadence that will work for ALL your leads. Different personas might require different cadences.
Another option for start-ups is to outsource lead generation, which may be an attractive way to forgo all the technology and human capital costs needed, and start generating revenue immediately.
For more sales tips and tricks, make sure to check out Hunckler’s sales secrets from the Philippines!