Sales and marketing professionals have a seemingly endless toolset these days.
But, how do you actually put all of this great technology to use?
Investing money on a sales and marketing technology stack that isn’t actually accelerating pipeline generation and increasing your sales team’s productivity can be a huge setback, especially for small businesses.
Rob Billington, the UK Country Manager from macmon, shared his thoughts on the importance of the human touch in a digital sales world and how to keep your team motivated to deliver consistent results.
Times Have Changed
There’s no doubt that times have changed since the telemarketing toolset consisted primarily of a phone book and the phone that sat on the salesperson’s desk.
From CRM’s with growing capabilities and the numerous plug-ins that can automate dozens of daily tasks, the importance of technology tools for the sales and marketing professional’s is undeniably.
Rob points out, however, that you need to have a plan in place to make effective use of these tools:
“They are just tools. And like any tool, it needs a skilled, trained, motivated operator to use it effectively.”
Not only has the technology stack changed from phone books to endless sales automation apps, but the role of the telesales and telemarketing professionals (often referred to as SDR’s or BDR’s) has changed, as well.
Rob recalled a time when these individuals were viewed as the bottom rung of the ladder in a sales organization. In his view, your inside sales team (outsourced or not) is one of the critical functions to your sales success.
It still comes down to: people but people first. Someone needs to be able to build a rapport and open a relationship.
You still desperately need people to qualify, test understanding and build rapport with your prospects–and do it efficiently.
Intelligence-Led Lead Generation
Hundreds of brand-new technology vendors are expected to enter the UK market over the next 12 months.
That’s a lot of noise vying for your prospects’ attention.
It takes a human touch to break through that noise and have quality engagements with your future clients.
What’s more, the people doing this prospecting need what Rob calls a 360 degree view of the market.
When your sales team is focused on a specific topic, because of the specific problem your product solves, they may be missing out on indicators within your target accounts that will give insights into their potential for buying.
For instance, if you’re selling a Network Access Control solution like macmon’s, you may not be aware that a customer is more focused on a technology refresh first and foremost if your team isn’t asking the right questions about the whole technology landscape within the account.
This is where equipping your sales team or lead generation partner becomes critical.
I think if you ask someone to do a job and leave them to do it by themselves without any input. The reality is they’re probably not going to the job that you want.
Consistent Development of Your Lead Gen Team
After putting the right tools in the hands of the right sales people, you have to train them.
Once is not enough, though.
You’ll want to create a system of consistent communication, so that you can tweak your prospecting efforts to optimize your efforts for the highest probability of success.
For instance, your prospects need to buy into the culture of your company in order to buy from you. So, you’ll want to look for opportunities to give your frontline sales people (especially if they are part of a lead generation vendor, like Operatix) a chance to understand your culture.
You’ll want to make sure you follow steps similar to these:
- Teach them about your culture
- Make them comfortable with your message
- Help them personalize their communication of your message
- Setup rhythm of daily communication and feedback
- Praise what’s working
- Correct what isn’t working
- Continue to always test the process
Don’t forget #1 and #5. Skipping these can cause your prospects missing out on the message about the culture you’re actually selling and lead to an unproductive working relationship with your lead generation partner.
…Through that daily communication, it means that you’re always testing and keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s happening…
Creating and following this framework in your own prospecting and lead generation efforts will allow you to get the most out of your prospecting efforts, your sales technology spend and your relationship with a lead generation partner.
Weaving in the human touch with your prospects and your salesforce will allow you to have more quality engagements with your prospects and more successful revenue generation as you grow your business.
This post is based on an interview with Rob Billington from macmon. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.
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