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July Referral Selling Insights

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account based sellingHere’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.

Will you be in London on October 4? If you lead an account based sales team, you might want to be.

It’s not often that I promote an event, but this opportunity is too good to miss. It’s the first Top Sales World European Sales Enablement Summit with an unparalleled speaker lineup. Even better, Jonathan Farrington at Top Sales World has generously offered my readers a discount rate—£295 instead of £495—but only for the next two days. The offer expires tomorrow, July 31.

Just use the following code: TSW17/JB

What in the heck is sales enablement? There are many definitions, but the concept has been fuzzy until recently. It’s not technology, it’s not content, it’s not training, it’s not process, and it’s not culture. It’s all these and more. The goal is to equip sales teams with the tools they need to sell. What’s needed will vary from company to company, and from team to team.

The Summit will once and for all clarify what sales enablement is and how it applies to all sales organizations—most importantly, yours.

Speakers include: Tiffani Bova (Salesforce), Michelle Vazzana (Vantage Point), Tamara Schenk (CSO Insights), George Bronten (Membrain), and many others.

I’d be there in a heartbeat (I’d jump at any opportunity to go to London), but I have a conflicting commitment. Please spread the word.

In the meantime, check out this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:

Account Based Selling Teams Should Never Pitch

I’m a big baseball fan, and I’ve often pondered how much account based sales reps could learn from the game. After all, baseball and sales have a lot in common. Baseball players are responsible for advancing their way to home, scoring points, and winning games. Account based selling reps are responsible for scoring meetings, advancing the sales process, and winning deals. So, what can sales leaders learn from America’s favorite pastime? (Read “Account Based Selling Teams Should Never Pitch.”)

How Digital Dependence Derails Account Based Selling Teams

Twenty years ago, I would have told you referrals couldn’t possibly be more important for account based sales development. I was wrong. Today, they’re even more important—and more powerful—than they were back then. Too many sales teams over-rely on technology to reach their prospects. They believe the fastest ways into the C-suite are digital: targeted emails, cold calls, social media outreach, and inbound marketing automation. This digital dependence actually decreases productivity and extends the time it takes to reach a decision-maker. The goal of account based sales development is to land and expand within named accounts. The best way to do that doesn’t require an internet connection. It requires personal connections—referral introductions from current clients. (Read “How Digital Dependence Derails Account Based Selling Teams.”)

Why Your Account Based Selling Teams Are Lagging Behind

Revenue is a lagging indicator. You can’t manage revenue. If sales close, you win. If they don’t, you lose. There’s no in-between. Then why are so many account based selling teams given revenue targets and let loose? Calls with their sales managers become about justifying why prospects should be in their pipelines in the first place, and discussing ways these account based sales reps can accelerate the buying process. Revenue can be measured but not managed. Sales managers can, however, measure and manage the key sales activities and behaviors that drive revenue, and then set KPIs for those activities and behaviors. They can measure the right sales activities, manage to those activities, and coach account based sales reps on the behaviors that turn those activities into revenue. (Read “Why Your Account Based Selling Teams Are Lagging Behind.”)

Do Generational Differences Matter in Account Based Sales?

Remember when your parents told you to turn down that loud, obnoxious music? Actually, they yelled, because otherwise you wouldn’t have heard them. They griped about “kids today” and wondered what this next generation was coming to. Many of us have turned into our parents, and now we deliver the same message to our kids and grandchildren. Boomer that I am, I probably won’t stop talking about the “good old days.” And I certainly won’t stop encouraging Millennials to overcome their digital dependence. But generational diversity shouldn’t be a source of animosity. In fact, it can be a competitive advantage for account based sales teams. This month’s guest post from Gina Pell introduces a term she has coined: Perennials. She encourages us to stop putting people in generational boxes and focus on what unites us instead. (Read “Do Generational Differences Matter in Account Based Sales?”)

Test Your Referral Savvy

I’m conducting a study on referrals, and I need your help. Please take my 14-question Referral I.Q. Quiz. The questions are mostly “Yes/No,” and it should take less than four minutes to complete. Rest assured, it’s completely anonymous, with no forms to fill out.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll be bounced over to a results page, where you can see the aggregated answers from everyone who has participated.

Take the Referral I.Q. Quiz now.

My goal is to get a 1,000-person sample, so please invite your network to take the quiz as well. Participation is anonymous, and I promise you won’t be added to any lists. Thanks in advance for your support!

Copyright: goodluz / 123RF Stock Photo

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