Here’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.
My pharmacy sent a text that my prescription would be ready at noon on Saturday. The last thing I felt like doing on a Saturday was standing in line at the pharmacy, but I decided to get it over with. When I finally got to the cash register, the technician looked puzzled. She went to another computer, came back, and told me that insurance didn’t cover my prescription, so it wasn’t filled.
I told her that didn’t make sense, because I’d received a text saying it was ready. Her response: “Oh, that’s automated.”
“Well, I’m not,” I said, and turned around and walked away.
That got me thinking. Account based sales reps think that the more we automate selling, the better, easier, and more effective their jobs will be. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Text messages with truncated words or 140-character Twitter posts are not the kind of meaningful, effective dialogue that guarantees qualified sales leads.
The problem is that our society is getting so comfortable hiding behind the technology curtain that many salespeople forget how to have real conversations. Technology dependence has begun to shift our values and our beliefs away from what really makes us human. We believe technology is a panacea. We want to automate almost everything.
Well, you can automate sales processes and you can even automate communication, but you can’t automate the kind of strategic and insightful conversations that drive account based selling. And you certainly can’t automate relationships. But you can fast-track relationships with referral introductions. Learn more in this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:
Why Your Account Based Sales Reps Shouldn’t Close Business This Year
Closing the sales year with a bang is nice, but signing new clients shouldn’t be the focus for account based selling teams in Q4. Sure, some companies have unused budgets you need to grab, but that is an unlikely scenario. Account based sales reps quarterback complex deals that rely on an exquisitely crafted, fine-tuned prospecting strategy—not a last-minute free-for-all. Savvy account based sales reps know the one or two deals they can close this year because they’ve outlined the steps to get there. Any other deals are not far enough along to close this year. Don’t let your team waste time chasing that last deal for 2017. It’s time to think ahead and get a jumpstart on business for next year. (Read “Why Your Account Based Sales Reps Shouldn’t Close Business This Year.”)
Message to Account Based Selling Teams—Your KPIs Are Messed Up
“I came across No More Cold Calling while looking for resources for our next blog and I knew I had to reach out immediately, kudos on a fantastic blog. My name is Stephanie, I’m on an account based selling team, and I’m reaching out on behalf of a growing startup. This month, we’re looking to secure sponsorship placements with five prominent blogs and No More Cold Calling jumped straight to the top of our list. Please let me know if this is something you’re interested in discussing further.” After deleting this message, I received four follow-up emails from Stephanie, one every six days. And despite the fact that I never responded, and despite her repeated promises that she was asking “one last time,” her emails just kept coming. What’s even more ludicrous is that she never revealed the name of the start-up. I probably could have figured that out if she hadn’t sent the email from her Gmail account. Give it a rest, Stephanie. I don’t respond to cold calls or cold emails, and neither do any of the decision-makers that account based selling teams want to reach. (Read “Message to Account Based Selling Teams—Your KPIs Are Messed Up.”)
Why Do People Make So Many Lead Generation Mistakes?
Wondering how to generate leads—not just smoke-and-mirror leads, but only qualified sales leads? Every account based selling rep asks that question, and pretty much every survey of sales leaders confirms that lackluster lead generation is also their chief concern. No question about it. Finding those qualified sales leads takes time and resources, and it’s getting tougher and tougher to reach decision-makers. So, what do account based selling teams do? Most scramble to assemble every available technology to track down prospects and fill their pipelines. They figure the best strategy for how to generate leads is to research trigger events, send prospecting emails, reach out on social media, cold call, and invite prospects to events. The more activities, the better—bring them on! They believe the more outreach they do and the more technology they use, the more prospects they’ll have in their pipelines, and the more likely they are to score meetings. More, more, more. It’s madness. (Read “Why Do People Make So Many Lead Generation Mistakes?”)
Could the Best Man for the Account Based Sales Job Be a Woman?
Men say they don’t understand women. Women say men don’t listen. Men say the best account based sales reps they know are women, but they also say we should stop talking so much and get to the point. It’s amazing we ever get any work done with such communication gaps dividing the sexes. Perhaps some of these perceptions get in the way of us working together. Maybe there’s unconscious bias, maybe men are jealous. (I doubt that, but you never know.) I do know it’s time to focus on the positive—what women in sales bring to every organization: problem solving, focus, and determination. (Read “Could the Best Man for the Account Based Sales Job Be a Woman?”)