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March Referral Selling Insights

women in salesHere’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.

Women’s History Month is almost over, but women make sales history every day.

There’s a new generation of women in sales, and not just in entry-level roles. Take a look at growing tech companies like Terminus, where the VP of Sales, Tonni Bennett, is a woman, and where every member of the sales team is enthusiastic and committed to doing their best for their customers. They’re also fortunate to have a CRO like Todd McCormick, who is grooming them to be at the top of their game.

Women in sales have the skills and grit to be top-tier performers, because success in sales depends on the ability to build and nurture relationships. Women get that. We are hardwired to be nurturers, connectors, and collaborators—all traits that make for great salespeople. And all traits that make women especially talented at asking for and receiving referrals. Our intuition tells us when to ask and whom to ask. And yes, we trust our intuition.

Referrals and relationships are two sides of the same coin. Watch out when women flip that coin.

For more on women in sales—and the power of referrals for lead generation—check out this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:

Women in Sales: 5 Ways to Get Your Voice Heard

It’s Women’s History Month, and what better time to celebrate all the smart, savvy women in sales? In honor of the occasion, HubSpot launched its #WomenInSalesDay project, a compilation of inspiring stories about top saleswomen, as well as tips and advice for women coming up the ranks in sales. HubSpot asked for my take, which is this: Women have natural strengths and talents that make us great at sales, often better than men. The best way for women to succeed in our profession—and any other—is to believe they have what it takes and then prove it. (Read “Women in Sales: 5 Ways to Get Your Voice Heard.”)

How Can Tech Companies Attract More Women in Sales?

Ask any B2B sales leader about their lead generation challenges, and you’ll get specific answers about why their teams can’t get access to buyers, how sales processes have gotten too long, or why they’re losing to the competition. Ask them why there aren’t more women in technology sales, and they’re not quite sure. Their answers get vague: Perhaps women don’t have the requisite skills, or they don’t raise their hands enough, or hiring managers don’t know how to find qualified female candidates. Let me set the record straight: Women absolutely have the requisite skills. Succeeding in tech sales takes more than technical expertise. It takes great relationships to score meetings and seal deals, and women in sales have those in spades. Women build trust and credibility upfront. We ask insightful questions, listen intently to the answers, remember details, and collaborate to find solutions. And, of course, we’re just as capable as salesmen of figuring out how the technology works. So, why don’t tech companies have more women in sales? And how can sales leaders attract and retain them? (Read “How Can Tech Companies Attract More Women in Sales?”)

Want Qualified Sales Leads? Stop Your Team from Cold Calling

Let’s be honest. Cold calling is bottom-of-the-barrel prospecting. It can take eight to 14 touches to just to reach a prospect who isn’t expecting a call from your sales rep. He’s “dialing for dollars” (read: “wasting time”), and who has time to waste? There has to be an easier way to score qualified sales leads! Cold calling is a demeaning sales tactic and an inefficient way to generate qualified sales leads. It doesn’t matter how much research your reps conduct, or how much they know about their prospect companies and the trigger events. If all they have are names, they’re cold calling, whether those came from people, bought lists, or social media. They’re like every other bothersome salesperson out there. Yes, bothersome. They bother people and interrupt them with sales pitches they don’t want to hear. They’re the reason sales gets a bad name. I get it. Lead generation is tough. Getting qualified sales leads is even tougher. In fact, sales leaders tell me that’s their number one challenge. But cold calling isn’t the answer, and neither is warm calling. (Read “Want Qualified Sales Leads? Stop Your Team from Cold Calling.”)

3 Important Ways Account-Based Sales Teams Can Stay Relevant

This is a time of great change and uncertainty. Now more than ever, sales leaders and their account-based sales teams must be prepared for change. Political systems around the world are in a state of upheaval, and we’re not sure where we stand. Our economy is on the upswing (mostly), but we know that could be temporary. Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we work … and the way we sell. So, how do we prepare? By staying relevant, analyzing markets, clarifying our ideal clients, interpreting data, determining how to align sales and marketing, and preparing for any economic possibility. Here are three ways to guarantee sales leads for your account-based sales team. And yes, they will probably require some changes. (Read “3 Important Ways Account-Based Sales Teams Can Stay Relevant.”)

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!


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