You've launched your new company, and it's a dream come true. You have an idea, a plan, and a small, solid team of hardworking people you trust. Sure, there's a bit of chaos to manage, but you know the most successful businesses were all forged in the fire. You welcome the challenge, and your team is right behind you.
It's a big day, too. You've landed a sales call with your largest potential client to date, and you've got a few hours to put the finishing touches on your presentation. The phone rings. It's the furniture company, and the chairs you picked for the conference room won't arrive until next week. You'll take care of that after you get back to your web designer about – what was it, again? Oh, and your social media intern just showed up an hour early for his interview and...
You knew turning a start up into a successful business would be hard work, but this is crazy. Still, you keep your eyes on the prize. If you can open up some reliable revenue streams, the chairs and interns will take care of themselves. The good news? There's a blueprint for success, and it starts with looking at the thriving start ups that came before you.
There's a blueprint for success for early stage sales. Click To Tweet
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You've heard that making sales is “an art, not a science.” It's a popular cliché, especially when someone's trying to explain a failed decision in retrospect. When someone trots out that line, what they're usually saying is that “it's probably a science, but I haven't figured it out yet.”
Enter Mark Roberge, MIT grad, current Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot, and the man who's here to tell us that building a winning sales team really is a science. Before he took over as CRO, Roberge was Hubspot's SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services, presiding over the company's rise from startup to $100 million revenue-generating giant and challenging conventional wisdom at every turn.
In his new book, The Sales Acceleration Formula, Roberge lays out his thoughtful, data-driven approach for developing a sales team that delivers exceptional results. Here's a hint: It all starts with hiring the same successful person, again and again.
Read part 1 of our series on Mark Roberge's new book below. Come back or subscribe to our blog to get notified when part 2 is published!Read More >
Many sales organizations have struggled to build predictable sales pipelines in the modern buying paradigm.
Some have stuck with the "dialing for dollars" cold calling programs that do a better job of annoying potential prospects than helping them. Others rely solely on inbound lead generation to build their pipelines. Inbound marketing is an effective lead generation tool, but most inbound leads require nurturing before they are ready to buy.Read More >
Remember the boiler room?
For those of you who don't, the boiler room was a room filled with inside sales people of dubious character selling investments of even more dubious value.
While that's a bit of an exaggeration, many of us still have the impression of sales teams working in large call centers as the way inside sales are typically done.
With the advent of cloud-based sales technololgy, it's just as likely today that an inside sales team will be composed of individual sales reps working remotely from their homes or distributed office space.
The concept of a remote sales team has its pros and cons.
On the pro side, companies aren't constrained by geography in hiring - they can hire the best people for the job regardless of location. They don't have to invest in office space and other overhead to support a local sales team. Sales reps like it too. They can balance their professional and personal lives and make good money doing it.Read More >
It's no secret that the insurance industry has lagged behind most other industries in its adoption of technology.
On the carrier side, regulation and the need to protect sensitive consumer information has caused insurers to only implement technology when they are relatively certain that they are protecting consumer privacy. And with good reason. One only need to look at the recent breach of health insurer Anthem to see the dangers inherent in housing this data online (confidential information for over 80 million individuals was exposed to hackers).Read More >
How much time do your sales reps spend working on tasks other than selling? Sales productivity has become its own industry, with a legion of technological tools promising to boost the efficiency of your team. When those tools aren't used effectively, however, productivity suffers.
According to the 2014 State of Sales Productivity Report from Docurated, sales reps spend just 32 percent of their time selling. The rest goes to administrative tasks like inputting CRM data and tracking down content to include in presentations. That's a lot of wasted time, and it's completely unnecessary. With a focused, comprehensive plan for sales productivity, you can dramatically improve the efficiency and performance of your sales team.
According to Docurated, sales reps spend just 32% of their time selling - CLICK TO TWEET
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Everything your sales reps do, from first contact to closing a deal, generates data. How you compile and disseminate that data plays a major role in the current and future success of your team. With the right tools, you can use the data gleaned from day-to-day operations to improve the sales productivity of your team, from top to bottom. Your sales dashboard can be the most valuable tool in the office, if it's used effectively.
The key to success is cutting out the fluff, and presenting actionable information in a way that your whole team can grasp. With a powerful sales dashboard, you don't need a degree in statistics to parse the reams of data your team generates each day. Your dashboard allows you to analyze team performance, spot high performers, track progress with prospects in real time, and keep your finger on the pulse of your office. It just happens to work most effectively when you follow a few basic best practices.
Your sales dashboard can be the most effective tool in the office, if it's used effectively. Click to Tweet
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Getting people to click through to your e-commerce website and add a few items to their shopping cart is no small task, but the job doesn't end there. On average, 68 percent of e-commerce shopping transactions end up with abandoned shopping carts. 68 percent! Your marketing got them there and your product mix was appealing enough that they added items to their cart, yet your prospective customer couldn't get over the final hump to click the “checkout” button. Why?
The short answer is that it takes more than a great website to sell products. Online shoppers are still looking for most of the same services and comforts as traditional brick-and-mortar shoppers. Sales channels have changed, but customer service is still as important as ever. Let's take a look at how you can use sales technology and smart sales practices to turn more of those abandoned shopping carts into completed purchases.
"On average, 68 percent of e-commerce shopping transactions end up with abandoned shopping carts" - Click to TweetRead More >
Managing relationships in the modern sales environment is hard work, especially if you don't have the right tools for the job. Take something as simple as choosing the medium you'll use to contact a prospect. A phone call might work, but what if your prospect prefers email, or social media, or video chat, or instant messaging, or... you get the idea. With today's technology, every decision you make during the sales process depends on more variables than ever before.
The good news is that help is available, for salespeople who want to streamline and strengthen relationship management. Hubspot's State of Inbound Sales 2014 report indicates that over 40 percent of sales companies use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage customer data, and that number is growing.
In the same survey, the best CRM satisfaction numbers correlate strongly with quality training and integration practices. The most common challenges are integrating the software effectively, and getting your people on board with the process. Let's take a look at 4 practical tips to unlock the value of your CRM.Read More >