Until recently, a sales person’s toolkit included email, phone, maybe even some type of screen share technology. Meanwhile, marketing technology outpaced sales years ago: Since the early 2000s, marketing professionals have enjoyed things like website optimization tools, A/B testing, detailed performance statistics, and advanced lead scoring products. But thanks to technology slowly moving to the cloud, many more sales teams can more easily track and analyze the data in their phone and email systems — and make more informed decisions.
Here’s why that matters: It’s getting easier to build products (especially in the SaaS space) and as a result, there’s more competition. More competition means there’s more noise in prospects’ inboxes, voicemail, and every other channel you can imagine. It’s tougher than ever before for reps to stand out from all the noise, and sales folks need to continually find ways to up their game. That doesn’t just mean blasting out more emails and making more calls (no one wins with that approach) — it means being more strategic about how you work. Smart sales reps will take a page from the marketing world’s playbook by applying data-driven tactics and strategies to their established routines. Let’s take a look at a few main ways folks are starting to do this.
Successful sales reps will try to pinpoint what actually generates ROI and where in their process they’re seeing positive outcomes. There are valuable lessons hiding in your transactional data: the best time to email or call people, the best medium to reach a particular segment, etc. Measuring everything and looking for patterns can help you fine-tune your approach. It’s all about finding the small wins that add up over time.
We do this at Groove: We take time to look at exactly what happened before and after a positive outcome. For example, I can tell you that we book 42% of our meetings on the phone. At a time when many folks are moving away from cold calling, it’s so important to know that we can still get meaningful results from it. Without measuring everything, we might have walked away from cold calling — and a lot of valuable meetings — based on anecdotal evidence.
You’re basically seeing sales teams applying the scientific method to their sales process: You make a hypothesis, test it, measure the outcome, adjust your process, and repeat. As a result, you find ways to use your time better and increase your output. At Groove, this method takes a lot of different forms. We look at different lead sources and try to determine the best way to approach each one, and we test individual emails and call scripts. There’s a ton of possibilities with testing, and adopting a culture that embraces trying new things and learning from it will pay off in the long run.
Traditionally, marketing teams run large-scale nurture campaigns, but now we’re seeing sales take on some of that work. I call these decentralized nurture campaigns. Because reps know so much about each company in the pipeline, the various folks involved in purchase decisions, etc, they can stand out from the competition by sending mini campaigns that are highly customized and, ultimately, more valuable to the recipients. It’s proven to be an effective tactic for us, especially for the larger accounts that we’re targeting. At one point, we looked at the numbers and decided to send 80% fewer emails to focus on personalization — the funny thing is we still booked the same number of meetings with new accounts. So we maintained a level of success while providing a better experience for folks on our email list.
Sales teams have access to powerful technology that can help them increase their output exponentially. And while it may be tempting to simply send more emails and make more calls, successful sales teams will borrow proven tactics from marketing to create a truly numbers-driven sales process from end to end. As a result, you’ll provide a better experience for your prospects and you’ll enjoy more confidence in your numbers-backed decisions.
Today’s post is by guest author, Chris Rothstein, Co-Founder and CEO of Groove, a sales engagement software that give sales teams the tools to focus on what they do best: Providing value to prospects and generating revenue for their company.