I’m always on the lookout for awesome podcasts on sales and marketing. One of my favorite new sales podcasts is Andy Paul’s Accelerate! Ever since collaborating with Andy on a webinar, our entire team has been fans of his approach to sales. In fact, his books Zero Time Selling and Amp Up Your Sales, should be required reading for anyone in the sales profession. So I was extra stoked when I found out that our CEO Howard Brown was going to be a guest on Andy’s podcast. Now, you can listen to Howard’s entire appearance on Accelerate! on demand.
Here are five highlights:
During the episode Andy presented some interesting data showing that 72% of sales teams don’t have a documented sales process. And, as Howard mentioned, even those that do have documented sales processes don’t always have the capability to tell if that process is being well executed. Without execution, process means nothing!
Howard and Andy both agreed that one of the most important pillars of sales is to always offer value. As Howard stated, “Make sure at every interaction that a rep is delivering something of value.” Often, that value is knowledge. That’s why it’s important for reps to not only be product experts, but also have the contextual information (e.g. communications history, account information, etc.) in front of them needed to have intelligent sales conversations.
Andy asked Howard what he would do, during week one, were he put in charge of a failing inside sales team with a mandate from upper management to make changes. Howard espoused the importance of listening. “ interview current customers as well as sales team. Get a better understanding of how customers are using the product. And understand what they’re selling, how they’re selling and how to add immediate value.”
According to Howard, the way you make a more successful sales rep is by providing tools that allow for better training and education. It’s likewise crucial to be able to test and measure sales messages like emails, talking points and voicemails. To properly coach reps, sales managers need to be able to listen in on calls and provide feedback in real time.
As Howard mentioned, different organizations use different benchmarks to define successful productivity. “In many organizations, number of dials is the key benchmark. Others may look at conversations that lead to demos and meetings. And ultimately, you have organizations that not only look at activity level, but also efficiency.” This is an important point because a rep may be dialing and connecting with prospects all day. But in the end, it’s only the activities that lead to revenue that matter. The reps that are creating revenue most efficiently are the ones who are most valuable.
For more on accelerating sales productivity, advanced sales coaching strategies, a discussion of the challenges facing sales teams and more, check out Howard Brown’s episode on Accelerate!