By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Sales is a learning process (or, it should be). The most difficult part of a launch is the ramp-up in which inside sales and lead management people educate themselves so they can do their jobs effectively. While inborn sales skills and experience count for a lot, a lead management person can never be effective if he or she doesn’t adequately grasp the products or services being sold, the nature of the intended target audience and the client’s goals, methods and organizational structure.
According to Patrice Morrison, writing for Business2Community, it’s about a solid relationship management strategy. Successful sales people have the ability to communicate and collaborate with closing reps effectively, or else their efforts are likely to be wasted and it could endanger the client relationship.
Morrison emphasizes four skills inside sales reps must have to conduct an effective campaign. These include actively listening, asking questions, sharing thoughts and being patient. To start with, collaboration goes a long way toward building an effective ramp-up process.
“It’s important to emphasize a collaborative client relationship,” writes Morrison. “Brainstorm with your client on scripting tactics and prospecting techniques. You may want to mention other techniques that have worked for you in the past. Your client will once again be grateful that you’re invested in the project enough to contribute your own ideas to make it better.”
Once the project’s parameters have been communicated and there is an effective collaboration strategy in place, it’s important to build and nurture a continuing two-way process of asking questions rather than making assumptions (the latter can lead to a need to replicate work, or errors in the lead generation process) and sharing thoughts. Inside sales professionals who are experienced may be able to offer clients tips on what has worked for them in the past, and could go a long way toward helping them customize a process that works well. But, says Morrison, it’s also important to be patient and understanding.
“Remember to respect everyone’s thoughts and experiences and keep an open mind,” she writes. “Don’t get discouraged; there is a lot of new information to learn during the ramp-up time frame, and it will take some time for the teams to adjust to working with one another. Every client is different, and so are their processes and strategies. To make the ramp-up process easier for both outside and inside sales reps, remember to be patient.”
If you’re operating an inside sales organization without a formalized and tried-and-true ramp-up process, it’s likely that you’re going to spend a significant amount of time spinning your wheels. And this is an effective tactic for anyone involved.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson