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Sales Slacking? Maybe it's Not the Team, but the Product

Inside Sales Lead Management Featured Article

Sales Slacking? Maybe it's Not the Team, but the Product
August 07, 2014

  By TMCnet Staff,

Most sales managers today would agree that their sales team isn’t perfect. While the blame (sometimes righty so) often falls on sales managers for their motivational skills, this isn’t always the case. Often, it’s the product to blame. It’s worth sitting down to iron out any other issues that may be at the core of the problem before you begin to revamp your sales motivation plan.

According to Karen E. Klein, writing for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, take some time to evaluate all the issues first.

“You can’t motivate away a fundamental flaw in your product or service,” writes Klein. “Perhaps your price point is too high, your reputation needs a makeover, or your competitors are simply putting out a better-value product or service than you are.”

It’s critical to evaluate what your competitors are doing right and learn from their successes, as well as from their (and your own) previous mistakes. When it comes to one of the most valuable methods of lead generation, cold calling, it’s also worth remembering that this is a difficult and sometimes painful process, and the easier you can make it for your sales team, the better they will do.

Technology plays an important part in this formula. If you’re not supplying the sales team with the right tools to do their jobs, you’re throwing up barriers that will help them. A too-slow pace of outbound calls might be the problem, and your sales team is finding they spend all their time talking to voice mail, which stymies productivity, since it’s estimated that between 60 percent and 90 percent of telephone sales calls now go to voice mail.

Outbound calling automation solutions such as those from VanillaSoft can increase the speed at which sales personnel can make outbound calls, boosting productivity, and can also increase the number of connections made. These solutions automate the process of dialing, scripting, call recording, emailing, and outbound call management, all while tying customer relationship management (CRM), appointment setting and lead management right into the process.

By using the right technology, and ensuring sales people have the skills to leave a good and compelling voice mail, you can increase the number of contacts made per day, and (more importantly) increase the quality of the leads generated each day.

Beyond this, it’s a matter of setting realistic goals, preparing a better script (and achieving a balance between the script and the amount of autonomy a salesperson has in controlling the direction of a call) and, ultimately, ensuring that the sales team is spending more of their time on high-value activities and less time struggling with outbound calling solutions. 

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