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  1. Share
    57% of buying process is complete before sales interaction via @gerhard20 #s20C
  2. Share
    Wow, >50% of marketers can’t track ROI on marketing spend. #lightmoneyonfire #s20c
  3. Share
  4. Share
    Gartner: By 2020, 85% of buying process will be completed before salesperson is called. #s20c
  5. Share
    iMeet cites a case study where inside sales staff increased conversions by 40% just by using a web cam in sales calls #s20c
  6. Share
    “When you have a challenge with a customer is the best time to show them you care” via @Kirk Mosher at #s20c
  7. Share
    Average B2B field sales call costs $300-400, $25-70 per call for telesales #s20c
  8. Share
  9. Share
    @steelbrick if it’s not in Salesforce, it didn’t happen, doesn’t exist, & you don’t get paid for it. #s20c
  10. Share
    Video calls 101: Put branding (like your logo) in the background, dress nicely and clean up your office! #s20c
  11. Share
    Marketing people should go to more sales conferences, and visa versa. @cahidalgo #s20c
  12. Share
    Video in emails will drive more clicks. Email click-thru rates increased by 50% when video was included. Up from 18% without it. #s20c
  13. Share
    Today’s buyer can self-educate online. Reps need visibility into digital body language to effectively sell via @jill_rowley #s20C
  14. Share
  15. Share
    Disconnected, impersonal experiences come from companies that have misaligned strategies re: the customer #s20c
  16. Share
    Personalize content for the buyer. Do not waste the buyers time. Right content, Right time kirkmosher oracle #s20c
  17. Share
    #s20c only 13% of customers feel that salespeople really understand their business.
  18. Share
  19. Share
    Booze Allen Hamilton says they made $5 Billion in 2011 through social selling. #s20c
  20. Share
    Social Signals: Capturing Demand Instead of Simply Generating Leads heinzmkt.in/Halbcc via @robert_ns #s20c
  21. Share
    RT @insideview: Social media and sales is not a question of HOW but a question of WHEN. The time is NOW. #s20c
  22. Share
  23. Share
    Only 13% of #sales people understand a customers business issues via @gerhard20 @forrester #s20C
  24. Share
    Customer satisfaction scores often just mean customers aren’t pissed off at you. Look at customer advocacy scores instead #s20c
  25. Share
    “sell how you customer wants to buy” = #s20c mantra. Anyone discussing how to scale customized process/relationships?

Guest post written by Tom Meriam 

Tom Meriam is the VP of Sales at Spear Marketing Group, a B2B Marketing Agency, and writer for his personal website: ROI Marketing Insights. Tom has spent over the last 15 years in the sales and executive levels. He is deeply involved with leveraging social selling and the sales intelligence tool, InsideView, to empower himself as a sales professional.

Introduction

In his June 27, 2011 Harvard Business Review article, “Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople,”

Steve W. Martin published the main key personality attributes he discovered after administering 1,000 personality tests to top business-to-business salespeople.

Mr. Martin revealed that the seven most common personality traits of top performers are:

  1. Modesty
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Achievement Orientation
  4. Curiosity
  5. Lack of Gregariousness
  6. Lack of Discouragement
  7. Lack of Self-Consciousness.

Martin notes that the “key personality traits directly influence top performers’ selling style and ultimately their success.”

Could it be that these traits of sales superstars could be considered the inherent “super powers” of successful sales people?

Now, before you start exposing your sales team to gamma rays and radioactive spiders, there’s another solution.  You can use sales intelligence to amplify these traits amongst your sales team and empower them to be better salespeople.  Here’s how:

1. Modesty

Selling Style Impact:  Team Orientation 

Top salespeople aren’t concerned about who gets the accolades for a sale – they just want to do their job and help their clients.  So, they position their team to accounts as the centerpiece of value.

Sales Intelligence Amplifier:  Intros, Referrals and References

Sales intelligence can quickly identify connections between the salesperson, the salesperson’s colleagues, and the account contact.  Through those connections, the salesperson can humbly leverage their network for intros, referrals and references instead of boasting about how great they are directly to the prospect.

2.  Conscientiousness

Selling Style Impact:  Account Control

Top salespeople control the sales process; quickly determining when an account is not a candidate, when it’s time to re-engage and when it’s time for the next step.

Sales Intelligence Amplifier:  Smart Agents and Watchlists

Features like “Smart Agents and Watchlists”, provide instant alerts on events such as leadership changes, mergers & acquisitions, funding and product launches. Rather than scouring the Internet on a daily basis looking for news and updates, InsideView sends these alerts so that the salesperson is always knowledgeable and in control of their account.

3.  Achievement Orientation

Selling Style Impact:  Political Orientation

Martin states that, “During sales cycles, top sales performers seek to understand the politics of customer decision-making. Their goal orientation instinctively drives them to meet with key decision-makers.

Sales Intelligence Amplifier: People

One of the greatest new features from InsideView is Industry Insights which gives a 360 degree view of the company and its industry. Salespeople can quickly research and obtain information on the key decision-makers before even asking the customer to explain their decision-making process.

4. Curiosity

Selling Style Impact:  Inquisitiveness

Successful salespeople are naturally curious and unafraid to ask customers the questions that are vital to uncovering a fit.

Sales Intelligence Amplifier:  Account Profile, News and Smart Agents

Sales intelligence aggregates and provides quick access to the mundane data, allowing the salesperson to be well-informed going into client calls and focus the time on the vital questions around needs and process. Using a sales intelligence platform, such as InsideView, salespeople can now find the right people in an organization and understand the right message they need to reach out. (Check out my man Darth Vader’s InsideView account for a better look)

5.  Lack of Gregariousness

Selling Style Impact:  Dominance

Successful salespeople establish expertise with contacts and as a result, their customers are willing to follow the salesperson’s recommendations and advice.

Sales Intelligence Amplifier:  Intros, Referrals and References

Authority is established early on when a relationship starts with one of the customer’s trusted peers making a recommendation to speak with the salesperson. Using the connections feature from InsideView, you can easily peer into the connections you have within every organization. What’s great is that it grabs connections from social media sources such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

 6.  Lack of Discouragement

Selling Style Impact:  Competitiveness

According to Martin, “top performers are able to handle emotional disappointments, bounce back from losses, and mentally prepare themselves for the next opportunity to compete.”

Sales Intelligence Amplifier:  Build a List

If you missed your quarter because one deal fell through, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in the dumps.  Sales intelligence allows you to quickly build a list of targeted accounts to keep your prospecting engine running and your pipeline full of opportunities so you can shrug off the lost opportunities and continue to charge like a rhino.

7.  Lack of Self-Consciousness

Selling Style Impact:  Aggressiveness

Top salespeople are fearless and comfortable fighting for their cause.

Sales Intelligence Amplifier:  Sales Intelligence

The bottom line is simply that confidence is preparation.  Sales intelligence empowers your salespeople with quick access to the tools they need to hit the goals and drive revenue.

Professional Hunger Games - Fighting

The Hunger Games is the #1 movie in US box offices with $155 Million dollars. I haven’t seen the movie but I have read the book and I couldn’t help but think about how the Hunger Games can be applied to business environments. No one should expect camouflage training a cornucopia of weapons and supplies when they start their job but their should be some training and  tools provided.

The Hunger Games in Sales

The mentality of hiring a bunch of sales people and leaving it to them to sink or swim is barbaric. Your company will not benefit in the long run if that’s how you approach driving revenue. There are career sales people (Tributes) that have been trained for years that you will have to go up against and to compete, you need training. Great sales leaders understand that in order to build a winning sales team you need to invest in them and teach them everything there is to know. Not just about the product or service but advanced selling skills that give them an edge over the rest of the sales people they are in competition with. Even if  someone is interested in what you are offering, they are extremet busy and there is a good chance you don’t even know they are a prospect if you’re not actively listening. 70% of the buying process is happening online and in order to stay ahead, sales people need to move faster and use better tools.

One that comes to mind is training from Vorsight around how to navigate company switchboards turning the switchboard into a prospect’s direct contact info. I’ve seen them train on this on numerous occasions and I have to say that it works.  There has been a shift in the sales environment as described in this post called Sales 2.0 Redux. In the post Tom explains many of the typical sales tactics and how they have been reshaped by social media and technology.

Being the Tribute Winner in Sales

Just like in the Hunger Games, only one person can win. Your prospect needs a solution to a problem and probably only enough budget to purchase one. Instead of being on the losing side of the deal, you need to have a starategy that will deliver some key messages and position you to have an advantage.

Leverage connections: Just like the Hunger Games, you will need sponsors. Who do you know that can provide support to you when working with the opportunity? Chances are you should have identified a champion in the organisation that can help you navigate and give you insights on what’s happening. Hopefully you have a connection that also knows your decision maker on a personal level since we know that these types of connections are very important and helpful.

Have the right tools: I don’t just mean your phone and your computer but those are important too. How can you use technology to do most of the research for you? Set up watchlists on your prospects, find them on social networks that can give you insights to what they are thinking and feeling. Leveraging social media for sales can accelerate the ordinary sales process. Sales intelligence gives you information that will keep you positioned to win.

Surprisingly there are still a large number of companies that do not leverage sales intelligence. The Aberdeen study on the Science of Sales Intelligence shows that most companies deal with some very specific business pressures that sales intelligence can help with.

  • 42% have insufficient knowledge of the business needs of prospects
  • 40% do not have the ability to identify the most likely buyers of their product
  • 34% complain of having a sales process that is too long
  • 21% See an increased customer churn forcing them to focus on filling the funnel

All of these point to companies needing to be more nimble and enabling their sales teams to move faster with more targeted information.

The Hunger Games as a concept seems to fit with a sales organization. Are you going to win?

  1. Share

    Front row @ #CONV12 CRM keynote. Want to see the #insideview demo from up close:-) http://pic.twitter.com/pod47fST
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:50:37
  2. Share

    For the best experience with InsideView please use a monitor this big: #conv12 http://pic.twitter.com/sHFnLDph
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 12:52:39
  3. “The integration of InsideView with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the result of the two companies’ focus on reimagining CRM to create a fantastic and productive experience by providing useful, actionable insights about customers and prospects to sales professionals,” said Dennis Michalis, General Manager, Microsoft   Dynamics CRM. “Social CRM is changing the way our customers succeed.  InsideView has a unique and powerful solution that reveals important insights that help our users have more powerful interactions with their customers and prospects.”
  4. Share
    Microsoft says it will add social customer care and free integrated InsideView access to Dynamics CRM in a release later this year.
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 21:05:23
  5. Share

    Getting a sales intelligence demo from #Insideview #nlp engine drives content #scrm #CRM #CONV12 #Microsoft http://pic.twitter.com/YZBYL2y8
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 15:33:00
  6. Share
    Celebrating the @insideview’s social alliance partnership with Microsoft at the after party at Venue Houston. !!!
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 23:48:15
  7. Share

    Houston…we have a solution! @insideview #conv12 #venuehouston http://pic.twitter.com/BnZS5xs1
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 23:21:43
  8. Share
    Convergence 2012 in a (virtual) nutshell | Surviving CRM – bit.ly/GLJnO3 via @insideview #conv12 #msdyncrm #crm #scrm
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 16:10:05
  9. Share
    Microsoft #msdyncrm invests in #InsideView, links to Activity Feeds. #conv12
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 12:51:27
  10. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM delivers meaningful productivity results in terms of sales effectiveness, client relationships, sales team organization, and visibility across our teams’ activities,” said Barb Potter, Director of Marketing KnowledgeLake, a SharePoint ECM Company. ”The addition of InsideView makes Dynamics an even more comprehensive solution for us because it not only provides the full complement of CRM capabilities, but also company information, contact details, and relevant connections.  Getting all of that in a single place has made our teams more productive. The integration of InsideView with Dynamics CRM is a great step forward for both companies’ customers.”

  11. Share
    I think @insideview was “inside” my thoughts during the #MSDynCRM presentation at #conv12. Can’t wait to get integration with CRM2011
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 22:58:19
  12. Share
    @conv12 Microsoft plans to add social customer care and free integrated InsideView access to Dynamics CRM in its later release this year.
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:10:46
  13. Share

    Checking out the #insideview booth #dynamics #CRM #CONV12 #SCRM http://pic.twitter.com/iMJBv1LA
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 15:29:59
  14. Share
    InsideView and LinkedIn Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 solutions look really good! #InsideView #Conv12 #LinkedIn #Microsoft
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 15:50:23
  15. Share
    News from #CONV12 Congratulations to #insideview for officially becoming a part of the Microsoft Social CRM solution.
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 14:03:10

The Insider Summit, the recently-announced alliance with Microsoft, the state-of-the-art features added every 3 weeks – everyone is clamoring to know: What can InsideView do for my sales team??

Recently, sales intelligence has become one of the hottest trends in technology. InsideView analyzes data from social media, news, and company sources and alerts sales professionals when opportunities for relevant engagement arise. In plain text, it empowers you and your sales team with the intelligence you need to reach out and sell to prospects.

In light of all of the questions and curiosity about sales intelligence, we have created an overview video of all of the features you need to know. Watch the video and imagine the power you could have with this tool.

_

If you’re wondering about the inside edge you could have with InsideView, check out our Community to ask questions and learn more about all of our features.

InsideView Announces Social Intelligence Alliance with Microsoft and Native Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

 

Joint Offering Provides Insights to Help Customer-Facing Professionals Reach the Right Person, at the Right Time, with the Right Message

 InsideView in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

InsideView, the only social intelligence provider to reveal the person behind the contact, today announced that they have finalized a Social Intelligence Alliance whereby Microsoft will integrate InsideView’s social selling solution into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. InsideView analyzes data from social media, news, and company sources and alerts sales professionals when opportunities for relevant engagement arise.  InsideView helps sales professionals reach the right person, with the right message, at the right time. InsideView provides relevant information that can dramatically improve sales results for Microsoft Dynamics CRM users.

“The integration of InsideView with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the result of the two companies’ focus on reimagining CRM to create a fantastic and productive experience by providing useful, actionable insights about customers and prospects to sales professionals,” said Dennis Michalis, General Manager, Microsoft   Dynamics CRM. “Social CRM is changing the way our customers succeed.  InsideView has a unique and powerful solution that reveals important insights that help our users have more powerful interactions with their customers and prospects.”

“Microsoft Dynamics CRM delivers meaningful productivity results in terms of sales effectiveness, client relationships, sales team organization, and visibility across our teams’ activities,” said Barb Potter, Director of Marketing KnowledgeLake, a SharePoint ECM Company. “The addition of InsideView makes Dynamics an even more comprehensive solution for us because it not only provides the full complement of CRM capabilities, but also company information, contact details, and relevant connections.  Getting all of that in a single place has made our teams more productive. The integration of InsideView with Dynamics CRM is a great step forward for both companies’ customers.”

Industry research shows that 90% of executives never respond to cold calls or unsolicited emails, yet 84% will engage with a sales person when they are connected through a friend, colleague, customer, or industry peer*. Through the alliance, Microsoft Dynamics CRM users will have native access to InsideView right within Dynamics CRM at no additional charge. They will also have the option to upgrade to the premium version of InsideView at a special price. To turn cold calls into successful introductions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers can license full InsideView capabilities that allow:

  • Enterprise-wide Connection Sharing—extends connections beyond social networking sites to automatically leverage the network of coworkers, executives and board members, previous employers, and customers. This allows all sales team members, even new hires, to instantly leverage their company’s extended network of professional relationships.
  • New social and key business content—real-time content from social sources including Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, blogs, and other sources creates deeper insights for building profitable sales relationships.  Key business content including industry trends, rich financial details, and competitive information gives Dynamics CRM users a strong advantage over less informed competitors.
  • People and Company Alerts—track key people and companies so that the sales and customer management teams are the first to be notified about job changes, news mentions, social media chatter, and other key developments. These alerts are integrated with email and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite so that sales professionals always know the right time to make contact.
  • Sharing Within Collaboration Streams—share breaking news and key business events about companies and people of interest within internal collaboration streams.  A single click allows a user to push external news alerts about leadership changes, mergers, funding developments and more into the Dynamics CRM Activity Feeds.  These alerts give everyone following a specific account the most up-to-date insights.

“Today’s leading companies are becoming social enterprises,” said Umberto Milletti, CEO of InsideView. “As a leading force in business, our partnership with Microsoft allows more businesses than ever before to benefit from the rich insights provided by Microsoft Dynamics CRM and InsideView.  Together, we are helping these companies participate in and benefit from the social transformation we are experiencing today.”

InsideView is the Dynamics Marketplace Solution partner of the year, and has been certified by Microsoft for Dynamics CRM interoperability.

  1. Share
  2. Share
    92% of prospects don’t respond to cold emails or cold calls #IS12
  3. Share
    #is12 ask your prospects, what other projects do you have going on @referralsales (great comment) @BlythecoLLC @InsiderSummit
  4. Share
    Pipeline, sales cycle duration, win rate, average deal value – key sales metrics to track @ddaly1 #is12 #sales20
  5. Share
    #is12 quality not quantity when making your sales calls. @pauljones #franklincovey #bigmachines
  6. Share
    @annekeseley understand the trends that lead up to revenue. #IS12
  7. Share
  8. Share
    @NetworkHardware’s @michaellodato at #IS12: “We’re allocating sales leads now based on social proximity; trust networks are very strong.”
  9. Share
    @funnelholic is funny. Had no idea! #IS12
  10. Share
    @NetworkHardware’s @michaellodato at #IS12: “Sales conversations are going from ‘I know someone you know’ to ‘I have competitive info’.”
  11. Share
    Simpler for customer & more data for vendor! “66% of people prefer social sign-in for forms on your site.” #is12
  12. Share
    “Interactions are limited for a sales rep. You need the right message at the right time.” Brian Falkner of @BigMachines #IS12
  13. Share
    @funnelholic “I got an email from a sales rep that said only, ‘I read your blog and we need to talk'” #IS12 @InsiderSummit #IVJAM
  14. …and it worked. Craig replied to the email because of relevance.
  15. Share
    “Do your homework prior to the call. Tailor the message around relevancy otherwise you’re bringing no value to the call.” #IS12
  16. Share
    Customer network value is replacing customer lifetime value. #is12 @ddaly1
  17. Share
    “Too much scorekeeping – not enough coaching.” via @jshriber #IS12
  18. Share
  19. Share
    #jonmiller2 says break your content into three stages: early, middle, late. Match your pipeline. Learning at #IS12
  20. Share
    @SAPCRM’s @Nicholask71 at #IS12: “40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.”
  21. Share
    Think about the biggest deal you’re working on, what happens if u don’t get it- what’s the most likely reason @ddaly1 @thetasgroup #IS12 ^KM
  22. Share
    @insideview CEO says, it is better if you comment on what a prospect is saying in social media vs. sending them info #IS12 #IVJAM
  23. Share
    “Never call a name who just entered your system a lead” -Jon Miller of @marketo. Marketing needs to qualify leads b4 sales sees them #is12
  24. Share
    @funnelholic: “LinkedIn is where people tell you what they do; the other social apps are where people tell you what they are feeling.” #IS12
  25. Share
    The companies I work with don’t see the upside opportunities of social, still don’t care what “someone had for lunch” #IS12
  26. Share
    “As salespeople we must all inevitably suffer from one of two pains: the pain of effort or the pain of regret.” #IS12
  27. Share
  28. Share
    Most customers buying experience are heavily influenced by social, in most cases they just don’t realize it. It’s “look what I found!” #IS12
  29. Share
    It’s important to use the same medium your customers use when replying to complaints #IS12 ^KM
  30. Share
  1. Share
  2. Question #1
  3. Share
    How does (or should) social media impact an organization’s lead generation and nurturing processes? #IVJam
  4. Answers:
  5. Share
    #IVJAM daily and weekly quotas for our team to have meaningful social interactions to build the habit and skill.
  6. Share
    #IVJam: customers use social media sources to make purchasing decisions more and more.
  7. Share
    Before I go to a sales meeting I look up the prospect in @insideview #ivJam #IS12 @BlythecoLLC
  8. Share
    Audience member: “Anywhere along the sales cycle, I find people have already looked us/me up on LinkedIn” #IVJam
  9. Share
    I think ‘nurture’ is key with use of social when helping buyers buy. You must provide value to buyer. #ivjam
  10. Share
    @Vorsight finds that social media has more impact mid-funnel to establish credibility before a discovery conversation @InsiderSummit #IVJAM
  11. Share
    Increase lead generation opportunities from your social updates; generously sprinkle calls-to-action and offers with other content. #IVJam
  12. Share
    At @Silverpop we have nice uplift and expansion with social integration #IVJAM
  13. Share
    Twitter was our greatest source of leads last month #IVJam #IS12
  14. Share
    #IVJam social media is def used for lead gen/nurturing- provides you with great insights into your lead
  15. Share
    “The need for references is going away the more our customers adopt social media” @InsiderSummit #IVJAM
  16. Question #2
  17. Share
    What are some best practices for using social media to engage with customers? #IVJam
  18. Answers:
  19. Share
    #IVJAM daily and weekly quotas for our team to have meaningful social interactions to build the habit and skill.
  20. Share
    Put tools in place 2 measure perspectives of social, and be prepared to distribute those metrics correctly throughout your org. #IVJam
  21. Share
    Listen before you engage with social media. Don’t cold tweet or use sales pitches, it’s meant to build relationships #IVJAM
  22. Share
    #IVJAM don’t forget video when you think social. Thx steve @ vorsight
  23. Share
    #IVJam: customers use social media sources to make purchasing decisions more and more.
  24. Share
    “critical to follow all social media platforms but to be educated on their strengths and weaknesses” #IVJAM #IS12 ^KM
  25. Share
    Engage with influencers. Google & Bing have disclosed that authoritative people on Twitter lend their authority to pages they tweet. #IVJam
  26. Share
    Someone at @microsoft: being a contributing member of an active community is better than just using Social to message people #IVJam
  27. Share
    @insideview have fun with people! Have a personality and you don’t always need to discuss business. Make sure you are relevant too! #IVJAM
  28. Share
    Consistently generate valuable content so people always have reasons to engage #IVJAM
  29. Share
    @insideview Ensure all your sales reps are educated on how to engage prospects and customers properly on social media. #IVJAM #IS12
  30. Share
    “The best practice I recommend for social media is to teach” Love it! #IVJAM #IS12 ^KM
  31. Share
    @insideview have fun with people! Have a personality and you don’t always need to discuss business. Make sure you are relevant too! #IVJAM
  32. Share
    To be successful In social – in any relationship – you must provide value to create a discussion. #ivjam
  33. Share
    4 lenses of social media: social anthropology, data science, people insights then comes marketing #IVJam
  34. Question #3
  35. Share
    What are your top social business priorities in 2012? #IVJam
  36. Answers:
  37. Share
    SM goals: measuring it! (many companies are moving SM marketing into Marketing Ops) #ivjam
  38. Share
    #IVJam, 2012 we are looking 4 better engagement of our existing clients, & educating our internal teams. #is12 @BlythecoLLC #blythecolove
  39. Share
    We are planning on leveraging Pinterest #IVJAM
  40. Share
    Audience member: “Using @socialText to merge our internal & external social strategies in 2012 is key for us” #IVJam
  41. Share
    #IVJAM 2012 trend more alignment of social mktg and online mktg.
  42. Share
    Very sorry to anyone who felt spammed by my #IVJam tweets, but it was a very successful event! Thanks to all the participants.

Sales intelligence is the combination of not only business data, but social context, how you’re connected to a lead or prospect, valuable news insight, and real-time triggers that inform you when to take action. In fact, we’re delivering 35 million unique news trigger events to our users a year to help them sell better and generate more revenue.” -Umberto Miletti, CEO of InsideView

1. You are buying lists for your sales team

Last year I was interviewing for a sales position and was analyzed by how well I could cold call a list of 100 low-priority prospects. This would have been fine and dandy if the list wasn’t a year old and 20 of the 100 people had the wrong name or outdated phone number. Think about it…after one year, 1/5 of the list was deemed almost completely useless.

Organizations are changing the way they collect information and contact prospects and customers – 98 percent say they waste their budget each year on inaccurate contact data. (DataMyth.com) With data being poured into in the Internet everyday, there is no way lists of contact information should be cutting it anymore for sales professionals.

The age of lists and phonebooks are over for sales teams. The tools you need are out there on the Internet and sales intelligence can bring it to you all in one package. 

2. Social Selling is not a part of your sales cycle

Marketing should not be the only department interacting through social media – sales teams across the board need to immerse themselves in the social world as well. Buyers are turning to social media for feedback and answers to business challenges. Don’t wait for your phone to ring, generate opportunities by reaching out and answering questions or at least let them know you’re listening.

One of InsideView’s sales representatives sent this tweet the other day:

I know many people are thinking, “So what? It’s just a tweet. And great, they responded.” However, Megan is now on Xata Nation’s radar – they know she is out there listening to their success.

As Koka Sexton likes to say during a lot of his speaking engagements: Be different, Be better.

Potential prospects are on social media asking questions and seeking answers. You need to be out there answering these questions or showing your prospects that you are listening – otherwise your competitors will. Sales intelligence packages social media with contact information so that you are able to sell to the person rather than the business card.

3. You are spending half of your day researching prospects – “I can use search engines to do my research.” 

As a salesperson, you should never be pushing the clock researching prospects or not devoting your fullest efforts to effectively finding the right people prospects. Time is precious in the world of sales but you should never feel overwhelmed by it.

Do you really want to search for a company and get this kind of result?

751,000 is a little dramatic but I think you get the picture. Search engines are great for research but they eat up a lot of time. More than 50% of the average sales professional spends 1/4 of their day researching potential prospects. (Aberdeen)

Consider leveraging technology and sales intelligence so you can cut that amount of time in half and free up some of that precious time to be talking to prospects and customers. If InsideView were to create a contact page for Darth Vader, this is what it would look like. Imagine the sales force you would have selling to a guy like Anakin Skywalker…

4. You are shooting from the hip and not using trigger events

Identifying key triggers or reasons to get in touch with prospects at just the right time is extremely valuable. Barbara Giamanco, EVP Sales and Social Media at Social Centered Selling, wisely pointed out in a recent webinar of ours that timing is everything in sales.

Look at it this way…Give somebody a tissue in the street randomly and they’ll think you might have lost your mind. Give them a tissue after they sneeze and they’ll probably be more inclined to thank you and strike up a conversation.

Sales Intelligence brings you Watchlists that alert your sales representatives of trigger events (leadership changes, mergers, executives in the news, etc.). Imagine the effectiveness of your sales team with trigger events being delivered to each representative on a daily basis.

5. You are not hitting your sales marks

Sales intelligence is heading in the direction of changing the sales cycle forever. Remember how sales was done only a decade ago? Lists of phone numbers, cold calling, mail marketing, dialing for dollars. With today’s social revolution, you now have more weapons at your disposal as a sales professional than ever before. Sales intelligence brings you contact information as well as connections, sales alerts, social platforms and a lot more. Empower yourself with this tool and don’t be left behind.

Check out this graph below. The Best-in-Class companies utilize sales intelligence and see numbers like 28.4% average year-over-year increase in total company revenue.

To see the rest of the incredible results the Aberdeen Group found about sales intelligence, download our whitepaper: Chance Favors the Prepared Mind: Understanding the Science of Sales Intelligence

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