Categories
B2B Lead Generation Insights and Ideas Sales Team Performance

3 signs that your sales team needs help

In a perfect world, our employees would tell us exactly what they’re thinking as it relates to their work. However, that is far from the world we live in today. COVID-19 has taken companies down uncertain paths and for most it has impacted the bottom line. With things changing everyday, some companies are being forced to close their doors and some are holding on to their cash for reasons of unpredictability. This is putting extreme pressure on sales teams as they are tasked with the urgency to generate the revenue required to keep businesses afloat by bringing in sales leads.

There is this saying that if employees told us what they really thought, they would get fired. But there is a lot of truth to this saying, particularly when it comes to salespeople feeling the COVID pressure and generating sales leads or making a sell. There are probably sales things your sales team wishes they could tell you right now, but they can’t. They are too afraid that you may come down hard, may not understand or that it could cost them their job.

As a result, you’ll often get the polite versions of their pain points. They may also downplay the urgency of the problems they are facing to stay on track during these unprecedented times.

So, the next time you see them, talk to them and look carefully for these hidden messages.

“Please help me bring in sales leads”

When it comes to generating sales leads, filling up the funnel, nurturing leads, closing leads, most salespeople don’t want to give you the impression that they’re in over their head. Especially now when they are grateful for working.

This is particularly true of younger employees who may be in their first sales role. They want to give the impression that they’re a keener. Or they may unfairly blame themselves for struggling because they don’t know any better.

They want to give the impression that they’re hungry for sales wins. Your sales team is also up against the new pandemic “normal” and because companies are conservative with their budgets right now, and some are not spending much at all, they are having trouble to stay on track and meet or exceed the new sales quota.

If this is their first sales role, this is the only system they know. Bringing in a company that specializes in sales training could be massively helpful. If your team is doing everything “by the book” and still struggling, maybe it’s time to add to the book. You could also consider the help of a lead generation company, to hunt down those sales leads for them and all your sales team needs to focus on is closing the sale – in this case they no longer need to spend research time on finding new leads.

“I expect a raise with my next yearly review”

 The traditional model of yearly reviews saw managers reviewing employees and discussing yearly raises/ bonuses at the same time. However, a lot of companies have moved away from this model… and alienated a lot of their employees in doing so. This is what is now called Performance Without Pay.

As managers, we can try to shift the narrative with statements like, “These reviews are merely an opportunity to help you do your job better. There’s no need to worry.” But it doesn’t change the fact that employees still find these reviews incredibly stressful. In fact, about 1 in 4 employees cry afterwards.

It is likely in your best interest to reward them at the same time you review them.

“I don’t actually hate meetings”

There is a very common myth that most people hate meetings. However, recent data says otherwise, with the MIT Sloan Management Review releasing a study that reveals that:

  • 69% of employees rated the productivity of their meeting as “good” to “excellent”
  • 16% rated it poor or worse

Of course, people still hate meetings with no agenda or no output. Think of it this way: People hate meetings that could have been handled with an email. But they like meetings that save them having to deal with seemingly endless email strings.

Always ensure that your meetings have both an agenda and follow up steps.

Employees can’t always tell you these things. However, savvy sales team leaders can learn how to look beyond the feedback they receive to figure out what their employees are really trying to say.

Mastering this skill can lead to a happier sales team and better sales leads numbers.

Categories
B2B Lead Generation Insights and Ideas Sales Team Performance Uncategorized

Are your sales leads dipping?

Many businesses right now are experiencing a slow down or a sales leads dipping, funk or drought. It’s the unfortunate reality in every industry during these COVID times. Some businesses are diversifying and/or reinventing themselves to survive. Some are shifting their business models and their sales lead generation strategies. The business world, and in turn the sales world is different from what we have known. While some uncertainty continues to prevail, what’s clear is that you should not give up on your sales and marketing and PR efforts.

The longer you are in business, the more unavoidable these forces are, so you plan for the possible outcomes that may come your way. You’ve experienced, in the past, some of your plans and targets getting crushed by the unforeseen. Familiar with these possible setbacks, you’ve always planned for disruptions by having a back-up plan B, even a plan C to get you through things. The sudden “coup de force” brought on by the pandemic was unexpected by most of us, making the world a different place from what we have known and uncertainty of what the future holds will continue to linger. This is a big change that came about without any warning at all, leaving you with some big decisions to make and a sales funnel that has temporarily dried up.

The focus at this point is about keeping the business running by bringing in more sales leads, and it’s about avoiding droughts in the future by having strategies in place and by dealing with the unforeseen right away. Here are some things you should avoid, so that you can survive and even unlock new levels of prosperity.

Blaming your sales team for a lack of sales leads

Now is not the time for the blame game. You should not pull your team in a meeting to tell them that they are letting you down. You see, the problem just may be that you are letting them down. Did you ever think of that? This is when you really need to rely on and trust your sales department.

This could be a good time for you to invest in your sales team more, instead of pointing the finger. Consider bringing on a firm that offers remote sales effectiveness training or even sales lead generation services. Hiring a company that offers these services can help you get the most from your existing staff, without having to let people go or bringing in a new team lead. A sales lead generation company can also help by replenishing your sales funnel with new sales leads, while your sales people stay focused on closing.

Buying a garbage or spammy email list

There are lots of ways to unlock new sales leads and find new customers; none of which require buying a cheap and spammy email list that might not even target the right people.

It’s true, email marketing campaigns can hold a solid return-on-investment and lead to a number of new sales opportunities or potential leads for you to work on, and even repeat business.

All of which is fantastic. Right? However, a successful lead generation email marketing campaign typically involves targeting the right people who have already voluntarily given you their email address. They could be existing customers or people who have signed up for your newsletter. One thing for sure, they should also be executives who have buying power and influence within a company.

Your brand name and reputation are far too valuable to start shotgun blasting to an email list of random people that have not given you permission or that are not the ideal target.

If someone puts you in their spam folder, they will automatically file your company and services in their junk folder in their brain. In this case consider your efforts fruitless.

Selling to anyone

During these uncertain times, is a good time to rethink your target market, your ideal customer, target audience, or your buyer personas. This is certainly not the time to throw them out and start selling to anyone or everyone you’ve crossed paths with. Yes, you may get a quick sale out of one of these contacts, but they aren’t really in your lead generation target market. This could mean that sales will cost you more over the long run in cancellations or high churn rate.

Cancelling or slashing your marketing and your PR budget

During these times of struggle or restriction, most businesses will say they can’t afford to spend any money on marketing and public relations right now. The truth is that they can’t afford not to spend money on marketing and public relations right now.

As you transform your business model or reconfigure your product and service offerings, you don’t have to spend on high-cost, prime time TV ads. You can invest in low-cost, impactful and high-reach marketing and PR strategies. This could include tactics such as:

  • Targeting your email list, or your existing social media network with a new sale or promotion
  • Doing some online re-targeting ads
  • Partnering with an association or industry publication and communicating to their readers via their channels
  • Garnering some thought leadership based, proactive PR/media coverage or earned article opportunities, blog mentions or podcasts in industry publications that target your buyers
  • Pushing out a direct mail campaign

These are just a few sales lead generation opportunities that you and your sales team can explore. The idea is to be strategic, not desperate for anything and everything, or anyone and everyone. React, but don’t panic.

If you overreact and do something too off course, your sales could dip even more and for a longer period. Or, you might even have to close your business forever. And, we don’t want that to happen.

Be proactive and plan for tough times. Equip your sales team, consider your target audience and don’t give up on your sales lead generation marketing and PR efforts. And, if you need to, hire some outside help. Remember, failing to anticipate and prepare is preparing to fail!