The first thing I did when I came into the office yesterday morning was announce that until further notice, Vendere Partners will be ceasing to work on all customer lead generation and sales campaigns that target federal markets. The second thing I did was wonder how many other company leaders will make similar announcements this week, and what effects the government shutdown will have on their businesses.
B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog
Engaging in lead generation is becoming the norm, a recent study by BtoB indicates. Almost half of the marketers that participated in the study claimed to participate in lead generation.
What would you do if your best salespersonleft unexpectedly—and took their leads and relationships with them? Would you scramble to train less experienced sales staff? Would you try to hire a new sales expert? How would you handle the losses that would inevitably come during the time it would take to reinvigorate your sales department? Could your business handle those losses?
In the B2B space, in particular, developing sales and marketing strategies that really work can take years. Why? In spite of the abundance of information out there that can help B2B business owners and sales managers develop such strategies, it’s hard to find two B2B businesses that are truly alike. Even if you offer solutions, technologies, or services that are similar to another B2B firm’s offerings, it’s highly probable that your needs, goals, and points of focus are going to vary quite a bit from those of your competitors during your business’s various stages of growth. In other words, the sales and marketing strategies that work well for other B2B companies, or for your competitors, may not work as well for your company if you’re not in the position to get the most out of them or to implement them properly.
Most company leaders that aren’t in the position to launch or revamp a full-scale sales department do one of three things. They either pull some of their best innovators and business strategists away from innovating and strategizing and into sales, put employees who aren’t excelling in any particular area into sales, or hire a couple of new sales reps and hope and pray that they deliver, even in the absence of well-established training, rewards, and monitoring processes. They think, Hey, if the new guys can’t hack it, we’ll just fire them and hire guys that can hack it.
It is one thing to present your sales representatives with an idea and ask for their feedback; it’s quite another to ask them to innovate.
Sales leaders often present their own ideas and ask for input on how to execute the ideas, but they don’t often present employees with a root problem and ask them to solve it. The problem with presenting your own ideas upfront is that it can cause employees to assume that they can’t argue with your ideas, or that your solution is the only solution. When you put a cap on the scope of what your employees can do for you, they naturally innovate and communicate less. They feel less valued and less committed, and as a result, your entire organization suffers.
Appointment setting is a key part of generating sales if you’re working in the business-to-business (B2B) space. Unlike retailers, you can’t rely on in-store promotions or e-commerce to drive sales. You must set appointments and have conversations with prospects that have a need or an interest in what it is you are selling.
To keep the prospects you convert into customers, you must also keep the dialog going even after they convert.
Stricter 2013 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) communications regulations that include providing an automated opt-out mechanism for all telemarketing calls go into effect on January 14, 2013. FCC regulations that require obtaining signed consent for telemarketing callsto cell phones and calls to residential numbers that use a pre-recorded or artificial voice go into effect on October 16, 2013.
If you’re into cult classics or of a certain age, you might remember Maynard G. Krebs from the 1960’s sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Krebs was a stereotypical beatnik, famous for hating the word, “work,” sporting a puny goatee, and making the life of his friend, Dobie Gillis, unnecessarily complicated.
In last week’s blog post, we used five quotes from transcendentalists as inspiration for thoughts on how to become a true sales leader in the face of certain challenges. Today, we take a look at five more quotes from some of the 19th century’s most provocative thinkers in an effort to dig even deeper into the subject of what it takes to overcome difficulties and surpass expectations in the competitive—and often cutthroat—field of sales. We left off last week at transcendentalist quote number five. Today, we start with quote number six.