Not sure I'm going to pick up the new iPhone just yet. I'm hearing about issues with the antenna, but I'm sure I'll have to make a decision when one of my daughters drops her phone into the pool this summer and I need to sacrifice my current iPhone as a replacement. It's been a tried-and-true pattern the past 3 summers.
The iPhone 4 brings Apple customers a nicely improved design and several new features: the ability to make video phone calls, to record (and edit!) HD videos and true multi-tasking, just to name a few. What this means to me (and you) is its connection to Sales 2.0.
It's all about the evolution and use of technology -- I feel as if Apple values prospects and customers and wants to bring them value. The nature of technology is that it has to evolve, and the technology we have today is astounding. The cool part is that it's only getting better!
Sales 2.0 is all about evolution as well. It's about changing the way sales and marketing do our jobs and adapting. Sales 2.0 means that we have to evolve.
Here are three ways we can keep that evolution going:
- Improve our prospect's interactions with us - These interactions make or break the sales process. Got a poorly designed website? You and I both know that if you do, your prospects aren't coming back. Got a content-rich, informative website? Chances are they'll keep coming back even after they purchase. Is your marketing value embedded within the content prospects see as valuable? Does the sales team have the tools and information it takes to make prospects feel they are gaining value and in control of the buying cycle? Prospects want what prospects want, not always what we want.
- Better qualify MQL's - We've evolved how we bring value to prospects; now we've got to do a better job at qualifying them as MQL's (marketing qualified leads). Evolve the Quality vs. Quantity. Apple doesn't market the new iPhone to kids and teens in hopes that they will be prospects walking in to talk to an Apple Genius. They market to adult users who can afford the premium phone/service. Salespeople want the same kind of leads. Whether you do this through appointment setting, teleprospecting or lead scoring, make your sales reps want to thank you for every lead.
- Accelerate word of mouth marketing (WOM) - How many of you bought iPhones because someone let you hold it? Testimonials and referrals (word-of-mouth marketing) is one of the best -- if not the greatest -- source of new prospects for most companies. Is this Sales 2.0? Optimizing it and helping sales and marketing teams take advantage of it certainly is. Create tools, buzz and reasons for customers to bring you prospects.
Have you bought an iPhone 4? What do you think of the changes?
(Side note: what do you use it for as it pertains to sales and marketing? Me ... I've loaded Salesforce, LinkedIn and even a link to my presentations should I meet a prospect on the road.)
This morning's Sales 2.0 Conference lead off speaker was Polly Sumner of Salesforce.com. Although she spoke about Tools, her real message wasn't about tools as much as it was about use, and ways of working.
It Gerhard Gschwandtner, the conference host,captures it with a question to Polly, "so it's about a mindset?"
- Explore tools with an eye for how your team will adapt to it. How they will use it. How it will change the way they work
- Challenge yourself to identify where efficiencies can be gained. Can you gain time? Knowledge? Trigger events?
- Don't get caught up in the hype. Look through demos and presentations, does the tool change the way you will get your job done?
- The best Sales 2.0 apps are adopted without being forced on users. Quote from a beta tester of Salesforce Chatter two weeks ago at CloudForce Boston "We just turned on Chatter, a week later we had 700 active users."
- "Failure is OK," says Polly. Don't be afraid to take risks, it's risks that can introduce change into your organization.
From our experience with Sales 2.0 tools at Green Leads, we had an immediate impact by making an extremely risky decision 18 months ago. Instead of hiring new people and adding headcount to our appointment setting team, we took a major risk by implementing ConnectAndSell. It allowed us to double the weekly production of our best people for about half the cost of a new hire. We didn't push it, we let our team adopt it at their own pace. It organically became a part of their daily routine.
What risks have you taken related to Sales 2.0? Has it changed the way you work?
ActiveConversion is a web based solution that allows organizations to identify visitors to their website, to automatically qualify and nurture leads, to get notified when leads become "hot," and to track ROI of marketing campaigns. They are partners with Google, Jigsaw, VerticalResponse, and Salesforce.com.
Upon opening up the solution, you can view your ActiveConversion dashboard. You're able to see your active leads, broken down by active companies, active prospects, and qualified leads. The information is easy to read and easy to understand, and a click of the mouse allows you to dive deeper into the graphically represented reports. The dashboard gives you visibility into seeing which of your leads is actually showing genuine interest. That's great, but as I'm thinking about it, how exactly does this work? How does it determine whether or not one of my prospects is showing "genuine interest? They do this by scoring visitors to your website on three different categories:
- How they reached your site
- What they viewed, and
- How long they visited.
These scores are easy to configure and allow you to determine when a prospect is ready for a call, and when they're not.
ActiveConversion can help simplify lead management and lead routing process. The sales team can also reap the benefit from the following:
- Identification of anonymous visitors to your website by mapping known IP addresses. Contacts of the prospect company can be instantly researched in Jigsaw.
- Push leads and session visit data to the sales team through regularly scheduled emails. This can also include lead score.
- Returning visitors can have lead scores improved and salesforce activities scheduled upon further visits.
When I visit your site, do you know if I'm a lead?
More Smashmouth Demand Gen Product Reviews.
Since I was spouting all about LinkedIn at Chris Brogan's New Marketing Experience last month, he has recently been on a LinkedIn crusade to find all the tips and tricks burried inside. Although I love taking a little credit, his recent articles have been full of LinkedIn Goodness.
Use LinkedIn Effectively
Your Network News
Keep LinkedIn Clean
With all the momentum, I thought I would share another LinkedIn tip, use Google to search the public profiles. If contacts aren't in your network, they will still show up!
Google using the site:linkedin.com parameter. For instance, looking for Mike Damphousse,
google: mike damphousse site:linkedin.com
Not only will it find my profile, but it will find answers I have provided and comments in groups.
Let's try another one. Looking for companies in the field of Demand Gen that work with Appointment Setting?
google: demand generation appointment setting company site:linkedin.com
Trying to find a lead at a company that has a specific title, try something similar to this example where I'm trying to find someone at the director or VP level responsible for network security at company.
google: "network security" (dir OR vp OR vice) companyname site:linkedin.com
You think you can find some quality leads through LinkedIn now?
This week I presented at the AA-ISP Leadership Summit in Minneapolis. It kicked off two days of great sessions, discussion and networking. Thanks to everyone who attended and supported the effort. It was great to meet everyone and share our Big Ideas.
Special thanks to Bob Perkins, Larry Reeves and others at AA-ISP for having me.
The other piece I enjoyed was meeting folks from a competing company. Being one of just a few By Appointment Only competitors is always a challenge. Linda and I got our demand gen start at BAO, and they are a class act with good people -- competing with them on a daily basis keeps us honest. Henry Glickel, BAO's top recruiter, presented on best practices for Inside Sales Recruiting. Hiring and creating good talent was a common theme during the event, and Henry's take on it ensures steady and talented inside sales professionals.
There were also the guys from Vorsight. Having read their Sales Tips Blog for quite some time, it was very informative to listen to co-founder Steve Richard present his tips on how to become a power cold calling machine.
Nothing like Co-Opetition.
Below is my keynote address: Inside Sales Trends, Then and Now...What's Your Big Idea?
American Association of Inside Sales Professionals has their national Leadership Summit May 11-12 in Minneapolis. The speakers include fantastic cast of sales/marketing leaders, with me doing my part. Topics range from inside sales strategies, increasing performance, compensation models, hiring and managing to Sales 2.0. If it's Inside Sales related, it's a topic.
For those of you that can't be there live, you can follow the action on twitter with hashtag #ls10.
If you do attend, and are a follower of @damphoux, track me down and say "Hello".
Most sales people today have found that using LinkedIn as a research tool to identify specific prospects has been a fantastic way to find the needle in a haystack of potential leads. However, LinkedIn doesn't always show you all the names of the individuals your search produces:
So how do you find this specific person's name? Just three more clicks according to Green Leads' BDR Mira.
- Click on the Title, which brings up the full profile.
- Remember the Title, and look to the right where it says Viewers of this profile also viewed... Once there, find a contact with a similar title/company -- In this case, Gerardo (hard to see).
- Now while remembering the title/company of the prospect you want "Research Engineer Intern at VW Electronics Research Lab", click on the name of the person with the most similar title/company that we found above, Gerardo.
- Up pops Gerardo's profile, now look to the right again, and find a contact with a similar title/company to Gerardo in the "also viewed" section -- this is most likely your prospect. So Tanya, expect my call.
If you have any LinkedIn tips, or Lead Gen Tips in general, please share them.
Dialing the phone all day is a task. I have one guy who calls it panning for gold. He'll say he just swished the phone 20 times, found 4 shiny objects and none were gold. Then an hour later he'll yell "Eureka!" when he does successfully set an appointment.
I presented these 5 Outbound Calling Best Practices last week at Papa Razzi in Burlington at the AA-ISP meeting (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals).
These 5 points may get more Eureka's out of your outbound marketing efforts:
- List Hygiene - Keep lists clean and ready at all times for prime calling. Track things like Time Zone, Direct Dials, Admin Names, Dialing Tips (press 0 for the operator), etc. Validate lists prior to dialing. Remove bad contacts, or research and replace them. Don't dial until the list can be worked top-to-bottom in one sweep without a struggle.
- Functional Tools - Fill the toolbox with tools, and know how to use them: Jigsaw, NetProspex, InsideView, LinkedIn, Google Alerts and Google Search, LeadLander, others... Use them to work smarter. If you find they get in the way when you are in power-dial mode, clean the desktop (next tip).
- Clean Desktop - When it's prime time to dial, cluttered desktops and browsers can bring things to a grinding halt: Instant Messenger, Email, Browser Windows, etc. (that means Facebook and ESPN too). Close everything that is not pertinent to dialing.
- Don't Dial - Still dialing with fingers on a number pad? Don't. Get a click-to-dial, auto-dialer or predictive dialer. Or get on steriods with ConnectAndSell. The productivity increases are phenomenal.
- Prime Time - Don't be power dialing at 10:20 am. This is the most common time of day for prospects to be in a meeting. They are more likely to be at their desks and willing to talk in the early morning, at the top of the hour (from 10 minutes to the hour until 5 minutes after, they are between meetings), at lunch, in the late afternoon, in the early evening, on Monday holidays. Check out the article I wrote, Take 3 Hour Lunches, which discusses the day in detail and backs it up with data.
Just the tip of the iceberg here. What outbound calling tips can you offer? If they are tip-worthy, I'll add them to the growing list of lead gen tips.
We had a prospect ask this past month to give her 10 reasons to work with Green Leads. It was an interesting request, but we took it on with a twist. We delivered not 10 reasons, but 15 thoughts to ponder. Thought I'd share it.
My favorite: social media techniques augment cold calling - warm calling converts more of your prospects into qualified opportunities
There were days in my lead gen life where I could have easily left for lunch and not come back for four hours. MIT data shows that that might have been a good idea!
Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power just highlighted last year's MIT / InsideSales.com study of outbound prospecting lead conversion. The report details such information as the right time of day to call, the best day of the week, how the response time to a lead impacts conversion, etc.
It got me thinking. For many reps, unless territory comes into play, lead gen exists in a three-time-zone map. For years we've been able to sort our lists by time zone, but what if we could tune it even further and optimize the effectiveness our day using the MIT stats?
Layer the times together and stagger them for time zone. Due to the East coast and West coast being predominant in our targeting, we tend to call 40% ET, 40% PT, and 20% CT/MT, so to simplify the discussion, I've just shown ET and PT. The timeline at the bottom is on Eastern time.
The chart shows that to maximize their production, East Coach-based reps targeting both coasts during the prime times for each time zone and assuming an 8-hour day, should be working from:
- Target East Coast 8 am - 10 am
- Target West Coast 11 am - 1 pm
- Target East Coast 4 pm - 6 pm
- Target West Coast 6 pm - 8 pm
For strategic planning purposes, this justifies bi-coastal teams. It also suggests a shift in activity during the day. Make the prime times the power-dial sessions, and make the lulls the time where research and other non-dialing activity is completed.
So the next time you run late returning from lunch, show this report to your boss and keep dialing.
More Lead Generation Tips.