Many years ago when I started my career in sales, I was working in Account Development for Bay Networks and few other companies in the Silicon Valley. The first few months I was given the Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama as my sales territory. Nothing like going to bed at nine at night so I can be at work and start cold calling at five in the morning. Working in inside sales was something like paying my tuition for learning the basic of sales. I have learned many valuable skills that I could never gain if I was just thrown in to the field.
The good thing about inside sales is that you have the entire resources of the company to assist you in making your efforts successful. From managers, mentors, engineers and executives to marketing, it is all accessible for your sales efforts.
Assuming you have done your research and discovered that the suspect may have a need for your product or service, how do you get past the admin? Most sales reps treat the art of selling like fishing with a single rod, they make contact with the most senior person in the organization and start pitching the products. They treat the poor executive assistants unprofessionally instead of trying to make friends with the gate keepers.
Sales is the art of finding what people want and helping them obtain it. The first challenge is finding people. Prospecting is the art of finding the right people and audience with the same pain points. When they are found they are suspects. Once you have identified their needs, wants and desires and once you have qualified them they become prospects.
A business model is the rationale of your business organization. It shows how your company creates, delivers and captures different forms of values-economic, social etc.
The business model presents core aspects of business-purpose, offering, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, operational processes and policies. All successful ventures need a clear business model, and any qualified investor will want to see it before making an investment.
For professionals who dealt with consumers such as mortgage and real estate brokers, cold calling died years ago when the FTC launched the Do-Not-Call List. For business to business service cold calling is still a great method for reaching potential prospects. It is true that cold calling alone is not effective enough by itself. With the evolution of technology, cold calling needs to be viewed as another communication method alongside web, print, email, social networking, etc.
Since we are not a consumer oriented site, we focus on small business and mid size companies, and in both cases I argue that cold calling and the need for an outbound sales staff to pro-actively target accounts is in demand more than ever.
Cold calling, if executed well, is still a very cost-effective tool in communicating the business value of your products and services.
In the past few months we have consulted with many new business owners, doctors, dentists, mechanics, restaurant owners, etc. One common theme we find among all new business owners is that, after couple of months, they check the rating for their business online and are disheartened to find out that the practice they just bought has a horrible rating on various review sites. In some cases bad business reviews are posted by direct competitors in the market. In other cases new owners did not bother to check the business reviews online when they made the business purchase, and only find disgruntled customer reviews and testimonials after the fact.
Why do car sales reps get a bad rap?
In my point of view it is the way they approach the process of selling. Since selling cars is commission job, in most cases with little pay and benefits, most car sales reps are very eager to sell to you. This can be such a turn off. You can go to your local car dealer and see a number of representatives hanging outside by the parking lot waiting for the next victim to come through the door.
During the last few days of the quarter most sales reps completely forget about prospecting and are focused on closing the few deals that they have in the pipeline. In order to meet revenue forecasts and numbers, management is forced to provide steep discounts and give away the product in order to attain revenue targets. At the end of the quarter when all discounts have been exhausted, management discovers that the discounted deal will not be closed and has been pushed out to the following quarter.
My morning prayer “God please help me keep my big mouth shut before I know what I am talking about.” Amen.
My first job in sales was working at a computer store in the Silicon Valley called Computer Attic. Without …