Permission-based marketing is simply good manners…even when you have a list of sales leads.

by Shannon F. If purchasing a list of sales leads doesn’t sound like permission-based marketing to you, keep reading. At InsightPRM, we provide targeted office relocation leads while also encouraging our customers to say “please” before aggressively marketing to those prospects. In fact, we’d like to take the word “aggressively” out of that last sentence and replace it with “politely.” You’ll be most effective if you follow these three Victorian-inspired etiquette rules. Don’t contact someone without an introduction. In the Victorian era, it was unheard of to call someone without a formal introduction. Even if your sales lead provider gives you some great contacts, never call those first. Instead, see if you know someone who knows someone within the company, and get a proper introduction. Your mutual contact should say something along the lines of, “Hello X, my acquaintance Z is ever so desirous of meeting you. With your consent, I’ll bring her around in my carriage tomorrow at half past two.” (Arranging an introduction is actually much simpler than it used to be. Simply do a Linkedin search for contacts you know or wish to know at the company you are hoping to do business with. If you have a Linkedin connection in that company already, he or she should be your first contact. If you don’t know someone at that company, you surely know someone who knows someone. Actively build up your local Linkedin network until you have a means of introduction at any company you wish to […]

Why do I need CRM software for sales?

by Shannon F. Many small businesses that we encounter prefer doing things the old-fashioned way—even if that means recording customer and prospect information in the margins of a mildewed ledger by the light of a dripping candle. We’ve found that making sales cold calls doesn’t actually take much time—it’s preparing for and logging those calls the old-fashioned way that can be time-consuming. Thumbing through spreadsheets to find your contact takes a couple of precious minutes, and after you’ve made the call, you’ll waste even more time scribbling notes, setting a follow-up call date in your calendar, and looking up the prospect’s email address to send a follow-up message. If you are doing everything manually, there are simply not enough hours in the day to make all the calls you need to drive revenue and achieve your sales goal this year. You better learn to like working by candlelight, because you won’t be able to afford your electric bill. The thing is, we understand why so many salespeople like doing everything on paper. It’s simple and intuitive to get your leads in a spreadsheet and work through them with nothing but a notepad and a telephone. It’s just slow. And unfortunately, today’s salespeople need to speed up productivity to reach their busy prospects. Gone are the days when you could get in touch with someone via a single easy phone call. The good news is that there are some pretty fast CRMs on the market that are simple and intuitive to […]

Tips for leaving an awesome sales voicemail.

by Shannon F. Do you die a little inside whenever you hear, “Please leave a message after the beep?” Many sales reps find that they are directed to voicemail more frequently than they reach an actual decision-maker. And while leaving a voicemail isn’t nearly as effective as speaking to someone personally, you should treat it as a welcome opportunity to capture your prospect’s interest and give him or her a reason to call you back. Remember that most decision-makers within a company receive dozens of voicemails a day, so you’ll have to catch their attention immediately to get them to hear your message through. Here are some of the best ways to keep prospects from pressing “erase voicemail” before your recorded self has a chance to finish a sentence. Name-drop shamelessly. For example, say you’re a moving company. Start your message with, “So-and-so told me you might be relocating and in need of moving services.” Of course, this involves actually taking the time to get a referral. Use LinkedIn to see what contacts you have in common with your prospect. If you have a mutual connection, ask for an introduction. When you drop that shared contact’s name in your voicemail, your prospect will at least take the time to hear the message through. Mention what you did for similar companies. Say, “We recently saved other local technology companies thousands of dollars with our proven IT relocation experience.” You can even name a couple of the companies you assisted. Your prospects […]

Sales Success Webinar: “Top Sales Leaders’ Secrets to Success”

Why are some companies thriving, while others fight to survive? We have identified proven ways to boost sales, even in today’s tough market. If you are struggling to drive sales revenue, or if you think your sales team can perform even better, this free webinar is for you. Join us on Tuesday, April 23 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST.   Register for the webinar here.  

Why Nerds Make Good Salespeople

by Shannon F. The stereotype of the successful salesperson is changing. A few years ago, you may have imagined making your next B2B purchase from an avid golfer with a chiseled jaw and a firm handshake. Maybe he or she excelled at schmoozing, had a bit of an ego, and used too much cologne. But B2B sales is evolving. Gen X and Y decision-makers are savvier consumers who tend to do a ton of research before buying. They don’t care if you wined, dined, or played 18 holes with them—if you can’t offer your unique insight into their business development needs, you’re useless. That’s where nerds are coming into power. Everyone wants to be a nerd. Today’s new breed of super-nerd is nothing like the socially awkward, taped-glasses-wearing nerd of yesteryear. (We’re not going to get into the nerds vs. geeks debate—there’s just too many gray areas.) Urban Dictionary offers hundreds of definitions of this social classification, but here’s a couple. Nerd: “A person who gains pleasure from amassing large quantities of knowledge about subjects often too detailed or complicated for most other people to be bothered with.” “A person with an inventive, intelligent, and or obsessive mind that strives to learn as much as they can about a subject(s) and becomes a leader in the study of it.” “The sexiest social class of them all.” Joking aside, it has become more desirable than ever to possess the skills and attributes of a nerd. Nerds have Insight sales skills You’re […]

Why can’t I set appointments from cold-calling?

by Shannon F. Close your eyes and envision an all-too-common scenario. You got into work early today and are planning to stay late, because you’ve been so overwhelmed with client demands lately that you haven’t had any free time to prospect for new business. Your boss is in a bad mood—she informs you that you are due in a two-hour department-wide meeting to discuss flagging performance. Domestic problems are weighing on you—your water heater broke this morning, so you have to dash home at lunch to talk to the service person. And on top of that, you drop some Hot Pocket filling on your Burberry tie, leaving spots of grease across the iconic plaid. As you’re grabbing for a napkin, the phone rings—it’s a salesperson asking for “just a few minutes to tell you about an exciting new product.” That’s what it’s like to be the prospect on the other end of your sales call. How do you react to a sales cold call when you already have multiple conflicting demands on your time? If you’re an exceptionally easy-going person, you might hear the caller through. If you’re like most people, you’re going to say, “I’m not interested,” or “Don’t call me again,” and hang up. Depending on your mood, you may even scream a variation of “I hate you!” or just cry wordlessly into the phone. B2B salespeople should keep in mind that every cold call they make is an unwanted interruption. Even if your prospect actually needs your […]

What to look for when hiring B2B Salespeople

by Shannon F. Often, sales is treated as the type of job that anyone with average intelligence can jump into. But the truth is that B2B sales is a highly skilled profession, and hiring for the job can be a challenge. In our experience, excellent B2B salespeople with a lot of experience are hard to find, making it tough to build the team you need to drive revenue and develop your business. But even a newcomer to sales can display some of these promising characteristics: Quick thinking B2B Salespeople have to be flexible thinkers. They’re not just doing the same thing over and over again. They have to be able to think on their feet and respond to new situations every hour. They also have to be able to deviate from the script when necessary and make hundreds of small decisions each day about how to engage the prospect and respond to various challenges/needs. A salesperson who only feels comfortable sticking to a certain pitch may fall short in situations that require adaptability and a quick response. Sample interview question: Present the interviewee with a tough situation that puts them on the spot a little—for example, say, “Pretend I am your prospect. I just informed you that I’ve met with your direct competitor and I’m thinking about signing with them. What are you going to do?” Insight At InsightPRM, we encourage our clients to sell with insight. Unlike Solution Selling, where the prospect presents a problem and the salesperson sells […]