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The Secret Every Sales Director Needs to Know


Sales and Marketing
Are you content with your Reps occasionally hitting targets on the off chance that one of your hottest Leads decides you’re the best in the business? The most successful Reps are never content until they’re surpassing their targets and lapping up the applause of those around them that can’t quite believe they’ve brought in so many deals. We’ve put together the 6 Sales rules that will have your team virtually high-fiving when they become the illustrious ‘Top Biller’ by simply understanding how to increase sales:

Do Your Homework

How many Reps know anything about the company they’re calling before they pick up the phone and go full throttle into sales mode? Not enough, is the answer. Think about how much someone will appreciate a simple ‘so I hear that Salesforce Gmail integrations are becoming more popular’ to something more detailed (and hopefully far more interesting). There are 3 key ways that doing this small task will propel your sales process and get you to increase sales:
  • Building relationships with someone from the first few sentences of discussion can make or break a future sale. Now, you don’t want to jump the gun and think that because they’re engaging with you that they’re automatically interested but showing them that you’re interested in their industry and proving that you understand the possible needs of that industry will undoubtedly make your sales pitch far more powerful.
  • In a world where your competitor is always breathing down your neck, finding new ways to prove that your organisation is the number one choice is harder than ever. But showing that little bit of interest can set you aside from the masses of other Sales Reps that have pestered that very same person throughout the days, weeks and months leading up to your phone call.
  • People trust in people; not in the product/service that you’re selling. When a Sales Rep shows that they know what they’re selling inside and out, it builds trust and entices the person to want to know more.

Always be Qualifying

The only noise that the inundated Sales Rep hears in the midst of office panic is the ticking of the clock. Time is their most competitive rival and like a sly cat in the night, it evades their clutches at every opportunity. With time against them, their main concern is to gain the upper-hand in the most efficient ways and ensure they’re slam dunking those targets across the board. How can they save this most valuable asset? Always Be Qualifying. Here’s where the confusion lies – qualifying Leads doesn’t mean simply asking them if they’re interested, getting a yes and surging forward like an over-excited sailor in a sea of sales. It’s about the Lead meeting an agreed set of criteria and showing an encouraging interest in your product/service to the point where you believe that it’s beneficial to pursue the sale. This is what you should be teaching when you’re building a successful sales team. Unqualified Leads or Leads that aren’t qualified correctly are worthless and will go no way in helping you to increase sales – it’s the equivalent of a Marketer leaping on someone that has simply ‘liked’ a post on their company’s Twitter page. It’s a huge waste of time, effort and energy that could be better spent on the Leads that are looking at your competitors’ pages as you read this blog. Take Ebsta as an example. One of our BDR’s has spent time chasing a Lead. They’ve spoken to them on the phone and sent a follow-up email. The Lead agrees to have a demo with the Sales Manager. During the Salesforce Email Integration demo, the Sales Manager discovers that the Lead is not currently using Salesforce, they’re merely discussing its implementation. Huge mistake. Aside from the obvious (and frustrating) time wasting, it doesn’t do much for the reputation of your organisation either – it looks as though your Reps are ‘new to the job’ and quite frankly, don’t know what they’re doing. Would you want to eventually buy from someone who doesn’t know which questions to ask and what answers to give? Thought not.

Increase Sales by Working with Decision Makers

The Decision Makers are the people that don’t want to pick up the phone to Reps so it’s unlikely that you’ll immediately get put through to them. You must first get past the well-known individuals dubbed ‘the gatekeepers’ who do exactly what they say on their label. The key to getting past the gatekeepers is by being polite, professional and stating clearly who you are and why you’re calling – there’s nothing more off-putting than a Sales Rep lying about why they’ve called. Naturally, 9 times out of 10 that alone won’t get you through to them but when you do, you’ll want them to know who they’re talking to and why. It’s also important that Reps ask this one question: How do I know if I’m speaking to the right person? And the answer is to ask the questions that lead you to the answers you want to know. A simple ‘what is your role in the business?’ will help them determine their level of authority without straying from professionalism. Sometimes, the inevitable happens and they’re pitching to someone who, after half an hour or so, reveals that they don’t have the authority to go further with the purchase. Who’s to blame for this? The Sales Rep. They must identify their authority, or know that they’re talking to the right person with the information stored in your CRM system, before the avalanche of product/service information hits them and they confess. This most definitely won’t get them selling more.

Selling to a Requirement

We all know that all Sales Reps want to do is sell and rightly so but there are two completely different ways of selling:
  • Selling to someone’s requirements
  • Selling purely for the sake of selling
Sales Reps know more about your product/service than the person they’re selling to so it’s up to your Reps to determine if they need what they’re offering. It’s true that your team could increase sales by merely convincing the Leads that they have a challenge that they don’t but not only is this very bad practise but it will ruin your brand’s reputation. You should want to sell to the people that you made your product/service for – the people who have the challenges that you have solved. To sell to a requirement, your Reps must ask Leads what their biggest challenges are. Take this example: Ebsta solves inaccurate and out of date information stored in Salesforce by automatically syncing emails from Users’ mailboxes to Salesforce without Users having to do a thing. So, what questions do our Reps need to ask to determine if the person on the end of the phone has a genuine need for our Email Integration for Salesforce?
  • Do you ever find yourself looking for missing information in Salesforce?
  • Do you find it difficult to understand customer relationships?
  • Do you struggle with user adoption?
These are just a few examples but once your Reps have a feel of where the conversation is going, they should be able to identify which questions are the most natural. Whatever they’re selling, make sure that they’re not making it obvious that they’re looking for a sell; remember what challenges your company set out to solve and how your product/service solves them.

Don’t Ever Miss-sell

As a customer-facing role, it’s down to the Sales Rep to represent your company in the most professional and appropriate way that they can. This doesn’t exclude a laugh or two or (my personal favourite) a quirky analogy that can hook a Lead far better than a simple ‘80% of people we surveyed said that…’ but what it does mean is that they can’t push the boundaries so far past the truth that they’re effectively lying. Pushing a sale to the point where they’re telling someone that it can do X, Y and Z when it can only do X and Y can have huge repurcussions. Not only will the customer later decide that they want a refund due to your Rep miss-selling features that your tool/service does not have but they’ll make sure that others know about it too. This means you will be constantly living in fear of the monster of them all – social media. How do you stay clear of this potential mess? The key to not miss-selling or misleading someone is to always be honest. Whether your Reps can offer something else when the answer is no like this: Lead: “Does Ebsta Essential work with other email clients or just Gmail?” Rep: “Ebsta Essential only works with Gmail but Ebsta Enterprise could be the perfect Salesforce email integration if you’re looking for a tool that works with any email client.” Or simply: Rep: “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with any other email client but Gmail.” They have to stay true to what they can deliver on. If you want a cheeky reminder to your Reps when their head is bustling with sales noise mid-call and thoughts of selling more take over, always remember this: Don’t promise to give them a steak when you can only deliver a cheeseburger. Ebsta-Sales-Rules

Understanding When You Need Help

From the CEO to the Marketing Director, everyone in your organisation needs help at some point so Reps that think they’re king of the castle isn’t going to help them when they genuinely don’t know the answer to something. The Sales department is always known as being the loud, confident bunch that are happy to pick up the phone to any Tom, Dick or Harry but it’s important to stay humble at all times. It’s a positive thing to recognise when you need help and to seek that help rather than wasting time trying to ‘figure it out’. How can this help the Sales Rep? Questions lead to answers and answers lead to knowledge and as the old cliché tells us, knowledge is power. You want your Reps to know every little detail of what they’re selling so you’ve eliminated any chance of panic during a call or demo. Lead: “Does your product work with other email clients or just Gmail?” Rep: “If you just bear with me one second, I’ll check with my colleague.” Sometimes this approach is needed because the question asked is so obscure that they didn’t prepare for it but, it doesn’t leave a great impression when the answer is a simple one. Make sure your sales team is like an open forum for questions and have weekly training sessions in place to keep that sales brain ticking.  
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Katrina Holmes

Hey, I'm the Content Manager at Ebsta responsible for creating and maintaining our web content, blogs and our hip 'n' happening social media presence.

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