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Did you know that sales teams adopted the term "prospecting" from the original prospectors in the Gold Rush? When "gold fever" took hold of the prospectors, these early entrepreneurs devoted all their time to finding creative ways to “get gold out of them hills.” These prospectors had boundless energy and a drive to win, which is ideal for your sales team's bottom line. Want to learn how to be the gold you wanna hold? Read on.
The intensity comes from your team, but the goal has to come from you. Sales leaders are responsible for defining their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and then aiming their reps in the direction of accounts within that ICP. When companies leave it up to reps to pick and choose accounts, you can end up with lower quality leads and customers that may not be the best fit.
The cowboys used to say "You can lead a horse to water..." But can you lead a lead to a conversion? Call it nurturing, development, or helping buyers along the journey, but half of the battle is choosing the right lead in the first place. This is another area where sales leaders need to start the process by defining the ideal customer base. Then leaders can guide reps in who to target with their outbound communication. Use a sales engagement tool that lets you filter to the most targeted, best-fit accounts.
Give your reps the content and story they should use in their messaging as well as the structure and timing of their touchpoints. Spend more time on the story aspects of the pitch and let sales automation handle the admin load. Sales automation helps them keep track of appointments, tasks, and updating their CRM.
You need to develop answers to a few key questions: How many people from each account should be targeted at any given time? How long should they be targeted for? Can more than one rep reach out to an account at any one time? How do you decide whether the lead is from marketing or sales? Who gets the commission in various scenarios? Are their boundaries around how much time should be spent researching an account or a prospect? These ROEs will make your life so much easier by helping your reps feel like there is no gray area.
Optimal sales is a moving target. Constantly strive for improvement and increased results. That also means remaining flexible and open to new ideas. Don't block a sales rep's creativity or automatically shut down something that doesn't seem to fit in the normal box of what you think should be done. It's perfectly OK to let them TRY new things. These experiments need to be tested first, though, not rolled out like a wagon train full-scale across the team. Make sure it works and then help the team adapt. What works for one company or one rep might not always work for another, but the drive for constant innovation and improvement is gold star way to keep reps engaged and avoid burning out.
Remember, finally, that winning sales organizations aren't the ones who are handed a goldmine, but those that find the hidden gems in unexpected places.