by: Preston Clark
With the rise of the sales stack, there is a ton of great activity that can happen without ever picking up the phone. But when the hum of voices is replaced with the hum of keystrokes, you should be very, very concerned.
And here's why.
Technical-founder CEO’s may not understand how to build a world-class sales team, but they have spidey-sense enough to know that it's hard to hit big numbers without picking up the phone.
What they may not realize (and what you’ve probably tried to explain) is that a lot of magic can happen off the phone– magic that didn’t exist when Giovanni Ribisi was pounding the phones in Jersey, and Jack Lemmon was stealing those strong Glengarry leads.
Data is king. But it’s not everything.
In this new era of SaaS sales, a big part of the game is hunting down data for your ICP and engaging through email cadences, marketing automation, SEM, social listening, content marketing, free trials, and whatever else Ken Krogue or Kyle Porter is building for us to find and engage prospects. And all of these are off-the-phone activities. Silent activities. Time consuming activities. But really, really mportant activities.
But here’s the problem.
And why your CEO’s instincts are probably right.
Despite having built a great platform and great user experience, despite having tremendous product-market-fit– good CEO’s know that it’s a big freakin’ decision to buy this thing. That’s why they built it, because it replaces/improves a significant business process. That's an inherently painful decision. And that's why your top reps make so much freakin' money.
So it’s not just that the lack of buzz on the floor gets your CEO thinking that everyone is burning the day on Instagram– it’s that they aren’t hearing the confrontation, the tension, the hard conversations that literally must happen in order to get the biggest, baddest deals across the finish line. Sure, deals may be coming in on the silent floor. Even the beachcomber snags a Rolex from time to time. But the really big, complex, disruptive deals…those aren’t closing on the silent floor.
So let’s get loud, right? Let’s crack the whip and get the team pounding the phones!
Man, I wish it were that simple.
As it turns out, when silence is the symptom of a low-revenue sales floor, more noise ain’t the cure. Sucks, right?
If AE’s aren’t on the phone, it’s not just not because they fell in love with Salesloft or Hootsuite. It’s because they aren’t driving a sales process– they don’t have defined next steps to get it closed. They literally can’t pick up the phone, because they don’t know what to say next. Their pipeline is just a mess of maybes. And that’s the BIG problem with the silent sales floor. They don't know what to do next.
By any means necessary
So... if you really want to turn up the buzz on your sales floor, then teach your team how to lead a sales process from start to finish. That’s when it gets noisy. Don't get upset about the sales stack. It's not a too-many-toy's problem. I promise it's not. The tools are good (mostly).
You have to do whatever it takes to get a sales process mapped out for your team. Whatever it takes. Pay for Sandler training. Recruit a seasoned director of sales from SFDC. Do a two-day offsite sales boot camp. Anything. Just get them to lead a sales process. Every step. Every stage. Open to close.
If they know how to do that, and they have a compensation plan worth hustling for, then I guarantee your floor will buzz. Your biggest deals are depending on it!
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” -Timothy Ferriss
p.s. I'm always hiring Account Executives and SDRs in the East Bay: http://everfi.com/about/careers/
This post was originally featured in SaaScribe.