by Karen McCandless
Published on 7 January 2016
In the "good old days" of B2B selling, you'd call in person on your customer to chat through your product and - depending on the goods you were selling - either show them the item or flip through a catalog. You'd do the research, find the client, carry out the demo, close the sale, and onboard the client. The whole process was a one-person job.
But with advances in technology, in-person meetings to close deals have been replaced by emails, instant messaging, and conference calls through VoIP and live meeting solutions at different stages in the sales cycle. Sales no longer needs to be a one-person job, and specialized roles have emerged throughout the process. These roles may include customer success manager, lead development reps, researchers, sales analysts, and so on. Take this case in point of the sales team that has 23 different job titles within a 60-person sales team.
Specialized sales teams can be hugely beneficial for your company. Here we provide six key ways they can support your business in the crucial area of lead generation.
It's not rocket science - If you don't know who you're selling to, you won't be able to do it effectively. But if you want to understand your target audience, you need to spend time building your Ideal Customer Profile - a project perfect for a sales researcher or analyst. With this in place, your outbound lead generators can identify the best campaigns to target customers in the best place (both channel and geography), at the best time according to the information collected by your researchers. Your team can then find prospects more easily through better customer targeting, as well as disqualify irrelevant leads more quickly. Ultimately, this speeds up the sales process and improves closing rates.
As we've already mentioned, the buyer's journey looks different these days. Companies carry out their own research online first, such as checking out the reviews and ratings on app comparison websites like GetApp. Only when they've gone through this process (however long it takes), do buyers want to be engaged - and this doesn't equate to being pitched. When you break down your sales team into specialized roles, your business development reps have time to focus intently on prospects - their goals, needs, likes, and dislikes. The net result is that the leads your prospectors pass on will not only be of much higher quality, they'll also be at the right stage in the buyer's journey to be pitched.
Experienced closers don't always enjoy lead generation, and they're not always the best people for the job, given that the necessary skills for the two processes are markedly different. By moving to a specialized sales team, you can ensure that you are training the right employees for the role, and that by being able to focus more on one area, they become more skilled at the tasks at hand. This will also lead to happier and more motivated employees, which will ultimately affect not just the quality of leads generated, but also the closing success rates. Things tend to go better when every member of the team is playing to their strengths.
Another key reason sales organizations are moving to sales specialization is the way we're wired as humans. In a number of psychological studies, when people had to switch completely between two tasks, compared to repeating tasks, they were still far slower, even when the switch was predictable. The takeaway for sales teams here is that it's more efficient to divide sales labor into discrete tasks that can be mastered by professionals.
If you break up your sales process into specialized roles, your staff will have more time to dedicate to each stage, rather than being pulled in 100 different directions and having to complete a mountain of disparate tasks. While a specialized sales team can positively impact all stages of the process, your outbound lead generators have a whole lot more time to find better quality leads and improve their techniques.
Imagine this scenario: Things aren't going well in your sales process, the numbers are down, and your team just isn't closing deals like they used to. Or maybe your customers aren't happy with the product or service they've been sold and are kicking up a fuss. Where does the problem lie? Having specialized roles within your team means you can more accurately pinpoint who might be struggling and help them out. So if the quality of leads coming through isn't up to the usual standard, you can enlist your team of business development reps and put in measures to improve the quality. On the flip side, if sales are soaring and you identify that it's because of better quality leads, you can celebrate this success and reward these employees.
When you're ready to build your specialized sales team, there are a variety of Cloud-based solutions out there that can help your outbound lead generators generate high quality leads, efficiently and effectively, ensuring that your sales team closes more deals and customers get the product or service they deserve.
One such solution is KiteDesk FIND - an app for sharp sales pros who want to prospect smarter.
KiteDesk automatically profiles and improves leads generated by adding information such as previous interactions, status in your CRM, number of employees at their company, and ways you are connected to them. The software also uses an algorithm to determine the strongest connections to any prospect so you can work out the best way to contact them. It integrates with your CRM so that you can convert records into leads or contacts, while the search field allows you to match potential leads with your Ideal Customer Profile.
This article was produced in conjunction with sales software specialists KiteDesk.