We’re quickly approaching the halfway point for 2016, so I decided to take a look back at our top ten inside sales blog posts (by number of visits) for the first half of this year. Here are the items our readers have found most interesting so far this year.
10. Cold Calling: Motivate Your Sales Team to Achieve Record Profits with the Red-Headed Stepchild of Inside Sales
Who is it for? This post is for any sales professional that needs a proven method for generating leads.
What’s it about? Understand that social selling and inbound marketing has a time and place, but they don’t replace the need for cold calling prospects
Why is it important? Now more than ever, gurus and ninjas are begging sales professionals to sip the social selling Kool-Aid and leave the “old fashioned” techniques behind. There’s no shortcut to good selling.
Quotable: “To say that cold calling is one of the most dreaded parts of the sales process is an understatement. Many think of it as the red-headed stepchild of inside sales: neglected, unwanted, and often despised. Though it’s really a diamond in the rough.”
9. Black Belt Techniques to Combat the 6 Most Common Sales Objections
Who is it for? This post is for any inside sales rep who needs help overcoming common objections.
What’s it about? Learn the best strategy and how to engage prospects who are trying to dodge your sales pitch. It’s all about securing an agreement to the next step in the process.
Why is it important? Everyone is busy and getting work done is more difficult when a prospect pauses to take your sales call. Learn how to overcome objections with valuable and relevant responses to those objections. Prove your call is worth the interruption.
Quotable: “Look at these objections, not with dread, but as an opportunity to close the deal.”
8. Cold Calling Is Not for Dummies
Who’s it for? This post is for inside sales managers who want to better implement cold calling in their inside sales organization.
What’s it about? This post touches upon several key ingredients that go into the perfect cold calling recipe: recruiting the right candidates, developing a plan, investing in technology, and leveraging automation.
Why is it important? Anybody can pick up the phone and cold call a lead without any forethought or planning. And that’s exactly why people think cold calling doesn’t work – because they haven’t elevated it to the appropriate status of sales professionalism it deserves.
Quotable: “When done properly, cold calling can become the start of a long-term relationship with your leads — many of whom will convert into customers.”
7. Inside Sales Reps: Make Sure You Are Social Selling Instead of Social Spamming
Who’s it for? This post is for sales representatives who want to learn more about the right way to approach social selling.
What’s it about? There’s more to social selling than sending a ton of unsolicited LinkedIn InMails or tweets. This post will help readers understand the difference between social spamming and social selling.
Why is it important? Salespeople who use social selling effectively outperform their peers. It’s time to learn to do it right or not do it at all.
Quotable: “Social selling is a great opportunity for improving an inside sales interaction, but like all good sales & marketing methods, some people are ruining the fun for everyone. What’s jeopardizing social selling? It’s called social spamming.”
6. The Pro’s Guide to Insurance Sales by Phone
Who’s it for? This post is for insurance sales agents, but the tips can be applied to many other industries.
What’s it about? Ten tips to help insurance agents be more effective and productive in their lead follow-up.
Why is it important? An agent’s livelihood hinges on his or her ability to call enough leads to close the right number of sales. However, closing more sales doesn’t mean calling more leads faster.
Quotable: “Instead of treating your leads like a “to do” list you have to plow through, think of them as opportunities you can build up. Remember that quality can be as important as quantity!”
5. Become a Future-Proof Sales Professional
Who’s it for? This post is for sales representatives who want to ensure their employability regardless of changes technology may bring to the sales profession in the years to come.
What’s it about? This post provides the grim forecasts from some sales experts in contrast to how past technological disruptions have actually created new job opportunities for B2B sales professionals.
Why is it important? While the past tells us that technological disruption provides new career opportunities in sales, you have to be prepared for those changes when they arrive.
Quotable: “We know it’s highly likely that new complexities and innovations will create new sales jobs to replace those that may be lost in the future. However, that doesn’t mean it will be easy to land one of those new sales positions. It’s vitally important that you take steps to future-proof yourself.”
4. The Top Performer’s Voicemail Playbook
Who’s it for? This post is for salespeople who want to master the art of the sales voicemail.
What’s it about? This post reframes the perception of the sales voicemail from a tedious and time-consuming task to a valuable touch point and conversation starter.
Why is it important? More often than not, a sales professional will get his or her fair share of voicemails throughout the day. Instead of wasting those opportunities with a careless or quickly rattled-off message, it’s time to treat it as an important touch point that can shape positive perceptions.
Quotable: “When cold calling, the voicemail is often the first impression. Even for website initiated inquiries, a sales voicemail can either reinforce the prospects decision to reach out, or discourage them from looking any further into your solution.”
3. Voice Mail and Email: The One-Two Punch
Who’s it for? This post is for salespeople who want to improve their lead follow-up approach.
What’s it about? This post gives inside sales reps guidance on how to effectively combine voicemail with email to reinforce messaging and make it easier for prospects to get back in touch.
Why is it important? In a world of information overload, it’s understandable that emails and voicemails get overlooked, deleted, or forgotten. However, the right combination of messaging through these two channels can create a powerful way to capture attention and stay top of mind with leads.
Quotable: “If it sounds like more work to leave both a voice mail message and a follow-up email, you’re right; it is. However, this one-two punch is an effective combination that makes it easier for your contacts to respond.”
2. 7 Easy Inside Sales Tips to Catapult Your Closing Ratio
Who’s it for? This post is for anyone who wants to improve his or her closing ratio.
What’s it about? This post explores seven approaches, including techniques and tools, that help insides sales representatives close more sales.
Why is it important? It’s a short-attention span society that we all operate in today. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest craze or shiny button. Instead, we need to focus on proven methods of closing more sales instead of just looking for shortcuts to the close. More time is often spent searching for the shortcut than focusing on the sale. That doesn’t help anyone’s ratio!
Quotable: “There are many subjective factors involved in closing the deal, like the prospect’s personality and company situation. Your goal is to convince the prospect to buy your product or service, whether the prospect is considering a competitor’s offer, indecisive, or has internal issues.”
1. The Five Tips for Better Appointment Setting Calls
Who’s it for? This post is for appointment setters who need to brush up on cold calling skills.
What’s it about? This post shares five solid tips for helping appointment setters improve their likelihood for success. She covers everything from timing to research to reliance on the right technology.
Why is it important? It’s a short-attention span, overbooked sea of prospects from whom you are trying to extract an appointment commitment. You have to do more than just pick up the phone to be effective and successful.
Quotable: “It’s always important to remember that selling is an interaction between two people – not just an action executed by one person. Meet your prospect on his or her terms to make appointment setting more positive for both you and the prospect.”