I often say that there are no shirctuts in sales. Optimizing your sales team takes hard work and consistency, and it usually takes a couple of months before you see any change. That being said, one of those rare short term techniques that often goes overlooked is giving your team fresh Reasons to call , or in the world of email Reasons to Contact ( RTCs).
What is it?
You can think of an RTC as a mini campaign amongst your sales team. It’s a new reason to call clients, or a fresh new angle to use when on the phone with prospects.
Many companies have organic RTCs, such as a new product release, pricing changes, or feature improvements. Sales people love these, and it re-invigorates their approach to outbound calling/emailing. The problem with these types of RTCs is that the sales team is dependent on other departments to make them happen. Engineering / Developer resources are costly, and while it can be beneficial, I’m not sure your product team should be building things just so your sales team has a new pitch today.
Good active sales people get into a groove. They get their story down and they iterate on it with every conversation they have with a client. After a while, even the best sales people fall into a rut, their story starts to sound stale. Once a sales person start going down this slippery slope, it is often followed by a drop in confidence and conviction. This happens most often with follow-ups, where reps become reluctant to be persistent because they don’t have a good-enough reason to call the prospect again.
Some top sales reps will go back to the drawing board, and they might re-write their pitch to sound fresh. Other sales reps start to get more creative with the pitch they have. This is where you’ll see “creative” or outright “deceptive” selling come into play as metrics start to get exagerated. Very quickly the pitch starts to sound like a tall tale, so here’s how you can head this off at the pass.
The key take away here, is that its at least 50% percent a mental game. The sales person may not sound stale, it may just be a perception.
Whats the solution?
Give them something fresh to say and you will see confidence go up. Your PR team spends its days coming up with news worth stories to give to the press, why can’t you do the same for your sales team?
Here are some examples of some interesting RTCs:
- Breaking industry news
- “I came across this article, and I thought you might find it useful.”
- Client stories
- “We just did some work with Client X, and I thought you might finding it interesting because they’re similar to you in Y , Z ways.”
- Data on the effectiveness of a product (and how it provides real value to clients)
- “The first time that we spoke you mentioned you wanted more proof that our software works, here’s some more recent stats.”
- Upcoming nearby events
- “I’m heading to X location for Y conference, and thought it would be a good opportunity to grab a coffee with you.”
- Inbound marketing
- “I noticed you opened our white paper on X… and I thought I could help you better understand how our software can help you do Y.”
- “Our research team just wrote an article that might help you with problem X or Y.”
Protip: Combine a new RTC with a call or e-mail blitz where your team sits down and reaches out to 15 new prospects or 20 old opportunities and uses the new fresh RTC.
All this goes to say that you shouldn’t leave RTCs up to your team. Invest time in helping your sales people tell a fresh story, make this a top priority amongst your managers. Work with PR to get a new sales RTC every quarter, and sales will feel like its being better supported by the organization.