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16 Takeaways for Your Sales and Marketing Teams From #Rainmaker17

16 Takeaways for Your Sales and Marketing Teams From #Rainmaker17

16TakeawaysforYourSalesandMarketingTeamsFrom#Rainmaker17..jpgLast week, I wrote about how to make the most of SalesLoft’s Rainmaker 2017 Conference. Well, after soaking up all the knowledge we could, we’ve returned from the conference with a load of insights from more than 45 speakers, leaving us refreshed and ready to adjust the way we approach selling. As I was reviewing the chicken-scratch in my “Dog People Rule” notebook on Sunday afternoon, I compiled the most important takeaways I wanted to look at implementing for our teams.

Even if you’re a cat person, I’ll happily share what I took away from the event with you. No promises next time, though.

1. When your sales team gets a no after a call or demo, this should immediately trigger an ask for a referral.

Emmanuelle Skala, VP of sales and customer success at DigitalOcean, debunked the notion that only clients or huge brand advocates can send high-quality referrals. Everyone has the opportunity to spread the word about your business.

2. Every organization has “dirty sales data — youre not alone.

The key to cleaning up your data over the long run is to earn individual sales reps’ buy-in. If you’re only sharing data on the team level and not on an individual basis, they’re not seeing the value of keeping your CRM up-to-date.

3. Create a list of all the projects and case studies marketing is working on to create more transparency between sales and marketing.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — a Google Doc will suffice. But information like the expected completion date and the status of the project will keep sales reps from asking about the same collateral over and over again, enabling marketing to stay focused on the most valuable pieces of content.

4. If you hear the phrase “I need to digest this information,” just know you aren’t closing the sale.

Brutal, but true. This is just a nice way of saying, “No, thank you.”

5. Were allowing people to lie to us based on the way we ask questions.

Remove “Does this make sense?” from your vocabulary immediately. When did you ever know someone to admit he didn’t understand something?

6. Your best case study should be your elevator pitch.

Nobody loves a generic elevator pitch. But if you add numbers and results from a case study to your pitch, it immediately makes it harder for a potential customer not to learn more about your service. This raises the priority of case studies even further.

John Barrows, owner of JBarrows Sales Training, was responsible for those last three aha! moments Friday morning. He was a fan favorite at the event because he kept things real, despite his hangover from the bar crawl the night before.

7. Implement a “power hour for your sales development reps.

If it’s really difficult to get amped up to take calls at different times of the day, it can be easier to get pumped for an hour of hitting the phones, especially when everyone around you is doing the same. Power hours lift morale and improve results.

8. Remember that your sales performance lies in your conversations — watch the game tapes.

The best athletes and performers review every game and show to see where they can improve. If our conversations are our sales team’s performances, why aren’t we doing the same?

Steve Richard, founder and CRO of ExecVision, encouraged sales leaders to implement a “call of the month” contest. Each sales rep submits his or her best call of the month. Each conversation is reviewed by the sales manager, who determines the winners. Once a month, the sales and marketing teams get together to listen to the winner’s and the runner-up’s calls to learn what’s working. Bringing in breakfast doesn’t hurt, either.

9. Institute the Marbles In Your Mouth activity.

If practice makes perfect, then it’s really hard to nail your first call of the day without any warm-up time. Give your sales reps a few questions or hesitations to respond to aloud at the beginning of each day to get warmed up. SalesLoft has implemented this with its teams every day between 9:00 a.m. and 9:20 a.m, and it’s seen success in qualifying conversations and conversions.

10. As a sales leader, require your sales reps to review and critique their own calls before you give feedback on each reps performance.

This will change the dynamic of critiquing calls because a rep will have most likely picked up on the same things his manager has. If a sales rep isn’t willing to look at his own work, he won’t value your feedback as much. This will also get your team comfortable with constructive feedback.

11. Make marketing and sales operations ride-alongs a must.

How can your marketing and operations teams understand a sales rep’s role — and how to support him — if they aren’t regularly seeing his day-to-day schedule? Ride-alongs or “power hour” listening sessions also change the dynamic between the teams, minimizing division and conflict.

12. Confirm your marketing and sales teams use the same definitions.

Does everyone have the same understanding of what the following terms mean for your specific organization?

  • Lead
  • Opportunity
  • Appointment
  • Marketing Qualified Lead

You’d be surprised how differently people may view each of these terms. Getting on the same page can minimize points of frustration between teams.

13. Ask yourself, “Does everyone know where north is?

This simple phrase was a good reminder to check in with all the members of your team to ensure they know what success looks like for them individually, for the team, and for the organization. If everyone is running full speed in different directions, there’s no way the organization can move forward as a whole.

14. Acknowledge that when accidents happen, they’re usually at a point of intersection.

The ball is dropped most during handoffs between teams. Consider putting together service-level agreements or constitutions between teams around specific processes to ensure everyone understands what a good handoff looks like. These documents can be a great resource for training and resolving points of conflict.

We’re considering creating an SLA for when we hand off inbound leads to our inside sales reps and for when our sales team begins the transfer process after bringing on a client.

15. Keep in mind that product data can be a valuable way to sell or upsell your clients.

Utilize your product and marketing teams to discover the way your high-value clients interact on your website or with your freemium product. This will help you identify high-value leads. Don’t forget to utilize user data to show where current customers aren’t taking advantage of all aspects of the product. Even if you’re running a service-based company, product data can be your friend.

16. Adopt the phrase “Losers have goals; winners have systems.”

Systems are key to moving your sales and marketing teams to the next level. You have to provide your people with a framework to help them make decisions. Goals can’t be accomplished without a road map.

Wow. And those are only the highlights of the week.

It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start after a valuable event like Rainmaker 2017. Hopefully, these nuggets can point you in the right direction. Crazily enough, we’re almost a fourth of the way through 2017. Implementing many of these standout points will be key for our team to hit the goals we’ve set for the year. Let’s get to building systems!

What are you most excited to implement from Rainmaker 2017?

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About Alyssa Patzius

I'm the COO of Influence & Co. My goal is to create an amazing experience for our clients from their very first interaction with our brand. My happy place is anywhere with good wine and cheese.

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