“Inside Sales now generates more than 50% of company revenue and is being tasked with more responsibilities and expectations—to grow territories, form partnerships, and generate new business. In 2009, there were 800,000 inside sales departments. By the end of 2013 there will be 2.3 million.” This, from Josiane Chriqui Feigon’s new book The Smart Sales Manager: The Ultimate Playbook for Building and Running a High-Performance Inside Sales Team.
Customer 2.0 is a driving force behind the importance of inside sales organizations in today’s modern business world. Josiane starts her authoritative book with a discussion of Customer 2.0, describing in colorful detail how to decode what they’re telling you and what to do about it. Customer 2.0’s behaviors will dictate a startling new approach to selling because:
- They won’t put up with un-informed salespeople
- They are savvy and cynical about sales techniques
- They postpone and cancel appointments frequently
- They don’t have patience for whitepapers, videos are preferred
- They think in sound bites, not lengthy marketing “garbage”
- They won’t abide PowerPoint presentations
- They don’t make decisions alone
- They don’t think a salesperson needs to educate them
- They are risk averse
- They frequently change their mind about the need for a solution going back and forth between hot and cold.
- They’re sick of vendors describing themselves in the exact same way
- They won’t respond to cold calls or emails (unless you do something different – read “right”)
How do you deal with today’s Customer 2.0? Before answering that, you should know what Talent 2.0 brings to the table. That’s right. Talent 2.0 consists of the Millennial Generation—Generation Y and the Wired Generation. In order to tap into these innovative and tenacious salespeople’s unique personality traits and work styles, you’ll need to transform them from Sales Slackers into Sales Superheroes. Fortunately, Josiane provides the playbook on how to do just that.
Playbook is an apt description for The Smart Sales Manager. Josiane takes us from a primer on Customer and Talent 2.0 down the path from hiring, to training, coaching, measuring, and influencing your inside sales team all with an eye toward driving the highest possible performance results.
One of my favorite tips is her detailed list of new hire candidate questions designed to reveal character, style, and temperament. Here are a just three of her many creative examples:
- What is your digital engagement strategy?
- How do you know when a customer is convinced by your line of thought?
- How do you get customers to talk about their business priorities?
Josiane’s book also sheds light on the best management practices for today’s inside sales organizations. Her “Ten qualities of a compassionate coach” and the many detailed checklists she includes, like her “TeleSmart 10: Skill Ranking” and “TeleSmart 10: Outbound Monitoring Form” will give you plenty of fresh ideas.
With the information, tips, strategies, and checklists, you’ll be able to:
- Build an Intelligent Prospecting 2.0 strategy
- Determine the appropriate training curriculum for your team of Millennial Inside Sales Superheroes
- Create a trust-based coaching culture
- Motivate fast and create cohesive group dynamics
- Achieve total forecast accuracy
- Adopt smart strategies for productive team meetings
- Successfully have tough talks with low performers as well as transformative interventions with problem personalities.
If your company has an inside sales organization, or is thinking about building an inside sales organization, or heck – if you don’t think you need an inside sales organization, you will want to buy and read this book. Josiane runs one of the most respected Inside Sales consulting practices in the world and she’s packed her many years of experience and fresh thinking into Smart Sales Manager. Inside Sales has gone from a training ground and sales career launching-pad to one of the most strategically important operations for any company. Learn the tips and techniques for building and running a high-performance inside sales team from one of our industries most respected authorities.
Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert increasing sales productivity through the use of tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Sales Productivity blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.