Stop Being Scared Of Change When Managing Your Inside Sales Team


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My wedding date is quickly approaching and I couldn’t be more excited as everything seems to be coming together with November 24th quickly approaching. There’s just one small aspect of getting married that for some reason makes me feel a tad uneasy: changing my last name. With an unusual name like “Pilpel” you are probably wondering why I would be feeling uneasy. It is quite difficult for people to pronounce, let alone spell, but I’ve had my family’s name for 28 years and taking on a new one will be a big change. The important thing to remember is that although sometimes changes might bring on a feeling of angst or anxiety, change is usually a good thing. I can easily relate this feeling to an experiment my boss rolled out to the Directors and Business Development Reps at our company a couple of weeks ago, which was to focus less on a high daily activity number and instead focus on whatever it takes to pass more qualified sales opportunities. I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant with the idea at first because it was different from what we are used to; however, with the change we’ve seen positive results which has really changed my opinion.

While striving for a daily activity goal is crucial when it comes to success in inside sales, it’s equally as important to pay as much attention to the quality of these activities to make sure they are actually turning into sales opportunities. If you are focused entirely on a daily activity number, reps may get burnt out, and they might not be honing in on what is most important, which is having business conversations and passing qualified opportunities to your outside reps.

I checked in with a few of the business development reps on my team and asked what the impact of focusing less on hitting a concrete activity number each day has had on their performance and the feedback shared was music to my ears. A lot of the comments have been centered on the idea that they feel less pressure to hurry and get to a number each day, and have been able to focus more on penetrating accounts instead. They feel they can better prepare and do more research on the company they are calling into before dialing, which has actually led to an increase in quality conversations because they are armed with the necessary information and data to have more in depth conversations with prospects. For instance, reps can use exact quotes from annual reports and messages from the CEO to get executives talking on the phone instead of going in blindly.

Lowering activity numbers or even taking an activity number away can allow reps to focus on what their jobs are; to be hunters and to generate the buzz and interest in prospects by taking the time to prepare for quality activities ahead of time. There are definitely exceptions to the rule. For example, if you have new hires on your team, they should have a base line to start with of about 100 outbound activities to build pipeline and to get comfortable with cold calling. Lowering activity goals is a good change to think about in order to increase performance among inside sales teams. With that said, there is a line to be drawn; if you see reps making 60 dials a day and they aren’t passing leads, it’s clear you’ll need to go back to having a concrete call number to hit. However, if you see your reps averaging closer to 80-90 activities and they are having more conversations, leading to more qualified opportunities, then it might be time to make a change in your methodology, even if the change makes you feel uneasy at first.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laney Pilpel
Laney Pilpel, Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks, began her professional career with the company in 2006 as a Business Development Representative and was promoted to her current role in July 2011. A graduate from Bryant University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, Laney is a lifelong New Englander, growing up in Connecticut and currently living in Salem, Mass. Laney's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing the overall success of daily client engagements.


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