Understanding The Symptoms Of A Poorly Performing Sales Organization.

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If you talk to any leadership team, sales performance will often come up as a primary focus of the organization. What is interesting, is that most sales organizations have common challenges.

There is a great post on Improving Sales Performance that discusses seven of the most common symptoms of a poorly performing sales organization. And the good news is that every one of the symptoms is solvable.

Sales Team Exercise – Brand Value Alignment

Working At Carruthers

When you ask any team member what’s the best part of working at Carruthers – they are going to say the culture and the commitment to professional development. At Carruthers we invest in our team and live a culture of ongoing improvement. Each day there is professional development, peer-based learning, and mentorship. Our belief is that people come to Carruthers to be the best they can be, to invest in themselves, to create a strong foundation of communication, marketing, and sales skills that they can take with them wherever they want to go in the future.

High Performing SDR Teams 101 – Role Play

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A core foundation element to high performing SDR Teams is the teams’ ability to start and carry value generating conversations.

We ensure this skill through role play.

One of the most effective role play constructs we have found is to work one-on-one with an SDR in constructive, 30-minute role play sessions.
For the first half of the session, the coach starts out as the SDR and the SDR starts out as the prospect they will be calling. Then the order is switched. We do the role play in person sitting across from one another. We record both the conversation leading up to the role play, as well as the role play and post role play conversation (QuickTime Player is a good resource). We save the recording for training and to revisit as reference points. In doing this we find that a more natural, ad hoc conversation surfaces with word choice and sentence structures that match the SDR’s personality, the voice of the brand, and persona of the prospect.

Why do we role play? Simple, chance favors the prepared. That’s why we practice before and process afterwards whenever we can – both with our SDR Teams and with our clients when they have a high value opportunity in front of them.

Takeaway – if you want to maximize your potential for success, create a safe environment for your team and practice as often as you can. This includes practicing with new employees and your most seasoned veterans.

High Performing SDR Teams 101 – Consistency

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Are you running an SDR Team or thinking about gearing one up? If you are, then you should understand the power of consistency.

High performing sales teams understand the need to prospect all the time. If they prospect sporadically, then they see inconsistent results. Inconsistent results make predictable revenue challenging. So what does consistency look like?

At Carruthers, we organize our days into blocks of time with highly defined activities. Each day follows the same pattern. Arrive early and prepare for your day. Review your inbox for any correspondence from the day before. Respond first to the highest priority emails and put the rest in a parking lot until later in the day. At 9:00AM get on the phones and start reaching out. Take a open-time break from 10:00am to 10:30am to recharge and respond to any immediate tasks. Get on the phones again at 10:30am for another hour. Take another open-time break from 11:30am to 12:30pm. Then it’s time for daily professional development and training from 12:30pm to 1:00pm. After that we begin reaching out again from 1:00pm to 2:30pm. We use the rest of the day for meetings, emails, callbacks, and organization.

Why do we do this? We have found that this consistency creates efficiency and generates data that can inform pivots. We’ve also found that the team knows what to expect, has clear times for each activity, and are focused on making conversation during the times that traditionally yield the best results. Further, this clearly defined schedule provides time to recharge and catch up. All in all we know that consistency creates balance, stability, and incremental progress that compounds over time.

High Performing SDR Teams 101 – Culture

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Do you want to build a high performing SDR Team? Then first you need to focus on the core foundational elements. A good starting place is to look at culture.

Consider why a salesperson would want to be part of your team. What’s in it for them?

We have found that high performing salespeople want to be part of an organization that gives them tools that help make them the best they can be. It’s not only about the paycheck — a culture that enables a salesperson to invest in their own professional development is also a driving factor.

Takeaway – if you want to attract high performing salespeople, you have to create a high performance environment that provides mentoring, coaching, individualized and team professional development, and a culture of fostering and rewarding performance.

Foundational Elements Of direct Selling

Our thoughts on direct selling…

  1. We believe you need to know your brand, your offering, and your target audience in order deliver the right message to that audience. That means you need to be able to clearly communicate your value proposition, key differentiators, and competitive advantage.
  2. We believe you need to know if your outreach campaign fulfills a need or instead promises a benefit (e.g., cost savings or performance). Knowing whether your offering is need-based or interest-based helps you position that offering correctly and achieve optimal sales performance.
  3. We believe you need to understand the core elements of a sales pipeline — revenue channels, lead stages, decision criteria, and human capital. You can control the sales cycle when you take an integrated approach to outreach and define an accountability-based lead management system.

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