3 Things That Scare Me Moving From Outside To Inside Sales

My name is Nick Zaleski and I recently began a new chapter of my life.  I accepted a Sales role at a tech company out of Cambridge, MA called HubSpot.   I'm a career salesman and I am making a BIG move.  I am moving from Outside to Inside Sales.  I'm assuming and have heard from some that the styles and interactions are different and I wanted to talk about a few things that scare me. 


Articulating complex products and services to your prospects without using industry jargon

 

This is a guest post by HubSpot corporate sales executive, Juan Molina.  Juan has been in B2B technology sales for the past 7 years and has held positions in sales including entry level business development rep, outside territory rep, key account management, and sales management. You can follow Juan @salestipsb2b on twitter, or check out his blog on B2B Sales Tips.

 

In my experience, most sales reps in a B2B commercial engagement, when asked what solution they are selling to a prospect tend to answer strictly in product terms. They answer in the specific product version, quantity, and overall functional details of what will be provided. In my opinion, this is a mistake that leads to two very common pitfalls:


What is Inbound Sales? (Video)

This video was originally posted by SalesLoft.

Get a job interview at any company, Rise to the top of the pile...

 

6 months before I graduated college I was applying for jobs. I would identify a company with a big name, like DeBeers, AMEX or RedBull, scour through their online job postings, put together a cover letter, attach my resume with average grades and hit submit. Zero interviews, no network and 3 months later, I was doing the same thing while embracing a 4 day a week celebratory marathon of debauchery. By Graduation, I was fried, losing confidence in the job market, about to go on a vacation that would bankrupt me and jobless. 3 months after graduation, I was waiting tables on an island off the coast of Massachusetts, a beautiful place, but not what I was planning on or shooting for 9 months before. (epic pic from senior year)

 


Mass Email Marketing Does Not Work Anymore: Strategies for Modern Email Prospecting

 

There was a time when thrice a week I would craft an email that I would send out to all of the leads in my CRM that I did not rate High.  I used a Low - Medium - High rating system to organize my inbound leads and generated enough appointments through this tactic to consistently fill the top of my pipeline.  My emails all offered 2 things, 1 – a piece of valuable content, 2 – a request for an appointment.  

 

I tested different titles and some emails worked better than others, but overall, if I sent out enough emails, I would generate enough appointments.  Seemingly overnigh this tactic stopped working.   You can view my lead grading system here.


The Importance of Optimizing Your Sales Emails for Mobile Devices

 

Every day around 9a, I leave my desk and head down to the kitchen in my office.  I take a plastic cup, fill it with cereal (either Honey Bunches of Oats, or Frosted Mini-Wheat’s) add Silk soy milk, grab a spoon and walk back upstairs to my desk.  On the way up and down, I pull my phone out of my pocket and check my email, and maybe Instagram.

 

The Facts

 

People check their phones all day every day.  If business is on their mind, their email app is likely what they spend a good deal of time checking.


12 Skills You Need to Thrive In a Startup Sales Job

 

It is no secret that working at a startup requires a special skill set, but according to Mashable, a startup might be your best shot at a new job in 2013.  87% of tech startups plan to add seats during 2013, and most will surely looking to turn their developer man hours into revenue.


You would think with a still lagging overall economy and droves of college graduates entering the job market, startups would have an easy time finding suitors.  Interestingly, 9 out of 10 tech startups said it was challenging to find employees that “fit their needs”.


The list below details my personal startup sales experience, and what I believe to be the most important skills a salesperson can possess (or be working to improve) to get serious love from HR departments. (If startups had HR departments)


How Does Crushpath Work To Generate New Leads for Sales?

 

When I speak with sales teams across the country, there are 2 major areas they wish to improve upon.  New lead generation is generally the focus for startup companies and business that sell to a variety of potential buyers.  Established companies with well defined or niche markets are desperately looking for better control of their pipeline, and opportunity management.

 

Crushpath is a lightweight SaaS tool that aims to assist in both categories.  The overlying concept of the platform is to provide new lead generation for marketers and sales both by creating “pitch sites”.  Pitch sites are basically a user friendly landing page builder, where users can customize pitches to target specific prospects and garner interest for their product or services.


Boiler Room Selling and Golden Pitch-books. We Aren't Buying it...

 

People use the web to get their questions answered.  If your website successfully answers the questions that your prospects are looking for answers to, you will drive qualified traffic to your site.  Once this happens, your sales process has begun.

 

Why have things shifted

 


Creative Ways to Avoid "Just Checking In", The Dreaded Follow Up Email

 


Recently, a colleague of mine was looking to engage a prospect with whom he did not have a follow-up call set.  He was preparing to reach out to the prospect, but was having difficulty phrasing an email that was not "cheesy".  We threw around a few ideas and quickly came to our first conclusion.  Whatever you do, do not send a "Just Checking In" email.  Then, we chose a better path.

If you are in sales, you have most likely sent the following email:


Techniques for selling with email open and click signals

 

Email open and click tracking allows sales reps to get real time indications of buying signals, and react in real time to sell most effectively. This data has been utilized by marketing teams for years, but until recently was not thought of as a tool that could make sales reps more productive. Over the past 8 months, I have been personally experimenting with and discussing what I believe to be the most transformative sales technology since the emergence of CRM.


Even the best sales reps at top technology startups often struggle to effectively understand signals, and how to best interpret this data to know when to deliver information to prospects. Trying to understand buying signals is not a new concept by any means, but with exposure to endless data and dramatic changes in technology, it is hard to know what information is the most telling of a prospect’s intentions. Jeff Hoffman discusses this concept on the sales director and manager level as “exit criteria” which can also be used for improved sales management and forecasting.


HubSpot Sales and Marketing Success Story

 

This post contains excerpts from an interview conducted by Michael Pici, with Tristan Barnum, the Marketing Director at Voxox  who recently purchased HubSpot through myself, John Sherer a member of the HubSpot Sales Team. The following focuses on key decisions in the sales process, insights from the customer and the importance of Smarketing.


Tristan got in touch with HubSpot via classic inbound marketing. After selling the company she started and choosing a job as the marketing director at a newly funded company, she was doing research on how to most effectively design and build a new marketing strategy. HubSpot caught her attention while researching online marketing, "everywhere I turned, you guys had content for me" and having previously heard of HubSpot as a powerful marketing platform, she made the decision to engage HubSpot by filling out a demo request form.


Why Demo Requests Create a False Sense of Security

 

This is a guest post by Katharine Derum, senior inbound sales manager @ HubSpot, and a top sales thought leader globally. Follow her on twitter or read her blog.

 

Demo requests are often considered the best quality of leads and they get this reputation for good reason. When a prospect requests a demo it usually indicates they are ready to see the product and are closer to a purchasing decision. Reps love these leads, and in a perfect world all leads would be demo requests.


When to End the Connect Call: Appointment Setting Tips

 

 

If your prospect has opted to take the next step in your sales process with you, end the current step. An early stage prospect can be swayed by a great pitch, but can also be turned off or overwhelmed by the wrong phrase or question. When you have accomplished the goal of your connect call, get off the phone.

Similarly, if you identify on the connect call that your prospect is not a fit for your product or services, get off the phone.

The 1 Thing that will Increase your Sales; Guarenteed.


Important Sales Skills: When to Pitch and When to Qualify

 


Talking vs. Listening: Should you Pitch or Qualify your Inbound Lead?

 

 

What is a Pitch?

A pitch is a pledge to provide value during the next stage of the sales process.

What is Qualifying?

Qualifying is gaining a better understanding of the likelihood of your prospect purchasing your product or services. It is generally accomplished by asking questions.


How to Build Rapport with Inbound Leads On the Phone

 

 

What is NOT Rapport Building?

Rapport building is not a cheesy pickup line. It is not something you do in an instant, or in the first five minutes of a call. Rapport building is not lying about a place you have visited, or discussing how the weather is. Rapport is not a box you check as complete.


'Always Be Closing' Goes Inbound: ADQ

 

 


The Inbound Sales Goal Setting Guide to The Connect Call


When to Stop Prospecting an Inbound Lead: The Break-Up

 

“All good things must come to an end.”

The same is true of prospecting inbound leads. You have provided value to your lead via the prospecting sequence, and attempted to earn their attention with a stand out outreach, but still no response. The only thing left to do is break up.

Breaking up with your lead formally is the right thing to do for the following reasons:

  • Your time is valuable
  • It gives you one last shot, and makes it clear to the prospect that this is their last chance to benefit from your expertise
  • No one likes to be rejected, people will become interested when you take yourself away from them
  • You present yourself as a professional and give more value to your role and company going forwards


How to Stand Out and Earn a Response from an Inbound Lead that is Difficult to Get in Touch With


Robot. Automation. Boring. Normal.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a prospecting process? These are words you might use to describe it. Thus far, we have discussed how to introduce your message, your company, value proposition, and even given targeted tips and suggestions to your prospect.

But what do you do when your prospect is so inundated with these types of messages, that they are tuned out and need something to awaken them from a deep slumber? You need to stand out, and catch their attention. Do something bold, but not inappropriate. Sick out from the crowd, and still call people to take an action.


Prospecting Inbound Leads: How to Provide Value Throughout the Process

 

Leave a voicemail and send an email with each outreach while prospecting your inbound lead. But what should these messages contain?

The goal of an effective prospecting process is to deliver building value with each message, as to have the highest percentage of earning a response.

The following is an example of how to build value throughout the prospecting process with an inbound lead:

Voicemail and Email 1


How to Connect with Inbound Leads: Why you should Call and Email Every Time

 

When you leave a voicemail with a prospect you are yet to connect with, you should follow that voicemail up with a corresponding email. Every single time.

(These statistics are from an MIT Sloan School of Business Study.)


What to do if your Inbound Lead does not Pick up the Phone on your First Call Attempt

Ring...Ring...Ring...

You just called your inbound lead for the first time and the recording kicks in indicating that you have ended up facing a voice messaging system.

Hang up the phone.

Your best chance to get off to a strong conversation with your inbound lead is going to be a live connect. Over the course of your first day working a new inbound lead, a live conn


How to Start a Conversation with an Inbound Lead


Now that you have researched your inbound lead and determined that it is a good fit to sell to, it is time to pick up the phone.

Be sure to have the key information such as company profile, details on the individual you are calling and what they downloaded on hand. Draw from your research or new sources to identify a constructive tip to provide your lead in order to create value and position yourself as an expert.

Based on your typical sales process, remind yourself of the goal of this first outreach. Are you looking to book an appointment, make an introduction or win a deal? Understanding your goal of this call is essential to getting what you want out of it.

Dialing…

When your lead answers the phone, begin by introducing yourself and where you are calling from. At this point your lead is answering an unknown number and their primary concern is who is calling. Emphasize the name of your company and remind them of their content download. You can mention it specifically:


How to Determine the Value of an Inbound Sales Lead

 

After you have received a new lead that downloaded content from your site, executed proper research, and judged the lead for a “fit”, it is time to determine the value of the lead. Apologies, if it breaks your heart to hear that all inbound leads are not created equal.

Think of determining the value of a lead as making a plan on the number of times you are willing to call and email based on the person within the organization you are targeting. A typical scale to differentiate between lead values is high, medium and low. Here are generic examples of what each might entail:


How to Determine if your Inbound Lead is a "Good Fit"

 

Now that you have your lead and your research on hand you need to take your findings about your lead and apply it to what you know about your average customer.

Your research has yielded you information on the company, the individual and any connections you have to the network or person of your lead. To begin with, focus on the company that your lead is from. Determining if they are capable of doing business with you is a priority so that you can use your time well. In a B2C environment you should determine if the person is a good fit to work with you.


How Sales Reps Should Research Inbound Leads

 

You knew this was coming. With all the rave about inbound marketing and online lead generation, it was only a matter of time until you had your very own inbound lead staring you in the face.

Companies are getting good at leveraging content for contact information, and getting new clients is the top priority. When the leads are coming to you, it is easy to feel comfortable and react without doing proper research. Researching your inbound lead before calling or emailing, is critical to making an effective outreach.