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Archive for the ‘Selling’ Category

Cupid! Make me a Match, Find me a Catch!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

February 14, 2021 — WANTED! Cupid! To help create sales chemistry between prospect and agents!

Companies spend a significant amount of money marketing their services or products to drive desired behaviors in prospects. They work hard to help the customer learn about a product or service, identify with the brand promise and finally to trust the company enough to reach out. The customer finally fills out a form requesting more information and receives a call back only to get a sales rep on the phone that lacks product expertise based on their unique needs, doesn’t understand specific local requirements, etc.

For many consumer sales organizations their one goal is to get leads into the hands of producers as fast as possible, the flaw in this is they aren’t able to definitively take into account skills or attributes possessed by leads or agents that may increase conversion. Many distribution models today simply rely on pure randomness, intuition, or structural and campaign-based guidelines.

Ask any salesperson, and they will tell you an instances where they seemed to “connect on a higher level” with a lead – a connection that more likely than not led to a closed sale. Maybe a bit of Cupid luck but what if you could ensure Cupid’s magic worked more often than not, proactively matching a lead to an agent based on this hidden chemistry?

Enter skill-based routing (SBR), rigorously analyzing a sales agent’s performance against lead attributes and then matching leads with a skilled sales representative who has historically converted leads with that attribute at a higher rate.

Leads360 recently partnered with a handful of clients to develop and test skill-based routing. The result of the test was a significant improvement in agent performance with skilled reps more than doubling their conversion performance. It is important to note too that these “skilled” reps are not necessarily the best reps in the organization; by and large, these are average reps with no special performance or remarkable talents. The key is leveraging data to identify the “chemistry” and to automatically match reps with leads they are most likely to close.

Learn more about skill-based routing and download the full study here.

Inspiration from our sales team to yours

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

December 29, 2020 — Motivation and inspiration for selling can come from many places. To give you some fresh material for the “inspirational” section of your sales portal or even better, your Leads360 homepage message (hint, hint :-)), we conducted a poll of our sales team asking them for motivational sayings, quotes, movie lines, or whatever else they could think of that might inspire them. So from our sales team to yours – happy New Year and happy selling in 2012!!!

  • “We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.” -Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross
  • “Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur
  • “Whether You Think You Can or Can’t, You’re Right”-Henry Ford
  • “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky
  • “Big team little me.” – author unknown
  • “Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck!” - Gil Perreault
  • “Patience; this is the greatest business asset. Wait for the right time to make your moves.” – J. Paul Getty
  • “Only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted.” -Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross
  • “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • “Show me the money” - Jerry Maguire
  • “Sell, sell, sell, my kids need money for college.” - David Villarama
  • “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” - Steven Wright
  • “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” - James Baldwin
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
  • “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense” – Matt Wolcott @Leads360!
  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” — Author Unknown
  • “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”- William Jennings Bryan
  • “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart

Text Messaging for Sales Success

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Are your sales tactics dated? A barrage of repeated call attempts and e-mails may feel like the way to go in sales, but if they annoy or overwhelm the consumer they’re ultimately counterproductive. To maximize ROI, it is important to mold sales efforts to today’s savvy on-the-go consumers.

And if you need convincing on consumer behavior, take a look at these statistics:
The United States has more than 300 million wireless subscribers and a recent study by Pew Internet showed that at least half of Americans ages 18 to 29 send at least 40 text messages a day and half of those ages 30 to 49 send at least 10 per day. That exceeds the number of calls they’re making by factors of eight and two respectively.

This doesn’t mean throw out all the tried and true best practices. What it does mean, is looking for a good mix of old and new sales tactics that will ensure a positive initial brand experience, and give you a leg up on the competition.

By adding automated text messaging into the sales funnel, a savvy sales manager can open up a range of options for reaching the consumer. Here are a few tips for using text messaging for sales success:

  • Let prospective customers guide your practices: give your customers the option to receive text messages with appointment and deadline reminders.
  • Send friendly reminders: text messaging can be a nice alternative to phone or e-mail to provide a quick reminder of an application deadline, appointment, etc. Triocci University of Beauty Culture found that using texts in their recruitment was an effective way to remind prospective students of important deadlines and appointments.
  • Stay in touch with a busy customer that wants to respond on their time: a mortgage broker, for example, could use text messaging to communicate with a client who is often in meetings but wants updates and red flag notifications to keep the process moving forward and ensure he can lock in the quoted interest rate.
  • Appeal to the younger consumer: texting could allow younger potential consumers to absorb and respond to marketing information in a fashion they’re most comfortable with. You might consider running a promotion or contest via text messaging.
  • The new automated text messaging service offered by Leads360 are tailored to send texts with a timing and frequency balanced towards giving potential customers important, actionable information in a convenient, immediate package that ensures regulatory compliance. More importantly, the prospect’s replies go directly to the email box sales rep, eliminating the need to hand out cell phones to the sales force.

    We’d like to hear from you. How do you plan to use text messaging to improve the consumer experience?

    Favorite “Thankful” blog posts

    Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

    On the eve of Thanksgiving there are several blogs popping up urging us to put our worries asside and consider for a moment what we have to be thankful for. In this vein, a few of our favorites from @MarketingProfs, @HSHassociates, @B2Community and @college4adults.

    #1 from @MarketingProfs – a heart-warming blog post that includes comments from 45 of Ann Handley’s friends; the post reminds us in the marketing and sales profession that our jobs are about so much more than strategy, planning, blogging, social media, but also about building relationships! Thank you Ann and friends for this reminder! http://bit.ly/w1z9rl

    #2 from @HSHassociates –highlights five things to be thankful for despite another tough year for the housing market and the economy, including low mortgage rates and HARP 2.0. Lots for our customers in the mortgage industry to be thankful for. http://bit.ly/v9LYhc

    #3 from @B2Community – highlights five reasons to be thankful for your online community, including competitive advantage, lead nurturing opportunities, and more. It is a good reminder of the power of social in the sales 2.0 world we live in. http://bit.ly/uAKOr3

    #4 from @college4adults – “Are you a thankful learner?” reminds us to take a moment and reflect on who has helped each of us get to where we are today. http://bit.ly/sFDUZS

    Finally, we want to say thank you to our community — customers, partners, and shareholders — for a great year of innovation and success; you push us every day to make our software better and more competitive — for that we are greatful!

    Everyone Loves a Quick Close

    Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

    The path to a successful sale is fraught with obstacles. Not a few of which are inside our own heads in the form of assumptions and erroneous beliefs.

    Before we wave our fingers at the salespersons’ tendency to favor the quick close and not follow up on leads well, let’s first acknowledge that this behavior is commonplace for a reason. It makes sense. And in a world without a dedicated Lead Management Solution, it may actually be considered a best practice. What behavior am I talking about specifically? Salespersons are ‘hooked’ on the quick close. If one lead in a hundred is the one that is going to close quickly, why would you spend time on the phone with the ones that aren’t? Since the salesperson’s skill set and experience equip them to recognize when they have a lead on the line that they can close, why wouldn’t they just keep burning through calls, until they get that feeling that they have a ‘live one’ on the line? Wouldn’t you? Choosing a path other than this would mean that the ‘live one’ winds up on the line with one of the other salespeople.

    Three obvious problems with basing your sales approach around the quick close are:

    1. There is a margin of error. The lead may be a ‘live one’ that can be closed, but the sales agent can’t see it
    2. It ignores the fact that 40-50% of leads will eventually close, even if they don’t close right away
    3. Slow closing leads represent 77% of total sales

    If those pieces of data are not persuasive enough, consider one even more critical fact: It’s not necessary to choose one or the other. With Lead Management Software, salesmen do not have to choose between chasing the quick close and nurturing leads. By using Lead Management Software, Salesmen can turn and burn calls, while funneling leads that are not quick closers into a nurture cycle.

    A lead nurture cycle serves as an automated bidirectional reminder.

    • It sends emails to the lead: “Don’t forget about this company, this sales agent, when you’re ready to buy, we’ll be here!”
    • It sends reminders to the Salesman: “Don’t forget about this lead, when they’re ready to buy, you have to be there!”

    Research in neuropsychology shows that one way the human brain organizes information is by retracing the steps that lead to a desired result and trying to replicate them. Your sales agents have for so long gotten positive results by working according to the old rules: Burning through calls as fast as they can to get to the one they can close. And Lead Management Software doesn’t require that sales agents ‘learn a new way to work’. Instead, it harnesses the sales agents enthusiasm for connecting to new leads while automating the more easily overlooked tasks of following up with leads that are not immediate closers.

    The new lesson that salespersons are learning while using Lead Management is this: There are a lot more deals to be closed outside of that fish that just flops into the boat.

    Preparation Is Key In The Booming For-Profit EDU Industry

    Monday, January 11th, 2010

    Recently, LeadCritic posted an article regarding the enormous growth in the For Profit EDU sector, and how although business is good, forward thought and preparation is going to be very important. Like LeadCritic mentioned, with access to internet ever increasing coupled with the fact that the work force is actively looking to get ahead and stand out, growth is moving as fast as a freight train.

    From our vantage point at Leads360, we have watched the industries we serve experience the same lifecycle again and again. We know all too well how the Mortgage industry was effected and especially know how quickly things can go from good to bad, and then to worse. Over-saturation is a common fear in growing industries, and smart companies know that even when potential business is booming, they need to prepare to weather the times when it isn’t. Companies should embrace the bountiful period, but never take anything for granted.  The point of this warning is not to scare anyone, but to bring about a call to action. This cyclical nature can be looked at as good thing, de cluttering said space, and allowing for the survival of the fittest.  The separation of the “men from the boys” can allow companies who have prepared and are following best practices to establish themselves as industry players, and can create an environment for them to continue to grow and flourish far down the road. The keys for this preparation are fairly obvious. Make sure your company is not fooled by the tremendous growth by letting standards slide. Be sure to contact leads quickly and concisely, don’t allow for precious leads to be stranded by the wayside, and utilize current technology to stay ahead of the curve. Although you may find some things unnecessary at the moment, teaching your sales force how to embrace new technology before the storm, allows for an easy transition when your company needs it most. Take heed, but enjoy the ever expanding market.

    How Marketing Companies Are Failing Lead Management

    Monday, January 11th, 2010

    Michael Ferree is an expert on online marketing and lead generation and his most recent article on imediaconnection.com highlights the necessity of strong Lead Management Systems like Leads360.

    Most notable, is Michael’s reference to a Leads360 study that we conducted that shows that only 57% of lead conversion can be attributed to the quality of leads, while a whopping 43% comes down to smart and efficient lead management.  This means that success in sales cannot rely completely on one method or the other, as both are necessary to maximizing ROI and finding a systematic approach for consistent success.

    The first area where lead management shows its value is in speed to contact.  Studies have shown that calling within the first five minutes will allow a sales staff to make contact with their lead 100 times more often than calling within the first half hour.  Internet leads move quickly, representing people who are actively shopping around and who will look at at least 2-3 different providers before they’re done.  The highest level of success will come from contacting that person immediately, while they’re still online and shopping, and before a competitor has reached them.  Lead Management Systems like Leads360, will increase the speed to first call for these leads and give a sales staff a much better chance of calling within the critical first five minutes.  What’s more, Lead Management Systems will also help with another key problem for teams dealing with internet leads: a failure to even contact the lead at all.  The same studies have shown that 37% of leads are never contacted even once!

    The second key element that Michael explores is the number of call attempts made for each lead.  It should come as no surprise that persistence is a key element of success in converting leads, and a Leads360 study confirms that multiple call attempts will dramatically increase the chances of success.  A second call alone will increase the chances of contacting a lead by 87%.  Despite this fact, a shocking 50% of leads don’t receive a second call.  More interesting though is the fact that the metrics we collected indicate that there’s an ideal method of calling and number of calls, and calling too many times won’t increase the odds of contacting the lead.  By calling six times and varying the time of day with each call, sales teams can ensure that they contact leads and give themselves the best chance at converting.

    Michael Ferree is a leader in the industry and it should come as no surprise that he’s familiar with the necessity of a solid Lead Management System.  A Lead Management System will isolate inefficiencies in your sales process and find solutions for them based on the data Ferree references.

    Your Sales Team Is The Life Blood Of Your Business. Give Them The Best Chance To Succeed

    Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

    You hire a sales team to do one thing, Sell. All too often, managers frustrated with their ROI, tend to go to what they think is the root of their problem, their sales department. Who could blame them though? Going through their checklist they think they are doing everything they can to convert the most sales. Adequate lead generation quantity? Check. Quality Leads? Check. Target market Research? Check. So it must be the sales team’s lack of effort right? WRONG. In today’s market, ensuring those items on the list only takes you half way there. Your company needs to maximize the potential it already possesses by creating an environment that is conducive to selling. Lead management technology in conjunction with tools like predictive dialing, create the best environment possible for your sales team to SELL. Think about how much time is wasted dialing people, waiting for them to pick, leaving a message, and then hanging up. With tools like predictive dialing, hundreds of numbers are automatically called and then routed to sales people once a lead answers the phone. This allows more time for sales people to properly engage the lead and make the most of it.  With all the extra time saved from the predictive dialer, an environment is created that maximizes performance and encourages success. Click to view  Leads360 and Five9’s whitepaper. 1+1=3


    Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

    Please join us on December 9th at 11AM Pacific / 2PM Eastern for a brand new webinar about how to understand and leverage the unique characteristics of your sales process.  You can register here, for free, in about 5 seconds.


    What Planet Are You On? Leverage the Differences between B2C and B2B Sales and Marketing

    Applying the 7 universal ground rules of sales and marketing and the 3 keys to lead conversion

    Knowing what factors are critical to success in your business is not as obvious as you may think. The most successful sales and marketing organizations understand which planet they are on, and they know which sales and marketing approaches align with their needs.

    Understanding the characteristics of your sales and marketing efforts are essential to achieving higher lead conversion and sales success.

    Sign up for this free webinar to learn how the 7 universal ground rules of sales and marketing apply differently to B2C and B2B sales. Find out what the unique characteristics of your sales efforts are, and see how to leverage the 3 keys to lead conversion using powerful lead management software from Leads360.

    From this webinar, you will learn:
    •    Questions for better understanding the rules of your target marketplace and sales process
    •    The 7 universal ground rules of sales and marketing
    •    The 3 key drivers of sales lead conversion
    •    How lead management software can boost your sales and increase ROI
    •    Why implementing the wrong technology solution can cripple your business

    We’ll see you there.