About 18 months ago I wrote a blog (and subsequent article) which was viewed by over a thousand people. I guess the subject is on the minds of many, from CEOs to salespeople, from VP of Sales to entrepreneurs. From time to time, I check back on older blogs and articles to see if they are still germane today or if they need an update. After a cursory review, the content below is just as accurate today as it was back then, though I would add a social media marketing element. Today, every salesperson should have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. They should understand how to use these tools to further their reach, to glean key prospect data, to help establish a viable internet presence.
With this modest but important addition, the January 8th blog is still an excellent path to ensure the success of new salespeople. Notable were several comments about my title and the use of the word “Insure”. This was done on purpose as a play on words since many of our clients work in the insurance industry. A good idea for the vertical, though perhaps a tad annoying for those outside that industry!
How To “Insure” The Success of New Salespeople
A month ago I hired a sales contractor who we’ll call “Joe”. Joe has three years of sales experience in business insurance, but found the 60 hour work weeks and mundane nuances of insurance to be less than 100% fulfilling. He sought a better balance for his working schedule, greater income opportunities and the opportunity to create his own business. Most organizations fail to create a winning game plan for new hires. Too often I hear of companies that hire two new salespeople, “put them in a room and throw the Yellow Pages at them” to borrow a quote from a recent client of mine.
On Joe’s first day, we created a target prospect list, set up an eMarketing campaign to 3,000 companies, created a custom call script, set up a web seminar on a topic of interest (Integrated Marketing for Insurance Agencies) and scheduled an emailing for the next day. On day two, the emailing was sent and Joe was already responding to inquiries, calling on click through and web seminar respondents. On day three, Joe has already set up web meetings with prospects (Joe set up 4 meetings in his first week). By the end of week #2, Joe had closed his first client, and then closed another one week later.
Granted, there are longer sales cycle solutions than lead generation and marketing services engagements, but I’ve seen this Virtual Sales and Marketing approach (the 4-Phase Virtual Sales Process) work with essentially every B2B business product, service or solution. So when you hire a new sales agent, contractor or employee, make sure you have a virtual game plan and start them off with some well rehearsed plays. If you get an early lead – you’ll win the game.