After some investigation into this phenomena, I came to realize that which often caused said condition. Prospecting.
Let’s face it, prospect development today is, how shall we say it? Like pushing a massive rock up a very steep hill. Once-successful tactics are often met with disinterested silence. Poorly written e-mails are often seen as intrusive, and while a suspect may accept your LinkedIn connection request, that by no means equates to an opportunity.
So, what’s a sales professional to do, and how can you help them erase that prospecting-induced forehead crease?
Campaign development is a fancy term for creating a set of targeted activities and a corresponding schedule of follow-up designed to achieve a specific outcome. In this instance, the campaign you’re seeking to develop is meant to progress a potential candidate for that which you sell from being unaware and uninterested to aware and willing to talk.
In creating this type of campaign, you have the opportunity to direct your salespersons prospecting into a predetermined cadence of targeted activity designed to achieve the outcome we previously mentioned, plus, it inspires confidence in your people, as they need not concern themselves with HOW to get the attention of their prospects, but rather focus their attention on identifying those prospects best suited for the products or services you sell, entering them into the cadence of the campaign and following a predetermined schedule of follow up activities. If you are using a CRM tool (and if you’re not, why?), imagine the relief a salesperson might feel in opening their computer each morning to a set of pre-scheduled activities as dictated by the campaigns for which their prospects have been slotted?
More than anything, the crease in those foreheads has to do with your salespersons uncertainty about effective suspect engagement. Campaign development eliminates that uncertainty, creates an overall increase in salesperson activity (as they are merely executing on a predetermined strategy) and shifts your managerial focus from a review of the overall quantity of salesperson activity to a thorough review of the campaigns across the sales team, their overall effectiveness, and where in the campaign those suspects are most frequently migrating into prospects. Over time, your sales team will begin to view prospecting as a more enjoyable activity, as they’ll be able to witness their activity blossom into a more robust pipeline.
Start the process with a team brainstorming session of their most effective suspect-engagement activities. Create a schedule of those activities and the corresponding follow up that should accompany the activity. Lastly, target a subset of existing suspects to use as your focus group and create a schedule in your CRM to follow the cadence of activity and follow up you’ve developed.
Any sales manager worth their salt knows activity feeds the sales pipeline. Lend a helping hand with the types of activities your salespeople should employ and watch those forehead creases turn into smile lines.