voicemail mistakes inside sales reps

No, they’re just not calling YOU back

Reps often tell us they feel like they could be replaced by an outgoing voicemail message. Sound familiar? Pretty much nobody returns a call, right? Wrong.

voicemail mistakes inside sales reps

In training we’ve seen the percent of returned calls increase 2-4X. In fact, we like to run contests to see who can get the most returned calls DURING training (because we put reps live on the phones during training – doesn’t your training vendor?) 😉

So why aren’t they calling you back? You’re probably making one of these fatal voicemail mistakes:

  1. Selling in voicemail: Really, what are they odds they call you back with a PO? The voicemail is like the resume: it’s there to get you the interview, not the job. Quit the pitch and instead sell why they should call you back.
  2. 3 – 3 – 7: Those were the magic numbers to fast forward and delete when I was a Sales Leader. In other words, “Shut up already!” Voicemails should be about 20 seconds or less or I won’t even make it to your name and number.
  3. The obvious sales call: In intros we call this the setup: you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Unless you strike it lucky (1:1Million) your contact isn’t waiting for you to call and sell them something, so get creative and think of what value you can add now that WILL get their attention.

Now, two confessions.

Confession #1: I collect bad voicemails. We play them during training and point and laugh. Last week I got one that was seven minutes long – and I’m pretty sure he was drunk (“Sheriously LV, we gotta get doo in here and help these peeelew…”) Actually, that might have been a lead. Still didn’t call back.

Here’s another favorite.

 

What would YOU fix on this one?

So help a sister out. Let’s collect tips on fixing this voicemail, AND more voicemail sins. What’s the worst you’ve received (or left)? I’ll start:

Confession #2: Nine years ago I hung up the phone and said, “Oh no. (Actually, I said something else but I’m supposed to swear less in blogs.) Did I seriously just tell Steve Sharr that I am single in a voicemail? How did that even happen? How do I get it back!?”

Dear readers, we’re married now with two amazing little boys age 6 and 5. So all’s well that ends well, right? Actually yeah. Some of the best voicemails are less robotic and more human. Be authentic, be real. You’ll be more memorable (and apparently desirable! Ha ha).

Share your story on LinkedIn and tag me @LaurenBailey so we can all learn from each other’s mistakes. And, watch for the next blog post where we’ll give our four secret recipes for killer messages.

 

8 Signs That Your Rep Onboarding Program Is Broken

Do you mind if I start with the obligatory story? I think it’s one you might recognize. It’s the one about a busy sales manager frustrated with the under-trained newbie reps she got as “graduates” from her training department.

But this story is about me. I was the “undertrained newbie” – and the boss. I was twenty-four, and was brought in from the outside to manage a team of 15 outbound B2B Reps in tech. I’m new. My team is new, and we’re all “graduates” of the company onboarding program and all 100% clueless. (Yes, of course we turned it around and were the number one team within a quarter – cue the Rocky music here – but this isn’t that story.)

This is the story of being frustrated that you can come out of a 2 or even 4 week program and still have absolutely no idea how to do your job.

Who do I call first?

What do I say?

Why isn’t anyone calling me back?

What’s the product SKU for an IBM Thinkpad again?

Sound familiar?

Brace for it–now I’m going to hit you with some stats.

  • One in five sales executives are satisfied with their Rep onboarding program (Sales Architects 2014).
  • Fifty percent of reps selling today need to be retrained (or removed) (Bain / CEB 2016)
  • Organizations spend an average of 3x more on rep tools than on rep development (Inside Sales.com 2016) and 25X on recruiting (Training Magazine)
  • Attrition can be cut in half by a good training program (Training Magazine)

So, are you an unwitting accomplice to rep abuse? Let’s find out. Here are some top signs that your new hire training might be broken:

1. The majority of your attrition occurs in the first five months.
They like the company, don’t mind the job, but they’re not ramping up fast enough to make money and they’re frustrated. Time to pull the ripcord.

2. It takes your business development reps over 3 months or your account managers over 6 months to ramp to target.
There will always be a ramp, but a great new hire training program can cut this in half (and significantly impact your attrition, too).

3. Average call length is about 1:30.
These are voicemails, every last one of them. If your reps can’t get people on the phone, keep them on the phone, and get calls back, they need better sales training.

4. Your program is under 4 days or over 4 weeks long.
The first is an orientation, the latter is a firehose. Get them on the phones after two weeks and bring them back for the rest of it! Check out my video on “Just in time” New Hire Training.

5. Your reps have no clear plan of attack for their lead list / book / and/or day.
Ask them how they decide who to call. If they say they start at the “A’s…” then you’re missing a cohesive sales strategy – or your training department isn’t training it.

6. You aren’t training any business, customer, or industry acumen.
Forrester taught us that over 60% of buyers found their sales rep added no value to the buying process. College isn’t teaching them how, and we have to.

7. You’re using the same training as the field.
I get it, you had to use something and your org is new. But it won’t work and frankly frustrates reps to try this old-school model in their new-school world.

8. HR is teaching your reps how to sell.
85% of the best-in-class use a professional sales trainer or curriculum. When’s the last time HR sold your product?

How’d you do? Some of these might take a custom report, but trust me: you’ll be glad you had it created. Your training department needs to be your partner like marketing is your partner – no, scratch that, recruiting is your partner…wait, I can do better…payroll is your partner.

In a recent model I completed with Microsoft, we found that they could add over $50 million back into revenue by cutting new hire sales ramp time down to best-in-class – and nearly double what they could save by cutting attrition to the same. If you focus and invest here, it will quickly be like having another 1/3 of your headcount to help you hit the number.

Ready to fix your oboarding program? Learn the components of a World Class onboarding program that you can steal immediately. Read the article here.

Want more? I did a quick video on what good sales training looks like. What are you going to change in your onboarding program?

This article originally appeared on SalesPop!

 

 

Factor 8 Is Hiring Inside Sales Trainers!

Factor 8 is hiring bad-ass sales coaches!  If helping reps improve is your favorite part of the job, you love to train and call coach, and you agree that inside sales is harder than field sales…read on!

For the first time in ten years, Factor 8 is offering a chance to join our amazing team of high-energy, expert Inside Sales Advisors and Trainers as full-time trainer employees or contractors.  Seriously, this is big.  Here’s why:

Factor 8 Advisors and Trainers basically run their own business.  That means work from home, manage your own clients, never go to another meeting about a meeting or wade through endless spreadsheets instead of coaching your team.  You’re accountable and get rewarded for the results you get and with clients who really, REALLY want your help.  

Our current team of Advisors are Inside Sales experts with backgrounds of  15 or more years at the Director or VP level. Now we’re looking for people to build our killer delivery team.  These trainers and coaches will have at least five years of experience making inside sales calls and managing sales teams.  And they’ll get to spend all their time doing what they are passionate about – developing people.  Why Factor 8?  We’re a tight-knit, high-performing team known for a few things.  If these speak to you, maybe you belong with us:

  1. No BS.  Our clients and friends know that we give real advice, solve real problems, and get real (BIG) results with our training.  We tell it like it is and we dig in and help fix it.  Big consultancies worry more about billable hours and the price of your suit.  I prefer tennis shoes.
  2. GET ON THE PHONES!  If you’ve said this to a group of reps, you get us.  We printed T-shirts that say it.  Why?  Because our training actually gets reps on the phones live during training raking in the results and money while in the workshop.  That means our trainers have to be ready to live-coach messaging and delivery.  Love the energy?  Love the challenge?  You’re our people.
  3. Opportunity. For ten years we’ve built our business solely on referrals and repeat business, but now we’re investing in sales and marketing — and we can’t handle the growth!   We restructured the company so we could pull the best talent out of corporate America, and this is a chance to get in on the ground floor.  We’ll double in a few years.  Shoot, it sounds like multi-level marketing!  It’s not. Just a fast-growing company NOT dependent on angel investors or a product gamble.
  4. We’re awesome.  Surround yourself with people we’ve hand-picked as Inside Sales Rock Stars.  Learn.  Contribute.  Be proud of your team.  We’re family owned and operated.  (But cooler than your actual family.  We drink beer at team meetings).

OK that’s us.  Still interested? Let’s talk about you.  Here’s what we need:

  1. You have at least 5 years of experience making inside sales calls and / or coaching reps.  Not field sales you guys, not customer service.  BDR/SDR teams, Acquisition reps, Account Managers, ISE’s Customer Success.  Inbound or Outbound is good, but we want 85% of your experience to be B2B.  If you were a rep and now you’ve been a manager for a few years but you hate feeling like a glorified babysitter and report generator…it might be a fit!
  2. You have at least two years of experience coaching inside sales calls or training inside sales reps (sales training and coaching you guys.  Systems and product don’t count, being the “guy” that people shadow doesn’t equal training).
  3. You’re ready to put on a live demo showing us that you’re money in the classroom (film it from your phone training your pets or your kids stuffed animals if you need to).
  4. You have quiet space to work from home where you can take and make professional calls.
  5. You’re cool with travel.  Man I wish all my clients were here in Phoenix, but no such luck.  That means you keep the points and miles, but it also means that you’re away from home 50-70% of work days.  The good news is that you’re home for weekends (there’s a Sunday flight out every once in awhile) and when you’re home, you don’t lose 3 hours a day getting ready and commuting.  You make your schedule and we hope that includes doing school drop-off, coaching little league or making your yoga class.  If all of this is good news for you.  Lean in my friend.
  6. You’ll make more money and be paid for performance.  We’ve targeted compensation to make sure that year one makes more than most sales coaches and trainers do today, and year two makes more than performing sales managers.  If you’re a top-performing rep or Sales Director, you won’t come over equal, but we hope you earn the same in years 3+ (while cutting out the yucky parts of your job and working from home!).  

As a Factor 8 Sales Trainer, you’ll be charged with the delivery side of our training business.  That includes:

  1. Virtually meeting clients during the sales process
  2. Performing onsite and remote training needs analysis to determine the right training workshops, customization, and add-on solutions to be sure we get big results.  This includes analyzing data, listening to lots of calls, and conducting interviews.
  3. Tailoring course materials to ensure we’re teaching reps how to sell their products to their customers in their industry.
  4. Managing training logistics.
  5. Delivering our award-winning classroom workshops – classroom, role play, high-energy games and competitions, live selling time on the floor, real-time and recorded call coaching on messaging and delivery.
  6. Training Sales Managers how to keep new Factor 8 skills alive.
  7. Awarding Factor 8 certifications to reps who prove application with skills.
  8. Conducting follow-up calls with Managers to ensure accountability and stickiness.
  9. Participating in client follow up calls to deliver results, check for satisfaction, collect case studies, and determine next steps.
  10. Collecting and reporting results to your Engagement Manager and Sales Lead

This all starts with a train-the-trainer where we certify you to deliver Factor 8 workshops + multiple “ride alongs” for your first few jobs.  Over time you’ll be coached to higher levels of performance, certify on more workshops, and take over more earning-potential roles like Engagement Manager and sales.

Expected salary ranges from $55-75k with the potential to earn $100k after your first year. 

Our interview process takes 3-4 weeks. Please be patient and bear with us.  It’s so important that we thoroughly interview each other in this process and that we see you can follow the instructions and are serious enough about this that you’ll put in the time.   We expect to make offers by the end of Q3 and start training in Q4.  

Ready to check it out (confidentially)?  Here’s what to do:

Send an email to kaylee@factor8.com that includes:

  1. Your resume
  2. A link to your LinkedIn profile
  3. A confirmation sent to kaylee@factor8.com that you have complete the questionnaire found here.

After this will come a qualification call with me (I’m LB, the Founder and President), a training demo, a coaching demo, Q&A with an Advisor, and a group interview.  We shouldn’t require blood samples and promises of your first born until somewhere near the end of the process…

Excited?  Lean in!  I can’t wait to meet you.

LB

Join Us at ZoomInfo Growth Acceleration Summit!

We’re excited to announce that our own Lauren Bailey will be speaking at the ZoomInfo Growth Acceleration Summit this fall. She’ll be joined by other speakers such as Seth Godin, Laura Ramos, and Chris Voss. They have an incredible lineup this year! You don’t wanna miss it!

This conference is an event that’s created specifically with sales and marketing professionals in mind! You’ll be able to attend specific track sessions to learn actionable sales growth strategies as well as proven trends of a truly aligned sales and marketing team.

ZoomInfo

So, what’s LB going to speak about? You already know she’s a straight shooter so you’re guaranteed real, raw and actionable advice that you can take home with you and immediately implement. This year she’ll be sharing her secrets from the sales floor for unconventional tactics that spike revenue. I promise, you’ll be ready to get back and put these tips into action.

Ready to join us? Check out the agenda and then register using discount code LaurenBailey50 to get $50 off. Register here: http://www.zoominfo.com/summit. See you there!

6 Ways To Kill Your Sales Call

Our Factor 8 trainers hear a lot of sales call intros. Thousands of them. And, the bad news is that there are a lot of bad intros out there. Really, I mean a lot of horrendous intros. The good news? They’re easily fixed and your reps can begin to see an immediate impact by implementing a few tips.

I shared with Sales Hacker how reps can fix their intros. Read about it here. Got a comment or call intro successes to share? I want to hear them! Share them with me on LinkedIn and mention me, @insidesalesadvisor, or on twitter, @factor8sales.

6 Horrendous Ways To Begin Your Sales Call (And What To Do Instead)

sales call intros examples

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His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

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His stet corpora nostrum in


eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id.

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