Ben Nelson, Senior Business Development Manager at Network Center, has spent 21 years in sales leadership. He is originally from Moorhead and graduated from MSUM with a degree in Business Management. When he is not working, you can find him spending time with his wife Jen, their three kids (Riley, Brayden and Harper) and their two dogs (Daisy and Duke). He also enjoys spending time at the lake, being outdoors, hunting, golfing and playing softball.
Owners, C-Level Executives and decision-makers are working remotely, and if they are not, their doors may be locked, or they don’t accept walk-ins without an appointment. So how do salespeople engage with them?
The evolution of messaging has evolved immensely over the past few years. Social media, video blogs, podcasts, emails, team chat all have changed the way salespeople are conducting business today. If you are still sending your troops into the field knocking on doors you are probably seeing poor results.
Sequencing has become a hot topic for most sales organizations. This automated process of engaging with prospects not only saves salespeople time but is also one of the highest performing marketing channels in terms of ROI. There are many flavors of sequencing, two of the most common being Time-Based Sequencing and Trigger-Based Sequencing. Time-Based Sequencing means certain actions are performed at predefined intervals. Trigger-Based Sequencing is more advanced and requires a little more time to set up but is well worth the rewards. A common version is Trigger-Based Email Sequencing. This method is when someone acts on an email sent, it triggers additional actions. If you click the web link, if you open the email, if you download a white paper, etc. all can act as triggers to launch a workflow of other emails to help lead that customer down the path to engage with your sales team or purchase your product.
What’s coming to sequencing: The future of sequencing is coming fast. Many CRM’s are now trying to integrate sequencing into their platforms. Multi-Platform Sequencing is the future. This allows messaging on multiple platforms automatically. Sending LinkedIn messages, sending emails, scheduling activities on salespeople’s daily dashboards, auto-scheduling meetings with customers using Callendly or Microsoft Bookings, all are the future of this platform.
What we have done: At Network Center we partnered with a company to help us succeed in this area while at the same time developing software for the future. Mind Matrix works with our current CRM and has content already built for our industry. It allows for time-based and trigger-based email sequencing and is very automated. We are in the final stages of launching this to the sales team. Secondly, we are helping build the software of the future. A CRM dashboard that is being created by our partner, Plumly, will help automate the sequencing process, alert salespeople in real-time with text messages or Teams messages for prompt responses, use pre-recorded voicemails with the correct messages, video messages to email or LinkedIn and many other unique offerings. The abilities are endless and we look forward to evolving this over the next few months/years.
In 2022, I feel video messaging will be a sales tool used by all the top sales professionals. Engaging with people and re-humanizing contact with your potential customers is so important right now. Currently, traditional engagements are not working. Door knocking is not the same. The contacts are not available or working from home, doors are locked, or appointments are needed. Phone calling is a voicemail graveyard, contacts are not answering their phones unless they know the number, even if you spoof the number. Emails are getting lost to a slough of junk emails that don’t get read, and if they do, are not engaging potential customers. Therefore, sales professionals need to get creative and stand out.
Video messaging is the tool all sales organizations should be implementing. You get to humanize your interaction with potential customers. They get to put a name to the face. They see your smile and how passionate you are about your product. You get to personalize the message to that client, write their name on a piece of paper, hold up their logo. Do something that makes you stand out and you will see wins. These videos are also helping sales professionals hold more and better conversations by sending pre- and post-meeting videos to engage prospects, letting them know you care and they can trust you. Another great option is delivering proposals with a video to help them step through more complex proposals using a screen recorder option. All of these make you stand out from your competition.
Finding a platform for video messaging also allows you to track the performance of your videos. You can see who is clicking on it and when, how long they watched it, you can even embed “call to actions” for customers to click a link and enter information, download a white paper or request a quote or meeting.
What we are doing: Network Center is implementing software called BombBomb as a video platform. This platform lets us create and track videos, embed marketing information, do screen sharing and overall engage with clients at a higher rate–which is estimated to be over double what our traditional methods have resulted in. They are also showing over 75% more click-throughs rates than typical emails or messages.
Building Your Team
You can have the best CRM in the world, you can use the most renowned database tool for finding potential customers, you can implement sequencing and you can deploy a video messaging platform but if your sales organization is not ready, all will be wasted.
It is important to have your team engaged in the tools you are implementing. They must “buy in” to the concepts presented or they will never work. These also need to have the time and resources to perform. In many organizations, you just have sales professionals and that’s it. Those professionals need to handle everything from pre-sales engagements to qualifying, proposing and closing all the way to nurturing the client for future business. In those organizations, it is hard to implement these advanced tools because many are inundated with daily sales “busy” work. Therefore, many organizations are transforming.
Sales organizational transformations have been going on for years. We all know that 80% of the sales are done by 20% of the reps. So, organizations are looking to change this stat and here is how they have done it and what Network Center is working towards. Creating a process in sales to do more with less. Implementing Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s) to work the pre-sales side of the sales cycle is helping keep the higher producing Account Managers (AM’s) in front of more prospects. These SDR’s use the tools above to engage prospects and schedule meetings for the Account Managers. These SDR’s are entry positions with lower costs than Account Managers but bring a huge value to the organization by keeping the AM’s in the field. You are also building a pipeline of future AM’s with these SDR positions.
Lastly, we all know what a typical AM’s mentality is, find a prospect, close the deal, move on to the next prospect. There is no development of the customer beyond the initial sale, and if there is, it is usually initiated by the customer. So, moving to a Customer Success Manager (CSM) role will help build your recurring business and keep clients longer. Trust is established with the CSM’s and you will see added growth with your clients. We have all heard the line “I didn’t know you sold that” and just cringe. This helps your current clients know and understand all the products you sell.