I’ve been training the Salesforce sales team on outbound prospecting skills for over five years, and have shared and learned a lot along the way. It’s one of the more aggressive and fast-moving sales organizations in the world, which forces me to evolve as I try to stay one step ahead and continue to add value.
These days, any sales “technique” has an extremely short shelf life. This was not the case when information was less readily available. Now, if someone comes up with a technique that works, someone else finds out about it and writes a blog, and then everyone uses it and kills its effectiveness. A perfect example of this is the alligator email.
The reason I bring this up is because my training used to be focused on techniques. In working with Salesforce, I noticed how quickly these techniques would become ineffective after overuse. This is why I’ve shifted my training to focus on the structure of how to approach prospecting, and help reps build their own prospecting engine that they can plug any technique into. A solid foundational structure on how to prospect is far more effective than any specific technique.
This structure applies to all aspects of targeted prospecting: emails, calls or voice mails, contact strategies, social selling, daily routines, and everything else. This structure also has a significant impact on results and time management. If we all had all the time in the world to research every aspect of our target accounts and then spend an hour writing the perfect email, it would be great.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as many of us (including Salesforce reps) are held to certain activity metrics. However, if we blast out template emails and make generic cold calls just to hit our activity numbers, we’re no different than marketing and will be replaced very soon.