If you asked sales reps and leaders what the biggest problem with prospecting is, you would likely get varied answers on the time it takes to execute, who should own the process, the quality of leads, closing them… the list goes on. In all those responses, I doubt you’ll find the actual answer: the biggest problem with prospecting is people.
Hear me out. As a sales leader, you rely heavily on financial models to inform the decisions you make. These models are built on tons of tiny data points which together build cyclical trends which you can use to forecast sales, build quotas, determine cost per lead, and all sorts of other things. But people are responsible for making those data points. Even when pulled from a CRM, your reps are responsible for manually entering that data into the system. What’s so wrong with this?
People are variable. One rep won’t perform equivalent to his or her peer, and even the same rep won’t reach the exact same performance every day. From vacation time, to sick days, experience, motivation levels, even if it’s too cold in the office on any particular day, anything can influence a sales rep’s performance so it’s inconsistent. Not to mention that the average sales rep tenure is only around 18 months and 3 to 6 of those months are spent onboarding. So at best, your sales reps can only commit 12 months of fully ramped, inconsistent performance. Inconsistency impacts your data and processes, so even though you’re making decisions to the best of your ability, it can never be fully predictable.
How do you fix it? Just as you would automate your organization’s marketing efforts, outbound prospecting should be an automated, programmatic process. Automating prospecting provides a few benefits. First, by automating the function and using tools like Sidekick and Outreach.io, you save your reps the time it usually takes out of their sales process. Now they can spend more time closing deals.
Secondly, automation eliminates the inconsistency that reps bring to prospecting. By establishing consistency and continuity, automated prospecting allows you to have drastically more reliable data points which you can use to make insightful, data-backed decisions. For the business, this equates to a more predictable and reliable revenue stream.
How do you start automating your prospecting efforts? There’s some science behind it, and we’ve nailed it down, but that doesn’t mean you can take advantage of it. If you’re interested in learning how we do it, request a consultation to complete an automation assessment for your outbound sales efforts.
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