Last year, I wrote about the 5 things that every sales rep wants for the holidays. It was so fun that this year I decided to take another crack at it and go for broke: double the list. The challenge was for me not to repeat what I wrote last year.
Here we go, the top 10 things every sales rep wants for the holidays.
1. The perfect cold email template
2015 has definitely been the rise of the cold email instead of the cold call. The phone is still one of the best sales tools available, but the strategy of warming up prospects with cold emails and social selling methods are really taking hold. I’ve read countless articles about how to craft a cold email, but it seems the perfect one is still elusive.
- Call to action or no call to action?
- Personalize but don’t be creepy?
- Send 2 emails? 5 emails?
It would be great if the perfect cold email with a high response rate was dropped down the chimney this year.
2. More conversations with prospects and customers – please just pick up the phone!
People just don’t seem to answer their phones very much these days (8% connect rate according to InsightSquared) so having an actual conversation is a challenge. While I’m not sure what the magic bullet is, number one on this list, warming up people with cold emails, is leading to an uptick in phone conversations for us.
3. For AEs: For the SDR team to actually qualify a lead for once #throwingshade
Today, many sales teams split their teams into business or sales development and account management. Account managers: how many times have you received a lead from your business development team where it seemed like they haven’t even talked to them? As an AE, you’re busy, you don’t have time to waste on unqualified leads. Let’s hope in 2016 those SDRs step it up a bit. Am I right?
4. For SDRs: For the AE to work a hot lead instead of complaining about it to the SDR team #sorrynotsorry
When you’re a SDR, sometimes it seems that an account executive is only good at one thing: complaining about the quality of their leads. How’s this for a suggestion: Prospect yourself! It’s hard work finding a cold lead and warming them up to be the picture-perfect qualified lead. C’mon AEs, quit complaining and be thankful you have a sales development team! Tis the season to be jolly, after all.
5. To get paid an accurate commission check…for once!
Doesn’t Finance get it? Sales reps work on commission. If the amount gets screwed up, we get mad and lose motivation. There are about a hundred tools to calculate the accurate commission, please use one. Yes, I understand it’s complex for big sales teams – I don’t care!
6. A healthy pipeline going into 2016
I realize this one is almost completely up to me but I don’t care, I still want a pipeline overflowing with amazing leads ready for me to close in 2016. Please Santa, I’ve been a good boy this year.
7. More repeat business and renewals
Repeat business is in theory easier to get. With so many companies selling subscriptions, renewals are easy money (again, in theory). That being said, it seems the Product team doesn’t always get that. We all want That Killer Feature© that will lock my customer in for another year.
8. For Legal not to take vacation over the holiday season
Number 8 and number 9 are especially true when selling to larger companies, especially publicly traded ones. Has this happened to you? You have been working on a sales cycle for 6 months. The decision makers are ready to move forward, it “Just needs to go to legal.” Well, we know what those dreaded words mean – this deal just slipped into next quarter. Please, Legal teams, don’t take 3 weeks off when I need to close my deal.
9. New customers to add me to the vendor list in under 6 months
What’s worse than Legal? Procurement. Again, you‘ve had a long sales cycle and you can taste it’s going to close, then bam – “You’re not on the vendor list.” This very scenario has been a 6-month journey for me in the past. Here’s a tip: get ahead of this problem. If you feel that the deal is getting close, ask your prospect, “Is there anything we can do to start the process with procurement?” This can do two things for you:
- Helps qualify the deal. If your prospect isn’t interested in getting that started, that means they’re still not sure about moving forward.
- Shortens the time to get added as a vendor.
Two in one: it’s a holiday miracle.
10. That red Ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Not everyone in sales cares about cool cars. But then again, a lot do. Do you think giving away a car to top sales reps went away in the Wolf of Wall Street days? Think again. One example is Apttus. In 2014, they gave away three exotic cars to their top performing sales reps. Now that you know it’s possible, why not wish for one in 2015?
Happy closing and happy holidays everyone!
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