• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Why Field Sales and Telesales Are Becoming Virtual Sales

Why Field Sales and Telesales Are Becoming Virtual Sales



Guide to kick up your sales performance from CSO Insights’ 2010 Optimization Study. ...

Guide to kick up your sales performance from CSO Insights’ 2010 Optimization Study.

With deal closings at an all-time low, and 49% of sales folks not making quota, this guide offers key strategies to increase prospect collaboration, relationship building, sales management, and overall deal closings.

Try GoToMeeting free for 30 days and enjoy the ease of meeting online: http://gotom.tg/RiPXiJ

Communicate Better. Build Trust. Get More Done.



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



1 Embed 1

http://www.slideshare.net 1



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Why Field Sales and Telesales Are Becoming Virtual Sales Why Field Sales and Telesales Are Becoming Virtual Sales Document Transcript

    • M nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn The Sales Management 2.0 Insights Series: Why Field Sales and Telesales Are Becoming Virtual Sales By Jim Dickie & Barry Trailer; Managing Partners, CSO Insights The Sales Effectiveness Challenge CSO Insights’ 2010 Sales Performance Optimization (SPO) study of over 2,800 companies worldwide confirmed what many sales executives were keenly aware of the fact that sales teams are facing more challenges today than ever before. Across all of the firms recently surveyed, on average, we found that only 51.7% of sales reps made quota in 2009, down from 58.8% the previous year. Even in light of this fact, 85% of the companies that participated in the study said they were raising quotas, yet again, for 2010. If we are going to help reps hit these higher revenue targets, we need to challenge the status quo of how we sell and surface new methods for finding more, winning more, and keeping more customers. In this whitepaper we will explore a new way of looking at the telesales and field based sales teams we are leveraging to engage customers. Telesales and Field Sales Circa 2000 When we published The Sales and Marketing Excellence Challenge nearly a decade ago, we included an interview with Bernie Goldberg in which he shared his perspective on the role of telesales. Goldberg was one of the innovators of “tele” selling in the 1970s when he led an initiative at IBM to pioneer the use of the phone in marketing to and selling to clients. Author of the book, How to Manage and Execute Telephone Selling and former Vice Chair of the Direct Marketing Association, Goldberg’s insights into the intricacies of making telesales operations successful were valued by firms. And his suggestions on how to integrate this model to supplement and complement face-to-face selling were adopted by many sales organizations. In his interview with us, Goldberg pointed out that from his perspective there were key differences between the jobs that telesales people and field sales reps were asked to do. These in turn required that processes like hiring profiles, compensation plans, management structures, etc., needed to be different between these two sales teams. © CSO Insights CSOiCL67111 1 No portion of this report may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the authors.
    • The net-net of his message regarding the focus of telesales needed to be on reps making lots of calls, to lots of typically smaller accounts, to close lots of small deals, in only a few calls per deal. Conversely, field sales should continue to focus on selling big ticket items, to large accounts, involving a lot of face time to cement and expand relationships, where many calls on the same account were required to close a deal. Under the telesales/field sales model Goldberg stated that a typical telesales rep could actively manage ~450 clients while a field sales rep could fully support ~30. At the time, his position was logical, well crafted, well documented, etc. But events over the past few years have blurred the lines between telesales and field sales. Telesales and Field Sales 2010 In reviewing the study data from our annual telesales performance studies, over the past five years we noted several trends. Consider the following: Telesales Performance 2006 Telesales 2010 Telesales Comparison Study Study Companies with an Average 15% 25% Telesales Quota >$1M Average Deal Size >$25K 6% 29% Here we see that more telesales reps are now carrying, and achieving, what would have traditionally been considered field sales-like quotas. One way they are able to hit these higher revenue targets is by selling larger deals. Nearly a third of the firms surveyed are closing opportunities valued at >$25,000 and our benchmarking found some firms closing mid-six figure deals with their telesales teams. So, the premise that telesales is good for pursuing small opportunities is being challenged as we see that telesales may well have the potential to close any size deals. Another challenge to the conventional wisdom of the past is happening on the field sales side of the house. Starting in late 2008 and early 2009, when the economy began to deteriorate, many companies made cuts in expenses to help their firms weather the storm (many of which are still in place). One area of cost reduction for many sales organizations was travel budgets. The funds available to field sales people, and their support staffs, were scaled back and in some cases dramatically. Field sales reps were forced to find new ways to make sales with less face time with their clients. And, interestingly enough, many of them did. In the course of doing so, they started to find that developing meaningful relationships is more about the quality of the interactions you have with clients, and achieving that doesn’t always require you to be in the same room with your customers. © CSO Insights CSOiCL67111 2 No portion of this report may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the authors.
    • Virtual Selling: Blending High Touch with Online Meetings What we are seeing is that more telesales and field sales teams, while motivated for different reasons, are arriving at the same conclusion: “virtually selling” can help them sell more. So, what do we mean by virtual selling? First, let’s review what it is not. We are not, by any means, intending to infer that there is a new silver bullet that salespeople can turn to in order to make sales happen by magic. Sales is still sales. Reps need to align their sell cycle to the prospect’s buy cycle and ensure that steps such as conducting a needs analysis, delivering presentations/demonstrations, handling objections and questions, pre-testing and then presenting the proposal, negotiating terms and conditions, etc., all happen. We refer to this as the “high touch” of selling: sales rep’s personal interactions with the prospect. Salespeople who execute these steps effectively can create a sense of urgency, differentiate themselves from the competition, sell value (so they can avoid discounting), etc. So, virtual selling is not meant to replace “what” sales reps do, but rather improve “how” they do it. The way that more and more firms are effectively moving toward selling is introducing the use of Web-based sales collaboration technology into the sales process. These solutions have become a mainstay for marketing, allowing them to host Webinars where they can deliver one-to-many presentations to prospects to create interest and thereby generate leads. For sales, online meetings help create that “high touch” experience with their prospects. Our 2010 SPO study surfaced a jump in the number of sales organizations that are now utilizing these platforms to sell to customers, as seen in the following table: Sales Collaboration 2008 SPO 2010 SPO Adoption Study Study % of Sales Teams Using 25% 36% Online Meeting Solutions Based on projected plans to implement additional technology to support sales teams, this number could reach 50% over the next twelve months. To help conceptualize what this means, lets overview how telesales and field sales teams can leverage these solutions to enhance prospect interactions. Telesales as Virtual Sales In interviewing telesales reps, in addition to hearing the pluses they see from this type of selling, we also hear the frustrations. Selling purely over the phone means that the delivery of presentations, reviewing requirements’ lists, case studies, price lists, etc., © CSO Insights CSOiCL67111 3 No portion of this report may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the authors.
    • need to be shared ahead of time so that each of the call participants have the same version of all the materials. But what if this doesn’t occur? Or, what happens if during the call the need to share additional materials arises? Well then, everyone waits for the materials to come through via email. When you begin going through the information, how many times do the comments such as, “Wait a minute, what document are you looking at?” Or, “Sorry, what page are you on?” come up, and in turn distract the flow of the conversation? And when trying to collaborate on a document to make updates, the version control can become an issue. Online selling is about leveraging sales collaboration solutions to change the dynamics of those telesales–based interactions. In addition to getting on a conference line for the call, users can also sign into a Web-based session. The organizer begins the meeting by sharing his or her computer desktop with the other participants, in addition to connecting to the audio portion via VoIP or through a toll-free number. This guarantees that everyone is looking at and hearing the same information. Need to bring up another item of information or application? This task is now only a few clicks away. Need to change who is presenting? For example, you may want to shift the conversation from the prospect reviewing the key points of their RFP document, to a sales rep accessing a PowerPoint file to explain how they could meet that need. Control over which desktop screen is being viewed can be easily passed from one participant to another, in addition to keyboard and mouse control. Sales collaboration moves the session from a phone call to a more efficient and effective online meeting. The exchange of information is more crisp and concise, and the time required to complete the session is optimized due to the eliminated travel time. Users of this technology also report Web-based meetings facilitate having discussions on more complex topics than can be handled using just the phone. Field Sales as Virtual Sales Now think about this from a field sales perspective. A sales rep is told they can’t make a trip to see the client because budgets are tight. Or, maybe they can go but their sales support specialist can’t. Virtual sales can step in and be the support system needed to ensure that the quality of the meeting doesn’t suffer. Another factor to consider here is the quantity of meetings. Let’s go back to Goldberg’s original model for the number of accounts a field sales rep could manage compared to a telesales rep. One of the key factors in his calculation was that travel time and the proximity of one prospect to another limits the number of calls a field sales person can make. If a field sales rep could migrate 50% of their calls to the new virtual model, they could have more meetings with more clients each week. © CSO Insights CSOiCL67111 4 No portion of this report may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the authors.
    • The same would be true of the support staff they leverage. In fact, we have benchmarked several companies that now make sales support specialists available only via a virtual selling model. This accomplishes two things. First, because the specialists can now take part in more virtual meetings per day, the number of reps they can personally support increases. Second, the virtual model removes the geographic limitations on who can attend meetings. If the client is in Dallas, TX and the best person to do a demo for that client is in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a little respect for time zone differences, the best players to move the deal forward can take part in the session. The Power of Capturing the Interaction There is another major advantage to virtual selling worth considering. In any buyer/seller meeting two things are happening. The client is sharing their needs with you, and you are sharing your perspectives on now to meet those needs. Using a virtual selling model you have the option of recording the entire session for subsequent replay which offers benefits to both sides. From a buyer’s perspective, the session is now available to share with others who did not attend the live session. For example, if another stakeholder gets involved later in the process, someone in purchasing has questions about the terms that were previously discussed, or during the decision making process there are differences of opinion on what your product can or cannot do, people don’t have to rely on their notes from the meeting, they can actually revisit exactly what was said. Conversely, recording those meetings allows the salesperson to capture the perspectives of the customer. Need to go back and review what questions were asked to ensure you get all of them answered, want to review what the key items were for each stakeholder as you start work on the proposal, need to ensure you have the comments that were shared about your pricing as you finalize the quote, etc.? Again, all the insights are there for you to easily access or to share with others inside your company. Virtual Selling Going Forward To be effective, how we sell needs to constantly evolve. Virtual selling is showing that telesales reps can increase their performance by leveraging technology to hold more impactful interactions with clients. Field sales can increase their productivity while reducing their cost by replacing a percentage of their face-to-face selling with online meetings. In benchmarking sales effectiveness initiatives, we collected a number of recommendations from sales professionals on what to look for in an online meeting solution: © CSO Insights CSOiCL67111 5 No portion of this report may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the authors.
    •  Scheduling Meetings: You will want a service that supports the ability to easily set up one-time events, instant meetings, and reoccurring meetings. To facilitate this, integrated scheduling with Microsoft Outlook® is a must. In order to ensure all potential attendees can access the meeting, you want a meeting platform that supports both PCs and Macs.  Conducting Meetings: To facilitate the sessions themselves you will want to use a service that provides full desktop sharing, specific application sharing, and allows you to change presenters as needed giving others keyboard and mouse control. As you may find the need to bring additional resources into an existing session, you should be able to easily invite others to the meeting on the fly. Other features that help enrich the session are access to drawing tools to emphasize points, chat support, and multiple monitor support.  Post Meeting Management: You will want to have the ability to record meetings so they can be shared with others for playback after the live event. Attendance reporting and surveying the attendees were cited as useful options, as well as the ability to easily schedule future meetings to handle additional tasks that may arise. All of this should be able to be managed via an online administration center. Providing telesales and field sales reps access to these tools, along with support on how to effectively use them, can go a long way toward not only improving sales performance while we wait for the economy to fully recover, but also provide us with new best practices that will continue to optimize productivity even when the business climate improves. © CSO Insights CSOiCL67111 6 No portion of this report may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the authors.