Leadership Efforts Going Into 2015…

StartDear Leaders,

My letter to you this month has to do with your own leadership efforts and focus areas going into 2015.

During 2014 I had the wonderful opportunity to attend and observe numerous inside sales conferences, several chapter meetings (including the launch of Dublin), benchmarking visits of diverse inside sales teams, “The Largest Gathering of Inside Sales Leaders in the World” – The AA-ISP Leadership Summit, and countless conversations with prominent authors, speakers and leaders.  Having observed, listened and gleaned numerous tips and ideas around raising the performance and professionalism of inside sales leaders, below are three areas to consider for 2015.  My next blog will focus on three more, so stay tuned!

  • LEADERS NEED TO DEVELOP THEIR CAREERS IN 2015 FOR THE NEXT LEVEL OPPORTUNITY:  Make no mistake about it, there is a huge gap in the number of sr. level job openings and the availability of experienced inside sales leaders to fill them.  Given my role and exposure within the inside sales community, I am getting calls almost every week from recruiters looking to fill mid to very sr. level roles.  Some of the comp packages are extremely high and continue to increase… law of supply and demand!    If you’re a frontline manager to mid-level director, NOW is the time to continue to advance your career.  Build your network, benchmark other teams, soak in all the development opportunities out there, attend AA-ISP events, and even consider obtaining your AISM (Accredited Inside Sales Manager).
  • DISCRETE MODEL vs TEAMED MODEL?: Although the “Teamed” selling model continues to be the most popularly deployed across companies of all sizes and industries, the “Discrete” model is gaining momentum.  Many mid to larger enterprise organizations may deploy a few different models for their inside sales teams as there is a clear shift towards “un-coupling” inside from the field in certain situations.  The key driver behind this move has to do with how PROSPECTS and CUSTOMERS prefer to engage with sales people.  By now it’s no secret that decision makers want to connect “digitally” and virtually”… in fact they have been doing this for years… it’s just some sr. sales leaders that don’t want to accept it!  This shift in buying behavior makes it clear that face to face resources aren’t necessarily needed to transact business.  Thus, the “Discrete” model where an inside based rep carries the quota while carrying the ball across the goal-line makes perfect sense.  AA-ISP Research indicates this new model is on the rise… and it doesn’t surprise me at all!  Consider piloting a “Discrete” model in 2015 and then let us know how it goes!
  • YESTERDAY’S METRICS DON’T CORRELATE TO TODAY’S RESULTS:  It’s high time we realize that the quantity metrics around dials (prevalent in past years as KPI’s) don’t translate to today’s selling models.  During my own benchmarking I have found time and time again that the top producers aren’t necessarily the highest in call quantity.  Do the test yourself and let me know what you find.  This does not mean that the effort to reach prospects is dead… far from it.  It simply means that prospects are communicating more via alternate means such as e-mail, social and inbound, and prefer interacting initially that way.  Additionally, when and how you call, the use of direct lines, auto-dialing, and the advent of local presence allows for greater connections thus yielding less need for quantity metrics altogether.

I hope this gives you some food for thought as you plan for an outstanding year in 2015!

Until next time, good selling and good leading!

Comments

  1. Great blog, Bob! If folks are looking for more opportunities to get the most out of their sales kickoff for 2015 they may like to attend the World’s Largest Inside Sales Kickoff next Tuesday, January 27th. Learn more at: http://www.insidesales.com/events/2015/sales-kickoff?a=vec023&c=ik001

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