Earlier this week, we held our most recent Spectrum Sales Dinner Series leading up to the TOPO Summit in San Francisco.  It was a night of connecting with peers and sharing best practices and real-world experiences in an intimate setting over delicious food.  The topic of conversation was scaling sales, and we pulled together executives from Polaris Partners, Slack and others to discuss emerging trends in Sales Enablement and Operations.  

Here are three key takeaways from our dinner discussion.  

Do your prospect research

In today’s digital age, there is no excuse for not researching a specific lead before cold-contacting them.  Personalization is essential to come out on top considering that 90% of B2B decision makers don't respond to cold sales outreach, therefore you need to get creative.  Tools such as LinkedIn for Business and solutions like EverString make proactive research easier and provide you personalized knowledge on prospects right at your fingertips.  Make sure your target is the right fit, and that it’s the right time before dialling or pressing send.

Here are some high-level questions you should be answering before cold-contacting someone:

  • How long has the prospect been at the company?
    “I know you just started and have a full plate, but maybe I can check back in later.”
  • Where did they work prior?
    “I know you just left X, a customer of ours, so you probably already know our tools. I’ll save you the background info - is there anything I can do to help?"
  • Have they used your software or your competitors in the past?
    “You used X in your prior company so I thought I would reach out to you.”
  • Who are the existing connections?
    “I’m sure you’re CEO would be a great reference - he sits on our company’s board.”

Not doing proper research, can lead to embarrassing situations and fewer closed deals.  

Sales Enablement infrastructure before tools

Strong leaders are thinking about their sales enablement infrastructure ahead of jumping straight into training programs or boot camps.  Using tools as a bandaid doesn’t work. Eventually, the band-aid falls off, uncovering a weak enablement foundation that can fall to pieces.  

Tools before infrastructure can also lead to a Frankenstein tech stack, a mish-mash of too many pricey software programs, which don’t integrate and function well together which leads us into to takeaway number three.

One tool to rule them all

35% – the percentage of time that sales reps are actually selling. (Thanks, Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools)  While the landscape of tools is changing, the fundamentals and problems of making sure sales reps are productive remain the same.  In a simpler time, logging into just Salesforce was enough, reps had their CRM, email and phone and they could get straight to the grind.  There are now hundreds of SaaS solutions for Sales and reps are overwhelmed, overstimulated and it can be incredibly unproductive to jump from tool to tool to get the right information when you need it.    

[bctt tweet="35% – the percentage of time that sales reps are actually selling. (Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools)" username="kiiteHQ"]

That’s why at Kiite, we’re such big fans of Slack.  Slack, for the most part, has replaced internal email and integrates with hundreds of programs like Kiite, giving you one user-centred, single point of access to multiple sources of information.  

You may still be using 6-10 programs in your stack but a chat tool like Slack, hides the complexity, blocking out the noise and provides reps easy access to information.  

Our next Spectrum Sales Dinners will take place in Toronto and San Francisco, if you are interested or know a CEO or Head of Sales who would love an invite to join the conversation of the future of sales, please email paige@kiite.ai to learn more.  

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