Making the Next Sale: 8 Tips for Telecom Sales Teams

The average sales person makes 8 dials per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to set 1 appointment.
[Source: Ovation Sales Group]

One appointment, not one sale. As a job description, that is a bit depressing. In 2017 no one wants to spend nearly a full business day hard at work with little to no results. Or what about this one?

Nearly 57% of B2B prospects and customers feel that their sales teams are not prepared for the first meeting. [Source: IDC]

Talk about constructive criticism. With that kind of success rate and feedback, this last one is no surprise:

Sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads. [Source: The B2B Lead]

Despite these disheartening statistics, the sales profession is here to stay. Particularly in B2B situations, sales people are simply the best way to convert prospective customers into partners. So it is high time that we have a discussion about sales and support our sales teams in the valuable work that they do.

Today we have Sheila Belzil from our Sales Department sharing a few strategies to make telecoms selling easier.

Strategy tip #1: Know your stuff

Before you ever pick up the phone to make a sales call, you must know your product inside and out. Prospects are naturally going to ask questions before committing to your company, so you better have the answers ready. And not just the product, you need to know your company, your employees, your partners, and even the market in general. Leads will be more likely to trust and listen to you if you establish yourself as an industry expert.

Strategy tip #2: Stay ahead of the game

According to Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers do research online before making a decision. We are living in a buyer’s market and in the age of Google. Most prospects are going to know plenty about what is new in the industry and what your competitors are offering. As a sales person, you need to stay ahead and know what is new and what is coming so you are not caught off guard by questions. Again, that knowledge will make you more trustworthy.

Strategy tip #3: Attract consumers with content

This tip will be fulfilled by the marketing team, but sales reps that want to sell should be pushing for it. If 94% of your prospects are researching you online, what are they going to find? There better be plenty of interesting content for them to read and look at before something – or someone – else steals their attention. The sales team will know best what type of content interests their prospects, so they should be contributing to the conception of marketing ideas.

Strategy tip #4: Nurture your leads

Your marketing team put all that great content out there, prospects are finding and consuming it, but they are probably still not ready for you to swoop in with a sales pitch. Their interest is piqued, but they still need more information. Now is the time for engagement through targeted content. Modern softwares and technologies can track what exactly your leads are looking at so that know what to send them next.

Strategy tip #5: Listen before you speak

You are finally on a call with a lead and itching to delve into your sales pitch. But before you start talking all about your company and your products, ask about theirs and then really listen. Aside from validating the lead and making them feel valued, you will gain insight into the types of problems they face. Even if you do not win the sale, the information gained will make you a better sales person for the next one.

Strategy tip #6: Be organized

Any successful sales team knows the value of organizing leads. A good CRM is a must to get through the sales cycle as painlessly as possible (check out: 7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need). Aside from the obvious benefits of more efficient lead management, organization helps nurture leads through the buying process and makes automated personalization possible.

Strategy tip #7: Dedicate account managers

A smooth sales cycle takes a number of dedicated staff to keep the pieces moving. From the early stages of marketing to making a sale to a dedicated account manager, each person plays an important, and often personal role. Do not let any leads feel like just another pawn coming down an assembly line. A dedicated account manager will get to know each lead on a personal level and ensure individual satisfaction.

Strategy tip #8: Making the sale is just the beginning

You made it through the sales cycle: your prospect became a lead and then a customer. Take a moment to celebrate, but then get right back to work because this is only the beginning. Supporting your customer after the sale is every bit as important as making another sale. Stay in touch and be a familiar presence; you want your customers talking to you before anything goes wrong. Keep them confident in your solution so they stick around for years to come. (Check out our video: 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty for ITSPs & Telco).

Would you like help improving your telecom sales or marketing strategy? Please contact your account manager or create a free account for expert advice and tools.

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How to Win More Telecom Sales

telecom salesYou step into the car dealership and look around at all of your options. Red convertibles, little sports cars, all-terrain trucks. In your mind, you’re already flying down the highway, the breeze in your hair, music pouring from the car’s speakers, when the salesperson interrupts your thoughts with his mundane descriptions of the type of rubber in the car’s tires and the new fuel injection system.

When customers buy a car, they want to know how it’s going to feel driving it, not all the little mechanical details. The same idea applies to Unified Communication sales. At Bicom Systems, we’ve learned that in order to win more customers, you must give them an experience, a feeling, not just a description of each component of a phone system.

Start by getting to know your potential customers. Understand their visions, their plans for the future. Ask them about their current expenses and problems and get them to look forward two or three years and tell you what they’d like to change. Get into the mind of the customer.

The next step is to shift the customer’s focus away from the phone system to the bigger picture. Don’t describe the features, describe how those features will change their lives. How they’ll be saving time and energy. How they’ll be making sales left and right. How the system practically runs itself. Bicom Systems products piece together to create a seamless system for customers. We tell customers that our PBXware, TELCOware, and SERVERware combination will free up their time to win more sales while the technical operations go on in the background.

Finally, don’t forget to include a number of applications. Potential customers can find “good phone systems” among your competition. But if you have a “good phone system” with additional applications to make life easier for the customer, that will set you apart from the crowd. Even the most simple application can make all the difference if it is incredibly useful. Bicom Systems offers gloCOM, our Unified Communications desktop and mobile app, as the icing on the cake. gloCOM and our other applications speed up otherwise laborious tasks and give our clients that extra push that they need to sign on.

In short, don’t get lost in the competition by just offering a phone system. Or even a good phone system. Stand out from the rest by offering a lifestyle.

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Are All Prospects Worth the Sales Pitch?

sales pitchThe short answer: Yes.

Anyone in telecom sales knows the importance of prioritizing leads and allocating your time wisely. Of course there will always be prospects that are clearly worth extra attention and time. But no prospect should be ignored if you are still interested in growing.

The reasons are obvious: you never know who will surprise you, ignoring a lead may hurt your brand image, etc. But we have a prime example of the value of every lead.

A few days ago we were contacted by a company that wanted our gloCOM unified communications softphone app. They already had an Asterisk-based PBX system and were not interested in making any changes. They just needed that one last piece to tie the whole solution together.

Rather than writing them off as satisfied with another provider, the assigned Account Manager started a conversation to see where it went. In just 15 minutes the contact had become interested in our philosophy of “all the pieces” and signed-up to test Multi-Tenant PBX.

Moral of the story: Even a prospect that is 100% satisfied with their current provider can be swayed with even a short, open conversation.

So the answer is yes, ALL prospects are worth the sales pitch.

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