In the years I’ve spent in sales I have seen many organizations that claim to make a difference in the overall success of their clients and I have seen those companies that actually do. The companies that actually do make a difference tend to focus a lot on research.
One of the organizations that I have been privileged to call a partner as I’ve worked with InsideSales.com is The Bridge Group, Inc. They are one of those awsome organizations that DO make a difference. Given my latest post discussing the worth of great people, I wanted to share some research that they have done in the way of inside sales compensation and metrics. If you are a sales person worth your salt…this is good news!
The picture below shows the average compensation and metrics around Lead Generation teams, Inside Sales Teams, SaaS Inside Sales Teams, and Inside Sales Management. It also points to some of the top challenges faced by these teams.
As displayed in the image above, you can see that average compensation breaks down as follows:
- Average Base Salary: $47k
- Average Total Comp: $72k
- Average Base Salary: $53k
- Average OTE (on target earnings): $94k
SaaS Inside Sales:
- Average Base Salary: $57k
- Average OTE (on target earnings): $109k
The diagram is a visual representation of more in depth research that you can find by going to The Bridge Group site at http://www.bridgegroupinc.com/saas_metrics_insidesales.html?utm_source=ISDC
As I touted in my last post – Great People are Worth It!
By: Brian McFadyen
If you’re like me, you’ve heard many times the adage ”Actions Speak Louder Than Words.” It applies to people of all backgrounds and positions in life. It even applies to entrepreneurs and business owners. In my discussions with business executives nationwide (and across multiple verticals), I am often asked a recurring question “How do I GET and KEEP the best people for my organization?” My response is usually, “What expectations are you setting with your compensation package and culture?”
Getting the Right People on the Bus:
I recently had the pleasure of re-reading the Jim Collins book “Good to Great.” What an insightful book! It shares research on what truly great companies have done to grow from a good company to an absolutely great one. He talked about the first thing that the extraordinary executives in these companies did when preparing to make this transition. Simply put: They put the right people in the right seats on the bus even before finalizing the direction they would take.
It sounds counter intuitive, however, as Collins points out “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” He goes on to state, “In a good-to-great transformation, people are not your most important asset. The right people are.”
You have to have the right people, holding the proper positions, in your organization in order to realize the full vision of what your company can achieve. Not only to realize, but to then maintain prolonged success.
Keeping the Right People on the Bus:
There are many variables that go into finding and retaining the best, most skilled, employees for any organization. Articles abound pointing to benefits, culture, location, brand prestige and more. In reality, they all contribute. However I’ve found, especially in a SALES environment, that the variable overarching all of the rest is COMPENSATION.
Collins sites compensation as being very important while making a great distinction as to how it should be used. He states, “The purpose of a compensation system should not be to get the right behaviors from the wrong people, but to get the right people on the bus in the first place, and to keep them there.”
Over the past 15 years working in and with sales teams I’ve noticed that the organizations who pay well seem to attract the most qualified, skilled, and driven individuals. This lends enormous credence to the idea that you need to pay your people in a manner equal to the output you desire they achieve. In a sales environment, if you want someone who is a six figure sales person, then provide them the six figure compensation. If you offer on target earnings (OTE) of $60k, then you will attract a $60k performer. Put another way, you can’t attract a Lebron James by paying a Mark Madsen salary.
Adam Grant addresses this idea in his book “Give and Take”. The company must evaluate what they are willing to pay for TOP Performers and then compensate their people in this manner. It will attract the top performers and keep them for the long haul.
Beware – don’t feel like you are “getting a deal” by hiring a six figure performer at a $60k price. That individual will not last long with the company and will likely be unhappy and less productive in that time. If the worry over money is removed, the right people can, and will drive amazing results for your company.
What About the Wrong People:
Of course, there will be those who just don’t fit the top performer compensation you offer. Jim Collins states that you should make a change quickly, but in a calculated manner. Perhaps that person is a driven, capable individual who might shine in another area of the organization. Make the move and bring someone else in to fill the vacated role. Get the RIGHT PEOPLE on the RIGHT SEATS. If it turns out that they truly are the wrong person for your company, then it’s best to let go so they can move to something more suitable to them, and the company can focus on filling the seats with the right people.
Ultimately, the choice is yours as to what you’ll do to attract and keep the best talent in your organization. But from what I’ve seen and researched, the best way to find and keep the right people is to remove the money barrier, get them on board, and find the right seat. Like Lebron, they’ll bring the HEAT!
By: Brian McFadyen
Insidesales.com provides the best lead management and dialer technology available today. The technology provides increased efficiency, high visibility, and exponential output. Companies using any combination of the insidesales technology are experiencing 5 times increases in their results…sometimes more. How can you not with amazing products like PowerDialer, LocalPresence, PowerStandings and PowerSocial
As I survey the sales floor at IS.com I hear the constant buzz of 22 business development reps, and close to 40 sales reps answering questions and sharing demos of this phenomenal technology. It is a major reason for our huge growth. We’ve more than doubled in size since this time last year and expect to double again by the end of 2013.
Yes, InsideSales.com technology is unmatched in the marketplace. But, what many don’t see, or sometimes don’t understand, is that InsideSales.com is a full sales solution that includes training and consulting for organizations who want to transform the productivity and professionalism of their sales teams.
The exceptional software is developed by the need for sales organizations to adhere to best practices that drive contact rates, qualification rates, and sales revenue. These best practices are derived from extensive research spanning many years, thousands of companies and billions of sales data points.
Training and consulting is provided as a way for clients and other organizations to master the research and best practices. It helps companies take the 5x gains derived from the software and increase it another 8x. I’ve never met a CEO or VP of Sales that didn’t want to see a 13x improvement in the results they get…no matter how good the already are.
- The Certified InsideSales System Administrator (CISA – I) certification provides full knowledge and expertise on the technology and how the best practices are served by it.
- The Certified InsideSales Operations (CISO) certification provides the research, models, and strategies to drive exponential sales in any sales team.
Information on these programs can be attained at www.insidesales.com/certification.
Insidesales.com takes their industry leading research and best practices and combines it with their technology to help organizations build, improve, or save their sales organizations. Through a process of analysis, design, implementation and evaluation, we have helped many organizations accelerate sales and exceed revenue goals.
Really, any organization that purports to help improve your sales team has to provide you an entire solution. Without the research, best practices, and the technology to incorporate them, you are missing the opportunity to improve your sales results EXPONENTIALLY!
By: Brian McFadyen
In my last post, Building and Improving a Sales Team Through Consulting, I mentioned a study that highlighted the “The Top Problems of the Inside Sales Industry”. The study is very enlightening as it provides insights on the top obstacles faced by both sales managers and sales reps. Take a look at the research and see if the same things are keeping YOU up at night:
Sales managers have a lot to worry about. They are responsible for hiring the right people for the sales team. They have to equip, train, and compensate them. They must monitor and report on their ongoing results. All of these tasks occupy the mind and the calendar. However, the study clearly showed that the top concern sales managers face is providing their team with good leads.
The top 4 obstacles expressed by sales reps have to do with leads and the ability to contact those leads.
I personally have found this to be the case in my career. Finding and making contact with the right leads is the most difficult part of the sales process. I would venture to say it is also the least enjoyable part.
Companies who want to produce greater sales revenues need to help their sales managers and their teams address these concerns. BUT HOW?
- Focus marketing resources on finding the right lists. Go after the best lists you can afford. The lists MUST focus on your target industries, companies, and decision makers by title. Remember that the best lists will be the hardest to find. But, if you spend the time testing and searching, those lists will be worth their weight in sales gold!
- Provide your sales team with the tools to increase contact rates! InsideSales.com has had a 92% contact rate for nearly 3 years. This is due to the technology and sales models that focus on the 7 ways to increase contact rates: immediacy, persistence, optimal response, time of day, day of week, direct dial number, local presence. These same technologies and sales models have helped companies like Lexis Nexis to see a 13x increase in their sales productivity.
If leads are the top concern of our sales managers and sales reps, then why wouldn’t that be a major focus of the organization? Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com, continually and rightfully sounds this clarion cry of the successful sales organization…”It’s all about the leads”.
By: Brian McFadyen
A recent research study titled “The Top Problems of the Inside Sales Industry” highlighted the issues facing sales managers and their teams. The biggest problems shared by sales managers revolve around finding the right leads and hiring, training, and retaining the right people. The front line sales reps reported that their largest issues dealt with making contact with busy decision makers.
When companies contact my team for help, we are often asked the same questions:
- How do we get more good leads?
- How do we get good people?
- Will you do it for us?
These three questions are the basis for the training and consulting services we provide. We do this because so many face these issues. We do this because, so often, all a company needs is a little time to learn how…or remember how…to focus on and work efficiently around these issues.
Why is consulting so important?
To answer that, I will share a story from our group here at InsideSales.com. Our President Ken Krogue was called on to consult for PeopleWise, a division of Lexis Nexis. They had experienced a couple of years of stagnant growth and were looking for a way to break the cycle. They had 4 lead gen reps, 4 inside sales reps, and 12 field sales reps. Ken started with a benchmark of their current process and results. He noticed that the lead gen reps were making 20 calls per day and only averaging 1/2 an appointment per rep per day. He decided his focus would be the lead gen folks and helping them perform. By so doing he could impact the sales reps in a huge way.
Ken worked with the management to find and test the best lead sources and incorporate the technology to drive efficiency. Using InsideSales technology they improved their calls per day to 170 per rep ( an 8.5x increase). However the appointments per day only went up by 5x to 2.5 per day. With the effort improved, the results needed to then be addressed. Ken taught them the CLOSER Model, the First Call Sequence, and how to build credibility via the Trust Ladder. His training and consulting lifted them to 170 calls and 6.5 appointments per day (a 13x total increase).
The client realized 3 record sales months in a row because of an increase in contact and close rates. Consulting had ended their 2 year stagnancy.
Consulting has a huge impact on companies in 3 categories (and every company is in one of these categories):
- Set up – a company who is building their sales department
- Accelerate – a company looking to accelerate and improve sales performance
- Turn Around – a company who has experienced declines and is looking to turn it around, rebuild, and grow.
Whatever your situation as a team or company, the question to ask isn’t “should I bring in a consultant?” The question to ask is “What effect will the additional success a consultant brings have on me and on my company?”
By: Brian McFadyen
You and I have heard, many times, the old adage “Knowledge is Power!” We can’t argue with the truth inherent in this statement. Education is key to personal and financial growth. Of course, i know there are those who, lacking a college education or degree, have earned comfortable livings and even amassed wealth. However, these people also tout ongoing learning of other forms. Knowledge truly is power!
InsideSales.com not only believes this to be an irrefutable fact, but has gone so far as to train and certify all employees from day one on the systems they provide. By so doing they have empowered their employees and provided them the knowledge to be more productive.
Did you know that research in certification shows that putting two people through the exact same training and then having only one of them take an exam and certify yields 20% higher productivity by the individual who certified over the individual who didn’t?
Why mention all of this?
Certification is the difference between proficiency and mastery!
When a client first starts, they are implemented and trained to be successful with the systems. The systems, within a short amount of time, yield improved results and positive ROI. InsideSales has taken things even further by offering the Certified InsideSales.com Administrator and Certified InsideSales.com Administrator for Salesforce certifications.
These certifications are designed to take your CRM admin or your sales ops person from proficiency in the systems to a completely knowledgeable in-house expert. You understand the ins and outs of PowerDialer (or PowerDialer for Salesforce), ELF, LocalPresence and more. In fact, you can go to www.insidesales.com/certification and see a video testimonial of people who have attained this mastery!
The minimum 20% increase in productivity that comes from certification provides an additional boost to the entire sales team that uses the system. Where else can an individual and a company see improved productivity in just a few short days?
The concept of “knowledge is power” is taken further still with a new Sales Operations Boot Camp (Certified InsideSales.com Operations certification), a new Marketing Boot Camp (Certified InsideSales.com Marketer), and a new Lead Generation Boot Camp (Certified InsideSales.com Lead Gen) that have been developed by Ken Krogue, one of the top marketing and inside sales minds in the nation.
Ultimately, the more knowledge you, our clients, have about the systems you use and the strategies around inside sales, the greater the success you achieve. Our success is dependant on you and your success.
It can truly be said in a sales world that knowledge isn’t just power, Knowledge is PowerDialer!
By: Brian McFadyen
I recently read a book by a gentleman named John Bytheway entitled “How to be Totally Miserable”. It’s a fantastic little book that gets people to think about the things they do to either make themselves miserable, or to make themselves stay miserable. Of course, I finished reading and thought about how it could apply to those of us who have made sales our living. Here are some of his more salient points and how you and I can be Miserable in Sales:
1. Use your Imagination to Worry
How often have you and I sabotaged ourselves by imagining the most elaborate ways for a project or proposal to go south? I worried so much about one deal that I pictured the signed contracts burning up in a fiery crash on I-80 because the UPS truck veered off the interstate when the driver fell asleep. This scenario had a complete back story as t0 why the driver was sleepy and everything.
Don’t waste your creative faculties on the wasteful obsession we call worrying. Use that creativity to spark interest and create sales!
2. Believe Things Will NEVER Change
We are people driven by belief, you and I. What we believe can happen drives our actions. If we ponder on how things will never change we become less inclined to do anything. This makes it extremely likely that things either won’t change, or they’ll take a turn for the worse. Spend your time and energy being an agent of sales change. If you want things better, go make it better. Things can change, and will if you take action.
3. Don’t Do Anything
If you want to feel uninspired, worthless, and tired…don’t do anything. Literally doing nothing will not only guarantee you don’t sell, it will guarantee you don’t succeed. That is misery! If you don’t feel like doing anything…make a call. It’s amazing how talking with a prospect, or getting a mentor on the phone can help you get the perspective you need to keep moving.
4. Blame Everyone and Everything
Regardless of our political leanings, you and I can agree that President Obama blaming Bush and Republicans blaming President Obama and Democrats has been a major reason for the rise in political apathy over the past few years. Most people don’t like to hear excuses. Pointing the finger doesn’t help individuals to move forward. It doesn’t help nations advance. It certainly won’t help you and I make sales. Skip the process altogether and work out your success!
5. Be a breath of Stale Air
This one is great! I’ll bet you know someone who spends the majority of their waking hours complaining. In fact, they probably dream in negative tones and they allow that to be an excuse (see point number 4) to be miserable throughout their day. They refuse to let people cheer them up and are “content” in their misery. Do you like to be around them? I know I don’t. So, DON’T be one of these people. You don’t have to be the life of the party (though it’s great fun). You need only be someone who encourages others and shines through example.
In sales, as in life, we can bring about negative outcomes. Ultimately, you and I are responsible for our own success. Avoid these steps to being miserable in sales and watch your sales grow!
By: Brian McFadyen