About the author: Bracken Fields is the EVP of Product and Infrastructure at Sharpen. EVP of P&I is an official way of saying he makes sure the product that gets built is relevant, stays working and is accessible all over the world. The following blog post is taken from conversations he has had with sales managers and VP’s of sales.
During a product-focused conversation with – let’s call him Alex- Alex, a VP of sales for an Indy tech company, I learned that his team had been using Salesforce for months, and he still could not get his team to track their activity in a timely fashion. Alex tried all kinds of incentives to entice his, arguably fantastic, team to fill out their confounded lead records. Every bribe has worked amazingly well for about three weeks. After the excitement of the “next new thing” dies down, old habits start creeping back into production. Let’s be honest–a Starbucks gift card only does so much for so long.
This type of behavior is what humans do naturally. It takes people much smarter than Alex, or me, to quickly “reprogram” people to establish a completely new routine. Humans are creatures of habit. They not only like habit, but they seem to also be trapped by them. For example, the storyline of every show in the series, “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” . Re-programming a routine for your team can be done, but it takes a full quarter of intense training and constant nurturing to break an already ingrained habit. Alex doesn’t have that kind of time; he has revenue targets to hit, new team members to hire and T-ball games to enjoy.
Alex has spent countless hours reading books like Good to Great, Predictable Revenue and everything from Seth Godin. He has his CEO and the leadership team bought in on the idea of turning sales into a process. That’s perfect, but what is he to do with all of the wonderful artisans, craftsmen and growth hackers he has hired to execute the processes? Fire them? Not a chance. The time and manpower spent to find, train, and coach a team is staggering! He has to make the process enable his team, not slow them down.
So how can we help Alex – and by extension, all of mankind? Although that sounds dramatic, it doesn’t make it untrue.
Alex needs a product that his rockstar BDR team can use that will work alongside each team member and record their activity for them. It needs to help them send that first cold email, appropriately follow up based on engagement, and assist the agent in making a warm call to the prospect. Initiating and managing that automation needs constant tweaking to ensure success and relevancy.
Sharpen took Alex’s pain – the pain that is shared by every person tasked with growing revenue – and built products like SharpenQ, Workflow and External Data sources. With this suite of products, Alex can pull his lead list from his data warehouse, start making conversation attempts and easily record all of the data to his CRM without changing the behavior of the salesperson, and more importantly, how he reports and manages his revenue goals.
Alex’s sales people are not lazy. The tools he has for them simply leave something to be desired.
Want to see how Sharpen’s BDR team uses Sharpen Q to call the hottest leads first? Check this out: go to SharpenVoice.com and click the big, orange “Request Demo” button.