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January 29, 2014

ITEXPO Panelists Share Best Practices for Doubling Your Telecom Sales

By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin), Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

With ample networking opportunities ahead for participants attending ITEXPO (News - Alert) East 2014 in Miami, Fla., this week, having a session titled “Doubling Your Sales in Telecom” the first day of the convention certainly attracted the masses. After all, sales managers, marketers and channel partners grabbed every spare seat in the room to find out how to augment their sales practices with a new year ahead of us.

So what were some of the chief tips put forth by presenters Peter Radizeski, Go-to-Market Consulting at RAD-Info, and Angela Leavitt, founder at Mojo Marketing? Let’s take a look:

  1. Realize that Selling has Changed: There is no disputing the fact that today’s sales lifecycle is considerably different than it was in years past. Not only are new members of the C-suite—like the CEO and CFO—getting involved in the IT budget, but consumers are more knowledgeable about your company before ever hearing from you. In fact, 70 percent of consumers have made their decision about your company by the time they actually engage with your sales rep, according to Leavitt. As a result of the surge of the Internet, social platforms and competitive research, your sales team has been tasked with having to change its sales strategy.
  2. Hire a Coach: “Most sales managers are there to point out what you did wrong and how you didn’t meet quota this month, but what you really need is someone to help you out... someone to teach you how to get a little faster and brake a bit quicker,” Radizeski said. The right coach will set some pretty aggressive sales goals and, in so doing, inspire your representatives to kick it up a notch and put their prospecting efforts into high gear. 
  3. Offer Top-Notch Training: While sales people are all hands in for a product training session, they are undoubtedly more reticent about participating in formal sales training. However, it only takes “a few tweaks in the sales process to yield better sales,” Radizeski argued. Whether you are participating in online sales or face-to-face sales, you either have to double your traffic and keep the same kind of conversion rate or you have to increase the conversion rate. The question your organization has to consider is whether you want to double the number of people you talk to or simply close better.
  4. Master Your Time: “It’s all about making sure you are using your time most effectively for the people who are most likely to buy,” Leavitt explained. This means embracing the concept of scheduling and calendaring so that you spend the correct amount of time on the right activities. Leavitt challenged participants to experiment with time blocking—or spending an entire day getting in the zone and flow of one activity. This means stepping away from the phone and emails and really zeroing in on prospecting and doubling telecom sales.
  5. Pay Attention to Money Hours: Though not many participants knew the phrase “money hours” before Radizeski gave the definition, participants quickly learned that it refers to the time that you are actually in front of your prospects. He encouraged ITEXPO attendees to spend as much time as possible chasing prospects and leaving other business tasks for after money hours. “Spend as much time during money hours getting in front of people who can buy from you; adjust to the money hours your prospects are in,” Radizeski concluded.
  6. Learn to Say ‘No’: Disqualify prospects who won’t convert as quickly as possible, the panelists warned. While it may feel good to keep these prospects in the sales funnel—as you think it makes you look good—the antithesis is actually true. If a prospect t is a “no” why waste time on the individual? Moreover, take a look at your five largest checks and determine what these five companies have in common, suggested Leavitt. Identify the unifying characteristics of these companies and figure out how you can target other similar companies.  “Through that exercise and by learning to say ‘no,’ you can lay out your entire sales and marketing strategy for the year just by focusing on who you really want to go after,” she said.
  7. Niche Yourself: All too often, companies have little focus on their audience and will argue that they can service anyone. Establishing your niche, however, is critically important the presenters shared as it expedites the prospecting process.

Ready to double your telecom sales? Be sure to check back at TMCnet throughout the day as we continue to cover the bleeding-edge sessions rocking the Next Gen Service Provider track. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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