Brian Parnell is the CEO of Grindstone, Inc. where he oversees one of the nation’s top B2B lead generation firms. Recently, Brian sat down with us to talk about making lead generation (and sales teams) more effective.
Tell us a little bit about Grindstone.
Grindstone is an industry-leading B2B Sales Support company. Services include Professional Business Development, Lead Generation, Appointment Setting, and Telesales Services.
With modern automated lead nurturing technology systems, are most sales leads now being managed properly and effectively? Or are there still too many leads (and potential sales) falling through the cracks?
Lead nurturing technology can be very effective if used properly and in conjunction with live human outreach. The technology should be a support tool and should not be relied on as the main component of the sales effort. With all of the digital noise and saturation today, I believe it is now more important than ever for people to be involved in the sales process in order to establish business relationships and credibility. A strategy that combines technology and friendly sales professionals correctly will certainly minimize the number of sales leads falling through the cracks.
How is the process of marketing a company’s products and services to potential leads different from its broad-based marketing efforts to the general public?
It’s like aiming an arrow at a bullseye compared to shooting an arrow with a blindfold on. You need to know your precise targets and then create a focused strategy to hit those targets.
Are there any specific sales prospecting channels that are consistently being underutilized today?
Not really. They are all being used. However, the key is how they are being used and the strategy being executed. Our company believes in a multi-touch strategy to keep our clients on the radar of their potential customers.
When is telesales or telemarketing most effective for a company?
I believe almost any industry can benefit from it. It starts with identifying very specific targets to reach out to. An email or mailing campaign prior to the calls is usually best. It will give the caller a reference point, and the recipient usually has been somewhat introduced and has some familiarity with the company. It’s most effective when used to gather information by asking qualification questions in a friendly professional manner. Utilizing email follow-up with collateral, links back to a website, or webinar is also good to include in the follow-up process. Again, a multi-touch approach is key for staying on the radar. At some point when a customer is ready to buy, you want them to be thinking about your company, not your competitors.
What are some of the most important concepts that should be embraced by a sales manager when it comes to sales team management?
- Utilize a multi-touch lead generation approach to get them warm leads.
- Understand individuals’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Always be positive and encouraging.
- Set realistic goals.
- NEVER set unrealistic sales goals or you will deflate your team.
- Have regular team meetings and focus on the positives.
- Listen to your people.
- Reward exceptional results.
- Keep them motivated by running creative contests, etc.
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