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Author: Jonathan Miller

Silence on the line. When is it a good thing?

It’s been described as awkward, painful, uneasy and empty. But it’s also something else, and for a sales rep, the word to describe silence is powerful. When it comes to questions we, as salespeople, are an impatient breed that want an instant response. We want to move things along in the process and get the sale. But sometimes we forget that it can be a good thing to wait for them to answer and not push for an immediate response. The time to wait is when you are on the phone having a conversation with a prospective client. When you ask questions expect a response, they’ll give it to you if you exercise a little patience. Even when silence is uncomfortable or awkward after you have asked a question, remember to give time and let the person on the other end of the line respond. Your silence keeps you in control, don’t go filling it with things that don’t apply or distract from the answers they are thinking of giving you. I once timed one of our successful sales reps as she was on a call. One of the longest stretches of silence she had was 45 seconds while she waited for the prospect to respond. Needless to say she was in control of the sales process and was able to close the deal. To be successful in sales...

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Building a Productive Sales Department: Equality of Lead Distribution and The Impossible Sales Trinity

One of our customers approached us with a dilemma they were facing: “Our reps are assigned to regions and we only have a few setters who set appointments for all the reps. We prioritize the leads we want our setters to call. Problem is, we have an unequal distribution of leads per rep by the setters.” The solution to this problem is similar to the popular economics idea – the Impossible Trinity. In a sales department the impossible trinity is: lead priority equal distribution of leads defined parameters of sales rep role (i.e. geographic region, vertical, deal size, etc.). You cannot have all three as top priorities and maintain productivity. Our customer was facing this exact problem. The goal of a sales manager is to increase the productivity of your sales team. The first step is to prioritize which of the three variables is most important to your operation. Then you decide which of the three you are willing to be more flexible on. Finally, you decide which is least important in terms of reaching the results you want. At InsideSales.com, we’ve decided that our top priority is “lead priority”. We want to ensure that our best leads are getting contacted first – regardless of their defined parameters. In order to accomplish this, we decided to be a bit more flexible in terms of our parameters and remain consistent...

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