This is an excerpt from the transcript of SLMA Radio on the SLMA Live Network titled “How to get a 60% Increase in Conversions to Forecast!” This particular program was hosted by Jim Obermeyer and features QuotaFactory’s CEO and Co-Founder, Peter Gracey. You can access the full radio program that aired on January 19th, 2016 here. The following excerpt is part one of three parts of the radio program. Enjoy! And, as always, please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below.
Jim Obermeyer: This is Jim Obermeyer, your host of the day on SLMA Radio. We have a guest today, Peter Gracey, he is the CEO and Co-Founder of QuotaFactory.
We are going to talk about how technology and outbound calling overcomes quota failure and turns losers into winners. Failure to make quota is really sad, sad for the reps that fail, sad for the CFO that has to figure out how to pay the employees, and sad for the sales manager that are going to be fired after he or she fires those that fail – it’s basically a losing situation unless it can be turned around. During this program today with Peter Gracey, we will learn how to use technology and outbound calling to increase conversions to forecast.
Peter Gracey: Thanks Jim I appreciate you having me on the program.
Jim Obermeyer: So tell us a little bit about QuotaFactory so people can understand your interest in this subject and why you are so confident that you can deliver on our topic today.
Peter Gracey: After about 15 years and 450 unique outsourced lead generation programs under our belt, we sat down in a room and said you know what? We can do more. We feel we are the best at sales development and generating opportunities to get reps to quota, why don’t we build something that teams inside of other corporations can use to get their reps to be as good as we are. That’s where QuotaFactory was born. We essentially productized all of those 15 years worth of best practices, database management, call planning and attacking and all of the automation you need to be successful in sales development – we put it all under one umbrella and that is QuotaFactory.
Jim Obermeyer: So how does someone use this technology and outbound calling? It’s so easy to simply say, “oh my gosh we’re not making quota,” and the company president says, “well, double the attack – increase the number of calls from – 50 a day they are supposed to be doing (but they really are only doing 30 most of the time) – increase it from 50 a day to 100.” And you say, “well, they are only really doing 30 because they are doing a lot of other things. So, basically you want us to increase what we are doing, which is failing, we are not doing well and you want us to do twice as much of that going forward?”
Peter Gracey: That’s insanity defined right? The organizations that get it - where the majority of quota carrying sales people are hitting quota - understand one very important fact. They understand that a lot of the work that is required to be done in order for a salesperson to hit quota isn’t even done by that salesperson. The success really starts at the top of your funnel with the marketing team. How dialed-in are their ideal profiles? How successful are their campaigns?
And then it filters down to the sales development team. How effective are they at qualifying accounts and getting prospects live on the phone? When they do get prospects live, how effective are they at uncovering pain and a willingness to purchase? Can they deliver an opportunity to a sales rep, while positioning that rep as the expert, so that they are immediately able to build substantial rapport and push that deal forward?
That’s what you really have to look at first. You know what? I can’t just keep going to the sales people and saying, “double your effort, do more of what’s not working.” You’ve got to focus on the things that are outside of the salesperson’s control like marketing and sales development. Dial those functions in and right out of the gates you will see a huge increase in the percentage of reps that actually start hitting quota.
[Tweet "You can’t keep saying, “double your effort, do more of what’s not working.”"]
Jim Obermeyer: Okay, so you said one factor is a lot of the work isn’t done by the salespeople. I agree with that because, as I take over some consulting work, I always insist on also managing and guiding the marketing department. If I can’t guide the marketing department, I can’t be as successful at sales.
You are saying that you really have to solve the marketing issue first. It could be the number of qualified leads coming in – if you double the number of qualified leads and you increase the calling rhythm and the salespeople are faster and better at identifying the pain, you are going to be successful is it that simple?
Peter Gracey: It is. And I think that is the point I was trying to make. The first reaction by executive teams is to stare at the salespeople when quota is not being hit. You hired salespeople because they sound great when they are live with prospects – you know they can work a deal and they can get someone interested. They can hammer in on pain points and close and sign a contract, why would you have them doing anything else?
There are enough services, technology and automation out there where you could flood a salesperson’s calendar with live conversations with decision-makers. I see it every day Jim, all of the companies that we work with have just the opposite occurring. They are hammering their salespeople about activity metrics and CRM management – press this button now, put this note here. When, in reality, they should leave them alone and let them do what they were hired to do which is work deals, work prospects, build a pipeline, and forecast towards closing deals.
Jim Obermeyer: So, first you must assess marketing and ensure that they are creating the quantity and quality of leads that your salespeople need. Then, you look at the sales process and clean that up and meet with the salespeople to tell them what you are going to be doing and what’s expected of them - then I think you’ve got the roadmap for success.
Stay tuned for the transcript of part two of Jim and Peter’s radio program conversation. To listen to the show in full now, check out the recording here.