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How to Hit Your Inside Sales Goals During Layoffs

How to Hit Your Inside Sales Goals During Layoffs

How to Hit Your Inside Sales Goals During Layoffs

Your sales staff may be shrinking, but your sales goals and quotas are still expected to be met.

Here are three steps you can take today to identify which areas and activities need the most attention and will have the most significant impact.

Inside Sales Goals #1: Record. Their. Calls.

All inside sales are made with what your reps say and how they sound on the phone.

If your numbers are down, this is the fastest way to determine if the sales reps are part of the problem. Again, the proof is in the recordings. This will determine if they have the phone sales skills they need to succeed.

Here’s what to listen for:

  1. Openers: Did they have a compelling reason for the call that piqued the prospect’s interest? Or did they ramble, data dump, or try using false “rapport building” techniques that fell flat? If your sales team can’t get to 1st base with outbound calls, you’ll have to rely on repeat business. Most companies need revenue from existing and new businesses to survive and keep the lights on.
  1. Engagement Questions: If the sales rep made it past the OPENER, did they know what to do next? Did they ask Engagement Questions that put the prospect’s attention on potential problems your product/solution solve? Or did they jump to “what they do/provide”?
  1. Opportunity Size Questions: After an engagement question, the Opportunity Size question is a great way to keep the conversation flowing naturally while gathering critical qualifying information from the prospect. An example would be: “How many sales reps do you have?” Or “How many shipments do you do per month?”
  1. Problem Recognition Questions: Did they establish a problem that your solution solves? Did they get an agreement the issue needs to be solved?
  1. Identify the Decision-Making Role Questions: Did they identify the prospect’s decision-making role, or did they “assume” the person was the decision maker based on their title? Hint: If your sales reps hear “I need to check with…” when they go for a close, they are skipping critical sales steps.
  1. Timeframe Questions: Once they establish a problem and the prospect’s actual role in the purchasing process, are they inquiring about the timeframe the prospect would like to solve the problem?
  1. Ideal Solution Questions: Once it’s established that there’s a problem your solution can help solve, and their decision-making role was qualified, and the timeframe matches your ICP, the next step would be to listen if your sales reps are asking what the ideal solution would look like from the prospect’s point of view. This information is GOLD when it comes time to do a presentation.
  1. Pricing: are they prequalifying on pricing, or are they “hiding it” and waiting till after the presentation? You will win more deals by qualifying prospects with a “price range” before the presentation. Better to find out sooner rather than later if your prospect can afford your solution should they decide they want it.

Inside Sales Goals #2: Dials Per Day + Talk Time

I’ve written about this before, so I’ll keep this short. If your team is not hitting quota and their dials and talk time is low, what results did you expect would happen?

When inbound leads are few and far between, the formula of 60 dials a day and or 3-hours of talk time has consistently produced the best results for me.

As one of my managers once said, “Pedone, give me 3-hours of legitimate talk time; I won’t care what you do with the rest of the day.”

So if your reps are only making 18 dials a day and have 56 minutes of talk time, what are they doing for the other 7 hours of the day?

Inside Sales Goals #3: Role-play.

The only thing sales reps hate more than cold calling is role-playing in front of their peers – however, Iron Sharpens Iron. It would be best if you had reps on your team wanting to improve. Nothing is worse than a “good employee” because a bad employee is easy to spot, and you get rid of them. A good employee does just enough to keep their job, but they will never raise your company to the next level like a great employee.

With layoffs and companies rescinding offer letters, often, the mandatory role-playing will help those who are stuck rise to the top, and those who don’t want to role-play will leave.

In business, that’s a win/win.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the founder of SalesBuzz.com: How to Sell By Phone Online Sales Training Course that Reduces Turnover, Increases Pipeline, and Shortens Sales Cycles.