September 16, 2021

How to Set Up your Reps for Sales Success

Written by The Apollo Team

As a sales leader, you want to see sales success in your organization. If your team has a healthy pipeline, is hitting quota every quarter, and growing at a steady pace, everyone’s happy.

But this is not usually the case in the B2B sales environment, where competition and changes in consumer behavior during and post Covid have taken sales organizations by surprise. 

One well established factor is that modern buyers are engaging with salespeople later in the buying process, preferring to conduct independent research. Not only that, but with so much noise out there, it’s hard for salespeople to stand out from the competition.

So what can you do to help your team and set up your reps for sales success? Read on to find five simple strategies and tactics that have worked for us. 

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1. Teach your reps the top sales success habits

A seller has both hard and soft skills. But beyond their skills, there are some habits that differentiate top sellers from low performers.

Successful sellers:

Target the right buyer persona. Why waste time chasing prospects that are not your ideal customer? With tools like Apollo, you can filter 

Automate repetitive tasks. For example, sellers can automate outbound sales messaging, the search of prospects, and even the uploading of contacts into a sequence.

Listen more than they talk. According to Gong’s data, successful salespeople have a “talk to listen” ratio of around 46%, while average salespeople are in the high 60’s.

Know what they sell. Great salespeople are experts about their products and services and know how to handle objections. They make it a habit to always be on top of the latest product updates.

Are always prospecting. They know they need a healthy pipeline so they make time every day for sales prospecting.

2. Establish a clear funnel for sales success

If your SDRs don’t know what actions they need to take to reach the revenue goals of the sales organization, they will surely fail. 

That is why you must establish a clear path for them, through what is called Funnel Mathematics.

Funnel Math starts with identifying what your end goal is in terms of revenue. With an estimate of the average deal size, you can estimate how many deals you need to close in order to hit the number and then you work the math backwards from there.

Decide the number of opportunities that reps need to create based on the conversion ratio from opportunities to closed-won. That’ll tell your team how much pipeline they should have in the bank in order to be confident that they can hit their goal.

The Funnel Math will give your team an idea of:

  • How many activities they need to perform in a week
  • How many emails they need to send 
  • How many phone calls they need to do 
  • How many touches per contact they should aim for 
  • How many touches per account they will attempt 
  • How many personas they are going to reach per account

What if you’ve never done this before? Then make an analysis on a historical basis or start off with a hypothesis. Knowing your target customer, run a testing period of about four weeks and that will give you some numbers to create your funnel.

With these numbers at hand, your reps will be set up for sales success.

3. Provide coaching and sales training

While coaching focuses on constructive feedback and recognition to improve behaviors and results, training focuses on specific skills of the craft.

There are all kinds of sales training programs, from digital prospecting to closing deals, and even specific sales methodologies. 

What are the most important things reps need training on? Here’s a quick list:

  • Social selling. How to find, engage and connect with prospects through social media.
  • Video for sales. How to use personalized video messaging to stand out from the crowd and better convey their sales messages.
  • Data-driven prospecting. How to use sales intelligence tools to gather targeted information on potential prospects.
  • Cold outreach. How to write effective cold email subject lines and cold calling tips.

4. Make your SDR team an Idea Engine

SDRs are the people closest to your prospect base, they’re the first people that your prospects talk to. That means they have a lot of raw intelligence that you can glean from them, so you can implement changes across your team and scale the things that are working. 

Besides, you hired them because they have some sales skills, right? So, the last thing you want to do with good salespeople is make them data entry robots.

Unfortunately, that’s the tragedy of the SDR role. Before they can show their creativity, they need to do a lot of non-selling activities, like robots. After they finish all those activities, they have about three hours of creativity in a day, where they can actually do what they were hired to do.

We have found that with Apollo, sales reps automate a lot of tasks, cutting down on that admin time. With more time to actually sell and talk to prospects, they can provide you with more feedback and ideas to improve processes, automate tasks, and achieve sales success.

Get ideas from your team and let them shine. But first, you must give them the right tools to do their job.

5. Give your sales team the best sales tools

Sales reps must find the right people to go after, get their contact information, send emails and LinkedIn messages, make phone calls, follow up, close deals, and make sure that everything is logged in their CRM (plus other administrative tasks).

That is why there are so many tech tools out there, to help sales professionals be more productive during their sales activities. 

However, sellers often have to switch between many different tools that may or may not be integrated with each other. This can typically be very expensive, harm productivity, and prevent reps from getting the best insights possible that they can get from a true, All-in-One platform like Apollo.

For example, reps who don’t have an integration between their Prospecting and Engagement processes, often have to spend time on sales prospecting, get all of that data into an excel spreadsheet, and then manually import them into their engagement tool. Then from the engagement tool they can add them to a sequence.

Many Prospecting and Engagement tools can integrate. For example, sales prospecting tools like Lusha, Seamless, LeadIQ, or ZoomInfo, and Apollo can all integrate with sales engagement tools like Outreach or SalesLoft.

This workflow typically includes: finding a prospect or group of prospects via your data platform, and clicking a button to add them directly into a sequence in Outreach or SalesLoft. 

If your team doesn’t have any integrations between prospecting and engagement, Apollo can save them a lot of time and tedious work from building lists, exporting CSVs, cleaning CSVs, and re-importing, and then adding to a sequence. Instead, they can add contacts directly into a sequence as soon as they find them.

Additionally, they’re able to get far better analytics since their data and engagement platforms are combined.

This allows them to thoughtfully figure out where to keep things the same, and where to focus their experimentation efforts to test and improve.

Additionally, they’re able to have their entire workflow live within one tool, which reduces costs and improves productivity.

What if your team already has integrations between their Prospecting and Engagement tools?

With Apollo, your sales team can manage their entire process in one tool, saving time and reducing the cost of your tech stack. Additionally, they get much deeper analytics and insights that help them figure out where to improve because now their messaging and targeting is both in the same platform.

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The Apollo Team