NEWS

Welcome to Ken Krogue’s all new website
INSIDE SALES ENTREPRENEUR, CO-FOUNDER OF INSIDESALES.COM.
TIPS, RESEARCH, AND BEST PRACTICES FOR SELLING REMOTELY

What is an Entrepreneur?


What is the difference between an entrepreneur and someone who just runs a business?

As is often the case, I may not exactly know what it is, but I know what it is not.

What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

A leader worries about her people; a manager worries about his boss.

Leaders walk in front and show others the way. They lift the heavy boxes first and, like Tom Sawyer, they start out by painting the fence better and faster than the crowd who gathered to watch them. It is awe that makes the crowd members pick up a brush and join in. But unlike Tom, they stay involved through the process and keep recruiting others. (Entrepreneurs figure out vinyl fences don’t need paint.)

Leaders don’t stop for nearly as many breaks or gather around and watch others, unless they are learning and comparing. They always hoe to the end of the row, even in heat, a rainstorm, or when supper is calling.

Leaders begin to sing out when the song begins, because they know the other voices will soon blend in and hide the fact they are slightly off key.

Leaders seek out the one lagging beyond, find what makes them tick, then challenge them to keep up and to keep time.

Leaders are like the Marines… first in… last out. They don’t punch a clock, they get a job done, even if they mop up what’s left behind.

Leaders work on the system, managers work in the system.

Leaders are like Tom Sawyer, they start out by painting the fence better and faster

Leaders like exempt over non-exempt. They demand a fair salary, they don’t ever want to be measured as just an hourly wage. But they will work hard and long under one if they have to, even if they get sent home by their manager before overtime rules kick in.

A manager never quits a job until they find one that is better.

Leaders rarely get fired. But they often get fired up. They will quit any job that asks them to do something they don’t believe in. But they will work at any job if the reason is strong enough or they have given their word.

Leaders are shepherds with a staff who call out with their voice, not sheep herders that ride horses with lots of smart dogs that nip at your heals.

Entrepreneurs know you need to be both a leader and a manager… in that order. They always start with a leader, and then find a manager.

They know a great leader is the ultimate solution to any problem. They pay ten to a thousand times more money for a great leader than a great manager… in a heartbeat.

What is the difference between finance and accounting?

One is a tool with leverage, the other is a method with scrutiny.

One puts the world at your feet, the other keeps the IRS away.

Finance finds the money at all costs. Accounting finds the cost of money.

Finance uses predictive analytics and statistics to gauge the odds of success. Accounting uses bookkeeping to track success and report to finance.

Accounting hears there is a recession going on. Finance finds counter-recessionary trends and catches a wave.

Finance steers through the land mines and sees trends on the rise. Accounting reports on the cost of running aground.

Entrepreneurs practice both and hire both. And pay much less for Accountants.

 

What is the difference between sales and marketing?

Sales are the Navy Seals, the Green Berets, the Rangers. Marketing is the Air Force that rides high and sees far. They can’t win a war by themselves, but they sure look good to the folks on the ground kicking door to door.

Sales seeks out and solves need.

Marketing causes awareness and turns it to interest.

Sales wishes Marketing would educate interest into need before it gets to them, so they don’t have to. But they do if they need to. It just takes longer.

Sales knows that interest is the counterfeit of need.

Sales yells at Marketing for not generating enough good leads. Marketing yells back for not calling them all before they get cold.

Sales makes a way, marketing finds a way.

Entrepreneurs know they are both right, but that sales is the last to ever turn off the lights.
What is the difference between a statesman and a politician?

A statesman, or stateswoman, wades into the fray, a politician maneuvers through it.

A statesman fills his hand against the odds. A politician feels the odds against his hand.

Ethics and law are a statesman’s guide, with greater good as the motive. A statesman is honest when nobody is looking. He speaks up even when he is the only one in the room who is willing to.

He would serve for a single dollar, and often does. He would love to put down the heavy burden, but only does so when those he loves and is duty-bound to uphold are out of harm’s way.

Entrepreneurs are the statesmen (and women) of business.

 

What is the difference between faith and belief?

Faith is action, it is of the body. Belief is thought, it is of the mind.

Faith comes after hope, which is the fuel of the heart… desire… purpose… motive.

Faith is an assurance that what you have seen happen before, though you don’t see it now, will happen again… if you act and work.

Faith knows it’s enemy is doubt.

Belief hopes to become faith someday when it grows up.

Faith is based on truth. Belief may not be based on anything.. It doesn’t know.

Faith will risk it all and is willing to pay the price for every blessing. Belief flees because it isn’t sure, and wavers when things get really difficult.

Others look at faith and say “I get it!”

They look at belief and wonder if they get it.

Faith only wonders why.

Belief worries how.

Entrepreneurs know that belief turns to faith based on truth, assurance, and action… always action.

What is the difference between church and religion?

Church is a place you go to, on the outside. Religion is within.

A church is a building you go to worship on a specific day each week. Religion can be found on a mountaintop… alone.

Religion may or may not be had in a church.

A church is what you identify with. Religion is who you really are.

Some religions believe in God or god, or no god. But they live it.

Religion is the sum total of your habits. Habits are the true garb of religion.

Entrepreneurs hire people from all churches, but look deeply for those who live their religion, whether it includes a belief in God or not.

 

What is the difference between learning and understanding?

Learning goes to the source by itself, practices and rehearses, engages, memorizes and teaches back, and walks away with a treasure.

Understanding watches the teacher do the problem on the board and gets it then, but can’t figure out the ciphers in the textbook at home in the evening.

Learning goes to Lynda.com for $25 a month, where every software package lies at its fingertips, and in six months figures out how to start a company building websites.

Understanding gets a degree after four years, finds a job, and then works for somebody else for six years to pay off student loans.

Understanding is the counterfeit of Learning.

Learning goes to school to sit on the front row and ask questions.

Understanding takes notes to pass a test.

Learning cares much more about the quality of the question.

Understanding cares more about the completeness of the answer.

Training is what the trainer does. Learning is what sticks.

Teaching is what a teacher does. Learning is what a student does.

Learning is the valuable residue that is left over after Teaching occurs.

Learning counts only if it is measured and can be applied.

Learning leads to an education. Understanding leads to a degree.

Learning leads to an entrepreneur. Understanding leads to an employee.

Entrepreneurs don’t spend much of their time as an employee.

Only long enough to learn on somebody else’s dime, and from somebody else’s understanding.

Entrepreneurs don’t usually have an MBA, but they hire as many of them as they can.

 

Author: Ken Krogue
Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Google+
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

15 Hot Sales Tools and Sales Acceleration Technologies


This article comes from an interview with and original research led by James W. Phillips, Business Intelligence Analyst for my company, InsideSales.com, about a research study entitled “2014 Sales Acceleration Technology Market Size Study.”

Sales Acceleration Technology Market Size Study

Sales Acceleration Technology Market Size Study, now available for immediate download

The research will be formally released next week at The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals Leadership Summit in Chicago.

Sales Acceleration is defined in detail in a prior Forbes article entitled “What Is Sales Acceleration? Start By Picking Up Your Phone.” It outlines categories that include new and emerging software applications and services that fall under this new market category.

The 15 cloud-based categories listed are as they appear in the study:

  • Contract Technology
  • Data Visualization
  • Business Intelligence
  • Gamification
  • Presentation Technology, including Slide and Screen Share
  • Predictive Analytic Tools and Technology
  • Sales Intelligence Tools
  • Email (designed specifically for the sales function)
  • Fax
  • Sales Communication tools
  • Chat
  • Texting
  • Video technology
  • Voice technology
  • Social selling technology

In summary, sales acceleration means to increase the velocity of the sales process.

James gives some background, “Over the last 10 years, the sales industry has witnessed a disruption. Due to the innovation of Internet cloud-based business transactions and an upsurge in sales technology development, the sales profession is in a state of rapid modernization.”

He continues, “The ‘Sales Acceleration Technology’ industry is the business space between CRM and marketing automation which facilitates, and thereby accelerates, all processes pertinent to the sales pipeline.”

The study addresses the following questions:

  • How much spending is currently going towards sales acceleration technology in North America?
  • How much spending occurs per sales rep?
  • How big is this new market?
  • In what categories is the spending occurring?
  • What should we expect in the future about the growth of sales acceleration technology?

James collected information from 439 companies for this study, which was segmented by type of sales function (retail, inside sales, outside sales) as well as size of company and industry.

U.S. Census data presents a total of 13.98 million sales reps in North America. Analyses through this research shows there are 8.357 million in sales people employee retail sales, and 5.622 million inside or outside sales professional sales reps.

Census-based forecast of professional sales rep jobs until 2020
Census-based forecast of professional sales rep jobs until 2020

Of this 54.4% or 3,064 million are inside sales (professional sales done remotely), and 45.5% or 2,558 million are outside sales or field sales representatives.

By 2020 there will be over 6 million inside and outside salespeople in North America.

In the sample, companies allocate 3.5% of total budget towards sales acceleration technology, with spending ranging from 1% to 24%.

Spending on sales acceleration technology by category
Spending on sales acceleration technology by category

Given considerations of current sales rep adoption rates, North American businesses spend $2,280 per rep, per year, on sales acceleration technologies in the following allocation:

Spending per sales person on sales acceleration technology by category
Spending per sales person on sales acceleration technology by category

From the same Census and the sample data from this study, estimations are able to be made showing current spending in North America for sales acceleration technology to be $12.8 billion annually in the world of professional sales with the following by inside sales and outside sales:

Current spending on sales acceleration technology in North America in 2013 by inside sales versus outside sales channels
Current spending on sales acceleration technology in North America in 2013, compared with inside sales versus outside sales channels

NOTE: This estimate is conservative by at least two accounts.  James omitted “Sales Training Technology” which could be considered a sales acceleration technology, and the entire category of spending for retail sales was not included. The $12.8 billion would increase to roughly $15.8 billion if Sales Training Technology were included.

Spending by industry varies widely, with Software and Education leading, and Finance and Telecom bringing up the rear.

Sales acceleration technology spending per rep by industry
Sales acceleration technology spending per rep by industry

Size of company, in this case by employee size, correlated to a massive difference in spending:

Spending on sales acceleration technology in 2013 by company employee size
Spending on sales acceleration technology by company employee size

The next interesting item in the research is the assessment of four favorable business outcomes and the associated correlated patterns in sales acceleration technology spending by the following:

  1. Bigger deals
  2. Faster sales cycles
  3. Higher close rates
  4. Stronger overall company revenue

The average deal size in the sample was $12,500.

Again, the average spending per sales rep is $2,280 per year, but in companies with the largest 50% of deal sizes, the average spending is 89% larger, or $4,319 per sales rep per year.

Average spend per salesperson by average size of sales opportunity
Average spend per salesperson per year on sales acceleration technology by average size of sales opportunity at the company

NOTE: Greater sales acceleration technology spending does not necessarily cause bigger deal size, there is only a notable correlation from the sample data. The study goes into much greater detail with further regression analysis of this interesting correlation.

The average sales cycle in the sample is about 60 days.

Interestingly, the Communications and Intelligence technology received a greater proportion (28% more) of spending among companies with the fastest sales cycles, compared to the average.

Spending on sales acceleration technology was notable in the categories of Business Intelligence and Sales Communications spending for companies with the fastest sales cycles
Spending on sales acceleration technology was notable in the categories of Business Intelligence and Sales Communications spending for companies with the fastest sales cycles

From the companies surveyed, the average close rate is about 20%.

The four notable technologies correlated to higher close rates were Sales Communications, Data Visualization, Business Intelligence, and Voice technology.

Sales acceleration technology categories of Sales Communication, Data Vizualization, Business Intelligence, and Voice Technology spending were notably higher in companies with higher close rates
Sales acceleration technology categories of Sales Communication, Data Visualization, Business Intelligence, and Voice Technology spending were notably higher in companies with higher close rates


Companies with higher than average close rates spent 17% more per sales rep than the average.

Companies with average revenue over $3,000,000 had a 78% more being spent on sales acceleration technologies than the average with an average of $4,052 per rep versus the previously mentioned $2,280 per sales representative.

Average spending on sales acceleration technology by company revenue size
Average spending on sales acceleration technology by company revenue size

NOTE: This correlation is similar to the size of company by employee size section already mentioned, but now illustrated by company revenue.

The ends with the question to respondents about how their sales teams with grow or shrink over the next two years.

There was a promising increase of team sizes from an average of 12.8 reps in 2013, to a 45% increase of 18.5 reps in 2014, and a 41% increase to an average of 26.1 sales reps per team in 2015.

Sales Managers were asked how big they thought their sales teams would grow over the next two years

The Day The World Of Sales Changed Forever


It’s pretty rare when you can remember an exact day when the world changed.

I remember 9/11… The day the twin towers fell.

I was meeting with my client, the Department of Defense, a mile away from the Pentagon. Luckily we had received a call the night before asking us to move our location. We had just finished our very early meeting and were walking out of the conference room in the basement through the cafeteria when we saw the first of the twin towers burning; we were transfixed to the television screen.

Then the second tower was hit and the jet fuel erupted outward in a yellow and black surging cloud.

When I saw them start to fall later that day I knew the world had just changed.

My parents Dave and Sheila Krogue both remember where they were the day John F. Kennedy was killed, and the day Neil Armstrong declared his first small step for man… on the moon.

Mark the day…

March 27, 2009…

Five years ago yesterday… The day inside sales became an industry.

It was the day that Bob Perkins and Larry Reeves launched the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals with a press release from Minneapolis, Minnesota, dedicated exclusively to advancing the inside sales’ profession:

“Over the past two decades the inside sales profession has undergone a remarkable evolution. Not long ago, inside sales was perceived as annoying telemarketers or unsophisticated ‘order takers’ who smiled and dialed. “

How wrong the world was. Bob continued:

“Today, inside sales is an integral part of many organizations’ overall sales strategy. Customers accept and sometimes prefer virtual communication through e-mail, internet and the telephone. It’s not unheard of for inside sales representatives to build and manage multi-million dollar accounts and close six-figure sales.”

He knew it wasn’t the use of the telephone that started inside sales, that is what started telemarketing, which is most definitely not inside sales.

It was web conferencing… Webex and GoToMeeting: the ability to simulate a face-to-face sales call remotely.

I hadn’t met Bob and Larry yet the day the world of sales changed. But it was January 10th, 2010 that I wrote an article that went viral called “What is Inside Sales? – Our Definition of Inside Sales” and stated:

“Inside Sales is “remote sales,” most lately called “virtual sales,” or professional sales done remotely. Where Outside Sales or traditional Field Sales is done face-to-face. Telemarketing is a single, scripted, unprofessional phone call you get at dinnertime where you have to say “No!” seven times before you hang up.

In fact, Inside Sales Professionals regard “tele” as a four-letter word.

Taken in this context, the majority of all sales is done remotely, and the numbers are growing.“ Bob finished, as he started hammering in the coffin nails to the traditional world of going door-to-door.

Dave Elkington, our amazing CEO, and I were still recovering from the crushing blow of the crash of 2008.

Our little company, though profitable, had just had our credit line yanked by Wells Fargo and we thought we were like Billy Crystal said in Parental Guidance: ”lights out Alice.”

Without enough money to smooth out not enough water over the rocks our managers rallied and went without pay, then we started to grow… in the worst economy of our lifetime.

Wondering what had just happened we called several of our brand new clients and asked them why they were buying our technology when everyone else was laying people off.

They answered that they were laying people off also, their $300,000 outside sales people to be exact, and hiring three $80,000 inside salespeople with our leveraged technology and others and still doubling their new sales revenues. The crash had forced them to look deeply at where the sales efficiencies and effectiveness were both really happening.

Inside Sales…

Bob and Larry had called it right.

What had once been a second-rate department taking the crumbs off the table from the outside salespeople was now a counter-recessionary growing industry, an answer to companies who needed answers.

We knew the world had changed when Dr. James Oldroyd who had already researched the power of responding immediately to a web-based lead also analyzed survey data offered by infoUSA and found that inside sales was growing at a rate fifteen times faster than outside sales, to the tune of what would be 800,000 new jobs.

Did I say 15 times faster?

Yes.

We realized four years later that it was the counter-recessionary surge that caused companies like Apple, Cisco, Fedex, IBM, Google, Dell, Sprint, and ADP to hire thousands of inside sales reps, and join the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals or the AA-ISP.  Bob and Larry gave a voice to those who were now the dominant, though very young, players in the sales space.

Another study came out in 2013 showing inside sales was now only growing 300% faster than traditional outside sales, and the same study demonstrated there were now more inside sales than outside sales reps, if you removed retail salespeople.

And inside sales was expanding at the rate of 42,400 a year now, great paying jobs, when American wasn’t quite believing the economy was really standing on it’s own again without the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing money printing practices. (And still isn’t I might add.)

Marc Benioff, former inside sales rep from Oracle, and the founder of salesforce.com, was one of the early disruptive game changers of sales models when he went the first six years in his company using the remote sales model before hiring his first sales rep out in the field.

How do I know? We hired Dave Orrico, who was the Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Salesforce.com. For seven years he built the team that finally lived in the field and went face-to-face at the cloud-computing juggernaut.

Check out my summary of Marc’s book, Behind the Cloud, or go to Amazon and download it to your Kindle app right now. He tipped over an entire industry with a bunch of young upstarts full of vision and incredible passion and was finally recognized as the most innovative company in America.

Rightly so!

My old company, FranklinCovey, was an even earlier pioneer when they asked me to roll out an inside sales model in 1993, and became the 2nd fastest growing company in the United States a year later. We had just coined the phrase “Inside Sales” because we hated anything with the word “tele” in it.

Like Avis, we may have been second, but we tried harder!

Those were the glory days, but I don’t miss them.

The political battle for position against the entrenched veteran field salespeople who first wanted to crush, then control, then collaborate, left me waking up every morning with what I thought were little rocks in my mouth…

Bits of my own teeth I had ground off the night before.

Now outside salespeople are realizing they better learn the methods of selling remotely we pioneered.

Many are embracing a hybrid-model of selling that still goes remote once or twice instead of four to five times, but spends most of the time on the phone and GoToMeeting saving both buyers and sellers much valued time and money.

Thanks to Bob and Larry I get to keynote for the fourth time at Leadership Summit 2014, the worlds largest gathering of Inside Sales Leaders in Chicago on the 8th and 9th of April. If you are anywhere near Chicago, or really need a shot in the arm of your career…

Be there!

If you aren’t a member of the AA-ISP you are missing out on my favorite event of the year, and the best bunch of people I’ve ever been a part of other than my family, my plebe company at the Naval Academy and InsideSales.com, my company.

Thanks to Bob and Larry, I get to see all of my dear industry friends several times a year: Trish Bertuzzi, Steve Richards, Art Sobzak, Kraig Kleeman, Koka Sexton, Mike Smalls, Chad Burmeister, Peter Ostrow, Kyle Porter, Bruce Lewolt, Sean Burke, Anneke Seley, Antarctic Mike, Lori Richardson, Kelly Molander, Josiane Feigon, Jill Konrath, Jamie Shanks, Liz Gelb – O’Conner, and tons of new friends.

Thanks to Bob and Larry, I get a fun and friendly place to rub shoulders with companies like Oracle, Vorsight, Factor 8, Clearslide, LinkedIn, Hoopla, Xactly, Kitedesk, Salesloft, Frontline Selling, Tibc, Aslan, PGI, LexisNexis, Salesloft, Acton, and Marketstar.

Thanks to Bob and Larry even competitors come together to grow an industry that has room enough, and for all (but I don’t have to mention them in my article, now do I…)

Thanks Bob…

Thanks Larry…

Here’s to another five years!

Where are we going from here?

Now it’s all about what my friend Mick Hollison calls Sales Acceleration

First star on the right, and straight on ‘till morning!

 

Author: Ken Krogue | Follow me on Google+ 
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

 

 

What Is Sales Acceleration? New Research Highlights Sales Acceleration Tools, Technologies, Market Size, And Top Sales Acceleration Companies.


This article on Forbes went to #2 Most Popular. The title they settled on is What’s Sales Acceleration? Start By Picking Up Your Phone – Ken

My latest article on Forbes went to #2, What's Sales Acceleration? Start By Picking Up Your Phone

My latest article on Forbes went to #2, What’s Sales Acceleration? Start By Picking Up Your Phone

A decade ago, when Dave Elkington and I started InsideSales.com, which is mentioned in this article, salesforce.com was the big 800-pound gorilla in the sales automation space. They still are, and they keep getting bigger.

Salesforce.com pioneered the concept of renting customer relationship management (CRM) software instead of selling it. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or software in the cloud as it is so lovingly called now, has become the de facto standard that is disrupting the traditional software companies who still sell software in a box.

Sales automation was the name of their category, which added technology to the age-old practice of selling. As always, sales was the last to figure out the power of new technology offered by computing and the Internet, but arguably sales is once again the most impactful influence on business.

Barry Trailer, one of the founders of CSO, released a landmark study in 2005 that showed CRM software increases revenue by 17%

My dear friend Barry Trailer, one of the founders of CSO Insights, had just released the landmark research study in 2005 that answered the question about the actual impact on revenue that CRM software had. They studied roughly 1,300 companies, half using CRM software, the other half not. Everything else was similar.

Companies using CRM software had 17% more revenue.

That’s it.

17%.

You see, CRM organizes the sales process, it doesn’t necessarily accelerate the sales process. Unless you call 17% speed increase acceleration. Nevertheless, CRM is critical, even foundational, to our discussion.

The productivity increase of 17% wasn’t the only providential aspect of having your customer database in the cloud. CRM was and is the foundation upon which other applications build to increase revenue far more than 17%. Salesforce.com has added a bunch of additional apps since then and opened up a massive ecosystem to other providers that promote sales. They call it the salesforce.com AppExchange.

A customer database for sales is like having a website for marketing … absolutely critical. It’s where you begin. It’s the Henry Ford assembly line that put automobile manufacturing on the map. But we have come a long way from an assembly line cranking out Model T Fords.

Enter Sales Acceleration.

Sales acceleration means to increase the velocity of the sales process.

It’s the technology that fills the gap between established categories known as Marketing Automation and CRM.

New research we release tomorrow shows that companies spent $12.8 billion on sales acceleration technology last year in North America, which is $2,280 per sales rep. The potential market size is even larger. The study estimates that North American businesses could spend as much as $6,790 annually per representative on sales acceleration technology by 2017 — making the total addressable market in excess of $30 billion.

Other findings of our study include:

  • Inside sales teams spend slightly more than outside sales teams on technology and significantly less on compensation.
  • Inside sales teams close deals in 69 days on average compared with 144 days on average for outside sales, representing a 109 percent difference in closing times.
  • More than one-third of sales leaders believe they should be spending more on technology.

You see, you can speed things up by shortening the sales cycle.

Many accelerate by using inside sales. My definition of inside sales is professional sales done remotely,  as described in one of my most popular Forbes articles.  This is where you respond in seconds to leads generated over the web, make more calls in less time, and use web conferencing to avoid traveling and taking lots of time away from busy buyers. Bob Perkins, founder and CEO of The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), often says that Inside Sales is sales.

Sales acceleration is not just about sales automation, although it most often uses sales automation.

Some companies actually use our sales automation tools but don’t make any more calls than before. Their culture is hard to change. They made 22 dials a day before they used our power dialer, and they make 22 dials after. It’s crazy. That isn’t sales acceleration. 170 calls a day is sales acceleration. 22 dials is like buying a nail gun and shooting one individual nail at a time and resting in between because of all the thought that goes into using compressed air to drive a 12 penny nail.

Really?

Start dialing people!

Sales acceleration is also about working smarter.

It’s gathering real-time sales intelligence from LinkedIn, InsideView and ZoomInfo. It’s having something relevant to talk about when you call a new prospect besides just the weather. It’s connecting with social media, lowering costs, raising visibility, and generating leverage.

Sales people are rediscovering email again. But now it is email designed just for them. It can tell them when people open their emails and can even trigger an immediate call back. But the thing they like the most is that it now attaches their email to the person’s record in salesforce.com as a note so their sales manager can see they are actually working.

Sales Acceleration is the conveyor belt that keeps the assembly line moving. It’s the power tools, the specialists, the knowledge workers, and the robotics. Now it’s the predictive analytics, big data, and artificial intelligence that are really advancing things since old Henry did his thing.

Sales Acceleration is also about the people.

Two days ago I gave a one-hour seminar in Provo, Utah. I quoted some research that has recently changed. For nearly a decade the single biggest obstacle for inside sales departments was finding more leads.

Now it’s hiring and training good people … fast. Leads are second. Our company’s mantra, for example, is that if we grow the people, they grow the business.

Inside sales is one of the few higher paying professions that is still growing in this crazy economy.

Sales Acceleration is the science of sales. It’s using math and statistics. It’s split testing with A and B options and continually improving through iteration. Yes, salespeople are now using math, don’t act so surprised. (We figure it out eventually.)

It’s about responding to web leads in less than five minutes like we learned with our research with Dr. James Oldroyd.

Dr. James Oldroyd released landmark research with our own Dave Elkington in 2007 about the incredible effect that accelerating response to web leads can have
Dr. James Oldroyd released landmark research with our own Dave Elkington in 2007 about the incredible effect that accelerating response to web leads can have

 

It’s about making 6 to 9 phone calls to respond to a lead instead of just 1 or 2.

It’s about using predictive 2.0 technology that can determine who and when to call for optimal contact and qualification rates. It’s about calling into local calling markets with a local Caller ID because people answer local phone numbers 57.8% better than blocked numbers, toll free numbers, or even long-distance phone numbers.

Even I know when a salesperson is calling if they are dumb enough to tell me.

It’s about finding the actual ingredients your sales people tell you make up the perfect sale and enhancing your database with those factors. It’s about scoring leads and prospects with statistical predictive significance.

Instead of guessing.

It’s about nurturing prospects and customers, not just the marketing automation practice of nurturing leads.

It’s about tracking velocity metrics. How fast you respond. How persistent you are. What percentage of leads get contacted. The length of your sales cycle. How engaged your prospects are. How fast an appointment decays if it is set 4 days out instead of 1 day.

It’s about speed.

It’s about execution.

Venture capital firms are constantly courting us in our space; high tech is pretty hot right now. One of the biggest and best brought us some data where they shared their research on the tools, technologies, and top companies making up what is now being called the Sales Acceleration space.

Our research team helped me with the task of categorizing these top sales acceleration applications. See if you can figure out the order I put the categories in:

Our own platform category is Sales Communication Tools, which, residing upon the assembly line of the Salesforce.com CRM platform, is like Henry Ford’s overlying conveyor belt that ties these applications together and keeps things accelerating toward sales growth.

If we have missed applications that are notable for sales acceleration, please comment and we will do our best to highlight them also. We probably should include Twitter, as it is actually starting to be effective in the sales acceleration space, as I discuss in what will soon be my 2nd most popular Forbes article called 31 Twitter Tips: How To Use Twitter Tools and Twitter Best Practices For Business.

*NOTE: As a disclaimer, InsideSales.com, my company, also offers sales acceleration applications in the categories indicated*. Some, like predictive analytics, we have offered for 6 years with our Predictive 2.0 technology. Also, as an additional disclaimer, Domo is run by a member of our Board of Directors, Josh James, the legendary CEO of Omniture, which was sold to Adobe.

And lastly, A few years ago we gave a seminar in Boston on what we called High Velocity Selling, which is roughly the same concept as Sales Acceleration. The term came from a blog article that went viral by our own Board Member, Lars Lecki, of Hummer Winblad. We laughed when one of our favorite competitors immediately changed their name. Sorry, I already checked… Accelify.com is taken by a cool software company in Brooklyn who helps schoolchildren. :) – Ken

Why I Haven’t Written Much Lately


People are asking me where I’ve been.

I’ve usually written a new article or two every week for several years. I’ve been lucky to write my thoughts once in a month or two.

Sorry.

Mick Hollison is the new Chief Marketing Officer for InsideSales.com. He comes from Citrix where he headed up much of marketing.

Mick Hollison is the new Chief Marketing Officer for InsideSales.com. He comes from Citrix where he headed up much of marketing.

Haven’t felt like there was much that I hadn’t already said.

So I’ve been learning new things, gaining answers to hard questions. I’m taking everything in, not giving much back recently.

Again. Sorry.

But I’ve embarked on a new adventure to get back to my roots.

What are my roots? (more…)

62 Top Sales Experts Share Sales Tips and Sales Quotes


We just passed the 6 month anniversary of The Inside Sales Virtual Summit, an industry event that changed the world of sales and marketing. More than 15,800 sales leaders registered for a day of learning and enchantment on June 20, 2013.

62 sales experts gathered for the largest online event of its kind that the sales industry had ever seen.

We just asked them to unite their wisdom one more time with a tip or sales quote. Salesforce.com had me publish a quote or tip from every single one of them on the Salesforce blog. Forbes published articles telling how it was done in only three weeks from start to finish using  collaborative marketing.

Enjoy this summary of the quotes and tips from our 62 authors: Business and thought leaders who participated in the virtual summit that is now part of history.

NOTE: The specific tip or sales quote from each expert is their first statement in italics.

Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple shares his thoughts on "Encantment" as the purest form of sales

1. Guy Kawasaki, Author, Venture Capitalist and Technologist and former Chief Evangelist at Apple Computer

“Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all about changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better. The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart, too.” (more…)

Sales Operations: Lessons Learned From Fraser Bullock, Mitt Romney, And The 2002 Winter Olympics


Fraser Bullock, COO of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Advisory Board Member of InsideSales.com, talks about Sales Operations

Fraser Bullock, COO of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Advisory Board Member of InsideSales.com, talks about Sales Operations

What would you ask a man who is Managing Director of Sorenson Capital, Chairman of the Board of the #1 tourist attraction in Hawaii, former COO of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, former Chairman of the Board of Omniture, and a current board member of 7 companies including a new Advisory Board member and shareholder at our own InsideSales.com?

And did I mention he helped found Bain Capital with Mitt Romney and would have been heavily involved in our federal government today if the last election had gone differently?

Yesterday I had an hour and a half with Fraser Bullock, the very man. (more…)

62 Sales Tips and Sales Quotes Top Trending Article on Salesforce.com Blog


Hello everyone. A while ago I was asked by my friend Amanda Nelson, who runs the Salesforce.com blog to write an article for their awesome blog. I decided that the best article I could write would actually be a collaboration between the 62 different different sales experts, authors and business leaders who spoke at our record breaking Inside Sales Virtual Summit that was held on June 20th.

We had 15,800 people register for the live and archived content with 62 speakers.

Here is a quote from every single one of these incredible sales experts. Sort of like a virtual reunion!

It got posted today, Halloween Day, October 31st, 2013.

Here is the link to the article,

And as you can see, it trended to the top on the whole blog immediately! (more…)

Inside Sales Tips: Dialer Software And Why Salespeople Should Make More Calls


I just came from a two-day consulting engagement with the sales team and CEO of one of the largest residential solar power companies in the country. I was impressed because they already had some of the best internal processes, disciplines, and best practices I had seen.

1- Their sales process and personnel are focused into specialties. Our research with Dr. James Oldroyd has shown significantly higher close ratios for companies who focus on a specialist model rather than a generalist model where sales reps prospect, close, and service accounts. (more…)

31 Twitter Tips: How To Use Twitter Tools And Twitter Best Practices For Business


For years I have wondered what the value of Twitter is for sales and business. Everyone knows the indisputable value of LinkedIn for B2B sales, marketing, B2B prospecting, and entrepreneurs in general. But Twitter is gaining traction in B2B.

31 Twitter Tips: Twitter Tools and Twitter Best Practices for Business

31 Twitter Tips: Twitter Tools and Twitter Best Practices for Business

This article shares some of the latest Twitter strategies, tactics, tools, and best practices.

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has a really cool ebook called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. It it gives you 1 thing to do per day on your blog for an entire month. It is for those who never quite get around to it because they are so busy.

Think of this article as “31 Days to Be Using Twitter to Build Your Business.” (more…)