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Cold calling is dead. It’s an ancient and outdated sales tactic that is more disruptive than anything. That said, it certainly doesn’t help your inbound marketing efforts. As we know, as customer’s buying habits change, so should our inside sales strategies. We’ve outlined a few key points to push you in the right direction to sales success.

Stop tele-prospecting

The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one. Are you calling people whom you know nothing about other than their name and position, day in and day out? If so, here’s your first problem. It’s time to utilize the first step in our inside sales strategies: Stop telemarketing! Your (potential) prospects don’t want to be bombarded with a salesy pitch about your product or service. We’re not saying to cut out cold calling completely (in some instances, this is the only way to reach someone), but we are saying to understand more about your prospect before you pick up the phone.

Always be helping (not always be closing).

That leads us to our next step in outlining inside sales strategies: always be helping your prospect instead of always trying to close them. You need to position yourself as a valuable resource in the mind of your prospect. How are you helping to solve a problem they have? What do you know about this problem that they don’t? Start by outlining key information about your buyer personas and use that to better qualify your prospects. Ask questions that help you understand their goals, challenges, and objections. Find out what’s working for them and how YOU can be the solution. Remember to use some of your Sales 101 Tips here, like asking open-ended questions. For example, ask your prospect to tell you more about some of their challenges.

Integrate social selling.

The abundance of tools and resources at a salesperson’s disposal today cannot go untapped. And if they are, then it’s a really good thing you’re reading this! These tools allow inside sales to gain insight about a prospect before they even pick up the phone.

LinkedIn, for example, is one of the most valuable tools out there for sales intelligence. Get on LinkedIn and learn more about the prospect and their company— you are 70% more likely to score a meeting with them if you are in the same LinkedIn groups. Find out important information about their activity on LinkedIn: Where are their watering holes? What groups are they members of? Do they contribute to these groups? If so, read what they have to say. It will help you understand their motivations and opinions about certain topics or challenges.

Utilizing LinkedIn is a huge asset in your sales intelligence strategies, and there are a lot of things you should know before you proceed. Read more in your Social Prospecting eBook below. Here are just a few Do’s and Don’ts to get you started:

  • DO make what you have to say relevant to your prospects.
  • DO send LinkedIn messages. These are more likely to be opened than emails alone.
  • DO connect with people in your industry and even your customers.
  • DON’T use LinkedIn to promote your company or spammy information that comes off as salesy.

Always be learning.

You’re doing yourself and your entire company a disservice if you are not continually educating yourself on not only your products and services, but also your inside sales strategies. How customers buy is constantly changing; so should how you sell. Find yourself a mentor and learn all you can from them. Read the latest industry news as well as what sales influencers have to say about the changing buying environment. Be coachable. Allow yourself to be flexible and open to learning (and embracing) new sales techniques. By constantly educating yourself, you will be in a better position to educate your prospects, close more deals, and grow yourself and your company.

If you’re sitting around wondering why you’re not closing any deals and you’re still using the same selling tactics you always have been, it’s time to change up the playbook. Implement these inside sales strategies and constantly be adapting to the changing marketplace. The results might make you think, why didn’t I do this sooner?

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