And the answer I gave was probably not sufficient at the time (hence the Seeking New Opportunities, haha!).
On my first Monday of not having a job to worry about in quite a few years, I:
- Updated my resume & LinkedIn profile (I even posted a new article!)
- Hit the gym
- Ran two miles with the dog (I even cannonballed in the pool afterwards—it was freezing!)
- Applied for 2 jobs
I even walked into some place that’s hiring and asked: “Who’s in charge around here?” I got to speak with the manager for a few minutes, he gave me his card and asked me to send him my resume … and, get this: that place is 4.5 miles from home. That would be amazing after commuting about 30 miles each way for the past coupla years!
So, I’ll land a job somewhere, of course … that’s not a problem. But I’ve had a few days to reflect on that question, and here’s what I think would have been a much better answer:
- Our sales team is remote, scattered all over the country … they’re on the road regularly, they’re busy, they’re in meetings, which means they don’t have the capacity to do all that and be available to monitor and sort through web inquiries and take random, inbound calls from potential client who may or may not be in their territories.
- We have the luxury of working for an organization that has high inbound lead flow with lots of direct website inquiries every day / week. Some days are busier than others, some days are slower, but they’re always coming in.
- Web inquiries are awesome and everything, but there’s a lot of junk that comes through on that channel … so we dig through and identify the legit opportunities and keep the trash out of the sales pipelines so our Account Execs can focus on selling to legitimately interested, conversation-ready potential clients.
- Fast responses isn’t all there is to it, either … that’s not enough. This first “qualification” interaction is a crucial, high-stakes encounter that sets the tone for the entire relationship, so I ensure that the experience provided is consistently ideal so we don’t blow opportunities before the sales team gets to work with them.
- We’re purposely vague with the information that we share so potential clients have a reason to look forward to speaking with their Account Executive, and the handoff process I developed buys the AE time so that when they speak with the lead, everyone knows what to expect and no one is caught off guard.
- Using a personalized, introduction email handoff, the next step (discovery call) is pretty much always scheduled, so this bypasses communication barriers (like gatekeepers) and kills cold calls. Who likes making or receiving cold, unexpected calls? No one. Is it possible to catch someone by surprise and have a meaningful discovery discussion? I don’t think so. Is it possible to prepare and make a solid recommendation without a proper discovery? I don’t think so.
- This process turbocharges our organization’s efforts to sell by slowing things down a bit at the top of the funnel. The purpose of the first interaction is to make the potential clients feel like they’ve been heard, verify their interest, and set the next step in the process up—not to sell them or diagnose issues or give recommendations and explain features & benefits.
So what do I do? I make sure we maximize opportunities by converting the highest percentage possible of web inquiries into “Conversation Ready Leads” for our sales team and make sure they don’t go dark on the handoff. I pick up where the digital marketing efforts leave off and bridge the gap between Marketing efforts & Sales Efforts.
This is huge, and it’s a trouble area for lots of organizations. What would it mean for your organization’s revenue generation efforts if you simply converted more of your web inquiries into Conversation Ready Leads?
There are so many opportunities that that get blown out there every day because of poor initial interactions. Inbound calls? Outbound calls? Scheduled calls? Doesn’t matter.
When your ideal customer first speaks with a member of your organization, it sets the stage for everything that that comes after that, so what does that experience look / feel / sound like for your team?
With advanced communication tactics and simplified frameworks, I help organizations “Get it Right” from the beginning, so if you know of any teams that could use some help with organizing their communications at the top of the sales funnel, I’d love to help out. I’m in Phoenix but can work remotely on a project-basis.
I’m open to new opportunities at this time, but one day I will go full-time with consulting and helping organizations with fixing this problem. Digital marketing is here to stay and the modern purchasing process (regardless of industry) typically starts with internet searches, and at some point (unless you’re strictly ecommerce), humans have to speak.
But for now, it’s time to head to the gym … thanks!