TechTarget recently conducted a series of interviews with inside sales managers to better understand their goals, team structure, and the technologies they use to be more productive. While they all had different challenges and business objectives, everyone agreed that Priority Engine helped them book more meetings. Below we’ve summarized hours of customer interviews into three best practices to help you increase appointments, improve conversion rates, and generate more pipeline.
Focus on Active Prospects instead of cold contacts
It’s no surprise, but cold contacts don’t convert at the same rate as warm ones. When we interviewed Alex Hudzik, Director of Inside Sales at Nasuni, he told us their inbound leads convert 6X more appointments compared to cold prospecting. Unfortunately, inbound leads are often in limited supply. So, what do you do with your inside sales resources after your reps have called all of them? Alex has his team focus on Priority Engine Active Prospects.
“Priority Engine fits right in-between warm marketing leads and ice-cold prospecting. They may not be familiar with Nasuni. They may not have interacted with us. But they’ve shown intent that closely aligns to what we do.”
While they were not always as qualified as inbound leads, Active Prospects who were researching problems relevant to their solutions were more responsive than their cold contact lists.
“We see nearly a 2X improvement in our conversion rate, so it takes us half as many emails and calls to produce a meeting with Priority Engine Active Prospects vs. a cold approach.”
Priority Engine makes it very easy to identify and call on Active Prospects. You can either set up an account list and export Active Prospects, or have your inside sales team go directly into Priority Engine and call Active Prospects directly from the account page.
New KPIs for the next generation inside sales rep
The old days of dialing for dollars is not as effective as it used to be. Part of the reason why is because your prospects and customers expect you to know more about them before you call. But executing on this is easier said than done.
Traditional KPIs focused on total dials (volume over quality) do not give reps the time or the motivation to research prospects before they call. If you want your reps spending more of their time researching prospects and personalizing their outreach, you’re going to have to adjust your KPIs as well.
Malachi Threadgill, Director Global Sales Development at Masergy, made two major organizational changes to encourage his reps to spend more time researching accounts and prospects.
1: He reduced call quotas to give his team more time to view and use Priority Engine’s intent data.
“We found the intent data we’re receiving from Priority Engine makes our conversations more meaningful. It’s helping our organization really identify the challenges that our future customers may have.”
2: He changed their main KPI from total meetings set to qualified meetings kept. A qualified appointment was based on the prospect having an immediate need and attending the meeting on the scheduled date.
"We want to make sure that we’re creating quality meetings and that we’re setting good meetings. We really focus on our meetings set-to-kept ratio as a secondary metric."
When his reps called on Priority Engine ranked accounts and used the intent data they generated more qualified meetings because they could shape the conversion based on a prospect’s pain points and challenges.
"The most important thing for us is to make sure that our group is providing meaningful conversations for our sales organization. And so, we compensate based on that."
Automate, prioritize, and use purchase intent to personalize outreach
The inside sales managers we interviewed rely on multiple sales technologies to help them manage rep task work, track activity, prospect and prioritize. While the sophistication of everyone’s sales tech stack varied, it was clear that the end goal was to help reps focus on the best opportunities and give them more time for research.
To determine where reps should focus, the inside sales managers relied on Priority Engine to help prioritize and rank their individual sales territories and target account lists. They also used Priority Engine’s intent signals and vendor engagement data to create personalized emails and pre-call question lists.
"What I really try to push and encourage is that success comes from really personalized relevant customizations."
"I try to give them (ISRs) the baseline, then really encourage effective research and also working with our channel partners to come up with information and messages that are going to be much more relevant. We find much, much higher conversion rates on those versus the cold templates or elevator pitch messages that we’ve created for them."
- Alex Hudzik, Director of Inside Sales at Nasuni
Several managers we interviewed created multiple email templates and call scripts that included relevant data points from Priority Engine account pages, including interests and relevant installed technologies. They also encouraged their reps to use the intent data on calls to generate more qualified meetings and improve the customer experience.
Your reps can spend less than five minutes scanning a Priority Engine account page to personalize their outreach, especially if you’ve already created email templates and scripts that make it easy to just plug in the data and send. If you want to learn more about how your reps can use the data found on Priority Engine's account pages, watch these training videos.