Sales Technology Trends: What Works? Q&A with Chad Burmeister, VP of Sales & Marketing, ConnectAndSell
Chad Burmeister, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ConnectAndSell, has been in sales for about 25 years. He was voted Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals six years in a row. During his career he has used a variety of technologies and continues to explore which create the most productive, motivational and collaborative sales environment.
Tell us a little bit about ConnectAndSell and your role there.
ConnectAndSell is a SaaS application that allows a sales person to load their list of prospects they want to call, dial into a phone bridge and then click the “go” and talk to a prospect on a list in 2-3 minutes (compared to 45 – 60 minutes manually dialing). I head sales and marketing at ConnectAndSell, we work with primarily technology companies who are trying to grow their revenues faster than they can grow their head count. Lead Generation Reps routinely see 1,000 or more dials per day, and Sales Reps use the technology for automated follow-ups.
What are some trends you are seeing as far as sales technologies?
There are several trends I am seeing involving predictive analytics software, CRM, content vendors, Linkedin, meeting tools, gamification etc.
Predictive Analytics Software: Companies are beginning to use tools that read a CRM system and look at all of the closed opportunities (and other inputs) in order to then score new leads based on what has the highest likelihood of closure. This enables sales reps to spend their time wisely – ensuring that they don’t waste time calling people who aren’t high quality prospects. This is one of the biggest tools that companies look at because everyone would like to get smarter about their leads.
Linkedin: I’m seeing Linkedin as becoming less successful when it comes to prospecting. I personally used to get 2-3 In-mails a week and now it can be 10 a day. It’s almost like managing a second inbox. The real value of LinkedIn for sellers now is to use LinkedIn Navigator, as a plug-in to SalesForce.com.
Email Organization: We have become so flooded with emails, the amount of emails we need to sift through a day significantly decreases our productivity. There are several apps that have been created to make email-reading habits more efficient. SaneBox, for example, plugs into your outlook exchange and starts to learn the behavior of which emails you don’t want to read and which ones you do. It then puts them in a folder and sends you an email at the end of the week with how many hours you saved. Sometimes it can be 6 hours per week and for a VP of Sales, that is a lot of time savings!
Meeting Tools: People are getting creative with more streamline ways to hold and enter meetings. I like MobileDay because it integrates with your calendar and all you have to is push a button that dials into the conference bridge, no matter where the bridge is hosted. It then automatically punches in the access digits so that if you are preoccupied or traveling you don’t need to use your hands. It saves you a good amount of time and ensures hat you aren’t fiddling around with a log-in.
Marketing Automation: Companies are investing in these email automation tools such as Acton, Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, Outreach.io, ToutApp, YesWare, etc. which will track open rates and click through rates as well as provide appealing templates so that sales reps no longer have to do this manually and can rely on their marketing team for eloquent email copy.
CRM: Salesforce has always been popular and people like it because it offers many plugins and integrations but for smaller companies there is a whole other market of opportunity. Platforms like Microsoft Dynamic, Zoho and even Hubspot to a certain level are servicing startups and smaller businesses while Salesforce and Oracle go upstream to the enterprise market. These alternatives offer entry-level costs and are easier to configure.
Content Vendors: I think the play with content is it’s great if you want to put good content in the market but the question is how do you make sure when somebody clicks the content that they actually take action on that click? It seems if you can cookie the person who clicks and then automate the follow up phone call that would make the greatest use of your content.
Internal Analysis of Sales Reps/Hiring Tools: There is a company that we use called Objective Management Group. They first profile your entire sales team through a 120-question survey, which allows them to show you the strengths and weaknesses in your sales organization. They then fine tune the questions, create profiles of sales people who are successful in your organization and then use this information to predict if a candidate will be a good fit after they take the survey. So far it has done a great job at foreshadowing whether or not someone will be successful here. This will save time and improve the efficiency of your hiring process.
Gamification: Right now gamification, while important and successful, is only really being used within sales to drive motivation and productivity. What I would like to see is gamification across company departments. As far as the software I have tried different ones but I always come back to Hoopla, it’s definitely the best. Others include Level 11, Rivalry, and Fantasy Sales Team.
About Chad Burmeister
Chad Burmeister is Vice President Sales at ConnectAndSell. Chad was voted Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals 6 years in a row – 2010-2015. Business professionals describe Chad as “high energy”, “high integrity” and Chad has “an extremely high ability to execute”. Chad has an MBA in Computer Information Sciences from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has traveled the world from Australia/New Zealand, Barcelona, China/Hong Kong, India, France, Italy, and has built world class sales teams in Arizona, Southern California, Northern California, North Carolina, and is excited to be “home” in Colorado where he has built a high velocity sales team to sell and service ConnectAndSell
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