outbound stackMany companies are now spending thousands per sales rep per month on complicated technology sales prospecting “stacks.”

That’s fine, if that’s where you want to invest your sales and marketing spend. But, at $1,000 per seat per month with my current number of agents I’d be spending $50K per month on cloud-based software — software that I don’t own and can’t depreciate. Put differently, that’s enough for me to employ another 15 full-time agents.

I’d rather have the headcount and teach them how to manage a sales pipeline properly using common sense and clearly defined standard operating procedures — instead of using $80K/year agents relying heavily on sporadically effective AI. Sure, one day we’ll all be replaced by robots. But, I’ll tell you the AI feature in our CRM is immature and buggy, and I wouldn’t trust my prospecting process to it.

Putting process first

I will say this again and again: Your process is more important than your software. With the right process you could still use paper index cards to manage your sales process if you so desired. You can use $12/hour call center agents in Iowa instead of $80K/year Bay Area SDRs who are “paying their dues” just waiting for their promotion out of the SDR pit.

You don’t need an expensive data management engine. You can buy your data for pennies a contact and teach your team to clean, update, and manage it properly while they’re prospecting for you. This gives you accurate and proprietary data that belongs to you exclusively, and that becomes a competitive advantage when your competitors are all using the same shared data sources. Owning your data is important. (We’ve all seen what companies do with your data versus what they say they do with it.)

Build your own prospecting database, maintain it, update it, back it up, and protect it from egress — both internal and external. Wondering how you can prevent your important customer and prospect data from walking out the door through human error or malice? Talk to Austen Clark at Clark Integrated Technologies (info@clark-it.com). Most cloud-based applications can be protected, and data egress can be prevented. Data — how it’s stored, used, and protected — will be your biggest competitive advantage moving forward.

You don’t need a cadence management solution. You need to teach your sales team to follow your process and manage their leads properly. The software industry is getting rich on your inability to create efficient standard operating procedures. New software is relying on new and flawed artificial intelligence. It’s making your sales reps into lazy robots. Challenge your team to think for themselves, plan follow-ups for themselves, and create plans for their target accounts.

Simple solutions

We’re achieving amazing success at Managed Sales Pros (for ourselves and our clients) using a simple $100 per month per agent CRM/click-to-dial VOIP solution. You can, too. If you’re a new or established business trying to figure your way around the brand-new technologies available for improving sales performance, take a step backwards. Your people are going to make or break your business, not the tools that you’re providing them with. I’ll take an enthusiastic and ambitious agent with a standard operating procedure in hand over a predictive dialer any day.

Using an industry-specific solution like a PSA (professional services automation) tool? There’s zero reason you can’t create a process within that solution to prospect instead of making an investment in another solution.

Call us old-fashioned, but you can’t argue with our success. You’re paying 100 percent of the bill for your CRM or PSA software. Are you using 100 percent of it’s capabilities before you add more things onto the pile?

Interested in learning what we use and how we use it? I’m happy to chat with you! Email us at hello@managedsalespros.com to schedule some to time to talk about sales process, sales prospecting technology, or any other sales challenge you’re experiencing. We love to problem solve!

Photo: MIA Studio/Shutterstock.com

Carrie Simpson

Posted by Carrie Simpson

Carrie Simpson is the founder of Managed Sales Pros, a lead generation firm dedicated to providing new business opportunities for MSPs. Carrie teaches IT firms how to build, manage, and grow their sales pipelines. You can follow Carrie on Twitter @sales_pros and connect with her on LinkedIn. 

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