Mostly if you Google around the term “B2B sales agent Germany,” you get a bunch of semi-BS job listings looking for someone who can speak German and English and has about 17 years of selling experience or whatever. (Sadly the base is probably about $60,000 U.S.) This isn’t a job listing, so that’s good news. Rather, we’re going to discuss a little bit what a B2B sales agent in Germany should look like. But first we’re going to tell a funny story.
There’s been lots of conversation in the past three years or so on the value of email prospecting, often around whether emailing has surpassed cold calling as a viable way to reach targets. We’ve always been of the belief that effective email prospecting actually turbo-charges your phone as a sales tool (i.e. the concepts aren’t against each other, but they should work together), but there’s another hurdle we need to clear. We live in the supposed age of data, metrics, analytics, and all that. But a lot of people don’t seem to know what to track with email prospecting. Let’s try to fix that up quickly.
It’s a fact (a sad one) of any sales cycle that prospects will go dark and drop out of your funnel. It’s actually even sadder that many sales reps keep these types of prospects in their funnel for another 15 months, creating the ultimate sense of false hope. But what we don’t discuss enough is this question: why do prospects typically drop out, and if you know the why of the equation, can you adjust the how of your approach?
The sales process has lots of different handoffs in terms of responsibility for the prospect. Every time you do another handoff, there’s a chance that someone is going to drop the ball. (Sad but true.)
One of the most fraught handoffs in sales is between SDR (sales development rep) and sales execution. It’s often a tire fire. We think about it wrong, though.
We often think this particular handoff is about SQL, or sales-qualified leads. (Could also say MQL for marketing-qualified lead.) But it’s more than that.
We live in a sales world now where tech is deified. We all love us some CRMs, automation suites, AI advancements, etc. It’s seemingly all we write and talk about out there in the “thought leadership” ocean. But what if a lot of this is BS, and really the key is old-school monitoring employees and sales reps? Seeing how they’re doing? Guiding and coaching? What if a return to simplicity is the key? It might be, but then we’ve got other problems….
What — and how many — sales systems are you using, and how much are you spending? How effective are they? These are important questions for any sales organization to be asking, but oftentimes these questions aren’t asked, or they’re asked with no benchmarks. That’s where we come in. Time for some sales systems statistics!
B2B sales is a brutal game, even if you’re good at it — because you always need to stay good at it. Principals are always looking for better systems, processes, and ways to build relationships with the “champions.” But what if I found you a potential hack based on research from Edelman and LinkedIn? Would you be interested?
Remember that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song “The Waiting?” Apparently it’s stolen from something Janis Joplin once said on television, and Petty always viewed it as “an optimistic song” because it’s about waiting for your dreams to come true. (We all do this, let’s be honest.) Tom Petty probably didn’t understand how much it applies to enterprise sales either.
If you’re even remotely in the sales ecosystem, you’ve probably heard about artificial intelligence (from here on out we’ll probably call it “AI,” more simply). Heck, if you exist in any profession — white or blue-collar, really — you’ve probably heard how AI will automate a lot of jobs in your profession and you/your kids won’t have a clear path to economic freedom. Wow. It’s pretty heady stuff, right?
In the sales world, the big argument is always “Well, we build human-to-human relationships, so we can’t be replaced.” As AI got to scale faster and faster, the question became “We can’t be replaced, right?”
So what’s the deal with artificial intelligence and sales? What’s going to change? Are a percentage of the people going away? What do we know and what’s still kind of BS?
You ever go to a horrible family event and everything is tense? And then, at the most random possible moment — like a fork drops — suddenly someone explodes? If you’ve never been to such an event, consider yourself lucky. If you have, and you’ve also worked in a sales and/or marketing role in your career, you might see some parallels.
The relationship between sales and marketing is tense. Always has been. Doesn’t have to be, but always seems to be. It goes something like this:
Sales: “These leads are old and cold! This content doesn’t convert!”
Marketing: “Our content is amazing and speaks to journey! They’re using it wrong!”
And on and on. What now?