Two Tiered Sales Process

We recently hired several new sales people to start building a two tiered sales process. With this approach, tier 1 reps are responsible for setting appointments for the tier 2 reps who help the buyer through the sales process and close the deal. Phil Hill, previously of Vocalocity, is a big advocate of this approach, and convinced me we need to start down this path several months ago.

I’ve been blown away by the results.

There’s so much latent demand that is left dormant when cold-to-close reps chase the most promising opportunities. Inevitably, when things get busy, prospecting to load the top of the funnel gets neglected. I’m a big believer in playing to someone’s strengths and not trying to shore up their weaknesses. A two tiered sales process allows for specialization and focus on what reps do well, resulting in better results.

Note: My experience with this is for selling software that is $10,000 – $70,000 over the phone and web with all inside reps.

Quarterly Product Themes

One of things we do is have quarterly themes for our products. Themes are a good way to keep everyone focused on the big picture direction for a period of time. Our products’ themes for this quarter include:

  • Ease of use
  • Connecting the dots
  • Go live

I’d recommend having one theme per product per quarter. Set the theme and then do your best to rally your team around it.

Sales Training Workshop Topics

We’re adding weekly sales training workshops to our training program. They work the same as our manager training where we each come up with a few topics we’d like to discuss, write them all down, and then pick two each week to do experience sharing around.  Here are the topics we came up with:

  • Getting around gatekeepers
  • Voicemail best practices
  • Communication timelines
  • Pre-call strategies
  • Overcoming killer objections
  • Questions for pain points
  • Time of day call strategies
  • Call to appointments goal ratios
  • Prospect qualifying
  • Augmenting prospect info (e.g. LinkedIn)
  • Establishing rapport over the phone
  • Customer engagement during GoToMeeting
  • Cold calling strategies
  • Emailing strategies
  • Creating a sense of urgency
  • Strategies for determining the best prospects to target
  • Negotiation strategies
  • After losing a deal strategies
  • Too small of a budget
  • Sales role with marketing
  • Tier one sales rep. feedback loop
  • Demo preparation

Manager Training Discussion Topics

We just started a new weekly training and workshops program for the managers in the my company. As part of it, we had everyone come up with a few topics they’d be interested in discussing in future meetings. Here are the topics we’ll be discussing using the Gestalt Psychology experience sharing methodology:

  • Constructive criticism
  • Effective coaching to maximize strengths
  • Rivalries and motivation
  • Policy and procedure changes
  • Big rocks and prioritization
  • Dealing with underperforming team members
  • Effective delegation
  • New team member training
  • Determining employee effectiveness and effort
  • Frequency of communication
  • Best practices for departmental meetings
  • Dealing with inconsistent department workloads
  • Visibility into development cycles
  • Friend vs manager balance
  • Balance between micro-management and being hands-off
  • Dealing with missed timelines
  • Working with problem employees
  • Decision making without concensus
  • Delegating undesireable work
  • Strategies for minimizing overlapping work
  • Managing employees with inter-departmental responsibilities
  • Improving attitudes towards problem customers
  • Manaing people with skillsets you don’t have (e.g. programmers)