I’m pleased to bring you a series of interviews with thought leaders in B2B Sales and Marketing. This time we interviewed one of the sharpest and hardest working ladies in sales and marketing — Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group.
If you like what Trish has to say, all of her contact information is included as well. I wish to thank Trish for her contributions to Fearless Competitor.
Many more thought leaders are coming soon, so stay tuned. We’re on a mission to bring our readers the very best.
Question 1: With the advent of high speed internet connections came a self service world. This has increased the importance of marketing and inside sales. As an expert in inside sales, what should sales leaders know about this new world?
(TB) Great question. Although it is a “new world” the rules for successful selling have not changed. Even with the integration of the web and the rapid emergence of inside sales, you still have to target the right buyers with the right message at the right time and focus the right resource on the opportunity.
The internet has made businesses more visible and inside sales has dramatically expanded their ability to reach more people but, close rates have not increased. They have in fact decreased which leads us to the conclusion that there is no silver bullet and that we still have to think through a successful integration of people, process and technology.
Question 2: CSO Insights found that sales quota achievement was at its lowest level ever measured, marketing budgets were stagnant or shrinking and quotas were going up. They see this as, in effect, the “perfect story.” What is your take on the world of B2B sales today, Trish?
Well, that is a very broad question but let me take a stab at it. We tell our clients that the path to success lays in one main area…focus, focus and focus again. Let me give you some examples:
- Focus on your sweet spot. Your target market is not the Fortune 500 – that is too broad. You need to get out the rifle instead of the shotgun and take this down a notch. For example, your target market could be financial services, manufacturing and healthcare companies with over $1B in revenue that currently use SAP.
- Focus on getting in the door. Your perfect contact may be the CIO but seriously, are your marketing efforts going to get him to self identify? Probably not so you need another strategy. Pick at least 4 target contacts to go after. A “no” is not a “no” unless you hear it twice from the same account. Don’t give up till you do.
- Focus on the formula. Sales is a mixture of science and art. Every company needs to figure out the formula that gets them in the door and having conversations with people who can move the sales process formula. There is not one formula for everyone so figure out yours and then execute it flawlessly.
Question 3: Changing of the status quo is a major impediment to progress. How can sales leaders implement change without incurring undue risk?
Pilot programs. You don’t have to throw yourself off the cliff. Use well thought out pilot programs to gather the intelligence you need to make good business decisions.
Question 4: How can a sales leader assess his or her personal need and fit for improvement in inside sales? Where do you recommend they turn for additional information?
Jeff, I am a salesperson and you have just opened the door for me! We have been helping technology companies build, expand and optimize their inside sales strategies since 1998. We have both depth and breadth of experience and a great track record of success so of course I think they should talk to us but that aside, here are some other resources:
Linkedin Inside Sales Group – 4.5K global members
Bridge Group Resources page – we publish a ton of content
Question 5: If you had just three things you could say to a VP of Sales today – the key take-aways, what would they be?
- I know you are busy but walk a mile in their shoes. We believe that if you have an inside sales organization, you can’t really know about the challenges they face or understand how to make them better unless you walk a mile in their shoes. Take 2 hours a month and make some outbound calls yourself or follow-up on marketing leads. Then and only then will you know how to drive real change. PS – everyone in the marketing organization should be required to do the same.
- Learn all you can about marketing. The two fields are merging and the more you know the better sales leader you will be.
- Call me. If you want to talk about inside sales strategies and best practices, it would be my pleasure to have a conversation with you!
Trish Bertuzzi founded The Bridge Group with a mission to help technology companies build highly successful inside sales teams. Prior to founding the Bridge Group, Trish designed and built best practice inside sales organizations for companies including Legent Corporation, Cadre Technologies, Bachman Information Systems, and Telesales, Inc. You can contact The Bridge Group at 978-562-2623 or info at bridgegroupinc.com.
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Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is President of Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple.” He’s also the author of two highly acclaimed white papers, How to Find New Customers and Definitive Guide to Making Quota, as well the ebook, Prospect Driven Marketing.