I love high velocity sales models – when they work. Books like Predictable Revenue capture the essence of the model. While each company has a different mix of inbound and outbound lead gen efforts and other initiatives, such high velocity models are a highly productive way to sell many SaaS products, and certainly beat classic enterprise sales models for efficiency and measurability.
In general, BDRs (business development reps) drive MQLs (marketing qualified leads) which become SQLs (sales qualified leads) which move down the funnel to contract and an initial sale which then through land and expand efforts driven by CSMs (customer success managers) become larger and more loyal relationships. Some products just fly through the funnel and get sold on the spot, but many others get assigned to a sales person and become the classic “pig in the python.” Having had sales roles in my career, I know the challenge of working the funnel. There are a number of things I could possibly do for each prospect. I could send them content. I could schedule a demo. I could spend time researching them. I could do an influence map. For many years, that set of activities has been pretty well known – and pretty finite, with sales people only having so many arrows in the quiver. With the advent of social, however, that list has expanded significantly, and I can now do so much more. I could connect with the buyers and influencers on LinkedIn or Twitter. I could react to things they write. I could follow the companies. I could send targeted content curated by my marketing organization.
Truth is that for every company in the funnel, there are probably twenty to fifty things I could be doing to move any particular opportunity along the funnel depending on stage in the process. If I had thirty companies in my funnel, that means that I could be doing one of six hundred to fifteen hundred activities to move things along. How do I determine which to do? How do I remember them all? How many activities do I do if I am working to get a deal or two closed this week? With that stress, who has the time to change gears and THINK ABOUT which activities to do? What if someone could give me a list of the top activities to do today based on where companies sit in my funnel, what I did last with each opportunity, and what they might have done in terms of social postings or other activities. What if this list was integrated with Salesforce and also made each of these activities – email, content share, social linking – quicker and easier. Wouldn’t my productivity go up? Wouldn’t opportunities move faster in my funnel? Wouldn’t I stay engaged with opportunities even as I closed other deals? Wouldn’t I make more money for me and for my company?
What I described is PeopleLinx. This company does for sales reps what the automated dialer or InsideSales does for the BDR. The Dialer tees up the next call as soon as the last one is made. It can also leave pre-recorded voicemails as the BDR moves to the next call. Call efficiency goes up. BDRs are no longer spending time thinking about what’s next. PeopleLinx does the same for sales reps by providing daily prioritized “optimizations” or recommendations of actions with efficiency steps for achieving each activity quickly. And it’s working.
PeopleLinx customers are seeing accelerated sales cycles, higher win rates, and engaged sales people. As an ancillary benefit it also drives higher usage and adoption of Salesforce.com because it shifts the CRM product from a management reporting tool to a sales productivity tool.
Osage is an investor in PeopleLinx and I am chairman of the board so maybe I’m biased, but I think the product is worth a try. By the way, if you reach out to PeopleLinx and end up in their funnel, you will experience the product from the side of a prospect. They eat their own dog food and it serves them well.