The smartest way to handle sales saturation

Here’s a scenario that I’m sure you’re familiar with. Your sales team has performed incredibly well, busting a gut to find new leads in a crowded market. Marketing plans have worked out perfectly, sending a torrent of potential conversions flooding towards your sales reps.

There’s just one problem: nobody had the foresight to recruit and train enough reps to handle a deluge of leads. When the leads start pouring in, the reps struggle to give them the attention they deserve, clients start to experience delays, and the quality of service they receive starts to decline.

In the end, it’s very possible that your big marketing push ends up delivering much less than it promised. In extreme cases, bottlenecks like this can inflict huge damage on a company’s reputation.

 

Sales saturation affects companies across the USA

 

This isn’t actually a rare situation at all. It’s estimated that between 70 and 90 percent of leads aren’t acted upon properly, for a number of reasons.

Sometimes, the leads generated aren’t of sufficient quality for sales reps to act upon, which is a problem for the marketing team to solve. But more often, problems like this are created by inefficient sales organizations.

There is also pressure in many companies to show instant statistical results. Instead of patiently working leads through to completion, managers often prioritize the lead generation part. In the worst case, they understand that, if we generate lots of interest, conversions will increase – even if the sales team is inundated.

And impressive lead numbers never look bad when a CMO has to justify themselves at senior levels. If they don’t lead to completions, CMOs can point to other factors, from sales rep performance and pricing to product quality.

 

Calculating whether your company is vulnerable to sales saturation

 

If you feel like your business might be suffering from overloading its sales reps, it shouldn’t be too hard to investigate whether this is actually the case.

Firstly, you’ll need to know how many fresh leads are passed from marketing to sales team every week.

After that, calculate two metrics. Firstly, how much time individual sales reps have per week to devote to converting sales. Secondly, how long follow-ups generally take.

Multiply the number of leads per week by the time taken per lead. Then multiply the number of sales reps in your team by the amount of time they have to deal with leads.

If the first number is larger than the second, you’re out of balance, and your sales reps probably don’t have sufficient time to handle the burden of leads that your marketing team is generating.

 

Work out whether sales saturation is costing your business

 

However, we aren’t quite finished in the math department. It’s also necessary to calculate whether unresolved leads are costing your company, and how much.

To do so, work out how much a single lead costs then multiply it by the average number of leads generated per week. That gives you a rough figure for the weekly marketing spend.

Now subtract the number of leads your sales reps can handle from the average number of leads delivered. This gives you a total number of unresolved leads per week.

Multiply this by the cost of generating a single lead, and you’ll discover how much money you are wasting. Even in small businesses, this can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

Find a sustainable solution to sales saturation

 

If you’re experiencing a flood of unresolved leads, there are solutions. One course of action is to move resources from marketing to sales, balancing the numbers we talked about above. But this will result in lower aggregate leads and probably isn’t the best way to generate revenue.

Alternatively, companies like Upcall can supply teams with outbound call expertise to engage leads in minutes and follow-up at the right time. By providing an instant lead response, they can deal with spikes in your lead volume or become a semi-permanent feature of your operation.

 

Whether you cut back a bit or bring in the experts, it’s got to be better than drowning in unresolved leads, right?

What is Conversational Marketing?

There is a predicament with the manner we have been trained to market and sell goods and services—it does not match how clients need to communicate. Conversational marketing is a one-to-one marketing approach that businesses use to cut down their sales cycle, find out about client’s needs, and craft a more human purchasing experience. Rather than forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait several days for an answer, conversational marketing through automation uses intelligent chatbots, phone calls and emails with a targeted messaging to engage with leads instantaneously (like when they are live on your site). This makes it simpler for customers to connect with your business and will help you to convert more leads and faster. It is a rare move that will ensure you and your prospects are more contented.

How does the conversation flow?

Conventional marketing channels flow in a single direction. If you only send mail postcards, email, or purchase online or print ads, you are doing so little learning and talking. One-way communication cannot function in a customer consultation, and it is not helpful marketing. Conversational marketing employs tailored, two-way communication to engage, recognize, remember customers’ interests and convey the information and individual offers most pertinent to and preferred by your leads. When you make out what your customers desire, you can provide special events, discounts and information in your marketing operations that reverberate, are more probable to generate and convert more business. Conversational marketing is a channel particularly well matched for companies where trust is dominant and strong relations already exist. It is all about listening not just talking to make lasting connections.

Applications for That

The growth of social media and other computerized chatbots or tools has opened up new communication lines with clients. Consequently, conversational marketing has assumed a whole new level of significance. Increasingly businesses are leveraging on social media to propel their conversational marketing program and build up their brand voice. Chatbots lucratively convey the most up-to-date mutual communication scoring channel to digital marketing. They generate relations that feel like individual, continuous, real conversations. Those applications can recognize clients’ interests in services and products and even gather their interests to deepen relationships and engage them on subjects they prefer. Another alternative is Upcall which is a conversation-driven sales and marketing platform that uses real persons to gather insights over the phone, by “triggering” phone calls within seconds of a user’s action (such as filling out a form on your website) . It is scalable, efficient, and seamlessly integrated within your existing workflow.

Conversations Create Qualification for Conversions

Leads from conversation channels are inclined to convert at higher rates than any other digital marketing since it is the right consent-based marketing. People are opting to employ bi-directional communication. These communications build lasting value, longer, stronger and more trustworthy relationships. Tailored information amassed through conversations also allows businesses to stay above the customer marketing noise. When struggling for shopper mindshare, it is easy for messages to be lost in the scuffle. A solution to breaking through the mess is by giving relevance and personalization. Actually, 90 percent of marketers perceive individualization as the future of promotion moving ahead of segmentation to proper one-to-one personalization in a synchronized context.

How to Qualify and Convert your B2C Leads

No matter how well you construct your marketing campaigns or how exceptional your product/service is, if you can’t convert new leads, you’re going to struggle in today’s business world.
From companies that specialize in networking solutions to real estate vendors, the ability to follow up with leads from their first contact to the final sale is fundamental. Companies which fail to do that, often don’t do so because what they offer is wrong. They fail because they can’t convert leads into sales. Many tools exist to enrich B2B leads with a lot of useful information about the company, however for consumer leads (B2B) the process is totally different.

That’s where B2C lead qualification comes in. By creating tailored systems to process every lead that expresses interest, companies can prioritize high potential customers and focus their resources on the right leads. When you do that, good things follow and conversion rates increase dramatically. Let’s dig a little further to explore how lead qualification can turn your operations around.

 

Not all Leads are Equal: Learn How to Focus Your Energy Effectively

Firstly, it doesn’t matter what sector of the economy you work in, the same thing applies. Some customers are just more likely to convert than others. The secret is to hone in on those leads and dedicate your sales resources to them. Instead of spreading your resources thinly and trying to handle all consumers in exactly the same way, it’s vital to create an interface between customers and your staff. This interface needs to have the ability to rapidly assess every lead, sorting them into categories which stretch from high to low conversion potential. That’s what we call “lead scoring” – and it’s something that very few companies develop effectively on their own. It usually requires a little investment in external expertise to get a scoring system up and running. But when the conversion stats come through, it’s almost always worthwhile.

Understand Which Consumers you are Seeking to Reach

However, creating an interface between businesses and customers is just a first step in creating an efficient lead qualifying system. You’ll also need to carry out research to understand exactly what types of customers need to be targeted by your efforts. This isn’t the same as standard market research, which tries to investigate why people make purchasing decisions. Instead, researchers trained in qualifying leads seek to assess how customers feel after they have expressed interest in your products/services. They need to come up with templates for “ideal” customer profiles who are most likely to convert, and find ways of fitting actual clients into those categories when they make telephone contact, fill in online forms or send emails. It’s a specialist process, and one that has to be done well, or you can end up with categories that bear little resemblance to the customers you’ll actually be dealing with.

How You Relate to Customers is a key Part of B2C Lead Qualification

When you have an idea of who your ideal customers are, and you’ve set up the interface to handle their inquiries, there’s another crucial thing to think about: how your staff talk to customers in their efforts to qualify them properly. This usually takes the form of a simple conversation, but it can’t be a rambling, open-ended discussion. Staff need to be disciplined and focused on questions that matter. But at the same time they need to have the interpersonal skills and flexibility to relate in a human way to every single customer. Like good actors reading from a script but adding their own personality, lead scoring experts have to be responsive but always working to achieve results. If they take too long, their work becomes more expensive and customers may lose interest. But if they don’t ask every relevant question, the scores they come up with won’t be as meaningful. It’s a tough balance, and one which is easier to strike if you enlist the help of experienced B2C lead qualifying professionals such as Upcall.

Speed is Essential if you Want to Convert as Many B2C Leads as Possible

How quickly staff process conversations is important, but there’s another metric that catches many businesses out – how quickly they actually respond to B2C inquiries. Take real estate companies, for example. It’s well-known that companies which take longer to respond to customer inquiries tend to lose out. People might approach various realtors and be impressed by rapid responses, even if the company they choose isn’t necessarily the best equipped to meet their needs. This means that slick lead qualifying systems have to be optimized for rapid responses. With the right infrastructure in place, it’s relatively simple to achieve fast response times – an easy win on the road to converting far more leads into sales.

Turn Customer Contacts Into a Data-Driven Goldmine

Finally, B2C qualifying systems can add even more value to organizations by generating useful feedback for the companies that use them. If you are gathering data about customer responses, response times, which sales techniques work and scoring trends over time, you may be missing out on valuable data. By bringing in expert qualifiers to handle your B2C operations, you can get a much fuller picture of how your sales efforts are performing and learn more about your target demographics. With that information, you can develop your pitches and take your conversion efforts into orbit.

Source the Right Partners for your Lead Qualification Operations

Lead qualifying and scoring are essential to many business sectors in the United States. In fact, if your staff have to field multiple B2C inquiries every day, there’s an excellent chance that you can enhance your sales figures by bringing in some expert assistance. Upcall can create comprehensive customer engagement plans for all types of businesses. Our teams are experts in assessing leads and categorizing consumers, as well as masters of B2C communications. Get in touch if you want faster response rates and higher-quality leads. We can help your business enter a whole new era of efficiency and higher sales.

What Is B2B Sales Outsourcing and How to Do It Right?

At its simplest, B2B sales outsourcing has three components, as the name suggests. Firstly, it involves direct connections between businesses. Secondly, it’s a way to maximize sales. And thirdly, it’s a sales method which is “outsourced” to a third party service provider. As such, it’s an alternative to traditional sales systems that exist entirely within companies, and it has plenty of advantages over those older ways of operating. Let’s look at how it works in more detail before moving onto some of the reasons why you might want to give sales outsourcing a try.

 

Capitalize on the Advantages of Outsourcing Your B2B Sales

 

When you outsource sales, that doesn’t mean losing control over the strategic direction of your business and it doesn’t necessarily mean moving your entire sales team over to an external company. But it does mean harnessing the specialist sales expertise of external providers. Sometimes, companies choose to transfer their day-to-day sales operations completely. Others prefer to use outsourcing for individual campaigns, when a little bit more capacity is required and their core team can’t deliver.

It can also be employed for specific sales tasks. For example, you could choose to outsource your market research operations, bringing in specialists to research your client base and find out exactly what they want. Conversely, you might wish to move your lead qualification systems to an external provider with expertise in inbound marketing and responsive phone-based sales. And the same applies to both lead conversion and customer relationship management. Thanks to cutting edge outsourcing experts, all of these sales functions can be performed out of house. It’s just a matter of choosing which functions you would prefer to delegate.

 

Using Outsourcing Well Can Have Huge Sales Advantages

 

At first glance, outsourcing might seem intimidating, particularly for small businesses with relatively tight margins and a tradition of keeping close control over sales professionals. But that’s largely a mirage. Much of the time, SMEs find that the benefits of B2B outsourcing outweigh their anxieties about control, providing that outsourcing is done right.

Those benefits can be transformative for all kinds of business. For example, if you are branching out into a new product sector or geographical area, outsourcing can bring in local or sector-specific expertise that your core team doesn’t possess. In cases like that, it could be used to hit the ground running fast in an area that you aren’t familiar with, while you train existing staff to hone their knowledge or recruit new permanent staff to fill the gap. Outsourcing your sales operations is also a great way to innovate. Used well, outsourced sales teams can allow companies to try out new ideas before mainstreaming them in their own office.

Then there are instances where sales forces stagnate and a stimulus is required. Whether the causes are burnout or the inability to take in new ideas, outsourcing sales functions is often a good way to inject dynamism into your sales operations. Specialist sales companies can bring in agile, up to date ideas about customer liaison, lead qualification and CRM. And if you bring them in on a short-term basis, they can provide a motivation to your own sales team to shape up and improve their performance.

Finally, outsourcing can be a wholesale substitute for standard sales structures. If companies are experiencing sluggish sales and their metrics on lead conversion aren’t trending upwards, outsourcing can be an effective solution. In some sectors like real estate, more efficient sales teams can be the key to unlocking regions or retaining customers, and this kind of efficiency is where outsourcing excels.

 

How Can You Introduce A Streamlined B2B Sales Solution?

 

We know that outsourcing sales operations can have huge benefits for a wide variety of SMEs, but there are also dangers when outsourcing is handled poorly. For instance, existing customers might resent dealing with unfamiliar contacts, core sales teams could become demoralized, and managers may lose control over the overall direction of their sales strategy. These are real risks, so outsourcing needs to be done properly.

Firstly, it pays to understand which type of businesses are well-suited to outsourcing sales operations. Generally speaking, outsourcing works well when companies have large quantities of incoming leads (such as real estate brokers, vehicle leasing companies, or IT suppliers). And it functions best when these leads need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. So, if you operate in a highly competitive, lead-based sector outsourcing could be the ideal solution.

You also need to be clear about the purpose of any outsourcing operation. There’s no sense in duplicating work between core teams and outsourced providers. And there’s no sense in tasking external companies with performing work with a low return. Because of this, it makes sense to audit your sales operation before outsourcing, to understand where external contractors can add value, and tailor your commissioning around those findings.

 

Choose the Right B2B Sales Experts to Enhance Your Business

 

Outsourcing sales operations can be hugely beneficial if you know what you are looking for and understand how it can enhance your bottom line. But there’s another key aspect to the process that needs to be considered: The need to find a partner who is responsive to your needs, will implement your plans faithfully, and who has the skills to deliver. Not all outsourcing companies meet those criteria, so be sure to research your partner thoroughly.

Ideally, both you and your outsourcing provider need to have a complete understanding of the task in hand. For example, if you take qualifying leads out-of-house, the external sales representatives need accurate information about your products and how the sales funnel works following initial contact. If not, as customers move on to Account Executives to close the deal, misunderstandings could develop, resulting in poorer lead conversion rates.

Everything has to work together, or as closely as possible, making it vital to provide outsourcing companies with high-quality briefs. And your partner needs to be honest about any difficulties that arise. Outsourcing is a process, not a magic spell, and teething problems usually arise. So both sides need to have a strong working relationship.

 

Revolutionize Your Inbound Marketing Systems with Strategic Outsourcing

 

By now, you should have an idea about whether your business meets the criteria for outsourcing sales operations or not. If your sales figures are stagnant, you need to expand confidently, your lead qualification systems are dysfunctional, or you just want to try something new, Upcall could well supply the perfect solution.

Upcall specialize in providing teams of “Upcallers” who are experts in handling inbound marketing challenges. As a first point of contact between clients and companies, our teams can field calls and draw customers into sales funnels, qualifying leads diligently before handing them on to your own executives.

At the same time, Upcall’s service provides real-time data regarding contacts and leads, while delivering efficiency gains below the cost of a full-time sales employee. Whether you need a temporary solution or a long-term replacement for your sales staff, help is at hand. Outsourcing could be the way forward, and Upcall are ready to help you take the first steps.

10 Reasons Why a Phone Call is the Best Way to Qualify Web Leads

In the era of automated lead qualifying software and email, phone calls might seem an old-fashioned way to qualify leads. But that’s far from the truth. Actually, when used properly phone calls are the most effective way to contact possible clients and have plenty of advantages over alternative methods.

1. Phone calls create a personal bond with customers

When you talk directly to people who are interested in your services, leads are much more likely to take that interest to the next stage.

Human contact goes a long way in any business, but that’s particularly the case in real estate. When people hear a voice they trust, it’s much easier to get them to move deeper into the sales process.

2. Speed to dial: Phone calls are simply faster 

While emails can be fired off as soon as customers enter their information, there’s no guarantee that these emails will be opened anytime soon.

You can call customers almost instantly. That way, you can provide them with further details and find out whether they are going to move on with their purchasing or selling process.

3. The quality of information from phone calls is higher

Phone-based lead qualification also has qualitative benefits, allowing you to learn more about potential buyers and provide more information to them. This tends to make them more willing to engage with your company and lets you offer additional services that they may not have noticed online.

4. Call-based qualification leads to less confusion

Phoning leads improves the quality of decision making throughout the sales process. One of the biggest problems faced by  companies is ensuring that customers are well-informed and understand their options.

Speaking with a knowledgeable, helpful representative is almost always the best way to iron out any misconceptions, speeding things up and creating better relationships in the process.

5. Email-based outreach can be tedious

One of the best things about using phone calls to handle lead qualification is the simplicity of the process.

Almost all the time, email-based interactions generate complex (and sometimes seemingly endless) email strings. With phone calls, you can discuss everything in one conversation and make clear arrangements for subsequent follow-ups. Information is less likely to get lost in the to-and-from as well.

6. Phone calls bring everyone together

While emails can include every stakeholder, this doesn’t always mean everyone pays attention and understands where the sales process has reached.

Well-managed conference calls involve all of the key players, ensuring that everyone is engaged. Problems can be identified instantly and diaries can be synchronized with ease.

7. Lead scoring is much easier when carried out on the phone

The chances are you employ some sort of lead scoring system to differentiate customers and focus your resources on clients who are most likely to convert.

With call-based operations, staff can keep lead scoring tables close to hand and easily check off the various metrics, making every point as clear as possible.

Emails and online forms tend to provide less information for staff, resulting in lower quality leads or extended exchanges to secure better data. With phone calls, that’s not an issue.

8. Phone calls can synchronize with every other lead generation system

Most companies rely on a variety of contact points, from bricks and mortar locations to print adverts, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and email marketing.

With the right systems in place, all of the leads harvested can be handled in a matter of minutes, allowing you to make the most of your investments in social media and marketing.

9. Phone calls empower clients and representatives alike

For customers, calls are a chance to ask any questions that are weighing on their minds. For staff, they are a chance to listen, learn, and impress clients with their attention to detail.

This dynamic has a huge influence on lead conversion rates. It generates goodwill, trust, better information and – in the end – a much higher potential for closing the deal.

10. Call-based lead qualification is efficient, effective and affordable

Above all, phone-based lead qualifying systems are competitive with alternative options on every level, from initial cost to quality, operational efficiency and conversion rates. In fact, they tend to outperform automated or web-based systems on every score.

Services like Upcall provide professional phone agents who can call leads from any source within five minutes of them expressing interest. If your company is struggling to raise lead conversion rates, these modern phone-based options could be exactly what you need.

The Truth About Improving Real Estate Lead Conversion Rates

In real estate, new leads are everything. Without a reliable flow of potential clients, it doesn’t matter how great your conversion techniques might be – they aren’t going to lead to stellar profits.

That’s why it makes sense to invest in ways to maximize real estate lead conversion, giving you and your staff the chance to show your closing skills.

The thing is, throughout the real estate sector, you’ll find plenty of companies without a lead conversion strategy. They seem to think that old-school salesmanship is enough to succeed.

That’s a dangerous delusion, and one which inevitably leads to missed opportunities. However, it’s also a totally avoidable mistake, as long as you use the right lead qualification tools.

Why Does Online Lead Qualification Matter?

You might still be thinking: most of our business comes from referrals or repeat clients. If we assume that 40% of customers use the first broker they consult, (which is around the industry average), then companies can expect up to 60% conversion rates from online sales alone – pretty good by most people’s standards.

Given the price of investing in the technology to optimize online sales, this can lead to incredible returns on investment, even though it might seem at first like a small part of your business.

Use Speed to Lead Systems to Turn Online Queries Into Sales

However, that’s not the end of the story. To actually achieve these conversion rates, you need a way to turn visitors into leads, and then into sales. This is where systems like Upcall really come into their own.

In the world of lead qualification, speed is everything. Studies have found that US real estate brokers are far from perfect when it comes to responding to inquiries, with an average recall time of around 15 hours.

With performance like that, brokers who can reply promptly and efficiently have a huge advantage.

Think about it. As a buyer, how much more likely are you to choose a broker who calls you back within 10 minutes after you expressed interest via an online form?

Services Like Upcall Deliver Effective Lead Qualification Services

There’s a reason why real estate companies are failing to respond to queries effectively: time. Most professionals simply can’t manage the number of leads they need to handle, and lost opportunities inevitably result.

That’s why it makes sense to use specialist calling services who can carry out initial calls and respond to online inquiries.

Specialist call professionals can contact customers immediately, creating a personal relationship with real estate companies. They can ring back numerous times to maximize the chances of converting leads, and they can monitor their services to refine their methods and message – fine tuning campaigns to get the right results.

You could do all of this yourself, but if you want the best outcomes, specialist real estate calling is the way to go.

Why Your Slow Lead Response Time Is Killing Your Business

“I don’t care what response I get…but I follow up until I get one,” said Steli Efti, CEO and founder of Close.io

When buyers are ready, they’ll find you, right? So says marketing agency leader Pardot.

But the big question is not whether they’re going to reach out or even when. The question is simple: are you going to be ready when they do reach out?

Now take a moment to put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. Think about when you last did some personal research into something you really wanted to buy. When you were ready to purchase and walked yourself into the store and —

What happened? Were you approached right away? Did your interest wane the longer you were kept waiting? Did a store associate bother to engage you?

Even though you’re in-store, technically, you’re still a lead. And the longer you’re left unattended to and disengaged, the less likely you are to return.

On average, it takes companies 38.35 hours to respond to leads. In today’s omni-channel marketing cycle, that’s a lifetime. You may have the best product and service but if you can’t follow these key rules, your business is sure to miss out.

 

Not All Leads are Created Equal

 

The first key to improving your lead response time is to understand a very crucial fact: not all leads are the same.

This means, not all your leads are going to turn into qualified leads. And, even when they’re curious, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily even “warm” — either “in the know” about your brand or ready to buy in the least.

Businesses that are slow to respond to a lead simply fail to be able to classify where the lead is on the buyer’s journey. Before they can even begin to follow up, leads must be qualified. And this requires on-demand access to the analytics that will be able to tell you where that lead is.

Qualifying leads is all about meeting a lead where it happens to be on the buyer’s journey. Classifying a lead is important in knowing which next steps to take, what content to provide, how to follow up and which scripts to use.

 

Failing to Meet Leads Where They’re At

 

Part of the lead qualification process is scoring the lead to see whether they must be further massaged and given multiple opportunities to engage with the brand or if they’re ready for the next segment of the buyer’s journey.

Obviously the greatest resource this calls for is time — it takes time to analyze where a lead is, once they’ve approached the brand in some way, and it takes time to then follow-up in a proven, tested and pre-determined manner.

Following up by calling a lead or presenting them with educational content is only half the battle. The other half is doing it at the right moment by understanding where they are.

A slow lead response time can result in an overflow of leads that haven’t yet been either qualified or engaged.

 

What’s the Plan, Stan?

 

Focus too much on automation alone, and you miss out on the sales aspect. But what’s the point to cultivating a qualified lead if there’s no funnel to guide your user through as they move on their journey?

Part of lead qualification is to set up a process for sales rep that can help guide leads to the next level of awareness.

In trying to improve a slow lead response time, automation of some form or another is the key to helping your customers reach the “aha!” moment and convert. Using Upcall and connecting it to apps like Zapier, for example, a sales rep could have a list of leads ready to be called and engaged with at the right time, without trying to figure out which leads to focus on.

Automating certain tasks through software like Upcall essentially allows you to take your limited attention and focus it on what you do best: following up and closing.

While you’re busy following up with another lead in person, there should be some form of automation that is delivering engagement, content, answering questions and providing guidance for the lead on this journey of brand awareness.

This is the point at which they can identify their issue, they see you as an educator and move to actually consider your products or services as the solution.

But if you fail to plan for fast lead follow-up and put the tech into place to respond in an automated way, then you miss capturing those leads for later follow-up in the first place.

 

Don’t Leave Anything On the Table

 

Here’s the number one reason a slow lead response time is killing your business: you operate in a market with a bevy of other competitors and comparable services, right?

If you fail to contact your lead within the first few hours (or minutes, depending on your industry), rest assured, your lead will end up somewhere else.

And it might be somewhere that has had the foresight to put the appropriate tools like Upcall, Zapier, CRM and funnels in place. Essentially, a workflow and a process for lead nurturing is required, at base, to capture lead’s interest and make the most of them.

So spend the the resources required now to benefit later by identifying the key places where leads are dropping off and addressing those parts using the right tools. Fail to do this and you’re literally leaving cash on the table.

On the flip side, this could also be a major opportunity for you to win. So position yourself with the right software to do exactly that.

YC Demo Day S17 Takeaways as an Alumni

yc demo day s2017 summer
The one and only.

Twice a year, some of the country’s finest minds flock to the prestigious Y Combinator Demo Day, where a number of hopeful startups present their business plans to a carefully selected audience of investors. Some of the finest minds are invited to flock the night before as well – to the rehearsal run viewing reserved for those alumni who presented successfully the cycle before. Alumni such as Upcall.

Upcall presented on the Winter 2017 Demo Day this past March, and now our own founders, Sam and Michael, attended the Summer 2017 Alumni Demo Day as guests. My, how time flies! At this invite-only event, the graduating class has the opportunity to do a dry run of their presentation before the big day.

upcall demo day yc
Upcall CEOs Sam (left) and Michael, presenting their own pitch this past March.

We asked Sam and Michael to share their thoughts about the event, including advice and who else was helping advance sales team efforts like Upcall. Read on for a little Q & A:

Q: What was your overall impression of the event?

A: An impressive batch. A great variety of companies, from over 17 countries and across all industries – including medical, construction, and autonomous cars. There’s a lot to look forward to.

Q: Tell me about the quantity and composition of the companies. How many startups are included this year?

A: YC is getting bigger every year and reached 1,400 total funded startups. This batch alone had 132, and as I mentioned from all over the world. We noted a slight uptick in female founders presenting, at 12%. Here’s some more statistics about this year’s Summer Demo Day to check out. 

alum night yc demo day
Credit: sfslim on flickr.

Q: Did any pitches strike you as particularly unique?

A: Yes – Flock is a wireless security system for neighborhoods. They’ve already helped to arrest a thief thanks to their cameras. Using this, someone could give the police evidence they need to help after a crime has been committed.

Another one was Mystro. This is an app to help drivers find better rides between different platforms, like Lyft and Uber. It was created for drivers by a driver, and makes on-demand drivers more money by allowing them to drive for multiple on-demand apps and miss less trips they might want.

Entocycle is an insect factory! They transform food waste into insect-based protein for the aquaculture and livestock industries. Very smart and innovative way to help the environment.

70 Million Jobs is the ultimate second chance – it’s a job marketplace for people with criminal records. Their mission is to help the formerly incarcerated men and women regain agency through employment.

Value Voting helps increase voter turnout through strategic primary voting. With the United States constantly engaged in the fight to encourage voter participation, this can help your organization achieve their legislative goals.

Q: Any startups worth noting for boosting your sales team efforts?

A: A good number of them! There was:

  • Slik – Slik offers highly targeted leads with an advanced filtering system, contextual data about decision-makers, and varied pricing.
  • Prism – Why do your customers do what they do? Prism lets you define your audience, collect feedback, and gather insights to find the answer.
  • Loop Support – Quality customer support is a necessity for any well-run company. Loop Support helps growing companies provide great customer support, from answering tickets, collecting insights, and doing their research for a knowledge base on your customers.
  • Meetingbird – With a slogan like “Less Scheduling, More Doing”, how could you go wrong? Meetingbird is a helpful Chrome extension that integrates with your Google calendar and email for easier scheduling.
  • Thematic – Thematic lets you use customer feedback to make effective changes, with text analytics and visualizations from your NPS, CSAT, user research surveys and chat logs.

Upcall is no stranger to empowering your sales team, either! Our special YC offer includes ½ price on-boarding, and 10% off all plans. Try us out and generate leads for your industry here.

yc demo day make something people want motto
Credit: pahlkadot on flickr.

Q: And last but not least, any advice for those thinking of founding a YC-worthy startup one day?

A: It’s simpler than you think. Just solve a real problem. The main motto at YC is “Make Something People Want.”

And there you have it – Upcall’s own little sneak peek into the S2017 Alumni Demo Day!

Ready to start your own call campaign with Upcall? Start your demo now!

 

Upcall is also looking for more talented individuals to join our team. Check out our available positions here!

Guest Post: Outbound Calling in the Sales Enablement Ecosystem

Today we’re happy to feature a guest post by Cory Bray, co-founder of ClozeLoop, a sales enablement platform designed to help companies achieve revenue and profitability goals. Bray has ten years’ experience building high-performance sales teams across multiple industries.

Cory and and ClozeLoop co-founder Hilmon Sorey are also co-authors of The Sales Enablement Playbook, now available on Amazon. Whether you’re a sales executive, sales practitioner, or a non-sales executive looking for ways to impact growth, this book will help you identify your role in a thriving enablement ecosystem.

Order your copy here!  

The Sales Enablement Playbook by Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey

By: Cory Bray

I was recently chatting with my friend Sam (CEO of Upcall) about my new book (The Sales Enablement Playbook) and we were talking about how I view Sales Enablement as an ecosystem, not a position or department. He asked, “How do you think Upcall fits into the Sales Enablement ecosystem?” Hmmmm…great question.

After taking some time to think about his question, it’s amazing how many ways companies can augment their internal team with outsourced calling to impact results.

The Obvious: Outbound Sales Development

Remember, sales development teams are just trying to arouse curiosity…not close deals. For that reason, it makes tons of sense to augment the team when leads are in short supply…you won’t be risking quality if you have adequate training for your UpCallers. Some ideas are to focus on include:

  • Account-Based Selling: In any given account, there are possibly tens of people who could be your entry point. If they are putting off buying signals, attack the account in a week, not a month.
  • Re-Activate Dormant Accounts: Those companies who stopped responding to your AE? Let’s take another look, but let the AE focus on deals that are closing this quarter.
  • Target Medium-Priority Contacts: Let your full-time SDRs who you can coach in person handle the high-value leads, but instead of waiting weeks to get to the medium leads, get after it now!

sales, team, group, working

Inbound Sales Development: Handle Those Spikes

Have you ever received an email saying it was great meeting you at a tradeshow….6 weeks after the tradeshow? Terrible, right? Well, when there are spikes in inbound interest, there are three options:

  • Make Inbound SDRs work 80 hours a week and violate the Overtime Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Wait weeks to follow up with leads
  • Augment the team

One option stands out from the crowd… 

Sales Development Meets Customer Success

As we describe in our book, one of the most overlooked sources of leads is employees who used to work at your customer but now work elsewhere. If they loved your product in their last job, make them an evangelist in their new job! It’s tricky to hunt them down, but it’s totally possible. Take your research and feed it to an UpCaller for a whole new revenue stream.

More Customer Success

In addition to generating leads, why not make some calls to capture:

  • Net Promoter Score: It’s tough to rely on email responses to NPS surveys. Augment them with calls.
  • End-User Success Stories: When it comes time to renew, do you have enough data to support your case? Make calls to individual end users to capture their stories, then aggregate these for renewal conversations.
  • Product Feedback: Figure out what specifically is holding you back, and take those details to the product team for consideration.

feedback, product

Based on the feedback here, you might need to tweak your product, target market, or selling approach. All of these adjustments will seriously enable the sales team moving forward.

So Much More…

These are just some of the ideas that came to mind, but depending on your business, there are probably several additional applications.

Get more leads. Get better leads. Figure out why the leads you’re getting aren’t converting. Understand customer satisfaction levels and address any options. What’s not to love here?

It’s pretty cool how many places UpCall fits into the Sales Enablement Ecosystem!

Get Paid on your Get Away – Earn Some Extra Cash Working from Your Hotel Room with Upcall. ⛱

What’s better than taking a vacation? Taking a vacation and still making money. 💰  With vacation season in full swing, everyone can appreciate having a little extra spending money in their pockets. Here’s how Upcall can help you out.

 

The great thing about web-based, work-from-home sites like Upcall is that you can log in and work from anywhere with a decent internet connection. As for equipment, it’s not much different than what you’d bring along on your trip anyway: your laptop, charger, and a wired headset (for best call quality).

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your Upcaller experience from the comfort of your hotel room:

  • Many hotels provide free high speed internet, but when they don’t, it’s worth finding out the average price most hotels charge for Wi-Fi. While using your phone as a hotspot isn’t the best option, many wireless carriers offer a separate hotspot unit that can be added to your plan for a fair price each month. Your signal strength will thank you.
  • Upcall campaigns run all over the US – this means you can take advantage of different time zones. If you’re catching some rays in sunny Santa Monica, your 6am wake up is already 9am on the east coast. Traveling in France? Log in in the evening after sight seeing. You’ll be able to call people in the US because it’ll only be mid-afternoon there.
  • Request a PayPal debit card so you can have instant access to your funds.
  • Got that PayPal card? Things like renting a car or booking a hotel can have different policies on how they hold funds on your debit versus credit cards. Check ahead and make sure you have enough money available to cover those charges.
  • Upcallers are able to withdraw their available balance once in a 7-day calendar period, whichever day they like. It can even be different each week as long as it’s been at least 7 days since the last time you withdrew. Time your withdrawals so you have access to your earnings when you need them.
    • PROTIP: Cash out a few days before you head out so you’ve got spending money ahead of time. If you’re transferring money from PayPal to your bank, it can take a few days.
  • When it comes to saving, keep that money out of sight and out of mind. Use your Upcall earnings like a saving account and cash it out in one large amount before your vacation. That way you’ve got max available funds for soaking up the sun. ✈

earning money on vacation

Upcall and enjoy. 👌

Want to join in on the fun? Become an Upcaller today!