In today’s world, regardless of what one does for a living, they are in a state of perpetual solicitation. One can’t open their email box without scrolling through multiple solicitation emails. This is the case both personally and professionally. It is aggravating, frustrating, and annoying. Before the email barrages of the last 15 or so years, it was the unsolicited cold calls. Just as with the emails, this happened at both work and the home. That being said, everyone should realize that on the other end of that solicitation is a person who is trying to earn a living for their family. Being in sales can be extremely rewarding, but at the same time, it is a very challenging career that requires both an extreme sense of urgency combined with a patient and understanding personality. Whether you are selling cars or insurance or an Employee Recognition program, the salesperson has a challenging journey to navigate. While it may be “annoying” to the buyer, hopefully, this document will provide you, the buyer, a sense of understanding and appreciation for the process.
The Recognition Sales Organization
The sales organization is made up of multiple teams, all working together. The goal is to find a prospect in HR or in Purchasing or the C-Suite who has a desire to move the needle in the area of expressing gratitude to their employees and increasing engagement.
Marketing– They design and create the website, white papers, brochures, email cadences. Marketing also invests in lists and various technologies to assist sales in the process
Sales Development (SDR) – This group is typically the front lines of the recognition sales process. They generally are responsible for 1000’s of contacts. They will utilize email sequences to send to all these prospects. Sample Sales Development Email:
I empathize with all the companies struggling out there because we’ve been there before. We’re hoping to be a resource in supporting your staff.
I’m Jeff, recognition resource at CoreCentive. We started this business during the financial crisis and were able to survive and thrive because we brought something unique and valuable to the marketplace.
Employee recognition is a tool you can utilize in times of crisis to engage people, appreciate their value, and recognize the work they’re doing amid hectic circumstances. This will help retention once things return to normal; employees will remember how their leaders treated them through this tough period.
If you’re looking for a way to say thank you in these unprecedented times—or review your current employee recognition programs to ensure you’re getting value on your investment—we can help. Are you available for a quick call next Monday?
These contacts are often segmented by industry or job title. Once a prospect expresses a willingness to learn more, Sales Development becomes a resource to the potential buyer. Their job is NOT to sell anything but to listen to their concerns, understand their goals and objectives, and mutually agree with the prospect that there is a potential fit. Once a fit exists, the prospect is then passed to an Account Executive for the next phase
Account Executive (AE) – This group is where the process starts to get into detail. It is the job of the AE to make the sale. To start, they will confirm all the information shared with them from Sales Development. AE’s perform multiple demonstrations, engage others on the prospects team into the process, write proposals, follow up, prepare contacts and engage others on the seller’s side into the process
Executive Sponsors – This team engages toward the end of the process to help close the deal and to make the prospect comfortable with the vendor’s leadership
Operations Account Setup – This is the team responsible for a successful launch and ongoing program success. Typically this team is brought in at the end of the sales cycle to make sure that all that was discussed between the AE and the prospect can be done. Their intimate expertise often leads to additional ideas and concepts
What to Expect as a Prospective Customer – Phases of the Sale
Marketing Emails Phase – This is where the salesperson’s journey begins. Most companies these days utilize technology to drive their marketing. These technologies send out email after email hoping to catch the buyer’s eye/mind. These emails come in all types with various types of messaging and subject lines. Companies spend billions of dollars trying to understand the buyer and their tendencies, likes, and dislikes. It is not an exact science, but the goal is to ultimately “strike a nerve” or find a “pain point” with the buyer. A prospect may get 4 to 6 emails in each sequence. Prospective buyers should be able to “opt-out” of these emails
Cold Calls Phase – Yes, these still occur! Sales are about fit as well as relationship building. Sales Development and Account Executives are tasked to make calls to prospects that they are responsible for. Typically, it takes 20 calls to create one contact with a prospect, and it takes about ten contacts to find “fit.” While the buyer may find this annoying and uncomfortable at times, it is important that they understand that the person making the calls has a job to do and that making these calls is very stressful as well. The SDR / AE knows going in that it is likely that the person picking up the phone does not want to hear from them. As a buyer, showing respect for the salesperson’s job is encouraged. Trust me. It is not easy!!
Proof of Concept Phase – Once the mutual fit is agreed upon as far as potential fit, the sales team will set up a proof of concept demo where the solution(s) will be reviewed and demonstrated from a “50,000-foot view”. The basics of the program will be shared along with how it matched the prospect’s goals, needs, and objectives. At this point, the proper solution is agreed upon, and the actual selling begins
Constant Follow Up Phase – Once product fit is agreed upon, the sales team will be scheduling additional demonstrations, following up on meetings, asking you to engage others into the process, reviewing marketing materials, Etc. Typically there would be weekly communication one way or another as from the salesperson’s perspective; they must stay toward the front of the buyer’s mind.
Deep Dive Presentation Phase – As the salesperson and the prospect continue to find a mutual fit, it becomes imperative that they engage all key players on the prospect side. Essentially, anyone who can say “no” needs to get involved at this point. This is imperative so that parties on both sides do not waste time. The salesperson will bring in the team who will be dedicated to managing the account daily. The chosen technology will be reviewed and demoed in great detail. Things that will be discussed include (but not limited to):
Data / Hierarchy
Proposal / Contract Phase – At this point, as a prospective customer, you have been solicited with emails and phone calls, sat through a few demos, received a ton of emails and calls, formed a working relationship with the sales team, met your day to day team and hopefully have come to the conclusion that what you have seen and heard is the right fit for you. Now its time to review your pricing and contract. Depending on your vendor or solution, this may include a contract. The contract is an event all by itself! These typically go through your organization’s legal team, which often opens up a whole can of worms. Legal minds operate far differently than the HR mind does, but to be fair, it’s their job to do what they feel is right in protecting their company’s interest. The same rule of thumb goes for the vendor’s legal team, so expect a ton of delays, and often concessions need to be made once the lawyers do their thing; it’s time to get into set up.
Program Setup and Design – Now its time to get down to business!! The operations team will meet with those who are responsible for running each aspect of the account from day-to-day to IT to finance to HRIS (Data). Depending on the vendor and the program complexity, the setup will take 3 – 5 weeks. Training will be ongoing during this phase (and continue after as well).
Program Launch – The title says it all. Time to recognize your employees!
The sales journey from the salesperson perspective is very arduous. A salesperson is judged solely on their sales success. As a prospective customer, it’s essential for you to understand all that they go through to try to earn your business. Most of them genuinely care about doing right by you and want you to be successful and look like a hero. To schedule some time with a CoreCentive Recognition Specialist, click below.