Human to human sales
The customer has turned more into a person with a need, rather than a buyer – salespeople have to follow along. This is how Titan works to keep his sales process as human as possible.
This is a series of blogposts where we get inside the head of salespeople – tools, tips, tactics, and processes. We ask them and summarize it for you.
“What I do for Zendesk is handling sales development for Asia.” Zendesk provides a cloud-based customer service platform. The company covers all channels that a business needs to communicate with its customers. Titan is based in Manila, Philippines, and works with qualifying leads from Zendesk’s website. “In the morning I do my emails, then I do my Zendesk tickets, and then I eat. Actually, I do my emails 24/7.”
Role: Asia Sales Development
Type of sales: B2B
Tools: Zendesk, CRM, Gmail, Google Calendar.
“I do have templates but I end up changing them 80 percent.”
“The leads already know about Zendesk, and we have their phone numbers from the website. They signed up for it. So I do research, then I call them. I introduce myself as a representative from Zendesk.” Titan is the first contact, he makes sure to get the information needed before handing over the qualified lead to an account executive.
“People are much more available. “Some of them are driving, some of them are eating, some of them are waking up or some of them are still asleep.”
Titan does outreach through emails and calls. He uses details from his research to get the conversation rolling. “I make sure to make a good impression on the first call. I try to be very jolly and energetic – but not annoying. When I hear them a little bit stressed already with all my questions, I stop and offer them an email and my number instead.”
“What works best for me is I backing off and offering them an email. I write very personal emails. It’s not a computer-generated email. Believe me, I get 50, 60, 70 leads a day, and if all of them are in a bad situation – and can’t talk at the moment – I send all of them a personal email. I do have templates, but I end up changing 80 percent of them anyway.” Titan emphasises a couple of times during our interview that it’s important for him to not be too traditional when he does outreach. And also, just as the way of selling has changed, it’s important to understand that the people you’re selling to have also changed. People are much more available. “Some of them are driving, some of them are eating, some of them are waking up or some of them are still asleep.”
“When I’m under pressure, that’s when I get to think of a solution on the spot.”
It’s important to understand the signals for when it’s ok or not ok to continue speaking. “I rarely do get a snobbish or pretty-hard-to-talk-to lead, unless they speak another language of course – that happens sometimes. For me, it’s just: Get on their good side! Getting on a client’s or a lead’s good side depends on yourself, on how you carry yourself and how you converse with the person. It’s kind of like love at first ‘Hello’.” When someone doesn’t pick up, Titan leaves a voice mail. ”I leave a voice mail and send them an email as well. 95 percent of the times – they reply to the email instead. It’s probably because I have a US number, in Asia it’s a bit pricey to call a US number.”
Do you ever forget?
“Whenever I happen to forget a meeting or a task, I make sure that I compensate and make the other party feel that it was my fault, but not intentional. It’s kind of natural for me. When I’m under pressure, that’s when I get to think of a solution on the spot.” As mentioned before, selling is a lot about personality. “A lot of people would be very shy even introducing themselves. I just tell them to be themselves. I know I can’t just tell anyone ‘be yourself’, because some people are shy. But, don’t be shy; don’t be shy to introduce yourself – and know your product. Definitely know the product that you sell.”
In a world full of power dialers, leaderboards, and automated emails – it’s interesting to talk with a salesperson that wants to keep his sales process as human as possible. These new tendencies have affected customers’ perception, even personally written emails might seem auto-generated to their eyes. Spending time on personal emails is a great thing – it shows your personality and creates a persona, which in some cases is much more interesting than the product. But is it worth spending time on, if the recipient thinks it’s auto-generated anyway? What are you doing to stay as human as possible when you sell?