Josiane Feigon is a 20-year veteran of the sales industry and the founder of TeleSmart Communications. She is recognized as a Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals and as one of the world's leading experts on inside sales team and management talent.
I invited Josiane to Marketing Smarts to discuss her new book, Smart Sales Manager.
In the book, Josiane shares her insights into the management of a modern sales team that includes salespeople from different generations, and the role social media should play in nurturing leads.
Here are just a few highlights from my conversation with Josiane.
Use LinkedIn, but use it right (15:31): "A lot of times in my '10 Essentials' [LinkedIn training course] we talk about who you are going to connect with on LinkedIn. You're not going to connect with a cold call on LinkedIn, but if you schedule an appointment with someone, and you're firm on that, you can actually connect with them through LinkedIn. We really work at distinguishing whom they should connect with. They need to understand that each connection really enables their career growth and their career trajectory, versus just having a lot of friends, which is what they do on Facebook. It's really kind of re-educating them, and not spamming at all. We are finding that appointments are getting canceled left and right, but when they're coming in through LInkedIn to confirm the appointment, they're actually holding a lot longer."
Inside sales will overtake field sales by 2015 (18:10): "I've been an inside sales advocate for the past 20 years that I've owned my business. We are seeing that for every 15 inside salespeople that are being hired, there's only one field outside sales person being hired, so we're already seeing the numbers change. This is being directed by this customer that's saying 'Don't come and see me: I don't have time for you...' Also, what we're finding is that inside sales are early adopters of tools, and field sales have notoriously not taken on using their tools. They barely can read their notes in SalesForce... Every single one of my clients has a 'to be hired' of at least a half a dozen [inside salespeople] by the end of the year. It's just exploding."
Sales teams today are multi-generational (27:21): "We can be in a group of 50 people and have this enormous diversity of generations, and it's not just 'I need to know Millennials.' It's like 'I've got a Millennial, I've got a Boomer, I've got a Gen X-er, I've got a Gen Y. There's so many more now. And the Millennials—people are like, 'Oh, they're just going to go away,' or, 'Let's just ignore them,' or, 'Let's just fire them.' People don't understand them, they're just firing them... Don't fire them! They're actually great. [Millennials] just need help in a different way."
To effectively manage Millennials, provide a lot of recognition and stimulation (28:14): "We created these Millennials. I was the one that sat at all my daughter's...activity meets. She got the trophies. I took her everywhere. She was always an over-scheduled kid. So we're the ones that created these Millennials that get bored easily if they don't have enough activity. They want recognition right away. They always want to compete. They're always looking for that trophy. They want a manager that's always watching... A lot of managers are like, 'I just talked to her yesterday about this. She's back in my office again," and I ask them, 'How are you going to help her think for herself? She thinks you're Siri, You're not Siri."
Josiane and I talked about much more—including what it's like to have your daughter handle your PR—so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Josiane Feigon, author of Smart Sales Manager and the founder of TeleSmart Communications.