May 29, 2019
Monkey see, monkey do. We’ve all heard this saying, and I think it holds true to the work being done across B2B teams right now.
Maybe a well-known leader shares his team’s success with a specific outbound sales automated email. He shares the winning subject line, and then everyone hops on board to use the same one.
A sales director posts about her team’s sequence structure and the best sales tools to boost in replies. Now everyone hops on board to try the same structure out.
“The best performing subject line does XYZ.”
“The most effective sales emails have a maximum of 60 words.”
“Reply rates are 2x when you place an email step directly after a call step.”
Do you see a problem with this “monkey see, monkey do” mindset? If one team has success using a subject line, everyone and their friends replicate the same one and we’re all doomed. We start receive cloned subject lines from 5 different senders in our inbox, and soon enough it’s stale and ineffective.
How does this well-known sales leader know what works for you? They don’t. They’re sharing their own success as a guide, as a concept for you to take notes from and to make your own if it makes sense to your business – Not to immediately replicate for yourself. They’ve spent time and took the risk of trying something new in their own process, and we should do the same rather than looking for shortcuts to success.
So instead of being sales monkeys, how do we change our mindset to become alpha wolves?
Alpha wolves lead their own pack. They make the decisions that are best for their team and aren’t concerned about what the other species are doing. While monkeys munch on grass and fruit, that approach won’t work for the wolf pack. While wolves and lions hunt similar prey they have different approaches that suit their needs.
A “sales” alpha wolf is a special species and has certain qualities to be able to successfully lead their pack.
First, they read anything and everything about what makes other leaders successful. They’re always curious, of course, and have a desire to progress. Hearing what works from those who came before you is really important, but not the only part of leading your pack strategy. After reading a new concept, sales alpha wolves exercise the lesson. It’s not enough to simply replicate, but first internalize the concept.
What elements of that subject line are compelling?
Why are those elements working?
How does it compare to what I’m doing now?
Does it make sense to incorporate similar concepts to my business?
Reflection is the key, not the immediate execution. Take the time to understand the concept, and then brainstorm similar concepts for your business by incorporating those successful elements. How else can I apply this? Can and where does this lesson specifically apply for my team?
Maybe it doesn’t and that’s okay.
Sales alpha wolves aren’t afraid to take risks. If they’ve researched how other leaders are successful, internalized and applied the concepts to their own business, they are confident to make the change in their organization. They involve their team by first teaching the concept, explaining why it can be effective for their business, and then delivering a clear execution plan.
It’s not fair to the team to rip process up from beneath them and start something new, with little explanation. Help them understand your thinking, buy into the concept and agree to adopt, so you can hold them accountable during the change and remind them of the desired outcome.
Sales alpha wolves are strong leaders, and watch out for the team closely. Sales alpha wolves are willing to take the risks of change to see a better result, but make sure their team is on board. They’re willing to see the change through and allow time for adoption, testing and improvements.
Since sales alpha wolves don’t live in the wild, they have access to the best sales tools and technology to fully arm their teams. Many leaders on social media share their opinions and experience with certain scheduling software, email tracking apps, or the next best tool for your tech stack. But just like “best practices”, do your own due diligence and weigh out all options based on your desired outcome and business needs. There is surely power in leveraging sales tools to better interact with your buyers, and email automation to better organize and speed up your workflow. Nobody knows what will be most effective for your business better than you.
The next time you see a new “best practice” or “best sales emails” post, resist the urge to put that practice into action right away. Take it back to your team, talk through the concepts together, brainstorm areas in your own business where the concepts make sense and could drive positive change, and get your team on board with a clear execution plan.
It’s time to think and act like a pack leader!
Lots of sales wolves use Mixmax. Check it out for yourself and find out why it’s not just about sales acceleration – it’s also about making it easier for your prospects to choose you!