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The 5 Best Articles for Junior Sales Reps

The 5 Best Articles for Junior Sales Reps

Gone are the days when a junior sales rep’s job meant talking on the phone all day or sending out cold emails.

Today, junior sales reps aren’t responsible just for making sales. They have to understand data enrichment, lead scoring, and sales automation to remain competitive in their jobs—and they have to be closing deals at the same time.

All of this can be overwhelming for junior sales reps.

That’s why we put together this curated list of our favorite resources on the internet for new reps. Whether you’re a newly hired rep or a veteran seeking to hone your craft, these articles will help you learn everything from how to qualify leads to the power of the follow-up.

1. The Modern Guide to Lead Qualification

Effective lead qualification is the bread and butter of a junior’s sales rep work. Lead qualification is how a company processes a fire hose of potential opportunities and turns them into qualified leads who have a high likelihood of becoming successful—and paying—customers.

Lead qualification determines what opportunities your sales team chooses to pursue. That means that the overall health of your sales funnel is only as good as your system for qualifying leads.

As Matt Sornson, Clearbit’s head of growth marketing says:

Without proper qualification, your sales and marketing team will spend equal time on all leads, whether they are a good fit for the company or not. With qualification, your teams can be confident they are prioritizing the best potential customers for your product.

In this comprehensive guide, Matt walks you through a step-by-step process for building a lean, mean, lead-generating machine. You’ll learn what common methodologies companies use to score leads and how to set up a lead-qualification system that will drive sales for your company.

2. Being the First Sales Rep at a SaaS Startup

When you’re an early sales hire at a SaaS startup, be prepared to start from scratch. You won’t have a sales playbook—one with handy call scripts and templates for cold emails that you can copy and paste—to work from. That means that your job isn’t just about making deals and closing sales; it’s also about putting together a repeatable sales process for your company.

At the same time, you’re doused in a torrent of new information. You’re trying to learn about the product, your value proposition and who your customers are.

But as SaaStr founder Jason Lemkin writes:

For the right person, that’s smart and tough, and somewhat creative … [being the first sales rep] can also be one of the most rewarding positions. The sales “hacker”. Often times, the First Salesperson goes on to just amazing things in successful start-ups. And they have a special relationship with the founders and early employees that Reps 10, 20 and 200 will never have.

This concise, no-frills article by Jason is filled with pragmatic advice for new sales reps. In it, you’ll learn what to expect as the first sales rep at a SaaS startup and what types of attributes will make you successful at the job.

3. How to build a sales content creation pipeline

Today, the job of a junior sales rep is no longer simply about making calls and walking customers through demos. Your customers are researching software tools on Google and signing up for free trials to evaluate different offerings—all without ever talking to a rep in the first place.

That means that getting a customer the right information at the right time can be the difference between closing a deal and losing a customer to a competitor.

That’s why sales reps are spending more time before creating and managing sales-enablement content, from white papers to newsletter sequences to blog posts. An Aberdeen study shows that sales reps spend up to 43 hours a month looking for sales content. Setting up a system and a process for managing these assets allows you to educate your prospects and nudge them along every step of the funnel.

As this article from Airtable points out:

If your organizational system for collateral is well structured, it can be your sales team’s secret weapon. At the perfect moment, they can whip out a white paper or a case study and close a sale. But if your collateral is compiled in an ad hoc way, you’ll end up with a bunch of tools that salespeople never bother to use—either because they can’t find them at the right moment, or because they serve no purpose.

Read the full article to learn how to set up a simple process for creating and organizing sales content. With the right system, you can spend less time looking for white papers, and more time actually closing deals.

4. How to send a reminder email politely

Being a junior sales rep can often feel like staring into the void, especially when you’ve spent a day sending out cold emails and have nothing to show for it.

The answer is simple: Make a habit of constantly following up.

Your prospects won’t always respond to that first email. Maybe they were busy, or maybe their inbox is flooded with other similar sales emails. According to a study by Yesware, though, you have a 21% chance of receiving a reply by sending a follow up to the original, unanswered email.

If you aren’t following up, you’re leaving money on the table.

The good news is that the competition isn’t following up either. The same study shows that 70% of sales emails stop if the first one isn’t answered—and that presents an opportunity.

In this article on the FollowUp blog, we give you a couple of simple, tested tips for sending follow-up emails:

How do you politely remind someone that you need a response? Here are a few tips.

1. Be short and sweet. Short emails are easy to read and they usually get a response.
2. Make sure the recipient knows what you are talking about by either forwarding your original email or mentioning your request again. If they haven’t gotten back to you, they may have forgotten what you needed.

Read the full piece to learn four different ways you can write follow-up emails that will lead to more sales.

5. The Rise of the Relationship Era

In the past decade, we’ve seen a tectonic shift in the SaaS sales landscape, from the rise of inside sales and lead qualification to the broader movement toward subscription-based software.

We’re on the brink of yet another massive change. Today, the best teams utilize a combination of data enrichment, automation, and AI in their sales workflows to build stronger, more personalized relationships with customers.

As this article from Copper points out:

To succeed in this new Relationship Era, companies need to follow the example set by breakout companies like Zendesk, Airbnb, Virgin America (RIP) and Spotify, focusing their energy on a single guiding principle: great customer relationships are no longer a nice-to-have—they’re essential to sustainable growth.

Read the full piece to learn more about the “Relationship Era” of sales. You’ll learn about the four key pillars of modern sales and how you can leverage them to build better relationships with your customers.

The craft of sales

As a junior sales rep, your number one job isn’t about closing deals—it’s about learning your product, your customers, and your craft so that you can constantly improve. Nobody expects you to know everything about lead qualification or CRMs when you start, but your company and your team depend on you to learn over time.

Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. There are a ton of resources out there that will help you learn on the job. The more you learn, the more you’re investing in your craft.

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