11 Do’s & Don’ts For Sales Teams From The Guy Being Sold To

As an SaaS online marketer for the past 5 years, I am convinced that the success of a marketing and sales team is directly proportional to the relationship between the two. The closer they work together, the more successful both become. Because I like to practice what I preach, throughout the years I have observed my fair share of sales tactics, emails and phone calls. I’ve seen some work really well and others flop completely. I think it’s time to give back and tell you what works and what doesn’t so you can become a powerful sales machine.

1. Do get to know your marketing materials

If I made it to a phone conversation with you, most likely I have seen your website, read reviews, your ebooks, webinars and blog. Now I’m at the point where I want to ask questions about everything that I’ve read to learn more. As a salesperson, if you haven’t even read the marketing material, it won’t make for a great conversation. And it’ll be easy for me to realize if you haven’t read it either. If you’re looking for a company that does this well, look no further than Hubspot. They are always referring me to content after emails and phone calls.

2. Do send a Google calendar invite when scheduling appointments, meetings or phone calls

If you think I’ll remember a meeting a week from now, think again. Send me a calendar invite. I’m not going to create it myself. Even if you know they don’t use a calendar, send it anyway. It’ll show that you’re organized and taking the call seriously.

3. Do talk to the support team about the most asked questions

This seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how many sales people forget about this. A salesperson that understands their product like the back of their hand, is a successful salesman. This is why support reps that move to sales have no trouble with the transition. Save a prospect some time and inform them of answers to their future questions.

4. Do arrive early in the morning

Especially, if you’re selling to the C-level. You’re most productive in the morning. I’m the most attentive in the morning. Schedule more meetings in the morning. There’s a reason Benjamin Franklin said “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

5. Do listen on our first phone call

Your goal should be to understand my problem so well that it’s now your problem too. Use the 80/20 rule and let the prospect talk 80% of the call. I’ve participated in way too many conversations when the first phone call is just a pitch of the company. Unless the sales cycle is a day, don’t plan to sell me your product on the first phone call into your business. Once I start asking questions about the product, you can respond but until then you’re my psychologist.

6. Do connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter after our phone call

I find this to be a great way to really get to know you and build trust. If I’m going to be doing business with you, I want to know a little bit more about you. In return, I feel appreciative that you want to take the time to get to know me as well. But don’t take advantage of my connections!

7. Don’t friend me on Facebook

This is creepy and crosses the line. Facebook is still personal and only reserved for close friends. As I said before, Twitter and LinkedIn is okay, Facebook is not.

8. Do Google your prospects and find out as much as you can

If you search my name you’ll be able to find my LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, Google + profile, Quora posts, and even my wedding pictures! Is that enough information to start a subtle conversation? Just don’t start the conversation saying “So I Googled you yesterday..”

9. Do send over relevant, interesting articles and reports

I’m in your sales pipeline yet I haven’t moved one way or another, I get it. You want to restart the conversation and you’re hoping sending over content will get me thinking about your product again. This works only if the content is relevant and interesting to me. If I was interested in service ABC, and you send over a case study of one of my competitors using service ABC, I’ll click for sure. However, don’t send me one of your news articles that got picked up by TechCrunch. Good for you though.

10. Do go on walks

The most successful sales reps I know take a 10-minute walk around the block to re-energize themselves a few times a day. Sometimes you just need time away from your desk.

11. Don’t forget to check how your emails look when sending through 3rd party services to Gmail accounts

In an effort to increase transparency, Gmail now gives the recipient more information about the origin of the email received. What once was hidden in the header of email messages now is visible to Gmail users. This means if you send an email from Salesforce to a Gmail user, that Gmail user will see the hidden BCC email address Salesforce includes in their email. Now, I’m forced to think of myself as one of your prospects. The conversation changes from a 1 to 1 conversation to a 1-to-many conversation. I’ve included a screenshot below for reference.

Gmail includes email header data

We broke these steps down for you in an easy-to-remember checklist. Keep it handy, and you’ll be on your way to sales superstardom in no time.

11 Do’s and Dont’s for sales teams from the guy being sold to. Tweet This Checklist.

11 Do's and Don'ts for sales teams

What do you think? Do you have any Do’s and Don’ts to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section.


  • Andrew

    Nice shout out. You win some you lose some. I’ve since changed things up but you learn through trial and error – use what works, discard what doesn’t. Your approach to sales should be a constant evolution. After all: “Insanity means doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result.” -Einstein

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  • http://www.wowflute.com/ Joecow

    My guess is it’s a no-brainer, but don’t be pushy and overbearing. Get the prospect to talk about themselves. People tend to like those who get them talking about themselves!

  • http://getbase.com/ Magda Walczak

    I’ll add one of my own – Know the basics about the company you’re selling to. It’s so frustrating when the sales rep tries to sell me their product and has no clue about my industry or my competitors. Happens ALL the time. You wouldn’t go to a job interview not knowing where you are interviewing so why would you call up a prospect and not know this information? Makes no sense.

  • Elizabeth

    Brian: Thanks for the this! I think it’s a solid list of things to keep in mind while engaging with prospects and clients. I’m curious about #11… I haven’t found this to be an issue (even with the new Gmail). Am I missing something? How are you able to see BCCed emails?

    • http://www.getbase.com/ Brian Lastovich

      Elizabeth – Thanks for taking the time to read it! Let me try and explain a bit more throughly, even though I’m just scratching the surface. When Gmail detects an email was sent to you using a 3rd party service (in my example Salesforce) as well, you have never emailed with this person before, Gmail will include more data about the source to protect you from misleading emails.

      *I’ve attached a screenshot of what I see in my Gmail account. You should be able to see this under bullet 11.

      **Here’s a link from google support that also provides more information – https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1311182

      So, in other words, you’re not able to see who was BCCed but more data about where the email is coming from. Hope this answers your question!

      • Elizabeth

        Brian- Thanks, I’m on the same page now! The good news is that I’m pretty sure this only happens when an email is sent directly from Salesforce (as opposed to adding the Salesforce BCC in you normal email send). Still, I think your point was important – always good to test what you’re doing before the outreach makes its way to the prospect.

  • Dynamic Signal

    Excellent post, fwd to our entire sales team!

    • http://www.getbase.com/ Lauren Licata

      Thank you!

  • blastovichbase

    I would add Google+ with LinkedIn and Twitter to item #6. But I also think it all depends on which social networks the prospect is most active on and which one’s you are too (except FB). If you were selling to me, Twitter > Linkedin > Google+

  • Henry Ferlauto

    Regarding items 6 & 7, what is your opinion on connecting via Google+

    • http://www.getbase.com/ Lauren Licata

      Hi Henry – good question. I would say that if you’re active on Google + professionally and your prospect is as well, you should connect with them. If however, you can see that they rarely use it, or they only use it for personal stories, I’d refrain.