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Bringing Your Sales Team On-Call

When most people hear the phrase “on-call”, they likely think of doctors, or folks in the medical profession. But those of us in IT know there’s another on-call world — one where Operations & Development Teams alike are awakened at 2 am to a notification telling them their servers are crashing, where Sys Admins are working away at midnight because they got a page saying their website was down, and hopefully, a world where remediation can take place faster.

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The Why

Time is of the essence for more than just IT teams, though. In fact, some would argue it’s equally as important that your Sales team have prompt responses.

Hubspot found that responding to queries within the hour they’re received generates 7 times the conversations.

But according to the Harvard Business Review, only 37% of companies respond to leads within an hour. Why? All Business tells us it’s for these main reasons:

– The marketing automation system isn’t set up to get to a salesperson quickly.

– The salesperson isn’t tapped into his email when the lead comes in.

– There is no formal lead process for responding promptly.

To address these things at VictorOps, we put our Salespeople on-call. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, (after all, we are the company that makes on-call suck less) and better yet: it works.

The How

Here’s how we do it, and some things you might want to consider as well:

Pick the types of queries you’d like to be notified on. For us, anyone requesting a demo on our website or contacting a Sales email alias sends the on-call rep a page via their chosen method (reps can pick set their own personal paging policy in VictorOps.)  You’ll likely not wanted to be paged when someone simply downloads a piece of content but would like to respond more promptly to say, someone that has a pricing inquiry.

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Set up your schedule. This can be done by having reps rotate days, weeks, nights, weekends, etc. For our team, we have 5 on-call reps. We each take one day of the week and rotate nights and weekends. This way, at most, we’re only able to be woken up about one or two nights a week.

Create escalations. If the first person doesn’t respond within 15 minutes, we escalate to the next person. You can even escalate to the entire team if you’d like, just to *really* make sure that the alert gets to an actual person.

Know the difference between Acknowledging a page and Resolving the page. Acknowledging stops the paging for an inquiry and tells the team, “Hey, I’ve got this one.” Once you’ve responded, mark the inquiry as resolved. This lets your team know who is working on it, and if anyone ever Acknowledges but forgets to Resolve (respond to) an inquiry, it will remain in a queue that the entire team can see, making it easier for someone to catch.

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The Results

After implementing on-call for our team here at VictorOps, we jumped to converting 70% of inquiries into product demonstrations. Not bad.

There was also an unintended result of this new way of responding to leads: empathy. Now that Sales is getting paged at 2am in the morning, we have a better idea of how our customer feels while using our product. Walking in the shoes of our customer helps us to know them and to understand their pain points, ensuring that we address those and ending up in a more robust sales pipeline.

Thoughts? How would your sales team handle going on-call?

The post Bringing Your Sales Team On-Call appeared first on VictorOps.

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VictorOps is making on-call suck less with the only collaborative alert management platform on the market.

With easy on-call scheduling management, a real-time incident timeline that gives you contextual relevance around your alerts and powerful reporting features that make post-mortems more effective, VictorOps helps your IT/DevOps team solve problems faster.