March 29, 2017 06:00 AM
Earning a prospect’s trust is essential when it comes to the art of the sale. It’s human nature to want to make a connection with the person we’re buying from – to feel like our needs are understood and that the sales rep cares about more than just a commission. Therefore, closing a deal depends on the salesperson’s ability to make a prospect feel as though their unique story is being heard.
March 27, 2017 06:54 AM
When we survey RFP and proposal teams, nearly half report meeting response timeframes as their greatest challenge. They describe a mad dash to deadlines. It’s not uncommon to have 12 to 24 hours to turn around complex responses, but even with the relative luxury of a few days or a week, many sales executives aren’t confident in the quality or consistency of what’s headed out their door. These aren’t brochures you’re sending out – these documents are being carefully evaluated.
March 23, 2017 12:00 AM
You know what they say about best-laid plans, right? Even if you started 2017 with specific, measurable goals, what happens when you fall behind? What happens when those best-laid plans meet the battlefield of business? What happens when things don’t always go the way you intended?
Here are 10 things you can do to get back on track.
March 22, 2017 12:00 AM
Research shows that 55 percent of people selling are in the wrong profession. Another 20 to 25 percent have the essential attributes to sell, but they should be selling something other than what they are currently selling. An efficient salesperson is one with many impeccable characteristics.
The most importance qualities in successful salespeople are being conscientious (as per a study by American Psychological Association), being respectful of clients’ time, listening and being persistent go-getters.
March 21, 2017 12:00 AM
When it comes to coaching, most sales managers either devote their time to rescuing the worst players or gravitate to the best players. In “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness,” author Kevin F. Davis says studies show the biggest payoff from coaching comes from working with the people you may think of as your “B” players.
March 20, 2017 12:00 AM
“Nothing happens in business until somebody sells something.”
A boss I had early in my career made that comment to me. Now, 30 years later, I truly understand the brilliance of that simple statement.
The simple truth is that we all use sales skills almost every day. From the teenager asking his dad if he can use the family car to the CIO selling his boss on an important, yet expensive, system upgrade, strong sales skills are critically important to achieving success at work and at home.
March 17, 2017 12:00 AM
The great persona crackup continues.
Even two years ago, when the average buying group size in B2B deals was said to be more than five, B2B organizations high on a persona-based messaging approach had a lot of message tailoring to do. And, if you’ve held fast to persona-based messaging, you now have even more. That’s because the average of number of decision-makers involved in B2B purchasing decisions has crept up to almost seven, by some counts.
March 16, 2017 12:00 AM
A 2017 survey of 500 full-time employed Americans commissioned by BetterWorks, a California-based software company, finds that workers report spending an average of two hours per day reading political social media posts. Nearly 50 percent of respondents reported seeing a political conversation turning into an argument in the workplace, while 29 percent of respondents say they’ve been less productive since the election.
March 15, 2017 12:00 AM
U.S. President and five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower used a simple exercise to illustrate the art of leadership. He laid an ordinary piece of string on a table and explained, “Pull the string and it will follow you wherever you go. Push it and it will go nowhere at all. It’s just that way when it comes to leading people.”
March 13, 2017 12:00 AM
On September 8, 2016, Wells Fargo announced it would pay the largest penalty ever - $185 million in fines – since the inception of the CFPB in 2011. As a refresher, from 2011-2016, employees opened over 1.5 million unauthorized deposit accounts and over 500,000 unauthorized credit card applications to the tune of $2.6 million in fees for the company.
March 10, 2017 01:00 AM
Inside sales is a competitive field where professionals need to bring an incredible work ethic to the job each day. Unfortunately, some find that their habits can hurt theirsales productivity and their careers. Here are 11 bad habits that every sales professional should focus on eliminating.
March 6, 2017 01:00 AM
Now that everything and everyone is online, we live in a world of information overload. Getting people’s attention is harder than ever. With so much access to choice and knowledge, customers are taking their purchase journey online, where the influence of salespeople matters less and less.
The good news is there’s still a way to sell online. It takes a new approach and great tact. The online environment has a short attention span but a long memory, so making certain mistakes will cost you dearly. Make sure you avoid these five selling mistakes:
March 6, 2017 03:43 PM
I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating. Craft brewers reported a 13 percent increase in volume in 2015, the eighth consecutive year of double-digit growth. With more than 4,250 microbreweries nationwide — more than ever before — the craft beer industry now represents 12 percent market share of the total beer market, according to the trade group Brewers Association.
March 3, 2017 01:00 AM
Whenever I meet with sales managers, I ask them to do a quick exercise where they grade each of their reps on two factors: skill and attitude. After talking about the insights this gives the managers into their reps’ development needs, I challenge them this way: “This is a report card on your salespeople, right? …Wrong! It’s actually a report card on your sales leadership.”
February 27, 2017 07:55 AM
February 24, 2017 01:00 AM
The current dialogue around machine learning – the ability for a computer to accumulate and adapt to new information without human intervention – tends to focus on either the accessible, high-concept innovations like driverless cars and robot chefs, or jargon-heavy discussions about algorithms and Bayesian networks. However, it’s something that modern marketers must become familiar with, no matter how abstract or technical the technology might seem.
February 20, 2017 07:05 PM
Dating back to Ancient Greece and Egypt, monumental structures have relied on the strength of stone pillars, working together to support an immense amount of weight and pressure. Over the past 2,500 years, the Parthenon has been rocked by earthquakes, blown up by exploding gunpowder and suffered severe fire damage, yet it and its pillars still stand today.
February 17, 2017 08:31 AM
At some point, everyone who has ever been in a meeting experiences the terrible symptoms of this rapidly spreading epidemic. Picture it: you’re in a conference room, lights are low and you are listening to a colleague talk about the bullet points on the screen. First, you notice that your eyes are starting to feel heavy. Then your mind starts drifting away from the topic at hand and to thoughts that have nothing to do with the meeting at hand. All of the sudden, you have to force yourself to jerk your head back each time it starts nodding forward.
February 13, 2017 01:00 AM
People value choice in all aspects of their lives. Incentives and rewards are no different. Your sales teams and sales partners are vital contributors to your business and appreciate decision-making autonomy just like everyone else. Provide them with effective motivation and thanks via rewards and incentives programs they can tailor to their liking. These can empower them to choose which reward they want and how they want to receive it – accommodating different preferences and providing a more personalized reward experience.
February 10, 2017 12:28 PM
When sales and marketing combine their expertise, ABM can be remarkably effective. For example, my company, ZoomInfo, implemented an ABM campaign that expanded the pipeline for a product by 114 percent and enlarged its customer base by 30 percent in a mere 90 days. Research from industry analysts shows other companies have seen similar success.
February 8, 2017 06:59 AM
Sales is stereotypically thought of as an extremely individualized occupation. The clichéd salesperson of popular lore is a competitive, single-minded loner who is constantly out-of-pocket chasing deals on the golf course.
The reality is, of course, very different. In fact Salesforce recently found that high-tech companies generate 55 percent of sales through inside sales – a sales model that thrives on team collaboration.
February 6, 2017 01:00 AM
Many sales teams utilize full-cycle inside sales reps who are responsible for the entire customer cycle from prospecting to close to renewal. This type of sales structure has its pros and cons.
February 1, 2017 01:00 AM
Even before technology and automation upended marketing and sales processes, the two groups struggled to collaborate effectively. The conflict tended to center on issues like handoffs and messaging. Now the teams can’t even agree on reality as reflected in data. That’s a problem, and it won’t be resolved until marketing and sales agree on a core technology stack.
January 30, 2017 01:00 AM
So often in sports we learn about how one team prepares for the other. They watch the films and listen to the interviews that are conducted by the media to see if they can pick up a couple of clues or tendencies that will lead to a victory. In some cases, teams have been accused of filming their opponents practice to see if they can achieve a competitive edge (including the New England Patriots, who are competing in this weekend’s Super Bowl).