January 23, 2017 01:00 AM
You’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into the sales process, and now it's time to present your prospect with a winning proposal that will close the sale so you can move on to the next one.
January 20, 2017 01:00 AM
Whether you’re a startup or more established business, there are times the sales team needs to be refocused. This is required when a new market opportunity emerges or your company launches a new product and suddenly your sales team is treading in unfamiliar waters.
Recently, we introduced a new product that required us to redefine our sales model and go-to-market strategy – learning several valuable takeaways that can help other entrepreneurs navigate a similar pivot.
January 19, 2017 01:00 AM
In sales training on questioning skills, I ask reps in the room to choose a super power that would help them increase their performance. It’s a fun question and lets people imagine, well, unimaginable success. The answers range from invisibility (“I’ll get back in the prospect’s office, after my call and see what they’re saying about us”) to answers like these (with their reasoning, sometimes bizarre, behind the choice of power).
January 18, 2017 01:00 AM
There’s a reason companies spend billions of dollars each year on client entertainment: it works. Taking prospects and clients to a game can be a powerful way to deepen and advance your relationship. And when you take them to a once-in-a-lifetime event like the Super Bowl, the potential return can be limitless.
January 17, 2017 01:00 AM
Business leaders often question how public relations can help them close sales. Digital marketing and advertising feel reassuring because the results are more quantifiable. But let me ask you a question: When you’re surfing your favorite news site, are you more likely to validate what you see in an article or an ad?
January 16, 2017 01:00 AM
Deny first and blame others second. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, that is often the stance sales managers take when their numbers come up short. And once this happens, sales rarely trend upwards because sales teams thrive in competitive but supportive atmospheres—not ones littered with finger-pointing and ‘it’s not my fault’ attitudes. As the old saying goes, it starts at the top. Getting reps to consistently reach, or better yet, exceed quota requires sales managers to own the shortcomings of their teams and help them improve.
January 13, 2017 01:00 AM
After 20 years of selling software and IT products, the one thing that’s been getting harder year after year is the one thing you can’t avoid in sales. You have to get people on the phone to have discussions. No matter how many articles people post about how cold calling is dead, it’s simply not – no way, no how. Why else would the big trend be to move to inside sales teams and business development rep models?
January 11, 2017 01:00 AM
Sales and marketing executives like to latch onto trendy initiatives and programs, sounding like a “Buzzword Bob” every time a new methodology hits the mainstream. Every few quarters, the profession of selling is upended by another trend that, for better or worse, promises to be the next pathway to every rep’s accelerators.
January 9, 2017 01:00 AM
As a sales or sales enablement leader, you know quite well that it’s not easy to properly select, prepare, manage, lead or change a sales force.
January 6, 2017 08:26 AM
When the holidays come around, there’s a standard soundtrack of 80s holiday hits: John Lennon, David Bowie, Bing Crosby, and Wham! fill your ears practically all of December.
January 4, 2017 01:20 PM
Mike Derezin, vice president of sales for LinkedIn Sales Solutions, says in an era in which social sellers realize 66 percent greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques (a Sales Benchmark Index statistic), if you’re sales team doesn’t adopt social selling strategies, it may not be selling for long.
SMM: How do you define social selling?
January 3, 2017 12:22 PM
Are your employees engaged enough to push back against your company’s questionable strategies?
In researching this issue’s cover feature on the ROI of employee engagement, I understandably came across plenty of feel-good concepts like setting clear goals, communicating regularly and meaningfully, providing ongoing development and advancement opportunities, and recognizing and rewarding performance.
January 1, 2017 01:00 AM
A lot of companies make efforts to increase engagement, but they don’t have the formal mechanisms to plan it and track their progress, says Autumn Manning, co-founder and CEO of YouEarnedIt, a technology company that provides a platform (software as a service) for real-time recognition.
“10 years ago, people got away with not really having a strategic focus. With changes in the work force and the expectations that employees have, having a connection to purpose and core values is important,” says Manning.
January 1, 2017 01:00 AM
Scott Crabtree of Happy Brain Science offers the mnemonic device "Mind the GAPs" to help business leaders remember how to improve workplace engagement.
January 1, 2017 01:00 AM
Portland-based consultancy Happy Brain Science may sound soft and fuzzy, but founder Scott Crabtree says everything he shares with clients about employee engagement is founded in proven scientific research. He cautions that it’s wise to be a little wary about the warnings from consultancies such as Gallup and Hay Group about the risks of employee disengagement. After all, these companies want to sell expensive services to fix that problem.
December 28, 2016 11:04 AM
The new year is a great time to let bygones be bygones and embrace some new sales and marketing strategies that will set you up for a more profitable 2017. If you’re not sure where to focus your efforts in 2017, use this list of resolutions as a guide.
December 19, 2016 06:39 AM
According to new research from CSO Insights, only 56 percent of sales representatives today meet or exceed quota. Meanwhile, in 61 percent of companies, reps take seven months or more to ramp up to full productivity. Even then, they spend only about one-third of their time actually selling.
December 16, 2016 01:00 AM
In his new book, “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade,” author Robert Cialdini explains the best communicators capitalize on “privileged moments for change,” in which audiences become receptive to a message before they experience it. “Optimal persuasion is achieved through optimal pre-susasion,” he states. “To change minds, savvy pre-suaders first change ‘states of minds.’”
December 12, 2016 01:00 AM
We’ve heard it before – if sales were easy, everyone would do it. Between creating new opportunities and following through on existing ones it can be tough to tackle it all. This includes unexpectedly taking the lead on multiple accounts and owning status updates, inevitably resulting in added stress and tasks on top of daily deliverables. The large majority of people who end up managing projects do so without any formal training. There are two types of project managers: those who have completed courses to become certified project managers and the rest of us.
December 9, 2016 01:00 AM
Twenty-first century marketing is suffering from a skills crisis. There’s also confusion about priorities. In particular, the well-justified focus on digital and data skills means that other important areas are tending to be neglected.
December 7, 2016 01:00 AM
Today’s salespeople face some pretty serious challenges – bigger quotas, increasingly savvy buyers and crowded markets that make it tough to get mindshare. Fortunately, there’s a new arsenal of selling tools available today that salespeople can use to better connect with customers and prospects. Three in particular stand out in delivering a true, personalized experience – what I call the Three Vs of Sales Tools: voice, video and virtual reality.
December 5, 2016 06:22 AM
Exhibition marketing is an extremely popular strategy, but preparation is essential. In addition to enhancing your brand, choosing between the different types of exhibition stands and deciding which staff members will be involved, one of the most crucial parts of the planning phase is to establish your objectives.
This article will guide you through the process in stages so you can set objectives that will improve your chances of success, make your exhibition more focused and allow you to evaluate it afterwards.
December 2, 2016 08:19 AM
Blogging is one of the fastest and easiest ways of creating content online, and therefore one of the fastest-growing channels for marketing your business online. It is a proven fact that businesses that blog get significantly more website traffic than non-blogging businesses.
November 30, 2016 01:00 AM
November 28, 2016 01:00 AM
Remote work certainly seems to be the business model du jour, with a lot of companies, large and small, singing its praises.
And what’s not to love? Operating remotely drastically cuts down overhead, making nearly any business venture viable with the right tools and coordination. Workers report to be more satisfied with remote working conditions and are even more productive. It seems like with remote businesses, everybody’s happy.