March 14, 2016 05:40 AM
Once upon a time there was a salesman. He worked hard every day and, as long as he met or beat his targets, very few questions were asked about the methods he used. Unsurprisingly, this allowed (if not encouraged) dubious practices amongst some in his profession. In turn, the reputation of the entire profession became extremely tarnished. Are you familiar with that tale?
March 11, 2016 01:00 AM
No one likes paperwork, not least salespeople who want to spend their time meeting customers and selling rather than typing up reports. This is particularly true for sales representatives in the field, who have traditionally viewed updating the CRM system as wasted time. As such, field sales staff have tended to do all their CRM reporting at the end of the day, end of the week or even end of the month, severely degrading the quality and value of the data entered.
March 10, 2016 01:00 AM
Back when he was entertaining viewers with his parody of a conservative TV talk show host on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert frequently crowed about the “Colbert Bump” – the increase in popularity that guests on the show enjoyed after appearing on the show.
March 7, 2016 06:06 PM
Every quarter, sales managers huddle over spreadsheets, factoring in seasonal variances, potential new products, and the hypothetical performance of new players to their team. They may even estimate the effect new selling tools or techniques will have (invariably, the prognostications are positive). Internal political considerations come into play and then using these disparate inputs, sales managers come up with a “sales forecast.”
March 4, 2016 06:57 AM
All companies want to be in the sales generation business – but on National Salesperson Day, it’s an opportune time to ask yourself: are you actually and unwittingly in the sales prevention business?
Forget the competition for a moment. Misguided processes, onerous policies and lack of coordination can make organizations their own worst enemy when it comes to enabling sales. So can the wrong focus (such as fostering a product-centric, inside-out view) or lack of support (e.g., providing little or poor coaching, uninspired content or ineffective training).
March 2, 2016 01:00 AM
The biggest threat to closing your next big deal may not be the competition. Your biggest threat might be that your customer never makes a decision at all. We call it the tyranny of no decision.
The average enterprise deal has multiple decision makers attached to it and more often than not they don’t reach a consensus. Corporate Visions claims that 60% of enterprise deals – more than half – end in no decision. If you sell into large enterprises, you’re probably nodding your head about now.
February 29, 2016 01:00 AM
"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half."
– John Wanamaker, marketing pioneer, merchant, and creator of the “money back guarantee” in 1862
February 25, 2016 01:00 AM
“Ask questions and listen; after all, you have two ears and one mouth — use them in proportion.”
Selling maxims like this are coming under serious scrutiny, and to understand why, look at the rise of insights-based selling. With an insights approach, many marketers and salespeople are wondering: where do questions fit in?
February 24, 2016 07:09 AM
Absolutely nothing impacts revenue streams more intensely in the B2B space than the effectiveness of a powerful inside sales team. Regardless of how experienced or driven your salespeople are, motivation is a key factor in driving the best results. That might come in the form of keeping low performers engaged or driving overachievers to excel even further, but pulling the best out of each member of a sales team can’t be done on autopilot; it requires a robust program of recognition and engagement.
February 22, 2016 01:00 AM
The Sales Assassin is the ultimate master of sales passion and discipline, the Sales Assassin Master (aka SAM) of your own destiny; focused on a results-driven willingness to be prepared to control your own destiny. The SAM must be a master of perseverance, self-control and must possess the spirit of being responsible and accountable for your successful performance. The path to Sales Assassin success – the path to positive thinking and to controlling your sales destiny as a SAM – begins with the 9 Belts of Sales Assassin Mastery.
February 19, 2016 08:20 AM
Delivering an interesting and engaging presentation is an art that has been practiced for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Presenting to an audience is a way in which you can help others understand your vision, persuade them to make a purchase, convince them to join a cause, or inspire them to take action. Countless movements, revolutions and campaigns have all been sparked by a simple presentation.
February 15, 2016 09:43 AM
Charm, persistence, and the right entertainment: for many in sales, these are pillars of the profession, and nobody embodies them quite like Don Draper. “Mad Men’s” famous advertising genius may not strictly be a salesperson, but he’s become an icon to many nonetheless. If you don’t believe me, type his name into LinkedIn’s news section: there are too many articles about the Don Draper approach to winning new business/pitching/leadership for me to list.
February 12, 2016 08:09 AM
Today’s business solutions are increasingly complex. Solutions are rarely bought, delivered or deployed off the shelf. By the time a prospect engages a sales rep they are highly educated and ask questions like “How could this solution integrate with my specific set of technologies?” or “How could this be deployed internationally across many time zones and languages?”
February 11, 2016 08:00 AM
Leaders of sales teams often focus on compensation as the major motivator for reps. However, it should not be the only focus.
February 9, 2016 10:08 AM
Sales enablement is designed to address the challenges of condensed sales cycles and the demand for increased sales productivity and deal velocity. In part 1 of this two-part article, we explained why sales enablement has become such an important topic throughout the business world.
February 8, 2016 01:00 AM
Despite the ever-increasing connected world and the wealth of information at our finger-tips, the modern day sales cycle has become more difficult to implement. Companies are increasingly challenged to condense sales cycles and increase sales productivity and deal velocity. Sales enablement is designed to address these challenges.
February 5, 2016 08:00 AM
Big data and predictive analytics have empowered companies to connect with customers and prospects in ways unimaginable just five years ago. Today, the emerging field of behavioral analytics is focusing the lens on internal sales organizations. Just as the FitBit helps competitive athletes fine tune their performance by giving them steady, data-driven feedback, behavioral analytics is providing unprecedented – and often surprising – insights into what makes some teams rise to the top while others fail.
February 2, 2016 01:00 AM
Dealer, agent, reseller or intermediary – these are all names for indirect channels that arise when third parties take over sales and logistics from other suppliers. Moving down the channel, consumers prefer these middlemen, as dealer competition results in lower prices. Moving up the channel, suppliers are typically not fond of such indirect sales methods. From requesting lower prices to recommending competitor products, dealers do what they want, even if they do not admit it.
February 1, 2016 01:00 AM
I’ve spent the better part of my career growing businesses that had enormous sales and marketing operations. I’ve also seen myriad “sales enablement” strategies designed and implemented. Some were successful, many were not.
January 29, 2016 08:22 AM
According to CNNMoney, sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are definitely still growing — but not nearly at the rate they were just a few short years ago. Does this mean consumers are eschewing the convenience of the mobile platform in favor of the traditional desktop and laptop PC of yesteryear? Absolutely not. PC sales have been on the decline for a while and show no signs of slowing down.
January 27, 2016 07:23 AM
Let’s think about some of the choices you may have faced in your life. These choices can span from the very serious – should I change my college major, relocate, take a new job, or get married – to the not-so-serious – what restaurant should we go to tonight?
January 25, 2016 10:18 AM
As an executive coach, I have seen all kinds of problems business owners tend to have: time management, staffing and team building to name a few. One particular issue – profitability – is a constant struggle for most executives. You may be struggling now, but read on to learn about my tips to increase profitability by 20 percent.
January 22, 2016 01:00 AM
In a previous article, Age of Unified Communications (UC) and Your CRM, I discussed the benefits of integrating a UC solution with a CRM (like Salesforce.com or SugarCRM).
January 20, 2016 07:11 AM
Editor’s Note: With the focus in today’s B2B environment on transactional and volume selling, the whale hunt is becoming a thing of the past. And yet, there are some lessons to be learned from the specialized sales practitioner who bags whales on a regular basis. This is Part III of a three-part series in which HG Data’s Chief Revenue Officer tells the stories of several whale hunters he has known and lessons to learn from them. Part I can be found here.