October 9, 2016 11:00 PM
Traditional salespeople need to learn that what they say doesn’t always go.
But they would be forgiven for holding onto this mind-set, especially if they started their careers in the 1980s and 90s, when sales success was, by and large, deemed to be dependent on instinct, gut feelings, and a natural ability to forecast customer trends. The reality is that, until recently, the majority of salespeople have been starved of useful, coherent information about their customers.
October 6, 2016 11:00 PM
In a past survey, the Association for Talent Development revealed that a whopping 87 percent of managers become such without prior management training and education. This sets them up for seagull management – they fly in, crap on people and fly back out. By crap, I don’t mean that they necessarily treat people badly. What I do mean is that they aren’t delivering much value to their people. That is, doing things for them – not to them. You will then create the opportunity to blow past sales management and focus them on sales leadership.
October 5, 2016 11:00 PM
Ray Bloom is the founder and chairman of IMEX Group, which organizes the largest worldwide exhibitions for the incentive travel and meetings industry, including IMEX America, which is scheduled for Oct. 18-20 in Las Vegas. Sales & Marketing Managementcaught up with Bloom recently via email.
October 4, 2016 11:00 PM
Finding news stories, blog posts and other content about “the problem with user reviews” isn’t hard. Reviews and rankings connect with so many disciplines – marketing, hospitality and increasingly lawyers and legislators – that virtually everyone now has a stake in them. But what seemed relatively simple as a brilliant business idea to connect companies and their customers through the value of review data and the communities that exchange it has become complicated by questions of fraud and defamation.
October 2, 2016 11:00 PM
Stereotypes about generations of people are nothing new, necessarily. The Silent Generation thought of young Baby Boomers in a certain way, and now Generations X and Y are thinking of millennials (generally defined as individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century) in specific terms that often include adjectives like “narcissistic,” “spoiled,” “entitled,” “idealistic” and “lazy.”
September 29, 2016 11:00 PM
It happened again. I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from someone I didn’t know, sent a personal response to greet my new connection, and immediately received a cold calling message from someone looking only for lead generation:
September 25, 2016 11:00 PM
In the movie “The Martian,” Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, is teetering on the razor’s edge. He has extremely limited resources and one slip could be the difference between survival and failure. The same is true of many channel partners whoteeter on the edge of business survival. As a vendor, understanding your partners’ economic needs and challenges, and creating and maintaining partner programs that take those vulnerabilities into account is critical to the success of both partners and vendors.
September 22, 2016 11:00 PM
True story: I called one of my dream clients weekly for 75 weeks and left 75 voice mail messages before he finally picked up his phone on week 76. When I asked him for an appointment, he replied, exasperated, “You’ve called me a million times!” He was unimpressed with my pigheaded, relentless pursuit of the opportunity to serve him.
September 19, 2016 06:03 AM
Several years ago, Donald Rumsfeld, then Secretary of Defense, spoke about “known knowns, known unknowns’’ and the dreaded “unknown unknowns.’’ Rumsfeld omitted one category, however, and that is unknown knowns.
September 16, 2016 06:30 AM
You’re at the proposal stage and, so far, everything appears to be on track to make the sale. That’s why it can come as a huge shock if the deal doesn't close. It will leave you wondering where things went wrong. Here are a few of the most common indicators that it was your proposal that failed to seal the deal.
September 13, 2016 02:40 PM
There are two primary motivators of human behavior: gain and pain. A number of studies have shown the psychological fear of losing something or experiencing pain is twice as strong as the potential to gain or improve something.
September 13, 2016 02:40 PM
There is a lot of talk and training in sales about prospecting and closing, but less is said about what happens after the sale. The post-sale relationship is a Bermuda Triangle for many companies — customers are lost and no one can quite figure out why.
September 13, 2016 02:42 PM
Social selling is using social networks to learn more about customers’ buying preferences and behavior, connecting with them and starting a conversation. It may feel awkward at first because social media has become such a personal space for a lot of people, says Patrick Hogan, chief technology officer at sales software and services provider Tenfold.
September 13, 2016 03:37 PM
His father Rick taught a generation of public television viewers how to take in Europe. Now, Andy Steves, 29, has a successful tour guide business targeted to millennials and a new guidebook of his own. We talked about the incomparable value of travel and how his generation likes to go about it.
September 12, 2016 11:00 PM
It is uncanny how life events so often intersect with a topic I am writing about in this magazine, or maybe it’s just evidence that the concepts involved in leading work teams and producing peak performance are ubiquitous both in and out of workplace settings.
The latest example involves my youngest child, who began her senior year of high school this fall. She volunteered for Link Crew, a transition program for incoming freshmen in which upperclassmen serve as mentors who help calm freshman fears and ensure a strong first year of high school.
September 12, 2016 11:00 PM
Nine. That’s the number of attempts it usually takes to reach a cold prospect. Yet too many salespeople give up after two or three tries And while repeat business and referrals play a big part in most industries, attracting new regions and verticals is critical for growth. The key to further success will always lie in getting more opportunities to show why your solution or service is not just better, but better for them. Here are four tips to secure that first conversation and stop leaving new business on the table.
September 11, 2016 11:00 PM
One of the common complaints I’ve heard from sales executives is that their people aren’t strong closers. To me this is a reinforcement of the fact that far too much emphasis is placed on closing. It’s as though a strong ending can salvage a poor three-act play.
September 6, 2016 06:09 AM
Every year we ask sales leaders, “What’s your biggest challenge with sales compensation?” and every year we get the same answer: quota setting. Quotas are a hassle for all involved: from the people in finance and sales leadership who set the goals to the frontline sales reps who have to achieve those goals. But, unless you want a Wild West situation in your sales organization, you should probably set quotas, and set them correctly.
September 1, 2016 11:00 PM
The rate of technology change is accelerating with thousands of ideas, apps and innovations bubbling up to help meeting planners, exhibitors, venues and other meeting participants do their jobs better. Here are seven event technology trends to monitor.
August 28, 2016 11:00 PM
So there we were… the War Room.
August 25, 2016 11:00 PM
Every entrepreneur needs a healthy amount of self-esteem. After all, if they didn’t believe in themselves, they wouldn’t bother launching businesses.
But there’s a difference between self-esteem and hubris. Those who build monuments to themselves often live to watch them fall. It has been thus since the Tower of Babel, and it shall be thus long after we’re all in the ground. It’s perfectly natural to be excited about the launch of a new venture, but there are right and wrong ways to celebrate.
August 21, 2016 11:00 PM
The following story derives from conversations with “Pat,” a sales team member, after our several interactions with a customer in the medical equipment industry. Given Pat’s impressive selling expertise, I decided to probe his thinking after each sales call we made together in order to gain insights on why he reacted in certain ways.
August 18, 2016 11:00 PM
When customers understand their problems, it’s easy for salespeople to lead them through discovery, because customers don’t need salespeople to shine the light of insight on visible problems. A salesperson can simply confirm the value of their product by asking generic questions.
August 17, 2016 11:00 PM
Some of the biggest, most damaging security breaches in history occurred in 2015.
August 14, 2016 03:58 PM
Lead validation is the labor-intensive process of listening to recordings of phone inquiries and reading form submissions generated by SEO, PPC, email marketing and other Internet marketing campaigns, to separate true sales leads from non-leads such as spam, sales solicitations, customer service inquiries, etc. Ideally leads are validated in real time, so leads can be handed off to sales quickly.
Our own lead validation data, culled from agency and client campaigns, indicates that as many as half of campaign-generated inquires are not sales leads.