March 19, 2015 08:24 AM
Salespeople need to establish competency, but social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson says in their rush to do so, they may unwittingly be shooting themselves in the foot. The author of “No One Understands You and What to Do About It” lays out a better path to successful conversations.
March 16, 2015 06:27 AM
Shifts in the business-to-business buying process have transformed selling as we know it. In the past, salespeople had a fair amount of control. They were given a territory, a pricing structure, a margin target and a set of products and services they could offer, and then sent off into the wild blue yonder. They were responsible for managing their territory and producing results. Sales management provided oversight, facilitated requests back to corporate to ensure that orders were expedited, and generally stayed out of the way, unless additional support was needed to help underperformers.
March 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Few of the salespeople on your team aim for mediocrity. Most dream of reaching the top of their field. But top performers do much more than dream. They develop a series of realistic goals that propel them from where they are now to where they want to be. Next, they continue raising the bar, setting increasingly ambitious goals until they achieve their ultimate vision of success. In every case, this process begins with a realistic self-assessment.
March 9, 2015 12:00 AM
In just the last few years, sales enablement has been evolving from a disparate set of informal activities into a centralized, strategic corporate function — complete with dedicated resources and budgetary line-items to prove it. According to SiriusDecisions, companies are now spending more than ever to increase the effectiveness of their sales force, with sales enablement budgets doubling to more than $2.4 million in the last two years, and sales enablement technology spend increasing 69 percent over the same period.
March 6, 2015 01:00 AM
National Salesperson Day is the first Friday in March. To honor hard-working sales reps everywhere, Brainshark, Inc., a company delivering content-driven sales enablement solutions that close more deals, has gathered tips from top-performing reps on best practices that can help raise the bar for sales performance and turn “B” and “C” reps into “A” players.
March 2, 2015 06:58 AM
I think the greatest challenge we face in the learning & development (L&D) world is whether the audience we design and deliver content for actually use the learning in the field. In my experience the content is generally good, and improves year after year. Trends such as mobile technology and gamification can extend the life of a learning initiative, increasing the impact that L&D budgets have on their target audience. Even with new delivery methods for learning design, are you certain that your people are applying the content? Who knows?
February 27, 2015 01:00 AM
At a recent conference, I noticed an industry shift that is about to become a movement: Some Value-Added Resellers (VARs) are choosing to become a new breed of “consultants.” These born-in-the-cloud progenies have shifted allegiance from the vendor with the highest sales incentive program to the end-user client who is willing to pay for their unbiased expertise. This simple shift in the reseller’s role is going to change the future of channel incentives for these VARs.
February 25, 2015 01:00 AM
While it is commonly understood that physically sending an item out of the country is an export transaction, under U.S. export controls laws the actual scope of what constitutes an “export” is much broader. The effects of this broad concept of exporting upon businesses – including their sales and marketing activities – are significant.
February 23, 2015 01:00 AM
Zig Ziglar said that every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust. I’d propose a sixth: no insight.
February 20, 2015 01:00 AM
Most likely, what your boss, peers and team members expect you to do is exactly the opposite of what you need to do to be truly successful in your role. And, even more harmful, if it’s what others expect from you, it’s likely what you expect from yourself.
When you signed up for this job, you were told that you were in charge of the sales results for your company. The variables that you use to achieve those results are known as the 9 Ps of marketing.
February 16, 2015 09:06 AM
There’s a reason why 30 percent of American companies are spending upward of $10 million on apps and mobile web this year, according to the Adobe Mobile Marketing Survey. Deals aren’t going down exactly like they used to, and while an effective sales rep still needs to make interpersonal connections to win a prospect’s trust and inspire purchases and contracts, even the most gifted sales team won’t be able to reach KPIs without adopting the new way of closing deals.
February 13, 2015 01:00 AM
Every so often, in our attempt to align and find common ground with an individual, we unknowingly take over the conversation. Think of the last time you were in a discussion about a vacation destination. As the other person told you about his trip to a place that you also had visited, did you become eager to share your story too? It is okay in a social setting, but not in the world of sales.
February 9, 2015 01:00 AM
Sales teams are the lifeblood of every organization as they are tasked with acquiring market share and growing revenues and profits. Ensuring that sales teams are equipped with the right sales content and tools, at the right time and location, is critical in order to realize the highest yield out of a sales opportunity pipeline in the shortest period of time. As the use of mobile devices by sales teams continues to increase, organizations are finding that they are improving sales engagement at the point of customer/prospect conversation.
February 6, 2015 01:00 AM
February 2, 2015 01:00 AM
The right time to expand internationally is before your sales in local markets start to flatten. International expansion should be viewed as a pre-emptive strategy and not as a maneuver of last resort.
January 30, 2015 01:00 AM
Are you in sales? If so, are you the one making commitments or is it the buyer?
Who should be making commitments in the sales process?
If you already follow a sales process you may know the right answer to this question. Or you may be very surprised – without commitments and a sales process, you are not in control. In fact, you’re very much out of control.
January 26, 2015 01:00 AM
Spreadsheets have been around for hundreds of years. Pre-dating the electronic spreadsheet made popular by Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel in the 80s and 90s, spreadsheets were a computerized program used to summarize information from many sources in one place and present the information in a format to help a decision maker see the financial “big picture” for a company.
January 19, 2015 07:51 PM
So, do you want to live your life like a boss, calling the shots and living on top? Consider living life like a boss. We’ve taken six top tips from the business world that can improve your personal life too.
January 16, 2015 01:00 AM
If you pursue the deals that make sense, do everything right in the selling and negotiating process, and deliver the promised value to the client, then winning is wonderful. But what happens when one of these three components is neglected? Each has margin erosion and unhappy clients lurking at every step so let’s look closer to understand the potential problems and how to avoid catastrophe.
January 12, 2015 01:00 AM
The Curse of Knowledge has several manifestations but the one most relevant to sales and marketing people is that becoming steeped in a technical domain causes us to stop recognizing when we use words or ideas less familiar to others. If we are any good at our job, we immerse ourselves in learning about our industry, including what analysts say about it. The best people pretty quickly become experts.
January 9, 2015 08:53 AM
The concept of Big Data" has sales and marketing executives abuzz over its potential, but the approach to date has been inadequate. Earlier Big Data strategies and tools have focused on collecting as much data as possible, and shaking it all up in hopes that something useful would fall out. In that sense, the term "Big Data" is perhaps less useful than would be the term "right data."
January 5, 2015 01:00 AM
A customer or client may sing praises for your product and his firm’s relationship with you. At the same time he may insist that you reduce the pricing of your product or services to maintain that relationship. Some sales teams spend time thinking about where to make cuts and how to reduce prices to satisfy the customer’s demand. The best course, however, would focus on how to maintain the relationship and at the same time not compromise pricing integrity. This may require some good old-fashioned research and analysis of the client’s needs and marketplace alternatives.
January 2, 2015 01:00 AM
Standing on the football field in the fall of 2011, hours before a Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I reached out to shake the hand of former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol and introduced myself. “Nice to meet you. I’m Gerry Sandusky.” He snatched his hand back, a flinch reflex as if my hand were on fire.
December 30, 2014 10:56 AM
A new year means new sales goals. The right goals optimize sales force performance. Salespeople’s goals affect how hard they work and where they direct their effort. If there are multiple goals (say for different products), goal levels affect how salespeople allocate their time. Goals affect territory sales, incentive pay, and ultimately financial contribution.
Stephen Redden, a principal at the sales and marketing consultant ZS Associates, says managers must focus on these three goal-setting challenges to make the most of 2015 sales goals:
December 30, 2014 11:04 AM
Prospective business partnerships and other opportunities are everywhere, but it can be difficult to sort the good ones from the lousy ones. Mike Michalowicz, the founder of Profit First Professionals (profitfirstprofessionals.com), an international network of accountants, bookkeepers and financial experts, offers these four signs for entrepreneurs and business leaders that signal a seemingly golden business opportunity is really a black hole.