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March 14, 2014 02:40 PM
By Dave Stein, CEO and Founder, ES Research Group, Inc. The sales training industry’s move toward greater consolidation is like a jigsaw puzzle: It’s all there in front of you already, but the real fun is seeing how the CEOs behind the acquisitions are putting the pieces together.
March 14, 2014 03:33 PM
Why do star salespeople so often have middling careers as sales managers? Because too many companies accept it as “the way it always happens” when the real problem is no one is coaching the coaches, says Michelle Vazzana of sales training provider Vantage Point Performance and co-author of “Cracking the Sales Management Code” (McGraw Hill 2012).
March 14, 2014 02:30 PM
ToutApp, a San Francisco company focused on helping sales teams boost performance through increased efficiency and productivity of email, recently added a celebration gong to its sales acceleration platform. When a deal is done, a salesperson clicks the gong icon and the entire team is notified electronically. The Gong is available through an easily accessible icon inside of Gmail, Outlook, and Salesforce, and automatically updates closed deals to CRM systems.
March 14, 2014 03:12 PM
Leading peers can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. Involving others, ceding authority and appealing to professionalism are solid techniques for getting the results you need without harming friendships in the process, says Mike Figliuolo, managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”
March 14, 2014 12:00 AM
Tablets are helping to reinvent the sales profession. They’re making it possible for sales reps to be productive pretty much any time anywhere. Reps are using the devices to breeze through the humdrum tasks that need doing before and after the sales call – and make the calls themselves much more productive.
March 14, 2014 03:26 PM
“The fact is every salesperson out there is on some sort of cruise control,” says sales strategist and author Jill Konrath. “If you’re going to institute change, you really need to not just do some training, but somehow tap into the ‘why you really need to change’ mentality.” Konrath says most salespeople realize that the selling environment has changed, their customers’ needs have changed and they need to do some things differently. But old habits die hard and many of them fail to act.
March 14, 2014 03:09 PM
Dave Kerpen, author of “Likeable Social Media” and “Likeable Business,” interviewed dozens of successful business leaders, to determine what made them so likeable and their companies so successful. The concepts that came from those interviews are simple, yet ones that many managers lose sight of, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line. Sales coach John Klymshyn ( summarizes some of the important principles that can produce better leaders: Adaptability
March 14, 2014 03:31 PM
Motivating workers to increase their product knowledge or job skills by offering incentives to complete training is a proven approach that has been used for decades. What’s new, says Peder Jacobsen, vice president of learning for BI Learning Group in Minneapolis (, is the technology that comes into play. Jacobsen is armed with real-life anecdotes about Fortune 500 companies that employ the modern-day twists of the tried-and-true “learn and earn” concept.
March 14, 2014 02:37 PM
Daniel Newman, founder and CEO of Broadsuite Consulting and author of “The Millennial CEO,” posted recently at CRM provider Base’s blog ( about key trends in customer engagement and how sales and marketing teams need to adapt. Clients and prospects have exceedingly high expectations for responsiveness to service and sales requests. Thanks to a world where we are seemingly connected all of the time on mobile devices, people are now being driven by an almost unrealistic expectation of immediacy.
March 14, 2014 03:18 PM
Lifestyle incentives tap into the way top performers work and play On the road in style
March 14, 2014 03:10 PM
According to talent management consultant Development Dimensions International (, employees that demonstrate the following abilities have a strong chance at being successful in a senior leadership role: Propensity to lead – they step up to leadership opportunities They bring out the best in others Authenticity – they have integrity, admit mistakes and don’t let their egos get in their way Receptivity to feedback – they seek out and welcome feedback
March 14, 2014 02:26 PM
CSOInsights benchmarks the challenges faced by today’s sales and marketing organizations by tracking trends in the people, process, technology and knowledge to improve sales effectiveness. More than 1,200 firms worldwide were asked to identify the most common sales challenges. Look familiar?
March 14, 2014 03:02 PM
A survey of by the Incentive Research Foundation ( shows that incentive travel budgets are stabilizing, with more planners expecting to increase rather than decrease their budgets in the next 12 months. On average, 36 percent of planners are increasing their budgets year over year, while only 14 percent plan to decrease incentive travel spending.
March 14, 2014 02:46 PM
Instead of seeing the sales process as a funnel — and your reps’ role as working leads or forcing buyers through the funnel — John Jantsch, author of “Duct Tape Marketing,” suggests in his new book, “Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer — Sell Like a Superstar,” that you imagine guiding prospects on a journey through what he calls the Marketing Hourglass.
March 14, 2014 02:56 PM
In March 2012, civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson delivered a talk to 1,000 people attending a conference in Long Beach, Calif. He received a standing ovation and his presentation has been viewed nearly 2 million times online.
March 14, 2014 02:58 PM
Launched in 1984 as a one-time event, the TED conference (it stands for technology, education and design) grew to a four-day conference in Monterey, Calif., before being purchased by publisher Chris Anderson in 2001, who shifted the annual conference to Long Beach.
March 14, 2014 03:05 PM
Feedback. For musicians, the word itself is close to onomatopoeia. You can almost hear the screech interrupting their artistry. For many in the workplace, it’s just as harsh. Executed properly, feedback improves performance, develops talent, aligns expectations, solves problems, guides promotion and pay, and boosts the bottom line.
March 14, 2014 03:38 PM
2014 trends in engagement, incentives and recognition With the massive changes in business, meetings and incentives, staying abreast of the shifting landscape is crucial to all parties involved. After scanning the internal and external data landscape, the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) identified key trends for anyone involved in engagement, meetings, incentives or recognition.
March 14, 2014 03:30 PM
Holly Zoba, senior vice president of sales for the hospitality division of Signature Worldwide, a leading provider of training solutions for the hospitality industry, wrote an essay on why training doesn’t stick for Casino Enterprise Management in September 2012. She said:
March 14, 2014 03:24 PM
This scene plays out in hotel conference rooms every week: A team of national sales reps convenes to go through a few days of product training and perhaps some skills training as well. They are subjected to hours of presentations and pep talks, loaded up with packets of information and, at the end of the event, patted on the back and pushed out to the world To do what, exactly?
March 10, 2014 12:00 AM
Last October, Symantec’s stock took a beating after its new CEO, Steve Bennett, gave financial guidance that fell short of analyst expectations. As often happens, sales execution was proffered as the primary reason for the gloomy guidance. Bennett explained in a Bloomberg article that he was going to fix the sales organization by training employees to be “hunters rather than farmers” – a paradigm as old as sales itself.
March 7, 2014 09:01 AM
We humans are emotional creatures. We make our purchase decisions based on how products promise to make us feel. That’s why great brands succeed by seeking intimate emotional connections with customers. Either the product satisfies an emotional need I have (“I want to feel healthy and successful”) or it offers me access to a self-identity that I want to experience and express (“I’m an athlete.”).
March 3, 2014 05:59 AM
Businesses often set aside a large budget to generate leads. But they don’t follow up with enough eagerness, vigor or persistence. That’s lead waste, and it’s preventable. Consider a farmer who has gone to the trouble of tilling his soil and planting, watering and fertilizing his crops, but come harvest time, neglects to pick the crops. After all that time, energy and money, the produce is dead on the vine.
February 28, 2014 01:00 AM
For small businesses, using enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) is like trying to ride the Olympic mogul course at Sochi using a pair of skis designed for Yao Ming. Unless you’re 7’6”, those skis will not turn without a lot of effort. So you spend the run slamming into each mogul instead of turning your skis and absorbing the bumps.
February 26, 2014 01:00 AM
There’s that moment on so many initial sales calls when it becomes clear that the prospect is not a prospect at all (at least not for the next quarter or two). No budget. No timeline for implementation. No need or perceived urgency. A clean exit is needed — something that allows for moving on while also leaving the door open for future contact.