The Accidental Sales Seminar

Editor’s Note: In this excerpt from his book “The Accidental Salesperson” (Amacom Books, 2012), Chris Lytle relays the “accidental sales training” he experienced while tagging along with his wife on a tour of the Waterford Crystal factory in Ireland.

‘Smarketing’to the rescue

TV tech supplier tunes up its sales and marketing teamwork and reaps instant rewards.

From Sales Competency to Sales Fluency

What if you could walk into a negotiation or a sales presentation equipped with a better game plan? Getting the maximum out of any presentation involves truly connecting with a client or prospect, communicating with them on a level where both parties walk away feeling it’s a win-win. Talking about things that are actually of interest to the client is a great way to start the process.

Getting more from the new guy

Companies that hire salespeople would be wise to increase both the length and quality of training to show them how to sell effectively, according to a 2012 Salesperson Onboarding Survey that polled more than 500 sales management executives and business leaders. A whopping eight out 10 respondents are not satisfied with how long it takes their new salespeople to get up to speed.

Customer Data: What to Get and How to Make Sense Of It

There isn’t a sales or marketing manager around who wouldn’t love to have Andrew Pole on his team. Pole is no sales superman, nor is he a crafter of the sort of marketing message that would make Donald Draper weep.

He’s a statistician and an economist. How would a marketing manager put this self-confessed math nerd’s skills to good use?

A Contented Cow Who Cuts Out the Bull

Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden emerged on the employee engagement scene in 1998 as the “cow guys” after the publication of their book, “Contented Cows Give Better Milk: The Plain Truth About Employee Relations and Your Bottom Line.” Fourteen years later, they’re still crusading for building better workplaces. Now, the duo has published “Contented Cows STILL Give Better Milk,” in which they share new stories, showcase new companies and provide new evidence that creating a focused, engaged and capably led workforce is one of the best things any organization can do for its bottom line. We spoke with Catlette shortly before the book’s July 3 publication.

What's Your 'Le Grande Mac'?

The idea of the unique selling proposition (USP) isn’t new; it’s been around since the 1940s. But don’t brush it off as being out of date. This is a relevant and powerful tool for today’s marketing professional, CEO or Entrepreneur.

What If Confucius Tweeted Sales Tips?

Confucius taught the future business administrators of China’s emperors and ruling elite. As I read his sayings, I realized I was in fact reading a business book. Topics were recognizably modern business topics and certain individuals in his text consistently spoke in particular ways and on particular themes. One sounds like a finance director, another like a marketing director and so on.

6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Is Not Generating Sales

Your team is running an optimized PPC campaign. Your efforts on social media are producing leads. Your Google page rank is steadily increasing. You’re on the first page for a variety of pertinent keywords. Because you measure your Web traffic and your phone traffic closely, you know that your Web traffic is up and your marketing is generating phone calls.

How to Beat Your Top Competitor – The Status Quo

Your customers and prospects are crazy busy. The last thing they want to do is change the way they do things. There might be a better way, but what they're doing works. Remember: change is always disruptive.

Why you need a math nerd?

As we went to press with this issue, The Wall Street Journal reported in a front-page story that Orbitz Worldwide, the online travel company, discovered that people who browse its site using Mac computers spend as much as 30 percent more a night on hotels than people who search the site using PCs.

Who you know does count

Good salespeople have always intuitively known that leveraging contacts to generate leads and close deals is a highly effective approach.

Top Performers - July/August

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Bad data = a big problem

Given the complexity of B2B data, it’s a big job to manage it effectively. The fact that so much data is stale, duplicate, or incomplete has a significant effect on the bottom line, state bloggers at SetLogik (setlogik.com), a provider of software solutions for precision target marketing. To give you an idea about how much of an impact, consider these facts:

Why gift cards trump cash as a motivator

While it’s true that managers and HR professionals like recognizing stellar performance with gift cards because they are easy to administer, they would be shooting themselves in the foot if the gift cards weren’t desired by the employees they recognize.

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