December 8, 2011 02:26 PM
By BILL ROSENTHAL
You just got word that a customer’s angry. The shipment was late or there’s a pricing error on the invoice. Or maybe there’s a quality glitch. Whatever the problem, you have to apologize.
December 2, 2011 07:46 AM
By JOHN GOLDEN
While most sales organizations subscribe to the concept of being buyer-focused, particularly in the complex sale, it has always been accompanied by the belief that a seller can bring value to a customer at many different junctures during a sales cycle, which in turn relies on the salesperson gaining access to the buyer at these various junctures.
November 30, 2011 02:49 PM
By LEE B. SALZ
When a sales candidate accepts a job offer, everyone is all smiles. Yet, those smiles can quickly turn upside down if you are making any of these salesperson onboarding mistakes.
November 28, 2011 07:59 AM
By SCOTT RICHARDSON
It starts with the realization that it would be useful to exchange data between your company’s marketing systems and your enterprise ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications.
November 17, 2011 03:17 PM
By MICHAEL LEIMBACH
A recent conversation with a VP of sales highlighted the frustrations of many sales professionals in this weak economy. “How do we gain the attention of customers when they are being flooded with calls from so many sales reps?” he asked. “How do we differentiate ourselves enough that they want to talk to us and not feel they are getting the same story they hear from every other company?”
November 11, 2011 12:09 PM
By NICO SCHINAGL
Think the economy is hurting your profit margin? Think again.
November 10, 2011 04:45 PM
By KEVIN DAVIS
Most sales managers I know have a love/hate relationship with the prima donnas on their sales teams. They love the star player’s passion and hard work; they hate the self-centered behaviors that demoralize or discourage the rest of the team.
November 7, 2011 11:41 AM
By THOMAS A. FREESE
November 3, 2011 09:49 AM
By JOHN GOLDEN
October 26, 2011 02:02 PM
By PAUL RAFFERTY
Over the past three years, much attention has been paid to sales and marketing “alignment.” That is, these two functions have worked toward mutually defining the ideal prospect profile, how leads are scored, when marketing should hand-off to sales, when sales should hand back to marketing, etc.
October 24, 2011 12:20 PM
By JOHN S. FURMAN
We all remember those chilling words spoken by HAL, the computer, in 2001: Space Odyssey, “I’m sorry Dave, but I cannot allow you to do that.” Imagine, a computer telling a human what he can do! That could never happen… right?
Ironically, over the past 10 years or so, a craze of online hiring tools has swept the nation. Everyone seems to be using not only an online application system, but a computerized hiring process.
October 13, 2011 12:47 PM
By LIEF LARSON
For the last decade and a half, the focus of online business has been to take people out of the sales process. While this model works well for many types of low-involvement and frequently purchased items (books, consumer gadgets, toys, printer toner, shoes), it fails for complex, online-to-offline transactions in which product and sales professionals are still essential to the sales process.
October 3, 2011 07:40 AM
By JOHN TREACE
October 3, 2011 07:11 AM
By LOU SCHACHTER
Remember Twister, the game where you spin a dial and get instructions to put your left foot on red and your right hand on green? Before long everyone is tangled together and dropping in a heap, laughing hysterically.
Unfortunately, a lot of direction that salespeople receive today is much like, “Put your left hand on yellow. Now place your right foot on blue.” As a result, salespeople are overwhelmed, confused, and quite frankly, tangled – and no one is happy.
September 29, 2011 09:11 PM
By KEVIN T. McCARNEY
Of all the influences in our lives, time seems to be the one we feel we have the least ability to manage. But actually, it is the one we have the most control over. In fact, it’s an area of opportunity.
Time is perfectly consistent. The circumstances that we put ourselves in throughout any given 24 hours are what change. When we overschedule our lives, we create the circumstances that make time seem as if it was working against us.
September 26, 2011 07:39 AM
By MICHAEL KEATING
The federal government buys a lot of products and services. Total government purchases of goods and services in the U.S. (also called government consumption and gross investment) will reach $3.06 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2011 versus $3.03 trillion in 2010, according to St. Louis-based consultants Macroeconomic Advisers. Of that total, federal purchases will exceed $1.2 trillion.
September 22, 2011 12:44 PM
By TIM HANDORF
The sales industry is constantly on the go and let’s face it, selling is not a “some of the time” thing. It’s an “all the time” thing. Sales executives are expected to always be upselling existing customers and finding new customers. Selling is in your blood and salespeople know it is most effective when they are out on the road selling.
September 15, 2011 11:20 AM
By Jennifer Lumba
Sales and marketing teams can only achieve and surpass goals with strong employee engagement. While the ends once always justified the means, they don't anymore. Companies can no longer survive and strive with the one-hit wonders. We need individuals and teams that embrace the here and now as well as the later.
September 15, 2011 10:40 AM
By Rick Kirschner
Riddle me this: What technique works as well with a negative person as it does with a 2-year-old at home?
Answer: The Polarity Pattern!
What happens when you tell a 2-year-old to go to bed when the older kids are still up?
September 12, 2011 06:38 AM
By JEANNETTE de BEAUVOIR
September 6, 2011 06:18 AM
By AmyK. HUTCHENS
Just last December, Sharon, a harried CEO, shared that her executive team needed leadership training. With tighter profit margins, a faster pace, a growing customer base and more competitors, she needed her executive team to think, communicate, innovate and lead better, and… handle stress better.
September 6, 2011 06:29 AM
By COREY WEINER
Salespeople sell stuff. You don't think they can interview impressively and charm someone into a second meeting?
An anomaly is the sales professional who, when production expectation and compensation subjects arise in an interview says, "Gee, not sure. I will plan this and that and employ all my contacts to wind up at X in revenues, but cannot promise a number in good faith."
August 29, 2011 07:25 AM
By ROBERT S. GNUSE & KHALID HARRIS
“I’ve never seen a client/sales automation tool that could sign a contract.”
Those were remarks made 20 years ago from a salesperson when asked his opinion about automating sales call reporting companywide.
Fast-forward to 2011 – and enterprise-wide sales automation implementation is still met with the same reluctance and skepticism by the sales force.
August 29, 2011 07:15 AM
By MIKE GULLICKSON
I’ll never forget my father telling me early in my sales career, “Nothing happens until something is sold.” And quite frankly, nothing could be truer and resonate more profoundly throughout my entire working life. As a veteran sales, service and marketing person, this mentality stuck with me and is the foundation of almost every business decision I have made in over 25 years.
August 21, 2011 03:14 PM
By KARL-HEINZ SEBASTIAN
He feels like he’s in the dock, facing a sentence from the judge. The wooden bench he’s sitting on is cold and hard. Behind the heavy doors, the directors are holding their board meeting. They’re already behind schedule; he’s been waiting for 45 minutes now. Soon he’ll be called in to give his sales report, and to defend the damning accusations: rising raw material costs not duly passed on to customers, and losses of millions of euros. If they find him guilty, his head will roll.