November 19, 2012 12:00 AM
The battle for the success of your company is all about revenue, and it is being lost. Every day, I talk with executives who report revenue is coming up short, being left on the table and can’t be sustained. Profits are lost early in the sales cycle and at the close. Numbers are not being made despite much effort and huge investment. Why?
November 16, 2012 02:11 PM
I know that seems mundane to many of you, but I feel a little more grown up. A little more professional. A little more empowered.
You see, when it comes to cell phones, I have obstinately been a Luddite, clinging to my circa-2006 flip phone while my kids upgraded and then upgraded again to paperback-sized smartphones with HD screens and cameras that outperform most SLRs.
November 15, 2012 12:00 AM
Sales training is great. Many of the hundreds of companies that provide sales training do a great job. Their content is dynamic. Their speakers are inspiring. And their track record is impeccable. Their sales training teaches valuable skills and produces immediate results.
Unfortunately, 30 days after the training, very little behavior has changed.
November 12, 2012 12:00 AM
The accelerated speed of communication and our ability to access information with just a few keystrokes is changing everything – including the way we buy and sell. In the meantime, our economy has become borderless as the reach of global companies has altered the competitive landscape. As consumers, we have access to more information, faster – and feel, as a result, that we can make many of our buying decisions without ever talking with a salesperson.
November 9, 2012 12:00 AM
1. Don’t let email control you
The inherent instant gratification of clearing your inbox provides a brief feeling of accomplishment, but it’s really not productive. Using email is just one part of work. Determine how much time you want to spend in your inbox on a given day and don’t exceed it. When you first open your inbox in the morning, star/flag emails that must be dealt with today, but make sure to focus on your top leads and work priorities first before diving into your Inbox.
November 5, 2012 12:00 AM
“They’re driving me nuts!” aren’t the words most would expect to hear from a director managing a high-performance team. But as any sales manager knows, while top salespeople are essential to the company’s success, these high performers can also be “high maintenance,” causing problems that soak up management time and impact other team members.
November 1, 2012 11:00 PM
I have some sad news: the chief marketing officer is dead.
Fortunately, I’m talking about the CMO position rather than a particular person. But the decline of the CMO’s influence is an alarming trend in companies that claim to put the customer first but in reality continue to be product-driven.
October 25, 2012 11:00 PM
When presenting a proposal to senior decision makers, they most appreciate directness, clarity and sound thinking, so the most important step in putting together a strategic sales presentation is to be absolutely clear about what you want your listeners to think and do at the end of your presentation. The second most important step is to clearly structure your material so that it leads your listeners exactly to that point. A clear message and structure make your strategic sales presentation more persuasive.
Step 1: Write the headline
October 21, 2012 11:00 PM
Every salesperson worth his quarterly bonus has an elevator speech in his head. These persuasive two-minute presentations are most handy when you surreptitiously find yourself one-on-one with a VIP prospect who never would have invited you into his office to make a full presentation.
October 18, 2012 11:00 PM
This is the coolest sales and leadership strategy ever invented! It is completely revolutionary. It is rarely practiced. B2B marketers and sales leaders can use this to get people to follow you almost anywhere, and to get people to buy almost anything. It can change the course of your sales, your business and your life!
What is it you ask?
Make sure you are sitting down before I tell you.
OK, here it is…
October 17, 2012 11:00 PM
I know, it sounds a bit silly. Afraid of what?
Well, here is the thing. In my experience, many salespeople are actually afraid of rejection. Why?
October 14, 2012 11:00 PM
Marketers spend around $20 billion each year on Web and CRM analytics. That’s a lot of cash
Marketers know analytics ranging from website abandon rates and CTR, to conversion rates and even repeat visitors. But when the phone rings there is a fairly large black hole, void of rich analytics data. This is what call analytics providers seek to provide.
The idea behind call analytics is simple: pull data and analytics from calls. Call analytics can optimize marketing and improve sales performance.
October 11, 2012 11:00 PM
When Acumen Management Group undertakes consulting engagements with clients, we always sit in on their Monday morning sales meetings. We know that these gatherings are among the best ways to build a high-performance sales organization. Done correctly, they help put everyone on the right track for the week ahead and help sales managers establish the discipline, control and accountability that every team needs.
October 3, 2012 11:00 PM
Many companies have taken cost-cutting initiatives over the last few years. In uncertain times, some leaders carefully select their growth opportunities and position themselves to capture market share. Others optimize their sales force effectiveness to improve competitiveness.
One common mistake companies make is to reduce costs across the board by a fixed percentage, which weakens the competitive position. Let’s instead review a few best practices.
October 2, 2012 11:00 PM
You’re aware of the benefits of giving business gifts at the holidays and you may have reasons of your own as well. It never hurts to review some of the more important gift-giving tips to maximize their effectiveness. We found these, oddly enough, at the website of the Journal of Dental Technology (jdtunbound.com). Smart gift-giving should put a smile on everyone’s face.
October 1, 2012 11:00 PM
Fay Beauchine has seen the concept of employee engagement and workplace motivation evolve. In tackling the duties of various executive positions at Minnesota-based Carlson Companies and before that Northwest Airlines, she has been on the front lines of improving employee performance.
She is currently the president of the Business Loyalty Division of Aimia a worldwide purveyor or loyalty management programs.
September 30, 2012 11:00 PM
When coming to an agreement about the value of your product or service to a prospect, dropping price is a shortcut to building value; it in no way enhances the value of your proposition and in some cases can actually devalue your offer.
Try this exercise:
September 27, 2012 11:00 PM
Many business leaders use crowdsourcing for idea generation and problem solving. Now, some HR directors and employee engagement specialists are promoting crowdsourcing — the concept that a group of individuals can be significantly smarter than its individual components — as a means of providing performance reviews and employee recognition.
September 26, 2012 11:00 PM
When charged with acquiring new business, the natural and essential first questions are: “Where is the business going to come from?” and “Who should I be pursuing?” If we are putting together a prospecting and new business development sales attack, we need to know where to go and whom to target. That’s why selecting targets is the first step in the process. Quite simply, we can’t prospect if we don’t know who the prospects are.
September 22, 2012 11:00 PM
Faced with a sagging stock price and an even steeper decline in the morale of its sales force, Andrew Mason, Chief Executive at Groupon Inc., extended a dinner invitation last summer to roughly two dozen veteran sales representatives. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Mason was prepared to hear their complaints about changes to the sales organization.
September 22, 2012 11:00 PM
The concept seems like a no-brainer: Sales reps cannot control customer buying – they can only influence it. How they do this is the job of sales managers. Where managers spend their time is, therefore, critical to making an impact. Jason Jordan’s new book, “Cracking the Sales Management Codebook: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance,” lives up to its promise of providing the frameworks, metrics and best practices to help sales organizations to succeed.
September 21, 2012 11:00 PM
A recent headline from a McKinsey report on sales trends spoke volumes: “Customers want it all.”
Think about what a typical buyer is dealing with today, and it’s understandable why their “wants” are so wide-ranging. They have higher expectations placed on them, but tighter resources and increased scrutiny on their spending. Every purchase decision is expected to have a clear business benefit.
September 15, 2012 11:00 PM
Even during challenging economic times, your best and brightest have options. Failing to help them grow can lead employees to take their talents elsewhere. They become “history.”
But what can be equally damaging as this sort of talent drain are the employees who stay and become disengaged. Their bodies remain but their commitment has quit. In this way, history plays out, repeating itself over and over again in too many organizations.
September 13, 2012 11:00 PM
What do you do with your leads?
That’s a question a lot of companies (including ours) grapple with.
What about the leads that aren’t ready to buy right now? What do you do with those?
How many leads are ready to buy now?
September 10, 2012 11:00 PM
In the past, marketing and sales had distinct roles. Marketing generated leads while sales converted those leads. Social media has blurred these separate responsibilities because applications like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have given every salesperson the potential to be an individual marketer. Innovative companies are seizing this social selling opportunity by implementing a new type of collaboration between marketing and sales. This collaborative method can be seen in a social selling pilot by IBM, which reported a 400 percent sales increase.