February 1, 2013 01:00 AM
Sales is a process, especially in a consultative sales environment, and depending on the industry, your sales cycle could be multiple months long. CEOs in far too many cases step in to take control or manage the sales process, particularly when sales don't happen. I have seen it all. CEOs doing the sales training, CEOs being on initial sales calls, CEOs coming to the rescue. It can cause panic and fear with the sales staff and otherwise utter confusion both internally as well as with prospective clients.
January 29, 2013 01:00 AM
In 15 years of analyzing company perceptions about their own customer values based on blind surveys, we have turned up a disturbing finding: in our study of over 100 organizations, less than 5 percent of companies actually “sell” what’s most valued by their customers.
January 22, 2013 01:00 AM
January 21, 2013 01:00 AM
I’ve been involved in winning business in the recessions of every decade since the 1970s. During all that time, there has never been a tougher environment for anyone who needs to win business than the present day. It’s not the recession that’s different; things may feel difficult but there have been worse recessions in my business lifetime.
January 14, 2013 01:00 AM
Sales forecasts impact much more than sales management – they have a direct bearing on overall performance, marketing and sales budgets, and planning for service and product delivery, to name a few.
Too often, flimsy sales forecasts increase risk in all those areas. In this context, forecasts are flimsy when they are inaccurate, lack visibility or fail to deliver the right number of correctly qualified leads needed to support target numbers.
Fortunately, there are four clear fixes that make sales forecasts more accurate and robust.
January 13, 2013 01:00 AM
A woman is expecting a baby, therefore the family is probably in search of more space, a family car or minivan, etc. A man takes a new job in a new city, therefore he is probably looking to buy a new condo or house, switch his insurance provider, etc.
January 13, 2013 01:00 AM
Editor’s Note: “Consistently better sales presentations could be the most important New Year’s resolution your team could make,” Rutgers Business School Professor Marc Kalan stated in an article that posted here on Monday. He introduced the need for strong personal presentation skills, beginning with organization and a personal passion. In Part II, we move into individual skill areas to enhance your physical presence and abilities to maximize the focus and attention of your audience.
January 7, 2013 01:00 AM
Part I of III
January 2, 2013 01:00 AM
After two decades in sales and as a sales executive, plus an additional three years of heavy research into sales performance development and growth, I have found the most effective way to truly improve and sustain sales performance is to improve sales conversations. The way to improve conversations is to improve the responses salespeople provide for any given question or situation.
December 17, 2012 01:00 AM
To make the most of your tablet investment, focus on the device’s unique capabilities. The following five tips will help you improve the productivity and effectiveness of your salespeople while distinguishing the buying experience in the eyes of your customers.
Make CRM user-friendly.
December 16, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales and marketing have a strong relationship. We rely on each other. We need each other.
However, Romeo and Juliet we are not.
But Romeo and Juliet we must become because our mandate is clear: partner or perish.
Here are two points that show the chasm that has long plagued marketing and sales (GoldMine blog):
50% of marketing spend is deemed ineffective by sales
70% of leads generated via marketing are not actively pursued by sales
December 11, 2012 01:00 AM
Every year, there is a last-minute scramble as businesses try to figure out a unique holiday gift for clients, partners and employees. And every year, holiday corporate gift giving produces some pretty wacky gifts. According to a recent survey of our Tango Card clients, folks reported receiving a ham, a lamp (“the world’s ugliest”), even a car wash and wax package as holiday gifts. Not exactly the types of gifts high on a customer’s (let alone anyone’s) wish list.
December 10, 2012 01:00 AM
B2B prospect development – the combination of lead generation, lead qualification, lead nurturing and lead hand-off to sales – is a critical element that many marketing and sales teams are failing.
Optimized companies outperform average companies by generating up to five times the revenue based on comparable starting places. Their prospect development process is also characterized by:
A higher percentage of leads sent to sales are sales-ready
December 7, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales trainers often emphasize that in order to gain and maintain a level of competence in selling, salespeople must focus on the basics — Sales 101. That’s true, but there’s a wrinkle. If the basics are all your salespeople know and can do, competitive sales campaigns will be a battle among equals.
December 3, 2012 01:00 AM
A recent issue of Forbes magazine posed the question, “Are CMOs the New CIOs?” The article appeared shortly after the president of my company assigned me, an archetypal right-brained marketer, responsibility for our IT department.
November 30, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales jobs range from quick-closing, hard-selling, short-term, commission-only positions to the opposite extreme, where the persuasive element is much more subtle and takes place only a few times a year at the end of a long process. Similarly, many sales positions require little technical background, while others require the salesperson to be a technical expert in a particular product or service.
November 26, 2012 12:24 PM
Bulova's Precisionist Watch Winner
Congratulations to Peter Barnet, CEO of Promosis Inc., the winner of the Bulova Precisionist watch!
November 26, 2012 01:00 AM
Let’s be honest: we’ve all endured a “death by PowerPoint” sales pitch and prefer a dialogue over a monologue any day. Would you shed a tear at PowerPoint’s imaginary funeral? Would you miss the days of creating slide builds over building relationships? Yeah, me neither.
November 23, 2012 01:00 AM
In our November/December print issue, sales trainer Mark Hunter shared six things that salespeople would like to tell their manager. Here are those six and six more.
Sales managers, read this list and ask yourself if any apply to you. If you’re a salesperson, you can agree with any or all, but in the end, don’t use any of them as an excuse as to why you can’t accomplish something. Great salespeople are able to find success no matter what is going on around them.
November 19, 2012 01:00 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 03:11 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 01:00 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 01:00 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 01:00 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.