August 5, 2012 12:00 AM
Sales reps must have missed the memo about the paperless office issued sometime in the early ’90s. While in New York recently, I spotted a dozen or more sales reps woefully trapped in the past.
How could I tell? The guy schlepping down a crowded sidewalk laden with an oversized sample case and a dog-eared catalog stuffed under his arm, glancing at building numbers and frantically checking his watch were the most obvious signs. Clearly he was running late for an appointment and trying to find the correct address.
August 4, 2012 12:00 AM
The proven motivational power of gift cards is a key reason managers use them in reward and recognition programs, but the advantages don’t end there. Customization and ease of administration is important, too.
August 3, 2012 12:00 AM
If your customer wants your product and needs it, it’s your sales rep's job to find a way for him to have it.
July 29, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
Lesson 1: Qualify your prospects for interest and money early in the sales process.
July 27, 2012 12:00 AM
TV tech supplier tunes up its sales and marketing teamwork and reaps instant rewards.
Businesses with mature sales and marketing organizations are seeking ways to improve their efficiency and generate more leads and customers. A big step in achieving this involves improving sales conversations, moving beyond price, brand and product quality.
July 25, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
July 24, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
July 23, 2012 12:00 AM
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?
July 15, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
July 13, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
July 9, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
It was a short step, then, to adapt the text to the modern business idiom, yet still retain 98 percent of the original Confucian sayings in their English translation.
July 6, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
By any measure your marketing is working.
July 3, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
But your job is to make change happen, either with a new product, a process or an idea. How do you get frazzled people to stop for five minutes to hear about your magic solution?
Here are five strategies you can use to be a change catalyst.
June 25, 2012 12:00 AM
There’s much discussion these days about sales and marketing alignment, reflecting perhaps the sometimes uneasy relationship that exists between them, particularly in the business-to-business space. Numerous books have been and continue to be written on the “art” of selling, but marketing is a “science,” and should be treated as such.
June 22, 2012 12:00 AM
It takes time to develop relationships that lead to sales, but a large percentage of marketers who take the time find great results. For example, 58 percent of marketers who have been using social media for more than three years report it has helped them improve sales. More than half who spend 11 or more hours per week find the same results, and over 65 percent of those who spend 30+ hours earn new business through their efforts.
June 18, 2012 12:00 AM
If you’ve been in the corporate world for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard something like this:
“My leadership philosophy is to optimally leverage the passions of my people such that at the end of the day we maximize employee engagement to get them to think outside the box and synergistically drive value-added activities in a profit-maximizing way that is a win-win for our people, our shareholders and our customers.”
June 17, 2012 12:00 AM
In today’s global marketplace, companies are increasingly extending their customer reference programs to target customers worldwide. A globalized customer advocacy program can increase sales and accelerate the sales cycle, but building a global program is not simply a matter of extending domestic efforts. It goes beyond experience in marketing, knowledge of technology and expertise in gathering and creating evidence. It requires a focus on cultural nuances and regional business etiquette.
June 10, 2012 12:00 AM
The problem with having a company stocked with “A” Players, says author and HR consultant Martha Finney, is that you get a cadre of mouthy, talented people who may follow your leadership, and then only if you work hard to deserve it. This is especially true in the case of younger generations of great employees, who weren’t necessarily raised to have automatic respect for their seniors.
June 9, 2012 12:00 AM
These days, the notion that we work to live and not the other way around is generally accepted across generational lines. Even the hardest of hard-charging managers recognize that their workers have a life. (If they don’t, HR will tell them as much.)
The best managers take an interest in the outside pursuits of their subordinates. They celebrate their workers’ important life events and they sympathize when a member of the team’s loved one dies or falls ill. In short, they are engaged in their co-workers’ lives.
June 8, 2012 12:00 AM
Consumer marketing will always be at the bleeding edge — the first to integrate social networks, build mobile applications and create gaming into their campaigns. Some things work, some don’t. And some are very effective for B2B sales and marketing. Fundamentally, we’re all consumers so adapting proven consumer tactics can bring new life to B2B.
Let’s start with the fun stuff.
Engagement for sales teams
June 6, 2012 12:00 AM
News flash: prospects hate taking cold calls as much as sales reps hate making them. There’s got to be a better way to generate sales leads. Tom Searcy (huntingbigsales.com) says opt for these alternatives:
Community and association involvement – Everyone likes to do business with people they know, like and trust. Get involved and “circulate and percolate.”
June 4, 2012 12:00 AM
Good sales leaders don’t need the reality of a bad quarter or a string of bad quarters to know when something is amiss. They sense it before the numbers tell the story for them.
June 4, 2012 12:00 AM
SMM: Your new book takes an in-depth at applying a scientific analysis to sales. Is that truly a new concept?
Martini: Our company is 57 years old and has been working with behavioral assessments since from the beginning. What’s new is applying behavioral science with skills analytics and combining those two to drive sales performance.