March 19, 2012 06:56 AM
Sales compensation seems to be a mystery to the owners and managers of many businesses. I get calls and e-mails frequently asking about compensation standards, and the truth of the matter is there aren’t any. For every 100 companies, there are probably 120 compensation plans in place, with many individual salespeople operating on different plans within the same company. (That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ll come back to that later.)
March 13, 2012 01:00 PM
Managers spend so much time assessing the performance of others that they often don’t stop long enough to figure out what they feel about their own performance. Most leaders’ performance is measured on success metrics — net profits, market share, sales growth, etc. These tangible targets are important and desired outcomes for businesses and their leaders. Profits help their enterprise remain viable.
March 13, 2012 01:00 PM
Leaders like to talk about radical changes and employee-centric practices, but the reality is there is a strong disconnect between how leaders perceive their organization’s RESPECT levels and how their employees view them, authors Jack Wiley and Brenda Kowske say.
March 12, 2012 01:00 AM
In business, we set milestones for projects to give us signposts of progress and a path to follow. Yet on some journeys we embark on, we don’t have any (or enough) milestones or landmarks on our path, says Kevin Eikenberry, founder of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (kevineikenberry.com), a team of business consultants and trainers. For many people, their own leadership development often is one of those instances.
March 4, 2012 01:00 AM
Meetings as a business tool get a bad rap, and it’s often a manager’s fault. When meetings become routine, participants stop preparing for them and they become lifeless and ineffective. But meetings matter because most relationship building and decision making still gets conducted face to face.
March 4, 2012 01:00 AM
“Only 69 percent of ASTD survey respondents believe that the formal sales training they receive is in any way effective. That’s at least a 30 percent failure rate...”
March 1, 2012 12:00 PM
I’ve got books of letters written by Georgia O’Keefe, Jack Kerouac, Richard Nixon and a book of letters exchanged between Jean Paul Sartre and his companion Simone de Beauvoir. Many of Hunter S. Thompson’s most entertaining rants came in his letters.
March 1, 2012 02:56 PM
My wife and I recently visited one of our favorite local restaurants (a "bar & grill" as it's called). We've been loyal customers for several years. It's a nice place, always busy with good food, service, atmosphere and reasonable prices. The place is located in the suburbs and attracts a mixed customer base of blue- and white-collar patrons.
February 28, 2012 01:00 PM
Do organizations that do a better job of providing what employees want also create more satisfied customers?
February 27, 2012 01:00 PM
February 20, 2012 01:00 AM
There’s been a lot of talk about “1 Percenters” in political circles.
In business, the focus is on the “10 Percenters” after a study by European academics Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal revealed that only about 10 percent of managers take “decisive purposeful action” when necessary.
The remainder were busy, but not very effective: 40 percent were energetic but unfocused; 30 percent had low energy, little focus and tended to procrastinate; and 10 percent were focused, but not very energetic.
February 19, 2012 11:30 PM
Listening is far more important than talking and schmoozing when you want to earn the respect and trust of your prospects – especially in the first meeting and the early stages of the business relationship. Even if you’re responding to a prospect’s inquiry, it’s important to remember that prospects must first respect and trust you and your company before they’ll be comfortable buying from you.
February 13, 2012 01:00 AM
Landing big, new contracts is cause for celebration at most companies.
The smart ones, however, get busy understanding the reasons behind their success instead of getting giddy over it, says Rick Reynolds.
February 9, 2012 04:12 PM
The advent of steam-powered machines, most notably locomotives, ushered in the Industrial Age nearly 200 years ago. The early leadership of railroads and other business enterprises was drawn largely from the ranks of the military. Not surprisingly, these top brass brought with them the hierarchical, authoritative leadership model that had served them well in their former military careers.
February 6, 2012 01:00 PM
By PAUL NOLAN, SMM Editor
February 6, 2012 01:00 PM
A Q&A from Sales & Marketing Management
SMM: There has been a lot of debate online about the theories you propose in your new book. Before we get to those, however, why did the world need another sales book?
February 2, 2012 02:00 AM
Despite three decades of experience, a history of “strategic” successes at select companies, and an abundance of technologies designed to support both disciplines, for the most part, sales and procurement continue to dwell on tactics.
January 27, 2012 10:32 AM
By TOM GRUBB
January 13, 2012 02:25 PM
By NEIL MAHONEY
Making the sales process more time-effective is not easy because salespeople have so many unavoidable duties they must perform: call reports, expense reports, travel time, handling complaints, maintaining relationships… The list never ends.
January 5, 2012 03:34 PM
By WILL WIEGLER
January 3, 2012 08:51 AM
By JOHN HAND, CEO, MobilePro
Mobility, intuitive cloud-based tools, iPads, iPhones, and social media have forever transformed the sales ecosystem. Across all industries and sectors, salespeople are no longer chained to a desk or landline, and managers and executives agree that integrated technology makes selling more efficient. The biggest challenge is getting salespeople to adapt to new technologies and finding tools that tackle tedious tasks and make time for more deals.
January 1, 2012 01:00 PM
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has an amazing ability to bring clarity to complicated world events by pulling apart the pieces and, often, finding apt analogies that enhance his messages. He did it in a column titled “Help Wanted.”
December 23, 2011 11:07 AM
Many managers think their sales team needs help building negotiation skills but they can’t articulate why. In this second part of a two-part article, Grande Lum, the founder of the sales consulting firm Accordence, summarizes the final four factors (out of a total of nine) that can help sales managers determine if and where negotiation improvements can be made.
If you missed Part I of this article, you can find it here.
December 16, 2011 05:06 PM
Many managers think their sales teams need help building their negotiation skills but can’t articulate why. Most salespeople possess some level of intuitive negotiating skills, but many lack the discipline necessary to simultaneously sell and negotiate. The result can be less value for the company and bonus dollars for them.
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.