February 2, 2015 01:00 AM
The right time to expand internationally is before your sales in local markets start to flatten. International expansion should be viewed as a pre-emptive strategy and not as a maneuver of last resort.
January 30, 2015 01:00 AM
Are you in sales? If so, are you the one making commitments or is it the buyer?
Who should be making commitments in the sales process?
If you already follow a sales process you may know the right answer to this question. Or you may be very surprised – without commitments and a sales process, you are not in control. In fact, you’re very much out of control.
January 26, 2015 01:00 AM
Spreadsheets have been around for hundreds of years. Pre-dating the electronic spreadsheet made popular by Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel in the 80s and 90s, spreadsheets were a computerized program used to summarize information from many sources in one place and present the information in a format to help a decision maker see the financial “big picture” for a company.
January 19, 2015 07:51 PM
So, do you want to live your life like a boss, calling the shots and living on top? Consider living life like a boss. We’ve taken six top tips from the business world that can improve your personal life too.
January 16, 2015 01:00 AM
If you pursue the deals that make sense, do everything right in the selling and negotiating process, and deliver the promised value to the client, then winning is wonderful. But what happens when one of these three components is neglected? Each has margin erosion and unhappy clients lurking at every step so let’s look closer to understand the potential problems and how to avoid catastrophe.
January 12, 2015 01:00 AM
The Curse of Knowledge has several manifestations but the one most relevant to sales and marketing people is that becoming steeped in a technical domain causes us to stop recognizing when we use words or ideas less familiar to others. If we are any good at our job, we immerse ourselves in learning about our industry, including what analysts say about it. The best people pretty quickly become experts.
January 9, 2015 08:53 AM
The concept of Big Data" has sales and marketing executives abuzz over its potential, but the approach to date has been inadequate. Earlier Big Data strategies and tools have focused on collecting as much data as possible, and shaking it all up in hopes that something useful would fall out. In that sense, the term "Big Data" is perhaps less useful than would be the term "right data."
January 5, 2015 01:00 AM
A customer or client may sing praises for your product and his firm’s relationship with you. At the same time he may insist that you reduce the pricing of your product or services to maintain that relationship. Some sales teams spend time thinking about where to make cuts and how to reduce prices to satisfy the customer’s demand. The best course, however, would focus on how to maintain the relationship and at the same time not compromise pricing integrity. This may require some good old-fashioned research and analysis of the client’s needs and marketplace alternatives.
January 2, 2015 01:00 AM
Standing on the football field in the fall of 2011, hours before a Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I reached out to shake the hand of former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol and introduced myself. “Nice to meet you. I’m Gerry Sandusky.” He snatched his hand back, a flinch reflex as if my hand were on fire.
December 30, 2014 12:55 PM
At first blush, Laurie Ruettimann is a former corporate human resources director who uses her brassy blog (LaurieRuettimann.com) to upbraid the women (yes, they are still predominantly women) who continue to fight the HR fight in cubicles around the world. First impressions aren’t all wrong.
December 29, 2014 01:00 AM
Most sales managers recognize the importance of making a great first impression. They understand that developing and delivering a consistent message that shines the brightest light on the company’s products, services and personnel is essential. Without it, the company would be hard pressed to distinguish itself from the competition. Yet, if you ask the typical sales manager if he has a yardstick or benchmark that identifies what a perfect “10 out of “10” presentation looks like, chances are the answer is no.
December 26, 2014 01:00 AM
Everyone appreciates quick and easy-to-implement ways to improve sales for you or your organization? Here are three ways to improve the sales process:
Prepare, prepare, prepare
While it isn’t sexy, the importance of preparation can’t be overstated. It remains true that those who are best prepared produce the best results. Even Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
December 19, 2014 07:22 AM
I forgot what I was supposed to say.
You're in an important sales meeting or presentation. All eyes are on you. You’re discussing your features and benefits. You highlight your expertise. You showcase your value. You are on top of your game.
Then suddenly, out of right field, you are asked a question about how your services differ from your competition. Then someone else asks why your pricing is higher than others.
December 15, 2014 01:00 AM
Sales reps that understand what buyers know about products and services can respond more quickly and get the competitive edge. Research shows that up to half of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
December 10, 2014 06:24 AM
Today's sales teams are under more pressure than ever; what's surprising is that for the most part, companies aren't supporting their teams by providing more sales training hours. What's more efficient: a large team of half-trained salespeople, or a small, tight team of fully trained and highly effective sellers? That smaller team is likely selling more product, and is probably more cost-effective too, even if you're spending more on training. How well does your training program prepare new sales candidates for success? Ask yourself these questions.
December 8, 2014 06:35 AM
Recently, I answered my door to find a salesperson standing on my porch. While leery about being pitched, I was instantly captivated when he pulled out an iPad and proceeded to show me product information from the device. Wow. Door-to-door selling, one of the oldest selling techniques, the precursor of cold calling, has been catapulted into the mobile era. This speaks volumes as to the impact mobile devices have had on the selling and customer experience in a relatively short time frame.
December 5, 2014 07:49 AM
Growing companies often hit a barrier when their established ways of meeting customer needs are no longer sufficient to support their aspirations. The entrepreneurial, get-it-done mindset that enabled them to capture new customers and grow share can become an impediment as a larger sales team leads to a larger variety of ad-hoc sales processes.
December 3, 2014 06:31 AM
In 2010, before reality hit me that I am far more effective as a one-man sales force sitting at a desk with a fountain pen than I ever was out schmoozing and physically courting clients at big New York Stock Exchange firms, I was a field sales rep in banks and investment companies including UBS, Comerica Wealth Management, Wachovia (present-day Wells Fargo Advisors) and, for a brief time, Morgan Stanley.
December 1, 2014 06:55 AM
According to a recent Forrester study, business buyers define a valuable sales meeting as:
November 28, 2014 01:00 AM
November 25, 2014 06:40 AM
Customer relationship management (CRM) software as we know it has evolved because businesses are handling more transactions with customers – and producing more data – than ever before. Yet, according to Ringlead’s analysis of U.S. Department of Labor Statistics,customer data erodes at 5 to 5.5 percent per month. The impact of this deterioration is inefficiency.
November 21, 2014 08:25 AM
Most channel marketers have a dysfunctional relationship with layered incentives. They know that incenting sales-driving behaviors, such as training and product demo, can make a partner feel more personally invested in selling their products. At the same time, they fear what they see as the cumbersome process of providing incentives for anything but straight sales.
In my 25-plus years in the channel, I have seen channel marketers employ a lot of creativity in the name of avoiding layered incentives. Most end up with one of two types of programs.
November 17, 2014 06:17 AM
With the fourth quarter’s arrival, many companies have looked at their numbers and increased the pressure on sales teams to make up for losses earlier in the year. Only 58.2% of sales reps made their quota in 2013 according to a 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study of over 1,200 B2B companies by CSO Insights. While every company has unique circumstances affecting its sales cycle, there are common threads that can be identified across the majority of organizations in terms of errors that directly correlate to sales losses.
November 15, 2014 01:00 AM
I interviewed a half-dozen or more people for this issue’s cover story on trends in sales incentive programs and workplace motivation. I mentioned to each of them at some point during the discussion that I have been writing on this topic for longer than I care to admit.
November 12, 2014 01:00 AM
Putting the right team on the field is crucial, especially in sales, where differences in individual performance are greater than in other functions. Studies in B2B contexts find that rep performance in similar territories often varies by 300 percent, while in retail stores selling productivity typically varies by a factor of three to four. In other words, there are salesstars in many firms.