April 9, 2012 07:35 AM
How does a done deal come undone? Your rep had a good relationship with a great contact, the right solution to meet the customer’s needs, and strong buying signals right up to the last. Then came the dreaded call: “Thank you for the proposal, but we’ve decided to go with someone else.”
So, what happened? Could this loss have been prevented?
In our experience of looking at thousands of win–loss reviews and talking to salespeople and sales managers, in most cases these last-minute surprises are caused by one of two problems:
April 7, 2012 12:00 PM
At a time when companies need engaged leaders and other employees willing to exceed expectations without promise of immediate increased financial remuneration, a new wave of respected thought leaders, including McKinsey, Harvard Business Review, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Aberdeen, acknowledge the effectiveness and strategic business value of non-cash incentives.
April 4, 2012 03:54 PM
It’s a question I’ve been asked again and again by journalists, sales leaders, sales training company CEOs, corporate learning and development executives, consultants and those evaluating sales performance improvement providers for their own companies.
April 4, 2012 03:54 PM
The generation of workers that proudly wore the sort of years-of-service pins that companies ordered by the gross has either retired or is about to. That’s not to say that younger workers aren’t proud of their companies and the things they achieve on the job. It’s just that they feel grown up and they’d like their recognition or rewards to reflect as much.
April 2, 2012 06:29 AM
You could have an endless budget to invest in training and it would only go so far if you and other frontline managers in your company aren’t invested personally in the process.
“You’ve got to do a coaching session with your frontline managers because it’s essentially malpractice if you don’t,” says Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Corporate Visions, a globally recognized provider of marketing and sales training.
April 1, 2012 08:52 PM
Marketers have an enormous arsenal of media outlets at their disposal, and there seems to be an infinite number of experts who postulate that one is more effective than the next. While some bet on the $2.7 million TV spot during the Super Bowl, others spend a fraction of that amount to create a one-minute capsule named “Will It Blend?” and post it on YouTube to be watched by over 50 million viewers. Many swear on the benefit of a strong presence in social media, while others still think their role is to offer their customers one loyalty program after the other.
April 1, 2012 12:00 AM
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March 30, 2012 12:00 AM
Few things frustrate salespeople more than competitors offering your current clients similar products or services at dramatically reduced prices. Sales coach Colleen Francis (engageselling.com) offers these five steps to close business without taking a huge bath on profits.
Learn from history
Show your salespeople that prospects who only buy on price are not the best customers for your business because, in the long-term, they are not profitable customers.
March 28, 2012 12:00 PM
E-mail is a quick and efficient way to reach a lot of prospects in a short amount of time. Dougles Chan is a recruitment and retention guru (dougleschan.com) who uses electronic platforms to maximize his recruitment business. If you buy into the concept that marketing an individual shares many similarities with marketing products and services, Chan offers these e-mail marketing insights:
March 26, 2012 12:00 PM
There are hundreds of possible inbound marketing metrics to choose from, and almost all of them measure something of some kind of value. These include SEO rankings, inbound links, articles published, content downloads, reach (e.g. Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn followers, blog subscribers), comments, retweets, Likes, shares, clicks, traffic, leads…and so many more.
March 22, 2012 12:00 AM
Before he became a world-renowned depicter of the banality of corporate America with his “Dilbert” comic strip, Scott Adams was rejected for an arts school, and instead earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Hartwick College and an MBA in economics and management from the University of California-Berkeley.
March 21, 2012 11:00 AM
This is Part II of a two-part article. If you haven’t read Part I, you can find it here.
In Part I of this article, I asserted that the fundamental problem with most sales compensation plans is they don’t work well. They don’t motivate the performance and behavior that employers are looking for. I reviewed the most common salesperson salary structure of base pay plus commission and also looked at base pay plus commission plus a bonus.
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.