October 4, 2012 12:00 AM
Many companies have taken cost-cutting initiatives over the last few years. In uncertain times, some leaders carefully select their growth opportunities and position themselves to capture market share. Others optimize their sales force effectiveness to improve competitiveness.
One common mistake companies make is to reduce costs across the board by a fixed percentage, which weakens the competitive position. Let’s instead review a few best practices.
October 3, 2012 12:00 AM
You’re aware of the benefits of giving business gifts at the holidays and you may have reasons of your own as well. It never hurts to review some of the more important gift-giving tips to maximize their effectiveness. We found these, oddly enough, at the website of the Journal of Dental Technology (jdtunbound.com). Smart gift-giving should put a smile on everyone’s face.
October 2, 2012 12:00 AM
Fay Beauchine has seen the concept of employee engagement and workplace motivation evolve. In tackling the duties of various executive positions at Minnesota-based Carlson Companies and before that Northwest Airlines, she has been on the front lines of improving employee performance.
She is currently the president of the Business Loyalty Division of Aimia a worldwide purveyor or loyalty management programs.
October 1, 2012 12:00 AM
When coming to an agreement about the value of your product or service to a prospect, dropping price is a shortcut to building value; it in no way enhances the value of your proposition and in some cases can actually devalue your offer.
Try this exercise:
September 28, 2012 12:00 AM
Many business leaders use crowdsourcing for idea generation and problem solving. Now, some HR directors and employee engagement specialists are promoting crowdsourcing — the concept that a group of individuals can be significantly smarter than its individual components — as a means of providing performance reviews and employee recognition.
September 27, 2012 12:00 AM
When charged with acquiring new business, the natural and essential first questions are: “Where is the business going to come from?” and “Who should I be pursuing?” If we are putting together a prospecting and new business development sales attack, we need to know where to go and whom to target. That’s why selecting targets is the first step in the process. Quite simply, we can’t prospect if we don’t know who the prospects are.
September 23, 2012 12:00 AM
Faced with a sagging stock price and an even steeper decline in the morale of its sales force, Andrew Mason, Chief Executive at Groupon Inc., extended a dinner invitation last summer to roughly two dozen veteran sales representatives. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Mason was prepared to hear their complaints about changes to the sales organization.
September 23, 2012 12:00 AM
The concept seems like a no-brainer: Sales reps cannot control customer buying – they can only influence it. How they do this is the job of sales managers. Where managers spend their time is, therefore, critical to making an impact. Jason Jordan’s new book, “Cracking the Sales Management Codebook: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance,” lives up to its promise of providing the frameworks, metrics and best practices to help sales organizations to succeed.
September 22, 2012 12:00 AM
A recent headline from a McKinsey report on sales trends spoke volumes: “Customers want it all.”
Think about what a typical buyer is dealing with today, and it’s understandable why their “wants” are so wide-ranging. They have higher expectations placed on them, but tighter resources and increased scrutiny on their spending. Every purchase decision is expected to have a clear business benefit.
September 16, 2012 12:00 AM
Even during challenging economic times, your best and brightest have options. Failing to help them grow can lead employees to take their talents elsewhere. They become “history.”
But what can be equally damaging as this sort of talent drain are the employees who stay and become disengaged. Their bodies remain but their commitment has quit. In this way, history plays out, repeating itself over and over again in too many organizations.
September 14, 2012 12:00 AM
What do you do with your leads?
That’s a question a lot of companies (including ours) grapple with.
What about the leads that aren’t ready to buy right now? What do you do with those?
How many leads are ready to buy now?
September 11, 2012 12:00 AM
In the past, marketing and sales had distinct roles. Marketing generated leads while sales converted those leads. Social media has blurred these separate responsibilities because applications like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have given every salesperson the potential to be an individual marketer. Innovative companies are seizing this social selling opportunity by implementing a new type of collaboration between marketing and sales. This collaborative method can be seen in a social selling pilot by IBM, which reported a 400 percent sales increase.
September 10, 2012 12:00 AM
As a consultative business development specialist my clients often ask me to provide metrics on my sales efforts. Fair enough, but what do they really mean?
In too many cases metrics are used to measure quantity of activity rather than progress. For me it's always important why we measure and to work toward an objective. What's more important for you: Keeping nice, neat spreadsheets with lots of entries that might please the CEO or results that reflect a meaningful process and real progress toward closing sales?
September 4, 2012 12:00 AM
Lean on me.
Or better yet, let me lean on you.
That's the basic (albeit somewhat cynical) principal of most networking groups. From chamber of commerces to business clubs to leads groups to the semi-secret, marginally mysterious fraternal orders of this or that, networking organizations have been around since the small but effective inaugural networking meeting where Adam introduced Eve to the Serpent, who then proceeded to trade our immortal souls for a taste of knowledge. Talk about deficit spending!
September 1, 2012 12:00 AM
August 27, 2012 12:00 AM
Yes, we’re seeing signs of economic recovery, but we’re not there yet. And other market trends are making it even tougher for sales teams to hit revenue goals.
Leveraging social media, an abundance of valuable content and peer recommendations, buyers are self-educating and now driving the buy/sell process once controlled by field sales. Buyers today are making purchasing decisions in a more deliberate manner, and reps are reporting longer sales cycles.
August 24, 2012 12:00 AM
Most customers are honest and open. Though the concessions they’re asking for might be unreasonable communications experts know that every point of view is reasonable to the person holding it. The exception is when the other person is playing games.
Here’s how you can combat some of the games customers might play during tough economic times like these when they’re under pressure to get all they can from their resources.
The “Almost Done Deal” Strategy
August 20, 2012 12:00 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. Identifying patterns like these and using them to predict behavior has been the foundation of consumer marketing for decades; life events dictate the types of products people buy.
August 17, 2012 12:00 AM
SiriusDecisions helps business-to-business companies worldwide improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Management teams make more informed business decisions through access to industry analysts, best practice research, benchmark data, peer networks, events and continuous learning courses
August 12, 2012 12:00 AM
Most salespeople are encouraged to take whatever business is out there in a flat economy. The truth is this: If you begin a relationship with a new prospect in a one-down position, you’ll never regain ground. By saying “No” to unrealistic expectations and setting solid parameters right from the start, the relationship becomes reciprocal and respectful.
August 10, 2012 12:00 AM
At just 0.3 inches thin and with an easy-to-wear wristband or clip, SmartWatch makes it easy to stay on top of life with just a tap, touch and a swipe. Your recipients can read all their latest text messages, e-mails and status updates on SmartWatch and see who wants to reach them, even when their phone is at the bottom of their bag. And there are lots of new apps on Google Play update SmartWatch. For more information, contact Sony Premium Incentive Group at 866-596-4823 or visit sony.com/motivation.
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.