September 10, 2013 02:35 PM
It’s that time of year of again — time for corporate holiday gift planning. Yes, planning — is the optimal word. For too many, the word is panicking, because most people don’t actually plan their corporate gifts.
If you intend to provide memorable corporate gifts to employees, clients, partners, vendors or anyone else, here are a few things you should be thinking about:
September 10, 2013 12:52 PM
The term “coach up” has become trendy in athletic circles, as in, “We’ve got some kids with raw skills, now we just have to coach them up.”
Business has never been bashful about applying sports jargon to the management role. Sales coach Marc Wayshak (marcwayshak.com), author of “Game Plan Selling: The Definitive Rulebook for Closing the Sale in the 21st Century,” offers a three-point plan for coaching up underperforming salespeople.
September 10, 2013 02:20 PM
September 10, 2013 01:11 PM
In “Outliers,” a fascinating look at what separates high achievers from the rest of us, author Malcolm Gladwell cites a study that suggests it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to develop expert-level performance.
Who’s got 10,000 hours to spare?
September 10, 2013 03:15 PM
If you’re going to invest in an incentive travel program, build in a budget for the little extras that enhance memorability, says Min Choi of Mercury Insurance Group, which takes about 100 top sales reps and their significant others on a recognition trip each year. “Participants are blown away by the little things,” he says.
September 10, 2013 01:02 PM
I’m disturbed by the increasing amount of misinformation that’s available on the Internet around the subject of business-to-business selling. I’m not suggesting
it is disinformation, which intentionally deceives. It’s just that so much of what is available — what you and your people are reading to gain insight and knowledge — is simply wrong.
September 10, 2013 12:59 PM
Decades of research shows that women behave differently than men as shoppers in consumer settings, bringing an open mind to the purchasing process whereas males tend to be mission-and-task-oriented. But does the different approach carry over to how senior women make business-to-business decisions? Deloitte LLP executives Cathy Benko and Bill Pelster were surprised to discover there wasn’t much research to answer that question, so they conducted some.
September 10, 2013 01:16 PM
How many times have you sent staff on, or have been sent on, training courses? How many times did the learning last beyond the initial “enthusiastic implementation” period — and make a direct contribution back in the workplace? Experience tells us that this is hugely variable and that training remains a big part of training budgets globally. Yet there are real alternatives that can deepen learning insights for long-lasting behaviors — and that can make an immediate and direct impact in the workplace.
September 9, 2013 12:00 AM
I frequently ask sales managers, “How often do you coach your sales reps?” And the response that I most often receive is, “I talk to my reps all the time.” Well of course you do. You talk to your reps all of the time, but is that the same as coaching them?
September 6, 2013 12:00 AM
How are you differentiating your company during bids for large, long-term contracts against highly qualified providers? The stakes are raised when all bidders are capable of providing a high-level of service, ongoing support, and competitive pricing.
September 3, 2013 12:00 AM
Having been involved in the sales of digital goods in some form or fashion for the better part of two decades, it’s easy to see technology-enabled shifts are culminating in fundamental changes in how marketers engage and increasingly drive sales. Cloud-based delivery, Web- and mobile-based interaction, marketing automation (starting to live up to the promise of what we used to call one-to-one marketing back in the 90s), and the broad adoption of subscription and other fractional ownership models are definitely the most documented of these shifts.
August 30, 2013 12:00 AM
Too often the practice of public relations, particularly in the B2B world, is limited to news releases and trade events aimed at promoting specific products or services. Yet it can also be a powerful tool for achieving larger branding objectives, while affording employees the opportunity to become recognized as experts in their industry.
August 26, 2013 12:00 AM
We’ve all had it happen to us, and it’s one of the most frustrating experiences in business.
You met with your prospective client, and it was an exciting and productive meeting. You established good rapport, you listened well and learned their major issues, you talked about your unique value propositions, and you felt confident that this sale would move forward to signature. You followed up with a thank-you note, and you proceeded to the next step in your sales process.
August 16, 2013 12:00 AM
You have a great new CRM system. It provides solutions to all – or most – of the challenges that your sales team is currently working through.
So why aren’t they using it?
Selling your sales team on a new CRM system might be one of the hardest sales you have to make. Sales teams can be stubborn in their ways and slow to accept change. But chances are your problem isn’t really with the sales team. The problem is with how you’re selling them.
Look Beyond the Sales Team
August 14, 2013 12:00 AM
It’s nearly September and I’m already talking about next year’s sales goals. But we all know that very soon we will all be working on next year’s budgets and thus next year’s sales goals.
August 12, 2013 12:00 AM
Here’s some advice that you don’t hear many sales managers share with their teams: Stop wasting your time following up.
David Newman, founder of Do It! Marketing and author of the new book by the same name, says it’s advice that should be given more often. He has grown tired of hearing statements such as, “Nobody ever buys on the first, second or third appointment,” or “Most sales are made after the eighth contact, but most salespeople stop after the third contact.”
August 9, 2013 12:00 AM
News that Verizon, Google and other companies turned over detailed user information to the government has heightened the debate over the pros and cons of Big Data.
August 5, 2013 12:00 AM
Did you know that the majority of buyers believe they are at least 60 percent done with their buying process before they seek out a salesperson? At least, that’s according to a slew of recent research from top-tier industry analysts. But beware — if you buy into these results, you could be misled regarding the messaging and training support that marketing and others need to provide salespeople.
August 1, 2013 12:00 AM
Authors and leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman (zfco.com) gathered data from nearly 50,000 leaders and discovered that the ability to inspire creates the highest levels of employee engagement and commitment.
July 30, 2013 12:00 AM
What did you learn today?
We’re asked that question constantly when we’re kids, but for whatever reason it’s not posed as much in adulthood.
Consultant Kevin Eikenberry says regardless of your title or standing in your organization, you should continue to ask yourself the question — and hopefully have a strong answer. He offers these tips for fostering ongoing learning and professional development:
July 29, 2013 12:00 AM
When ESR seeks to understand why our clients’ sales organizations aren’t performing to expectations, we see the same inhibitors again and again:
• Unqualified people in sales and sales management positions
• No demand creation and/or generation process
• An absence of tools, value messages, competitive information and playbooks
July 26, 2013 12:00 AM
Three out of four companies formally recognize employees, but too many fail to tap into the focus that employees put on their jobs. Instead, they reward people for tenure or arbitrary achievements (employee of the month), or their recognition efforts are limited to particular groups like sales.
July 22, 2013 12:00 AM
If you’re engaged in the sales process, then you’d better be using effective negotiation strategies for every qualified lead – from discovery until the final agreement. If you wait until it’s time to close the deal, you may fall way short of your goals and your chances of building a long-term client relationship will quickly fade away.
July 19, 2013 12:00 AM
Asking for feedback from your team members can be one of the fastest ways to help you improve and set your team up for success.
Meet with your salespeople individually and explain that your purpose is to learn how you can help them sell better. Then ask three questions: