Sometimes sales training opportunities appear in the most unlikely places. Last weekend I was walking in my neighborhood and came across a garage sale. Among the old exercise equipment, children’s toys, and patio furniture, I found something surprising: a sales training course from 1980. That’s right, ten cassette tapes promising to make me a master closer.Read More
We often hear the complaint in our sales training workshops that the customer has all the power and they really only care about price. Really? If that’s what you believe then your only option is to lower your prices, and you’d better be the cheapest option or you’ll lose. The other option is to work hard to develop a stronger value proposition than the competition and convince yourself that you have a unique offering that solves the customer’s problem in ways that no other solution can. Why else would the customer choose your product or solution?Read More
We all know it is important to consistently follow a sales process. In fact, according to CSO Insights sales organizations where sales reps consistently followed a sales process dramatically outperformed sales organizations lack a standard process (71.8% of reps achieving quota vs. 59.9% of reps achieving quota). While the sales process is important, there is another process taking place during a sales conversation that is often overlooked by salespeople: the buyer’s purchase process.Read More
As we start 2015, there are many reasons to be optimistic. The US economy continues to expand, unemployment rates are at their lowest point in six years, and the American consumer is benefiting from a significant drop in oil prices. While this is good news for business, it doesn’t make selling any easier. On the contrary, selling will continue to be challenging for sales professionals who do not adopt new, better ways to engage with and add value for their customers.
The underlying reason for this is the fact that the balance of power has shifted to buyers. Today, customers are not nearly as reliant on sales professionals as they were in the past. Product information (including detailed specifications, comparisons, and evaluations) and pricing are all readily available online.Read More
One of the most challenging situations for many sales managers is dealing with reps who have sales performance issues caused by something other than obvious skill or knowledge gaps. For skills or knowledge based performance problems sales coaching is an appropriate intervention.
These problems are straightforward and relatively easy to diagnose. But sometimes a performance problem is due to factors other than lack of skill or knowledge. That's where performance counseling comes in.Read More
Across our client base and in our sales training workshops, we are seeing sales professionals becoming more familiar with leveraging LinkedIn to prospect, conduct research and gain access to decision makers during a sales pursuit.
With new features and capabilities of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, these skills can be extended to even more challenging pursuits such as Prospecting into target (named) accounts and navigating complex organizations. Specifically, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has new features that help us research and gain visibility into accounts in ways that have never been possible, short of having an employee badge or a strong inside advocate. Three ways that LinkedIn supports prospecting into complex accounts include:
#1 Mapping the AccountRead More
Managing Sales Performance is arguably the most important skill for sales managers and consists of the following four steps:
- Communicate expectations
- Monitor and manage specific behaviors
- Monitor results
- Provide regular feedback
Unfortunately, managers tend to hyper-focus on the third area, “results”, without realizing that results are backward looking (lagging performance indicator) and are really contingent on steps one (communicating expectations), two (monitoring and managing specific behaviors), and four (providing regular feedback).Read More
Amazon is notorious for having a challenging hiring process. In fact, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, once said “I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.”
Should sales managers be so picky when building their teams? Absolutely. Bad hiring decisions are easy to make, but have long-term effects. We have all been in situations where we need to fill a position quickly and the candidate we hired seemed great during the interview process only to be a failure once on the job. As many sales managers have discovered, many sales people do their best selling during the job interview process. Unfortunately, the consequences of a bad hire are severe: hiring expense, training costs, lost productivity, risk of losing customers and so on.Read More
Updating and using LinkedIn has become a bit like flossing your teeth. We are encouraged to do it every day, it seems like a good idea, but the benefits may not be readily apparent.
It takes some discipline, habit and a little bit of time. I often hear from our sales training clients that they know they should be doing more with LinkedIn, but they don’t have the time, knowledge or motivation to leverage the tool.Read More
For many sales managers focusing on short-term day-to-day results, it's often challenging to think like a leader and focus on achieving a long-term vision. But that is exactly what a sales manager must do in order to maximize the performance of his or her team.
A sales vision is a statement that indicates where you want your sales team to be at some future time. Without a sales vision, a sales team may have lack of focus, difficulty prioritizing activities, or a feeling of drifting. A clear sales vision provides focus and direction for you and your team, energizes your team, and improves results and performance.Read More