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Marlaina Capes

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How to Respond to Customer Feedback Most Effectively

By Marlaina Capes

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Think of a recent sales call where you just presented your solution to a buyer. Assuming you have done an effective job of identifying the buyer’s needs and connected your solution to those needs, this buyer should say “yes”. Right?  Well not so fast.  

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How to Set Realistic Prospecting Goals

By Marlaina Capes

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Most sales teams I work with have a common prospecting challenge: the sales people dread prospecting, but their sales managers want them to do more prospecting. Of course the root cause of this problem is salespeople’s aversion to cold calling. As much as we like to think that prospecting has changed as a result of social media, the reality is that phone based prospecting is still the primary method of prospecting for many sales teams.  

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Four Factors for Determining Optimal Sales Training Classroom Size

By Marlaina Capes

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Whenever we start a sales training project, our client inevitably asks, ”How many sales reps should we have in each class?” This is a straightforward question that is unfortunately difficult to answer. The reason is that optimal classroom size for a sales training program depends on numerous factors, so our answer is generally, “It depends.” 

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Top Five Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

By Marlaina Capes

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Whether you’re a sales manager looking to hire a great salesperson or a good salesperson looking to get better, recognizing the traits top salespeople have in common will help you get better results.

In general, traits are attributes that you have, or that you have a predisposition for. However, most of these traits can be cultivated or improved upon. I’ve found five consistent characteristics of successful salespeople. Let’s look at each one of these essential traits in more detail.

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Generating New Business with Referral Prospecting

By Marlaina Capes

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While many sellers avoid the activity of prospecting like the plague, prospecting is the lifeblood of generating new business. It is an essential activity for successful salespeople.

Prospecting can be challenging. There are problems finding and getting through to the prospect. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to be effective, generate a list and manage the numerous touches necessary to be a successful prospector.

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Selling the Way Your Customer Buys

By Marlaina Capes

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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.

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How to Hire Top People With Behavioral Interviewing for Sales

By Marlaina Capes

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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.

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Top 3 Ways to Assess Your Sales Coaching Effectiveness

By Marlaina Capes

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Are you a good sales coach?  Many managers rarely give this question much thought, and that is a pity since sales coaching effectiveness is a key sales management ability.  If you can help your salespeople become more effective at selling, they will close more business, and rely on you less and less over time.  Think about: increased sales and less time putting out fires. 

So how do you know if you are a good sales coach?  Below are three methods for you to assess your effectiveness as a coach:

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Five Components of an Effective Sales Training Program

By Marlaina Capes

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There are many sales training programs to choose from and the investment is not insignificant.

In order to find the best program for your sales team, spend the time evaluating which specific skills your sales reps need.

While most sales training focuses on the sales process, be sure that the skills align with the needs of your reps. Here five components to consider when choosing a sales training program:

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Four Components of a Strong Customer Value Proposition (w/ Examples)

By Marlaina Capes

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We’re all familiar with the term Value Proposition. Most often it is used to describe how your company differentiates itself from the competition.  A good Value Proposition is usually put together by the marketing department and is generic enough to be used in a variety of situations.   

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Four Important Tips to Improve Your Active Listening Skills

By Marlaina Capes

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One of my favorite thought provoking questions to ask a Sales Manager is “What do you think is the single most important selling skill for a salesperson?”

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The Call Plan Template Highly Successful Salespeople Use

By Marlaina Capes

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Let’s face it: when we think of a great salesperson, we often think of that hard-charging, fast talking, go getter that is in constant motion. When you catch them on phone, they are either in an airport, or in their car just arriving at a meeting or just getting out of a meeting, and so it goes all day long.

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