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Ray Makela

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How to Prioritize Your Time as a Sales Manager

By Ray Makela

In this episode, we discuss how to use a prioritization system to stop spending too much time stuck on urgent tasks, and more time on what's important—like coaching your team.

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Turning Your Salesforce Into A Learning Force

By Ray Makela

In this episode, we discuss how sales is changing, how sales training needs to respond to the new complexities in the marketplace, and what salespeople need to do to adopt a learning mindset.

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How to Teach your Sales Team to Solve Their Own Problems

By Ray Makela

Being your reps' chief problem solver is terrible for sales performance. Here's a technique you can use to train your team to solve their own problems.

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13 Tactics to Prevent a Heated Price Negotiation

By Ray Makela

Discounting is expensive. Learn how to prevent a heated price negotiation by maximizing the value of the deal using fundamental principles and tactics.

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Effective Sales Negotiation Process to Increase Leverage

By Ray Makela

Before your next sales negotiation, ask yourself these questions to ensure a successful outcome. A great sales negotiation process to increase your leverage.

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TACTICs For Managing Difficult Negotiations

By Ray Makela

Managing difficult negotiations is not easy, the TACTIC model can help you deal and communicate with a manipulative sales negotiator. 

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How to Partner and Build a Long-Lasting Relationship with Procurement

By Ray Makela

Instead of struggling to negotiate with Procurement, learn how to work with them. These questions will show you how to build a strong procurement relationship.

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Maximizing Your Negotiation Leverage with Power Sources

By Ray Makela

Learn how to develop a stronger value proposition. These reasons will help you improve your negotiation leverage to sell on value rather than price.

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Five Sales Negotiation Tactics to Use with Procurement

By Ray Makela

Negotiating with Procurement can be challenging.  In this video, you'll learn five sales negotiation tactics you can use when negotiating with Procurement.

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Match the Hatch to Break Through the Noise When Prospecting

By Ray Makela

Prospecting is a lot like fly fishing. In this episode, we talk about the similarities between those two practices, and how by "matching the hatch" you're much more likely to break through the noise when prospecting.

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5 Ways to Build Confidence to Win More Sales

By Ray Makela

Sales is about the transfer of confidence. In this Q&A, we discuss five ways you can build your confidence to improve your sales results.

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How to Prevent Your Next SaaS Demo Going Silent

By Ray Makela

On this Q&A episode: "What's the best way to follow-up with a demo? Even though my demos go really well, the prospect seems to go silent after we meet".  

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How to Deliver Product Demos that Convert

By Ray Makela

On this Q&A episode: "Why most product demos miss the mark, and what can I do to improve my chances of success?"

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The Mindset of a Top Performing Sales Professional

By Ray Makela

On this Q&A episode: "What makes up the mindset of a top performing sales professional? What are the characteristics that help top performers stand out or that make them more effective?"

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How To Help Reps Keep Their Pipeline Up-To-Date

By Ray Makela

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Since the day the first contact management systems added features to enable Reps to keep track of their opportunities, there has been a constant struggle between manager and sales rep to keep the pipeline clean and “update the damn CRM.” Management wants a roll-up of their reps’ pipelines to enable better visibility and produce accurate forecasts, while reps are not motivated to spend precious selling time on administrative tasks and data entry that doesn’t help them close business.

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Selling Against a Competitor (When You Think They're Better)

By Ray Makela

On this Q&A episode: "What do you do if your competitor's product is better for the client?"

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How to Deal with Competitors Who Lie

By Ray Makela

On this Q&A episode: "What do you do when your competitor flat out lies? I'm not talking about a rogue salesperson making up fibs. I mean when their company market materials contain figures that are significantly inflated or entirely fabricated?"

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How to Prevent a Prospect Going Silent After Your Proposal

By Ray Makela

Don't let prospects go silent after responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP). In this Q&A we discuss strategies you can use to increase your chances of closing the deal.

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How to Align Your Sales Coaching Program for Success

By Ray Makela

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It’s no surprise that high-performing sales teams have managers who spend more time coaching, as evidenced in our Sales Management Research Report.

There are numerous benefits to effective coaching, but despite the general acknowledgment that it’s a high-value activity, many managers don’t spend enough time coaching. Several reasons managers don’t coach include that they don’t know how, don’t think they have time, or don’t have a process to follow.

But here’s another piece of the puzzle that many sales leaders don’t want to admit. One of the biggest reasons managers don’t coach is because the organization hasn’t adopted a culture of coaching. Changing the organization culture is hard. At a minimum, if the initiative hasn’t been made a top priority by the leadership team and there isn’t a process in place to manage the behavior change, it will be doomed to fail.

The six factors identified in the graphic below will help ensure your sales coaching program is aligned for success.

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How to Knock Your Next Sales Interview Out of the Park

By Ray Makela

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Attention prospective salespeople—here’s a hint. If you want to work on my sales team, you have to show me you can sell.
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Why Sales Managers Don't Coach (and What to Do About It)

By Ray Makela

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The evidence for the benefits of coaching is compelling. Not only can it help develop your reps and improve selling skills, but high performing sales teams tend to have managers who spend more time coaching, as evidenced by the 2017 Sales Management Research ReportIt’s a bit like flossing or going to the gym—we all know we should do it, but for various reasons, it doesn’t happen as often as we might like. So why is that? 

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Six Sales Coaching Activities That Will Set You Apart As a Coach

By Ray Makela

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Sales coaching is one of the most important activities a manager can do to improve the performance of their sales team, as evidenced by the 2017 Sales Management Research Report.  Yet managers often confuse sales coaching with just having one-on-one meetings and telling their reps how to improve. At the heart of good sales coaching is a mindset that encourages the rep to take responsibility for their development and engage in a collaborative, positive process of improvement. This involves key sales coaching activities that are different than other things you may be doing to direct, manage or motivate your team.

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Most Important Sales Metrics You Should Track Every Month

By Ray Makela

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How many new appointments does it take to hit your sales quota?
 
Sales Managers have access to more tools, reports, and data about sales performance than ever before. Yet with this proliferation of information, it's harder to analyze and extract meaningful insights.
 
As a frontline sales manager or leader, the first question you need to ask is, why are you tracking these things? What's the outcome are you looking for? What's the purpose of doing this?
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Four Steps to Beat the Competition in B2B Sales

By Ray Makela

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If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles – Sun Tzu, 512 BC

B2B sales may not be quite as lethal as warfare, but getting beaten by the competition is always frustrating and sometimes even painful.

Losing is especially difficult when you feel like you have a better offering and should have won the deal. Though you may have (and should have) convinced yourself that you’re the best option for the customer, you may not have communicated that message clearly enough to your customer in terms that differentiates you from the competition.

Follow these four steps below to beat the competition every time.

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10 Criteria to Assess if an RFP is Worth Your Time

By Ray Makela

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One of the most important decisions a sales professional can make is whether to pursue a deal. Chasing bad, unqualified deals takes up time, resources and distracts focus from more desirable deals that are likely to close. Yet many salespeople have "never met a deal they didn’t want to chase." Perhaps it’s ego, maybe optimism, but they find it hard to say no.

Great salespeople, however, are brutally honest about assessing whether an opportunity is worth chasing. This is particularly true about RFPs.

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Best Sales Strategy with Accounts Undergoing Reorganization

By Ray Makela

One of your accounts is being reorganized. Your contacts were advancing an opportunity, but now everyone is entering a survival mode, the company freezes budgets, and all decisions are put on hold. What's the best sales strategy in these cases?

In this Q & A, Ray Makela challenges you to think of these situations as an opportunity to reframe the conversation and position yourself as a trusted advisor. Watch this video to learn how and don’t let these accounts fall through the cracks.

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How to Be Successful at Enterprise Sales

By Ray Makela

In this Q&A video, we lay out what it takes to be successful in enterprise sales and the best way to deal with procurement. You’ll also learn how to use a sales model to uncover stakeholders needs and the impact your solution brings to each of them.

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Sales Metrics You Should Track Every Month

By Ray Makela

On this episode, we discuss how to approach selecting which sales metrics to track, the importance of using leading vs. lagging indicators, and which key metrics you should focus on to improve the performance of your sales team.

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Managing a Healthy Sales Pipeline: Why Less Is More

By Ray Makela

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For many sales teams, a full sales pipeline is reassuring. It means their salespeople have plenty of potential deals to follow up on and lots of calls to make. It gives them hope that many of deals will close before the end of the quarter.

Yet, often at the end of the quarter, a good percentage of those deals haven’t closed— and everyone ends up disappointed. What went wrong?

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B2B Sales Prospecting: When to Persist (& When to Move On)

By Ray Makela

In this episode, Florin from Loopio asks How many "no's” are you willing to get from different people within an account before you give up on the account? I know this depends on who the "no" is coming from (i.e. ultimate decision maker) but at what point are you doing more damage than potential good?

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