On this Q&A episode: "What's an underrated selling skill that salespeople can develop to get an edge over their competition?"Read More
In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s easy to forget how many choices your buyer has. Buyers have a difficult time differentiating your solution from the competition’s solution. What may be an obvious distinction to you may not be so apparent to the buyer.
So you need to explain why the buyer should select your solution instead of the alternatives. Skilled sales reps differentiate their solutions by highlight features that are important to the buyer where they're strong, and their competitors are weak.
Are you going through a sales slump? No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to close a deal? Here is how it starts, and six steps to break out of it.Read More
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".Read More
On this Q&A episode: "Why most product demos miss the mark, and what can I do to improve my chances of success?"Read More
With the introduction of new sales enablement technologies and the shift to, technology-driven, inside sales reps, do relationships with customers still matter?Read More
One of the core skills of successful selling is how well you can influence buyers. When you have influence, the buyer is more open to your message, respects your advice, gives you access to key decision makers, and, ultimately, buys from you.
One technique you can use to build your influence with a buyer (especially with b2b buyers) is by demonstrating your expertise—i.e., the depth of understanding you bring to the sales conversation.Read More
When you’re making a sales presentation, it’s essential that you stay aligned with the buyer. That means asking your buyer to assess how well he or she believes your offering can address their needs, and if they have any concerns about your solution and its implementation.Read More
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Trust is essential to successful selling. When the buyer trusts you, the buyer believes your promises, gives you access to power, takes your advice, and gives you referrals. A buyer won’t buy from you unless he or she trusts you.
Think about a time when you were the buyer, and you thought the seller was not trustworthy. Why did you think that? Perhaps the seller made a promise and then didn’t follow through, or maybe the seller told you what you need before getting to know you. Whatever the reason, for most of us, building trust takes time, but can be broken in an instant.
Research suggests the following four behaviors are key to building trust in sales.Read More
In most sales situations, prospecting means setting the appointment while the actual selling occurs during the meeting. This distinction gets murkier when you're selling into a complex sales account. Here's why.Read More
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.Read More
Imagine you’re managing a sales territory with hundreds of existing accounts to call. How should you best allocate your calling efforts?Read More
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.Read More
Assuming you're a good sales professional, you already build rapport with buyers, ask your buyers thought-provoking questions, and then skillfully manage their objections. These are all skills you use during the sales call. But what are you doing before and after the sales call?Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
No matter how good you're at selling at some point in the sales process, you'll get some objections. Common objections we all hear include price, quality issues, competitive comparisons, or concerns about terms and conditions of the sale.
Good salespeople know how to “overcome” these objections. But outstanding sales professionals can prevent objections in the first place.
Consider these common examples of objections that you may have encountered.
Selling is like walking through a minefield. Take one wrong step, and your deal can blow up in your face. Great sales people know how to navigate this minefield and successfully move sales opportunities to closure.Read More
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?Read More
In this episode, Gerardo Dada asks: What is the best way to follow up with lost sales opportunities? Ray Makela, Chief Customer Officer at SRG, discusses how to handle these type of conversations, primary objectives to accomplish, and how one time following up with a lost opportunity turned into a major contract.Read More
On this episode, we discuss how to respond when a prospect asks for a discount. Our Chief Customer Officer Ray Makela takes a deeper look about why the prospect may request a discount in the first place, and key questions to consider for selling value instead of price.Read More
In this Q&A, Ray Makela, Chief Customer Officer at Sales Readiness Group, shares five recommendations to get synergy when selling to procurement and prevent your opportunity from getting stuck in the procurement process.Read More
There is a misconception among some salespeople that with the right closing technique, they’ll get a reluctant buyer to say “yes.” Let’s take for example two sales closing techniques with colorful names, the Ben Franklin and the Something for Nothing close.Read More
Last weekend a strange man knocked at my front door. It turns out it was a painter named Steve with a unique specialty: painting your home address on the curb in front of your house. Steve wasn’t looking for my business, in fact, he reminded me, he had already painted my address on curb a few years ago. No, Steve was looking for referrals.Read More
On this episode, an IT executive asks: Recently we had a customer call us and tell us that they really like our solution, but they are about to sign with a competitor. Since we were not properly engaged, we did not give them the pricing and they closed the contract with a competitor. What would you have done? We often talk to developers who ask us about pricing for our solution when they don't even have the budget for sponsoring a lunch. How should we handle prospects who want to discuss price prematurely?Read More
On this episode a sales training manager asks: Should a salesperson ever push to close the sale? I know many people say a salesperson should push to close the sale. I'm one of those people who, if you push me, you will almost certainly lose—I may buy eventually, just probably not from you. This is partly one reason why I hated salespeople for so long, even though, in reality, I was one too—I just never saw it that way!Read More
A common theme I hear from top sales executives is that we simply don’t get enough “quality at bats”. A phrase in baseball most often used to refer to a batter's performance.
When I dig into what they mean by this statement I usually hear the following:
- We're way too reactive (as opposed to proactive)
- We wait to respond to RFPs instead of helping customers define their requirements
- We lose on price because customers don’t understand the value we provide
On this episode, CEO of ioFunnel Ankur asks: Often after dropping an email or LinkedIn message we try to follow up with a decision maker by phone. In most cases, we are greeted by a gatekeeper who politely asks us to drop the decision maker an email—we rarely get a response. How would you get past the gatekeeper to talk to the decision maker?Read More
On this episode, Paul O'Connell asks: What are the attitudes that help the most successful salespeople excel? Core sales skills seem to be a reasonably well-understood part of a sales professional's grounding. I'm curious about what brings those skills to life with the best effect. In particular, what are the key attitudes you see that set the most successful salespeople apart?Read More
On this episode, Daniel asks: A prospect has told you they’re interested in your product but not for a few months or quarters down the road; and they won't take an intro or first discovery call now.
What are some best practices in checking-in with the prospect to stay top of mind? Would that be a casual "hope all is well" email? Or case studies that are relevant to the industry?Read More