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The Rise of Social Selling

Sales Benchmark Index

It’s getting harder for your sales reps to get at bats these days. It didn’t used to be that way. Not long ago, you could cold call and email your way to appointments. Now, it seems you have to fight to get into every deal. As a result, your sales team is missing out on revenue opportunities. Signs this is happening to you are: Customers and prospects are declining meeting requests.

6 Top Reasons Sales Leaders are Scared of Social Selling

Sales Benchmark Index

Trust is the name of the game in sales. 84% of B2B decision makers begin their buying process with a referral. You are the SVP of Sales at your company. Consider this scenario: you need a new personal financial advisor. After much frustration you’ve decided your current guy is costing you money. What do you do? Go to a website? No way. You don’t know if the person you’re looking at is any good.

Why Top Sales Reps Will Be Unemployed In 2 Years

Sales Benchmark Index

Read on to learn if your Reps today are right for the future. This post is especially for HR Leaders and Business Partners in support of sales. Sales personnel will also benefit from the indicators of obsolescence. These are available in the downloadable tool: The 13 Symptoms of Sales Rep Obsolescence. The Problem: The buying environment has dramatically changed. Providing information (inward-out).

Five Sales Metrics You're Not Tracking

Sales Benchmark Index

Planning for 2014 requires a fresh look at the metrics that will determine success. As noted by my colleague Vince Koehler, Marketing has adopted new capabilities. These capabilities force Marketing to transition to new metrics for determining effectiveness. Similarly, sales reps and managers require a new set of capabilities. In this post we will dig into the top 5. Social Reach. Social Debt.

Understand the Hidden Costs of Salesforce Before It's Too Late

Don't get stuck in a dysfunctional CRM relationship

How to Write Effective LinkedIn Messages

Sales Benchmark Index

Are your prospecting skills keeping pace with the market? Phone and email are losing their appeal. Now LinkedIn is the best way to reach your Buyer. To be effective on LinkedIn, carefully consider how you correspond with your extended network. Every word must be carefully chosen. You are selling yourself in order to sell your product. LinkedIn is Critical to Your Sales Strategy. Write the body.

How Top Sales Reps use LinkedIn to Create Buyer Personas

Sales Benchmark Index

You are a B2B Sales Rep with a new product to sell. Do you know who your Buyer is? New company, new division, or new product, you must ask that question. This article discusses how Sales Reps define their Buyer as a Persona. describe how to use LinkedIn as a source to create these Personas. Then I provide a Persona Builder tool to organize your effort. What are Buyer Personas? Understand roles.

A Letter of Resignation

Sales Benchmark Index

Below is a letter of resignation. It was submitted by the head of sales at a client company of mine. If you have ever wondered “ why did the sales manager quit? this might be informative. think the reasons this sales manager quit are typical, unfortunately. Replacing a sales manager takes lots of time and effort. You need to build a profile, conduct a search, perform interviews, on board, etc.

How to Ruin LinkedIn for Everyone

Sales Benchmark Index

Almost daily, you get this e-mail: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” ” - Some Guy You’ve Never Heard Of. Social Selling Sales Leader LinkedIn Small Company Sales Leader Resources

The Art of Social Selling -- Summarized by getAbstract

Find and engage customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks.

7 Critical Skills of the Social Seller

Sales Benchmark Index

The market is changing. The Social Seller is replacing the traditional prospector. Gone are the days with four hour time blocks to dial for dollars. Successful Reps now spend their four hours taping into social networks to win business. Because Buyers spend more time online, gathered around their social networks. Today's Buyer finds influence in Twitter and LinkedIn, not their email or voicemail.

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An Inside Look at Implementing a Hunter-Farmer Sales Organizational Structure

Sales Benchmark Index

SBI recently spoke with Todd Skiles, the senior vice president of sales at Ryder. Ryder is a Fortune 500 company in the commercial fleet management and supply chain solutions business with approximately $6.5 billion in annual revenue. Todd leads the. Article Sales Strategy

The Impact of Brand Positioning on Revenue Growth

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Marketing Strategy Podcast

When will Sales catch up with Marketing?

Sales Benchmark Index

The sales field is suffering. Customers are suffering. Sales forces lack buyer-centered tools for success. When will Sales catch up with Marketing? Sales field alignment with the modern day buyer requires more than lip service. This blog is focused on the transformation of Sales to incorporate buyer-centered tools. CMO’s can help sales make the number in 2014. Marketing Leaders Guide the Way.

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A Quick Guide to Linking Your Corporate and Sales Strategy

Sales Benchmark Index

Corporate Strategy Podcast

Winning Consensus-Based Sales

Learn how progressive companies refine their commercial strategy to overcome buyer dysfunction and guide customers to consensus.

The Six Skills of Great Sales VPs

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Not all “A” Player sales reps were meant to be managers. If you’ve been in sales long enough, you’ve seen this mistake unfold. The newly promoted manager repeats behavior that made him successful as a rep. He neglects his skill development and sales initiatives. His team flounders. He tries to do it himself. Before the year is over, he’s back in the field or on the street. Summary.

The 4 Common Mistakes of LinkedIn Social Selling Initiatives

Sales Benchmark Index

The correct implementation of Social Selling gets your team appointments inside target prospects. These meetings are net new sales opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise had. This drives an increased number of qualified buyers of your product into the funnel. Your team sells more. Revenue increases. The incorrect implementation of Social Selling drives no new revenue. What went wrong?

10 Traits of the New ‘A’ Player

Sales Benchmark Index

You’ve relied on the same tried tired and true hiring practices for sales reps over the last couple of years. And what has it gotten you? The same recycled reps that come with Rolodex in hand. They guarantee new business is just a call away. When evaluating potential candidates, you’ve probably asked, “How do I know if they’re legit?” If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Definition.

The Sales Call Preparation Technique your Team Needs to Know

Sales Benchmark Index

Soon you will receive your quota for next year. As a Sales Leader you''ll ask, “How can I make this number?” This article will help you make quota one sales call at a time. W e are going to discuss a simple sales call preparation technique. Sales Leaders that implement it will get better results. Sales people don’t typically do a good job preparing for tough questions in calls. early stage).

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Successful Selling

Matt Heinz explains how to attract, manage, close and keep more business in a buyer-centric world.

Top 10 Best Practices from a Fortune 500 CMO

Sales Benchmark Index

Changes in marketing organizations today are accelerating at a greater pace than ever before. This is the time of year when Marketing leaders start mapping out 2014 changes. Making the Number in 2014 starts now. Are your marketing campaigns generating the desired return on marketing spend? How are you supporting the new “A” players in sales? How are you supporting social selling? Background.

2014 Planning Metrics for B2B Marketing Leaders

Sales Benchmark Index

The Holy Grail of 2014 Planning: Marketing Contribution as a % of Total Revenue. 2013 is the last year executives accepted activity-level results from marketing. CEO''s don’t accept activity reports from Sales leaders without revenue results. Expectations of marketing accountability have increased to the level expected of sales performance. There is so much interesting click data available. Step 1.

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10 Mistakes that Kill Sales Calls

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Sales Leaders miss or make the number one sales call at a time. Yet they typically don’t pay enough attention to each call. They look at each rep’s performance to quota. They review the pipeline. These are difficult to control. Sales leaders can control the quality of sales calls every day. Great single sales call execution will lead to great results. Your team is wasting at bats.

Sales Strategy: From Vision to Execution

Sales Benchmark Index

Increasingly, companies are missing the number because they lack a formal sales strategy. Your industry peers are getting smarter. Many are not making the number because a sales strategy is absent. You may be wondering how prepared your sales team is heading into next year. It’s likely the board has increased your number. This year felt like a stretch for you. Next year’s number feels impossible.

How to Create Quality Content When Nobody Wants to Do It

Sales Benchmark Index

A key challenge for every marketing team is producing quality content. The solution is to create an internal content marketing capability. The primary drive behind producing content internally is creating buying process content. This is content that aligns with the prospects buying process. This is where the quality content your buyer seeks comes from. It sounds great right? The answer is easy.

CMO: You’re Killing the Sales Team’s Selling Time!

Sales Benchmark Index

Let’s recap the time you have sucked out of the sales rep’s day. Perhaps you implemented a new CRM, Marketing Automation or Enterprise based social network. The goal is improved efficiency and sales rep effectiveness. The statistics support the majority of automation implementations fail. You’re trying to help but you’re killing the sales teams’ selling time in the process. So What’s the Solution?

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Questions Top Sales Reps Ask in a Job Interview

Sales Benchmark Index

A few years ago, I interviewed Brent for a B2B sales rep job. Like others, he gave solid answers to my questions about his experience and credentials. But something clearly set his interview apart from the other candidates. couldn’t put my finger on it right away. Brent was clearly an “A” player. His track record was impressive. But now I’ve figured it out. It was the questions he posed at the end.

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Fifty Tips to Make it Rain Quality Leads

Sales Benchmark Index

This post is written for Marketing Leaders who describe themselves as students of the craft. You are exposed to hundreds of pieces of content a day. You find yourself having no time to figure out what is relevant vs. noise. You are competitive and want to outmaneuver your competitors. Let me net it out for you. These tips represent best practices from leading Sales & Marketing organizations.

How Gamification Will Impact Your Sales Initiatives

Sales Benchmark Index

If you are like most of corporate America, your year is ending soon. You have started planning for next year. Part of that may include reviewing the success of some of your initiatives. Perhaps you: Rolled out a new sales process. Changed your sales compensation plan. Improved your new hire onboarding. Taking stock of this year’s initiatives begs the question: What was the impact? Here’s why.

How Social Sellers Write Effective LinkedIn Profiles

Sales Benchmark Index

To outperform their peers, Social Sellers use LinkedIn as a sales tool. They use their profiles to demonstrate value and build trust with the Buyers. Their LinkedIn profile becomes an integral part of their personal brand. In this article I outline 4 principles of an effective LinkedIn profile. Then I provide a LinkedIn Profile Writing Guide to help perfect your own profile. Bet on the Jockey.

How to Make the Number with Less People

Sales Benchmark Index

Receiving the email or phone call from your boss is never pleasant. All hiring is on hold until further notice. We are short of our bottom line number. The CEO wants to approve all hires until the beginning of next year. This means no hiring except in extreme circumstances. You have to make the rest of 2013 with the sales heads you have.” Now you must make the number with less than a full team.

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Why Social Media Content Fails

Sales Benchmark Index

The wrong marketing strategy is the biggest threat to a Chief Marketing Officer''s success. massive gap in market strategy for most companies is quality content. This is particularly true for social media content in a B2B marketing team. Social Selling Content Marketing CMO Resources CMO Social Media

5 Sales Management Myths Debunked

Sales Benchmark Index

I sat across the desk from Mike, the new VP of Sales. He had just been promoted 6 months ago. Before his promotion Mike was the can’t-miss Sales Manager. Now he was just another VP of Sales in the crosshairs. His team had missed the last two quarters. Mike was a roll-up your sleeves execution specialist. But he couldn’t do it alone. He was spending a lot of time in the wrong places.

Case Study: 3 Ways this Sales VP Uses Social Selling

Sales Benchmark Index

Social Selling is hot. We get requests to explain how sales reps use social to generate revenue. It seems all the focus is on your sales reps. But how does a Sales VP use social selling? How are you planning for Social in 2014? This question doesn’t get asked that often. And it should. Your use of Social Selling will determine if you make the number in 2014. Eliminate the social selling ‘noise’.

5 Proven Steps to Sell Smarter

Sales Benchmark Index

Of the 365 days in a year, you can spend 232 of them selling (See Exhibit A). At 8 hours per day, that’s 1,856 hours per year you can somehow monetize. field Sales Rep should be spending around 64% of those available hours selling. What if you spent an hour or two more per week selling? You would close a few more deals per year. How do you achieve that? Record and analyze your time. No problem.

The Next Big Thing in Sales Hiring

Sales Benchmark Index

The annual planning cycle is upon you. Your team is putting together their wish list for next year. New initiatives, processes, training and headcount are on their list. You want to go into next year confident the team will make the number. If you’ve been following SBI’s blog lately, you’ve read a lot about the changing B2B landscape: Your buyers have changed. Planning for New ‘A’ Players.

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RIP: Sales Training

Sales Benchmark Index

You just hung up from your weekly forecast call. Numbers don’t look good. Your team is going to be short again this quarter. You call a sales manager strategy meeting. “We need to figure out what we can do now to make the number.” Pipeline reviews, strategy sessions, forecasting analysis and sales training are all mentioned. Some of these work. Traditional sales training does not. minute Videos.

Why Your Reps Abandon The Sales Process

Sales Benchmark Index

It does not reflect the way your customer buys. They are experiencing a different buyer. You are winning deals but not as fast as years prior. Deal size is not growing as expected. As a sales leader, you know the importance of field execution. A big part of execution is how the team uses the sales process. The process is adopted, but the results are not evident. Your Challenge. So why don’t you?

How to Drive Sales in 2014 with Content Marketing

Sales Benchmark Index

The annual CMI/MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks study validates the move toward Content Marketing. Marketing leaders understand that content marketing is King. We are seeing marketing budgets increasing the content development line item. However, most marketing leaders are still faced with challenges that are surprising. Let’s look at the graph below from the study. Key Takeaway.