Sales and Management Blog

The “Prospecting” Disease

Sales and Management Blog

During my three decades in the sales industry I’ve worked with, met, coached, and observed thousands of sellers from a multitude of industries. They’ve been new and experienced, inside and outside sellers, big ticket and small, specialized products and services as well as common, commodity products, some very successful and a great many barely holding their own or failing. Some have been hail fellow well met types, others have been shy introverts. Some pound the phones, others pound the pavement.

Are You Deserving of the Title “Sales Leader?”

Sales and Management Blog

Over my three plus decades in sales I’ve seen lots and lots of sales managers. The vast majority fall into one of these four types: The Hall Monitor. The Hall Monitor sees their job as one of chronicling activity, taking names, dispensing discipline, focusing on procedures, thinking those are the keys to generating results—or at least to keeping their job. Hall monitors tend to be oriented to process, are organized, and have a strong sense of discipline.

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Objection? Buying Signal? Maybe Neither–Maybe You’re Being Put Under the Microscope

Sales and Management Blog

A few years ago I wrote an article titled “How to Take the Sting Out of the Price Question Early in the Sale.” In the course of the article I argued that it is natural for a prospect to ask about price–and often to do so too early in the sale, before the seller has had an opportunity to create real value for the prospect—because price is one of the factors prospects use as they seek to qualify the seller and the purchasing opportunity.

The Dark Side of Sales–It Ain’t Going Away

Sales and Management Blog

My father passed away in 1979. I went with my mother to the funeral home to help her make the arrangements for my father’s funeral. It was one of the most obscene experiences of my life. The salesperson used every trick he could think of to manipulate my mother’s grief and emotional distress to up-sell her at every turn. I grew up in a working class family. My father was a Battalion Chief for the City of Garland, Texas fire department. He had some life insurance, but not much.

Accelerate Your Sales Performance

While most business is digital, and business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions - and the work that supports them -- are almost entirely digitized, most organizations still rely on paper for the “last foot” of the process - the sign-off.

Are You Failing Because You Fail to Persist?

Sales and Management Blog

Over the years I’ve spoken to thousands of sellers who want to change their behavior, their careers and their lives. There are certain traits that seem to be consistent with a great many sellers I speak with–they tend to be disorganized; the majority question their ability to perform up to the standards they have set for themselves; almost to a person they have no idea of how they intend to get where they want to go.

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Why Producing Sales Managers No Longer Make Sense (If They Ever Did)

Sales and Management Blog

Although many companies believe they are maximizing dollars by requiring their frontline sales managers maintain and grow their own book of business, are they really getting the value they expect or are they costing themselves sales and money in the long run by trying to save a few bucks on a manager’s salary?

The Bittersweet Necessity of Tension and Conflict in Your Organization

Sales and Management Blog

“Donna, I’ve sat through three of your team’s executive meetings, one board meeting, and a couple of regional meetings. One of your company’s biggest problems is there’s no conflict. No one is challenging anything in the company.

Guest Article: “TEAM SELLING–Lone Wolfs no longer reign supreme,” by Dr. Richard Ruff

Sales and Management Blog

Team selling – lone wolfs no longer reign supreme by Richard Ruff. Team selling continues to be on the rise. We’ve heard this from clients and colleagues – and now from the research front. According to a recent Corporate Executive Board (CEB) study , the individual salesperson “no longer reigns supreme”. As the CEB authors noted: “On the most effective sales teams, particularly B2B, the individual no longer reigns supreme.

The Playbook for Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-Based Marketing is a Strategy, Not a Solution | Get this step-by-step playbook to implement an ABM strategy that fits your company’s objectives and resources.

Is There More to Social Selling than Just Hype?

Sales and Management Blog

Are you sick of the social selling hype yet? Have you had your fill of the unrelenting BS that bombards you day in and day out about the miracle of social selling and how it makes selling so much easier, how it eliminates the horror of cold calling, the expense of advertising, the time consuming drudgery of attending networking events? Or, have you bought into the hype and discovered that in reality it is nothing more than quicksand that will drag you down and destroy your business slowly?

Book Review: Hire Right, Higher Profits by Lee Salz

Sales and Management Blog

Book Review: Hire Right, Higher Profits by Lee Salz. Should you only hire salespeople from within your industry? What are the key qualifications for a salesperson to be successful selling for your company?

A Sermon on Selling: The Sin of Hearing Without Listening

Sales and Management Blog

We wicked sinners must beg forgiveness and change our sinful ways if we want to build sold relationships with our prospects and have them sign those sacred documents, our contracts. A reading of much of the Old Testament sounds like a modern day sales meeting—a great deal of hearing, very little listening of what is being said.

We’re Sellers, We Are The Hollow Men

Sales and Management Blog

We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men. Leaning together. Headpiece filled with straw. Our dried voices, when. We whisper together. Are quiet and meaningless. As wind in dry grass. Or rats’ feet over broken glass. In our dry cellar.

Take Action Now to Create the Success You Want this Year

Sales and Management Blog

Are you in control of your sales career or are you simply going with the flow hoping that you’ll end up somewhere on the plus side? If you haven’t done so already, here are some things you need to do now to insure that this year is the year you not only meet your annual goals but that you exceed them–that, if fact, you blow them completely away. Flush out all of the tail chasing “prospects” in your system.

Sales Training Playbook by Lessonl

A step-by-step guide for building a comprehensive training playbook for your sales team.

Never Again Struggle with Staying in Contact with Prospects

Sales and Management Blog

Do you have a proven process for insuring that your relationships with prospects are continually moving forward in a manner that is purposeful and leads to the natural culmination of the process? In other words, are you and your prospect always on the same page, consciously and constantly moving forward to a purchase decision? Or do you, as most sellers do, approach the sales relationship process haphazardly without knowing where the relationship is going—and often not knowing where it should go?

Are You Sales Managers Sabotaging Your Company’s Sales Training Investment?

Sales and Management Blog

“We don’t spend money on outside sales training because it never seems to do much good. In the past we’ve had training companies come in and work with our team but as soon as they leave it seems like our people are just back to doing what they were doing before. Training is just a waste of our time and money.”. Many company leaders have the above attitude because their experience has been that the training they paid good money for didn’t change their sales team’s behavior—at least not for long.

Do You Talk To Your Prospects and Clients or Do You Talk At Them?

Sales and Management Blog

Knowledge should be one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. . Knowing how to use specialized industry vocabularies should also be one of our basic and power tools. In reality, for many of us, knowledge and specialized lingo are powerful—in costing us business. Naturally a great many new salespeople are tempted to try to impress prospects and clients by demonstrating their product knowledge and slinging their newly learned industry vocabulary around.

The Single Biggest Difference Between Highly Successful Sellers and Also Rans

Sales and Management Blog

As a seller, sales leader, business owner, and sales consultant I’ve seen and worked with thousands of sellers from dozens of industries and from all sales career stages. I’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst and all in-between. I’ve seen sellers who failed miserably as well as those making well into the seven or even eight figures. Consistently the single biggest difference I have seen between the successful sellers and the also rans is prospecting. .

The Art of Social Selling -- Summarized by getAbstract

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

You Need to Know Your Sales History if You Want to Grow Your Sales Business–and Income

Sales and Management Blog

OK, so metrics are boring—but knowing your numbers is critical to your success. Go ahead, read the article and then apply the math to your sales business. . Do you know what you have to do if you want to increase your income by 25%? How about if you want to increase it 70%? The obvious answer is to increase your production by 25 or 70%. But is that the right answer? Maybe–probably–not.

Are You Committing Any of These 10 Referral Destorying Mistakes?

Sales and Management Blog

Referrals are touted as being the best prospecting tool in any salesperson’s toolbox. According to sales legend, referrals are the key to becoming a top producer. Virtually within 30 minutes of entering the sales field, most salespeople are told that if they want to succeed, they must get referrals from their customers and clients. Yet, the truth of the matter is that few salespeople generate very many quality referrals.

Book Review: Neuro-Sell:How Neuroscience Can Power Your Sales Success

Sales and Management Blog

How buyers buy and how sellers can use this information to sell to buyers in a manner that matches the way buyers buy has been the subject of much discussion over the past several years.

Guest Article: “Don’t Wait for a Bone,” by Tibor Shanto

Sales and Management Blog

Don’t Wait For A Bone. by Tibor Shanto. Nothing bothers me more than when a rep uses any expression relating to selling that includes a variation of “throw me a bone”.

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Secrets to Successful Inside Sales Management

Learn a variety of best practices, techniques and ideas to both tactically and strategically increase the efficacy, success and impact of your inside sales organization.

Boor Review: EDGY Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt

Sales and Management Blog

Book Review: EDGY Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt. Are you satisfied with who you are? . Do you want to be more, accomplish more, be more successful, get where you want to go faster? Frankly, most of us do.

Guest Article: “The Proven Best Way to Gain New Customers,” by Miles Austin

Sales and Management Blog

The Proven Best Way To Gain New Customers. by Miles Austin. Looking for the proven best way to gain new customers & grow your business? Testimonials and recommendations are the answer. Testimonials and recommendations work. Many will argue that they are THE most successful way to attract new business. Entire business models like Yelp have emerged to leverage this truth. It is a recognized fact that our customers are active in the selection process before sales ever gets involved.

Guest Article, Sales Lead Brownouts Produce Sales Dips Wihin Three Months, Leading to Pipeleine Failure, by James Obermayer

Sales and Management Blog

Sales Lead Brownouts Produce Sales Dips Within Three Months, Leading to Pipeline Failure. by James Obermayer. Companies often decide to curtail lead generation spending because cash flow slows and sales stagnate.”. Please reread that last sentence. Does it make sense?

Guest Article: “The Most Underutiled Strategic Advantage,” by Lee Salz

Sales and Management Blog

The Most Underutilized Strategic Advantage. By Lee B. You have been chasing this account for six months and feeling optimistic as the buying process is coming to a conclusion. The sale is between you and two other firms. The competition is fierce, but you feel you are ahead. At 11am, the Procurement Agent asks for three references to be provided to her by the end of the day. In a panic, you send a company-wide email in search of these referenceable clients.

Successful Selling

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

5 Strategies to Maintain and Strengthen Your Motivation

Sales and Management Blog

If you want to be successful you have to be motivated. What is motivation? Motivation is a unique combination of desire, commitment, and energy to reach a goal no matter how difficult it may be or how long it may take to reach. Another way of looking at it is passion. Passion in and of itself can virtually force you to succeed by demanding you do those things necessary to be successful. Passion won’t let you rest. It won’t give you permission to quit.

The Myth of Selling as a Highly Paid Profession

Sales and Management Blog

We in sales work in what we like to claim is one of the highest paid professions, yet statistics indicate we are, in fact, employed in one of the lowest paying professions. In fact, we are engaged in a business that is unevenly divided between a relatively small group of highly skilled professionals, earning some of the highest wages in the world, and a huge group of unskilled and semi-skilled laborers, earning unskilled and semi-skilled wages. One of the Lowest Paid Professions.

Building Your Business on Referrals Part 1: Understanding the 4 Pillars of a Successful Referral

Sales and Management Blog

At first glance, a referral is a pretty simple thing. For most sellers, managers, and trainers, a referral is just a name and phone number that a client has given once the seller has completed the sale, has done a good job for the client, and then asks a general question such as, “do you know of anyone else that I might be able to help?,” or, “do you know of anyone else that might benefit from my products and services?”.

Are Your Sales Meetings Destorying Your Sales Team and Undermining Your Authority?

Sales and Management Blog

Are your weekly sales meetings building your team, your credibility, and your company’s sales or are they destroying morale, motivation, and undermining your authority? Unfortunately most sales meeting do far more harm than good to the sales team, the sales leader, and the company. They don’t have to. In fact, regular (regular does not necessarily mean weekly) sales meetings can be the backbone of creating a thriving, high production sales team.

Guest Article: “5 Truths About Sales Success We Don’t Want to Admit,” by Dan Waldschmidt

Sales and Management Blog

5 Truths About Sales Success We Don’t Want to Admit. by Dan Waldschmidt. Most discussions about how to be successful in sales include the essentials of technology and process and skills. How to leverage all three to funnel prospects into closed opportunities. From leads to lots of revenue. But that discussion is misleading (in fact, quite damaging) to an organization and especially to the newest members of that team. Because it leaves out the most important elements to being successful.

The Myth of the Nobility of Failure

Sales and Management Blog

I’m a failure. I’ve had two failed businesses in the past. I agonized over them. I lost lots of money trying to build and eventually save them. I lost sleep over them. I lost self respect over them. My failure hurt other people—people who worked for me or whose business my business helped support. . I learned a great deal from those experiences—although my initial lessons learned were false lessons.

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Book Review: The Social Media Strategist: Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out

Sales and Management Blog

What are some of the most difficult challenges in social media in recent years that you can think of? Would being put in charge of social media for a company in the middle of a death spiral like GM be one of them?

Building Your Business on Referrals Pt 3: You Don’t Need Referrals, You Need Introductions

Sales and Management Blog

How often as a B2B seller have you been advised to ask your client for referrals? If your experience is typical then you’ve heard that advice just about every time you turn around. Most of us have had it pounded into our heads that we need to ask for referrals after the sale has been completed. We just need to do a good job for our client and then, after the sale, ask them if they know of anyone who could benefit from our products or services and we’ll easily and rapidly grow our business.

Four Hours a Day Guaranteed to Make You a Successful Seller

Sales and Management Blog

There have been hundreds of millions—billions and billions if not trillions and trillions—of words written about how to become a successful seller. Who knows how many tens of thousands of books and millions of articles have been written in the sales area? In my 30 plus years of selling I’ve read hundreds of the books and thousands of the articles. I’ve even written three books myself and written hundreds of articles. All of it designed to deal with one simply action—making a sale.