Sales 2.0

Go through the motions

Sales 2.0

In sales we need to go through the motions. Our buyers are “frazzled” as Jill Konrath says.

Digital selling is Not Optional

Sales 2.0

Stormy clouds covering the Serengeti while on game-drive on the way to Seronera. We are starting to reopen but it’s pretty clear things will be different. Things will be some kind of new but not the same as before. The good news is that some things will be better. than before. Sometimes it takes a big kick in the pants to change people and this crisis has certainly been that for many of us. In the sales domain, this big change has accelerated the trend to digital selling.

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Account Executive Inc.

Sales 2.0

If you’re an AE, I recommend appointing yourself a small business owner. Just like most small business owners you probably feel like you have no time. You may also feel unsupported by your company and that you need to do everything yourself. Just like small business owners there are things you can do to make this situation a lot better. By doing so you will (a) sell more, (b) get a bigger commission check, and (c) be less stressed. Not a bad combo. Flat world.

Disrupted, Not Derailed–Your Pipeline in the Time of Covid

Sales 2.0

This is a guest post by my friend David Krieger. David Kreiger is the President and Founder of SalesRoads. SalesRoads is a leading B2B Appointment Setting and SDR Outsourcing firm. FYI from Nigel: you should contact them if you need this kind of help. They are the “real deal”!].

How to Drive Revenue Through Retention Marketing & Sales Enablement

Speaker: Ruth Stevens, President of eMarketing Strategy

In a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to focus on retaining and expanding current customers. So, how can sales and marketing support the retention effort? Join Ruth Stevens as she dives into this fast-paced session and reviews the 7 key strategies for current customer marketing, to enable sales and expand customer value.

It’s a great time to start upgrading your clients

Sales 2.0

It’s a really tough time for most companies to sell their products and services. Much buying is “paused.” Buyers are wondering what the future holds for their companies–and themselves–and are having a tough time committing to purchases. Deals are stuck in the pipeline and new opportunities are in short supply. A time to plan. Conversely, this slow time is a great time to plan for the future. What happens after this crisis is over?

Build a prospecting team

Sales 2.0

The biggest challenge facing most sales people and small business owners is getting meetings with prospective clients. Cold prospecting techniques get harder-and-harder every day. Even cold techniques turbocharged with boatloads of technology get harder-and-harder every day as everyone gets the technology and the arms race for a better sales stack escalates. What has not been fully utilized by everyone in business yet are relationships.

Sales may be about to get harder

Sales 2.0

I’m getting that feeling right now that I am living in a movie. Big events are happening so quickly it’s hard to keep up. One of the lessons I’ve learned is a crisis is not the time to get stuck. It’s time to take action…and to do so soon. In the sales realm I believe we may be about to see a big shift. The global crisis is taking up everyone’s mindshare. This includes your prospects.

Sales lessons from a virus

Sales 2.0

Urban crowds of people from above. This is entirely 3D generated image. If you didn’t believe that we humans are connected before COVID-19, you should now. As you know, the virus has been transmitting itself exponentially through populations around the world. The only thing that has slowed its progress has been implementing some form of social distancing. Social distancing is all about breaking the social network. Idea transmission.

Make time for sales “magic”

Sales 2.0

“Win the day by noon”. I love that expression and I’ve found great happiness in trying to implement it. There’s something really great about having lunch and knowing the day is already a good one. It certainly does not happen every day, but it’s a great goal to strive for. I take my exercise primarily in the form of running. I’ve found the only way I can consistently run is to do it first thing in the morning. If I leave it any later in the day, something inevitably comes up.

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The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

It’s a great time for openers

Sales 2.0

realistic neon text Open on the brick wall. It’s definitely not easy being in sales right now. Deals are stalled in pipelines. People are putting off decision-making until the “end of the crisis”. Some accounts are taking it on the nose. It’s also a very “human time”. We are all having to adapt to new routines. We are just about all worried at some level—worried about getting sick; worried about losing our job; worried about our company going belly up. Opening time.

Data Gopher

Sales 2.0

I have to admit that I’m doing this right now. I am looking for contact information in some target enterprise accounts. It takes time. If you’re not careful, a lot of time. And I’ve done this many (many) times in my sales career and used many (many) hours of time on this. And I know many senior sales people that have spent lots of time on this too. If you’re going to sell an enterprise account, you have to do this contact research, so what’s the discussion?

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The crisis gift horse

Sales 2.0

There are some green shoots of spring out there. Some sales inquiries are finally coming in. Maybe the end of the world is not nigh. Time to breathe again. It’s possible that we are climbing out of the deepest part of the COVID-19 trough from a business perspective. Perhaps it’s time to breathe a huge sigh of relief and get back to partying like it’s 2019. But that would actually rather suck. The opportunity here is to get back to business and be better than we were in 2019. We can up our game.

Getting in the door is hard

Sales 2.0

Getting in the door is the #1 problem for most small companies I know. When I first got involved in sales I was a sales engineer. I supported a technology sales force on their sales calls with semiconductor engineers. I always thought I was pretty amazing. When I got to these meetings I had many engaging conversations with these buyers that our sales team did not seem able to handle. Their knowledge seemed so “thin” compared to my in depth tech mastery.

Want to Crush Your Competition? Read How to Build an AI-Powered Selling Roadmap

“If sales reps have the right AI tools and adoption, we see sellers easily closing 3 times as many sales each month.” Hear from 5 experts on steps you can take to reduce non-selling time and use conversational & sentiment analysis to transform how you sell.

How would you do on the Newlywed Game?

Sales 2.0

How would you do if you and your clients (and prospects) were on the Newlywed game? The Newlywed game was a classic game show (it ran from 1966 to 2013–I thought it ended in the 70’s but that’s the problem with watching too much Netflix). In the game the host would ask one member of the married couple questions about the other while their spouse was kept offstage and unable to hear. Then the second member of the couple would be brought back and answer the same questions.

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It’s a great time for ideas

Sales 2.0

Data from Bloomberg’s economists say we are in a recession. We’re starting to get familiar with how our lives are affected by the health issues inherent in this COVID-19 crisis but the economic consequences are just kicking in. These economic issues are very likely even bigger than the health issues, at least in terms of how many people are affected. (17 17 million unemployment claims in 3 weeks is off the charts vs. anything seen since the 1930s.). Shifting from crisis to recession.

Get in any door

Sales 2.0

When I started selling technology I was told to get to the office at 8AM so I could cold call CIOs and catch them before their assistants came in. When I did succeed in catching a CIO on the phone (one in say 50 dials) they nearly all dismissed me as a time waster. In fact, looking back on my efforts, I agree with them. I was a time waster. I didn’t have any knowledge of their organization and issues. All I did was ask for a meeting.

Walking in your prospect’s shoes

Sales 2.0

You’ve heard this before but how much do you “walk the talk” when it comes to knowing your prospects? Information is power in sales. The more you know about your prospect and their situation, the more likely you are to make a sale. If you’re in the dark, you’re not likely to bring up the right topics at the right time, and you’re way more likely to get a stack of objections. What are your prospect’s goals? Do you know what your prospect needs to get done in the next month, quarter and year?

The Revenue Leader's Guide to Prospecting

Speaker: Christopher Ryan, Founder and CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners

Sales & Marketing departments that work together guarantee higher acquisition, better nurturing, and more effective sales. Join Christopher Ryan for this insightful webinar, presenting the wide funnel lead nurturing model. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get your teams working together and your revenue performance optimized.

Old-fashioned sales techniques

Sales 2.0

Sometimes it pays to do what is “out”. Social selling has become synonymous with technology. Many definitions make it all about using social media to sell. But I think social selling is about being social and actual human beings do more than just hang out on social media platforms. Some other productive people have learned that being tethered to your email is good way to get nothing done other than respond to email.

Google thyself!

Sales 2.0

When you send a prospect an email or leave them a voicemail what do many of them do? They Google you (as well as your company.). As you know, buyers are seriously concerned about burning their time these days. If you happen to pique someone’s interest with your brilliant email or voicemail they are likely to vet you before they call you back and invest their precious time. People buy from people. People buy from people. We buy from people we know, like and trust.

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Social Capital changes prospecting results

Sales 2.0

The big difference between a cold call and a referral call is social capital. Social capital is the currency of relationships. It’s the currency of trust. If you’ve been in sales doing it the old school cold calling way long enough you may start to believe social capital does not mean anything. But I believe it means a lot. OK social capital is in our minds but “perception is reality” in sales. Perception in our prospect’s mind is what sales and marketing is all about.

Pull the trigger

Sales 2.0

In this post, I want to tell you about something that boosts prospecting results: trigger events. A “trigger event” is when something changes in your prospect’s world. Change is good for you when you’re selling as when something changes in your prospect’s world, it often creates a need. Sometimes that need is something your product can address and hence a sales opportunity is created. Two flavors.

7 Keys to Creating Massive Value in Your Sales Meetings

Speaker: Marc Wayshak, Sales Strategist, Best-Selling Author & Founder, Sales Insights Lab

Engaging prospects in a strong two-way dialogue is something most reps struggle with. In this session with Marc Wayshak, you’ll discover a data-driven approach to sales meetings that yields significantly better results. Specifically, you’ll learn how to: • Engage prospects with authority • Keep your prospects’ attention • Achieve buy-in during sales conversations • Get prospects talking about their key challenges, • Gain a strong commitment before presenting your offer. In short, you’ll discover how to implement a process that helps you close more deals than ever before.

Dust off some CRM records

Sales 2.0

This post is about an interesting place you can look for “suspects” when you are prospecting. This is a place that is super-obvious, but as with many real world things, often not utilized: your company’s own CRM/old contact lists. I’ve seen the scenario umpteen times. A rep has a quota to make and feels under-the-gun. The first place they go for a “suspect”/”lead” list is Linkedin or another third-party list (InsideView, Zoominfo etc. Where they don’t go is their company’s own CRM.

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Social calling math

Sales 2.0

In my last post I went through the math on traditional cold calling. There’s an alternative way to get meetings with prospective clients, but sales people don’t generally use it. Oddly enough they often do use it when they need a job and in this case they call it “networking”. I had to come up with a cool name for using networking in sales so I call it “social calling”.

Prospecting goggles

Sales 2.0

Don’t sell to anybody. OK, I mean don’t sell to just anybody. You really should be careful who you invite to give you their money. The problem is every deal seems great until you actually “get married” to your prospect and they become your client. As you know many such “marriages” end up in unhappy breakups. When you have a book of business and take a look at your customers, you will inevitably see segmentation. It’s nearly always the old Pareto situation.

The benefits of social proximity selling

Sales 2.0

In my last post I was talking about how you can greatly increase your prospecting odds by leveraging people you know for an introduction. In this post I am going to talk about how to greatly increase your prospecting odds without an introduction. This approach is all about “social proximity” as Jamie Shanks calls it. Consider this data.

[On-Demand Webinar] The State of Customer Education: Trends and Benchmarks Report

Speaker: Sandi Lin & Linda Schwaber-Cohen

In this webinar, Skilljar CEO Sandi Lin shared learnings from Skilljar's recent study and her insights on the state of Customer Education. She dug into key findings so you can benchmark against industry trends and understand how your strategy and metrics compare.

Talk to grandma in an elevator

Sales 2.0

It can happen in an elevator or at a networking event or at the weekend barbecue. Most often these days it happens when you write a prospecting email. You need to say what you do. Unfortunately what most people say, especially if they work for tech companies, does not mean much to the listener, or it sends the other person into a mild snooze. Here are some tips to change that. How do you help people? I think Aaron Ross nailed it here.

Want to be an “A” student?

Sales 2.0

There’s still plenty to do. Back in 2006 I coined the term “Sales 2.0” (see the logo on this website). My concept of Sales 2.0 was, and is, “taking the sales profession to the next level”. In my opinion we’ve come a long way since 2006 but we still have a long way to go. The posts on this blog are going to continue to be about how sales people can sell more, and sell more easily, by using techniques and tools they may not be using today.

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Brexit for cold calling?

Sales 2.0

You may know I’m a Brit. At the time of this post, the UK government is going through it’s 27th vote on Brexit. Actually I don’t know how many votes there have been. It’s unlikely anyone could agree on the definition of “vote” ). I’m involved in helping companies sell more effectively. There is an issue in sales that is a lot like Brexit. It’s super-contentious and you can find people to argue for and against it, and probably have 27 discussions.

Volunteer to be an insider

Sales 2.0

I am the Chairman Emeritus of the Wharton Club of New York. I’ve been the president and the chairman. Over the years these titles have been very useful for my various business and sales endeavors. Probably not surprising as that Wharton word carries some credibility and I’ve found having the title president or chairman of the largest alumni association for the school has some credibility too. How did I achieve securing these positions?

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

Factory worker or owner?

Sales 2.0

When I first started writing about sales in 2007 my main angle was that we should “bring science to selling”. As an engineer, I could not understand how we had applied virtually no science to how we sold. Everything seemed to be left up to the individual sales person. Today, we’ve had a lot of improvement. Some great thought leaders have written and spoken about this so much, that some actual change has occurred in real sales organizations. SDRs have landed.

Do you want to be a miner?

Sales 2.0

What do you want to be when you grow up? Sales has come a long way in the last decade when we started playing around with the concept of “social selling” and deploying “sales 2.0” technologies. When I first started writing about sales in 2007 my main angle was that we should “bring science to selling”. As an engineer, I could not understand how we had applied virtually no science to how we sold. Everything seemed to be left up to the individual sales person. Today, we’ve had a lot of improvement.

How to become a rich sales geek

Sales 2.0

Testing is for marketing not sales. Does that sentence seem logical to you? It doesn’t to me. The more time I spend in sales and marketing, the more I see overlap between these areas. Now, sales people are starting to “geek out” and use software tools like marketers have been for the last decade, or so. Geek out. Most marketing departments today have found their pocket protector and have at least one person that is ready with screeds of numbers about their various campaigns.

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Call low

Sales 2.0

I used to do it. I would get to the office extra early and I’d start dialing before 8AM. I wanted to become a rock star sales dude and I was mentored by my boss that the trick was to call CIOs (Chief Information Officers) early in the morning. At that time of day, the stressed out CIO would be in the office but his assistant would still be fighting their way through the New York subway. Ingenious! I did not get that many CIOs on the phone. I guess some of them were stuck in the subway too.

How You Can Triple Your Results With a More Personalized, Empathetic Approach

Speaker: Brian Carroll, CEO and Founder of markempa

Marketing and sales feel pretty tricky right now. What worked before now feels out of touch, but have you made plans for how you'll continue to move forward? You've likely tried everything: expert recommendations, best practices, the latest tools, and automation. But your results are falling short. Here's the thing: All the automation tools, best practices, data analytics won't help get better results now until you master empathizing with your customers. In this webinar, you'll learn how to go beyond rational-logic based sales/marketing and adjust your sales enablement strategy to better understand how buyers feel so that you can connect and help them on their journey.