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Gerhard Gschwandtner
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Today's guest post is by Darik Volpa, founder and CEO of Rehearsal VRP. What’s the best way to learn how to sell? Practice, practice, and more practice. Yet many sales organizations are not creating an optimal environment for salespeople to practice and perfect their selling skills. This creates at least five problems: Lost revenue. When salespeople aren’t ready to have conversations with customers, they’re more likely to lose deals. You also risk creating a poor impression of your company when you send unprepared sales reps into the field. High levels of stress. Yes, salespeople need a tough skin to succeed... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Kurt Shaver, founder of The Sales Foundry. The shift from using outside sales forces to inside sales forces has been going on for years. A 2013 study by InsideSales.com revealed that inside sales positions were growing 300 times faster than outside sales positions. Industry leaders know why: maintaining an inside sales force typically costs less, and the constant introduction of new technology allows inside salespeople to achieve results similar to those realized by outside salespeople. Communication technologies such as Voice over IP, CRM, email, and even videoconferencing bridge geographical barriers and allow inside salespeople to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Bill Wallace, vice president of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. To hear more from Bill, visit www.revenuestorm.com. The fictional character Captain America, a superhero and leader of the Avengers, a team of superheroes, may be a perfect exemplification of many of the fundamental leadership traits that are critical in today’s business environment. While Captain America honed his leadership skills over an exceedingly long lifetime thanks to genetic rewiring, you can learn and benefit from his approach in a much shorter time frame. Below is a list of 10 leadership secrets I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
"I hate being a demo monkey!" Have you ever heard your sales reps say something like this? It can be frustrating for reps to deliver hundreds of demos and end up with nothing to show for their time and energy. That's why DemoChimp is taking a new approach to helping salespeople turn their presentations into closed deals by making demos more engaging and personalized for each prospect. "We intelligently personalize the experience," says DemoChimp CEO Garin Hess. "When the prospect goes through your demo, we dynamically stitch together different video elements to deliver an experience that fits their needs rather... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Jim Dickie, partner at CSO Insights. To take part in this year’s CSO Insights study on sales performance and receive a free download of the 2014 Sales Management Optimization Study Key Trends Analysis, click here. Today, in many companies around the world, senior management is focused on determining what the firm’s sales goals will be for 2015. Let me take some of the mystery out of the process: the revenue targets will be higher. They always are. Raising the performance bar year-over-year is something we have come to expect in sales, but let me raise a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Ron LaVine, CEO of Accelerate Your Sales Results Sales Training Inc., a live-prospecting-call, sales-acceleration training firm in Oak Park, CA. For more information, call him at 818/991-6487 PST. Many salespeople make three mistakes when dealing with decision makers: They assume that the person who has inquired about their solution through social media or the person they’ve called is the decision maker without confirming this beforehand. They deliver an need-solving message that is not targeted toward the customer or prospect but is based upon the benefits and corresponding measurable results produced by the rep’s other customers. Once... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Take the LSA Global free and confidential 12-minute Alignment Survey at http://www.lsaglobal.com/alignment-survey. In addition to receiving key business insight, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card. This year, I’ve published several posts about sales culture and strategy on the Selling Power blog. Now that we’re in the final stretch of 2014, here’s a quick review of some tips for sales leaders who want to set a course for success. 1) Be proactive about designing your organization’s culture. Every organization has a culture. If... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's blog post is by Dustin Ruge, an award-winning sales and marketing professional with more than 20 years of successful sales and sales-management experience. He is the author of The Successful Sales Manager. "Forecasting is the art of saying what will happen and then explaining why it didn't!" —Anonymous "Those who have knowledge don't predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge."—Lao Tzu Most sales managers will spend 37 percent of their time forecasting sales, according to Sales Benchmark Index data. This means sales managers spend more time around a crystal ball and less time doing all the things they could... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Will Spendlove, vice president of product marketing at InsideView Inc. Which kind of sales pitch would a prospect prefer to hear, a personalized message or a generic sales pitch? These days, prospects can get generic information about companies and offerings online. If you can’t talk with customers about their personal business needs, you’re going to have a tough time engaging them. The good news is that salespeople can tap social networks to discover all kinds of relevant information, leading to great conversations with prospects, which in turn can lead to closed deals. So how do... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Jeff Seeley, CEO of Carew International, Inc. Check out this Carew International white paper, “Success in the Challenger Sales Role.” “When it comes to sales, the more things change, the more they stay the same.” “The sales profession is completely different from how it was five years ago.” Which of these statements rings true to you? Your answer will depend on your personal perspective and your definition of sales. Both statements are accurate but in very different contexts. When it comes to the sales process and delivery methods, the pace and/or methods of communication, and customer... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Alice Heiman, founder and chief sales officer of Alice Heiman, LLC, and chief networking officer of the Sales 2.0 Conference. Contact her at answers@aliceheiman.com, or call 775/852-5020. It’s simple, really: the more time your salespeople spend selling effectively, the more business they will close. Sales enablement should help them do that. At the Sales 2.0 Conference last month, we spent a lot of time talking about sales enablement. I can’t tell you how important this topic is. Companies need their salespeople out selling. To do that, salespeople need 1) the tools to be successful, 2) support... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Meridith Elliott Powell, founder and owner of MotionFirst and author of Winning in the Trust and Value Economy. I believe that “soft skills” proficiency is the fastest route to profitability. Here are the top must-have soft skills to succeed in the trust-and-value economy in which we currently operate. 1. Flexibility How stretchy are you? How willing are you to bend to accommodate a customer, a co-worker, or the marketplace? Yes, hard skills tell us exactly what rules, policies, and procedures we need to follow to be successful, but while those serve as a good guide, success... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
Have you ever planned a high-octane, high-risk adventure? Recently I had the chance to talk with Peter Van Kets, who planned and executed a daring escapade to row in an unsupported boat across the Atlantic with a friend. Here are just a few stunning facts from our conversation. They rowed nonstop (in shifts of 1.5 hours each) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a total of 50 days and 12 hours. (The only day they took a break was Christmas Day.) They consumed anywhere from 8,000 - 10,000 calories a day and supplemented their diet by drinking... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest post is by Erik Charles, principal incentives strategist at Xactly. I’ve been in the sales industry for nearly two decades, and in that time I’ve watched the field go through many different changes: the rise and fall of the pager, the bygone days of lugging suitcases filled with collateral and heavy Rolodexes, and the closing of the age of making sales on charm and charisma alone. Today’s savvy sales reps and leaders, the ones who leverage the arsenal of available technology, make their work more fun, close more deals, and are more strategic players in their organizations. They... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Take the LSA Global free and confidential 15-minute Alignment Survey at http://www.lsaglobal.com/alignment-survey. In addition to receiving key business insight, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card. Here’s an interesting question to ask everyone on your team: “How is your success measured?” Actually, this is more than just an interesting question; asking it is a crucial practice you need to implement as a leader. Why? When you hear people’s answers, you’ll probably spot a disconnect right away. For example, when we ask thousands of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
One of the best things about hosting a conference for B2B sales leaders is that I get to meet very astute thought leaders and experts. In San Francisco earlier this year, I met David Meerman Scott, and I instantly felt a connection with his message. He spoke passionately about the new rules of selling, and he energized the audience as he enthusiastically participated in our chief networking officer’s challenge to tweet selfies of all the new people we met during the event. During one of the breaks at the conference, we took some time to record this quick interview, in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by LaVon Koerner, chief revenue officer of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. How many times have you been told to understand your customer’s business? Well-meaning sales trainers and coaches often imply that, if you have a thorough understanding of the current points of pain within your customer’s business, then you will be able to sell more to that customer. While this may have some impact with capturing just preexisting demand, it is less helpful if you are inclined or have a need to create new demand for your products and services. Here... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Darrin Fleming, managing director at Stratavant, which provides strategic marketing and value-based sales and marketing tools for B2B companies. Read the original post here on the Stratavant blog (this version has been slightly edited and is used here with permission). How frequently do you use the term “ROI” (return on investment) in front of customers and potential buyers? I frequently hear sales and marketing professionals talk about ROI inaccurately. In a casual conversation, people might give you the benefit of the doubt and have faith that you know your stuff; however, if you’re making a formal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Michelle Vazzana, partner at Vantage Point Performance and coauthor of Cracking the Sales Management Code. Some dirty words start out as dirty words, but other words develop into curse words over time due to an association with something negative. There is one such word in sales; it started out as a good word but has since become the mother of all dirty sales words: process. Process’s Bad Rap Sales process has become a source of frustration for sales managers partly because there isn’t a common framework or language to manage the sales activities and processes that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Jeffrey Lipsius, president of Selling To The Point® Sales Training and Consulting. Email him at JeffL@SellingToThePoint.com. Could a salesperson sell more by applying a mindful approach to selling? Meditation and mindfulness expert John Kabat-Zinn has done much to bring mindfulness practice into the mainstream. He defines mindfulness as "paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment." Can mindfulness practice be used to improve sales performance? What does it mean for a salesperson to purposely pay attention in the present moment? The “present moment” for salespeople is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Amanda Kahlow is CEO and founder of 6Sense. She will speak about sales and marketing alignment at the Sales 2.0 Conference during her session "Using Big Data to Create a Sales-Marketing Handshake Relationship." To attend, register here: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1488784. Sales used to be something of a guessing game. It was difficult to look at a list of leads and determine which among them might be the best prospects. Today, predictive-intelligence solutions can tell you which prospects are in the market to buy and identify net-new prospects who have not yet raised their hands. It works by aggregating disparate data sources across... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Usually, we can tell a lot about the stability of a sales organization by asking both leaders and direct reports one simple question: “Do you have a clear and compelling sales strategy in place?” When we ask sales leaders this question, they almost always answer yes. When we ask their direct reports the same thing, they almost always answer no. What’s the disconnect here? It is vital that sales leaders tie the daily activities of salespeople directly to the larger goals of the organization. If your employees can’t easily... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Alex Gorbansky, CEO of Docurated. Talk to most sales reps about sales enablement, and at best you will get a healthy dose of skepticism. At worst they will tell you that it is the bane of their existence. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, after spending the last few years speaking to hundreds of sales leaders, we have identified four simple steps to curing the ills of sales enablement. 1. Adopt highly targeted tools. Many sales-enablement solutions fall flat trying to sell customers on solving the entire sales life cycle’s problems –... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Will Spendlove, vice president of product marketing at InsideView. Most sales professionals already use customer success stories, albeit informally, to speed up the sales cycle; however, these stories are not often properly leveraged by marketing. In most cases, this is because marketing thinks the sales team doesn’t have time to share such stories, or the company is waiting until clients have spent a few months using the solution or product to see what measurable results can be rolled into a case study. Formalizing customer success stories is easier than you think, and one reason is that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Selling Power Editors. Which of the goals stated below is the primary purpose of the account-planning process? To protect and grow revenue and customer loyalty in your account. To coordinate internally among your sales team. To communication progress to your internal senior management and request resources. According to insight shared by Ryan Kubacki and Gerhard Gschwandtner in a recent Webinar,“Coaching Account Planning: The Five Questions You Need to Ask," all of the above matter. Sales teams conduct account planning because they want to impact customer satisfaction and revenue. But consider how important being on the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at Selling Power Blog