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Gerhard Gschwandtner
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Today's guest post is by Tony Yeung, principal at ZS Associates. To learn how well your salespeople are using their time, check out the Sales Force Activity Snapshot from ZS Associates. It happens to most of us: seemingly urgent tasks creep into our work, and before we know it, the day is almost over, and we haven’t made any progress on the truly important work that will have an impact over the long term. While countless books have been written with “proven” systems for prioritizing the important over the urgent, the problem has arguably gotten worse over the years. We’ve... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Kyle Dougherty, sales development representative at Prialto. This post appeared originally on the Prialto blog and is used here with permission. We hear salespeople say that they’ve “got to go make some calls.” What goes into making these calls, though? To whom should you reach out? Where can you find that phone number to call? It’s not like a prospective customer was born into your CRM. Even if his or her information was there before you joined the company, someone added it there. In business-to-business (B2B) sales, there are a number of steps that precede... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Chris van Löben Sels, director of business development and marketing at Selligy. You know the pattern: your salesperson’s initial reports about the deal are positive. She works the playbook and the deal moves along – sounds like there’s not much to worry about. And then . . . Crickets. The deal goes from the front burner to quiet...to stuck. Why didn’t the sales manager and salesperson see this coming? When a deal goes just a bit off the rails or the warning signs are few, it can be easy to just let it go, so... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Selling Power Blog
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Today's blog post is by Wendy Reed, executive vice president of solutions at The TAS Group. As sales organizations grapple with a changing, highly competitive sales environment, having effective frontline sales managers is critical, but many businesses seem not to regard them as a valuable asset. Why is this a continuing problem, and what can be done to solve it? The Sales-to-Management Transition Typically, frontline managers begin as salespeople, and they’re very good at selling; but sales skills don’t automatically equip them to manage the sales activity of a team. As a result, they may not understand how to run... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest post is by Mike Spellecy, vice president of solution thought leadership at Maritz Motivation Solutions. In an increasingly complex marketplace, it can be argued that channel partnerships are the most crucial to a business’s success. In fact, more than 90 percent of today’s manufacturers rely on multiple channels of distribution to sell and move their products. Of course, simply engaging in a channel-partner relationship doesn’t automatically guarantee business success. Realizing that channel reps most likely have the ability to sell competitors’ products, many organizations look to incentive programs as a way to maintain channel loyalty. But how effective... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Barry Trailer, a managing partner and cofounder of CSO Insights, a sales effectiveness research and benchmarking firm. Digital consumers are more informed than ever, always online, and inclined to leverage their social networks for buying advice and to share reviews – anytime, anywhere. In order to compete in today’s digital world, sales leaders frequently emphasize the importance of engaging customers with personalized, timely insight that demonstrates reps’ understanding of current and future customer needs. Still, many sales organizations haven’t changed to enable sellers to easily glean this insight. Many salespeople continue to trot out canned... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Download his white paper, "Do You Have the High Performance Culture to Drive Your Strategy?" We come across many sales organizations that are not performing at their peak – even businesses with a clear and well-defined strategy. In fact, according to our research, less than 10 percent of strategic initiatives are effectively executed. So what are they missing? They are missing the other two-thirds of the equation for success: the right culture and talent for their specific strategy. Sales culture is not just another management buzzword, and building a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Geoffrey James, an award-winning columnist for Inc.com and the author of the soon-to-be-published book Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. A while back, the CRM firm Cloud9 Analytics sent me a list of suggestions for sales managers. I thought the suggestions were pretty good, so I added to them to create a list of commandments. Here's my latest version: Thou shalt not start the team meeting with criticism. Though thy staff be full of mooncalves and malingerers, starting the meeting with a tirade will only create resentment. Thou shalt... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest post is by Ian Altman, CEO of Grow My Revenue, LLC. He is the author of the Amazon #1 best seller, Upside Down Selling, and he coauthored his new book, Same Side Selling, with Jack Quarles of Buying Excellence. You know how important referrals can be to growing your business. While the cold call is the lowest opportunity in the sales profession’s food chain, the quality referral could be the pinnacle. I had the pleasure of being in the audience for the Institute for Excellence in Sales and Business Development's recent session in Northern Virginia, and Bill Cates... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Jason Jordan, partner of Vantage Point Performance and coauthor of Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance. A sales pipeline’s size is no doubt a critical measure of a pipeline’s health, but how big should a sales pipeline be? Sales managers are looking for a magic number they can multiply by their salespeople’s annual quota to determine an ideal pipeline size: “The ideal sales pipeline should be exactly three times your sales rep’s annual quota.” Unfortunately, there is no universal factor that can be multiplied by quota to yield... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Charles P. Collins, executive vice president of sales planning automation at PrecisionSales Engineering. It appeared originally on the Precision Sales Engineering blog and is used here with permission.See how PrecisionSales Engineering can help with your sales planning; click here for a free demo. Some time ago, I sat across from a CEO who boasted that he had more than 80 enterprise prospects in the sales pipeline. He knew this for a fact because, as he told me, it was in his morning CRM dashboard summary. Image via freedigitalphotos.net / nongpimmy You can probably guess what followed.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Barbara McCormack, vice president of sales and marketing at Securitas Security Services USA Inc. Like many sales and marketing leaders, I’m always trying to find ways to realize greater productivity from my team. When team members are happy and engaged and have the tools to do their jobs, they are typically more productive, and that can translate to more growth and revenue for the company. One particular challenge my company addressed is our approach to proposals. The range of security services we provide, even to a single client, can be complex, so we needed to customize... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Steve McClatchy, New York Times best-selling author of Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example and President of Alleer Training & Consulting. I have watched sales professionals take 11 months to hit quota and then only one additional month to double it. How does this happen, and what do they do differently in that last month? The reason this happens is that, during the first 11 months, salespeople often chase, propose, and close bad business. They will agree to business that is not a great fit for their organization. The fear of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 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. In product marketing, we spend half of our time thinking over and over again about how we can message our product or solutions to the market. Will our message resonate? Will customers care what we have to say? Will people act after hearing our story? Then we figure out how to deliver these messages and stories in the most compelling ways. We also hope sales will embrace the message and deliver it to prospects. Consider the following: Marketers struggle with being viewed as a cost... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's guest post is by Neha Singh Gohil, director of knowledge management at Prialto. This post originally appeared on the Prialto blog http://blog.prialto.com/quality-v-quantity-on-a-sales-team/ and is used here with permission. How many salespeople does your company need? The precise number depends on the size of the company, your product, and a dozen other variables. But having worked with a variety of sales teams over the years, we’ve noticed a consistent pattern across companies. Often, sales managers who feel their team getting overwhelmed turn to new hires as a knee-jerk solution. Bringing on a new person entails time spent on a recruitment... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Jim Moliski, senior vice president of strategic services at Launch International. For more information about sales enablement, view this recent Webinar featuring experts from Sirius Decisions and Miller Heiman: Game-Changing Sales Enablement: Repeatable Conversations that Drive Revenue. Are your salespeople under pressure to sell higher or more strategically? Do your content and tools support that approach? Too often, sales portals are packed with product information. Sellers need guidance on trends, issues, problems, and outcomes, but what they get is information about features and functions. You can’t fix this problem overnight, but you can take some positive... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest post is by Marc Wayshak, author of Game Plan Selling: The Definitive Rulebook for Closing the Sale in the Age of the Well-Informed Prospect and Breaking All Barriers: Insider Secrets to a Limitless Life. When seeking to develop a football team, only amateur coaches spend all their time trying to improve the offense. This leaves the defense and special teams lacking and vulnerable. In much the same way, only an amateur will focus exclusively on acquiring more customers when looking to develop sales at an organization. This is just one of three important ways to increase sales, and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's Paul Shapiro is a managing partner at vie™. Almost one year ago, I visited my physician for a checkup and blood work. I learned that my cholesterol was high and that I had several other indicators that weren’t very good. My doctor told me, “This is very common,” and suggested I consider taking a statin, like so many other males over 40. I hated that idea. So I took matters into my own hands. I watched a movie (Forks Over Knives) and read a book (The China Study). Both had a profound impact on my view of processed foods... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Gretchen DeKnikker, cofounder and CMO of SocialPandas. “Social selling” has become the buzzword in sales, and it has come with an onslaught of training on how to become a “social salesperson.” Really, sales is still sales. It’s still about listening. It’s still about uncovering a pain point and finding a solution. It’s still about relationships and connecting on a human level. In the not-so-distant past, a sales rep would walk into a prospect’s office and instantly profile the individual. From the display of family photos and diplomas to a mug bearing a sports team’s mascot, experienced... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest post is by Mark Donnolo, managing partner of SalesGlobe and author of The Innovative Sale: Unleash Your Creativity for Better Customer Solutions and Extraordinary Results and What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation: Connecting the Corner Office to the Front Line. Most people assume that constraints are a bad thing, but in reality, business constraints can actually be a catalyst for creative solutions and new opportunities. Consider how Virgin Atlantic responded to a major crisis just two years after it was founded. Allen Kay, chairman and CEO of Korey Kay & Partners, an award-winning advertising agency... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s post is by Mario Herger, CEO, founder, and partner of Enterprise Gamification Consultancy LLC and coauthor of Gamification at Work: Designing Engaging Business Software. He will speak about gamification and motivation at the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on May 5-6. Conventional wisdom holds that salespeople love competition. They want a challenge, a chance to race against their friends and colleagues, and the opportunity to land at the top of the leaderboard. Sales managers constantly use carrots and competition because this is what motivates salespeople ...but is that true? In actuality, competition sometimes puts stress on the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by LaVon Koerner, Chief Revenue Officer of Revenue Storm, which he cofounded in 2000 to offer companies worldwide a suite of comprehensive, proven tools and techniques for profitable revenue growth. Download Revenue Storm’s latest white paper, “How a Successful Coaching Strategy Increases Revenue.” The way we conduct business today is different from how we conducted business in the past. We communicate differently, discover information differently, and share information differently. So while buyers are buying differently, are you selling differently? If your sales organization is functioning as it did a few years ago, chances are you’re having problems... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest post by Deb Calvert, author of DISCOVER Questions™ Get You Connected. Download this free chapter today. It’s been said that asking questions is an art, an appealing expression requiring craftsmanship and finesse. It’s also been said that asking questions is a science, a systematic process requiring knowledge gained through observation and experimentation. In selling, there are two schools of thought when it comes to using questions as a means to connect with buyers and advance sales to a close. You can find numerous books and training courses on this subject, and every one of them will lean one... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today’s guest blog post is by James Rogers, chief marketing officer at Avention. According to Forrester Research, executive buyers today are frustrated by “product-focused” salespeople. Executives don’t want to hear all about your product. They can learn about your offering (not to mention your competitor’s offering) online. Give executives a reason to talk with you – demonstrate that you understand how to help them solve their most pressing business challenges. How can you, the salesperson, push beyond a product-focused conversation? There are a couple of challenges here: first, sellers and marketers might have access to lots of information online, but... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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Today's post is by Norman Behar, Managing Partner, Sales Readiness Group, Inc., a leading professional sales training company that develops customized sales and sales management programs for business-to-business sales organizations. Here is an all too familiar story: A sales organization needs to fill an open position for a frontline sales manager and decides to promote its brightest, best performing sales professional into this position. Unfortunately, after three to six months it becomes apparent that the sales rep isn't able to get the performance from the team that was expected. To make matters worse, the team has lost their best hunter... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at Selling Power Blog