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Gerhard Gschwandtner
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Today's blog post is by LaVon Koerner, Chief Revenue Officer of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. While the terms “sales leader” and “sales manager” are often used interchangeably, there is a huge difference between these two roles. Leaders rally employees around a vision. They have the ability to influence, motivate, and inspire others to contribute to the fulfillment of that vision. Managers, on the other hand, are more adept at directing employees on how to systematically execute the leader’s vision. They can see all of the intricate moving parts and understand how to sync them.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Selling Power Blog
Today's guest post is by Jennifer Stanley, Associate Principle (Marketing and Sales Practice) at McKinsey & Company. Hear her speak at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia on March 16. What kind of relationship will you have with purchasing agents in 2020? Consider this: by that time, Millennials will be 50 percent of the workforce. That means the people you’re selling to will likely have different styles, preferences, and habits from your current buyers. But this generation is already in the workforce and having a massive impact on how people do business. This development is one of the critical megatrends... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Selling Power Blog
Today's post is by Michael Weening, Senior Vice President, Customer for Life, Commercial, at This post is a slightly edited version of the one that was originally published here on his blog, Leading a Sales Transformation. It is used here with permission. Every New Year, people make commitments to new goals. But how about a commitment to disobey -- to break the rules? “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” -- Dalai Lama XIV This is a great quote, one that I have spent my life inadvertently (and sometimes painfully) living by. After all, what are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at Selling Power Blog
Starting with the January issue of Selling Power magazine, we're featuring a new monthly column written by Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. He is the author of a terrific book, Winners Dream, in which he shares his journey from running a deli at age 16 to landing a job at Xerox, selling copy machines in New York City. He realized his dream yet he keeps on reaching higher. As the head of SAP, and leader of 70,000 employees around the globe he has not forgotten his roots and he remains curious, humble and hungry. He is also giving back and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Selling Power Blog
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). What are some common circumstances that often lead to price discounting? Let’s examine a quick list. It’s the end of the quarter, and the sales team is not going to meet sales goals. There’s an economic dip in your industry, and sales have been sluggish for an extended period. There’s a structural component to the compensation... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at Selling Power Blog
Today's post is by LaVon Koerner, chief revenue officer of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. Your first meeting with an executive defines you and your company. You get one chance to make your pitch. It will either set you on a path toward mutual benefit and profitability or lead you to unanswered phone calls and being pushed lower in the organization -- or even out the door. Making your first meetings with executives productive and engaging is one of the most important things you can do to dramatically improve your sales. So how do you... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
What does it mean to be an authentic leader who listens and gives direction successfully? In this candid interview, Senior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer of SAP Jenny Dearborn shares the moment she first met with Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. In less than an hour she walked away impressed with his unique leadership style. Discover the essence of great leadership in three steps. 1) Listen deeply. Bill opened this meeting by telling the team they were the leaders. "What do I need to know? What's working? What's not working? How can I help you?" 2) Reiterate what you've... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
Today’s guest post is by Ramon Nuñez, founder and CEO of LiveHive Inc., a software start-up whose cloud-based, sales-engagement platform provides real-time intelligence based on customer engagement with digital content. In today’s online and social world, the power has shifted from seller to buyer. Among other things, buyers now expect any desired information to be available on any device at the moment of need. As a result, sales teams are looking for ways to ensure they’re delivering the right information to the buyer and get real-time feedback on the buyer’s engagement with that information. Customers now have the ability to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
Today’s guest post is by Somrat Niyogi, CEO and cofounder of Stitch. Do your salespeople fail to follow your sales process? Are they bogged down by administrative tasks? Are their sales pipelines sluggish and inconsistent? If your organization is suffering from any of these problems, it’s time to take a look at your relationship to your CRM system. CRM systems are flawed. They act as a repository for information but aren’t designed to help salespeople actually sell, be more productive, or simplify sales activities. In fact, the number one question sales leaders ask me is how can they effectively use... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
Today's blog post is by Joanne Black, America’s top referral sales expert. Visit for more articles, tips, and free resources. You can also find Joanne on Twitter: @ReferralSales. George thought he’d nailed the link between social selling and referrals, but as it turns out, he had merely bought into the popular misconception that social media would do his job for him. George knew lots of people who surely knew lots of people. So he decided to use email and LinkedIn to ask his vast network for referrals, but no one responded. The problem was that George had forgotten about... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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 Nov 20, 2014 at Selling Power Blog
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 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
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 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
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
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
Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Take the LSA Global free and confidential 12-minute Alignment Survey at In addition to receiving key business insight, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 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
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
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
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
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, 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
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
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
Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Take the LSA Global free and confidential 15-minute Alignment Survey at In addition to receiving key business insight, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 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