Sales

01 May: Why Storytelling Makes a Huge Difference in Sales

Since we were young, stories have played an important role in influencing our development into the person we become. Stories contribute to our morals, values and perspectives. Almost everyone in the world grew up listening to and sharing stories. From the time we were kids, and still today, stories provide us with both knowledge and entertainment. While the types of stories we enjoy and respond to have changed; the essence of great storytelling still plays a significant role in our decisions, beliefs and perspectives.

As a kid, I can remember being in awe of the stories featuring characters like…

29 Apr: A Look at the Core Beliefs of Incredible Sales People

When you come across an individual who possesses great talent and skill, you immediately want get inside of their head. This is why there are millions of biographies, interviews and blog posts created solely to give us a glimpse inside the minds of great leaders and professionals.

Every industry has a group of people we look at and aspire to emulate. In sales, these individuals are those who have achieved success with both old school methodologies and new improvements. Whether we’re talking about the frontline at a software startup or the team of professionals knocking on doors; the beliefs these…

26 Apr: Event Follow-up Do’s and Don’ts

I attended a few events a couple of weeks ago. One was a smaller event where we exhibited and the other two were larger events where I attended for a few hours and walked the floor of exhibits. Since then I’ve been receiving a lot of follow-up emails from companies that were involved at these events. A lot of follow-ups. Following up is good, we did it too, but all of the contact got me thinking about the various tactics and how well they work. Here’s what I’ve observed:

Personal Is Best
If you come back from an…

23 Apr: The problem with social selling

We recently commissioned a survey of 200 reps and managers. The participants represented a variety of ages and tenure but they all came from B2B sales organizations with more than 250 employees. The survey explored a number of topics including prospecting, hiring and social media. We’ll release the whole survey in an upcoming ebook but I wanted to share something that caught my eye: 77% said that social media had no impact on closing deals.

This result didn’t surprise me. I’ve been hearing comments like this for the last few years. For all of the talking, writing and training…

17 Apr: Cold calling in the age of social media

If you’ve ever worked in a sales organization the first thing you heard from your manager coming out of sales school was that activities always drive results. It’s an age old, simple formula that says that “X” number of phone calls plus “Y” number of proposals will give you the desired result – your sales quota. A salesperson that subscribes to this notion that repetitive activities drive results probably uses canned and scripted reach outs with only the name and company name changed.

My 10 year career in B2B enterprise sales began in inside sales and that is exactly…

11 Apr: Choosing the Right References Can be a Game Changer

The American Marketing Association published an interesting study on the value of business references in the buying process. Defining, Measuring, and Managing Business Reference Value defines the reference characteristics sellers value when providing client references to prospect accounts. The study also defines the reference characteristics valued by prospect accounts and their ability to positively influence these prospects. Conveniently, the factors chosen and valued by sellers and prospects are the same.

These are the factors identified in the study that affect the value of a client references, from most valuable to least valuable:

Client Size – Defined by both number…

27 Mar: Aligning Marketing and Sales

I hear lots of talk about the divide between marketing and sales. Some sales teams think that marketing doesn’t support them, that they create poor leads or that they focus on things that don’t move the needle. Some Marketers complain that sales are reactive, stray from messaging and miss important opportunities. I don’t get it. I’ve been lucky to work in organizations that had strong alignment between the two groups. I think it worked because, knowingly or not, we focused on three things that brought us closer together: clarity, collaboration, and consistency.

Here’s what I mean:

Clarity: Too many organizations…

25 Mar: Three ways to build valuable relationships

 

We’re all in the relationship business. While it’s really obvious in sales, it matters for everyone. Whether you’re in sales, marketing, operations, ?nance or technology, successful people are those who can create, maintain and grow their internal and external relationships. We use relationships to achieve our goals, move projects along and expand our business. Here are three ways to build and grow your relationships.

Make a Plan – Successful people spend time planning out their goals and objectives for their life, their business, or their projects. Long term planning for the future means ?guring out people you want and…

22 Mar: Hiring a winning sales team

Most sales leaders and executives I talk to spend a lot of time recruiting and hiring. Consistent and quality hiring is the ?rst step in achieving sales results. When they’re recruiting, they’re looking for proven success, market or product knowledge, good sales skills and relationships that can be leveraged in a new role. It’s hard work. Like the executives we meet with, I also spend a lot of time hiring and recruiting sales people. Here’s what’s worked for me:

A little help from my friends – Rather than meeting strangers, evaluating them, and then checking their references, why not…

11 Feb: The Evolution from Social Media to Relationship Capital

There is a quote recycled on occasion on Twitter that is attributed to me. It’s goes like this:

“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” ~David Alston

It does sum up my view of social. Yes social media can be an engagement channel, a source of insight or a content distribution network. For me it’s magic has always been around the topic of relationships. The discovery, building and maintaining of relationships. Social media has done a great job reminding businesses about the power of relationships. It’s also shown business leaders that…