Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Virtue of Restraint – 6 Reasons for Not Bashing the Competition

I believe that one of the key components to sales success is to resist bashing the competition.

Restraint is needed to avoid bashing  the competition

Throughout my career in software sales, I have observed many of my colleagues take an aggressive stance toward the competition when talking with customers and prospects. I’m sure many of us have encountered the slick sounding salesperson who can immediately rattle off a list of reasons why the customer can avoid doom and destruction by staying away from our competitors. While this may look and sound impressive, I have rarely seen it work out well for my colleagues, or for me. Instead, I have seen those salespeople who have a more evenhanded approach toward the competition have much more success building rapport and having an open dialogue with the customer. 

Outlined below are some of my top 6 reasons why I recommend for not bashing the competition.   Continue reading

Avoiding Sales Burnout – Tips from a Sales Pro

Solutions for Sales Burnout

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to welcome Chris Haig as a new blog author. Chris has 20+ years of software sales experience and we’re pleased he’s going to share his knowledge and insights about avoiding sales burnout and other B2B sales topics. 

After twenty years of selling software and IT products, the one thing that’s been getting harder year after year is the one thing you can’t avoid in sales. You have to get people on the phone to have discussions. No matter how many articles people post about how ‘cold calling is dead’, it’s simply not – no way, no how. Why else would the big trend be to move to Inside Sales teams and Business Development Rep models? The trends don’t lie. E-mail and website tools also have their place, but anyone who’s been in Sales for a while knows you can’t hit those magic numbers waiting for leads to come to you. It just doesn’t work that way. Two to three percent responses from e-mail campaigns won’t do it either. Those inside sales teams and BDR’s are not just servicing incoming inquiries (in most cases). Continue reading

Speed kills! …..cold calls, that is.

6 tips on how B2B inside sales people can have more effective cold calls by slowing down.

Cold Call Approach 1

I’m sure that many of us have picked up the phone to hear something like this:

“Hi Pat, this is Bill Smith, with Techno-Widgets, we help small to medium size enterprises optimize server performance for Cloud, Big Data, virtualization and the Internet of Things. We have helped hundreds of organizations just like yours attain 500% ROI and…” (I didn’t hear the rest of the pitch because I hung up.) Continue reading

Is it time to replace the term sales and marketing alignment?

finding a new term for sales and marketing alignmentAs a marketing professional who works closely with a sales team, selling to sales executives… having a sales and marketing alignment process is easy. What is challenging is coming up with a name for this process. There are names for every other sales and marketing function, why can’t we agree on a better term for ‘sales and marketing alignment?

Continue reading

Our Favorite B2B Sales Blog Posts of 2015

It’s that time of year for review articles. The best of type stories. 2015 has been a really exciting time for the sales productivity world thanks in a large part to the major CRM players. The Salesforce appExchange has helped launch many excellent sales tools to enhance and expand the capabilities of Salesforce. So in the spirit of giving, enjoy these blog posts and have a Happy Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year!


The Cold Caller Who Came in from the Storm

Posted on November 18, 2015 by NIck Polito, Director Growth Initiatives HG Data

HGData_LongLiveColdCallingCold calling is dead! Long live cold calling!

We’ve all seen the headlines reporting that cold calling is dead. Gartner Research predicts that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their buying relationship without human interaction. And I’m going to predict that 99% of us loathe the telemarketers that call during dinner. Therefore, it might surprise you that a high tech, Big Data and analytics company like HG Data, includes telemarketing as part of its sales and marketing strategy. I know this to be true, because I cold call for HG Data.

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19 Shocking Sales Stats That Will Change How You Sell

 LinkedIn Publisher, Authority on Digital Talent Acquisition, Recruiting, Sourcing @StaffingRobot

 

19ShockingSalesStats

I try to read as much as I can, and every morning I put aside 30 minutes to check out the latest posts from my favorite blogs and writers.

In 30 minutes, you can only take in so much. Some posts I read thoroughly, others I open and close again within a matter of seconds. My favorite ones, I share with my team to use.

Often, my sales-related decisions rely a lot on guesswork: When do I send? What will they read?

Read More…


eGuide to 12 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity


Use intent data to anticipate your customers’ needs

 

Historically, B2B marketers have tailored and targeted their campaigns to specific job titles or seniority levels. Early on, it made some sense from an efficiency standpoint to focus on those titles high enough up the corporate ladder to control purse strings, but job titles and seniority only tell part of the story as to how decision makers carry out the consideration and purchase process.

Awash in data, predictive models, charts, and graphs, it can be easy for marketers to forget that those data points — those dots on the graph — are actually people as well as key B2B targets. They have their own personal predispositions that can have great influence over the decisions they make in a business setting. In many ways, it’s remembering the people behind the decision-makers that can help B2B marketers harness the right data to engage and nurture those customers through the funnel.

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The 5 Types of Sales Prospect Persona Profiles [Infographic]

This entry was posted in Sales Prospecting and tagged , , , on by .

You may already know your buyer personas inside and out. But what about your sales prospect personas?

Think about it this way – you spend hours on the phone reaching out to potential buyers. In that time, you’re bound to notice some similarities. So, take advantage of this fact. Since it’s your job to connect with these people, it helps if you understand their different personas and how to sell to them.

Here are a few common scenarios:

  • You’re hearing, “Ask me again in six months”
  • You’re coordinating with 5 or more people
  • You’re trying to answer tough questions

Check out the infographic below to learn how 5 common sales prospect personas can help you address these issues, and more.

 

Infographic-5-Types-of-B2B-Sales-Leads-1


 

10 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity (Part 1)

By |February 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Procrastinate_small

Inside sales is a competitive field where professionals need to bring an incredible work ethic to the job each day. Unfortunately, some find that their habits can hurt their sales productivity and their careers.

Here are the first 5 bad habits that every sales professional should focus on eliminating. Look for the next 5 in Part 2 of this blog post.

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10 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity (Part 2)

By |February 24th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

 BadHabitsBlog

Inside sales is a competitive field where professionals need to bring an incredible work ethic to the job each day. Unfortunately, some find that their habits can hurt their sales productivity and their careers.

Here are the second 5 bad habits that every sales professional should focus on eliminating.

Read More…

Broadleaf Customer Video

B2B Sales Executives: Are you a coach or a manager?

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”20″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]real-time-sales-coaching_small

Becoming a B2B sales manager is the pinnacle of achievement in a sales department. You can be managing a small team or overseeing the entire sales department for your company. The job carries a lot of responsibility including that of motivating and helping your team grow as sales representatives.

It is easy to get swept up into the details of managing a sales department such as daily statistics, attrition rates, and tracking new clients. Often, upper management looks to you for the bottom line. However, while these tasks are important, your primary focus should be on developing your team.

It is not enough to just manage them. You need to coach them to success.

What is the difference between a B2B sales manager and a sales coach?

Managers focus on the numbers instead of the people. They are taskmasters instead of leaders, and while some of their sales reps can do well on their own, others need encouragement and help learning the best practices for interacting with clients.

On the other hand, a sales coach spends time with team members working with them on planning their approach to customers, offering feedback on what they are doing right and going with them on sales appointments to help them improve. They plan time to develop their people with a goal of success in order to drive sales.

A sales coach encourages their people to grow without taking credit for their sales. This is a positive effort that cements a team together. Sales people like being coached because they learn what they are doing right and what the next step is in their growth.

12 Bad Habits Whitepaper

Coaches are teachers

A good analogy is a baseball coach who works with their players on their skills, and then watches them during the actual game to see where they still need work and to cheer them on when they do well.

When you narrow it down there are three keys for being an effective sales coach:

  • A coach spends time asking questions and listening
  • A coach gets to the root of a problem, rather than trying to make quick fixes to symptoms
  • A coach  teaches responsibility, teamwork, and rewards personal growth

Sales techniques are generally not taught in school; they are learned on the job. Therefore coaching someone to improve their skills is how they learn.

Sales Dialing Automation Software Provides Options for Real-Time Telephone Coaching

ConnectLeader_ChallengesofCoachinganInsideSalesTeam_small

Spending time with sales representatives during sales calls is one of the best training and evaluation tools for a sales executive. For traditional field sales teams, this is common and routine. However, inside sales executives have a more difficult time evaluating sales reps during the sales call.Listening to recorded conversations and role playing are common tools for coaching telephone selling skills, however, both options lack that “real-time” interaction. Some sales dialing software tools provide sales coaches the ability to listen to the call in real time. Sales executives can also speak to their sales reps using a “whisper” mode.
ConnectLeader Director of Sales and Business Development, Mark Lynch authored an article for the ECSell Institute on the benefits of real-time sales coaching.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]