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7 Important Sales Metrics That Make or Break Your Growth

Sales, as pointed out by the Harvard Business Review, is equal parts art and science.

It requires not only logic, process, and organization. It requires people, emotion, and fast thinking sales reps who not only see the sales opportunity, but know how to make the most of it to increase average deal size, cross-sell, and customer lifetime value.

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What makes a good sales manager?

No two people and no two great sales managers have exactly the same personality or qualities. However, when comparing effective managers in your sales department, you will likely find they share a few critical traits. So, what makes a good sales manager? Is it talent, passion, or brains? If you look closely, you will see a few different factors combine to paint a picture of the best qualities of a sales manager.

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Learn Sales Pipeline Management Best Practices

According to polling done by the TAS Group, only 46% of sales representatives think they have an accurate pipeline. Despite this fundamental flaw, companies spend an average of two and a half hours per week creating forecasts based on these pipelines, per Leslie Ye of HubSpot.

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

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Keeping your B2B sales team motivated during the dog days of summer

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The summer has a reputation among those in the B2B sales world as being a time of massive slowdown. Inside sales and business development representatives get discouraged at the low sales numbers and frustrated when trying to reach leads that seem to be perpetually on vacation. Morale begins to suffer and people end up wasting time in the office.

Encouraging your B2B sales team to keep pressing forward through the summer months can help keep the company in the black and help ensure that everyone hits the ground running when fall arrives. Here are some fantastic and fun ways to keep your sales team successful throughout the summer.

Lively department contests

Since you know that the sales slump is likely to occur during the summer months, use the time leading up to the slow months to build momentum with some fun contests. Learn what matters most to your sales team, such as a new iPad, an extra vacation day, or other type of fun prize. Then invite people to participate in a fun contest that challenges them to keep their numbers high. Some fun ideas for contests might be:

  • prizes for those who complete the most demos
  • prizes for the entire team if customer satisfaction of a particular level (such as 95 percent of polled customers) can be reached
  • prizes for new clients

Some teams might also find success if they assign a particular number of points to different tasks, such as 20 points for a new client, 15 points for a demo and 5 points for a new qualified lead, and having contests to see what team can obtain the most points in a month.

Keeping sales teams engaged when the office is slow

Sometimes, despite the most exciting contests a supervisor can imagine, the office is still slow. Even the most motivated salespeople cannot sell to customers who are on vacation. To keep the office engaged and enthusiastic about their jobs, there a few ideas you can use to help people relax and have fun while also moving towards sales success.

Celebrate small successes

Recognize hard work by celebrating even small successes, such as closing a big deal or the newbie making their first sale. Have a small party so everyone can celebrate and feel reinvigorated.

Screen inspiring movies

There are a variety of fantastic sales movies that can be used for inspiration or just some laughs such as The Boiler Room, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Goods - Live Hard, Sell Hard and Glengarry Glen Ross. Consider screening one occasionally over lunch breaks.

Role-playing and breaking down sales

Pass the time when business is slow by doing some fun role-plays or breaking down past sales. Look for what went wrong, what went right and what sales teams can learn. It is a great way to practice skills even when not speaking with customers

The summer slump is commonly acknowledged in sales circles as people struggle to find clients through the slow, hot months. To keep your sales team motivated and engaged, you have to be creative, but with proper preparation, it is entirely possible. If you find yourself staring down the approaching summer with dread, consider implementing some of the above ideas and keep your team moving forward towards the more productive autumn.

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Inside Sales Management Debate: Sales Lead Assignment

Image: Bigstockphoto.com

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What I look for when hiring a junior inside sales rep

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Before you make decisions based on your gut instincts,take a look of some of the questions I like to ask and what answers I should be hearing.

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ConnectLeader Makes 50 Best Sales Management Tools/Software List

If you are looking to  improve sales productivity with your inside sales team, then you should take a look at the latest blog from Docurated, a leading provider of content managment solutions. They've compiled a helpful collection of sales productivity tools titled 50 Best Sales Management Tools/Software. ConnectLeader was among the list for the first time (# 45). The list featured a number of prominent CRM solutions including Salesforce.com and NetSuite. It also featured a number of less well-known applications that could really help your sales productivity.

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Tips for Building a High Growth B2B Sales Team

Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Chris Salisbury to the ConnectLeader sales team.  Chris was formerly with Dyn, the Manchester, NH DNS Provider. Chris will be sharing his sales  tips for ConnectLeader in future B2B Sales blogs. 

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Tips for Being a Great Inside Sales Manager

Great inside sales talent is hard to find... and even harder to keep. Being a good sales manager can go a long way towards keeping your top sales performers around.The Worst Kind of Managers, a recent article on Time.com, discussed a survey of HR managers which identifed the five attributes of the worst kind of manager.

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About the ConnectLeader B2B Sales Blog

The ConnectLeader B2B Sales blog is written to share productivity tips, tools, news, and other information relevant to managers and senior executives interested in B2B sales productivity, demand gen, inside sales, sales operations, and business development issues.

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