Ghostbusters – great salespeople?

http://www.bettersellsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/Ghostbusters_Snippet%20Edited.mp4 One of my favorite movies and one that really shows the value of Win/Results.  Can you name the Economic Buyer, the various Technical Buyers and their degree of influence, can you infer ratings and buying modes?  If so, leave a response here.... read more

Why you need a sales system

Sales is a complicated topic with lots of moving parts. Being able to make sense of those parts, and maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of each of those parts is essential. A “Sales System” is nothing more than a way to organize the pieces of your sales engine and for a way to have thoughtful […]

Sales is a complicated topic with lots of moving parts. Being able to make sense of those parts, and maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of each of those parts is essential. A “Sales System” is nothing more than a way to organize the pieces of your sales engine and for a way to have thoughtful discussions on them. After ten years of research, Miller Heiman has developed their sales system to map its essential pieces.  The system has been put together in response to research that shows definitively the things that world class sales organizations do. We present it this way: Notice that the sales system has the customer at its center. That is no mistake; the customer literally is at the center of everything we do. We organize our entire sales sytem around the customer. Because the system is a continuous loop there is no real starting place, but for simplicity we will start here: 1. Create Opportunities – Every business has to create opportunities. While most companies do lead generation, many don’t go far enough. Typically, “Create Opportunities” consists of inbound and outbound marketing. We take it a step further. We think that the way your sales reps interact with current and prospective customers can be a source of leads. Intelligent conversations is what this is all about. Think about it, when your reps go out to visit prospects do they understand what concerns the prospect, or do they go in and pitch? Do they probe as to what the prospect needs to do to improve their business or even survive in today’s economy? What are their... read more

How to justify no growth as superior performance by your sales team

Most would argue that a no-growth sales performance would indicate that the sales team isn’t doing a very good job.  Let me explain a bit about some metrics that might be of interest to you.  The question boils down to how you generate leads and your performance in closing those leads. One of my clients […]

Most would argue that a no-growth sales performance would indicate that the sales team isn’t doing a very good job.  Let me explain a bit about some metrics that might be of interest to you.  The question boils down to how you generate leads and your performance in closing those leads. One of my clients is a “download, try and buy” software company.  They had a 20% growth plan for 2014 and it looks like sales will be flat, up only a point or two from 2013.  The company’s marketing efforts are all done to drive people to their website and convince them to download the software for 30-days and try it.  (FYI – average sale here is about $3,000)  In this scenario “downloads” are the same as leads as 95%+ of purchasers buy this way, even existing customers.  The problem is that the number of downloads is down almost 33% since last year for a variety of reasons – stale product, cuts in marketing and SEO budget, etc. Sitting with the VP of Sales we made the following calculations (numbers are rounded for simplicity):         Presenting this to the CEO and board we made the following observations about the sales team: We became much more efficient and closed 40% of the “leads” versus a close rate of 30% last year. We were able to grow our revenue per sale by more than 50% by More cross-selling More up-selling Better negotiation The message is simple.  If sales are flat look hard at the metrics that might not be accustomed to.  ... read more

Anatomy of a bungled, but successful CRM sale…

As a sales consultant, I get to work with a lot of great companies. One that I’ve worked with over the past few years was in an interesting situation, they were going to buy a new CRM system. The attached presentation is a summary of the sales process and the mistakes made by the three vendors, Salesforce.com, Netsuite, and SugarCRM. It’s interesting reading.

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There are only four ways to grow revenue. Which is right for you?

You are the vice president of sales and you are preparing to meet with your CEO to discuss how you will grow revenues by 20% next year.  Your CEO wants you to do it with the same headcount as last year.  What are you going to do? There are only four things you can do. Solution 1: Put more opportunities into your sales pipeline How do you do that?  Think about doubling the number of opportunities per prospect or client.  Fully understand the customer’s concept.  When talking to a prospect, are you recognizing all the places you could add value?  Are there two things they’d buy from you rather than one?  What about your client base?  Your daily discussions with clients can become a source of leads if you pay attention.  Who says that it’s only your sales people who can uncover leads?  Whoever touches your customers should be constantly on the lookout for new opportunities.  That comes down to recognizing what the customer wants to fix, accomplish, or avoid.. Solution 2: Close deals faster If your average sales cycle is four months, what would it mean if you closed them in three, or even two months?  Easier said than done, but a worthy goal.  Are you chasing the right opportunities?  Deals with a poor chance of closing are a waste of your time.  Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).  It’s much more than just your target market.  Target markets are solely demographic in nature.   The ICP also involves psychographic aspects.  For example, for my consulting practice I look for companies that sincerely want to address their revenue issues,... read more

Why golf is like selling…

Those of you who know me know that I am an avid golfer.  While I am not the best golfer in the world, I’m not bad.  Recently, I had an epiphany on the putting green.  Here’s what happened… I had a tricky twelve footer or so, downhill with a left to right break.  I put […]

Those of you who know me know that I am an avid golfer.  While I am not the best golfer in the world, I’m not bad.  Recently, I had an epiphany on the putting green.  Here’s what happened... I had a tricky twelve footer or so, downhill with a left to right break.  I put a good read on it and selected my line, I hit it, a perfect stroke!  It was heading right toward the hole and I was convinced it was going in.  But, alas, as the golf gods would have it, it broke an inch or so more than I expected in the last foot and just lipped out. At first I was angry.  But, then I thought about it.  I had analyzed it correctly.  I stroked the put correctly.  I had the right line.  But, for some reason it didn’t go in.  I asked myself what I would have done differently and the answer was “nothing”.  So, rather than be angry, I felt good about it. What does that have to do with selling?  A lot!  You see, as you get ready for a sales call, you prepare.  (You do prepare, right?)  You think about who will be at the meeting, what their issues and concerns are, what questions you will ask, and how you’ll present your offering.  Sometimes the sales call is successful and sometimes it’s not.  Should you be angry if it doesn’t go right?  Well, since it’s like putting, if, and that’s a very big question, you prepared correctly and thoroughly, then no, you shouldn’t be angry. But, that’s the big question. ... read more

Sales keys for the “Operationally Excellent” companies

This is the third installment in my series of blogs about the implications on sales of Tracey and Weirsma’s great book “The Wisdom of Market Leaders”.   Last week we talked about companies who compete based upon “Product Leadership” (see below) and today we’re going to discuss those who compete on Organizational/Operational Excellence… from the sales perspective! […]

This is the third installment in my series of blogs about the implications on sales of Tracey and Weirsma’s great book “The Wisdom of Market Leaders”.   Last week we talked about companies who compete based upon “Product Leadership” (see below) and today we’re going to discuss those who compete on Organizational/Operational Excellence… from the sales perspective! If you remember, your target market is smaller than you think because certain customers will want different things from their vendor.  So, even though you may target “small to medium sized businesses with more than fifty knowledge workers in New England”, certain customers will want certain things from their vendor and other companies will want other things.  You, as a vendor must decide upon which of these definitions of value you will compete, and thus organize yourself and run your business.  As the authors so beautifully put it: “If a company is going to achieve and sustain dominance, it must first decide where it will stake its claim in the marketplace and what kind of value it will offer its customers.” The three types are: Companies who compete on “Customer Intimacy.”  These companies appeal to those customers who look for “the whole product” and want a vendor who will understand their business and their needs.  IBM and Nordstrom are such companies. Companies who compete on “Operational Excellence.”  These companies appeal to those who look for the lowest total cost.  Staples and Acer are such companies. Companies who compete on “Product Excellence.”  These companies appeal to those who look for the latest and best products.  Apple and Lexus are such companies. So, what are the... read more

Resources

Here are a few white papers that may be of interest” How to prevent losing sales after a merger or acquisition The case for account management as the core customer activity

Here are a few white papers that may be of interest” How to prevent losing sales after a merger or acquisition The case for account management as the core customer activity... read more