Striking the right balance of sales and service

A good sales professional not only finds new win-win opportunities to sell additional products or services to meet the customer’s evolving needs, but also takes personal accountability as the “go to” point of reference for all issues  relating to ordering and delivery of the customer’s requirements. The balance depends on the nature of your product or service, the buying cycle set by your customers, your organisation’s physical infrastructure (eg the presence of a dedicated customer service team), whether the Sales Exec is expected to hunt for brand new customers as well as account manage, the degree to which “service” READ MORE

Ask ‘why’ five times

This is the method Taiichi Ohno, pioneer of Toyota production systems, recommended to get to the root cause of a problem. My thought was that this principle could serve well in sales. In specific, it can be used to find out whether an opportunity exists and if it is real and worth your while to win. I am aware that good sales people know the power of questioning buyers over providing them with a laundry list of features and benefits. The ability to ask pertinent questions comes from preparation. Preparation is more than amassing information. I suggest READ MORE

Maximising CRM investment to drive productivity and return

(Too) Many sales organisations undertake a CRM strategy and associated hefty investment, and then when the software vendors come on site to undertake their (too) often “generic customisation”, the purchasing sales organisation is jolted into a process that forces them to retro-think about the functionality and the process support that can be derived from their investment. This common egg-and-chicken scenario usually results in one or two forms of investment sub-optimisation: Paying for functionality embedded in the system that is unnecessary but the organisation was not well prepared to say they didn’t want it; Conversely, they don’t adequately tailor READ MORE

Equipping your sales team for success

Eddie Smith, Founder of Sales Schematics Australia, writes... We’re often asked by clients: “How can we replicate the results that are being achieved by our top sales performers?” In other words, they want to know what they have to do to get their whole team performing at the same level... This question almost always comes from sales managers, and whilst it’s a valid question, it also fails to recognise an important truth – most salespeople fail in their roles because of poor sales management. Whilst most sales managers ask what his or her top performers are doing that READ MORE

Sales Quota Attainment: Whose Performance is Measured?

Christian Maurer, a Paris-based Consultant, Trainer and Coach, writes... When companies approach the end of their fiscal year, their sales leaders start thinking about the next year. One of the key parameters to figure out is the sales quota to be assigned to salespeople. The percentage of salespeople who reach or overachieve their set quota can be considered established measures of sales effectiveness. Likewise, it is common knowledge that the percentage of salespeople who do not reach their set quota indicates room for improvement, which brings the above question into mind - when it comes to READ MORE

How do you craft the right face-to-face selling methodology for your organisation?

I am a hapless AFL Richmond supporter. Many weekends I cannot bear to turn to the sports pages to read the obituary. When the Tigers do crack it for a win (even a draw is cause for celebration for Richmond fans), I can’t wait to rip the wrapper off the Sunday paper to digest the commentary and all the stats. In fact, I Iove reading the stats table more than the bloated summaries from the ‘editorial experts’. Do you know the sorts of tables I mean? They detail just about every sort of stat for every player. READ MORE

How do you know your sales-effectiveness initiative is successful?

Christian Maurer, a Paris-based Consultant, Trainer and Coach, writes... Donal Daily’s Sales 2.0 Network blog says to include 'non-revenue objectives' when judging the success of sales-effectiveness initiatives. One example they use is, ‘better qualification or common sales language across the organisation’. They reason that revenue is a lagging indicator. This is especially the case for long sales-cycles. By the time you notice a deviation from the revenue objective, it is often too late to change the short term effects. You have a better chance of affecting short-term outcomes if you track the behaviour of sales people using READ MORE

Master your order – to – delivery & sales processes

Glenn Guilfoyle, Founder & Principal of The Next Level, writes... In the B2B environment where core products and services are becoming more and more commoditised, more often than not, customers make their supplier choices on the process outputs that are most tangible and visible to them. Therefore, as suppliers, we live and die daily by the output performance of these critical and inter-related processes, as perceived by customers. The degree of inter-dependency between these two processes often lies in how well the order-to-delivery (or service fulfilment, for the services organisation) is operating.  If it is streamlined and READ MORE

Nurture potential buyers before you engage

Steve Crepeau sent me a couple of funnel management articles this week. One simply posed a question (Do you know where your sales pipeline is?); but it's the other that I want to comment about In asking "Who changed the sales funnel", he suggests that the market has changed, and I agree. Customers do much more homework before engaging with sales people now, and this is a great opportunity for Marketing to make a big difference. Being on the list (positioned in category) is no longer enough. While you are positioning as a credible provider with valid READ MORE

Why Hold a Sales Kick-off Meeting?

Boston-based Funnel Coach, Daniel Holland, writes... These traditional boondoggles cost valuable time and money, and are usually not effectively organized or measured for impact. Historically, companies have gathered their sales forces and distributors in a resort-type atmosphere to feed them motivational speakers, washed down by ample food, drink, and recreation, all with the objective to motivate their performance to achieve sales goals for the coming year. One of my favorite examples can be found here. Naturally, the CEO and the SVP/Chief Marketing Officer wanted to ‘ignite passion and the full power of the company around ONE mission.’  Most READ MORE

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