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Sales Management

Hey People,

I would like to get the attention of the sales management team or the sales manager today because the blog that I saw is for them. It is about sales management on how you handle your sales team. If your team is doing fantastic, it must  be because you are a good leader but if your team is doing poorly, it is time for you to ask yourself “am I a good sales manager for them?”. Your sales people need help from their superior before they do the business. Make sure that they are equipped with the knowledge they need before you let them go to the field. Here’s the article from Ken Thoreson, your sales management guru.

Sales Mgmt:  Understanding “Setting the Hook”

By Ken Thoreson

One of the main jobs of sales management is to help their salespeople see where they are in the sales opportunity.  Are they early? Do they know what they need to know? Do they have an excellent strategy to close?  I like to think that a salesperson is a juggler, tossing X number of opportunities in the air and the sales managers job is to assist the salesperson on judging what opportuniti8es to work , which one’s to toss away and to provide ideas on HOW to work the selected ones

During a few recent client/consulting meetings I realized that this remains an extremely important aspect of any salesperson’s life as well as any sales manager or president of any firm. Exceeding monthly sales objectives are the goals of the sales organization, especially the sales manager. What to do?

First: if you have not subscribed to the “Sales Managers Tool Kit”, atwww.AcumenManagement.com , you can get a free copy of the Sales Strategy Guide by sending me an email:  Ken@AcumenMgmt.com   The Tool Kit contains 40 tools/guides for any sales manager.  The purpose of the  Sales Strategy Guide  is to be used by each salesperson and the sales manager to discuss and strategize on individual sales opportunities and uncover what you know, what you don’t know and develop tactical steps to move the account to conclusion.

Second: The salesperson must know what the “Impact” of your product or services will have on the prospects business. The salesperson must fully understand this question and its answer. You will use it during critical aspects of closing the opportunity.   YOU close for the prospect’s benefit-not the salespersons.

Third: Depending upon your product/services that you offer and vendor relationships, knowing when the prospect wants to be fully utilizing your offering is critical. It is not about “when a decision will be made” it’s about understanding timing and any issues surrounding that timeframe.

Fourth: Knowing early on during the sales process the reason the client will make the decision, the impact of your solution on their company and timing, allows the salesperson to begin to set the hook early. Now I am not suggesting unethical sales tactics, but making sure early in any sales cycle you fully understand the prospect’s key issues allows you control the sales process.

The key element to remember is individuals are always challenged to make a decision, your job, as a trusted advisor is to assist the individual in making the right decision that will impact their business and to help them make it on your time line. This is selling vs order taking.

Being mentally creative and tough and moving your role from simply presenting products/services to providing business guidance moves the role to the next level. It is the job of sales management to assist the salesperson to move forward professionally.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 14 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America. His latest book is titled: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.

As a sales manager, it is your obligation to inform your team about your company and about their role in the business. It is also your duty to motivate them and to bring out the best in them. Remember they are looking up on you. You must be a good example and you must be firmed all the time, to get their full respect! Questions?

Happy selling,

Jack

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Building a Business

Hello People!

I have a very interesting blog to share with you right at this moment. This will leave a question in your mind that you will bring the whole day. This is if you are the one who is in control of the company. One of the executives! Are you the Sales President or Sales Vice President? Whatever role you play in the company, your opinion counts, especially if you are responsible for the company’s profit. We make business for profit right? Therefore, we are offering a service or a product for the people. It is a must that we make sure that it is something valuable to them and something they can’t resist. Here is a blog written by Mark LaRosa (@mlarosa), CEO of QuotaCrush.

“Building a Business” means something very different to me.

By Mark LaRosa

I saw this post today on VentureBeat about free courses being offered by Stanford to “Build Your Business

Scan the list… NOT A SINGLE COURSE ON SALES!

It doesn’t matter how much “cryptology” you use, or how good your “graphical models” are, or how “creative you are”  if you can’t get people to buy the product – if you don’t have people who want to PAY you for it.  You will eventually go out of business!    (BTW:  are they seriously trying to teach how to be creative?  isn’t that in your nature or not? of course, I feel the same way about teaching you how to be an entrepreneur, you either are or you aren’t – it can’t be taught).

On the same day, there was a post on Business Insider about how Tumblr ignored revenue for too long and is now feeling the heat.

I say it over and over again, your product does not matter if people don’t want it.  It has to solve a critical problem.  And if you aren’t thinking about sales from day 1, you are already too late.  You don’t build a product for product sake, you build it so that people will buy it – so that you can bring in revenue and make a living for your employees.  Spending some angel’s money or some VC fund’s limited partner’s money just for fun is NOT what being an entrepreneur is about – and it always shocks me that business schools have not figured this out!  There is only one common thread in EVERY company in the world – and that is selling.

In every company that I have started, revenue has always been the main focus in inception.  If I couldn’t think about how the company made money, I moved onto another idea.   The revenue can certainly be indirect, but there has to be a monetization strategy somewhere – otherwise you are just spending investors money “playing company.”

When I have been brought into companies to rescue them, it is always about bringing revenue in- and its certainly much easier when there are plans for this from the get go.

So… certainly take these free classes from Stanford – but don’t forget that “building your product” does not mean “building your business”.  If you are building your “business” then revenue should 100% be a component of that discussion.

How about you? How do you see business? What is your main goal when you are starting up a business? Is it for profit? Of course, it is! Don’t deny it! Though, there are people I know who will answer “to help other people” but in return, the more people they help, the more revenue they get. Do you have any comments? I want to read it on the comment box!

Always,

Jack

Use Email Effectively by Using Rapportive

Hello People!

I find another software sales tool to share with you. This is not ordinary sales software. It is just a tool that you can use to build rapport with people you like to do business with. This is called Rapportive. Once you installed it in your email, you will find it easy to identify the person who is sending you message and it will be easy for you to connect with that person using the social media buttons such as Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and LinkedIn. Here’s an article written by Rahul Vohra (@rahulvohra) to help you know the tool better!

Write better emails: be astute, personal, and effective

By Rahul Vohra

When somebody emails you, Rapportive is great!

You can immediately see what people look like, where they are based, and what they do. You can establish rapport by mentioning shared interests. And you can grow your network by connecting on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and more.

But what about when you send email?

When you start a new conversation, Gmail itself doesn’t help at all:

 

 

You’re emailing Conrad, but you are flying blind.

Where is he? What’s he doing? What’s he thinking?

What’s going on in Conrad’s life?

It would be tremendously useful to have Rapportive right here:

 

 

Today, we are super-excited to deliver one of our most requested features: you can now use Rapportive when you are composing an email.

By using Rapportive before you email, you can be more astute, personal, and effective. You can find ways to break the ice, topics to bond over, and reasons to get in touch with people. You can even make small gestures such as liking Facebook posts and following on Twitter.

We’ve been testing this ourselves for a few weeks, and it’s already changed the way we write email. We think you’ll like it too!

We’re gradually rolling the feature out to everybody. But if you can’t wait, feel free to upgrade instantly here: rapportive.com/compose 🙂

Enjoy!

Actually, I downloaded this tool and it is very useful because you can get to know the details of the person you are emailing. It is hard when you are guessing. My question now is, are you going to use this tool in your email? Why and why not?

 

Sincerely,

Jack

Innovation for Business Success

Hi Salespeople!

I’ve read something about innovation that I wanted to share to all of you. I think this is a good read and will benefit everyone in the business world. Innovation is a great way to get ahead of the sales competition. Though we know innovation is vital, it is not easy to do. This blog will help you how to come up with a brilliant idea to innovate your business. This blog from spigit (@Spigit ) is written by Shail Khiyara and it talks about anything that has to do with innovation. How does it affect your company? How to come up with an idea? How to promote it? And so on. This is just a preview and the whole blog is here.

Is Innovation Thriving In The Fortune 50 Companies?

By Shail Khiyara

Innovation is the lifeblood of a business. Many organizations are beginning to realize that investing in their people through crowdsourcing helps drive innovation, revenue and competitive advantage. In fact, the Corporate Executive Board found that companies with transformative innovation had 30 percent in sales from new products vs. 14 percent of others that did not have transformative innovation.

Collaboration is key to innovation. General Electric’s Global Innovation Barometer found that 87 percent of senior business executives believe their firm would innovate better by partnering than on their own. Advances in social software have helped businesses better promote innovation within and foster collaboration. According to recent research from McKinsey Global Institute, 72 percent of companies use social technology in some way, but very few are using it to its full potential. Sales pipelines and Financial reports are not a coincidence. They are built systematically with a consistent process. Such is the nature of Innovation and Idea pipelines.

While companies continue to value innovation and in some instances make it their core brand proposition, they still struggle to derive innovation leverage from their employee, customer and supplier networks. Spigit recently examined the Fortune 50 companies to see just how big of a role innovation plays among the leading organizations in the U.S. We took a close look at company demographics, such as location and size, in order to hone in on any interesting patterns, as well as how ‘innovation’ was used in the company branding efforts.

Our research is the first in ‘Deconstructing Innovation’ down to its roots.
Deconstructing Innovation – To analyze and identify the essential elements for repeatable crowd empowered innovation and engagement. 

Below we’ve provided an overview of our key findings:

  • Are companies that claim a focus on innovation designating a leader to drive the cause?
    • More than half of the Fortune 50 mention innovation in their messaging, yet only 6 percent have appointed a Chief Innovation Officer or similar C-suite position.
  • Does size matter? Are smaller companies with fewer employees more apt to focus on innovation branding than larger companies that have more employees?
    • Over 65 percent of larger companies (more than 100,000 employees) mention innovation in their branding efforts, as opposed to only 29 percent of smaller companies (less than 100,000 employees).
  • Do companies based in the Silicon Valley, a place some would consider to be the hub for innovation, focus more on innovation than those in other parts of the U.S.? Or, is the Big Apple more ripe for innovation?
    • 73 percent of companies based in the NYC area mention innovation in their branding efforts and websites compared to only 50 percent of those based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Does your company place a focus on innovation all day, every day? Is it engrained in your company’s DNA? Share with us your thoughts and how you plan to increase innovation in 2013.

I hope that you have learned something valuable today with regards to innovation. There is a perfect time on when to do it and how to do it but if you have done it right, it will be a great help to your business? Tell us what you have learned today!

All the best,

Jack

Life is an Obstacle Course

Hey Folks!

How’s everyone? As I chill down today, I read a short blog from Dan Waldschmidt (@DanWaldo). Though it is short, it is very meaningful. It doesn’t talk about sales but life in general but this blog can be used to motivate a team. The title of the blog is “LIFE ISN’T A JOURNEY. IT’S AN OBSTACLE COURSE.” Anyone can relate to this because we are all encountering obstacle in our lives which is pretty normal. In sales, there are a lot of obstacles to achieve your goal but that’s alright because it only means that you are up to something. Don’t give up! Just learn to deal with it!

LIFE ISN’T A JOURNEY. IT’S AN OBSTACLE COURSE.

By Dan Waldschmidt

It’s OK to feel lost along your journey to success.  In fact, if you’re going someplace new you’ll be lost until the moment you arrive where you want to be.   And even then, where you end up can feel awkward and odd.

So you probably need to get comfortable feeling your way around the dark.  You need to get used to bumping into the edge of sharp objects and falling into open construction pits.

Life is isn’t so much a journey as it is an obstacle course.

Fear and anxiety are a big part of your daily challenges.  A lot of the time you just don’t know what to do.  There isn’t a book you can read on the subject, a seminar that covers the topic, or a mentor you can call to get answers to your questions.

It’s just you.  And your questions. Which can be scary.  And feel hopeless.

The truth is that you aren’t experiencing anything that everyone else doesn’t feel already.

The obstacles are a necessary part of life.

A part of the pursuit of awesome goals.

If you’re not feeling lost maybe you aren’t heading in the right direction.

Maybe it’s time to stop playing it safe.

 

Can you relate? I know you can! Every one of us does! I will only say this once but I agree with the author, it’s not that I agree that life isn’t a journey but I agree that life is an obstacle course. Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we fall but it doesn’t give us a ticket to quit but to push harder. Let us prove that we are worthy of achieving our goals. Remember the fruit of our hard work is sweet. Who disagree?

 

Best,

 

Jack

Why Incentives Program Fails

Hey Guys,

This day is very meaningful to me because I learned something that I am so eager to share with you. It is about giving incentives to your employees. As employers, it is our duty to keep our employees on their high spirit when working and one of the techniques that many of us are using is creating an incentive program, thinking that it will keep them motivated. I believe that this program is still effective but there are instances that it does not work out the way you expected. In this video, Steve Levitt,  the author of Freaknomics explains why incentives don’t work. Watch it!

Steven Levitt – Why Incentives Don’t Work

He had a great point don’t you think? Employees get excited at the first time they heard about your incentive program but as time goes by, they will get used to it and demand more and when you don’t come up with their expectation, they will not work with the same enthusiasm anymore.

Do you have the same experience? Does explaining to your employees the importance of what they are doing works with them? We have comment box below so you can share your thoughts!

Yours,

Jack

Problems in not Seeing Business Opportunities

Hi Guys,

I’m back again and I’ve found something inspirational for you to read! Every one of us needs inspirations and we all need words of encouragement, whether you are an ordinary sales person or you are the sales vice president of the company. Many people don’t realize that the people in the higher positions are the most pressured individuals. They are thinking not only themselves but the whole company and the employees who are depending on them. If you can relate to this and you think that you are running out of business opportunities, read this post by Dan Waldschmidt and get inspired!

HOW TO STOP RUNNING OUT OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES.

By Dan Waldschmidt
Lack of opportunity isn’t your problem. Vision is. And bravery.

We often try to make our business problems about what we don’t have. Not enough medication. Not enough money. Not enough time. Not the right location.

It comes naturally to rationalize failure as if life is especially unfair to us.

But that’s just not realistic.

And that natural reaction is limiting your ability to achieve surprising feats of greatness.

Opportunity isn’t served up randomly. It’s all around you. All the time.

You just don’t let yourself see it all the time. The pain from your past and the fear in your present limit your ability to see and take advantage of the opportunity for you to be amazing.

You decide if you find a breakthrough. You determine if you get lucky.

Not chance or chaos or coincidence.

Opportunity is always there. It doesn’t change. It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t play favorites. It’s just waiting to be taken advantage of. Waiting for you to realize that it is there.

The problem with your business might not be your sales plan or your marketing strategy or the need for a better culture. You might have a problem spotting opportunity.

And that’s not an education problem. Or a finance problem. Or even a personnel problem.

It is an inspiration problem. An attitude problem.

A belief problem.

Success is out there waiting for you to find it. The opportunity to be amazing has never been more within reach then it is right now.

Are you looking for it?  Or do you need an “opportunity adjustment”?

Fight for you. Believe in you.

Bleed. Cry. Conquer.

We all have some attitude problems sometimes but it can be cured with a little inspiration. With just a hug and a kiss from your love ones can make a difference. With an approving smile by your boss or a wink from a friend can give you confidence. Tell us what makes you inspired and your favorite words of encouragements!

Always,

Jack