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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

Joined Reports by Salesforce

Hey Pals,

What are you using when doing your monthly report? If you are using Salesforce then I have great news for you! Salesforce (@salesforce) now has what they called “joined report” format which will make your business reporting 3 times faster and easier. Doing monthly report will help us to determine our gains and losses and help us decide what is our next step to increase sales. To know how the new system works, here’s the blog written by Mrina Natarajan. She has videos and illustrations that will make it easier for you to understand it! We want everything to be easy for you.

Get a Complete View of Your Sales Pipeline with Joined Reports

By Mrina Natarajan

ReportsIn your sales organization, you want to know how business is doing this month. You’d like to know metrics such as opportunities created, deals closed, and deals closing next month. While in the past you had to create three separate reports in Salesforce, now, you can get all this data in one report by using the joined report format.

Here’s how to get the data with a joined report:

Example: Create a joined report with multiple views

  1. Let’s start with a basic opportunities report and change it to the joined format.Joined_format

     

  2. Add three blocks. Drag and drop “Opportunity Owner” and “Amount” fields in each block. Each block shows a different view of the business so that decision makers can quickly assess and draw insights at a glance. Label the blocks “Created,” “Closed (Won),” and “Closing next month.”
    Opptys_blocks 
  3. As with other report formats, you can filter, summarize, and group fields. Filter each block by date range or opportunity status as appropriate.Opptys_blocks_filtered 
  4. Summarize the Amount column in each block, and group the results by “Opportunity Owner” (sales rep).

To make this data more visual, add a chart using the “Add Chart” option.Oppty_pipeline

Now what if you wanted to report on data from not one but several report types — multiple objects in other words? Joined report is still the way to go. Take the following example.

Example: Combine data in a joined report from multiple report types

As a salesperson, you want to gauge the health of your accounts while prepping for customer calls. You’ll need a report that looks at different opportunity and case records for each account. We’ll pull in data from three objects.

To begin, create an accounts report. Then, add data from the Opportunities report type and Cases report type. You’re able to add data for Opportunities and Cases objects because they’re related to Accounts, which is a common parent object. See how each report type that you add is its own block.

We’ll create four blocks, each showing a different facet of the account.

  1. In the accounts block, add the “Employees” column and summarize by max, which gives you maximum value of the Employees column.
  2. Create an opportunities block showing the lifetime value of the account. Calculate the sum of “Amount” and set “Opportunity Status” to “Closed Won.”
  3. Show the open opportunity pipeline in the next block. Set Opportunity Status to “Open” and get the sum of Amount.
  4. In the last block, show open cases with “Case Owner,” “Subject,” and “Age” columns. Filter by “Status” “not equal to” “Closed” to just see the open cases.

Now group all blocks by Account Name. Acct_health

There’s more you can do with joined reporting. For example, you can create summary formulas to calculate additional totals on number fields for one report type or create cross-block formulas to get totals for number fields across different report types.

To get hands-on experience, try the joined report examples in the Analytics Workbook or watch this brief video,Introducing Joined Reports in Salesforce.

To recap: Joined reports let you report across multiple data sets in a single report. See related data from multiple report types, or see different views of data from the same report type. Joined reports are available to you in Enterprise, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

Reporting consume too much of our time and effort. Good thing that there are some tools that we can use to make our reports easier and faster. How long does it take you to make your monthly report? What tools are you using? You can share it here so that our fellow sales people can have a choice.

 

Yours,

 

Jack

Recognizing The Value of Your Sales Agents

Hello Peeps!

How are you doing? I have here a blog that a sales manager should read. This blog is written by S. Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) which talks about sales person recognition. Some of the sales manager often thinks that they are on higher level and the sales agents are just their subordinates. Treating your sales agent as an ordinary employee has an impact on his performance and this is not good for the company. These people have a quota to reach so it is important that they are highly motivated. They bring sales to the company so they must be treated fairly. The incentive scheme is quite effective in recognizing their hard work. So here’s how the author state his opinion.

Underestimating the Value of Being a Great Salesperson

By S. Anthony Iannarino

You have a great offering. Your competitor also has a great offering.

You have a tried and true sales process. Your competitor has a tried and true sales process, too.

You are using the latest and greatest sales methodology. Your competitor is also using the shiny new “new” thing.

Your sales force automation is a modern marvel. Everything you use is integrated into a beautiful, sleek interface with custom dashboards. Your competitor’s SFA is a dead ringer for yours. Only the company logo is different.

You are equipped with the best technology that money can buy. Well, how about that. Ditto your competitor; they’re equally well equipped.

The Difference: You.

We tend to overestimate the impact of some things on sales results and greatly underestimate what’s most important. In any sales organization where the above statements are true, they’re true for every salesperson on the sales team. That means the difference in results is something else, even in your sales organization.

The difference that makes a difference is you, the salesperson. It’s helpful to have a great offering, an effective sales process, good methodologies, and great technology. But it isn’t a substitute for the value created by a great salesperson sitting face-to-face with their dream client.

If you want to improve something that will immediately and irrevocably improve your sales results, you start with the greatest asset you will ever have for producing results: You. You becoming the best ever version of yourself will do more to improve your sales results than anything else.

Questions

What do you substitute for developing your sales skills?

What accounts for the difference in sales results between salespeople in the same organization? Different organizations?

If you could change one thing that would massively improve your results, what would you change?

How much does the salesperson account for in the decision to buy?

Let the employee feel that they are part of business and not just personnel who will do the command. It will degrade them and feel that they can’t do anything without your advice at all times. The initiative to respond in work at their very best will be eradicated once you put on their mind that they do not know anything without you. It is very time consuming also to dictate to them what to do every now and then, right?

Best,

Jack

Building Customer Trust

Hi Friends,

Thanks for always dropping by and taking time to read our reviews. The blog that I am going to share is from timetrade (@timetrade). This blog talks about trust. Trust is very important in any relationship. This also applies to client and salesperson relationship. When your client doesn’t trust you, closing a sale is impossible so it is crucial to build trust. This blog is written by Mpuglia which was entitled “How the lack of customer trust killed the sales funnel”. Sales manager, sales representative and any sales people can relate to this. Reading the title can already give you an idea what the content is all about. Come and let’s read it!

How the lack of customer trust killed the sales funnel

By 

funnel 271x300 photo (social media sales 2 marketing 2 customer service customer retention )Forrester Analyst Corinne Munchback recently posted a provocative obituary on her blog with a post titled “Bye Bye Marketing Funnel – It was fun while it lasted.”

In her piece, Munchbach declares “the marketing funnel no longer applies to modern marketing,” and then elaborates that the “customer life cycle” (which she defines as the “customers’ relationship with a brand as they continue to discover new needs, explore their options, make purchases, and engage with the product or service experience,”) is now the right approach to connect with prospect and customers.

As a developer of online appointment scheduling software that streamlines how and when professionals and customers meet, TimeTrade agrees fully with Forrester’s counsel to put “customers at the center of marketing!”

Corinne’s recommendations are a good read, and if you’re a Forrester client, you can dig deeper by reading their new research report “Embed The Customer Life Cycle Across Marketing,” which encourages marketers to focus on the complete brand experience: “particularly customer satisfaction and engagement.”

Taking a page from TimeTrade’s own marketing playbook one observation in Corinne’s blog post really resonates with us:

“A purchase does not always (or even often) equate to loyalty. 
Loyalty is something that has to be earned and nurtured on an ongoing basis. The life cycle emphasizes that goodwill must be built up and continually delivered on to build successful — and profitable — long-term relationships.”

Amen.

Forrester’s take on the death of the funnel echoes a collection of Sales 2.0 articles that TimeTrade president Gary Ambrosino wrote on his personal blog on “Selling at the Speed of Trust.”

Gary reminds us “the traditional sales cycle doesn’t work as well as it used to,” describing that’s “because the power of social media combined with the level of participation of the average buyer has thrown a monkey wrench into traditional thinking.”

In his oft ReTweeted article “Checklist for Launching a Time-to-Trust Sales Campaign” Gary shares “three things to do to modify your sales approach to match the new reality.” There’s lots to learn in the article, and from Gary’s Webinar presentation on “Selling at the Speed of Trust.”

Ding, dong – The marketing funnel is dead!!

As our friend Harry Klein has written, the new era of customer engagement will bring a synchronicity of promises, processes and experiences in which conversations and relationships will drive mutual fulfillment and sales success.

Something to look forward to!

I love the line from this blog put “customers at the center of marketing!” This is very true and self-explanatory. It just so happen that as the year goes by we forgot who the most important person in our business. We think that we are and we forgot that it is our customer because when they are happy with our service or product, they will continue patronizing us. Leave us a comment!

Cheers!

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