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HOW TO REACH YOUR SALES QUOTA FAR MORE OFTEN

Money_Jar_1_-_x400This is a story you’ve likely heard before, but it’s one containing such an important truth for sales professionals that this reminder will prove to be valuable for you in your sales work today.

That, and it perfectly sets up the expert resource I want to tell you about in a moment…

As the trainer stood in front of the group of sales professionals he said, “It’s time for a quiz.” 

He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him.  Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the room said, “Yes.”

“Really?” replied the trainer.  He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.  Then he dumped in some gravel and shook the jar causing the smaller pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the larger rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Now, is the jar full?” By this time, the audience was onto him.  “Probably not,” one of them answered with a smile of his own.

“Good!”  he replied with a chuckle.  He then reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.  He started dumping in the sand in. It went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.  He asked the question once more, “Is the jar full?”

“No!”  the group shouted.

Once again he smiled and said, “Good!” Next, the trainer grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.  He looked up at them and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager young professional raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit more things into it!”

“That is absolutely…not correct,” the trainer replied. “That’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

I TOLD YOU THAT TO TELL YOU THIS…
With our finite amount of hours in which to work, our ability to keep a strong focus on the main priorities, along with the order in which other work should be done, will directly determine our sales effectiveness.

I know this is not a new concept to you.

What may be new to you is the sales coaching I read a few days ago from Fredrik Jonsson (@fredrikmembrain). He’s the Chief Content Officer at @membrain_com. His post is titled: How should B2B sales people spend their time in order to reach quota?

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Jonsson’s post is how to accurately answer this question:

How should our sales people allocate their time between different activities to optimize their chances of reaching quota?

WHAT I LIKED
The information Jonsson provides isn’t just the typical 3 bullet points and a pep talk. It’s incredibly practical and so useful that you can begin using what you learn from it right away.

Although we’re good at convincing ourselves that we have a solid handle on our daily time management, we may not be using the right mix of sales activities in the best ways to optimize our sales.

Jonsson’s post walks us through the variety of activities we do from day-to-day and gives us vital questions to ask ourselves to better tune the optimization knob toward greater sales success.

Then, the author takes us into a scenario to see how it plays out. This is helpful to better understand how to use your own situation, in conjunction with Jonsson’s expert direction, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your time.

Don’t miss this post, and be sure to pass it along to your colleagues/ sales team to aid strongly in increasing your organization’s sales numbers and make quota more often.

DON’T MISS THIS: Jonsson (via @membrain_com) is offering a very useful kit of resources to download. Since you read to the end of this post, you’re definitely someone who will find a lot of value in this downloadable resource: How To Set Realistic Goals In Complex B2B Sales.

[Reading Time of Jonsson’s Post: 4:00]


QUESTION ::: What was one of your A-ha! moments as you read Jonsson’s post? 
What are you going to put into action this week

Let’s talk about it…

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SALES PROCESS INEFFICIENCIES LIMIT SELLING TIME: FIX IT!

Battling_Cage_302_shadowI know a young man, 10 years my junior, who played baseball every year from t-ball through college. He was confident he had a great swing by the middle of his high school years.

That was when a former major league all-star put that boy in his place.

It was at the Jim Rice Baseball School in Tampa, FL and Ron LeFlore was that pro player. Jason was the high school player who took exactly three swings in front of LeFlore before the pro stepped in and stopped the session of batting practice.

LeFlore gave the kid three simple steps, creating a far more efficient swing, and the kid went on to completely miss more than 20 pitches in a row.

Jason was frustrated, and he expressed it. Ron asked him a single question: “Between you and me, which one of us is a major league all-star?”

The kid sighed and the pro assured him that by the end of the week he would be hitting the ball better than he ever had only ifhe chose to trust LeFlore. Jason chose to trust him.

Friday morning came and LeFlore stood behind the batting cage as the kid stepped up to the plate. The first pitch came out of the pitching machine and LeFlore called out, “Left field!” The kid hit it to left field. Then, “Right field!” And a line drive shot over the head of the second baseman.

This went on for two dozen pitches in all, and every one of them landed wherever the pro commanded them to go.

The kid went on to lead his league the next year with a .543 batting average, as well as in several other categories. This came about because someone knew how to fix the inefficiencies in Jason’s swing.

I TOLD YOU THAT TO TELL YOU THIS…
Inefficiencies in your sales process are costing you more signed sales contracts than you may believe. The Ron LeFlore you need to fix your situation will be the voice that’s helping you spend more time in direct selling activities. Period.

CEO and Co-founder of Seismic, Doug Winter (@SeismicSoftware) wrote an article for @Entrepreneur magazine two weeks ago titled: Eliminate Inefficiencies in Your Sales Process So Your People Can Focus on the Sell.”

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Winter’s article is this:

“Knowing that content is the fuel to the sales engine, it would make sense to give the sales force access to the sales materials that help them sell from the place where they spend the most time: within their email, CRM or both.”

WHAT I LIKED
Winter makes his case without wasted effort. An article about correcting inefficiencies would not be as credible if it was longer than it needed to be.

In the article, Winter draws from a variety of sources to paint a picture of the truth; there’s a lot of wasted time and effort where a good thing has become a bad thing because it’s taken the place of the best thing.

That best thing is Selling Time.

Winter discusses this issue through the lens of content marketing and how it’s the fuel to the sales engine.

It’s a quick read, and the article can be an important part of the ammunition you need to bring about change in your sales organization (whether you’re a sales rep, manager, director or executive).

And yes, SalesFitRx is all about helping sales professionals, and sales teams, locate more selling time. If you haven’t yet looked into how the web and mobile app does this, I recommend finding out today. There’s also a 30 day risk-free trial available (no credit card required).

As for Jason, he was asked by the owner of the baseball school to stay an extra week, at the owner’s cost, and he did. Much like a week of pure selling time, this bonus week for the kid was pure profit.

LeFlore was able to further develop him into the player who went on to consistently frustrate opposing teams’ managers until the end of his playing days.

It was all because the kid was willing to make a change in order to achieve greater success. Will you?

[Reading Time of Winter’s Article: 2:30 minutes]


QUESTION ::: What types of work activities take up too much of your time each week?

Let’s talk about it…

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15 SALES PRESENTATION EXPERT TIPS ::: FSG LINKS

Meetings_345_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

Styles, formats and even the technology used to give sales presentations has changed over the year, but one elemental truth has remained the same. Presentations are made to people. .There will always be the human factor

I definitely recommend reading through and bookmarking, the four resources linked below before you make your next sales presentation.

Return to this blog daily, and especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

15 SALES PRESENTATION EXPERT TIPS :::

Larry_Alton_130x130
Entrepreneur Magazine

6 Essentials for Making Your Elevator Pitch Unforgettable
Larry Alton (@LarryAlton3) is a contributing writer for @Entrepreneur and a freelance tech and computer writer. The shortest sales presentation you’ll ever give is your elevator pitch. Here are some excellent tips on how to make yours memorable.

KEY QUOTE: …cramming he details of a complex business plan into an opening the size of a few sentences can be excruciatingly difficult, even more so when you’re trying to stand out and make a great first impression.

“Fortunately, with the right strategies, you can make sure your elevator pitch is unforgettable.”

Your next opportunity to give your elevator pitch can happen at any moment. Don’t passively wait for it. Instead, actively lookfor it. #ElevatorNotRequired

[Reading Time of This Post: 3:00 minutes]

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Michelle_Boyette_120x120Top Sales Dog Blog
Try ‘Pecha Kucha’ to Teach Tighter Sales Presentations
Michael Boyette (@TopSalesDog) is the editorial director for @rlinstitute. He introduces you to the concept of “Pecha Kucha.” It’s a proven way to keep a limited number of presentation or demo slides within a specific time frame to increase your effectiveness.

KEY QUOTE …Pecha Kucha (pronounced P’chochka) may be just the condiment you need to help reps spice up long, meandering sales presentations.”

Much like TED Talks being limited to 18 minutes, Pecha Kucha presentations are also effective along the lines of less being more. Check out the link to Daniel Pink’s presentation to see an example.  #HandleItCorrectly

[Reading Time: 1:30 minutes]

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Julie_Hansen_120x120Acting For Sales Blog
3 Questions Your Sales Presentation Must Answer
Sales presentations and demonstrations expert and sales trainer Julie Hansen (@acting4sales) offers three important questions. You may need to answer one, two or all three of these questions for your buyers when you walk them through a presentation or a demo.

Hansen shows you how to determine which questions(s) you’ll need to answer.

KEY QUOTE: Don’t be afraid to ask the necessary questions to find out which question you must address in your presentation. Knowing well before you start planning will help you avoid disappointment and unpleasant surprises, and increase your success rate.”

Also: Don’t miss Hansen’s tips on the 5 things you must do in your discovery call#DontAssumeAnything

[Reading Time: 2:30 minutes]

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Bruce_Gabrielle_120x120LinkedIn SlideShare Blog
5 Tips for Presenting to Executives
Author, speaker and expert PowerPoint presentation trainer Bruce Gabrielle (@bruce_gabrielle) explains 5 excellent tips with which I strongly agree.

KEY QUOTE: …don’t be afraid OF executives. Be afraid FOR them and think about how your proposal could help to allay their biggest fears.”

This post won’t take long to read, and you can go deeper into this topic with the embedded SlideShare presentation at the end of the post (59 slides). #YouCanDoThis

[Reading Time: 2:30 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CURRENT B2B CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION

1st_Place_346_shadowHave you ever known a person you initially disliked but grew to really appreciate over time?

Billy Staniforth. That’s who it was for me.

He was the one who, from fourth grade through eighth grade, always did everything better than I did. Specifically, he was my [temporary] nemesis at the fourth grade science fair back in 19…well, a while ago.

I had given my science fair project a lot of thought and was sure I’d win first place for my grade. That confidence only lasted up to the point when Billy wheeled in his project into the room that morning.

At that moment, I knew I’d be lucky if they didn’t award him the first, second and third place ribbons. His solar system project was so comprehensive that I didn’t even want to set up my chemical reaction project compared to that.

Seriously, I swear that project contained some items even NASA hadn’t yet acquired. Who was this guy?

Instead of hating him, I soon learned a lot from him about what it takes to do things with excellence. We talked a lot about how he planned and executed his project, thinking deeper about each aspect of the presentation than I would’ve done.

Billy gave me my first taste of understanding the importance of doing things with true excellence, to the best of our abilities.

Sometimes we just need someone else to show us what excellence looks like compared to what we thought was an effort equaling the best of our abilities. What I learned from Billy actually helped me succeed in my career.

Tien Anh Nguyen (@tienanh) is the Director of Market Insights for @OpenViewVenture. He posted an incredibly rich guide earlier this month on the @OpenviewLabs blog. I’d call it a business world version of someone who went all out to create an fully comprehensive resource akin to a first-place-winning science fair presentation.

It’s impressive, and I want to make sure you know about it.

It’s titled: Finding Your Best Customer: A Guide to Best Current B2B Customer Segmentation.”

You’ll be thankful Nguyen went so deep into this topic once you get into it.

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Nguyen’s post is this:

Proper current B2B customer segmentation means no longer needing to take on every customer that is willing to pay for your product or service, which will allow you to instead hone in on a specific subset of customers that present the most profitable opportunities and efficient use of resources.

WHAT I LIKED
What’s not to like? Take a look at the table of contents for this resource:

  • What Is Customer Segmentation and Why Is It Important?
  • Why Establishing Segmentation Hypotheses and Variables are Important
  • Exploring Typical Customer Segmentation Schemes for B2B Software Companies
  • The Business Benefits of Current Customer Segmentation
  • Creating Change Your Company Can Believe In
  • The Best Current Customer Segmentation Process: 5 Steps
> Step 1: Setting Up Your Customer Segmentation Project
> Step 2: Analyzing Customer Data
> Step 3: Data Collection
> Step 4: Analysis and Prioritization
> Step 5: Presenting and Incorporating Feedback

The How, What, When, Where, Why and How of this topic are explained with effectiveness and [relatively speaking] efficiency.

The 5 steps included in this resource are really the bread and butter of the post, but the earlier sections are important for giving you the understanding and the ammo you’ll need to bring about change in your organization.

There’s also a final section that offers some important information, so don’t miss it.

This isn’t a resource you’ll likely read through in one sitting, so bookmark it and go through it with another colleague who also feels strongly about improving this aspect of sales strategy within your company. Bouncing it back and forth between you will help increase your knowledge and understanding of what Nguyen describes in this post.

[Reading Time For Nguyen’s Post: 20:00+]

 

QUESTION ::: Thinking back about what you’ve tried in the past re: customer segmentation, what are you most interested in with what this resource offers?

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

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SALES EXECUTIVES USE TWITTER & THIS IS WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU…

Classroom_350_shadowThe teachers didn’t do this back when I was in high school, but when my children were in those years, they were sometimes allowed to make their own index card cheat sheet. And, they were allowed to use it during a test.

I remember the first time my oldest child told me that. It was the second week of the new school year.

What was my response?

I immediately called the school and talked to that teacher. And yes, she confirmed they were allowed to do it for that test. So, I gave her the benefit of the doubt…well, better said, I suspended judgment.

The result was what I expected: an A+ for my daughter. Of course…she had the answers. What I didn’t expect was what my girl told me: “Dad, I barely used the index card while I took the test, and it was the same for most of the other kids.”

WHY DID IT WORK?
The teacher later told me that since they were so motivated to write as much information as they could on both sides of the index card [in really tiny writing] the students reviewed more and retained a lot more information.

She also explained that to the students so they saw the results of a new way to effectively study for tests, and added: “Just be sure to leave those index cards in your backpacks the rest of the year whenever we start a test. You won’t need them anyway.”

SO WHAT?
So sometimes I come across a resource that’s so deep and practical in its helpfulness that I pull out an index card and start writing—in really small writing—so I can learn it once without continually forgetting and going back to the resource to learn it again and again.

We’re wired to remember things better when we write them down by hand. Most of us don’t know that [or believe that] so we fail to gain the benefit from putting that knowledge to use (i.e. wisdom).

I found one of those rich kinds of resources this month and I want to share it with you. It’s on the overlapping topics of:

  • Growing your online influence
  • The effective [and efficient] use of Twitter for sales pros
  • Social selling

This resource short-circuits the learning process. It creates a shortcut to achieving your goal of becoming more effective in growing your social media influence for the purpose of more successfully creating quality leads with sales executives.

Carter Hostelley (@carterhostelley) is the CEO and founder of @Leadtail. He wrote this original post: “How Sales Execs Use Twitter,” for @funnelholic; it’s an extended version of the shorter post Hostelley wrote for Leadtail’s blog.

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Hostelley’s post is this:

Start by sharing and engaging those publications, brands and people that influence your
target audience. This will put you on the path to becoming influential, too!

WHAT I LIKED
I liked this post because the wisdom shared in these 575 words helps sales professionals, such as yourself, quickly get noticeably more effective in building your online influence via Twitter. It’s like that cheat sheet. Once you get it, you get it.

No more wasted effort on Twitter; you can now be laser-focused.

Hostelley leads off with these words:

“While there may be debate about whether LinkedIn or Twitter is more popular with salespeople, there’s no question that sales executives are becoming more active on Twitter. Why?

Why indeed:

“They understand the power of the micro-blogging platform as a way to monitor, reach, and engage target buyers while also building their personal brand.”

That brings up these two questions, which are answered in the rest of the post:

  1. How are these sales leaders engaging on Twitter?
  2. In what ways can you use this information to become more effective on social media for your social selling activities?

The post is then broken down into these sections, and each one is worth writing about on your own cheat sheet:

  • How Sales Executives Engage on Twitter
  • What Sales Execs Talk About
  • Top Publications Sales Leaders Read and Share
  • People Most Retweeted by Sales Leaders…and the application section:

     

  • How Sales Professionals Can Use This Data

Some of the top content sources will change over the next few years. But you can be sure any new sources added to the list will present and supply content with elements similar to what today’s sources offer.

Look for those similarities so you too better understand the why of what interests sales executives today and well into the future.

Definitely share this post with a colleague today.

[Reading Time of Hostelley’s Post: 2:30 minutes]
QUESTION ::: How does Hostelley’s post’s information align or differ with what you’ve believed about the habits of sales executive on Twitter?

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

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4 ESSENTIAL HOW-TO RESOURCES FOR B2B SALES REPS ::: FSG LINKS

How_To_2_-_360_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

I’m a big fan of practical, useful blog posts, articles, videos and other types of resources.

Learning how to do something new you can use for your buyer’s benefit, for your company’s benefit, or for your own benefit is essential for staying ahead in our work.

With this in mind, I curated four valuable resources for you this week. You need to read, bookmark and share these with your colleagues.

Let me know about other helpful articles, blog posts, quizzes or videos you really like related to this subject. It’s an important area in which to grow, both as a person and as a sales professional.

Return to this blog daily, especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

4 ESSENTIAL HOW-TO RESOURCES FOR B2B SALES REPS :::

Mike_Brooks_120x120EyesOnSales.com
15 Ways to Handle the Competition Objection
Mr. Inside SalesMike Brooks (@top20percent), wrote this blog post for @EyesOnSales last week. I highly recommend it because of its practicality. It’s an extremely useful to read and bookmark.

KEY QUOTE While you may have to handle the objection of competition during the close – and I’ll give you some scripting to do just that later in this article – the best time to handle it is in the beginning, while qualifying.”

Pass this link on to a colleague and they’ll thank you for it. #HandleItCorrectly

[Reading Time of This Post: 4:30 minutes]

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Rachel_Clapp_Miller_120x120Forbes Magazine
Articulating Differentiation: 5 Ways to Trap the Competition
Content generator Rachel Clapp Miller (@contentrachel) wrote this post for @ForceMGMT. In it, she discusses the three categories of differentiators, along with a list of what we need to remember about differentiators in an overall sense.

KEY QUOTE: “If you can’t describe to your customer your differentiators, you’ll lose the deal, or be forced to lower your price.”

This is an excellent advice on this important topic. #DifferentiateYourself

[Reading Time: 2:00 minutes]

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Connor_Burt_120x120American Management Association

What Kind of Discount Can We Get? A Guide to Handling Sales Discount Questions
Don’t pull the trigger on offering a discount too soon. Connor Burt (@conburt) is head of relationships at @lessonlyapp. He wrote this interesting post for the @OpenViewLabs blog.

KEY QUOTE: “In order to effectively wade through sales discount discussions and negotiate like a pro, know that, to have a mutually beneficial outcome is to understand why a discount is needed. It lays a framework for how to field questions, objections, and the path forward.”

Always ensure you’re using the offering of a discount strategically…not just to generate [most of] another sale. #DiscountDoublecheck

[Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

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Sean_Gordon_120x120Harvard Business Review
Why (and How) Sales Teams Should Prepare For 2016 NOW
CEO of @IntelliverseSean Gordon (@SeanGordon22), wrote this guest blog post for @SalesHackerConftwo weeks ago. In it, Gordon borrows an idea from investing and appropriately carries it over into our sales world to help us ensure we start off 2016 strong in Q1.

KEY QUOTE: “If taking the Rule of 78 into consideration, it’s almost impossible to start activity in January 2016 and make your numbers throughout the year. This is because the average sales pipeline for most organizations is anywhere from three to four months, depending on your target audience. With that in mind, sales teams need to build a strong pipeline today to carry them through not only the first month, but also the first quarter of 2016.”

Don’t miss the “Putting The Wheels In Motion” section in this valuable post. #RuleOf78

[Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

 

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COULD YOU HAVE MADE THIS B2B SALES MISTAKE? [#SALESFAIL]

Facepalm_292x292I once asked one of my sales reps, “What if I told you your sales could go up if you contacted a few less people per day and used that extra time to do this one thing better?”

His response was, “You want me to contact less buyers?!”

He told me a lot about himself as a salesperson, and perhaps as a person, by not asking me about the “one thing” he needed to do better.

It was always a numbers game to him and, despite my best efforts, he couldn’t get beyond the core basis of his limited sales world view.

What was the one thing, you ask?

It was getting better at thoroughly knowing his audience.

The idea of knowing your audience is not a new thing. But, after more than three decades in the sales industry, I’d conservatively estimate that upwards of 80-85% of current sales professionals have room to grow in this area.

Yes. I said that…80-85%, conservatively.

It may mean spending an extra 30 seconds or an extra 30 minutes. What matters is how well you spend your time when you research, and that’s where there’s ample room for growth in our field. With the tools and strategies changing and becoming more numerous and powerful over time, this will remain a challenge for each of us.

Speaker, author and business communication expert Jill Schiefelbein (@dynamicjill) wrote an article for @entrepreneurmagazine last month and it’s certainly worth reading. It’s titled: Don’t Overlook the Sales Power of Knowing Your Audience.”

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Schiefelbein’s post is this:

“Know your audience, do your due diligence research, and communicate what you know so you can create a platform for building a long-term relationship. It seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked.”

WHAT I LIKED
The reason I liked this article, and why I’m recommending it to you, is because it’s based around a single example that ends with a cringe-worthy moment for the seller. You can feel it. I did.

I’d like you to read Schiefelbein’s post, then stop and feel what that seller must’ve felt when he realized it would’ve only taken an extra 30 seconds to avoid damaging that relationship from the start.

Every contact with a buyer should prove, in some [even in a little] way, that you’ve done your research. There should be no question about it, and that proof needs to lead off your message.

I used to ask my reps, “What else can you learn about them before you make that call?” I now encourage you to ask that question of yourself before a call or email to a new buyer.

A couple less calls per day in exchange for the rest of your communications to be stronger and more effective is a quality trade-off in my book.

[Reading Time of Schiefelbein’s Post: 3:00 minutes]


QUESTION ::: What’s your favorite story of how a key piece of research about your audience made the difference in getting a sale?

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

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WHY YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ) MATTERS IN SALES ::: FSG LINKS

Emotional_Intelligence_362_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

It’s been said that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is “the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you.” Another expert calls it, “the other kind of smart.” There are plenty of other definitions out there if you care to take two seconds to Google them.

EQ matters. It always has, but as of late we’ve been talking about it more openly now that we’ve put a name to it. We also better understand it. That’s a good thing. In fact, that’s a great thing, for us, our colleagues and our buyers.

I gathered a number of resources I really like on this topic to show you why, as a sales professional, EQ matters.

Let me know about other helpful articles, blog posts, quizzes or videos you really like related to this subject. It’s an important area in which to grow, both as a person and as a sales professional.

Return to this blog daily, especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

WHY YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ) MATTERS IN SALES :::

Dov_Baron_128x128Entrepreneur Magazine
The 11 Questions Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Ask Themselves
Keynote speaker, author and expert on authentic leadership Dov Baron (@DovBaron) wrote an article for @Entrepreneur last week that’s not for leaders who are faint of heart. Baron recommends 11 very important questions you, leader, need to ask yourself.

No one else needs to know your answers, but you must be honest with yourself if you want to discover new areas for growth. This is an opportunity. Take advantage of it.

KEY QUOTE (from the full report): “…real EQ is a result of self-knowledge first. The challenge is that too few leaders take the time to be introspective and too few bother to ask themselves the sometimes uncomfortable and revealing questions that will allow them to actually know their own ‘truth.’

And, if you believe simply being self aware as a leader is enough, Baron has some thoughts on that for you as well. #ChallengeYourself

[Reading Time of This Post: 4:00 minutes]

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Ian_Altman128x128Forbes Magazine
What You Can Learn About People On A Golf Course
Author and keynote speaker on integrity-based sales, innovation, and growth Ian Altman(@GrowMyRevenue) wrote a great article for @Forbes a few months ago, and I want to make sure you don’t miss it.

You don’t need to like the game of golf to understand how this can be applied to other scenarios for your company’s benefit.

KEY QUOTE: “In your business, you’ll encounter adversity. Do you want a team member who will be a detriment to the rest of your team when something goes wrong? Or do you want people who are team players and bounce back?”

What happens when things go wrong for you? Who do you continue to be, or who do you become? #KeepYourselfTogether

[Reading Time: 4:00 minutes]

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Daniel_Goleman_128x128American Management Association
How Can You Build Your Emotional Intelligence?
Author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman (@DanielGolemanEI) penned this article for the American Management Association (@AMAPlaybook). It’s a How-To on how to get started or how to successfully continue growing your EQ.

KEY QUOTE: The good news about emotional intelligence is that it is not a fixed ability like IQ. Your IQ pretty much stays the same throughout life. Emotional intelligence is fluid. It takes form in the early years when the emotional and social circuits of the brain are forming into the mid-20s.”

There’s a definite ROI for anyone who makes the effort to develop more as a person, in this way, which will directly transfer to greater professional success as a stronger leader. #EQmatters

[Reading Time: 2:00 minutes]

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Christina_Congleton_EdM_128x128Susan_David_PhD_128x128Harvard Business Review
Emotional Agility
This is a deep [read: very, very deep] dive into how emotions play into our professional lives, written by psychologist, management consultant, author and researcher Susan David, PhD (@SusanDavid_PhD), along with Christina Congleton, Ed.M. (researcher and leadership and change consultant at Axon Leadership).

If this is a topic you’re willing to dig into for the purpose of improving yourself overall, and the people you lead, then this is absolutely a resource you need to read.

KEY QUOTE: Effective leaders don’t buy into or try to suppress their inner experiences. Instead they approach them in a mindful, values-driven, and productive way—developing what we call emotional agility. In our complex, fast-changing knowledge economy, this ability to manage one’s thoughts and feelings is essential to business success.”

If you’ve become a pro at suppressing your emotions for what you believe is for the good of your professional life, think again. Stepping out of this trap, myself, may have been the single most important reason why I’m where I am today. #IDareYou

[Viewing Time: 9:00 minutes]

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EFFECTIVE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS FOR B2B SALES PROFESSIONALS ::: FSG LINKS

Content_Marketing_2_-_360x244_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

I want to steer you toward some powerful resources this week to grow you in your B2B content marketing efforts.

These experts know what they’re talking about when it comes to this popular topic, and I believe they can shortcut some important lessons for you to help save you time in improving your content marketing and social selling ROI sooner than later.

Return to this blog daily, especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

EFFECTIVE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS FOR B2B SALES PROFESSIONALS :::


Joe_Pulizzi_152x150_shadowContent Marketing Institute

B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends [North America]
This blog post from CMI founder Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) gives you the highlights, but you’ll definitely want to download and review this annual @CMIContent resource if you’re currently using content to build your B2B client relationships.

And, if you’re not using content yet, this is a great place to start understanding what your peers are doing and how they’re doing it.

KEY QUOTE (from the full report): “If we had to pick one key theme that has emerged from this year’s B2B research, it would be this: If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your strategy.”

You can’t easily and successfully repeat [and train others about] what’s worked for you if your process isn’t documented. #ContentGrowsRelationships

[Reading Time of This Post: 4:30 minutes]

[Reading Time of the Full Report: 30:00+ minutes]

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Julie_R_Neidlinger_151x150_shadowCoSchedule Blog
5 Teaching Theories That Will Improve Your Educational Content Marketing
Freelance writer, artist [and private pilot] Julie Neidlinger (@julieneidlinger) created this deep dive post about how we in the sales industry can borrow from the educational field to gain effectiveness. The post includes the option to download a related guide.

KEY QUOTE: “Your educational content marketing, after all, is strongly about teaching people. Knowing a bit about educational theories will improve your content marketing. Let’s take a look at the different ways people learn, and how you can tap into that.”

Time to get back in the classroom. #LearnMoreEarnMore

[Reading Time: 10:00 minutes]

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Rachel_Foster_156x153_shadowContent Marketing Institute
10 Habits of Highly Effective B2B Content Marketers
Also From @CMIContent: CEO of Fresh Perspective Copywriting Rachel Foster (@CopywriterTO) wrote this very practical article. The 10 highly effective habits come from 10 highly effective content marketing experts.

KEY QUOTE: “86% of B2B marketers use content to attract and retain customers.”

Copy the habits of those who’ve gone out and succeeded before us. #10x

[Reading Time: 7:30 minutes]

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David_Newman_151x150_shadowEntrepreneur Magazine

Here’s How ‘Boring’ B2B Businesses Can Get Customers Emotionally Connected to Their Content Marketing
Daniel Newman
 (@danielnewmanuv) is the CEO of @Broadsuite. In addition to being a contributor to @Huffpost @Forbes, this is one of his recent articles for @Entrepreneur.

Don’t believe the hype that using hype (i.e. hyperbole related to features and benefits) is the way your buyers want to become educated about you and your brand. There are a lot of great research results in this one.

KEY QUOTE: “…when it comes to the “boring” B2B industry, we are prone to assume that B2B customers are driven only by logic, facts and ROI, to the point of being almost emotionless. This is only a half-truth. And if you continue to build your marketing strategies around this half-truth, you’re doing yourself and your brand a disservice.”

Learn how to think P2P, instead of traditional B2B, to make a significant impact on your sales numbers. #NotJustTheFacts

[Viewing Time: 3:00 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

 

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IS THERE ROOM FOR INTROVERTS IN SALES?

Introvert_355_shadowFirst off, introverts are terrible at sales.

I’m not sure if you believe that. But I don’t.

I’ve worked in our industry for enough decades to have seen how well some introverts can sell, and sometimes in ways I didn’t expect.

There were a number of times when an introverted colleague would show me how to sell in a new way I hadn’t considered before then.

A lot of light bulb moments in my career were powered by introverts who crossed my path.

[That unexpected dichotomy brings to mind the writing and speaking of The Freak Factor author David Rendall who is quite adept in proving the power of flaunting our weaknesses…but, that’s for a different blog post to be written on another day.]

There are a lot of myths out there about the ability of introverts to be able to thrive in the world of sales. Fortunately, I discovered a myth buster last week and I want to tell you about him and his work.

Sales coach, mentor and author Alen Mayer (@mayeralen) has a good collection of posts about and for introverts in the selling game. That’s what I’m telling you about today.

Introverts take a more gentle approach – they listen deeply to the customer’s concerns. They internalize the customer’s needs, and immediately start problem-solving in their heads – “How can my product or service solve your problem?”

They take the time to build a trust relationship with the customer and whether they make the sale or not (they usually do because of this relationship) the customer walks away thinking, “this person cares about me.”

My favorite resources in this valuable set of posts are the Myths. Here are just a few myths Mayer busts for us:

Although I wasn’t able to locate a single page with all of this myth busting posts, I encourage you to dig into Mayer’s resources.

Because Mayer understands various aspects of introversion, he also helps sellers effectively sell to introverted buyers. Don’t miss posts on this important topic, such as this one.

You can learn more about Mayer here. He’s also written helpful resources beyond the topic of introversion, so see what you can learn from him today.


QUESTION :::
 If you’re an introvert in the sales industry, what’ve you learned that you would like to pass on to other introverts in the field of sales?

Let’s talk about it…

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