SalesFitRx BLOG

Category posts

STOP DOING THESE THINGS – EXPERT ADVICE ON THE CUSTOMER CONVERSATION

Stop_341_shadowFrom day to day, all good sales reps are bombarded with a list of best practices for our craft – but few of us are focused on the challenges of altering our current approach and behavior to reflect the changing customer conversation.

It can be hard to step outside of our current practices, and think outside of the box – which is why I’ve done a little digging to come up with a list of five things the experts recommend you STOP doing today, to improve your sales strategy and drive more valuable customer conversation:

  1. Don’t Waste a Good Crisis
    In his article Don’t Waste a Perfectly Good CrisisJoe Calloway (@joecalloway) describes the opportunity available in crisis – specifically, that inherent in the aftermath of a recession. Calloway believes that when most companies are tightening their belts, it’s prime time to set yourself apart from the competition by increasing customer contact. Calloway says –“The historic economic meltdown of 2008 gave us an almost limitless supply of practical business lessons. Perhaps the most impactful of those lessons is that there can be tremendous value in a crisis.“When taking action is just an option, it’s easy to continue having meetings about it. But when the banks stop making loans, customers are canceling orders, revenue is plummeting, and your cash flow is slowing down to a trickle, you begin to realize that more meetings aren’t the answer. You have to do something and do it now.”

     

  2. Stop Using Sales Lingo
    In his LinkedIn article Stop Doing These 3 Things in SalesMichael Manzi (@MikeManzi7) of OfferPop (@offerpop) offers warning against lapsing into technical talk in your conversations with clients. He gives an overview of “sales speak” and describes how it can easily create disconnection, alienate customers, and breed distrust, saying –

    Sales talk assumes that the other people on the line are not human. That somehow they’re impressed when we use big words and long sentences. We think that if we say paradigm, fundamental, ROI and industry, we’re going to pull out the check books of VP’s at major companies.In reality, it makes the prospect do the “sales Heisman”. One hand on their wallet and the other hand up to defend you from getting to it.”
  3. Quit Thinking of Questions
    In his article Why You Shouldn’t Focus on Questions When SellingKeenan (@keenan) talks about the benefits of considering the client conversation from a new angle. He suggests that asking questions is not nearly as valuable as the consideration of what information you actually need to gain from your prospective customer during dialogue, saying -“The next time you are preparing for a sales call, don’t focus on the questions you want to ask, consider focusing on the information you want to know. Once you know what you’re looking for, the questions will roll off your tongue until you get what you want.”
  4. Don’t Snooze – Cat Nap
    In her recent article When it Comes to Sales Territories, Think Like a Cat, sales-pro-turned-comedy-writer Amanda Caswell (@AmandaCaswell) shares her tongue-in-cheek advice on remaining on top of client contact by developing good follow-up skills, saying –“Very rarely do cats sleep so soundly that they can’t hear what’s going on around them. This characteristic is actually a survival instinct. As a sales person, your sense of survival in the industry should be based on never getting too comfortable. Always stay on top of your game by checking in with your clients and potential prospects even on the days you’d rather just zone out.” 
  5. Don’t Assume You Control the Conversation
    In a recent Huffington Post articleVala Afshar of SalesForce (@ValaAfshar), interviews Tiffani Bova (@Tiffani_Bova) of Gartner,  as they discuss the new data-driven environment of sales. Bova describes the new customer relationship, stating that customers (as opposed to technology) are redefining perception of market disruption, saying –

    “The reality is, your sales teams are no longer in control of how customers explore or evaluate you as a provider, and sales needs to step up.Today’s sales organizations must shift from trying to control their internally driven sales cycle and truly embrace the new customer-driven buying cycle — otherwise, prospects will eliminate you from their consideration list and buy from your competition”

By following this expert advice, and altering your sales behavior accordingly, you’ll find yourself participating in more valuable, authentic customer dialogue – which will result in increased trust, improved customer loyalty, and higher revenues. Why not give it a go?

For more information on how you can streamline your sales, contact me today: Karl.Gustafson@salesfitrx.com

Read more »

0

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…

Read more »

0

NEW HACKS & TRICKS FOR TODAY’S B2B SALES REPS ::: FSG LINKS

Hacks__Tricks_1_-_230_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

This week’s resources are focused on Hacks & Tricks For B2B Sales Reps.

I’ve gathered four very interesting and useful resources from two of our peers in the sales industry.

Jimi Smoot uses science and an understanding of human behavior to share some important sales training with us.

And Jacob Marovt, in my opinion, consistently puts together some of the very best posts in our industry when it comes to the combination of helpful insights, usefulness, practicality, entertainment, readability and overall substance coming together in each and every post.

If you doubt me, just read his posts linked below. In fact, don’t miss any of the links in today’s post.

Also, don’t forget to 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.

NEW HACKS & TRICKS FOR TODAY’S B2B SALES REP :::::::


Jacob_Marovt_118x118Pipetop Blog

Sales Hackers Exist – Steal Their 14 Essential Habits
Co-founder of @PipetopHQ, Jakob Marovt (@jmarovt), wrote this very practical and useful post last week for any sales professional interested in becoming more efficient and effective with their time and in their work. So, this was written especially for you.

KEY QUOTE: “A sales hacker is a person that is passionate about optimizing every step of the sales process: the tools, the roles, the tasks, the goals & the compensation.

Do NOT miss the “Monthly Sales Hacking Checklist” at the end of this post. #HackingForGood

[Reading Time of This Post: 11:00 minutes]

line_divider_350


Pipetop Blog

How A Simple Checklist Rescued 80% Of Our Sales Demo Time
The second resource I’m featuring from Jakob Marovt in another epic post. Walking through this post and applying it to your specific situation will absolutely help you reclaim lost time. The key is to reinvest those found hours into quality selling time.

KEY QUOTE: “It’s a checklist that doesn’t necessarily improve our close rate for each individual deal. Instead, it focuses on improving our pitch across several business areas.”

You’ll want to forward this pair of useful resources from Marovt to your colleagues. #PassItOn

[Reading Time: 7:30 minutes]

line_divider_1


Jimi_Smoot_125x125Vesper Blog

The Hidden Science Behind Language That Sells
Founder of @meetvesper, Jimi Smoot (@jsfour) took a very scientific approach to better understanding what type of language can lead to more sales and why. This is incredibly interesting…that is, if helpful resources that can help you generate more sales is your thing.

KEY QUOTE: “Give customers a sense of newness and you’ll be going a long way in using the persuasive power of language to close more sales.”

Leverage how we’re built as humans to gain more sales. It’s not manipulation; it’s knowing how to solve your buyer’s problem without allowing them to get in their own way. #HelpThemHelpThemselves

[Reading Time: 6:00 minutes]

line_divider_1


Vesper Blog

Using Game Theory In Your Sales Process
This other featured post from Jimi Smoot is about how to effectively strategize and apply game theory to every client interaction. Smoot builds his convincing case by diving into human behavior.

KEY QUOTE: “Often we can feel rushed to close a deal for fear of the cost of waiting. But game theory suggests that the biggest winner is the one who can be the most patient…that means not just focusing on negotiating the terms of a deal, but also thinking ahead about how to structure the deal so that the cost of waiting is lower for you than it is for your client.”

What was your favorite “A-ha!” moment from this resource? #Eureka!

[Reading Time: 4:00 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

Read more »

0

5 POPULAR SALES TRENDS TO CLOSE OUT 2015

Trends_1_-_3502015 has been an epic year for the sales industry, seeing major shifts in both strategy and technique.

While many of these changes are driven by the availability of new technology and tools focused on sales enablement, an equal number are motivated by the need to adapt to the shifting consumer attitudes and needs which are shaping the buyer’s journey.

At SalesFitRx, we pride ourselves on tracking the latest trends. We’ve compiled our observations on the five biggest breakthroughs for 2015:

  1. Hiring the eager (not the experienced). While it may seem counterintuitive, investing in fresh talent may get you farther than hiring experienced sales professionals. The reasoning behind this trend is simple – as the sales climate shifts, established sales professionals may be less willing to learn new skills and strategies than their less-seasoned peers – especially when it comes to integration of technology. Add to this the growing need for social selling skills, and the younger generation may have far more savvy and experience than their more mature counterparts – flipping the old hiring preferences on end. While recruiting previously trained sales professionals might seem the way to go, it may be worth your while to hire untrained talent, and invest the salary savings in additional training and coaching. You’ll have the opportunity to teach your preferred strategies and sales habits from the start – imbuing them with the skills which benefit your business directly, and avoiding complications which arise from pre-existing habits and poor training.
  2. Focusing on data-driven communications. Those who are ahead of the game have already placed themselves to benefit from big data and are focusing their efforts on honing consumer communications accordingly. By applying smart metrics to determine the impact and reach of content, businesses who are leveraging their consumer data can more easily assess their sales strategy and campaign effectiveness, and adjust it to gain maximum reach.By shifting the focus to data-driven content, your business can ensure that the communications which reach your target audience are relevant, applicable, and add value to the customer experience. This not only increases the effectiveness of your communications, it can help drive dialogue with your consumers, and help your brand establish credibility.
  3. Leveraging technology in the sales process. According to recent research by CSO Insights, most sales reps spend only 35% of their time actually selling – the rest is absorbed by the performance of administrative tasks and account management. By effectively leveraging today’s sales enablement and smart CRM technology to alleviate the burden of administrative functions, businesses can free their sales team to focus on revenue-generating pursuits, such as lead procurement, and social selling.The metrics and insight gained through use of advanced solutions (such as that offered by SalesFitRX) also allow sales management to more effectively track the behaviors and accomplishments of their sales team, providing the deeper insight required to reward individual successes, effectively outline milestones and goals, and assess and adjust their strategic approach to sales.
  4. Redefining the role of sales managers. Along with the role of sales itself, the role of the sales manager is quickly changing – and savvy businesses are already redefining their approach. The sales manager of the future is capable of analyzing sales performance metrics and data to identify areas of weakness or failure before it becomes an issue – or hone their approach to support tactics which produce results.Today’s sales manager is more of a professional coach than a player. He or she can effectively leverage the technology and tools available to zero in on team members who are underperforming, offering those individuals the additional training or coaching required to up their game, sharpen their sales skills, and meet demanding quotas.

    The new sales manager’s focus revolves around comprehensive training, sales education, and strategy – resulting in increased productivity, efficiency, and revenue.

  5. Fully embracing social selling. Social media is no longer an informal mode of communication – it has now blossomed into an excellent venue for driving dialogue and establishing credibility amongst consumers. One of the strongest trends in 2015 has been the increasing investment in social selling – namely, the devotion of significant time and effort towards the creation and maintenance of a rich social network.Still, many companies miss the mark entirely – as social selling isn’t really about selling. It’s about opening a two-way dialogue with your audience, inspiring authentic discussion, and establishing credibility through the provision of valuable, relevant, informative content.

    Failure to follow these unspoken rules of conduct can actually damage your business’s credibility (so be forewarned) – but the benefits far outweigh the risks. By investing in the creation of high-quality, strategic content, and adjusting your sales strategy to incorporate time devoted to social selling, you’ll see significant results, and extend your business’s reach.

If your business is still lagging behind these trends, it’s time to sprint into action, and start the new year right!

Unsure of where to begin? Contact me at SalesFitRx today: Karl.Gustafson@salesfitrx.com

Read more »

0

THE ONE FOCUS THAT DRIVES TRUE SALES SUCCESS

candy_crush_273_shadowOne of my grandsons loves to play a game called “Candy Crush Saga” on his Mother’s cell phone. I believe the little guy is addicted to it.

The game is simple enough. The player is given a mission and either a limited amount of moves or a certain amount of time to complete that level’s mission. Moves are completed by matching three, four or five pieces of candy in a row having the same color.

The premise is simple, but executing the various strategies involved is what makes it challenging and addicting for many people.

What I’ve noticed from watching the 9-year-old play is that there are a few distractions built into the game. There are striped and wrapped pieces of candy, each with special powers; then there’s the coveted chocolate ball (with sprinkles).

These special candies can be helpful when they’re used as a part of the process of completing each level’s mission, but they can quickly become distractions if they’re created and used outside of the active pursuit of the mission.

My grandson is fun to watch when he’s on-mission, but he will often lose his focus. That’s when I find myself screaming (on the inside), “No! That doesn’t help you reach your goal!”

I TOLD YOU THAT TO TELL YOU THIS…
My grandson can afford to lose focus and just enjoy the game; he’s just a boy being a boy. You and I do not have that luxury in our sales careers.

Where do you sometimes drift off focus into the shiny and sparkly tasks you enjoy doing most in lieu of the tasks you should be doing which are vital to staying on track to meet your [customer’s] goals?

I read a blog post last week that was also focused on the topic of being focused, specifically on being customer success focused.

It was a good reminder that, yes, while we all understand the importance of being focused on the success of our customers, sometimes the cares of this world (our world of our sales) can cause us to shift away from the customer’s success and onto our own short-term selling success.

Teresa Becker (@teresabay), VP of Marketing at @highalpha, wrote a blog post earlier this month for @quotafactory. It’s titled: 8 Ways to Ensure Your Company is Customer Success Focused.” I want to ensure you’ve been made aware of it and read it.

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


                “The most invaluable assets to a business are customer advocates.”

WHAT I LIKED
Becker lays out this post by taking the big idea as the goal and giving us her steps for how a sales organization can consistently remain customer success focused and create a growing number of customer advocates.

I especially like step #4 (Embrace it: Early customer journey’s will have bumps in the road) because this reality needs to be understood, and not just accepted, but embraced.

Perhaps it could be said, as a side note, that underperforming companies simply accept bumps in the road, but high-performing companies embrace them. Bumps are opportunities. Read Becker’s post to see how she explains it, and to read the rest of this very useful post.

I also liked this mention at the end of the post:

“Think about why your company emerged in the first place: a passion for solving significant problems for your customers and for the space you are in. Your customers feel the same way about their company. A shared vision with your customers in producing a true partnership is key to both you and your customers’ success. Use the suggestions we’ve put together as the foundation for a winning, customer-focused company.”

Sales organizations that can avoid the extraneous striped candies [and chocolate balls with sprinkles] and remain focused on customer success will be able to complete mission after mission and continue to unlock new levels to play with those customers for many years to come.

[Reading Time For Becker’s Post: 4:30]


QUESTION ::: What, would you say, is a common or easy way to lose focus and chase a striped piece of candy in our work as sales professionals

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

0

THE TOP SALES BOOKS YOUR COMPETITION READS ::: FSG LINKS

Books_1_-_334_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

This week’s resources are focused on Top Sales Books.

We’ve brought together, for you, lists from four sales industry bloggers, listing 60 titles (some are repeated…so pay special attention to those).

It’s all in an effort to ensure you’re making the most of your time and to help you grow as a sales professional.

Don’t miss any of the links below.

Don’t forget to 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.

THE TOP SALES BOOKS YOUR COMPETITION READS :::::::

Alice_Heiman_120x120
Alice Heiman’s Blog

15 Sales Books That Will Motivate You to Sell More
Social selling and personal branding expert, Alice Heiman (@aliceheiman), is featuring a very helpful list of books to motivate sales professionals in her recent blog post.

KEY QUOTE: “I know you will be shopping for gifts for all the great salespeople in your life and perhaps you will even have a quiet moment during the holidays to read something to motivate you for the coming year.

II agree with Alice and recommend Selling Fearlessly: A Master Salesman’s Secrets For the One-Call-Close Salesperson by @RobertTerson#GetSmarter

[Reading Time of This Post: 8:00 minutes]

line_divider_1


Nick_Hedges_116x116Inc. Magazine

The Best Books For Salespeople
Nick Hedges (@Nick_Hedges) is CEO of @Velocify. He wrote this article for @Inc magazine about his list of the five best books salespeople should read.

KEY QUOTE: “I take these opportunities to continue my education by reading, as I truly believe the best salespeople never stop learning. Specifically, reading books about leadership, business best practices and high-level sales strategies keep me sharp and give me new ideas.”

Along with Hedges, I also recommend The Little Red Book of Sales by Jeffrey Gitomer (@gitomer). #MakeTimeToGrow

[Reading Time: 2:30 minutes]

line_divider_1


Kameron_Noel_118x118
Accelerate Blog

27 Must-Have Sales Books to Help You Sell More
Kameron Noel (for @hirevue) has written some strong content. This one is is our longest featured list today; it contains 27 book reviews! How many of them have you read? How many are new to you?

KEY QUOTE: “…these books are listed in no particular order, but they are essential (in our opinion) if you want to win in today’s sales environment..”

By this third list, you’re starting to see some titles mentioned again. That’s an extra strong indicator it’s worth a read. #CreateAReadingPlan

[Reading Time: 28:00 minutes]

line_divider_1


Robert_Barsi_116x116Sales Hacker Blog

Best Sales Books: 23 Reads That Give Salespeople All the Answers
Ralph Barsi (@rbarsi) is the Vice President of @Achievers and he writes for the @saleshackerconf blog. He apparently put in quite a bit of time in creating what he believes to be all the books salespeople need to get all of the answers. It is quite well-rounded. What do you think?

KEY QUOTE: “Slow your roll. We’re all used to tweets and texts, and flying through content. Books, however, require focus and attention.”

I like that a lot of the classics made this list along with some newer titles. Younger generations of sales professionals would do well for themselves by beginning to read through this list sooner than later. #ReadTheClassicsAgain

[Reading Time: 10:30 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

Read more »

0

SALES TRIGGERS THAT ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD

Mars_349_shadowNearly 20 years ago, Mars candy bars surged in popularity quite unexpectedly.

It was unexpected because the company that produced, and still produces, the candy bar didn’t have a new marketing campaign, they hadn’t made any changes to the product, they hadn’t spent more advertising dollars…nothing had changed on their end.

So why was there a surge in sales?

1997 was the same year NASA launched a rocket into space carrying the highly publicized Pathfinder expedition probe. Do you remember which planet that probe would soon study?

You’re correct if you said it was the planet Mars.

The media attention given to the planet via the NASA expedition triggered popularity in the candy bar.*

I’m not exactly sure how the marketing team at Mars, Inc. missed the opportunity to intentionally create a campaign to leverage that opportunity. They certainly proved they weren’t a bunch of rocket scientists over there. They were simply fortunate to get what they did receive in increased sales.

Trigger events. They’re constantly occurring around us, and within our online sphere, all day/every day. They’re opportunities upon which to capitalize, but only A). if we can recognize them, and B). if we know how to respond.

That’s where today’s resource comes in.

Global Head of Social Media & Content Marketing at @CognizantGerry Moran (@GerryMoran), wrote a post on his site earlier this year and I want to make sure you don’t miss it. He titled it: 30 LinkedIn Sales Triggers.”

Moran begins it by addressing my points made above about triggers (focusing primarily on the first one in this post):

  • Can we recognize them?
  • Do we know how to effectively respond to them?

He addresses them with these opening words:

“The key to social selling success is fishing where the fish are. You might be fishing where the fish are, but you do know what to do when you get a nibble on the line?”

This resource focuses on triggers found specifically in LinkedIn. He cites 30 different triggers to watch for.

Note: You may be thinking, at this moment, that you already know what the LinkedIn triggers are. If so, do yourself this favor. Grab a pen and some paper and write down 30 of those triggers. Then, when you fall short of 30 triggers, read on…

Moran’s 30 triggers are listed within the post in a graphic and also later in the text of this resource. You won’t miss it.

The rest of the post is written covering these 2 sections:

  • 5 Reasons Why It’s Important To Pay Attention To Social Selling Triggers
  • Here’s Some Research To Hook You Into The Decision-Maker

The author repeats the list of triggers later in the post and addresses the aspects of knowing what to do when you see a trigger occur.

His advice on this is something I also recommend, and that is to sign-up for email delivery of his posts. You’ll find a variety of ways to respond to triggers in his past and future posts.

As for that Mars bar trigger I mentioned earlier, now that you’ve read this post, don’t be surprised if you find yourself at the grocery store checkout line sometime this week and [before you realize it] you’re handing a Mars bar to the cashier to purchase and eat on the ride home.

It’s not your fault. You can blame those calories on me.

[Reading Time of Moran’s Article: 3:00 minutes]

* Adapted from Jonah Berger, Contagious (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
QUESTION ::: What additional triggers do you see out there you’d like to share with your peers?

Read more »

0

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…

Read more »

0

SALES ENABLEMENT FIXES YOUR SALES FUNNEL LEAKS

Mansion_335_shadowI recently spent an afternoon and evening with a dear friend of mine.

What people might notice first about him, if you met him at his home, is that he’s retired and lives with his wife in a house five or six times larger than most homes you or I have ever visited.

He’s done well for himself and is perhaps the most generous and gracious man I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

We were talking about when he had his big break in business and what he remembers most about it. This is how he explained it to me:

Once we finally took the advice of the company who would go on to become our largest customer, we made the suggested changes and the money really started to come into our business.

But what drove me crazy was that more money coming in meant there was more money leaking out of the cracks and the crevices in our business. It was like putting our hands under a faucet and trying direct the stream in the correct direction.

As we did that, water continued to leak out over our hands until we could develop a process for more effectively capturing and directing the increasing, and long-term, flow of revenue.

It wasn’t until we quit trying to construct solutions on the fly for short-term fixes, and we stepped back and prepared for revenue increases five or ten years in the future, that we become an efficient machine with consistent month-over-month growth.

That is why you and I are sitting here on the patio of this house today instead of one across town with 10,000 less square footage. We found the tools and reconstructed our processes to stop the leaks.

For us in sales, the faucet we need to mind first is the sales funnel. Some of you possess funnels with slow leaks. Others of you are using funnels resembling something more like a colander.

Thankfully, I found someone who can help us with this sales funnel problem. He will show us how to use sales enablement as a tool to fix our pesky sales funnel leaks.

Robert Wahbe (@RobertWahbe) is the co-founder/CEO of @Highspot and a former VP at Microsoft. Wahbe wrote a blog post for @OpenviewLabs last week titled: Plug the Leaks in Your Sales Funnel: A How-To Guide to Sales Enablement.”

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

…best-in-class companies are twice as likely to be using a sales enablement solution that addresses major obstacles to driving sales:
> The time needed by a new seller to become effective (on average, 7 months)
> Seller turnover (typically 30%)
>Time wasted searching for and creating selling materials (3-4 hours per week, per rep)

WHAT I LIKED
This post isn’t any longer than it needs to be. It makes a strong case that best-in-class sales organizations are very likely to be effectively using sales enablement tools and that it’s a clear contributor to their ongoing success.

This gives you, a sales professional in a sales organization which that is not currently leveraging sales enablement tools to their full potential, the ammunition to make a case for this important investment.

And if you are currently using sales enablement tools and are seeing a strong ROI, you have in Wahbe’s post the information needed to continue the investment if some in your organization may oppose this spending.

Budgets for 2016 are closing soon, so ensure you’ll be using the best sales enablement tools for your business.

[Reading Time of Wahbe’s Post: 2:00]

Note: SalesFitRx is a web and mobile sales enablement app that helps you, the sales professional, discover more selling time in your week. It doesn’t encourage more hours each week, instead it helps you get more sales from your existing hours. Learn more on our Home page: SalesFitRx.com


QUESTION ::: Which tools have given you the best ROI for your investment?

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

0

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]

line_divider_1

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]

line_divider_1

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]

line_divider_1

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 <<

 

Read more »

0