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What Aren’t Enough of Today’s Salespeople Doing Or Taking Advantage Of?

Image 1You, today’s salesperson, have a lot on your plate and a lot is expected of you every single day.

Even with all you do, there are missed opportunities and it could be said that, foundationally, it comes down to ensuring every minute of every day is spent doing the things that matter most.

We created a Sales Time Usage Survey and we would appreciate your help. It will, at most, take three minutes of your time to take part in the survey (participate here).

In return, and only if you desire, we will send you the results of how you compare to your peers.

Thank you for your consideration and your participation.

Related to this important topic of making the most of all you do in your daily pursuit of sales relationships, we asked many of the top sales industry influencers the following question. You can read their responses below:

What Aren’t Enough of Today’s Salespeople Doing Or Taking Advantage Of?

Too many sales professionals still fail to proactively manage their time. They waste time between sales calls, waste time on unqualified opportunities, and work reactively vs. focusing on their most important target prospects.  Discipline and intentional work on the right things are key!

Matt Heinz
President :: Heinz Marketing Inc


Salespeople are not taking enough advantage of their mindset. They fire, fire, fire, fire….then aim. If you want to make the sales profession better, spend less time with your nose pressed against a screen, and learn to think before you act. That’s something a third grader learns in school.

Gerhard Gschwandtner
CEO ::


Continuing education. And it’s not just salespeople, but we, as a group are guilty. I always ask my clients if they are practicing their craft as much as they are their golf game, tennis game or other avocations. They should practice their vocation just as much!

Butch Bellah
Speaker, Trainer& Author ::


Independent thinking. Why? Because they’d rather belong than succeed.

Tibor Shanto
Chief Sales Officer :: Renbor Sales Solutions Inc.


Today’s salespeople aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities to research the companies in their target sweet spot, nor the people in those companies that they’re going to have to contact. They also don’t research their competitors enough. This lack of research is laziness, and it’s costing these salespeople, and their companies, a ton of business!

Robert Terson
Author & Speaker ::


Cost effective on-line training that is easy to consume.

Why? They don’t know of it, they are too arrogant to realize they can improve, or they are waiting “to see if our company will pay for it.”

Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Sales Presentation Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Executive Speech Coach ::


Sales people are under utilizing the power of social to gain access to decision makers, identify all the influencers and stakeholders, leverage their connections to get warm introductions and position themselves as thought leaders and subject matter experts.

The power of platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are gateways into the minds and networks of their prospects but sales people rarely take the journey – or if they do they turn back before they bear fruit.

Brynne Tillman
CEO ::


Preparation. That’s what’s missing from sales people today.

The excuses sales people share are:  Time and Don’t Need To (know this business inside and out).  After working with sales teams worldwide for over 30 years, the sales people who adopt Preparation advance more sales and close more deals.

When should a sales person prepare?  Only when they want to make a sale. And the preparation can be as short as 5 minutes.

These 3 questions are the minimum ones a sales person should  ask themselves before picking up the phone or getting out of their car:

  1. What’s the objective of this conversation?
  2. What questions am I going to ask to accomplish the objective?
  3. What am I going to say to launch the conversation?

Alice Kemper
Founder & President :: Sales Training Consultants |


Most salespeople are not reacting to the market and to leads in real-time. Research suggests that the faster you respond to an inquire, the more likely that deal will close, yet most salespeople are working on their time, not the buyers’ time.

David Meerman Scott
Keynote Speaker & Bestselling Author ::


Each other.

I train sales reps all over the world and during my training sessions they always ask questions about specific challenges they are facing. My first response to all of them is “does anyone in here have a few ideas on how to address that?”

Inevitably someone in the class has a good answer or good approach they use to address whatever that challenge is.

We rarely stop and think about what we’re doing in sales and we’re always looking for the answer when most of the time it’s right in front of us.

Sales can be perceived as an individual sport but if you leverage your team you can figure things out a lot faster.

John Barrows
Owner ::


Many sales people aren’t actively involved with their current or potential customer until there is an active opportunity. By then it’s often too late, because one of their competitors has likely grabbed customer mindshare and influenced the buying process and decision criteria in their favor.

In researching Beyond the Sales Process, we learned that the average executive spends less than 2% of their time buying from you. What you do during the remaining 98% of that customer’s time can prevent you from falling into that fatal trap—only getting involved when there is “meat on the table.

Dave Stein
Author, Beyond the Sales Process ::


Salespeople are not learning how to uncover a client’s decision criteria and their values, because once they learn how to uncover a client’s values and beliefs, there will be no resistance to your proposal.

Alen Mayer
Sales Expert, Author & Speaker ::


Sales people do not effectively follow-up on leads. Mostly it is because:

  1. They are conditioned to expect poor quality leads from marketing
  1. They don’t know how to  follow-up on leads
  1. They give up too early – “I called them and they did not call me back so they must not really have been a lead”

This  blog goes into detail about how to effectively follow-up on leads. It also shows the actual vs. the perceived percent of leads that by month-by-month after a lead is generated:


Dan McDade
President, PointClear


As a field coach, I would like to see more salespeople asking more high-quality questions (and fewer low-quality ones).

High-quality questions are purposeful. They yield the information desired. They don’t sound random, oddly phrased, misplaced in the conversation or manipulative. Instead, they invite buyers to share fully and thoughtfully.

To ask more purposeful questions, a salesperson has to pause and consider ‘what do I really want to know?’ The question should be worded to plainly request the information that’s really desired. When driven by an intent to help the buyer, there’s usually a mutual benefit to purposeful questions.

Low-quality questions work against individual sellers and against the profession of selling. I cringe, along with buyers, when I hear trite questions (“what keeps you up at night?”) or obvious set-up questions (“if I could show you how to save, you’d like that wouldn’t you?”). Buyers resist time-wasting, low-value meetings featuring these kinds of questions.

By contrast, buyers respond favorably to questions that make them think or engage them in stimulating conversations. My book, DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected, is packed with high-quality questions from actual sales calls. Salespeople in any field will ask higher quality questions and advance their sales more quickly to a close after reading this book.

Deb Calvert
Author of the Bestseller DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected :: People First Productivity Solutions


Salespeople today are not taking enough advantage of utilizing social media.

Other than the time invested, social media is free. Social media has fantastic branding features combined with incredible reach.

Salespeople often think in terms of sales and not marketing. To reach the highest levels of sales, you must learn to market yourself and create a brand. It is easier to do today than ever because of social media.

If you utilize the power of “Intentional Congruence” in cross channel communicating and marketing on social media, you create a power positioning of expertise.

In sales, if you position yourself as an expert giving great content, you will no longer be positioned as a beggar as most salespeople are.

Also, remember that social media is just that social. Interact, engage, create conversations along with utilizing some marketing aspects but do not sell through social directly all the time or you will turn off your audience. It’s social media, not selling media.

Also, on social media such as Facebook, you can now take your customer lists, potential customers lists or segment potential audiences however you wish and reach them with paid ads or dark posts and utilize targeting marketing and retargeting at a very inexpensive price.

Compared to traditional advertising, social media is more effective for a salesperson and allows anyone to create a strong presence and get sales fast for low to no cost.

Mark Tewart
Author of How To Be A Sales Superstar ::


Please don’t forget to take part in our 3-minute survey.
(You’ll benefit from it too.)

We appreciate your help!

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Sales_Executive_X_for_Twitter-1I’ll be back soon with more blog posts.

Until then, here are some of our most popular blog posts to date. We highly recommend reading them before your competition does…

Which one is your favorite?


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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.


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]


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]


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]


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 <<

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Work_Smart_3_-_341_shadowI really like getting the most out of things.

I especially like it when I learn a new way to use something, anything, then I show it to someone else and they’re amazed. I like being that guy who knows interesting and useful information.

Seth Godin would call someone like me a sneezer. Are you one too?

Some of the hacks I’ve learned over the years that have helped me during my business travels include:

  • Tag your luggage as FRAGILE to give it the best chance of being treated well
  • I keep a travel-size package of lemon-scented Wet Ones in my travel bag and in my car. I wipe my face with one and feel instantly refreshed during a day of travel or between meetings
  • Always be kind to airline and hotel staff, then always ask if an upgrade might be possible because they’ll often say yes
  • When possible, book non-U.S. airlines when traveling abroad; they tend to have better amenities
  • Choose flights on a Boeing 767 when it’s an option; there are fewer bad/middle seats
  • Load up on sleep before an international flight in order to minimize jet lag; also stay well hydrated and eat plenty of protein en route
  • Order a special meal ahead of time (e.g. kosher, vegetarian), because you’ll typically be served first so you can either get to work or get to sleep sooner
  • Catch a cab in the Departures section of your terminal; no cab queue to endure

Also, and this isn’t a hack per se, but I also encourage you to begin doing something I was encouraged to do by a colleague years ago. When you’re leaving a country and have extra coins and small bills in foreign currency, make it a habit to give it to a homeless person if you encounter one before you head to the airport.

It’s an easy way to do some good for someone else, but it’s also an excellent way to reset your perspective and priorities. No matter how the final meeting went, you have a job and an income. That’s more than many other people have.

There are a lot of people who are figuring out things for us every day. If we get in the habit of learning one new and helpful hack every day, we’ll become quite the sneezer.

I read a very useful blog post the other day by Ginny Soskey (@gsosk). She’s Manager of Content Marketing Strategy at @HubSpot. The title of the post is: 16 Google Calendar Hacks That Will Make You More Productive.”

Typically, I write posts with broad appeal, but this post today is for those of you who either already use Google Calendar, or may someday switch to use it. These tips really do make life easier, giving you back more selling time (and that’s important).

The big idea of Soskey’s post simply is this:

“… there are some cool hacks and under-the-radar features that you can use to make your life in Google Calendar much easier to organize.”

What I really liked about this resource were all of the A-ha! moments I experienced. I didn’t know how much I was underutilizing this important tool in my online toolbox.

Granted, I already knew about some of these, but by beginning to use a couple of these features that are new to me, the experience of how I use Google Calendar will improve my efficiency and effectiveness. It can do the same for you.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Set up a world clock with multiple cities
  • Arrange appointment slots
  • Browse interesting calendars
  • Use keyboard shortcuts (here’s a full list)

Get the most out of the tools you use in your career. There are a lot of articles and blog posts out there to help you better utilize the tools you use regularly, and this is just one of them. Check out Soskey’s full post now.

BONUS LINK: Related to Google Calendar is Google’s Gmail tool. Here’s an excellent resource, by ace marketer @NeilPatel, to read and bookmark (22 Gmail Plugins That All Content Marketers Need to Know About)

Now, go ahead and be a sneezer by sending the link to this post, my post, to your friends. They’ll appreciate it.

[Reading Time For Soskey’s Post: 8:30 minutes]

QUESTION ::: What’s one of your favorite hacks in your professional life to help you be more productive, more effective or improve your life in some other way?

Let’s talk about it…

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