The Million-Dollar Mistake: A Bad Sales Hire

The Million-Dollar Mistake: A Bad Sales Hire

In less than two years, it won’t matter. Because your “bad hire” will quit or get fired anyway. Or will it? Now consider that 47 percent of companies claim new salespeople take ten months or more to become fully productive1, and barely half of those ever make quota2, and you can see why the cost of a bad sales hire is financially disastrous for…

B2B Outbound Marketing is Dead! Long Live ______________?

Can you fill in the blank in the headline? Many experts believe outbound died. Traditional marketing techniques like direct mail, advertising or telemarketing washed away with the roaring digital flood of the last decade. Think about it. Is it harder to sell today than ten years ago? Of course, it is. Harvard Business Review (HBR) researchers discovered it now takes 18 or more phone…

Keeping Score: The Secret to Winning Sales

Like someone trying to run algorithms on an abacus, your salespeople may be trying to close sales without a sales process. Are they too busy?  Are they bored?  Do they shut down when you talk about stalled, lost or no-decision deals?  As Ronald Reagan used to say: “Stay the course.” While sales leaders set the tone for an organization, sales managers leverage its training…

Three Ways Your Salespeople Blow New Opportunities

Okay, while I may not suggest you shoot yourself out of a cannon to grab the attention of a prospect, I do want you to dust off your thinking about how to open new sales opportunities. At a recent private equity firm conference where I spoke, a partner in attendance asked me: “How do you respond to a prospect who flat out tells you…

How to Stimulate Sales with the “Anchoring Effect”

I happened to drive past a car dealership this past weekend and decided to browse new cars on the lot. Remember the old days of buying a car─how painful it could be to find information beyond the sticker on the window. Invariably, we had to deal with a “pushy” salesperson to answer our questions. With the internet, this experience has changed dramatically by putting…

3 Reasons to Ignore “Voice of the Customer”

The basic concept behind “voice of the customer” calls for you to sell to his or her stated needs. After all, your customers (clients/prospects) know their situation and what they need.  Right? They’re in the trenches every day and live with the pain of the problem they want to fix. What’s more, they hold a clear vision for their solution. Here’s your problem. If your…

Learn to Cross the Chasm for More Sales

A fact of selling today: Sales organizations experience longer sales cycles with more opportunities dissolving into a no-decision. Sales leaders ask me all the time what to do. Because I’m in business to help companies grow revenue, I’m preoccupied with solving this problem. In my experience, the breakdown happens in the defining moment of what I call “fix or not fix.” During the buying…

Are Good Salespeople Born or Made?

The correct answer is both. Let me explain. Over decades of sales leadership and management, I’ve confirmed DNA is the single best indication of success potential in a salesperson. Conversely, I’ve hired many salespeople without sales DNA; however, in a team selling environment, they brought certain technical skills to the equation and performed well. They were not particularly effective in business development, but they…

Sales Team Win Rates At All-Time Low

What's Wrong? One of the findings in the CSO Insights’ Sales Performance Optimization Study, reveals that the win rates for deals have reached an all-time low.    Does this surprise you?   Is this because customers are buying differently?   Is it a result of more competition in your industry?   Are your salespeople less effective?   Is it because of the economy?   Has…

Why on Earth Do Companies Overwhelm and Underdevelop Their Sales Managers?

Does your company? In our modern sales environment, sales managers and their teams encounter more informed buyers with access to more sophisticated information. More buying influences rule the buy cycle (up to 5.8 per deal in complex B2B). And buyers expect more outright value creation in each deal. On top of this, the ability of salespeople to make quota─a key sales manager metric─ is…

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