Are You a Problem Finder or Problem Solver?

Is the 80:20 Rule Zapping Your Sales Revenue?

Who’s booking the bulk of your revenue? If you’re paying attention to your monthly sales reports, you know the answer. Sales leaders often find a large percentage of new business comes from a small number of salespeople. Each quarter, as you measure your sales team on how they performed against quota, more than likely you face the universal 80:20 rule: 20 percent of your…

Drive New Revenue: Balance Your Mix of Hunters and Farmers

What’s the difference between a hunter and a farmer in sales? Hunters excel at prospecting, generating new opportunities, and closing deals. They love this part of the business; they dread the servicing side. Farmers are better at managing and growing current accounts. They enjoy spending time with prospects, customers or clients and servicing their needs. Is it that simple?  And why should you care?…

5 Behaviors the C-Suite Expects of You

In client discussions, I am commonly asked: “How do I get my salespeople trained to reach the decision makers in the C-suite?”  Rarely do most salespeople succeed at this coveted skill. Companies jump in to train their sales teams to enter the C-Suite, then wonder why it failed.  They were unprepared. Evaluate salespeople’s capabilities first. Not every salesperson possesses the capability to open doors…

What Wins the B2B Complex Sale? Logic or Emotion?

The saying “People buy on emotion and justify with logic” has always made sense to me. However, in B2B sales, salespeople often lead a prospect discussion with facts and figures. In my experience, this focus leads to analysis paralysis. When consulting, especially in financial services where I have considerable experience, I find salespeople jump into their “logical” mindset right away. I pull them back…

CEO ALERT: What You Don’t Know About Your Sales Team Can Put You Out of Business

How do you feel when someone offers you constructive criticism? Appreciative?  Irritated?   Or do you ignore it? When I used to consult on executive compensation issues, I would evaluate pay and benefit programs, then benchmark results against peer companies. If my study showed executives were fairly paid or even overpaid, the client reacted negatively. When a friend or colleague offers you constructive criticism, the…

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…

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