Did B2B Relationship Selling Die?

Did anyone read the obit? In talking with sales and marketing experts, I sense many believe the internet and its constant flow of information put relationships in B2B selling on a death watch. Selling is different now with social media. How people buy has changed dramatically, leaving the need for relationships in the dust. Don’t believe it. You will never close large B2B opportunities…

Grow Revenue: Find Your Reps’ Inner Pilot

Few would dispute the value of a flight simulator. Pilots train and stay current within flight simulators by regularly re-enacting and mastering flight scenarios like bird strikes, engine loss, severe turbulence and simulated crashes. Simulator training is an integral part of pilot training and professional development, and of research studies to adapt aircraft design to human capabilities and limitations. It is unthinkable for a…

How CEOs Know the Unknowable

As a former CEO of three companies, I kept one eye fixed on my sales leaders. I needed a steady flow of new sales, the lifeblood of every business. If they hit persistent slumps, everyone and everything was affected. And I was responsible. As a lifelong salesperson, I knew that effort equaled outcome. To reach outstanding outcomes, I had to ask myself hard questions…

5 Reasons Your Sales Team Underperforms

And What You Can Do About It When your sales team underperforms, you miss sleep worrying about the solution. If the numbers look bad, you look bad, and everyone loses. I spoke with five sales leaders at a recent training session who faced this sleep-depriving dilemma. I wanted to know why their people missed quotas and what they planned to do about it? Case…

Trust Your Instincts? Not So Fast.

I loved baseball as a kid. Years ago, when my wife and I became friends with Don Drysdale and Annie Meyers, all my memories of watching those heart-pounding games came back. Don introduced me to Hall of Fame stars. Ernie Banks was one. “Mr. Cub” and I, and his twin, boys became lifelong friends. At one point, Ernie came to work for one of…

Data Analytics Trump Gut Instincts in Hiring, Training and Managing Salespeople

In 2017, Dustin Johnson became the number one professional golfer in the world. Like the sales profession, the PGA Tour is a highly competitive business. Players work closely with coaches, nutritionists, psychologists, trainers in the gym, and data analytics to continually perfect their game. Go to a PGA event and you’ll see a line of semi-trucks armed with machine shops to customize player’s equipment…

Take a Confident Leap into the New Year

No doubt you are anxious to bring this busy year to a close and take a well-deserved break. Before you do, give me a moment to look back with you on 2017 at the key trends outlined in CSO Insights’ 2017 World-Class Sales Practice Report. Quota Attainment The percentage of salespeople making quota dropped from 63 percent to 53 percent over a five-year period.…

Nothing Sells Until You Qualify. Here’s How:

The CEO of a mid-size manufacturing company invited me to speak before his annual sales meeting early next year on how to close more business faster. I asked why he thought this subject was timely and what triggered his interest. He said the company’s sales pipeline was filled with solid opportunities but, for reasons he didn’t understand, the leads were not closing. Of equal…

Can You Sell Prospects Without Needs?

Everyone in sales has been trained to find a prospect’s need and fill it with our solution. After all, that’s why people need to interact with salespeople. But if the prospect has no problem or issue to solve, he or she doesn't need us. Like you, I get random phone prospecting calls where the salesperson does not recognize this point. I’m pitched so many…

Two Traits of Top Salespeople You Can’t Teach

In a recent client assignment, the CEO of a mid-size manufacturing company asked me what the single most important trait of a salesperson. What would you say? Persistence?  Closing skills?  Ability to listen? The CEO wanted to add more top performing people to his sales team. My quick response:  “Good question, it’s the ability to bring perspective to prospects.” As I thought about this…

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