What Are You Really Selling?

What Are You Really Selling?

At last, you meet your target prospect. You build rapport. When you think the time’s right, you launch into describing your new-to-the-market product, packed with great features no competitor can beat. Awesome. You’re on your way to a sale, right? Wrong! Don’t talk product right off the bat. It’s a classic mistake of newbie salespeople, sometimes even veterans. First, discuss the business issues the…

Your 2017 Booster Shot for Revenue Growth: A Sales Enablement Team

Sales Enablement.   Buzzword or breakthrough? A few years back, sales enablement quietly rolled onto the scene and caught many of us by surprise. Today? It’s blown well past buzzword and breakthrough status. Sales enablement teams now operate in 60 percent of those companies surveyed by CSO Insights in its 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, up from 19 percent in 2013, tripling its growth. What is…

Winning RFPs: Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes

Most companies hate RFPs, the dreaded Request for Proposal. However, in certain industries and for certain products, RFPs grant the only access to the sales arena. In this post, I want to share insights on how to make a winning presentation. Like many of you, I, too, play RFP roulette to land these golden wins for our company. Because companies vigorously pursue greater operational efficiency and standardization today,…

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?…

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…

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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