A Fresh Perspective from the Trenches

A Fresh Perspective from the Trenches

I had the pleasure recently to meet Leah Zissimopulos of Crime Prevention, a security company in Florida. Leah is new to selling in the security industry and brings an interesting and fresh perspective. Here’s an article she wrote that I thought many would benefit from reading.

Leah’s words:

“At 23, I struggled not to take things personally. Cut me off on the road, I assumed you thought I was a bad driver. Speak harshly to me in a meeting, I assumed you thought I was stupid.

Thankfully, by 26, 28, 30 I began to realize the world does not revolve around me. That often, […]

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Can One Size Fit All Sales?

Can One Size Fit All Sales?

When it comes to sales, should salespeople do it all, or should individual functions be divided among multiple people, each having specialized responsibilities? I’ve had several conversations lately about the virtues of each approach.

Do it All vs. Split it Up

Is the do-it-all method, where one salesperson hunts, closes and then manages the accounts after the sale better than, say, where an inside salesperson handles the inbound or outbound calls (or a sales development rep, as they are commonly called, gets appointments scheduled) and other salespeople conduct those meetings and close the sale? The truth is: each way may be right […]

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No Selling Skills Required

No Selling Skills Required

Here’s a statistic you may have seen. I can’t remember where I read it myself. It said the mere act of following a repeatable sales process helps salespeople close 15% more business.

I wish I knew where the information came from, but since I couldn’t verify it directly from the source, I went searching for data myself that might support the use of a sales process.

But before I share what I found, let me precisely explain what I mean by a sales process.

A Sales Process Defined

For me, a sales process is a repeatable, logical series of steps that includes milestones. It […]

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What a Golfer’s Mind Can Teach Us About Sales

What a Golfer’s Mind Can Teach Us About Sales

There’s a great book by famed golf performance psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella, called The Golfer’s Mind. I’ve been rereading it, as I do occasionally, and keep observing so many parallels to sales and the emotional discipline it takes to truly be the best one can be, that I feel the need to write about it.

The book is all about how to stay in the moment and focus on the target. In general, it is a handbook to enable golfers, both professional and amateur alike, to improve their mental game so that their mind doesn’t get in the way of their […]

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Trade Show Torture

Trade Show Torture

 A few weeks back, I was at a trade show (ISC West), and I’m still haunted by a sales interaction I witnessed. Maybe you’ve had the same thing happen to you at a similar event.

A Tortuous Attack

Here’s the situation (without names to protect the guilty): I was walking the show floor with a good friend who is also a business operator in the industry. We were casually strolling around, but we also had certain individuals and companies that each of us wanted and in a few cases, absolutely needed to see.

Suddenly, like a starving predator, this young man chases down […]

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The Lazy Leader Lull

The Lazy Leader Lull

I was reading Smart Business Columbus, a local publication, the other day. I came across an article written by Fred Koury, the President and CEO of the publisher, Smart Business Network. The topic struck a chord with me. It was about laziness and discipline in the magazine and it brought to mind a few leaders I have encountered recently who are frustrated by their sales teams’ performance.

Looking Inward

Even though they think their sales team is causing their frustration, I truly believe these leaders are likely simply frustrated with themselves. They have been lazy and lackluster in their focus to instill […]

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How to Get the Most Out of Watching the Olympics

How to Get the Most Out of Watching the Olympics

I love the Olympics. It’s not about just rooting for our country’s athletes or the thrill of competition. Yes, those are great to watch, but what I find most exciting is seeing some of the greatest athletes in the world prepare for what may be only a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to prove they are the best at what they do.

I love how they get ready to compete. How they weave the event in their mind. What draws me in most is the obvious mental prep these Olympic athletes undergo. The visualization of their ski runs, the […]

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Can Your Team Become Challenger Types?

Can Your Team Become Challenger Types?

Ever since CEB (now Gartner) published The Challenger Sale in 2011, the book has attracted much publicity. It provides five different profiles (detailed here) based on research of 6,000 individuals. They are:

Challenger
Lone Wolf
Hard Worker
Problem Solver
Relationship Builder

The research in the book indicates that individuals with a Challenger profile will outperform all other profile types. Good so far.

Constructing Tension

The book also presents the concept of Challengers building “constructive tension” using three elements:

Teach – Offers unique perspective and maintains two-way communication
Tailor – Knows customer value drivers and identifies economic drivers
Take Control – Is comfortable discussing money and can pressure the customer

The premise is […]

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Sales Manager Clean Slate Checklist for the New Year

It’s a new year! One filled with hope and promise – a clean slate – and, yes, new sales goals. Hopefully, you experienced a good year last year and got to celebrate a little or even a lot. Now, it’s time to move on to attacking the goals for this year.

Here is a quick checklist for sales managers to make sure you have everyone focused correctly.

 

Each individual salesperson must know what’s expected of them regarding sales. This includes where the sales need to come from – will it be from new clients, an expansion of existing clients, or some combination […]

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Six Simple Steps to Pipeline Predictability

Six Simple Steps to Pipeline Predictability

It’s very common for companies we work with to have a pipeline management and review process in place. It’s also very common for us to find that the process is broken. It’s important that management keeps salespeople focused on the right activities to move deals through the pipeline. Here are some good ideas to help.

Some Facts:

I reviewed data on 417,000 salespeople from the OMG (Objective Management Group) database, and discovered that 41% of these salespeople are not following a predictive sales process! And only 54% are adequately CRM savvy!

Just following a process and using CRM isn’t enough, of course. […]

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