Referral Gathering for Sales: Go Old School or Go On Social?

Referral Gathering for Sales: Go Old School or Go On Social?

I was at a conference in sunny La Jolla, CA last week presenting to a group of very successful business owners in the security industry. Most have owned their companies for decades and have already built thriving recurring revenue businesses. Still, every single one of them has a keen interest in sales expansion. Each of them wants to better understand how to keep moving their sales teams forward on the path to increased selling efficiency.

A conversation was had about whether their sales reps need to understand the ins and outs of social media, and how to use services like LinkedIn […]

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You Hired A Salesperson Who Has What it Takes to Succeed. Now What?

You Hired A Salesperson Who Has What it Takes to Succeed. Now What?

We work with many companies and help them dramatically improve their sales hiring effectiveness. Unfortunately, companies tend to ignore what happens after the interviewing, assessing and hiring are done. All too often, companies ignore the importance of having a systematic sales onboarding program in place.

The Sales Management Association recently released a research brief about salesperson onboarding. Two items that really jumped out at me from the brief are:

1. Those companies that have a very structured onboarding process and follow it consistently had the most positive results.

2. Consistently following a structured onboarding program shortened the time to productivity by 37%.

While these two […]

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How to Get Your Sales Hiring Right

How to Get Your Sales Hiring Right

Sales hiring is not like any other type of hiring. For one thing, salespeople are the most difficult hires to get right.

Unfortunately, the cost of making a hiring mistake is high.

Statistics indicate that the cost of making a bad hire is between three and five times that individual’s annual compensation. That means if the base salary for a new sales rep is $36,000 per year and the company is superior at cutting ineffective salespeople free quickly (say, after three months) then the cost of one bad hire is $27,000 at a minimum. That is a very conservative estimate.

If they were making $75,000 […]

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3 Top Sales Coaching Tips Stolen from Lacrosse

3 Top Sales Coaching Tips Stolen from Lacrosse

I was at a college lacrosse game this weekend between two top ten teams. On paper it should have been a close game; one team ranked second in the country and the other ranked 10th. It ended up being a blowout.

I learned some important things about the impact that a coach and her actions can have on the entire team. I believe they apply in the sales world as well as in the sports world.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of a coach:

a person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer
a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports […]

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Six Sales Management Tips for Six Years of Braveheart Sales

Six Sales Management Tips for Six Years of Braveheart Sales

This March marked our sixth anniversary in business. It is hard to believe and fills me with a sense of accomplishment and pride. But it also makes me think, “Wow, we still have so much to do to help middle market and small sales teams excel.” There is still lots of work to be done.

In recognition of our six years, I would like to share my favorite six tips I have learned along the way about sales management.

#6 Work through the math of success.

All salespeople need to understand what they need to do to produce enough opportunities to close the […]

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Sales Leaders: Quit Telling. Start Coaching.

Sales Leaders: Quit Telling. Start Coaching.

You are the leader of the sales team. You got there because you know what to do to sell your products and services. Whether your team is experiencing success or is struggling you probably have to direct your salespeople from time to time. Maybe you have to tell them exactly what to do and say to be successful. Certainly during onboarding you will spend a significant amount of time “scripting” them. You must make sure they own the stories about why your customers choose your services. They must learn the right probing questions to ask to get to the heart […]

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Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business The Way I Can?

Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business The Way I Can?

I frequently hear this frustrated comment from business owners who originally built their business by closing deals themselves. The fact of the matter is that company founders do have a special passion for the services the company provides, for obvious reasons. It is also likely that you, as the founder, come with a greater presence than most salespeople.

You are an owner, an entrepreneur, a CEO. You can speak easily with other CEOs because you have common ground. You might also be able to provide negotiating concessions right on the spot, whereas you may not feel comfortable giving your salespeople that […]

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Should Your Salespeople Sell the Way Car Salespeople Do?

Should Your Salespeople Sell the Way Car Salespeople Do?

I am just concluding the process of leasing another new car. Even though I study and teach selling and negotiating techniques, I don’t like the process any more than most people do. But I have approached this particular experience as a student of their process and I believe I have observed some things that may help other sales teams.

It is clear to me that the reason most of us don’t like the process is that we seldom have all the facts. The car dealer has much more information about the situation than we do and, therefore they carry more power in […]

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Manage Better: How to Coach the “Not So Nice” Salesperson

Manage Better: How to Coach the “Not So Nice” Salesperson

You know this salesperson. She (or he) is really strong as a salesperson, but she just isn’t that likable. The unlikable salesperson doesn’t care much what people think of her. In her mind, she needs to do the job she was hired to do.

She might be highly driven to success. She might be highly motivated by money. But she doesn’t do things for your reasons. She does them for hers. Closing business is more important to her than whether people like her. She commands respect and her clients value her. Internally, though she might cause issues. She might be demanding […]

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Sales Management Challenge: He’s Just So Nice

Sales Management Challenge: He’s Just So Nice

Do you have someone on your sales team who is “so nice”? He is the guy or gal that everyone likes. This individual gets along well with everyone. The service staff likes him, the customers like him, he is a team player. He is great. Except for the fact that he wastes too much time on opportunities that never seem to close. He isn’t meeting his goals consistently.

This is the sales manager’s plight. We like some people that don’t produce and we obsess and stress over those that do produce if they have difficult personalities. I see it all the time. […]

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