Do Your Salespeople Rush to Provide Proposals?

Frequently salespeople are all too happy to produce proposals for anyone who is interested.  It is common that those same salespeople are avoiding truly qualifying prospects before producing the proposal.  It has become apparent to me through years of working with sales teams that much of this behavior is due to the belief that if they just put the information in writing they will avoid having to explain or address any concerns a prospect might have.  It is really a form of conflict avoidance.

Unfortunately, we allow salespeople to spend time producing pages and pages of proposals without truly understanding whether […]

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The Scary Math Associated with Producing Unqualified Proposals

In my last article, Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome, I wrote about the time, effort and money associated with salespeople producing unqualified proposals.  If you are having difficulty breaking your salespeoples’ habit of producing unqualified proposals get them to do the math associated with their lost income as follows:

1. Calculate the per hour rate of pay (based on last year’s total compensation divided by 52, divided by 40).

2. Calculate how long it takes to produce one proposal on average (1 hour, 2 hours?).

3. Then add in the number of hours spent trying to chase the prospect down after sending the […]

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Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome

 

Okay, so if you are monitoring your salespeople’s pipelines then that is a start.  Many managers focus on getting opportunities into the pipeline.  This is also a start.  If you want to be ultimately effective predicting closings and therefore revenue growth then you need to stop focusing on the pipeline value and focus on the pipeline velocity.  What I mean is that salespeople will typically behave in a manner that provides them reward and/or recognition.  Many salespeople seek the approval and recognition of their managers.  If you are focusing on patting people on the back for putting deals into the […]

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Dedicated Sales Managers… A Must!

I was discussing with a senior manager of a potential new client recently the company’s organizational structure.  They have multiple branches with general managers, but no dedicated sales managers.  We discussed the merits of that structure, which are limited.  The only beneficial issue is that the company saves on compensation for the missing sales managers.  The downside issues are numerous.    At best, the GMs are part time sales managers.  It is hard enough to get full time sales managers to do all the things that will predictably increase sales, like:  coach every single salesperson weekly, hold them all accountable to […]

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Crazy Sales Figures From A Must Read Blog Post by Objective Management Group’s Dave Kurlan

I welcome you to read the following Dave Kurlan post taken from his blog Understanding the Sales Force as it reports interesting sales figures that every sales manager should know.

Did you know that “6% of new reps exceeded expectations and 48% failed”?

Top 5 Insights From Latest Sales Organization Studies

Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and highly regarded sales development expert.

The folks over at IKO Systems were nice enough to send me a collection of infographics which they call 66 Crazy Sales Figures.  I finally had a chance to read through it and found 5 sales figures which, after I […]

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Cold Calling in the 21st Century

Braveheart Sales Performance recently conducted research on the subject of cold calling in today’s atmosphere. This information is presented in the white paper, Cold Calling in the 21st Century.

I have been telling salespeople for years that if they must cold call it is because they are not getting enough good quality leads, referrals and introductions.  So if they must, they must, but it is a hard way to achieve sales success.  I have also been telling any sales manager who will listen that one will have significantly more success by prioritizing their calling efforts first – “Whom does the salesperson […]

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Sales Managers: Focus on Three Items

Sales managers have many things to handle, stress about, deal with, fix, etc.  Do yourself and your team a favor and spend the bulk of your time focusing on the big three:

Goals
Pipeline
Activity

First we need to revisit a topic I have written on previously… leading and lagging indicators.  Lagging indicators are highly important, but are a historic view.  In sales, lagging indicators are the closed business your team generated.  You and your team CANNOT control the amount of closed business the team generates, but can control the activities preformed every hour of every day, which help to influence the amount […]

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Loyal Customers Are Always Best, Right?

I wanted to share this document written by Michael Smith of The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Smith is the Director of Corporate Partnerships, and is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Logistics. I welcome you to read this article and take a look into the details of loyal customers.

Loyal Customers Are Always Best, Right?
Or, as Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast my friend”
By: Michael Smith of The Ohio State University

Countless research, articles, books and presentations have preached the value of customer loyalty and quantified it in terms such as “9 times more profitable” […]

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When the Leading Indicators Aren’t Followed with Lagging Indicators

I wrote last time about focusing on the leading indicators – the number of discovery appointments.  To continue with our example from last time, the salesperson needed 8 discovery appointments per month, because we calculated a 25% closing ratio off of their initial discovery appointments, and the salesperson needed to close 24 accounts for the year, or 2 per month.

What happens when your salespeople aren’t closing business at the rate expected?  It is time for coaching intervention.  There are really only two reasons why salespeople fail:

1) They aren’t doing enough of the right activity
2) They aren’t very good […]

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Think Leading Not Lagging by Answering Three Questions

It is that time again when all sales teams start with a fresh slate.  We’re back at ZERO and we have new goals to meet.  Do yourself and your sales team a favor, and make 2013 the year of the leading indicator.  This only requires a little up-front work on your part.  Just determine the answers to the following three questions:

What is the most important activity that your salespeople can do that opens up an opportunity?  In most selling situations, it is the initial discovery appointment where one either determines they have a live opportunity or not.
What percentage of these activities […]

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