Blog

31

Dec

A VP of Sales I know, Alan, called me a few months ago with a problem. His company had made several acquisitions that had brought new products into the product portfolio. These new products were quite different from those that Alan's sales people had been selling, but they were deemed strategic. Alan's CEO believed they represented the company's future and had tasked him with finding opportunities to sell them immediately.

31

Dec

I recently conducted a sales effectiveness workshop for an AXIOM client that included an unusual participant. Our clients often want people other than their direct sellers to attend our programs. It is not unusual for attendees to come from marketing, customer service, overlay groups, and even human resources. Sales transformation is a company-wide undertaking and for positive change to occur, any organization that touches the sales effort should be included in the process. It is unusual, though, to have a Director of Procurement in a sales effectiveness workshop.

31

Dec

I am a "professional of the eighties." That's when I entered the sales force and began my long and rewarding career in local media sales. I attended 6 weeks of sales training before being released to the field. While we learned the features and benefits of our product, and how to submit an order accurately, the majority of the time was spent learning and practicing needs based selling in context to the product we were selling, yellow pages.

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31

Dec

Is your sales transformation stuck in a rut? Would you know it if you were? Enterprise processes and human behavior both love the status quo. Transforming the process of how you and your company sell has to be one of the most challenging (and rewarding) tasks in business. We all know that business evolves, and if we don't adapt we risk falling behind.

31

Dec

This week is the 10th anniversary of what has become one of the most famous postgame press conferences in National Football League history.  Ten years ago, New York Jets coach Herm Edwards took to the microphone to deliver the sound bite that would forever define him. Edward's Jets were in a bad way. The season was circling the drain, and as the guy in charge, it was up to Edwards to deliver the message that would turn things around.

31

Dec

Recently I put my instructor hat back on and did a six-week international tour spanning four continents.  I was expecting there would be some completely different selling environments than I'm used to in the USA and while that did happen to a degree, I was far more shocked by how similar they are.

One of the things I have heard at least 2,549 times (yes, I do keep count) is, "This is all great Ray but our buyers lie to us. It's different here."

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31

Dec

We've all heard the expression "like drinking from a fire hose." Usually it's said when someone is trying to take in more information than they can effectively process. All too frequently it's said when people are enrolled in sales training programs. Now we all know that drinking from a fire hose is probably not a good idea, nor is it a pleasant experience. So, why do we insist on trying to train people in this manner? Is it ever appropriate? Is there a better way?

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31

Dec

You will never improve sales performance by managing your people with sales assignments. Sales Managers must change their management style from managing people to coaching before they will see long term sales transformation.

Although sales assignments are a critical tool in every Sales Manager's tool belt, these assignments only assist managers and sales people in assessing accountability to the organization.

What is a sales assignment?

31

Dec

In order to change your sales results you need change your sales behavior. I bet you've heard that before, and I bet you agree. However, changing behavior is hard, real hard, unless you've set the foundation to make it easy. I offer 5 things you'll need that will absolutely, positively, make changing sales behavior easy.

1. Defined Sales Process and Methodology

31

Dec

Well it is that time of year again when the air gets crisp and the kids' head back to school. My senior in high school had been dreading her reentry. You see this semester she is required to take art to graduate. While most kids would see this as a blessing - Art? Yippee! How hard can that be? My daughter saw it as the coming bane on her permanent record. Grace is a bit type A and she works very hard to excel at her studies. But, art? Well she doesn't have much talent for drawing and she couldn't see how she would be able to excel. I was bracing myself for a grade somewhere south of B.