Sales Management Blog

Sales management tips and advice on how to improve your sales team.

For CEOs: What You Need to Know About Sales AND Marketing

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @06:30 AM

We work with a lot of mid-sized companies with sales teams of roughly 10 to 30 salespeople.  We focus most specifically on helping those sales teams execute at the highest possible level.  It is typical that these companies also invest in marketing efforts.  However, it seems more common than not that marketing is off doing their thing, and sales is off doing their thing.  And there is not as much synchronization of the two efforts as one would like.

I also find that it is not unusual to expect salespeople to be both marketers and salespeople.  The two roles do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.  And, if salespeople are paid base salaries, they tend to be very expensive marketers.  

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs, By Gretchen Gordon

Is Your Pipeline a Pipe Dream? How to Tame Your Sales Pipeline

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Fri, Dec 04, 2015 @06:30 AM

I facilitated a Sales Swap Meet™ this week with a collection of business owners.* If you aren’t familiar with a Sales Swap Meet, it is where business owners and CEOs bring their questions, concerns, and problems regarding their sales organization and swap them for ideas, suggestions and answers.

The topic we spent the most time on was what to measure and how to measure it. I thought I would recap for you what we discussed since it is of high importance for any business. What I heard was that the majority of the folks keep track of a pipeline and some grade the pipeline (calculating how much business will actually spit out the back end based on the probabilities associated with the deals in the pipeline) and make some projections based off of those. Nobody indicated their projections were accurate, unfortunately. So let’s start there.

A pipeline frequently is just a list of deals that salespeople are working on. The less disciplined you are about what goes into the pipeline and how opportunities are rated, the bigger, fatter and more unrealistic the pipeline becomes. If you place too much emphasis on the pipeline, it will continue to grow until it is a total waste of time.

Here Are Two Tips to Tame Your Sales Pipeline

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Tags: Sales Performance, Sales Force Effectiveness, By Gretchen Gordon

What Are the Elements of a Quality Sales Conversation?

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 @07:00 AM

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

The ability to lead a quality sales conversation as a salesperson is more difficult than it seems. More than that, the bar for a quality sales conversation today is very different from what it was five or 10 years ago.

The current environment requires reprogramming a large part of the sales concepts that have prevailed in recent decades.

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For Sales Managers

How to Know if A Manager is Sabotaging Your Sales Transformation

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Nov 03, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

When business leaders implement a sales force transformation program, they inevitably meet resistance within their organization.

A certain resistance to change on the part of company executives is common. On the other hand, if it is followed by closed business and increased accountability, this resistance should disappear within a few weeks.

What is problematic is when resistance to change comes from managers and sales directors of the company. Some of them might even want to derail the transformation program or discredit the consultant in charge of the project.

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs

Why Your Hot New Sales Tips Will Fail to Deliver

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 @06:30 AM

I recently responded to a reporter’s query about the best new tips and tricks for sales coaches to help their sales teams increase annual revenue by a factor of ten. Reflecting on where the most powerful opportunities lie, I concluded the best path to exponentially boost revenue for most companies is not through “hot new sales tips and tricks.” Rather, it will be found by going back to the basics. Only organizations that already have a functional sales foundation in place are well-poised to benefit from new strategies and techniques. Sustainable performance can’t be achieved via shortcuts. What follows is an expansion of my response to the reporter.

 

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Tags: Sales Performance, Sales Force Effectiveness, For Sales Managers, By Gretchen Gordon

Is Legacy Exposing You to a Devastating Black Swan Event?

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Gary Delbridge. This was originally posted on The Sales Professor Blog by our OMG Partner affiliate in Australia, Objective Assessment and is reposted here with minor modifications.

I spend much of my time talking to CEOs about the importance of their organization having a powerful sales process and building sales capabilities within their teams. The problem is, the more time I spend looking into sales issues within organizations, the more apparent it is that the bigger problem is . . .

Legacy — the way we’ve always done things!

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs

How to Turn a Good Salesperson Bad: A Cautionary Tale

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Oct 06, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Gary Delbridge. This was originally posted on The Sales Professor Blog by our OMG Partner affiliate in Australia, Objective Assessment and is reposted here with minor modifications.

More than 20 years ago, while working in the area of corporate transformation, I came across a fascinating explanation of the nature of culture within companies. I, like many people, saw the culture of a company as something “inherent” in any organization. But until that time, I failed to understand how it came into being and underestimated the enormous impact it had on the performance of those within a company.

While studying “Total Quality Management” in 1992, I came to understand that a company’s culture is like a virus; good or bad it invariably infects all of those within the company, including all new people that join the company. It fascinates me that companies often seek to “bring in new blood” when they recognize that they have a problem with their culture — only to find that the anticipated changes and improvements are ineffective. Often, in fact, the resistance to change is so great that either the “new blood” leaves the company or succumbs to the path of least resistance  the existing company culture. In short, they are assimilated.



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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs

Be an Exception to the Latest Depressing Stats on Consultative Selling

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @06:30 AM

Hello. Are There Any Consultative Salespeople Out There?

I read a fantastic, albeit depressing article that was published yesterday by Dave Kurlan, founder of Objective Management Group (OMG).

Periodically, OMG mines the data on the thousands of salespeople that are assessed using their tools each year (now over 1 million salespeople in total). What they have learned is that the average consultative seller competency has not improved much over the last four years. Despite so much more information out there about sales effectiveness. And despite the hundreds of training and development companies that exist to try and improve sales skills of sales teams.

In 2011, the salespeople in the research group exhibited, on average, only 47% of the consultative seller skill set. Now, with the most recent data (on 350,000 salespeople) they exhibit, on average, 48% of the consultative seller skill set. Big whoop. A 1% increase.

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Tags: Sales Performance, Sales Force Effectiveness, By Gretchen Gordon

Implementing a Sales Process: 4 Classic Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French.

The sales process is the backbone of a company's sales operations. 

In this article, we describe the mistakes made by sales managers in the implementation of the sales process. So it is assumed that the company has defined a procedure for formal and structured sales. 

 

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness

How to Use LinkedIn and Reachable for Referrals

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, May 14, 2015 @07:31 AM

In my last article I spoke about the importance of asking for referrals and introductions. I described how one can accomplish this either the old-fashioned way, through asking, or by using LinkedIn or Reachable. I have been asked to explore these online applications a little bit further. So here goes.

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For Sales Managers, By Gretchen Gordon

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