Sales Management Blog

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

Sales Digest: Make Your Pipeline More Effective

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 @09:33 AM

Braveheart Sales Digest

Focus On: Improving Your Sales Pipeline

The inaugural edition of our sales digest was well-received, so we are doing it again around a new theme: the sales pipeline. If you follow Braveheart's Sales Management Blog, you have likely heard me refer to the "fluffy pipeline syndrome." It's a real thing that can seriously undercut sales performance.

In 2013, The TAS Group reported that only 46% of sales reps feel their pipeline is accurate. Find out what leading sales experts have to say now about building and maintaining an effective sales pipeline.

 

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

10 of the Most Harmful Questions Salespeople Still Ask

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @07:30 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.

 

You've probably heard some absurd questions from vendors, and told yourself that it was not the way you were going to do business. There is no reason to repeat the mistakes of others.

I have assembled a list of the top 10 wrong sales questions that are frequently asked, despite their detrimental effect on the sales process.

 

 

If you are a salesperson and still use any of the questions listed below, it’s time to re-think your approach.

If you are a sales manager you can use these questions in your coaching interventions to help your sales force avoid these traps.

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Tags: Sales Performance

Sales Digest: How Old-School Salespeople Can Stay Relevant

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @10:26 AM

Braveheart Sales Digest

Focus On: How Old-School Salespeople Can Stay Relevant

Headlines periodically appear to predict total doom and gloom for old-school salespeople. Earlier this year, Hubspot's Emma Snider blogged about Forrester’s prediction that a full million “traditional” sales jobs will be lost before 2020 (Forrester also predicted growth for sales consultants). But Snider more recently reassured us sales folk that we are still relevant after all, based on new Gartner research published in the Harvard Business Review.

In fact, Gartner’s research indicates salespeople are “more important than ever,” ranking them the single most influential factor for B2B sales (above references, events, white papers, sales presentations, work-related communities, provider websites, marketing literature, press publications, advertising or social media). There is every indication that the future of sales belongs to those who can bridge the best of old-school sales methods with future technology and consultative selling to best meet customers' needs.

This is a curated list of blog posts about salespeople who have been in the sales game long enough to earn their stripes many times over. They may be called “veterans,” “old-school,” “traditional,” “experienced,” “senior,” or “seasoned.” Read what people are saying about their perceived strengths and weaknesses and how they can stay relevant in a rapidly-evolving sales environment.

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Tags: Sales Performance, By Gretchen Gordon

How to Structure Your Sales Compensation Plans

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Aug 06, 2015 @07:00 AM

It seems that compensation plan structure is a hot topic with many Braveheart clients. The following are a few things to keep in mind when structuring compensation plans for your sales team.

 

 

1. Not all salespeople are money-motivated.
In fact, from the work that we do with clients and the thousands of assessments we see of salespeople, it appears that the majority of salespeople are NOT motivated solely by money. This means that ─ for most salespeople ─ increasing the commission opportunity will not necessarily incent them to behave dramatically differently. You could lower the base so substantially that they can’t survive unless they do more, but for many this tactic just increases turnover.

2. Remember to reward the behavior you want.
For instance, if you sell systems which have an installation component and a smaller recurring revenue component, but your company value is driven by the recurring revenue component, then the salespeople need to be rewarded for increasing company value ─ which means on the recurring revenue component, not just on the big installation sale.

3. Whether you incent on topline sales or on profit is company specific.
If your salespeople have control over the profitability of their sales, then by all means incent on profit rather than just topline sales. This will reinforce the right behavior. A plan design idea that we share freely with business owners is a concept whereby the salesperson gets to pick their compensation plan for the year.

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Tags: Sales Performance, For CEOs, By Gretchen Gordon

Will Your Salesperson Build Relationships Or Close Business?

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 @07:00 AM

There is a misconception that salespeople are all one breed; that they are all gregarious, outgoing, extroverted individuals. Not true. The truth of the matter is that you have most likely been sold to by this one sort of person - because that is how most companies hire salespeople. They hire the people who like people and build great relationships. But building relationships does not necessarily mean closed business. I can’t tell you how many companies I know who have really nice, friendly, service-oriented salespeople . . . except that they aren’t really salespeople. They are service people.

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Tags: Sales Performance, By Gretchen Gordon

How to Use the Math of Success to Boost Your Team's Sales Results

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @10:01 AM

A friend and colleague pointed out to me that I frequently refer to the Math of Success in sales when I write, but I don’t have one article dedicated to the topic. Well here you go, an entire article dedicated to the magical Math of Success. You can download a worksheet template to use with your sales team and put this into practice immediately. This is the Sales Manager’s remedy for having to nag salespeople to do more, get more appointments, send more proposals, and close more business.

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

How Your Sales Team Can Identify Their 4 Buyers on LinkedIn

Posted by Guest Blog on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 @06:30 AM

Editor's Note: We haven't often used guest posts on our blog, but this is one I thought our readers would find particularly helpful. This post comes courtesy of Celina Guerrero of SocialtoSales.com. It is a modified version of a post that was originally published on the SocialtoSales Blog. This version is designed specifically to help sales managers guide their sales teams towards more effective social selling methods. Let us know in the comments if you find it helpful!  

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Tags: Sales Performance

How to Use Momentum Effectively in Sales and Sports

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, May 28, 2015 @08:38 AM

If you have read many of my articles you realize that from time to time I like to use sports analogies. I was at yet another college lacrosse game several days ago, and sadly my team lost to end their season. We were tied at the half but then had gone down by three goals in the second half. Our team was struggling a little bit to get something going and seemed riddled with turnovers.

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

What Works for Sales Contests? How to Build a Sales Contest That Wins

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @12:18 PM

I had a discussion the other day with a sales manager at a client site. He was crafting a contest to try to spur some additional activity and business. He asked for my thoughts on how to structure a sales contest that wins, so I thought I would share.

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Tags: Sales Management, Sales Performance, For Sales Managers, By Gretchen Gordon

Its Fourth Quarter: Your Sales Performance Now May Shape 2015

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @07:00 AM

iYou read that correctly: what your sales team does right now may dictate how successful 2015 will be for you.

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Tags: Sales Management, Sales Performance, By Gretchen Gordon

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