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Justin Cohen’s New Book: Step #3 “Optimism”

Moving right along with the key steps of the formula to win, step 3 is optimism. “I am optimistic that this is going to be an important part of the pitch to win process,” joked Justin Cohen, who was interviewed by John Golden on his six-step formula to pitch to win. Be sure to tune in every week to learn all six steps.

Optimism:

When exploring the central qualities of top salespeople, one might guess that it would be work experience or qualifications that led to success. However, the research suggests that it is actually optimism that makes for great salespeople. People who expect the best are quick to turn a problem into an opportunity. They eat, drink, and breath positivity, and that translates into their performance. When people have the positive expectation that they will get the deal, most often they do.

Getting the Deal:

Part of why optimism is so important in sales is because rejection is a constant. Sellers face rejection at every part of the sales cycle, and if you take a pessimistic approach, you will never get past that first no. It takes between 5 and 12 exposures to a product or service before people will be comfortable enough to buy. A pessimistic salesperson might be very qualified, but if they hear no, they think it’s over. The optimist thinks that if they change their approach, and get back in there, there’s a good chance they’ll get a yes. And often, they do. “The optimist goes back,” said Cohen. “It’s really as simple as that. Optimism is the mindset of persistence. Persistence is critical when it comes to sales, because of all that rejection.”

Why Persistence is Important:

Very few people immediately take on a new product or service. Quite frankly, that would not be very smart. There is a process of assessment that’s required. This assessment process is something that goes back to these caveman brains of ours which, are taught to deal with a threatening environment. If someone has never heard of your product or service before, it is something that could be threatening. Buyers take the time to explore and get to know you and what you’re offering before determining if it is safe to accept into their life or not. The rejection that salespeople face is par for the course, and a pessimistic person will fall short if they do not develop more of an optimistic approach to interacting and selling.

You can watch the rest of the pitch to win series here: Pitch to Win Series 

To get a more in-depth look at how to pitch to win, be sure to check out Justin Cohen’s book

About our Host:

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Pitch to Win 6 Step Formula: “Optimism” appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Technology has drastically changed the landscape of sales. Door to door selling is almost non-existent. Buyers are more educated on products than ever before. Even odder, B2B clients are refusing to take face to face meetings. I have been in situations where a client has invested over $225,000 and I had to beg them to drive 30 minutes to meet them face to face.

Remote selling does have its drawbacks. We no longer see facial expressions. We can’t see when clients start to take notes during the meeting. Multi-tasking comes into play too. We don’t really know if that client is 100% focused on us.

If you think video chat is the exact same as being in the room, really think about it. It’s comparable – but it isn’t the same. There is that whole the technology isn’t working correctly risk. When selling to a team, meetings may run over because people show up late. Or people may just get up and leave the room. There is a technology barrier, which makes it easier for clients to not take meetings seriously.

Yet, remote selling is the reality of business today. When we are granted those golden opportunities to shake someone’s hand we need to be ready to interact with them and pick up on social cues. Because we have been sitting behind a screen for so long, people are either forgetting how to read body language or they’ve never had a need to learn it.

I never thought about much about the importance of physically being in the room until I wrote How Your Paperwork Looks Matters. People reached out to me saying they never thought about it either, but that it 100% helped close deals faster. One sales manager read my article and emailed me asking if I had a class on body language and social cues. I had one in my head!

Identifying the Mysteries of Body Language, a workshop on buyer types and the nuances of reading body language was created.

It’s all about the nuances! How is someone folding their hands? What way are they tilting their head? How fast are they taking notes? Do they shift seats with certain subjects are mentioned?

Older sales people that have met face-to-face overtime are telling me that their body language reading skills have weakened. Sales managers are emailing that their new hires are body language illiterate. Most salespeople under 25 grew up socializing through a screen.

In speaking with one sales manager, Eric, saw his sales reps rushing through meetings. They are usually selling B2B. This team is predominately under 30. The decision-makers they are meeting with are owners or VPs of small to medium businesses. Eric saw a trend when he went on meetings with his team: They were missing positive body language cues. They were wrapping up meetings much faster than they should have. They didn’t notice the locked eyes of the prospect, the subtle smiles, or someone putting their pen down to listen more closely.

Scarier for his team’s quota- they were missing the lean in. That subtle move when some decision makers literally lean towards you and lock eyes. That is when you know they are serious buyers. When you get the lean in, you need to start to move into your close. He immediately noticed the need.

Reading body language falls under emotional intelligence, a skill that can be learned. When you focus on improving your body language literacy, you improve your listening skills. Improved listening skills lead to stronger remote meetings since you can pick up on vocal intention better. It is a win-win, tightening up your sales process.

BHY Consulting will be running Identifying the Mysteries of Body Language workshop in New York City Sept. 18th from 9am to 4pm. Tickets can be purchased here. If you would like to bring this workshop to your company please email cb@bhyconsulting.com

The post Missing the Lean In: How Technology is Affecting Body Language Literacy appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Julie Hansen is July’s Contributor Spotlight! Each month, SalesPOP! interviews one of our top contributors, giving readers a peek into the mind of experts in the sales industry. Hansen leads the sales industry in presentations, helping salespeople to create and deliver the perfect sales presentation. She founded Performance Sales and Training, an organization that helps teach sales presentations, and offers workshops on mastering the craft. She is the author of Act Like a Sales Pro: How to Command the Business Stage and Dramatically Increase Your Sales with Proven Acting Techniques, and Sales Presentations For Dummies.

She has also written lots of content for SalesPOP!, including Is Your Sales Presentation Built to Bore?, and Start with Why: The Key to a Successful Presentation? Hansen has also been a part of media content for SalesPOP!, and participated in an expert sales interview with John Golden on Creating Sales Kick-Off Meetings that Really Count as well as a #SalesChats, discussing High-Impact Sales Presentations.

In order to get to know Hansen a little more, and get insight into her career in sales and her contributions to SalesPOP!, check out her interview below.

You’ve built your career on teaching people how to create influential sales presentations. What drew you to this aspect of the sales world?

I believe that overcoming our own challenges is the greatest thing we can offer others. As a salesperson, I had an almost debilitating fear of presenting. It wasn’t until I began studying acting that I was able to overcome it. As a presentation coach, it’s an absolute privilege and joy to be able to use my experience as an actor and a salesperson to help others communicate their ideas in a compelling and memorable way – with confidence – so they can be more successful.

What are some ways that sales presentations can benefit a salesperson? What makes sales presentations uniquely beneficial?

As difficult as it is to get in front of customers today, whether live or virtually, it’s critical that you maximize that time and deliver your message as impactfully as possible. A well- constructed presentation allows you to build your case in a logical, persuasive manner, which can win over resistant buyers, pre-empt objections and speed up sales cycles. And for more complex products with longer selling cycles, a memorable presentation can keep your solution top-of-mind when buying decisions are finally made.

Knowing what you know now, what career advice would you give yourself 20 years ago?

Find a good mentor. Look for people who are one, two, even three steps ahead of you. Seek advice from those outside of your industry. It’s easy to get tunnel-vision based on where you land in your first job, so it’s important to network with others who can offer a broader or at least different perspective.

You’re a top contributor to SalesPOP!, and you’ve definitely left your mark on this online sales magazine. What is it about contributing that you enjoy, and find valuable?

I love contributing to SalesPOP! because it’s such a high-quality resource for sales teams, and it’s an honor to be associated with it and my fellow writers. John and his team have done an excellent job of curating fresh, top-notch advice on a wide range of sales-related topics. I find it really useful when I’m looking for guidance in an area outside of my expertise.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten, career or otherwise?

Let go of waiting to make your move until you have absolute knowledge and understanding. You’re never going to have all the information you’d like – about a client, about a project, about anything really. As I was writing Sales Presentations for Dummies, new developments in technology, video and AI in sales kept materializing. If I waited until all the results were in, I’d never have finished. I like the wisdom and practicality in the saying: “Do the best you can until you know better. And when you know better, do better.”

What has been the biggest hurdle in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Early in my career, I was easily intimidated by people who had a “C” in their title.  Confidence is vital in sales, especially with executives so it was really impacting my ability to move about within an organization.

As an actor, I learned how status affects your relationships with others. If I assume I have a lower status, I’m likely to act overly-deferential and feel unworthy of taking up someone’s time. Naturally, the other person picks up on that and reacts accordingly.

So I learned to approach executives like any other business relationship from a place of equal status. Which means, I had to truly believe that I had something of value to offer and the right to be heard. If I don’t believe that, then the other person has no reason to believe it either. Now I consider myself a peer or trusted advisor and it’s changed my entire attitude, as well as the way I communicate verbally and nonverbally. As a result, I feel more confident and I can have more effective conversations with executives.

The post SalesPOP! Top Contributor Spotlight: Julie Hansen appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Sales coaching is a perennially difficult subject. Everyone agrees that it’s essential, and yet it’s not always implemented or done effectively. This article explores ways to improve sales coaching and provides actionable insights to jumpstart the creation of the coaching process.

Defining Sales Coaching:

The sales manager is a pivotal job if you want to build a competent sales team, and coaching is their most important responsibility. Sales coaching is not counseling or teaching. It’s not training or mentoring. These are all good things, but they’re not sales coaching. And, most importantly, it’s not helping people to sell more stuff. Sales coaching is actually very straightforward. It’s all about helping salespeople be more effective and providing guidance to help them do that. Operationally, it’s about observing people, reviewing what happens, and providing them with feedback. What we’re coaching varies depending on circumstance. It can be intensely tactical, or highly strategic, depending on the opportunities that the coach selects to deliver the coaching.

  • Understand what sales coaching isn’t to understand what it is.
Why Coaching Isn’t More Prevalent:

Most organizations agree that sales coaching is vital, and yet many companies don’t do it. The universal complaint of sales managers, regardless of how long they’ve been doing the job, their tenure, or the culture of the organization, is that they don’t have enough time to do essential things well. The number one reason why coaching isn’t more prevalent is that sales managers don’t know how to find the time to do it. Sales managers are at a junction between strategy and execution. They deal with salespeople and have direct interaction with customers, they’re dealing with senior executive leaders in their own business, they have administrative duties, they have to be out in the field, and so many other important responsibilities. The reality is that many sales managers don’t know how to make time for sales coaching. Another reason why coaching isn’t more prevalent across organizations is that coaches lack confidence. They don’t know if they’re doing it well or not. They don’t get a lot of practice at it, mainly because they don’t make a lot of time for coaching. A coach that doesn’t coach very often isn’t going to be very successful, and they know that they’re not delivering a lot of value. They end up shying away from it, which prevents them from getting better at coaching.

  • Considering it’s crucial importance, find ways to make time for sales coaching.
  • Do more coaching to become more confident in abilities, instead of shying away from it and not refining the craft.
  • Get assistance from upper-level management to provide regular training for salespeople so that sales managers can spend time coaching.
A Typical Experience:

What most salespeople experience when they are “coached” from sales managers involves questions about numbers, meetings, upcoming scheduling, and a little bit about strategy going forward. Managers then tell their sales team what to do, instead of providing them guidance. Salespeople might describe their experience with coaching as limited, mixed, and unhelpful.

  • When coaching, change the typical experience by providing value and specific problem-solving techniques, or else it’s a waste of time.
Creating the Coaching Culture:

A coaching culture must be developed very carefully. It is the framework that will either promote positive, effective coaching or promote negative or absent coaching. It can be challenging to create a sustainable culture that is going to create long-term, effective coaching.

  • First, the organization must find a champion; someone who is committed to coaching and the coaching culture to act as a catalyst for others.
  • Create internal structures so that leaders know how often they’re expected to be coached, and how often they’re expected to coach their team. Have a set schedule and stick to it.
  • Introduce a model of coaching that involves the salespeople being coached by the sales manager, the sales manager being coached by the director, and the director being coached by the VP. This creates a coaching culture that is more sustainable.
  • Build feedback into the system. Feedback is essential, not only for the sales manager to give to their sales team but also for the sales team to give back to the sales manager.
  • Find ways to systematically archive best practices so that when new sales managers are hired on, there is an institutional history that provides instructions for how to get started and integrate into the coaching culture.
  • Understand the resources that need to be provided to the sales managers to help them do the best job possible.
  • Let the salespeople know that they will be coached, and set the expectation that coaching is part of the job.
Getting Started:

Before you get started, there are some key, actionable things that need to be done.

  • You have to recognize that you need to stop doing sales training unless you are willing and able to follow it up with an integrated coaching component. The money spent on sales training is wasted if you do not reinforce what was taught with sales coaching.
  • Prepare the sales team for the changes to come. Let them know what coaching looks like going forward now that it’s properly integrated into the culture. Set their expectations.
Success Stories:

Although coaching across the board has not been successfully integrated into organizations, there are a few examples of success. One example is of a sales manager who developed a coaching culture all by herself. She was in an environment where she wasn’t getting a lot of support from the company, yet demonstrated that it is still possible for an individual sales manager to coach at a level of excellence. She leveraged institutional resources that other managers weren’t aware of and brought in support from the marketing team and clinical support team. She put together a way of coaching that recognized the constraints of the organization and leveraged untapped resources.

Practical Advice:
  • Take baby steps. Don’t try to implement a coaching initiative for your entire sales team. Explain what’s going on to your entire sales team, and then pick one or two people to work with instead of trying to coach your entire span of control.
  • Find what organizational resources are available to be leveraged. Utilize the people in the company with the competency to provide help.
  • Start with getting an hour on the calendar for coaching. Treat it as you would a meeting with a client or a meeting with a big boss to ensure that it happens.
  • Pick an early stage, low-risk opportunity to practice coaching and develop confidence in your coaching abilities.
  • Get feedback from your sales team. As a leader, it’s helpful to know what to work on so that you can develop your own skills better.
  • To coach means to be coached. Find someone else in the organization that can help you improve your skills.

Information for this article was sourced from this top sales expert panel discussion hosted by John Golden, featuring the expert opinions of Richard Ruff, Peri Shawn, and Matthew McDarby.

The post How to Coach Salespeople appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Never give up, but find a better way!

If there’s any factor that keeps someone out of selling, it would be rejection—and a person simply gives up before they start. It can be even worse if someone has been selling for some time, but the constant rejection finally gets to them and they give up. Giving up can also happen right in the middle of a sales cycle. But giving up is seldom the answer. Join us as we find a better way!

Watch Live on 2nd August 2018 9am PT/Noon ET Episode Questions
  1. In Sales there are a lot of road blocks and things that can unmotivate you to keep selling. How can you combat this and instead muster up the courage to continue?
  2. What can people do if the sale doesn’t go as predicted? Is there any suggested Plan B?
  3. What are the most important keys to stay focused in order to achieve everything you want?
Our Guest Elinor Stutz

Elinor Stutz broke through barriers long before doing so was popular. First, she proved women can sell. Her blog Smooth Sale was created to teach how to earn a returning and referring clientele. Elinor is an international best-selling author, a Top 1% Influencer, and sales guru and inspirational speaker.

Links › smoothsale.net | twitter.com | linkedin.com

Our Hosts About Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

Martha Neumeister

Martha is social media strategist, responsible for all social media platforms of Pipeliner CRM. She is a communication expert with social media affinity, which she has been focusing on throughout her professional career. She has a bachelor´s degree in Entrepreneurship & Management and a master´s degree in Online Marketing which supports her in her career as Social Media Strategist.

About SalesChats

#SalesChats is a fast-paced (no more than 30 minutes) multi-media series that provides leading strategies, tactics and thinking for sales professionals worldwide. It can be found on Twitter (#SalesChats), as a live Google+ Hangout, and as a podcast available on iTunes, SoundCloud and right here on SalesPOP! If you think you would make a great guest for #SalesChats, please contact co-host Martha Neumeister.

#SalesChats is co-hosted by John Golden, CSMO Pipeliner CRM, and Martha Neumeister, Social Media Strategist Pipeliner CRM.

The post #SalesChats: August 2nd 9am PT with Elinor Stutz appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Technology and sales enablement has become really important aspects of today’s sales environment, but there is danger lurking in trying to automate areas that should be left to humans.

Technology Does Not Replace Humans

Everything in today’s business environment seems to be about technology, the latest developments, content marketing, microblogs, engagement, SEOs, etc.

Some companies have become over-systematized, forgetting that Humans buy from Humans and that trust cannot be built through automation. Personally, I can always tell when marketing automation is used without a human touch. It often happens that I get solicitation emails from companies that already acquired me as a client, or when various salespeople from the same company approach me trying to sell the same solution.

CRM systems are powerful tools to manage a company’s prospect and client base. Adding marketing automation to those CRM’s is an even more powerful way to engage, but only if humans manage those systems with care and diligence.

In a consultative sales environment technology should only be utilized to support the sales process, but never to replace it. People want to feel special and they don’t want to be viewed as a mass target.

Here are some examples of what technology lacks.

The Human Touch

And by that, I mean exactly that. The human touch. When you call on a prospect you can apply nuances to your voice, you can be compassionate and you can adjust your language.
Mass messages, even if they are targeted to specific audiences will always be static. Yes, you can add images and videos and animations, but they will never be personal. I get mass emails and messages all day and some of them are more relevant to my business than others, but they are never exactly what I am looking for because the messages weren’t designed to speak to my business specifically but rather to people who fit a bucket. When a lead generation/client adoption process is over systemized there is the danger that the salespeople will rely on it and become complacent.

Human Persuasion

In sales, it is very important to overcome objections and to add value to your customer/client so they buy from you and choose your product or service. Content marketing is an amazing tool to raise awareness and to put a brand on the map so your prospect and client base is more informed on your offering. Most people today will research a product/service before they make a buying decision, but I would argue that people still like to buy from people and they will most likely buy from people they trust. Building trust takes time and it is a process that cannot be rushed or replaced by technology. Again, technology is the supporting tool but not a replacement.

Quality Content

With all the hype about content marketing, we sometimes seem to forget that it’s actually Content that drives Content marketing. Guess who provides content? People! As I am sitting here writing this article I am wondering if there will ever be a technology that will produce quality content. I sure hope not. Not for self-serving reasons but for the nuances which human beings can provide. I can’t help but think that computer or technology generated content would lack the subtlety of human writing. What technology would be able to develop headlines that crown the New York Post, u7k Cirque Du Stormy? And what about sarcasm? I can tell you that I have yet to find a computer program that translates effectively, let alone create original content, especially when it comes to humorous phrases or idioms.

Rationale

And by that, I mean applying logic, knowledge, and judgment. Let’s talk about database management because to me it’s key to effectively engaging with prospects and customers. CRM systems are only as good as the data that is fed to them (which is the truth for all technology-enabled solutions). GI-GO – Garbage in – Garbage out, which brings me to over-systematizing without applying rational thinking and feedback. When managing a database you need to know who your target audience is, whether they are a client, a prospect or a partner. If you don’t tag your contacts properly, your messaging will be off and it really doesn’t matter what technology you use.

Decision Making

Although we all think that technology has made it so easy for us to do almost everything by itself, it’s really important to remember that making a decision is still something that humans need to do. While technology can help us build an opinion or stay informed, it’s still humans who make the decision to buy and people who are signing checks.

In closing, I want to add that I love technology. I really do. Like most of us, I would be lost without my computer, Smartphone and all the technology solutions that come with it. What we shouldn’t forget though is that technology doesn’t replace humans. Not yet, anyway and hopefully not any time soon.

The post Humans vs. Technology in Sales appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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One of the biggest issues in any sales organization is the lack of congruency between what the overall sales strategy says and what salespeople do every day. Indeed the same issue is similarly at play between the sales plan and the plan for the entire organization.

The strategy says one thing and not only do people do something else, they do slightly different things that are out of sync with the strategy.

Massive inconsistency and dysfunction results; everyone in the herd goes off in different directions.

This is a failure of sales leadership.

Leadership tends to place more focus on direction-setting rather than on determining he details of how the strategy will be executed and the roles that people have to play in executing it.

Precision is applied to “getting the strategy right” — let’s exploit the retail sector — and not how it will be implemented in the trenches where the real work gets done — we will target the men’s clothing segment and focus on our CRM solution application.

The gap between strategic intent and actual results is due to this skewed attention. If only 20% of leadership’s attention is placed on the details of how the strategy will be implemented, the strategy will likely be hit and miss as salespeople find it necessary to interpret the plan and execute it the way they understand it should.

Effective strategy execution occurs only when there is clarity between the specific roles that salespeople play in the organization and the overall sales strategy. If direct line of sight is defined for every sales team flawless execution occurs. This is achieved when every salesperson clearly understands what their implementation role is.

Indirect line of sight, on the other hand, occurs when the implementation role of each person is vaguely described. It results in people having a clouded understanding of what specific action the strategy demands and dysfunction results.

Many sales leaders don’t pay enough attention to ensuring sales activity and overall strategy are aligned. It generally gets delegated to sales managers who formulate the tactics THEY contend are homeomorphic with overall strategic imperatives.

The problem with this process is that subjectivity is introduced below the sales leadership level and is magnified several times over as each sales team is asked to do the same thing. Any inconsistencies between activity and strategy at the highest level in an organization are multiplied by an order of magnitude factor before it reaches individual salespeople. Imagine the potential for inconsistency if the organization has 10 or more sales teams!

The real problem is that the sales leader doesn’t ask for a detailed implementation plan from each sales team that would at least show whether they were bordering on out-of-alignment or not.

Under these conditions, it’s not difficult to see why strategy and organizational activity diverge and not converge.

What can sales leadership do about this problem?

Spend more time on execution

In my experience I find that leaders spend about 25% of their time developing implementation plans to support their overall sales plan; three-quarters of their time is consumed by plotting the sales direction required to support the company’s overall strategic game plan. To improve the fit between sales strategy and implementation more time must be spent on what tactics must be performed in the field by sales teams and individual salespeople — target at least 50% for this activity.

Align sales tactics to sales strategy

Institutionalize “Sales Alignment Plans” with every sales manager; ask for sufficient granularity to determine whether or not a sales team has direct line of sight to the sales strategy or not. Each sales team must translate the sales strategy into what it means specifically to them and what they must do to execute it. Make them work at it until they get it right; have the sales leader give final approval.

Define the key elements of the strategy to align with

There are many dimensions to any strategy but it is critical to prioritize and focus on the critical ones. Greater alignment success will occur by focusing on a handful of the critical strategic imperatives rather than trying to “herd the cats” around a dozen or more.

Better to get perfect alignment around 3 high priorities than weak alignment around 15 items that are nice to do but are less important.

Define what needs to change in every sales team

If the sales organization is pursuing a new or revised strategic direction, there will most certainly be projects, sales values, skills and perhaps technology that will have to be re-vectored to enable the execution of the new plan. Details of everything that needs to change must be defined in detail with an action plan to achieve the desired results.

Identify what has to be dropped

Successful execution of “the new” requires that you stop doing stuff; there is simply not enough resource available to take on new work and keep doing what you were doing yesterday.
If old out-of-alignment activity is not stopped, additional unnecessary resources will be most certainly requested. All non-strategic activity must be isolated and resources removed and redeployed to new challenges that must be undertaken.

Aligning sales to march together is critical to ensure strategic objectives are achieved and higher levels of performance delivered.

Sales leadership’s active engagement in the process is THE vital ingredient to make it happen.

The post How to Get Salespeople to do What the Strategy Says appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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We are officially halfway through 2018, and it’s a great time to be in sales. This sales article provides actionable insights to help you understand the current climate of the business world, and leverage tools and skills to make this the best year yet.

Technology Changes:

The sales world has been inundated with a surplus of different technology advances and tools. Historically, they have just added minutiae and chaos as salespeople have tried to adapt to these new technologies. The last few years have primarily been a learning curve on how to use and integrate them. But now, we’re coming into a time when these automated processes are more integrated, and finally freeing up time for salespeople, allowing them to spend more time on actual selling activities like face to face interactions. The tools have never been better, and our understanding of what it takes to succeed has never been better. Plus, there have been discoveries in behavioral science, messaging, outreach effectiveness, and social engagement that make it even easier for salespeople to be successful. All of these areas make it such that if a salesperson is willing to learn, and they’re willing to put in sufficient energy, they’re guaranteed success.

  • Spend more time doing a good, clean sales job instead of trying to coordinate your technology and your team.
  • Salespeople have gotten past the learning curve of the tools. Apply yourself and be willing to learn best practices, and you have a very surefire path to success.
Plan Better:

Salespeople can be terrible planners. This is to their detriment. If you want to be successful the rest of this year, planning has to be integrated, and salespeople have to stick to the plans that they make. The key to planning for salespeople is to keep things simple. Often, they don’t turn the planning they’ve done into concrete, actionable steps, or stick to those steps, which leads to wasted time and energy. Another way to better plan for the future is to become domain experts. Research is showing that customers prefer to talk to subject matter experts over salespeople, and more companies are altering their sales team to include more of these experts. Salespeople can become experts themselves by maximizing their domain knowledge so that they can deliver this to customers. Where sales knowledge meets domain knowledge intersect is where value is created.

  • Identify target accounts, identify the channels that you want to use to engage prospects, keep track of your sales plan and the activities you want to use to hit your goal, and then put everything in your calendar.
  • Use the multitude of free tools available to maximize domain knowledge and become more of a subject matter expert.
  • Once you have a documented sales plan and clearly understand what activities to focus on, understand how you’re focusing on your skills and advancing your skills to ensure that you’re effectively executing those activities.
Create New Habits:
  • Formally undertake your personal development. Don’t wait for your institution to provide training. The way to develop skills, behaviors, and beliefs is to be consistently and intentionally practicing your skills while adding new ones to your repertoire.
  • Ensure that your presentation structure mimics a conversation and that the buyer communicates more than you do. Typically presentations are formatted in a long, linear fashion, but that is not how we communicate today. Review what you’re doing and see if it’s designed to invite conversation. Studies show that the more the customer talks, the more likely they are to close the deal with you.
  • Use the tools that you have available. Often, sales reps are only aware of half the capabilities that their technology provides. Take the time to master your tools.
Stop Bad Habits:

There are a few bad habits that salespeople continue to do that only hurt their career and their potential for selling. The first thing to avoid is talking so much about yourself. Salespeople know more about their customers today than they ever have before, and customers know more about us than they ever have as well. It’s very rare that you walk into a meeting and the buyer doesn’t know who you are or your background, and yet so many presentations and meetings still start with a company overview that is a waste of the precious first few minutes. Another bad habit to avoid is when salespeople email proposals to their clients. Salespeople are only hurting themselves when they package up a proposal, send it over, and expect everything to happen on auto-pilot.

  • Avoid talking about yourself. Make it less about you, and more about them.
  • Stop emailing proposals to clients. Instead, they should be scheduling the time to review proposals with the client. It gives you a chance to do a mini-sale on every little point inside the proposal and prevents a situation where the client goes radio silent on you.
Grab More Money:

One of the most significant ways that salespeople lose deals today is that it results in a no-decision. This is typically the result of three things. If you can eliminate those three things, you have a better chance of getting some commitment. The first is that the issue or problem is not significant enough to solve. The company decides that the issue is not substantial enough or problematic enough to invest the time and resources into your solution to solve it. Secondly, the customer might walk away from a sale because they don’t see the value in making the chance. And finally, sometimes there is a no-pressure time frame that matters to the customer. Another reason why salespeople lose out on money is by not following a sales process. By developing your skills around a process, you will uncover and solve problems as they happen, and you will move your buyer through the sales process more swiftly.

  • Work with your customer and have elevated the business issue to a priority. Help them see the value of what you are selling or providing. Find out the critical date for your customers and explore what will happen if they don’t have things in place by a particular time.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of following the sales process.
  • Stop assessing your performance based on the end result, and start measuring your performance based on the activity you’ve identified that you’re going to do, and do well. If you hit your activity goals and you are competent and efficient at doing those activity goals, the results will come.
Buyer Trends:

The most significant trend in buyer behavior that salespeople should be looking at is customer avoidance. The recent data suggests that prospects are drowning in sales and marketing noise, and as a result, they put up barriers to protect their time, both emotionally and by using actual tools to filter media messages. Additionally, a lot of buyers are looking for introductions and referrals to help improve their lives. Don’t be afraid to give referrals, and ask your current clients to be advocates for your business. A final buyer trend is in how people are consuming information today. We take in information for as long as we are interested, and then we change our focus. As salespeople, we have learned a lot about outreach, and how to deliver concise, crisp, attention-grabbing emails that get meetings with prospects, but then start regurgitating information and talking at someone once the meeting begins.

  • Utilize new channels, such as video media, to get past the barrier that many consumers have.
  • Ensure that your communication is aligned with how people take in information. Don’t use concise, attention-grabbing methods in the prospecting, but then discontinue this style after meeting in person.
  • Advocates are one of the best ways to grow your business and better your reputation. Don’t be afraid to give referrals as a consumer, and ask for advocacy as a seller.
Final Tips:
  • Take time out to document your sales strategy for the year, stop doing what you’ve done year after year, and develop an action plan. Then, build your skills around that action plan, and seek accountability and support to help maintain the plan.
  • Pick one or two things that you can commit to doing. Write it down, get support from a manager, and maintain those before layering in other things.
  • Invest in learning and developing yourself. If you invest 5% of your income on personal development, there will come a day when your 5% will be so significant that you have a difficult time spending it.

Information for this article was sourced from this top sales expert panel discussion, hosted by John Golden, featuring the expert opinions of Julie Hansen, James Muir, and Joe Micallef.

The post Your Best Sales Year Yet appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Justin Cohen’s New Book: Step #2 “Team”

The next stage of the six-step process of pitching to win is the second “T” part of the TTOPPS acronym, which stands for a team. Justin Cohen explains how vital a cohesive team is for pitching in this discussion with John Golden. Watch the video to learn more, and check back every week for the rest of the steps.

The Importance of a Team:

In a complex sale, you are rarely selling on your own. You’re usually working together with other salespeople on the sales team to create a united front. Plus, you’re generally not selling to just one person, you’re working with multiple buyers. There are many occasions where you may pitch on your own, but the major pitches that are more difficult are usually with various people. Plus, if you can get more than one person into the pitch, it is very impressive to the prospect. They realize that they’re not dealing with an individual, but with a team.

Backed by Experience:

“Almost everything in the pitch to win process was created through direct experience. If you had told me at the beginning that ‘team’ was going to be part of the formula, I would have said, ‘what for?’ It was only through work making multi-million dollar sales, and lots of experience, that I discovered how vital unifying a team of salespeople is,” said Cohen.

The Importance of Cohesion:

I realized that when was team discord, it was caused because they were nervous, and highly stressed. In situations like this, it’s easy for individuals to rub each other the wrong way. This conflict, though, negatively impacts performance. “It was very clearly apparent to me that you have acknowledged why you are part of a team,” said Cohen. “If I were choosing a team to come into my business, I would want to know that my team is cohesive and works well together.”

Buyer Perspective:

The buyers are right to judge you on how cohesive you are as a team. There was a study conducted surveying 360 business units. This study found that the number one factor in determining the success of a team is how the members felt about one another. High affinity amongst group members and a general likeness of one another is indicative of high performance. Low affinity tends to create the low performance.

You can watch the rest of the pitch to win series here: Pitch to Win Series 

To get a more in-depth look at how to pitch to win, be sure to check out Justin Cohen’s book

About our Host:

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Pitch to Win 6 Step Formula: “Team” appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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MUST WATCH PANEL DISCUSSION

Summer brings many challenges for the employees of a sales organization. Decision makers are on vacation, and buyers aren’t always as responsive. It’s easy to get defeated, and it can be difficult to maintain high sales quotas. All of these factors contribute to the annual trend of sales “drowning” in summer. Join us on July 24th at 10am PST for key tips on ensuring your productivity and numbers don’t slip during this season.

This webinar is hosted by John Golden, featuring expert insight from James Obermayer, Elinor Stutz, and Robert Jolles.

James Obermayer is executive director and founder of the Sales Lead Management Association and principal at Sales Leakage Consulting, Inc. He is the author/co-author of four books on marketing and sales.

Elinor Stutz broke through barriers long before doing so was popular. First, she proved women can sell. Her blog Smooth Sale was created to teach how to earn a returning and referring clientele. Elinor is an international best-selling author, a Top 1% Influencer, and sales guru and inspirational speaker.

A sought-after speaker and best-selling author, Rob Jolles teaches, entertains, and inspires audiences worldwide. He draws on more than thirty years of experience, and his keynotes and workshops are in global demand by companies in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Far East.

The post Panel Discussion: July 24th at 10am PST appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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