Identify Your Target Market

At the beginning of the budget season, the sales manager often asks members of the sales team to choose target accounts they will sell in the upcoming year. This is often a haphazard process. Not everyone is a prospect for your product or service. Believe it or not, some prospects will not or cannot buy… Read more »

Whose Fault Is It?

While helping clients select new salespeople, we like to say “Tell me about the last time you lost an order and why you lost it.” We hear a variety of answers: “Price.” “The customer wasn’t interested in our value-add.” “It was all politics.” The answer we look for and seldom hear is “Honestly, I was… Read more »

For Better Sales Results, Slow Down

A while ago, we wrote about how some salespeople tend to over-talk (“The Yadda-Yadda-Yadda Syndrome,” July 2009). A related problem is the salesperson who talks too fast in an effort to cover all the points and “get to the close.” You’ve seen this in movies as the stereotypical used-car salesman. But the belief that you… Read more »

Sales Seminars; One Day Wonders?

Not long ago I received a call from a company president who had spent thousands of dollars developing a defined sales process for his company. Everyone from senior management to customer support was supposed to be on the same page. That was the good news. Time had passed, however, new hires came into the company… Read more »

Sales Manager as Player/Coaches

We often encounter small to medium sized companies that have grown to the point that they need a sales manager. The President has filled the role and now finds himself unable to effectively run his company AND manage the sales force. He’s frustrated and is looking for a quick solution. So, the search begins to… Read more »

Trim and Score Your Customer List

I heard a great quote recently; “If a salesperson is calling on more than 50 prospects and customers, that salesperson has a hunting license instead of an account list.” It is unrealistic to think you can manage more than 50 accounts. The only exception to this rule is if you are selling high end capital… Read more »

Salespeople sell and…

As a young salesman many years ago, my sales manager caught me doing some project sketches. He interrupted me, looked me straight in the eye and said “Salespeople sell and engineers engineer. Do you call that selling?” Repeated surveys over the years estimate that most salespeople spend about 30% of the available selling time in… Read more »

Does Your Sales Compensation Plan Work?

We are often asked to review sales compensation plans. An effective sales compensation plan is a delicate mix of incentive, motivation and fairness. A plan with a poor design can not only hurt morale, but also inhibit successful hiring. Here are some critical factors in designing (or re-designing) your sales compensation plan. Apply the K.I.S.S…. Read more »

Don’t Hire Only on “Qualifications”

Recently, more of our time is spent helping clients in the selection of salespeople. Many of these clients are small to mid-size companies that are not hiring salespeople on a regular basis and therefore, frankly, are not very adept at the process. Nor, have they been very successful hiring the best candidates. A point of… Read more »