Tuesday, April 16. 2013
A competent sales manager wouldn't send a sales person out without making sure they understood what they were selling so why do companies set telemarketing loose on potential prospects without adequate briefing?
If you don't take the effort to write down the key lift statements, the needs you can address, propositions and success stories how can you expect good results? Writing up a telemarketing brief may be a pain but it’s critical to success!
It’s good theory but in practise the range of offerings can easily extend beyond the capability of the sales teams to understand them all. If there are too many products for them to be comfortable selling they tend to stay in their comfort zone and focus on what they know well, inevitably missing out on many cross selling opportunities.
Fortunately, as salespeople (and buyers) becoming increasingly tablet-enabled, this is an area where technology can help; a few really interesting solutions that dramatically increase cross selling capabilities are emerging.
Continue reading "Don’t allow information overload to prevent..." »
Thursday, January 31. 2013
Do they think that salespeople should only be paid for doing something really tough? Do they think that the delivery and service team can sell to customers without help?
It’s always easier to sell new business into your existing accounts where there is credibility and an established relationship. So why make life harder than it needs to be to make the numbers?
As an example, a lot has been written about the need to define your sales process before you automate it, which is true but many SME’s find that really difficult, too time consuming or too expensive to get someone else to do it. Mixing metaphors, we’re hearing that what many businesses need is something that works off the shelf, out of the box, that hits the ground running.
We all need more than a basic CRM doing contact management nowadays. Sales forecasting won’t work without planning, challenge and a methodology, there are marketing initiatives to manage and campaigns to do, which basic CRM’s don't offer. And integrating the outcome of lots of trips to the app store is tough, so it doesn't get done well.
We’ve been working with a few key players trying to crack this problem and we think we’re making progress; we’d like to share some ideas and hear what you think.
Continue reading "Why don’t CRM systems work? " »
Monday, December 10. 2012
Merry Christmas from Steve and David
Most of us will listen to someone that’s taken the trouble to find out what we’re interested in, who can talk meaningfully about a relevant challenge, something we’re trying to address in our own terms; we’re receptive to that.
The difference is simple but rare, research, doing your homework, and it’s becoming increasingly important as business and businesses get ever more complex, the messages multiply and getting through is more difficult.
Making research the foundation of lead generation can transform its effectiveness, click here to see if you could do better. Continue reading "Research, the silver bullet for lead generation? " »
Wednesday, September 12. 2012
In these testing times we're seeing more and more businesses, technology-based product and service companies, rushing headlong at the challenge of changing the brief of their account management folk, their service delivery team, their consultants, driven by the pressing financial need to explore, expand and exploit their existing client base.
Some very excited major players are addressing their need to stretch their delivery folk, to enable them to have conversations around "what could be" rather than what is, creating opportunities and sustaining a mutually beneficial selling and buying process.
As ever, such change generates interesting questions, notably, what do we mean by account management?
Listening to Today on Radio 4 early this week was annoying, hearing intelligent, articulate people saying "how long will it be before the Olympic effect wears off and the usual cynicism kicks in?" with no audible signs of irony.
There is a time for British self-effacing humility, gentle national mockery and wry self-deprecation but now is definitely not that time. Markets and successful businesses thrive on positivity. In these tough times one thing is clear to those in the selling game, confidence, genuine confidence, in your product, your service, your team, yourself, is a winner.
We want to believe in better, if you don't feel confident about what you're selling why should your potential customer?
Friday, August 3. 2012
It never ceases to amaze, the number of sales folk who, almost without realising they're doing it, identify to their potential customers their main competition.
Invariably it's not who you'd expect, it's internal, it's group, it's finance, it's HR, it's procurement, it's the accounts department.
What signals do they think this message sends to their possible clients? "Hey, look, we all suffer from stifling bureaucracy don't we?"
Well, as a client I might just be looking for an organisation that can fix my problems, and if I hear that you can't get your accounts department to chase an invoice, I might just think you're not the problem solver for me.
It's summer now and maybe, as your clients queue up to get past the lone G4S chap on duty at the synchronised swimming, you should be applying your much vaunted selling skills to converting your colleagues, peers and those "whose job it is to help you succeed".
Persuading them that, like charity, client credibility starts at home.
IT departments were vast mysterious code-shops,the voice behind the curtain, the eventual deliverers of "just what you asked for" although rarely what was needed when it eventually arrived.
If something was 'out-of-the-box' it was likely to be Pandora's box, a coffer of pain, woe and unmet expectations.
Testing was arduous and expensive, the spec was all, 80/20 was the mantra of cowboys and 'nearly right' was 'really wrong'.
You "never went wrong by buying IBM" and hardware and software suppliers were magnificent, mendacious or malevolent depending on the smoothness of the latest upgrade.
Decades of missed deadlines, stretched budgets, contractual failures later we've a new paradigm in the buying (and therefore the selling) of IT.
Continue reading ""It's buying Jim, but not as we know..." »
Monday, June 18. 2012
It seems counter-intuitive then, that so many people make what they do more complicated than it needs to be. The reality is that it’s tough to make things simple. However, complicated is hard work, expensive and less likely to succeed.
It’s when things are made simple that they work so much better, just look at how successful Apple and Dyson have been. The same applies to sales, it’s easier to make it complicated but simple tends to win.
Take the effort to make things simpler Continue reading "The Huge Advantage of Keeping it Simple" »
We’re fed up with having to separate out plastic wrappers from paper to re-cycle stuff we didn’t want to get in the first place.
If only higher postal rates meant Royal Mail addressing its addiction to junk mail we would all be better off.
Thursday, April 12. 2012
Don’t miss the opportunity to step away from the coal-face for a few moments, take a little time out with someone you trust to ask the difficult questions that will point to how you can do better.
Or maybe you’ll just enjoy the sunshine now and have exactly the same problems next year.
Real impact is from a relevant, well-summarised and memorised customer success story, introduced into the conversation at an appropriate moment, to reinforce or demonstrate a point, then followed up with a succinct one-pager later on.
It’s hard work to get meetings with top management, when you do, make sure you can bring the meeting to life with relevant, powerful stories that contribute to the conversation and your relationship.
It only takes a little effort for a greater reward.
Continue reading "Succeeding with Success Stories" »
Friday, January 20. 2012