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How to be Highly Effective in Sales Management

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Presentation

This article is dedicated to sales managers. We have discussed a lot about methods and tools that assist salespeople in their work, but how can we help managers? What is the important information they need to work effectively with the team?

Contrary to the conventional wisdom found in many companies, when it comes to sales productivity indicators, less is more. That is, just a few indicators are sufficient to evaluate the team’s performance. To manage sales requires focus, alertness and speed in decision making. There is not much time for extensive analysis.

All of us who work in sales know that, at the end of the day, what matters is whether or not we achieve our sales goals. This is the main indicator of sales performance.

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The Real Reason Salespeople Fail To Sell

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Everyone has heard about meritocracy, a professional evaluation and compensation model based on achieved results, usually revenues. It has been successful model for years and it is used all over the world, moving companies and industries up in business. In most cases, meritocracy produces effective and positive results, however, in extreme cases, it has also caused negative side effects across sales teams.

In terms of managing people, I’ve read an article where experts say that in extreme cases of meritocracy, employees can experience increased stress. This stress will actually have the opposite effect of success, and will lower their drive to produce results, which will result in the failure to reach sales targets and goals. As business gets more competitive, maybe it’s time to think about the evolution of the means by which we obtain results through people. In particular – salespeople.

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Getting Somewhere – Interactive Sales Automation As Your GPS

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Since it was Teacher’s Day in Brazil last Wednesday, I turn to a discussion that I recently had with students in my classroom about comparing the methods and sales models implemented in sales force automation with GPS applications.

While the GPS takes us from where we are to a certain destination we want to reach, sales automation supports the sales professional as he moves through the sales cycle trying to reach a successful conclusion. In both cases we can reach the destination in several ways.

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Talent or Education? What Are The Characteristics of the Sales Dream Team?

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I was talking to a group of students about the best strategy to build sales teams, and there came an unexpected comment: “In my ideal team everyone would be like Messi.” (Ed. For us North Americans who play football with an oblong ball, Lionel Messi is a pre-eminent Argentine round footballer. Soccer, right?)

Although dangerous, the comparisons with soccer can help us understand some important aspects when we discuss team configurations in business.  In this case, the discussion revolved around about the importance of having talented or gifted sales professionals versus others who are not so talented, but who respond very well to training programs.  In the end, both can end up giving very good results.

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Is Sales a Customer Service?

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In our customer relationships, it is common to segregate sales activities from those we call service. In most organizations, the sales departments are completely separated from customer service or other post-sales activity. And CRM professionals and consultants themselves always mention that CRM consists of marketing, sales and service activities which, seems to place each of the three as an independent discipline.

Since Kotler and Armstrong, started to discuss an expanded concept of the product as “something that can be offered to a market to satisfy a wish or a need” at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, sales activity began to have its centenarian paradigms questioned.

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Who Invited IT? Why Sales Automation Shouldn’t Be a Technology Decision.

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For decades, projects that involve some kind of computer technology and information systems of any nature have inexorably fallen into the realm of the information technology department in order to be analyzed and approved or rejected.

When business areas begin to evaluate a new application for use, the first question asked — is IT involved? Perhaps the better question would be, does IT need to be involved? Today, an accurate answer should often be no. It is time to renegotiate the relationship between business areas and IT departments whose protocols still seem to be stuck in the last millennium when the ubiquitous internet, the Cloud, and mobile devices and apps were all still the future.

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A Sustained Growth Model Through Re-defining CRM

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Re-Defining CRM

About twenty years ago, in a movement that arose from pressure by technology companies pressure, the CRM acronym – Customer Relationship Management – began to appear as a management strategy. This strategy became associated with a consolidation of applications whose concepts had already existed for some time: marketing automation, sales automation and service automation.

In most organizations, marketing, sales, and service areas are still specialty compartments, the applications, although integrated, are still seen as separate pieces of the same puzzle. It is possible that, for this reason, CRM has still not yet taken its place as a management strategy and growth model and continues to be operated in specialty areas such as specific departments or directories, instead of permeating the entire company’s value chain, from engagement to customers’ portfolio profitability.

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Book Review – The Birth of a Salesman by Walter Friedman

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Birth of a Salesman

I often mention the book The Birth of a Salesman by Walter Friedman in my articles on professional sales and selling, and I believe the time has come to thank the author for these many references by writing a review about this fantastic book and making more people aware of it.

I didn´t know of Walter Friedman until a few months ago when I was researching the learning of sales through the history and reading another interesting book, The Art of The Sale by Philip Broughton. I came across a quote from Professor Friedman that caught my attention. It said, “While business schools continue to offer some kind of sales management instruction, usually in larger contexts of marketing courses, they do not offer programs aiming at salesmanship skills. The topic remains as in 1910, more suitable to ‘how to’ or ‘memories of a successful salesman’ books than for academic courses.”

Among other things, what caught my attention and led me to read Friedman´s book was the word ‘salesmanship’. Although it is not exactly a new word, I had not yet seen that word being used in the same way as the common ‘entrepreneurship’.

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CRM: What’s Next? Part 2

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CRM 2.0

What are the consequences of technological change and new social habits?

In the last two decades, the subject of customer relationship turned from specialized initiatives in related areas such as marketing, sales and service into a consolidated concept and discipline. Through a single umbrella, which came to be called Customer Relationship Management, CRM, standards were set for the automation of processes that govern commercial activity in general, such as demand generation to sell, deliver, collect, and offer services. The goal was to manage these processes in an integrated manner in order to generate tangible results for organizations, while ensuring customer satisfaction and compliance with the business practice ethical limits.

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Building a Profitable Opportunities Portfolio Using Priority

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Follow Your Priority

Dealing with probabilities is a way that gives greater consistency and credibility to the projection of future business. When addressed through the answers to three simple questions (Will we get the business? What is the assurance that there will be business? When will it happen?), we define what we call the “essential aspects of opportunity” and introduce a sense of urgency or, in the language of our sales model, priority.

We now have all the factors that determine this priority. It is obvious that the probability of a successful sale directly influences the allocation of resources to work the opportunity, but another factor to consider is time.

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