The Accenture Sales Performance Study: Sales Effectiveness Gets Some Respect

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Accenture Report

Last July, Accenture released a report called “Connecting the Dots on Sales Performance” which drew some conclusions from a study on that they conducted on sales performance optimization.  The top priorities were:

1. Increase sales effectiveness.
2. Increase revenue.

The bottom of the list included increasing renewals, reducing sell cycle time, and optimizing lead generation.

Amazing! Sales effectiveness is at the top of the list.

Sales teams and organizations now generally have the tools (i.e. CRM) to do this, but they are struggling to find ways to actually blend sales methodology and the technology to result in sales effectiveness.

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Is Your Sales Team Using Social Media Effectively?

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Digital Communication

The number of social networks is quickly expanding and gaining momentum in most professions. Your marketers are getting social, but what about your sales team? Come to think of it – haven’t sales people always been social? But are they doing it right?

In today’s social sphere, more B2B customers are accessing information and interacting with products and services via social media networks long before they begin the buying process. For sales people, the increasing number of social networks creates the opportunity for entirely new channels of listening, relating, and engaging with current and potential customers. It’s time to evolve. Introducing – the social sales professional.

Here are 3 tips to help you leverage social media to help increase your sales productivity and in turn, provide more value for your customers.

Tip #1: Coordinate your teams’ social sales network.

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Sales Paradox – Sales Reps Don’t Use Stuff That Works

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Best Choice

Ed. – Dr. Richard Ruff holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology and has spent the last thirty years designing and managing large-scale sales training projects for Fortune 1000 companies. He is the co-author of three books and developed a new generation of sales training programs called Sales Momentum. In 2011 he launched a new company – Sales Horizons – to create sales training programs for mid-size and small companies. We welcome Dick to The HUB.

Each year companies spend a lot of time, money, and effort implementing sales training and sales coaching efforts to help their sales team learn new sales methodologies and processes.  There is some good news and some bad news.

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The Language of Sales

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Language

Originally published December 12, 2012.

We’re re-publishing it now because we’re taking the day off, as you probably are, as well. But we’re sales professionals, and that means not even New Year’s Day can keep us from thinking about the next win. Since there are no customers to call, do the next best thing and make yourself better.

Understanding the language of sales, like understanding any other language, is essential for effective communication. For all of us applying technology to the practice of selling, language is even more important because technology relies more and more on computers and other smart devices. But “smart” is a misnomer – these devices aren’t smart, they’re programmed. And that makes all the difference.

In 2005 I published a book called Sales Automation Done Right, documenting a twenty-year effort to computerize the front office of a small business I had started and which eventually became very successful, in no small part because of that effort. At the end of the book is a Glossary – not unusual for a technical book, but appropriate now because of the subject of the book – sales automation.

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The Language of Sales

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Understanding the language of sales, like understanding any other language, is essential for effective communication. For all of us applying technology to the practice of selling, language is even more important because technology relies more and more on computers and other smart devices. But “smart” is a misnomer — these devices aren’t smart, they’re programmed. And that makes all the difference.

In 2005 I published a book called Sales Automation Done Right, documenting a twenty-year effort to computerize the front office of a small business I had started and which eventually became very successful, in no small part because of that effort. At the end of the book is a Glossary — not unusual for a technical book, but appropriate now because of the subject of the book — sales automation.

The principle thrust of my book was that sales automation does not have to be limited to the administration of sales, to simply keeping lists of contacts and interactions and appointments and everything else and applying them to streamlining all of those activities. There is a better use of the computer — to directly assist with the selling skills and strategies of the sales process to win more sales.

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Introduction to the Sales Methodology Category

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As I write this, there is a lengthy discussion happening on one of the most popular on-line sales forums on “what’s the difference between the a sales process and a sales method?”

If you were to asked to name a popular sales method, you would probably get the answer of Miller-Heiman or SPIN. But ask someone to name a popular sales process, and you will get a blank stare.

A methodology is a recommended way of achieving something, or, as Wikipedia says, “a guideline system for solving a problem, with specific components such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools.” It doesn’t necessarily spell out sequential steps getting there. Process is more about the sequential steps to get from A to B, and a sales method may or may not have a process associated with it.

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