Process? We don’t need no stinkin’ process.

Written by on . Posted in Miscellaneous Productivity, Sales Methodology, Sales Process No Comments

Everything that humans do is process. Everything.

Process is “a systematic series of actions directed to some end.” That pretty much describes everything you do, from brushing your teeth to designing a jumbo jet. The only time we escape process is when we’re asleep.

So why do many sales people react with, “Process? We don’t need no stinkin’ process.” (Apologies to Humphrey Bogart and Gene Wilder.) But you do. And here is the most important process you need: choosing the sales opportunity you’re going to work on right now.

That’s more important than your process for closing the sale because if you’re working the wrong opportunity, winning doesn’t matter. Neither does losing, which you will do more often than your manager will like.

That’s more important than your process for prospecting a lead because when that lead becomes an opportunity, chances are you’ll screw it up if you don’t get it into its proper priority in your pipeline.

Continue Reading

Trillion Interactions

Written by on . Posted in Customer Interactions, Sales Productivity No Comments

My business has been CRM and SFA since the days that those terms first originated. Our products have evolved over the years to incorporate new technologies and business ideas.

CRM has revolutionized the way companies communicate and interact with the customer, leading to a win-win of a better customer experience and a more lucrative business model.

Interactions with the customer should be the focus of CRM apps. The app should encourage and simplify entering customer interactions. I’m especially interested in recording interactions in the sales cycle – it helps enormously with the planning of the sale and archived interactions from previous deals are a great source of information for developing winning strategies.

Continue Reading

Multitasking In Sales

Written by on . Posted in Miscellaneous Productivity, Sales Productivity No Comments

I’m reading a couple of interesting books and by chance they both discuss multitasking. In fact, the first one deals entirely with multitasking from the point of view that it is far more effective to tackle one thing at a time. The second is about SCRUM, the highly popular way to manage software teams and projects. It talks about using SCRUM outside of the realm of software—I’m interested in applying the principles of SCRUM to all areas of business.

Continue Reading

Setting Priorities: How Do You Spend Your Selling Day?

Written by on . Posted in Sales Productivity, Time Management No Comments

When I did my research for this article, trying to see what statistics are available about how sales professionals spend their time, I got some very useless information. Things like “24% of the salesperson’s time is spent on generating leads and researching accounts.” How is that useful information? First, is 24% of my time working at this too much? What is the right amount of time? And why do they bundle generating leads and researching accounts? These are very different activities with very different goals and skills.

There was a lot more of these statistics that seem, on a quick read, like valuable information. But when you stop and think about it, what benefit is it to you in your selling or sales management role? I did find some good advice, though.

Continue Reading

Selling to Sales Pros

Written by on . Posted in Customer Interactions, Sales Productivity No Comments

Ed. – Fortunately we have enough interesting and compelling content here at The HUB that we can dig into our archive and still offer up something that you should find, well, interesting and compelling. Today we’re re-publishing John Darrin’s take on sales tactics and strategies for selling to sales pros.

I get a lot of calls from telemarketers – tele-sales people really, because they are instantly into the Close Phase of the sales cycle trying to get me to commit right now. The worst are (or used to be) investment managers – brokerages, counselors, etc. Some were sales pros – they ask first, sell second and know when to stop wasting their time and be polite about it.

The rest are why the sales profession gets a bad rap, and they should not be categorized as sales professionals. They are soldiers, thrown at the phone like so much cannon fodder, and are quickly killed off and replaced by the next wave of zombies with a script.

Continue Reading

Effective Team Selling – The Culture of Sharing Information

Written by on . Posted in Information Management No Comments

When the sales department gets automated, spin-off benefits are high both for the individual and the team, or, at least, they should be. An important thing to get right is to ensure a culture of “sharing”. Sharing plays a big role in the effectiveness in CRM, and by default, SFA projects.

I can see eyebrows being raised? Why should there be a problem with sharing? Well, in business (and remember, sales is the business of doing business), sharing is often something that people find difficult to do—sometimes a major shift in culture has to occur to make it happen. Salespeople are by nature competitive—and have to be. Their financial and spiritual reward depends heavily in individual effort, know-how, and tenacity. Knowledge gained from that is prized, and leveraged for career gain and success.

Continue Reading

Selling to Sales Pros

Written by on . Posted in Customer Interactions, Sales Productivity No Comments

I get a lot of calls from telemarketers – tele-sales people really, because they are instantly into the Close Phase of the sales cycle trying to get me to commit right now. The worst are (or used to be) investment managers – brokerages, counselors, etc. Some were sales pros – they ask first, sell second and know when to stop wasting their time and be polite about it.

The rest are why the sales profession gets a bad rap, and they should not be categorized as sales professionals. They are soldiers, thrown at the phone like so much cannon fodder, and are quickly killed off and replaced by the next wave of zombies with a script.

Continue Reading

3 Simple Ways To Make Your Sales Calls More Productive

Written by on . Posted in Miscellaneous Productivity, Sales Productivity No Comments

When your sales activity is low and you’re not hitting your targets for the month, your sales manager will often assume that you’re not making enough calls in a day. Since, to most salespeople, sales is a numbers game – the more calls you make and the more potential customers you talk to, the higher your chances are of closing a deal. But is sales really a numbers game? Isn’t the number of calls you make irrelevant, if you are continually striking out each time because you keep making the same mistake? What about your sales strategy?

Continue Reading

4 Ways To Become a Highly Productive Person

Written by on . Posted in Miscellaneous Productivity, Sales Productivity 2 Comments

I’m sure we’ve all figured it out by now that regardless of the number of cups we drink, our morning coffee (or tea) won’t automatically make us more productive. Since, admit it, we all love distractions and we can barely make it through a day (or make it through writing a HUB post) without being interrupted and getting side-tracked.

I’m always searching for new ways of increasing efficiency, whether it be with innovative apps or simple tips for my daily routine. After recently making some minimal changes in my life, I have managed to increase my own productivity at home and at work. Here are some tips that helped me become more productive.

Continue Reading

Getting Sales Done #4 – The Sales Cycle

Written by on . Posted in Sales Productivity, Time Management No Comments

Sales Cycle

Ed. In the Best of this week we’re re-publishing the fourth article in the 12-part Getting Sales Done series where we looked at David Allen’s popular Getting Things Done book and applied its principles to professional sales.

There are five steps in David Allen’s Getting Things Done time management program. We’ve looked at the first two – Collect and Process – and fitted them quite comfortably into a “customer retention cycle” which carries your relationship through the full circle of marketing, sales, and support. Both Collect and Process equate more to marketing and lead management than to opportunity management, but the lines are grey and many of us find ourselves crossing over and back to get the job done.

Continue Reading

Social Network