Trillion Interactions

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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.

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Selling to Sales Pros

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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.

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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.

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Categorize Your Customers For Better Results

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Personal Styles

“While personal selling as a communication vehicle has the advantage of allowing salespeople to treat each customer differently, in practice, salespeople cannot take the time to treat each customer in a totally unique manner.”

This is a quote from a 1988 article by Dr. Harish Sujan, Barton Weitz, and Mita Sujan titled Increasing Sales Productivity By Getting Salespeople to Work Smarter. I wrote an earlier article on this and noted that the authors had “10 Ways To Increase Salesperson Productivity.” The first of these is “teach salespeople to better categorize customers,” and the above quote is the first sentence of that recommendation. I wouldn’t argue with that, but maybe I can expand on it a little.

The remainder of this first way to increase productivity is spent discussing the social styles of the individual customers as defined by Merrill and Reid in their 1981 study and publication, and the need for salespeople to be versatile in their own social styling to gain rapport with the customer. Again, I wouldn’t argue with that, but is that really the only customer categorizing we need to do? I know there are nine more ways to increase productivity in the article I’m referencing, but none of them deal with other categorization techniques, so I am assuming the authors only felt this one was necessary.

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Low Velocity Selling – Persistence

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Ed. Today, Claire Waggoner is going to talk about old school selling, about relationships and trust, and building them with persistence and patience. This is at the very core of relationship-focused selling and the selling skills you must practice to handle all of the different environments that you encounter.

It’s tricky to know when to push on with a potential customer who is not available or responsive, and when to let it drop.  In our current environment, it seems that metrics are applied to figure this out for you. Make 8.4 phone calls without a connection and give up, or three scripted voicemails over six days without a return call and move on, or whatever your theory of prospecting is.

High velocity selling, they call it. And I guess it must work for some people and situations because it seems to be the sales process du jour.

I’ve never used that approach, so I can’t really comment on it. I’ve had it used on me, and I didn’t really like it. If it works for you, great. If you’re doing it because someone told you it works, maybe look at your goals and results to see if that is true. I will say there is not just one formula for this. Your business intuition and style have a great deal to do with success.

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The Key to Sales Success: Pick Up the Phone!

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Cobwebs

This can actually be an extremely short article. The key to sales success? Pick up the phone, make the call, track the results, do it again. That’s it. You’re a successful salesperson.

OK, there is more to it than that, but one of the biggest obstacles to success anywhere, and certainly in sales, is substituting busy work for progress. “I worked hard all day, therefore I am a good and valuable employee.” One does not necessarily relate to the other.

There can be an astonishing amount of effort put into the planning that goes into organizing the top, medium and bottom groups of clients to call. Then within those groups, who first, second, and so on. Then you can lay out talking points and even roll play them with other people.

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Teaching Techs to Promote Your Business

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Service Tech & Customer

Ed. – Another new contributor to The HUB, Jim Baston, author of Beyond Great Service and the leader behind Proactive Service – a targeted and practical program to help technical service organizations achieve their business goals. Jim holds an MBA and is actively involved in the technical service business. We are very happy to have him here, sharing his unique perspectives on sales and selling.

If you have technicians who install, service and/or maintain equipment in the field, then you have a tremendous opportunity to significantly increase revenues and profitability without adding to sales costs.  This can be done by formally engaging your technicians in enthusiastically promoting your services.  However, it may not be as easy as it first appears.  Although many firms have considered the value of getting technicians to promote their products and services, only a small number have really been able to generate sustainable results.  In this article we will consider why the results have been so disappointing.

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