Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

What is Sales – A View From An Expert?

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I’m reading a good book called Zero to One, written by Peter Thiel, one the guys who founded PayPal. My life was changed by that app – my wife would agree.

Peter includes a chapter on sales which looks like it’s written for people in business who don’t understand sales – to the extent that in their business sales does not exist.

For instance:

“The most fundamental reason that even businesspeople underestimate the importance of sales is the systematic effort to hide it at every level of every field in a world secretly driven by it.”

Wow! A very elegant statement of a phenomenon that, after many years in sales, I continue to run into.

“The engineer’s grail is a product great enough that “it sells itself.” But anyone who would actually say this about a real product must be lying: either he’s delusional (lying to himself) or he’s selling something (and thereby contradicting himself).”

Engineering companies hate to admit they have salespeople. A consultant friend of mine in Germany has a large contract to help ease a large construction company into the idea that they should build a sales department. They realized this after too many competing companies taking business from them.

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Optimizing Sales Opportunities: The GPS of Selling

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Remember maps? You could buy them at gas stations and unfold them and search out where you were and where you wanted to go. You could plot routes and make a plan and then try to refold it only to end up with some misshapen accordion of paper. It was all very manual and didn’t adapt well to change. And if you missed a turn, you had to try to figure out where you were now and come up with a new route.

Technology changed all of that – it brought us the GPS. Now your trip is mapped for you with two simple pieces of information: Where are you? Where do you want to be? And it already knows where you are.

GPS keeps on knowing where you are at any given point in your trip and graphically displays it for you. It provides turn-by-turn directions so you always know what to do to keep going in the right direction.

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Why CRM Fails: Inflation!

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The introduction of a customer relationship management system has the potential to highly improve the productivity of the sales and marketing teams through better access to information and streamlined processes. Nevertheless, according to various studies, between 50% and 70% of CRM system introductions fail to fulfill these expectations. This may partially be attributed to the systems themselves, but to a greater extent, the problem lies in the implementation process.

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What Am I Doing Here?

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You Are Here

This is the first in a series I’m calling The Koan of Sales. In Buddhism, koan is a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student where an answer is demanded and the stress of meditation on the question is often illuminating. So that’s what I’m going to do, ask some questions and see what thinking about them does.

And here is the first one: What the hell am I doing here?

When I was in my mid-twenties and on a business trip, I got off a plane in Syracuse, NY and watched my seat mate, an older man, maybe 60, head directly to the pay phone bank (pre-cell phone days) next to baggage claim. As I waited, I could overhear him making calls and trying to arrange sales meetings. How sad, I thought. To be that old and still flying into town and trying to cold-call customers. That will never be me!

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Salespeople Rock!

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Tommy Boy

So I’ve got this sales training program and I’m trying to sell it. Maybe I should ask a couple of personalities to help. Maybe Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy, Chris Farley, Jack Lemmon, Ryan O’Neal and Dan Ackroyd. That should do it. No, wait, let’s throw in Larry, Moe, and Curly, too!

All of these actors have played a salesman in a movie or on television. And a sales training company called Silverstone Training took clips from each and compiled them in a funny video called Salespeople Rock!. Sorry to say, I know nothing about Silverstone except they seem to have a sense of humor, and I’m neither endorsing nor censuring them, only appreciating the time they took to knock this out.

According to Silverstone, sales is about motivation and knowledge and planning and perseverance and clarity. I can’t argue with that. But here, it’s about entertainment.

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The Week in Review – December 9 2012

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The public launch of The HUB happened this week. That came 24 days after our private launch to give us time to get enough daily content into our Library so that you’ll have plenty to choose from when you visit. You can find it all in the Library, or under any of the Category headings in the navigation bar.

Monday – Language of Sales – Keith Thompson

Keith’s article talks about how important language and definition is in the age of computers and electronic communications. Computers do not understand “I meant to say …” so everything has to be carefully defined and used consistently. This was the key to the development of the ASPEC computer modeling of the sales process.

Tuesday – Sales Are Up! Why Don’t I Feel Better? − Rainer Gerlach

This is the first article by our German correspondent. Be sure to check his web page to learn more about him. In the article, Rainer points out the increased sales does not necessarily mean better sales team performance, and you need to look behind the simple numbers to understand why things are changing, up or down.

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The Joy of Sales

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It’s only fitting that since I ranted yesterday about hating forecasting that I should now point to someone ranting about loving sales. Ranting may be the wrong word. Maybe jesting. No, too weak. Okay, satirizing.

It’s a funny article from The Onion, and yet I didn’t actually laugh so much as reflect, even brood a little. You see, it’s just a bit too close to being real. I can almost understand how China’s Peoples Daily believed that Kim Jung Un was named the World’s Sexiest Man, or how Iran’s Fars news agency plagiarized a fake Gallup Poll and reported that 77% of rural, White Americans would rather have a drink with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than meet with President Obama.

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Introduction to the General Sales Category

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Books On Sales.

How Did You Come To Selling?

It’s All In My Head.

Selling Anything To Anyone (Except Me).

Is Selling Even a Profession?

These are just a few of the articles we’ll be publishing in this category, General Sales. The criteria for getting here are pretty clear – the subject must be interesting and pertain to sales, the writing must be good, the theme compelling, and the article won’t fit in any of our other categories. Not Methodology nor Productivity nor Education nor Technology, or whatever. Just General.

To give you a preview of what’s coming, Books On Sales is not a book review or an index or anything like that. It’s a short article (we’d call it a rant, but the author is an English Gentleman, and they never rant outside of Parliament) on some of the shortcomings of books about sales. And there are many. Books on sales and shortcomings.

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