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Sales Performance Management Best Practices

 
sales funnel

A few years back I was attending a session at the Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum.  The speaker made the comment “in the staffing industry we’re too quick to hire and too slow to fire.”  That quickly struck a chord with me.  I thought to myself, “that is 100% spot on.”  I have been guilty of it and I know many if not most of my peers have been guilty of this as well.  Yet, isn’t it common sense that when you have a rep who is under performing, you put them on a PIP and either they make it or they’re managed out?

5 Things Best in Class Sales Organizations Do Differently

 
icon Best In Class

I’ve spent a lot of time traveling the country the past 6 years coaching sales reps and helping CEO’s and business leaders implement sales process and sales management systems.  Yeah, I have certainly seen a lot and learned a lot from that experience.  Let me share with you the 5 things that best in class sales organizations do differently from all of the rest.

Build Knowledge (not just skills).  Most IT staffing firms provide some form of sales training but tend to focus the training exclusively on skills development.  What this means is they provide training on how to execute a step in their sales process such as describing their service offerings, taking a job requirement or scheduling a face to face meeting.  This is a good first step, but it's nowhere near enough.  What average and laggard companies fail to do however is build knowledge amongst their sales team.  What is the difference between skills development and building knowledge?  I'm talking about teaching and developing knowledge in your sales force around these key elements:

  • The IT marketplace including trends, challenges, benchmarks
  • Business acumen and understanding situational fluency of the customers business
  • Your company's value proposition (how you impact your customers business.  Most reps don't understand this. Ask them, you'll see.)
  • The problems your service solves for your customers
  • The competition and how you compete and win against the competition
  • The customers purchasing process (how customers decide which vendors to work with including their selection process and how they hire/procure IT consultants once they identify the candidate)

Research has shown that today's corporate buyer EXPECTS to work with a salesperson who can:



What We Can Learn From Advertising Pitch Man Don Draper

 
don draper

As it turns out, a lot actually.

Transitioning From Manager (& Chief Problem Officer) to Coach

 
Fire Fighter

I think we all agree that selling is hard work.  Despite the IT staffing market's impressive growth rate, it is still difficult to win new accounts and close deals. Sales people are taking on bigger quotas, calling on more accounts and attempting to make more contacts than ever.  And to top it off, they're inundated with more data (the web) than what they know what to do do with. Suffice it to say, they're overwhelmed!

What You Sell-IT Staffing-Is NOT a Commodity

 
commodity

We hear it all the time don’t we?  The IT staffing industry has become commoditized.  Barriers to entry are low and suppliers are plentiful.  Look at all the MSP and VMS providers; they’re just further commoditizing the business forcing us to sell exclusively on price, right?  Wrong!

Improving Sales Performance is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

 
kiteboarding

For those of you who know me, I vacation on Martha's Vineryard every summer, hence the name, Menemsha Group. A couple of years ago I decided to take a kite boarding lesson.  While it was fun and a great day on the water it actually surprised me with how much there is to know and do while navigating the kite/harness and maintaining your balance (and not letting the wind blow you into shore or Europe for that matter). Despite the fact that the instructor properly managed my expectations by telling me "plan on taking at least two lessons before you get up and get the hang of it," I returned to the house feeling frustrated and defeated. The problem was my expectations were completely out of whack!  I was planning on catching 20 feet of air!

Perfect Example of a HORRIBLE Email Message

 
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Last week I received the email message below and felt we could all learn something from it.   My intent is certainly not to embarrass the sales person or company (which of course I have left their name out) but to offer some advice and hopefully help everyone improve the quality of their email messages.  My critique is in red below.  Below that is my  re-written version of the email.  It took me 5 minutes to write and I’m sure it’s not perfect.  But I think you will get my point.

IT Staffing Cold Calling Tips & Best Practices

 
cold call

From my experience in the IT staffing and services industry, most sellers approach cold calling with a process and language that is at best out-dated and lacking of best practices.  To be successful at cold calling today, sales professionals must:

Four Tips For Selecting a Keynote Speaker for Your Sales Kickoff Meeting

 
sales kickoff meeting

In my last post titled, Your Salespeople Should Be Doing This At Your Sales Kickoff Meeting, I shared a few ideas for planning and designing the activities your salespeople should participate in at your sales kickoff meeting.  In my third and final post to this series I offer a few tips on how to select a keynote speaker or sales trainer to host and facilitate your sales kickoff meeting.

When it comes to planning your sales kickoff meeting one of the key questions you will most likely ask  yourself is, “are we going to do this internally or should we hire a sales trainer or keynote speaker to host and facilitate?” That question alone breeds several follow up questions.  If we hire a sales trainer or speaker to facilitate and host do we…

Your Sales People Should Be Doing This at Your Kickoff Meeting

 
sales kickoff meeting

In my last post, 3 Tips For Planning Your 2014 Sales Kickoff Meeting, I offered some ideas for properly planning your sales kickoff meeting.  Here I offer five ideas for running your sales kickoff meeting.

First of all, most people, ESPECIALLY SALES PEOPLE, do not like to sit in a chair and be lectured to all day long.  Yet in all likelihood, the bulk of your sales kickoff meeting will be comprised of delivering company information, sales data and training materials and content. How you deliver this information and how your sales team consumes this information is critically important to the success or outcome of your 2014 sales kickoff meeting.  Here are a Five tips and ideas to keep in mind.  

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