We in sales (should) know better than most that sales/revenue/turnover is the fuel that drives the economy and Capitalism. Increased sales, leads to increased earnings, increased investment, increased wealth – isn’t Capitalism grand. (Let’s not forget that it pays for the air conditioning in this heat wave).
My moment of epiphany, the cure for the economy, maybe even the debt ceiling crisis, although I am not sure they would listen to a Canadian, you know we are practically socialists, left of Obama, but I digress, on to the cure.
So capitalism is already at 4.0, yet we in sales are stuck at 2.0, man we are so behind, no doubt a drag on the system. I mean who knew Lehman Brothers would propel Capitalism so far forward that it would leave sales in the dust. Further examination revealed even more.
Capitalism 4.0 was published in 2011, and Capitalism 3.0 was published in 2006, a full year before we in sales started farting around with Sales 2.0, man, behind, behind, behind.
So here’s the deal, let’s get the United Sales Council together, (if we don’t have one I am willing to volunteer the facilities of the Sales Bloggers Union, and or the STA), and let’s pass a resolution to not putz around with Sales 3.0, as some are thinking of doing, and go straight to Sales 4.0, (some of us are already using Foursquare, so what would it take?). It is our economic duty.
Further, in light of the fact that Capitalism 4.0 was such a good seller, is Capitalism 5.0 far behind, exactly. So now that the ranks of the social sphere has swelled with the arrival of Google +, there is no reason for us not to ready the world for Sales 5.0. We should do it now, I hear a bunch of us will be disappearing soon, so the rest of us may be too busy when the time comes, and Capitalism will pass us again.
In addition to the little ditties you read here, I have been contributing to other blogs and publications. I thought that some of these would be of interest as they do look at sales and hey, I wrote them so I have to believe they are worth reading.
As the name would suggest, talks to the vast transport industry. In this month’s issue, I write about the opportunity for trucking companies to not only cement their relationships with customers, but increase revenues by leveraging their most visible ambassadors, which in their industry is not the sales rep, but the driver. In a piece titled “Putting The Wind In Your Sales” (page 25) , I look at the upside and means of achieving this.
With all the excitement about Trigger Events, it is important to remember that waiting for events to happen has downside, not the least of which is everyone responds to the same events. While mastering trigger events is important for sales reps, sales professionals need to evolve if they are going to separate themselves from the competition. In “Don’t Wait – Pull The Trigger” I look at the importance of triggering the type of reactions buyers have relating to specific events without waiting. Taking a proactive approach and execution in triggering the same reaction an event can but without the crowd.
In January we looked at things that need to be said goodbye to in 2011, so it only makes sense to look at things we welcome and say hello to this year. In “Say Hello to Accountability Baby!“, I discuss importance and of accountability and its embrace by many companies and sales organizations. While you are there you can read what the other leading sales bloggers are looking forward to seeing more of in 2011 and beyond.
Over at the Sales Bloggers Union, we are off to another great year. Not only do we have some great topics planned, but we have a host of new bloggers taking on these topics, as well as some of your favourite members of the Union. The general theme this year is Probing The Provocative. If you have read the Sales Bloggers Union, you know that you will have twelve or more insightful takes on any given topic, it is a great way to learn, explore alternative views, or just wave your hand in disgust while mumbling “what the hell is he talking about!”
This month we each of us is saying Good-bye To something is sales that really needs to go, no really it is time be rid of? well, find out by going to the Sales Bloggers Union. Alright, I’ll give you a clue, I say Good-bye to the “Hyphenated-Sale”.
Today’s post actually offers a multiple bonus in the form of multiple tips from a group of diverse and leading sales leaders. As many of you know I am a member of the Sales Bloggers Union, a collection of leading sales bloggers from around the world who each month write on one specific topic, giving the visitors to the blog the opportunity to get a dozen diverse views of the same topic. Each blogger take up the topic based on their point of reference without any coordination around a common agenda or view, just their take, which at times conflicts with another blogger’s take.
The group has just released an e-book called “Word UP“, where each contributor selected one word that for them is the essence of sales. Then we each elaborated on our word, giving it meat and substance in no more than 125 words. What you have is 9 words delivered to you to help you Sell Better without having to weed through a Tolstoy like e-book to get to a point you can actually use and make sales with. The result is Word UP, Less Filling – More Satisfying. The words and contributors are:
Seems I hit a nerve with my post over at the Sales Bloggers Union (SBU) earlier this week. For those of you not familiar with the SBU, it is a collective of a dozen sales bloggers from around the world, who blog on a given topic every month. This allows readers to get diverse views on the same topic from various and different perspectives; with everyone contributing their own perspective, readers benefit from bloggers expanding or conflicting on a given topic, and get a unique 360 degree view.
So the topic this month is “Different Perspectives”, and that is what I did, in my post “And Now For Something Completely Different (for sales)”, I mused about the possibility of companies outsourcing sales. The piece was posted to a number of LinkedIn groups news page, and man did it get some feedback, well, little did I know that sales is a sacred cow, I guess I missed that memo.
To be fair some got it, others pointed out that it is already happening, pointing to distribution models, agents, trade or manufacturer’s representatives, not to mention a growing “industry of outsourced sales management” as one comment pointed out.
What surprised me was the complacency of some of the people who responded, bringing up a whole bunch of reasons why sales is different than other functions and therefore cannot be sourced out, please. This blind arrogance is the same denial that many extinct species in business clung to just before they became extinct.
In case you missed it, call centres are springing up in India, and they are not just taking inbound calls, they are selling to you, your neighbour, and that guy around the corner who used to sell for ACME before they moved off shore. It is not just blue collar jobs that are going off shore, white collar is right there with them. But my comments were about outsourcing off shore, but how companies will not only continue but will accelerate the shedding of non-core functions/competencies. And for those who want to preach that Sales is too central to the success of the company, well what about branding, PR, or advertising? Looking at the results many sales groups are delivering, it is clear that sales may not be a core competency for many either.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not promoting this, I do not wish this on these people, rather, this should be a wake up call for those who are failing to show up, or show up but don’t play with heart. They are in control of their future, they can either sit idly by, or they can act. The fact remains that in most years less than half of B2B sales people make goal, last year it was even less. The complacency among some in sales needs to be replaced by with innovative and energetic approach to sales. I know it is not easy, but if they don’t start upping up their game, they may just find they are the next, just as soon as the company finish with the current project of outsourcing their supply chain.
This month over at Sales Bloggers Union, the group is post about Different Perspectives. As usual you have over a dozen leading sales bloggers delivering their Perspective on things in sales. Today I look at the question of whether the sales department is sacred and always needs to be, or can some companies do better by considering alternatives such as outsourcing, revamping, or something different than the current questionable model.
For more lively discussion on sales, you can join in on Jim Keenan’sSales Smack, tonight at 7:00 pm Eastern. This interactive discussion on sales has really generated some great discussions and ideas on sales execution, the future of selling, sales innovation and more. Join in tonight, have your say, challenge the convention, have fun and contribute.
The Sales Bloggers Union is off to a fine start for 2010, kicking off the decade with a topic near and dear to my heart and I am sure yours, Commission Plans & Targets. Do they have to be the same old same old? If selling has changed in the post Lehman Brothers era, should incentive plans change too? Everything you ever needed to know (well almost everything).
Learn from sales leaders around the world on how to best structure them, use them, and for sales people, how to make some.
The folks over at InsideView, The Sales 2.0 Leader, have rounded-up the top 20 sales professionals who make great use of social media. The list is composed of sales executives, writers, trainers, analysts and more, all of whom are making savvy use of many of the social media tools available today and helping bring in the ‘Sales 2.0′ renaissance. I must say I am surprised and flatered to be included on the list, especially given some of the others chosen. Please visit not only the “InsideView 20“, but the sites and blogs of the other folks on the list, at minimum you should follow them all on Twitter.
It has been a while since I have mentioned the Sales Bloggers Union, but we are very much still here, and growing in fact. We have added new members and dusted off some old ones, with the end result being a stronger group with more great insights and opinions and skills to share. Our topic this month is “How Were Your March Sales?”, allows the bloggers to look at the importance of starting your sales now if you are to success in 2010. While you will be reading a lot in January about what to do to start the year right, that will be too late, because you January sales, February sales have already started, and if you are only thinking about 2010 after January 1st, hmm. The 20% of reps that hit their numbers every time, know that and that is why they are reading The Sales Bloggers Union, so invite everyone to take a look, share your thoughts, make some money and have fun.
On August 20, I posted a story about a friend, Trevor, who ran into a challenging situation; we asked if you can help Trevor in “Salvaging The Worst Of A Situation”. We did publish his resolution, but did offer a prize to the person offering the most creative resolution.
Well below are the various suggestions, the last one being less of a suggestion, and more of a comment, but hey, we are here to share the love. So take a read, give it some thought, and then vote below, and unlike some other media that want audience participation, there is no charge for voting. So vote once, vote often, and let’s see who you like best.
BTW, for all you English majors who kindly read and correct my grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, I did not edit any of the contributions, so you are going to either have to swallow any errors or write the originator rather than me, maybe just swallow this once.
Amy, August 20th, 2009
Trevor should have the phone number of his contact at the next appt. and give him/her a call to let them know that he is running late. Make sure he emphasizes that his last appt. was thrilled with the product that he/she wanted to sign immediately taking more time than anticipated. My thought, it will get the next prospect excited that the last guy bought and he’ll be ready to listen and most folks are okay with someone running a little late if they are notified.
Brian, August 20th, 2009
I agree with Amy. In fact I’ve been in a similar situation before and at about 30 minutes prior to my next appointment, i excused myself from the current appointment made the call to the next prospect, explaining i would be late and why i was running late.
When i finally arrived at the next meeting, not only was the prospect appreciative of me calling to inform of my late arrival but he was also more engaged than usual as to who the new client that i had just closed and if they could learn more.
Bruno Sireyjol, August 22nd, 2009
I agree with Amy and Brian.Giving a call to the next prospect is the bare minmum. But what about calling the first prospect, explain him the situation and ask him to place the call? Trevor will thus check the commitment of the first prospect and get sponsorship for his second meeting.
Dave Connell, August 23rd, 2009
I think your buddy should go old school, phone his next meeting tell them he got caught in traffic, and is on his way to the meeting. He could offer to set up an alternative time if they wanted, but he is willing to continue to fight his way through traffic to make the meeting.
Sue Jensen, August 23rd, 2009
I would have called the client and re-scheduled the appt with the decision-maker. As a past admin and current salesperson for over 20 yrs as well as knowing that 99% of execs are booked solid every day of the week–they always appreciated the salesman who suggested re-scheduling for another date so he could give them all his attn in an ‘un-rushed’ manner. I know this sounds like you would lose the sale–but the opposite would happen and the exec usually appreciated this move.
Chris Raymond, August 23rd, 2009
Don’t be a whimp, pick up the phone, tell them what happened, and tell them you’d be happy to spend as much time as it takes to serve their needs.
Eric R., August 24th, 2009
Most executive’s schedules are booked for weeks in advance. So, in my opinion, rescheduling could be costly to making the sale. Plus, who knows how long it took to get this appointment.
So, when he started to get the idea that there was a strong possibility that he may close at this meeting he should have made 2 calls.
1. To see if he could get someone from his team, or his boss, to go to the second meeting to cover while he closed the first?
2. To the prospect at second meeting to let them know that he understood how valuable their time is and how this is such a great opporunity for them he didn’t want them to miss out. So, because he’s tied up his boss/colleague was coming over.
As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is better then 2 in the bush. Also, this way he could make sure that the new customer was properly taken care of and the other prospect was also moving forward. Because didn’t you say that it normally takes 2 to 3 more meetings before a customer closed any ways? I’m sure when he called to explain that he was sending over someone to cover for him also shows that by being a customer of his, means that he will always give you the best service possible. As long as it takes to get the job done right. Win win everything moves forward.
Vernon Fraser, August 24th, 2009
What a bunch prim and proper people, how many times have prospects or customers come late to a meeting without as much as a real apology. How many times have they cancelled meetings last minute?
Trevor should drive to the appointment, tell them he is sorry, but he was looking after the needs of another customer, but “I am ready to focus on you now”.
So much talk about not such a big deal.
Bob Thornton, August 24th, 2009
You know I read with interest the situation that Trevor found himself in. I am really disappointed in the solution he came up with. I mean really, I thought he had some finesse and style, which he would teach us all a way to deal with a common sales challenge. Instead he delivers this cheap low life stunt of showing up a week later and his smoke and mirror.
While some of the suggestions submitted by others seem to be very client focused, put value on the relationship and prospects time, Trevor seems to only care about himself and the deal, not one consideration for the relationship, and the feelings of the buyer. Not really sporting at all, I think Trevor is the kind of slimy rep that gives the trade a bad name.