Author Archives: Sales Leadership Blog

A Plan to Onboard New Sales Hires

It’s Monday morning and your newest salesperson is starting in an hour. What are you going to do? Show her the coffee machine and new desk and go about your business? Turn her away and ask her to come back another day?
Sometimes, it seems like it’s eas… Continue reading

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Transitioning from Sales to Management

The Harvard Business Review article, “Selling is Not About Relationships,” (the title is misleading) categorizes sales people into 5 buckets:

Relationship Builders focus on developing strong personal and professional relationships and advocates across… Continue reading

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How to Succeed as a Sales Manager

As a sales manager and leader, are you measuring the right metrics for sales success?
At Vantage Point Performance, we recently wrote a book based on a groundbreaking research study we conducted about the metrics that leading sales forces are using to … Continue reading

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Why Sales Success Starts with Credibility

There are four very basic sales management questions that a great front line or senior sales leader should be able to answer “yes” to:
1) Do your people trust you?
2) Do they have clarity on overall strategy?
3) Do you make yourself available to them?
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3 Sales Management Challenges & How to Solve Them with Science

Are great salespeople born, or made? With today’s advanced scientific sales analytics and measurement tools, sales managers can actually find out.
First, behavioral assessments give sales managers insight into a salesperson’s nature and psy… Continue reading

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Sales Leadership & Innovation Lessons from Steve Jobs

As the world memorializes Apple founder Steve Jobs this evening, we’re meditating on how the innovations of one man have pushed so many sales leaders to go above and beyond their highest aspirations for their companies and their teams. 
Selling P… Continue reading

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What Does Successful Sales & Marketing Alignment Look Like? (Part II)

When I first got into marketing over a decade ago, the landscape was much different than it is today. Marketing and sales typically worked independently from one another; marketing managed things like trade shows and print collateral (wi… Continue reading

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4 Social Media ROI Tips for Sales Leaders

These tips are taken from Social Media is Getting Tired … Social Business is the New Frontier, by Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and publisher of Selling Power magazine.

Suggested Social-Media Action Steps for Sales Leaders:

  1. Change your mind-set from social media (low ROI) to social business (measurable ROI).
  2. Expand the definition beyond personal selling. Turn your salespeople into digital influencers. Teach them how to listen online, join the right communities, and engage customers in their social-business sphere. Give them sales intelligence tools, such as InsideView for Sales.
  3. Create your social business strategy before searching for the best technology. Gartner considers Jive, Lithium, and salesforce.com as key players in the market.
  4. Take a closer look at Social CRM tools. SugarCRM, Nimble, and salesforce.com executives participated in a great panel discussion on the subject. Note how Jon Ferrara (founder of GoldMine) sees the future of Social CRM in this video:

social crm video

Learn more on November 15, 2011, in Santa Monica at the Sales Strategies in a Social & Mobile World conference. Gschwandtner will be there with many expert speakers, including Anneke Seley (author, Sales 2.0), Jeffrey Hayzlett (former CMO, Kodak), Todd McCormick (PGi), Brett Queener (salesforce.com), and Jon Ferrara (Nimble).

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What True Sales & Marketing Alignment Looks Like (Part I)

For many sales and marketing leaders, there is still work to be done when it comes to improving the relationship between their teams. Recently, my company, BigMachines, released a 2011 Benchmark Survey on the state of the sales industry, featuring responses from 100 sales executives. The aim of the survey was to uncover the biggest pain points affecting their jobs today. The top result? Two-thirds of respondents said that the biggest pain point is the disconnect between sales and marketing.

This is troubling to hear because when the lines of communication are broken, opportunities might be missed, errors can occur, and deals can even be lost. I’m fortunate to work for a company that takes the relationship between marketing and sales seriously and highly values collaboration. Here’s a portrait of how sales and marketing work for us:

My marketing team is an integral part of the sales process. We work closely with both inside and outside sales teams to provide the right messages to prospects and customers at the right times. We also provide them with an ongoing stream of sales leads and help them prioritize those leads based on demographics and interest levels.

Sales knows that marketing is here to help them meet their sales targets. We provide the intelligence and expertise to help them win. Our job is to build the supporting infrastructure to deliver selling messages via the most effective channels, and then monitor the results.

Our goals are aligned and we work (and play) as a team. Month after month, members of our sales team nominate members of my marketing team for “Star of the Month” awards. Sales thinks we rock (and we do)!

Have you implemented strategies within your organization that help sales and marketing work better together?

Will Wieglar

Will Wiegler is Vice President of Marketing at BigMachines. Follow BigMachines on Twitter @BigMachines

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Sales Success in a Social & Mobile World

This post is an excerpt from “Sales Success Strategies for a Social & Mobile World,” by Gerhard Gschwandtner.

Since social media is accessible on most mobile devices, real time collaboration is the new rage. A VP of Sales shared the story of driving in a cab to visit a client. He posted a question on Chatter:

“Visiting XYZ in London, any thoughts that I could share to enhance our relationship?”

Within minutes the company’s CFO shared:

“Yes, they owe us $400,000 that’s 60 days overdue.”

The results, the VP was able to eliminate the bottleneck in the company’s payment process. Problem solved.  

The social media world is slowly moving in a new direction. Let’s say you are working in a company that employs 600 salespeople. Would you want to follow everybody? No.  You’d follow the top ten thought leaders and learn what’s important to them. The big shift: from quantity to quality connections. Social learning companies like Saba.com benefit from this new trend by continually refining social learning tools.

Someone recently told me: “I consider the iPhone as an extension cord to my brain.” Social media has become a second brain for everybody. Why not use it more effectively to serve the community and serve your business?

I’m looking forward to discussing these issues in depth during our next conference on November 14-15 in Santa Monica with plugged-in leaders like Anneke Seley and Jeff Hayzlett. Check out the agenda and reserve your spot now:

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Gerhard Gschwandtner

Gerhard Gschwandtner is founder and publisher of Selling Power magazine, and is host of the Sales 2.0 Conference series. Follow him on Twitter @gerhard20.

 

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