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Weekly round up: Some articles on “No”

 

Photo credit: nicoleneu1

 

Here are three posts I came across recently and found interesting and worth sharing. Strangely, two of these posts have a theme, a word that all sales people and business owners do not like: the dreaded word “No”…

1- “The answer to this question will make your sales skyrocket”. This is a very interesting article about a very simple question that can be asked to improve a sales process. You can find all details here but, in short, the question is: “What made you nearly say: No”. This question asked to actual customers is powerful in helping to understand what they went through during the process, what made them nearly walk away and, consequently, find what need to improve to avoid it.… Read the rest

When talking about your product to prospects can put you in trouble…

Photo credit: Phil

Greeks invented the democracy. And they had an interesting way of voting. They used beans. A white bean was a vote in favour of a motion, a black bean was a vote against. The vote had to be unanimous for the motion to go through. So should the jar with the bean topples and the beans fall down, revealing a black bean, it meant something had been revealed too early and the vote had to restart. Hence the expression spilling the beans…

 

Well, nearly…

This expression might not be entirely due to the Greek way of voting (it isn’t).… Read the rest

How to quantify a good prospect vs one, well, not so good?

 

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Can you send me some information please?

This is a standard question I hear a lot when starting an engagement with a prospect. A reasonable question and one which, when we have our happy ears on, could be seen as a positive sign. The syllogism could be “All companies who have signed wanted information at the beginning of a process. He wants information. Therefore he will sign.”

But let’s be honest. This question could also mean other things:

  • First option: “Please do go away, I am busy but I am polite so I am pretending to be interested by asking you information”.
Read the rest

Weekly round up: posts on sales process, pricing and training

 

Photo credit: nicoleneu1

 

Here is a brief round of interesting posts I have read, found particularly good and thought they were worth sharing.

First of all, a post from David Brock about the companies that believe they have a sales process but, actually, simply don’t. What I like beyond David rather dry sense of humour (notably on things like “gurus” in Linkedin), is the probing of companies that believe they have a process when, actually, it is not being followed or need some updating. The post is here.

Secondly, a post on sales training and who should pay for it. … Read the rest

Three rules for good (or roughly decent) Linkedin profiles

Photo credit: Hey_aventur

Hello, do you search for a PaaS that can make sure your multi-dimensional marketing strategy optimised in the cloud?

Are you still here? Wow, I am impressed. I would have switched off if I were you (don’t, I stop the jargon now!). And yet, this is what more often than not we find in marketing literature. Technical jargons used for the purpose of either selling ourselves or the organisation we work for. Yet, as I’ve already mentioned, the main reason people buy is to address problems they have today or they know they will have tomorrow. It’s just human and we are all trying to make our life easy.… Read the rest

How to identify the real problems people have, not just those expressed.

Photo credit: Andreas Overland

It was Friday afternoon. It was sunny. And I was just walking out of a meeting with a prospect with a big smile on my face. The prospect I just met had shared with me all her problems. It was all there in my notes. It was covering all these important business problems. She didn’t have the analytics on her marketing effort. Her company was selling online but she wasn’t clear what was the products that had the best ratio between visits and actual transactions. And many other very specific marketing analytics problems. And I knew how to solve all these issues with a great piece of tech I was selling.… Read the rest

Why questions asked need to be qualified first and how to do so

Photo credit: personal stock

School days. Happy days. Lots of memories. The exuberance. The total lack of worries. School friends. Long school holidays spent in the South of France. The teachers I loved. Those I, well, liked less. And these happy moments when, as the teacher asked a question, I knew the answer, raised my hand and was just so eager to share my knowledge with the teacher and my class mates.

Sadly though, I came to realise that this eagerness to answer questions was a terrible habit we picked at school and that it was well worth trying to control this urge.… Read the rest

Prospecting flow. How to avoid the death valley?

Photo credit: Pacheco

Have you seen this slide that regularly goes around on LinkedIn presenting the amount of time a sales person needs to follow-up with a prospect to get a deal and how many sales people stops too quickly.

You can’t have missed it. It comes back over and over again and is coming from the so-called  “National Sales Executive Association”? Well, if you didn’t know already: it is a fake. The NSEA simply doesn’t exist. But this slide seems to make the point there is value in chasing to secure a sale. Is there some sort of ground beyond this fact?… Read the rest

How to achieve predictable revenues – Video

Photo credit: Dave Gray

 

I am sometimes asked for some good books to read about sales. If the specific issue at hand is about prospecting, one which is worth knowing about is called “Predictable revenues” by Aaron Ross. It presents the lead generation process that has been implemented within SalesForce around 2004 and helped the company grow to $100,000Mn+. Prospecting is key for young businesses, especially as they can not rely on growing revenues from existing clients or referrals. Or for companies entering a new market. And as many other parts of a company operation, to have a process for prospecting is important (#understatement).… Read the rest

5 reasons why I benefited from proper sales training

Photo credit: Stephen Koigi

Education, education, education. Tony Blair used this motto consistently in his first campaign to get into power. And it worked. A few years ago, as I was getting seriously into front-line sales, I was struggling and was wondering if I should make this motto mine. I had some sales experience, more specifically “bizz dev” experience but no sales “education”. So I was considering if it was a right investment of time and money.

I went ahead with it and never turned back.

I am not in the sales training business but, having been through the motions, here are five reasons why I think it was indeed the right thing to do and why, anyone in a similar situation, should consider doing the same:

1- Do you have a sales degree?… Read the rest