When Selling in Down Economy, Who You Know Matters Most

It’s no secret that top sales professionals possess both strong relationships and deep industry knowledge. But in a down economy, many have found that who they know has a greater impact on their sales success than what they know.

The reality is that in bad economic times, prospects aren’t willing to take a chance on new businesses when making purchasing decisions. Instead, they rely on sales professionals with whom they have already established a trusted relationship. Doing so helps mitigate the risks involved with investing limited budgets into an unproven or unknown product or service.

That is why the importance of maintaining solid customer relationships cannot be over-emphasized, particularly in today’s market when prospect pipelines are harder to fill no matter how experienced you are. Even if existing customers are not buying, cultivating those relationships ensures that you will be top-of-mind when they are ready to spend. It also increases your chances for referrals.

Of course, maintaining solid connections doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to stay abreast of industry trends. The ability to share information and advise your customers from a position of knowledge is one of the most powerful ways you can continue demonstrating value and solidify your position as a trusted advisor – even when they aren’t buying.

Too, the pendulum is swinging, albeit slowly. As the economy recovers, possessing expertise and experience will matter just as much as a having a strong network when it comes to growing sales and generating revenues.

In other words, strong connections may matter the most right now. But enhancing those connections with a solid – and growing – base of knowledge will ensure that you are ahead of the curve when the economy turns.

Motivate Your Sales Team Because Can’t Never Did Anything!

Veteran of sales & marketing, Bill Rice wants you to sit up and take notice that motivation fuels sales:”Sales people like roller coasters. We soar on wins and dive on the multitude of objections and rejections that we get each day. This is why creating a sales culture built on team motivation evens out these individual peaks and valleys–sharing successes are critical. If you are a sales team of one get a mentor.”  Read the entire article here.

Wanted: salespeople and sales managers for Beta Test of productivity tool

Naviga PartnerSales Manage Solutions, is announcing the Beta Release of Sales Activities …

From EVP of Sales, Steve Suggs:

We’re pleased to announce our new sales management tool,
Salesactivities.com is now ready for “beta” testing. If you’re
willing to provide us feedback, we’ll give you 60 days free access
to our new tool. Developed for and by high-sales activity
performers, this tool helps manage your complete sales process from
prospect to close.
High activity sales people can manage sales cycles ranging from 20
minute phone calls to a 90-day engagement. Top performers have
demonstrated again and again that effectively managing the sales
activities directly impacts the sales results.
Using our new “Sale Activities” tool, you increase consistency in
prospects, appointments, lead generation, and quotes. Improving
process consistency is a proven method for increasing sales results
and meeting/exceeding sales goals.

We developed our Sales Activities tools based on winning sales
patterns by some of the all time top performers in high activity
sales. Their success will now help other salespeople improve
performance.

You can enjoy a free “beta” test of Salesactivities.com” for 60
days. All we ask is that you provide us with feedback for
improvement during the 60 day trial.

We believe Sales Professionals will love the new Sales Activities
tool for several reasons.

Easy – It’s easy to learn and use. Forget learning complex Excel
equations or jumping through a variety of databases. This tool can
be applied right away by new users.

Seamless – Sales Professionals can naturally integrate our Sales
Activities tool into their current sales flow process. This means
you’ll use the tool more, resulting in higher performance.

Consistency – By using Sales Activities on a regular basis, you’ll
begin eliminating the “peaks and valleys” in your sales performance
see consistent improvement in each step of the process.

Visit www.Salesactivities.com. You’ll enjoy a free “beta” test for 60
days in exchange for a feedback on our new product. Thank you for
helping and we look forward to hearing your responses. All we ask is
that you provide us with feedback for improvement during the 60 day
trial.

Kindest regards, Steve Suggs

Don’t Fire All the Salespeople Just Yet!

 Dave Kahle, The Growth Coach®, is asking “Should you fire all the salespeople?”  Dave knows the temptation is there, and probably growing in strength weekly. That’s easy to understand. Pressures are pressing on you from a number of directions.

But, rather than leaping to the extreme and firing the salespeople, a wiser course of action is to study your situation, and then to refocus your sales efforts. Follow this link to the full article, and find it is time to look carefully at aspects of your sales system and to examine them from some new perspectives.

Winning in Sales is a Team Sport

Today’s blog is by Jill Myrick, CEO of Meeting to Win and an expert in building winning sales meetings.

Baseball season is just around the corner.  Your favorite teams have been on the practice fields for weeks now preparing for a season of winning.  Which teams will actually do the winning will be determined by the collective effort, attitude and performance of the team.  Sales teams are no different. 

As your team faces new selling challenges and uncertainty, now is a great time to mobilize your team for a winning season. 

Here are some ways to harness the energy and experience of your sales team to increase momentum and obtain a winning record even during an unpredictable economy.

  1. Once a week get together with your team on the phone or in person for a “War Room” discussion.  During this time, share experiences, customer feedback, successes and disappointments.  By learning from the collective experience of the team, each member will be able to stay proactive to address the same issues.
  2. Help each other WIN.  Each week, get together with one or two members of your team and scrutinize pipelines.  Get ideas, look for red flags, ask tough questions and set next steps.
  3. Ask a team member to analyze your wins and losses with you.  Learn from those and then share the lessons with the entire team.
  4. Challenge your team to take some time to share best practices. If they try something that is working, share it with the team.
  5. Develop subject matter experts on your team.  Each member of the team can become an expert on a useful topic (competitor, industry, product, tool, etc). The rest of the team can rely on that person to help on that topic.
  6. Invite guest speakers from your company team to teach your sales team useful information.  Have your CFO give a business acumen lesson, ask marketing to share current market research or ask a company top performer to share their habits.
  7. Review each other’s target account lists and determine where referral sources may exist across your team.  Challenge your team to make referrals a habit.
  8. Engage your leadership team to remove barriers or create pathways on pipeline opportunities.
  9. Get everyone in the company actively involved in winning deals every week. Everyone, no matter what their role, can play a part in winning.
  10. Do what is right for the customer’s business, not your quota, in every selling scenario. Winning is a team sport.  Get the entire team in position and enjoy a winning season…as a team.

Finding a Job–It’s Not About Sales, Or Is It?

“As a sales professional, you probably are reading this blog fully employed and content. But it could be that sometime in the next five years you grow discontented with what you have or are forced out. At that point you’ll need this post, so keep it handy.”

-Bill Caskey, of Inside The Sales Mind, discusses the lengths you need to go to if you’re unemployed and looking for a new career. Follow the link above to the complete article.

Successful Referral Selling Starts With Building Trust

By James A. Baker
Chairman

Baker Communications

In some ways, successful referral selling is like the Holy Grail of selling. Research regularly confirms that sales contacts made via a trusted referral source close at much higher rates than contacts made through any other method – often 50% or even higher. Who wouldn’t love to go into a sales presentation knowing that your chances of success were already that high? For this reason, everyone talks about referrals – how to get them, how to use them, how to maximize the opportunity that is obviously there. However, for a significant number of sales reps, referrals never quite live up to the hype. What is the problem?

 

For more information about Baker Communications, contact Laura Hedger, Corporate Training Consultant.