Sales’ Weakest Link: Sales Management

Having surveyed approximately 3,000 salespeople and trained over 4,000 sales managers across five countries, Peter Michie has reached a rather alarming conclusion: A large percentage of managers just don’t grasp the fundamental distinction between their current managerial roles and their former sales positions (from which most were promoted).

Before any sales managers reading this article take offense at the above, he’d ask them to consider the following…

Making Role-Playing Fun and Effective

Marshall W. Northcott was first introduced to role-playing exercises early in his sales career while selling office equipment. He recalls doing role-playing frequently and in many different forms, doing role-playing exercises as a team around the boardroom table. They practiced the steps of the selling process so that they could raise their consciousness and be more effective, more often, in order to achieve a higher percentage of desired outcomes. They role-played in the demonstration room in order to be familiarized with the features, functions, key pads and the inner workings of all the current copier and fax models that we had in stock. They practiced in the car before appointments in order to be better prepared for the call and any potential situations or objections that might arise. They did so after debriefing the call in order to address any roadblocks or difficulties that hamstrung us in the appointment in order to ensure that if a similar situation arose in future we would be armed.

For Marshall, role playing became a powerful, positive way to learn that was both fun and enjoyable. He really doesn’t recall if he had any apprehension, nervousness or anxiety when first asked to engage in role-playing. However, recalling that it wasn’t optional! Everyone, with no exceptions was expected to take their turn and participate. When you don’t have a choice then you either buck up or you say your good byes and he doesn’t remember that ever happening.

Marshall’s stance is that timid souls shouldn’t be recruited for sales positions that are performance based and those who work in such roles should expect that they are going to experience the pressure and pleasure of performing in front of their peers.

Be Prepared: Sales Trends for 2010

The New Year is days away. As many seek refuge from the negativity of the media, others look ahead to new beginnings. We are moving toward a pre-boom economy and selling professionals and managers will need to be more efficient and more productive next year. Drew Stevens, President of Stevens Consulting Group shares some of the areas that will be affected…

5 Ways to Leverage History to Sell More

Skip Anderson, founder of Selling to Consumers Sales Training, wants you to take a look at your sales last March (March 2009). What can you gain by looking at your sales from last March? That was six months ago! How can it help your sales this month? Or next March?Selling is a profession of immediacy. Commission salespeople get paid for what they sell today. The presence of weekly, monthly, and yearly sales goals stresses the need for immediacy. Given all the attention on the “What have you sold for me lately” mentality of sales executives and managers (Skip doesn’t disagree with it, he just thinks it gets out of hand in some organizations to the point that it is no longer healthy for the long term health of the business), it’s not common for salespeople to look backward to analyze performance of a previous month, especially when it is six months prior.Here he shares five questions that will help you analyze your March sales from earlier this year, and then use that information to maximize your sales now.

International Salespeople Always Stay Connected

When cross-cultural marketer and international sales strategist Cindy King first heard her North American sales friends speak of how your March sales were determined by what you did in December, her first thought was how lucky some people have it if they only have to think of sales 3 months in advance.  And then she realized that as an international sales person used to opening new foreign markets she was comparing apples to oranges.

In her honest opinion, she is often amazed by North American sales and marketing professionals in the level of sophistication of the methods they use…