Selling CRM to Your Sales Force

By Marshall Lager

They’re set in their ways, stubbornly independent, and resistant to change. But your staff doesn’t have to be your toughest sale.

Salespeople as a breed are resistant to change, especially when the change affects how they do their jobs. They don’t get very far in their field without knowing how to work a prospect, stay in touch until closing the sale (or getting a definite “no”), and track their numbers against projections. Over time, they develop their own ways of doing things that fit best with their individual personalities and goals. Whatever else it may be, it’s effective — if it weren’t, the salesperson would wash out.

CRM and other integrated business tools often represent a new way of selling, and therein lies the problem. Salespeople — especially commissioned ones — feed themselves on their ability to translate their way of doing things into revenue for their employers and themselves. How do you ask people to change something so central not just to their livelihoods, but to their lives?

The Fine Line Between Job Hunting and Networking

By Kevin Fogarty: The Ladders
Where do you draw the line between networking to share best practices and fishing for a better offer from a competitor?

When is it networking, and when is it cheating?

If you’re employed and not looking for a job, the most likely way to get a job offer from a competitor is by networking with peers at other companies and leaders in your industry.

It’s done at conferences, formal meetings and casual lunches and gatherings. Most employers consider it good career development and a way for employees to stay connected to the latest processes in the industry. But where do you draw the line between networking to share best practices and fishing for a better offer from a competitor?

The line probably rests on your intentions, said Clark Christensen, a senior-level executive in Coca-Cola Financial Management. Clark is a dedicated networker who advanced from consulting, auditing and accounting roles at Deloitte to Coca-Cola, Miller Zell, Global Link Logistics and PS Energy Group before landing back at Coca-Cola.

“You have to stay connected and keep your name out there and let people know what you’re about,” he said. But, if you’re truly networking to stay connected, you’re not out there asking for jobs, Clark said.
Instead, you’re asking peers what problems they’re facing and doing what you can to help, offering your expertise as a speaker or perhaps acting as a go-between to link contacts for their mutual benefit.

Not only do you end up being owed a lot of favors, you find out a lot more about the business environment in which you operate than you would relying only on contacts within your own company, he said.

Clark belongs to several industry organizations and attends regular meetings to stay current and keep his name in circulation among peers. He also tries to have lunch with a new contact two to three times per week.

It also helps you and your company when it comes time to hire, he said. That same network is likely a good source of candidates and beats sifting through a stack of resumes, he said.

But don’t waste the company’s time or your family’s, Christiansen warned. “You can burn up a lot of time doing this at the expense of your family and employer … A vigilant reading of the tea leaves at home and work is your guide to striking the right balance.”

How to Crush Your Sales Mojo in 5 Easy Steps.

Dan Waldschmidt asks: Ever walk out of a sales meeting with that worried half-frown and sick feeling in your gut?

That sense that something is missing.

That you lost your selling mojo.

It’s so difficult too, because your whole being is screaming out at you to get your mojo back.  In that moment, there’s nothing more important that you being back in control of your destiny.

Back in control of the world seemingly crashing down around you.

And you’re sitting there half wondering what caused it in the first place.  What did you do to get yourself in that position?  And how can you get your sales mojo back as soon as possible?

Well, having mojo is a lot like not being born a genius.