All posts by KathleenSteffey

Kathleen is the CEO of Naviga Business Services, and a primary blogger on salesjournal.com. She builds close relationships with her customers and assures success by enforcing a strong philosophy behind the recruitment process. Kathleen runs her company on the premise of understanding her customers’ business and the details surrounding their sales and marketing operation. "We learn about our customers, we stay focused on what’s important and we execute."

4 Must Dos For Sales and Marketing Pros

By Melissa Madian ORACLE | eloqua

“I know I need to be unique and different when talking to customers; but I don’t know how?”

I had just finished running a sales training session for a group of major account reps, SJPwhen a colleague came up to me and very quietly uttered the above quote.  He was clearly embarrassed, lost and distraught. It got me thinking: if he was willing to sidle up to me and admit this distress; how many others were feeling the same but were too shy or embarrassed to come forward to talk about how to address it?

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How to Prepare for a Valuable Sales Discovery Session

By Brian Walsh (Business 2 Community)

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Know Where You’re Going. Understand Where You’ve Been.

If you want to truly understand how you can help your client, you need to assess what you know. A call with someone you’ve never met before is very different than one where you have some background. This may seem like an elementary point, but I’ve seen way too many salespeople approach all their discovery calls the same way. As a result, they miss opportunities to change their conversation in a way that connects them to buyer value drivers. The prep is critical for many reasons, and it starts with two simple questions:

  1. Where am I in the account?
  2. Where am I not?

Remember the “Who”

Effective preparation doesn’t end there. A lot of salespeople make the mistake by only asking those questions. They focus their discovery only on the account white space, or if it’s a new account, where they think they have the biggest chance of making a sale. That information is important, but you need to consider the “who.”

Research from CSO Insights shows that three or more individuals are involved in the final B2B buying decision. Your challenge as a salesperson is to articulate your solution’s value and differentiation in a way that shows the business impact to each of these decision makers. You won’t be successful in showing your business impact to this key group if you don’t follow an effective discovery process.

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Sales Leaders – How They Unknowingly Hinder Innovation

By Richard Ruff (Sales Training Connection)

In a wide variety of industries, companies are experiencing transformational changes.  These changes are driven by global competition, technological changes, government regulations and the dynamics of an unstable economy.  As a result companies’ expectations concerning their suppliers are changing – what they buy, how they buy, and what they are willing to pay for it are all in a state of flux.

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Viewed from the other side of the fence, it means vendors are unlikely to prosper if they view improvement simply as doing a better job doing what they are doing – innovation is required.

 

 

 

The subject of innovation dominates the technology sphere.  Articles on “wearable technology” like Apple’s much-hyped iWatch are easy to find.  Likewise in sales most of discussion related to innovation is about technology.  Lots of interest and dialogue on empowering your sales force through technology or the ten new mobile apps for igniting sales.

However, if companies are going to take innovation seriously and do more than just manipulate the status quo, then new technologies are just part of the solution – not the entire story.

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From The SalesJournal Store: The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say

People who lead teams often get so busy that they lose focus and struggle with the dynamics of the personalities and talents they manage. David Dye’s book, The Seven Things is a well-written, SMART, and genuinely helpful resource.

– Mary C. Kelly

Productive, energized, and innovative teams are critical to your success. In The Seven SJPThings Your Team Needs to Hear You Say, author David M. Dye shares practical and encouraging tools you can use to cultivate engaged, responsible, and results-oriented teams. Whether you’re a new frontline leader, a small business owner, or a veteran manager, The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say will inspire you to inspire your team. You don’t need buckets of charisma – they just need to hear you say these seven things.

Buy It Now!

5 Steps to Summer Pipeline Building

 By: Ken Thoreson (SalesGravy.com)

What kinds of programs or activity are you launching in the next 30 days to make sure your summer is busy? SJP

I have simply built a list to help you think through your options, and I would like our readers to certainly add their thoughts and ideas as well.  Let’s all work together to ensure mutual success.

1.    Hunt your customer base: hold Customer Appreciate events, make sure your have a plan to contact each customer and offer additional products/services.

2.    Ask your vendors for idea’s and find out what other organizations are using to increase activity

3.    Schedule events for regional access; if you cover a large area or even a single city, schedule morning events in two separate areas, one day apart.   One might be on the North side of your city, the second in the South-as an example. As you prospect, make sure prospects know of both events-makes it easy for them to attend.

4.    Buy a new database and create a fun mailing and use over-sized post cards.

5.    Have each salesperson block a minimum of two hours a week to prospect fresh opportunities.

These are just a few to start the dialogue; the key is to make it happen-Now!

What are your ideas?

Emotionally Intelligent Sales Cultures – How And Why Eq Wins Business

By Colleen Stanley (SalesLeadership, Inc.)

Sales organizations are always looking for ways to grow their top and bottom line. They install the latest and greatest CRM tool, dollars are invested in customer surveys and their marketing department is tweeting, hooting and blogging. With this proactive approach towards growth, what is the reason many sales organizations still struggle to achieve quota? SJP

Maybe the problem isn’t in technology or marketing. Perhaps the problem is your sales culture. Webster’s Dictionary defines culture as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices. A culture determines how you treat your employees, your customers and how you contribute to the community at large.

Sales cultures scoring low in emotional intelligence are filled with old sales dogs that refuse to learn new tricks. They sit on the porch of denial, refusing to adapt new approaches to selling. Many have sales lone rangers that care only about their quota and their commission check. They are not real interested in how their specific actions or inactions affect the company. Lone rangers seldom contribute at a sales meeting because helping others isn’t in their DNA.

Just the opposite, emotionally intelligent sales cultures share three common traits. They are learning organizations, collaborative and generous. Let’s examine each area as it relates to sales success.

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Who Really Achieves Success in Sales?

By Mark Hunter (“The Sales Hunter”)

Success in sales does not go to the one who has the lowest price. Nor does success in sales go to the one who has the best customers. And, success in sales does not go the one who has the most intelligence.

Who really achieves success in sales? The people who practice integrity with every person with whom they come in contact.  There is no substitute – no alternative – to consistent integrity.

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