Big data has become the buzzword of this decade, with more and more companies openly admitting to collecting information about customers. Most consumers can handle parting with their personal information if they receive a relevant and personalized experience in return. This means companies who gather data and use it wisely experience better sales and higher revenue. Well, if they do their research correctly, that is.
Not sure if you’re using your internal data correctly? Here are a few ways to tell.
I often hear salespeople and sales leaders lament that they are being commoditized by customers who focus only on price and unbundling the value of their solutions. They don’t see this only from procurement but also from operational, functional and even senior-level economic buyers. I hear the frustration from salespeople who work for highly differentiated companies with significant value engineered into their products, services and delivery capabilities. They offer unique expertise and thought leadership in their respective industries, yet they get reduced to lowest price bake-offs that neutralize their competitive advantages.
This happens to them for three reasons. First, it is a cost management strategy for buyers. They know that one way to drive down their costs is to procure all services at the lowest price. It works! For every dollar of cost they can remove, that dollar drops directly to operating profit. Of course, it removes a dollar of operating profit for every supplier that participates.
Guest Post by Vince Gregory. Vince is a retired entrepreneur who volunteers for SCORE. He loves giving young business people the advice they need to succeed.
Cold calling is one of the proven ways to find new customers and increase sales for a business, yet many sales people are intimidated and downright scared of making cold calls to prospects. If you take a look at the methods and reasons behind cold calling, you can develop a confident, businesslike approach to prospective customers that will get you positive results.
One of the factors that intimidates sales staff is that cold calls often lead to rejections. No one likes to hear the word “no.” However, rejection is just part of the business of selling, and often “no” means “not right now” instead of “never.”
Here are some valuable cold calling tips that can help you next time you are looking for new customers.
Oh too often people get a sales job and think all they have to do is learn the product or services they are representing and then they can run out the door and sell it. Guess again. You must first know the 6 P’s of selling. They are: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. That alone says it all. To be a good sales person you must first know:
• What you are selling.
• Who you are selling it too (target customer).
• Why they would want to buy it.
• What the buzz words will be so that you can trigger a conversation which leads to the sale.
I recently finished reading a great book that I wanted to share, Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. The focus of The Power of Habit transcends industries and following the advice in the book can benefit anyone who suffers from bad habits. A bad habit could be something as small as chewing your nails or late-night binge eating or as big as smoking or drinking alcohol excessively. Are you a morning jogger who has a productive day, or are you a snooze-button pusher who tends to procrastinate? Taking a closer look at our daily routine and deciphering what can trigger these habits and how we can create healthier ones can have a dramatic impact on both our personal and professional lives.
In his book, Duhigg discusses the neuroscience behind habits and supports his argument with experiments that have been done at M.I.T. for over a decade. The science behind habit formation and the way to break your bad habits was broken down in an easy to follow flow chart (see below). When looking at what habits you want to change, Duhigg illustrates three areas to focus on: The Cue, The Reward, and The Routine.
There are many bad sales habits: talking/pitching too much, procrastination, over-scheduling appointments, ignoring customer needs, unresponsiveness, poor time management, failing to follow the sales process, not creating a sense of urgency, etc. As a manager, your role is to put your staff in the best position to succeed. If you, as the manager, have these same bad habits, they are almost guaranteed to trickle down to your staff. Observing your own bad habits and making a conscious effort to change can be very motivational for people on your team, as leading by example is one of the most effective ways to influence others. Use the flow chart above to evaluate your habits and determine if you can institute a more effective process and better habits into your sales routine.