Could you use some help? Let’s be honest: there is a lot of “work” at work. Most of us are so busy trying to complete the day’s tasks and put out fires that we often neglect to consider if we are functioning in an efficient way. Seana Turner shares a few common mistakes, and some ideas for how to address them.
TODAY A SALES TEAM must not only be able to sell a competitive advantage; they must be a competitive advantage. In most companies it is increasingly difficult to sustain a competitive advantage by traditional means. Traditional factors such as: superior products, scale, and innovative manufacturing technology may provide short term advantages but unfortunately they can be replicated in relatively short order by an increasing number of agile and aggressive domestic and global competitors.
Although a great sales team is difficult to create, it has the potential to provide a significant competitive advantage and, perhaps more importantly, one that is difficult for the competition to copy quickly. So optimizing sales performance matters more today than it did yesterday and it will matter more tomorrow than it does today.
The workplace can be a perilous and thorny scene for disagreements. Being loud and clear leaves no room for misinterpretation. But it can also leave no room for anyone else’s ideas. Staying silent doesn’t air dissenting opinion. So that’s no good, either.
How to find more neutral ground? Becky Gaylord shares 12 ways to register your disagreement without clobbering coworkers with the know-it-all club.
There’s a persistent perception that sales is a “last resort” job. I don’t know where it comes from, but you hear people say, “I’m just a sales rep.”
I’m tired of it! When you choose a sales career, you’re not settling for a second-rate job. Sales is a challenging profession you can and should be proud of. And it comes with many rewards.
“Unlimited” income. Few other jobs allow you to determine how high your income will go, often surpassing that of your boss.
Independence. As long as you’re turning in results, most good sales managers will let you set your own goals, create your own plans and manage your own time.
A sense of satisfaction that comes from being an expert and helping people solve problems.
Personal growth. With markets, technology and product offerings constantly evolving, you’re always growing and learning something new.
But you probably already know all this. What you may not have thought of, however, is that sales experience is vitally important if you ever hope to have an executive level job.
Winning in the Trust and Value Economy is a practical how-to book for business owners, entrepreneurs, sales managers and other professionals looking to stay competitive in today’s market. It offers insights into the psychology of today’s customer, and reasons why the importance of customer engagement, experience, and personal connection has increased. It offers specific tips and techniques to guide a business through changes necessary to not only stay afloat, but to thrive in a way that is enjoyable for all involved. It’s a book written on the principle that today’s change must not be ignored, that this change is different, an economy we’ve never experienced before.
If you are part of a competitive intelligence team or a sales team, Mitch Emerson, Co-Founder, Compelligence, Inc. is sure you are familiar with this scenario: your company has a critical account or a need-to-win customer that your competition is also pitching to. A salesperson on the account team asks the CI analyst for competitive sales help, and the CI analyst says, “Please look at our internal website or Sharepoint site—we have lots of documents that address our competition.”
Great. So now the salesperson has to hunt through many pieces of content that may or may not pertain directly to the customer deal at hand. This does not help win the deal in an efficient fashion. It’s a mistake that he’s seen made in multiple companies: salespeople want help with how to sell against the competition, but what they get is competitive data when what they really need is competitive guidance.
There’s an important distinction here that gets missed between competitive intelligence and competitive guidance: the output from a CI team should not make more work for the consumer of the information. What many sales-supporting CI teams fail to do is to provide the distinct and customized “how-to” that tells sales what they need to say or do in order to win a deal. Sure, you’ve made sales guides and silver bullet sheets and cheat sheets and playbooks and competitor profiles, but the problem with all of that is that no matter how much information is put into them, it’s never just right for each individual deal.
By Wendy Connick, About.com Guide
Even the best salespeople have the occasional “off” days. But when bad days turn into bad weeks or even months, you have a real problem. Weathering a long sales slump is tough but not impossible, if you take the time to prepare for it. And once you’re in a slump, you can take action to get out of your slump ASAP. [...]
No doubt you’ve learned the hard way that when you fire a salesperson, it can cost you as much as 150% of their annual salary and benefits, plus lost sales and missed opportunities. Obviously, there’s a lot riding on your hiring decisions. As you know, good hiring practices are based on far more than evaluating an applicant’s selling skills. Odds are, you didn’t let your last employee go because he or she lacked the skills to do the job; you fired them for a lack of personal skills or a mismatch with your organization. This common situation has led to the maxim, “hire for attitude, train for job skills.”
When most hiring managers believe in the importance of “attitude,” why do they ignore it so often during the screening process? The Brooks Group answers this question [ ...]
Thriving in a High-Pressure Environment
Many people experience stress in their jobs. You might feel stressed temporarily because of a project deadline, or because of seasonal fluctuations in your workload. Or you might experience long-term stress due to the type of work that you do, because of a difficult boss or co-worker, or because of office politics.
The Editor’s Pick article from MindTools.com looks at the consequences of job stress, and explores strategies that you can use to manage a stressful job successfully.
Margaret Heffernan (MoneyWatch) recently wrote about the desire for creativity in business and the multiple ways in which it is unintentionally hampered. She notes the first way to make people more creative is to stop all of those bad habits we have. But is there anything else you can do?