By Matt G (The Sales Corner)
There’s one search happening on Google that seems to bring a fair amount of traffic to The Sales Corner. The search is “Sales Probing Questions.” The people searching these terms are generally looking for information on how to establish the correct questions to ask their customers. They are looking for magic tools to help them decide what are the right questions or not. I wish I could tell you what questions always work, but the truth is that you have to deal with a lot of trial and error in any sales environment.
The goal is to increase sales or marketing visibility. In order to do this effectively you need to remain in constant production. The problem is that a lot of sales people, don’t know how to go about this in a way that’s beneficial, and doesn’t waste their time, or the customers time. Often times they get burned out.
Here are five Sales Probing Questions below that you can use to immediately start to impact your customer relationships. As a sales rep I pride myself on knowing my customers and what their problems are, and what makes them happy. You’ll find benefit in the same!
By Colleen Francis (Engage Selling)
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to sell to everyone that comes into your pipeline.
I know, it’s intuitive as a salesperson to sell as much as possible, but effective salespeople know how to pick and choose which prospects to sell to. They know the good from the bad.
The reality is, not every prospect is an ideal candidate for your product or service. The sooner you learn this important lesson, the sooner you can focus on the prospects that are ideal candidates for you to work with.
By: Mark Dembo (The Sideroad Blog)
In his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich“, Napoleon Hill discussed the eleven secrets of leadership. Recently, as I was reading the book, it occurred to me that the attributes of strong leadership and effective selling have a tremendous amount in common. After all, to be really successful in sales, you need to be a leader, both within your own organization, as well as to your clients and customers.
To paraphrase management guru Peter Drucker, a leader is someone who not only does things right, but who also does the right things, while helping others do the same. The same holds true in sales: how better to serve your clients than to really know and understand what they do, and to truly help them do it better?
With that in mind, here are Mr. Hill’s eleven secrets to leadership, as they apply to leadership in selling.
By Bill Brown (SalesGravy.com)
Parkinson’s Principle, “Work expands to fulfill all available time.”
Have you ever completed a work week only to find out the important things you set out to do were not accomplished? Oh, you were busy alright. You sent out countless emails, returned numerous phone calls, and attended essential meetings. After-hours you updated your CRM, worked on proposals, and squeezed in some time for your family. Boy! You were really productive. But those important things? Those critical things? They are still on your to-do list for next week. Somehow they just didn’t get done. And now they are joined by other must-dos. The result is an avalanche of tasks that threaten to sweep you away. Is that a white flag I see you waving?
To varying degrees we all face the above scenario. The better we are at our jobs the more tasks we usually find on our plates. And we deserve a rousing ovation! Somehow we find a way to get the necessary things done. The customer is taken care of. The boss gets his report. Our families see us during daylight hours. But the pressure and stress is enormous, and we never seem to get over the top.
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?
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?
By SimplyDIRECT Blog
Here’s a frightening statistic for B2B marketers: 90%of the content produced by marketing is NOT used by sales.[i] For all of our focus on carefully crafted messaging, we have largely missed the mark.
Forrester’s Laura Ramos recently blogged about this startling statistic from the AMA, noting that as marketers, we need to do a better job of helping sales truly own the messaging we create. As she says, “It’s about creating content that can play dual roles: attracting and educating buyers while giving sales a deeper understanding about what’s attracting their prospect’s attention in the first place.”
Yet, in our zeal to craft key messages for prospective buyers, it seems we’ve largely neglected that other vital audience: our sales team. This little oversight is borne out by another revealing AMA statistic: Salespeople spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own selling materials.[ii]
Clearly, simply providing good content doesn’t suffice. Rather, the salient question is: how can we enable sales to engage in more powerful conversations with prospective buyers?
Speak with sales.
Given the statistics cited above, the natural place to begin is by crossing the departmental divide to engage in open and honest dialogue with sales regarding their needs and how our content is falling short in meeting them. No matter how brilliant our content might be for the end buyer, if sales isn’t finding it useful, it’s a wasted effort. Central to marketing’s role is the ability to communicate value – if our own sales teams aren’t “getting it,” we need to adjust and determine how to work with them in a more effective manner. We cannot assume that they know how to use our content. Sales must be a key audience.
By Lolly Daskal (Lead From Within)
There are two kinds of leaders:
Those who withhold gratitude, which we know is not good.
And then there are those who say “Thank you! Great job! Way to go! We did it!!”
But the truth those words leave the person or people receiving the complete usually hollow.
Don’t get me wrong.
Compliments are nice, but they are fleeting moments where good intentions do not last.
Many of us mistake compliments for gratitude.
So what is the difference?