Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today’s Crazy-Busy Sellers

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s in this month’s subscription:

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Your clients expect more, with faster turnarounds. Your quota keeps going up. You need to leverage social media, keep up to date on your industry, figure out how to sell new products and services, and learn all the latest technologies. The demands are never-ending. You could work nonstop around the clock and still not get it all done. It’s a huge problem faced by experienced sales pros, busy entrepreneurs and sales rookies. Jill Konrath, a globally recognized sales consultant and speaker, experimented relentlessly to discover the best time-savers and sales hacks in order to deliver the first productivity guide specifically for sales success. In More Sales, Less Time, Konrath blends cutting-edge behavioral research with her own deep knowledge of sales to teach you how to succeed in this age of distraction. Konrath helps you develop strategies specifically tailored to your life in sales, using your strengths to cut through the feeling of being overwhelmed. All salespeople have the same number of hours in a day; it’s up to you to rescue your time to sell smarter. More Sales, Less Time will show you how.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The unique challenges of today’s “Age of Distraction.”
• To eliminate distractions and change the way you tackle email and social media.
• To focus better and plan your work systems.
• To transform your mindset to effortlessly incorporate new, more productive habits; leverage your best brainpower; and stay at the top of your sales game.

Join us for our next webinar! Presenting Value to Executives with Michael J. Nick

Presenting Value to Executives

Date: Friday, October 14
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Michael J. Nick

Click here to register!

Presenting your value to the executive committee can occur several times throughout your sales process. There is no doubt you must be prepared for each of these presentations. It can be very stressful and hectic. The goal of this program is to help you organize and prepare for presenting your value in its very best light.

In this Soundview Live webinar, Presenting Value to Executives, Michael breaks the presentation into several components, beginning with a foundation discussion, followed by creating value for your audience, and finally how to put it all together to present your value to an executive committee. Michael shares stories and examples from his work with HP, Rockwell Automation, NEC, Microsoft Great Plains, and Avery Denison.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to identify and communicate with key decision makers (especially millennials)
  • How to understand the buyer’s process from the inside out
  • How to manage your digital presence to maximize interest in your product
  • How to focus your sales effort on the deals you can win

Book Review: Shoe Dog By Phil Knight

Shoe DogNike is one of the world’s most famous brands. Its swoosh, famously created by an art student for just a few dollars, is ubiquitous. Its outsourcing business model is considered genius by some, controversial by others. Everyone knows Nike — or at least we think we do.

Shoe Dog, the story of Nike written by its founder, Phil Knight, offers a new perspective on the brand. Knight tells a surprisingly riveting tale. The book’s chapters are organized by year, and much of the book is spent on the first 10 years of the company (launched in 1962). As with a detective series in which we know the detective will emerge unscathed, the fact that we know the ultimate outcome of this story does not deter from the white-knuckle ride on which Knight expertly takes his readers. Knight is able to convey the fear and frustration of living on the edge that continues year after year, even as his company continues to grow. For example, Knight describes receiving the “pair count” (how many pairs of shoes shipped) from the warehouses every day. Because he depended on daily sales to generate the cash he needed to keep the business, then called Blue Ribbon Sports, alive, “the daily pair count determined my mood, my digestion, my blood pressure, because it largely determined the fate of Blue Ribbon,” he writes. “If we didn’t “sell through,” sell all the shoes in our most recent order, and quickly convert that product into cash, we’d be in big trouble.”

Blue Ribbon Sports may not be familiar to many, but it was the original name of the company that Knight founded in 1962 (the word “Nike” does not appear until nearly 200 pages into the book). Although known today as the king of outsourced manufacturing, Knight’s “Crazy Idea” — the business model he developed as a Stanford MBA student — was to introduce quality Japanese shoes to America, and specifically the Tiger, manufactured by Onitsuka Company (now Asics) in Kobe, Japan. For a number of years, Blue Ribbon Sports, a company that only existed in Knight’s mind when he traveled to Japan and told Onitsuka executives that he was its representative, was happy to be an importer of Japanese shoes — until, as Knight eloquently describes, Onitsuka decided to break its contract and surreptitiously replace BRS as distributor. The cold war battle between Knight and the man who would become his nemesis, an Onitsuka executive named Kitami, is almost worthy of the tense dance between John Le Carre’s George Smiley and the elusive Karla — which explains…(click here to continue reading this review)

Review: Dealstorming by Tim Sanders

CZ2YTDQVAAEn3p2Effective sales methodologies are usually based on a disciplined step by-step process that moves the relationship between buyer and seller from contact to close. The concept of brainstorming — the freewheeling, ad-hoc practice of putting a diverse group of people in a room and letting them throw out ideas without constraints or criticism — seems to be a poor fit for the discipline and focus of the sales deal. Former Yahoo! sales executive Tim Sanders disagrees. He acknowledges that advocates of brainstorming can overstate its effectiveness — recent studies have shown weaknesses in solutions emerging from brainstorming sessions. However, he argues, the brainstorming process also offers certain strengths — the power of collaboration among a wide group of stakeholders and contributors, the openness to innovative ideas — that can be missing in the traditional sales process.

Collaboration is vital: The enduring myth of the individual super-salesperson cutting amazing deals is highly unrealistic in an age of highly complex business-to-business sales. Even those organizations that boast about their sales teams are still probably dealing in sales silos that incorporate little input from other areas of the company. Thus, Sanders has been a long-time practitioner and proponent of what he calls “dealstorming” — a problem-solving methodology that combines the collaborative and inclusive features of brainstorming with the linear discipline of the sales account-management process.

In his fifth book, Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenge, Sanders provides a detailed description of the dealstorming sales process — specifically designed to help salespeople stuck in a deal with an intractable problem. From the sales perspective, the path to innovative solutions for the client is often blocked by other functions of the company that insist that the innovations can’t be developed or implemented, or will be unworkable or ineffective. Frustrated by the resistance, sales professionals refer to these other functions as “the land of no.”

 

To read the full review, click here, or -better yet- sign up for our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter to receive free reviews every month!

How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

From Impossible to InevitableWhy are you struggling to grow your business when everyone else seems to be crushing their goals? If you needed to triple revenue within the next three years, would you know exactly how to do it? Doubling the size of your business, tripling it, even growing 10 times larger isn’t about magic. It’s not about privileges, luck or working harder.

From Impossible to Inevitable provides a template that the world’s fastest growing companies follow to achieve and sustain much, much faster growth.This template includes the seven ingredients of hyper-growth: Nail a Niche, Create Predictable Pipeline, Make Sales Scalable, Double Your Deal Size, Do the Time, Embrace Employee Ownership and Define Your Destiny to make a difference, for yourself and your company, no matter what you do or where you work. Authors Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin take each ingredient and break it down into specific steps to guide you through implementation. From Impossible to Inevitable helps you take impossible goals and turn them into inevitable successes for your business and team. You will achieve success even bigger than you can imagine from where you’re sitting today.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• To understand and apply the seven ingredients of hyper-growth.
• How to specialize your sales process and scale your sales team.
• What it really means to “do the time” in today’s business environment.
• The difference between functional ownership and delegation.
• How to define your destiny in a new or existing business.

Join Best-Selling Author Tim Sanders for an Interactive Webinar

IF YOU GO:
The Secret Weapon to Sales Success
Date: Tuesday, March 22nd
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Tim Sanders

Click here to register

In this Soundview Live webinar, The Secret Weapon to Sales Success, Tim Sanders introduces “dealstorming,” a term for a structured, scalable, repeatable process that can break through any sales deadlock. This “Swiss Army knife for today’s toughest sales challenges” promises to fix the broken parts of the brainstorming process and reinvigorate account management for today’s increasingly complicated sales environment.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Utilize the seven-step Dealstorming process to gain positive results
  • Drive sales innovation by combining the wisdom and creativity of everyone who has a stake in the sale.
  • Collaborate with people from non-sales areas of your company, making it easier for them to own the execution and delivery after the deal is done.
  • Apply strategies that will lead to game-changing deals and long-term B2B relationships.

 

How to Win Over and Over

Multimillionaire Larry Weidel is a winner. He helped build up a financial-services company that today boasts 100,000 representatives. He produces videos on career success, leadership and sales, and shares podcasts, articles and other resources on his Weidel on Winning website. He holds weekly coaching calls for more than a thousand leaders across the U.S. and Canada. In his book, Serial Winner, Weidel argues that anyone can be a winner — and not just a winner but a serial winner, the type of person who wins over and over. For Weidel, the keys to winning consistently are encapsulated in the five steps of his “cycle of winning.”

 

The Cycle of Winning

The first step in the cycle is, “Don’t hesitate; decide.” Winners, he writes, take action. They may make a plan but then quickly move from planning to implementation. And they are not bullied into thinking they are inadequate or give in to feelings of inferiority. For example, Weidel rejects the myth that……….

 

To read the full review, sign up for our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter today!

Matching Your Selling Style to the Customer’s Buying Style

Today’s guest blogger is Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips coaches, trainers and consultants with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use online account.

Contrary to what passes for age-old wisdom, customers do not buy because they are made to understand; they buy when they feel understood. That is where the salesperson’s knowledge of the behavioral styles comes in. The savvy salesperson knows the High ‘D’ (Dominance) Style wants more control. The High ‘I’ (Influence) Style cries out for more recognition and excitement. The High ‘S’ (Steadiness) Style wants more support, and the High ‘C’ (Conscientious) Style more logic. The most successful salespeople customize their approach and follow-through for each type.

A Matching Process

A sale is a matching process. You match the right product or service to your customer’s needs…and you match your selling style with the customer’s buying style by adapting your style to the style of your customer.

Of the four styles, the ‘D’s and ‘I’s are both fast-paced and assertive. ‘C’s and ‘S’s, by contrast, are slower to decide and less assertive.

But it is not quite that simple. ‘D’s and ‘C’s also both tend to emphasize the need to accomplish tasks. ‘I’s and ‘S’s put a higher priority on personal relationships.

So, as a salesperson first try to determine which style your dealing with, then adjust your pace (faster or slower) and your priority (task versus relationship).

Adjusting Pace and Priority

If you are a ‘D’ or ‘I’ salesperson, and you want to deal better with ‘S’ or ‘C’ customers or clients, try to be more relaxed, listen more than you speak, do not interrupt, challenge, or push the process along faster than they want it to go.

If you are an ‘S’ or ‘C’ selling to a ‘D’ or ‘I’, pick up the pace, initiate conversations, give recommendations, and avoid beating-around-the-bush.

As for priority, if you are an ‘S’ or ‘I’ selling to ‘D’s or ‘C’s, focus more on the task than the relationship, get right to the bottom line, and use facts and logic. If possible, prepare an agenda and stick to it. Keep your meeting focused and short.

Conversely, if you are a ‘D’ or ‘C’ salesperson, put the relationship first when dealing with ‘I’s or ‘S’s. Show an interest in them: their job, family, or hobbies. Speak in a friendly, informal way. Be flexible with your time, tolerating digressions.

The point is: Everybody is easy to please, if you know how.

With ‘D’s, be efficient and competent. With ‘I’s, support their ideas or dreams. With ‘S’s, stress your warmth and sincerity, and with ‘C’s, be thorough and prepared.

Working Toward a Win-Win

Selling customers the way they want to buy is a strategy that can positively change your sales career. Thousands of salespeople have successfully applied these techniques. They have experienced dramatic increases in sales as well as greater awareness of their own personal strengths and struggles. You become a salesperson who “consults” and “solves problems” based on your knowledge of both your customers’ personal needs and behavioral styles.

To hear more from Tony Alessandra, join him for our Soundview Live webinar on August 27th: Turning Every Business Encounter into a Mutual Win.

The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors that Drive Effective Selling

WHAT IT TAKES TO DRIVE EFFECTIVE SELLING

In Aligning Strategy and Sales, Harvard Business School professor Frank Cespedes takes on one of the more intractable challenges of  business: connecting the strategic choices and decisions made at the top of the company with the company’s sales efforts and initiatives.

When sales results are disappointing, executives and their sales managers will often look within the sales function for the root of the problem. The incompetence of salespeople, the poor distribution of territories, the lack of information (“if only IT would get us what we need”) are just some of the diagnoses offered as explanation. But perhaps the problem is quite different: simply put, that the sales tasks are not aligned with the firm’s strategic choices.

Cespedes gives the example of the pseudonymously named Document Security Management, Inc. (DSM), whose core business of taking boxes of documents from corporations, law firms and organizations and either shredding them or securely storing them was thriving — until online storage services started dominating the document-security industry. DSM responded by introducing its own digital storage services and trained its sales staff to sell these new services. The results were disastrous. The digital strategy meant different sales tasks, selling behaviors, incentives, pricing structures, sales control systems and even a culture change in reporting to management. Even top management reviews had to change. “Can a sales training program fix all that?” Cespedes asks. “If you find one, buy it and let me know.”

So how can companies better align sales and strategy? The first step is clearly understanding the definition of strategy. Strategy, Cespedes explains, is “fundamentally the movement of an organization from its present position to a desirable but inherently uncertain future position.” To reach that “inherently uncertain future position,” the company needs to make choices about, in Cespedes’ words, “where we do and don’t play in this world and how we propose to win in those places where we do choose to play.”

Cespedes breaks down strategic choices into three elements:

Objectives. What are our goals in terms of customer value (the value we bring to customers) and financial value (the value we receive from customers)?

Scope. The focus here, writes Cespedes, is on “where will we play in the opportunity spaces available in our markets?”

Advantage. The question is not only about where to play but also how to win: what capabilities do we need? It’s important here, Cespedes notes, to differentiate between capabilities that need to be world-class to support the strategy and others that can be just good enough.

Once a clear strategy statement detailing objectives, scope and advantage has been developed, it is now possible to determine the sales tasks: the goals of the sales function and the most important competencies required for salespeople to support the strategy.

As detailed in the book, the key is to align selling behaviors with the required sales tasks. Cespedes presents in his framework three levers for creating this alignment:

Salespeople, notably their knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to execute your strategy;

Sales Force Control Systems, including performance metrics and compensation systems;

Sales Force Environment, which is the overall environment in which go-to-market initiatives are developed. Cespedes offers an in-depth and sometimes contrarian book on strategy built on common-sense and real-world situations (his debunking of the business as war metaphor and his questioning of the conventional wisdom about compensation are two examples of his grounded yet edgy approach). This is a must-read for everyone from the C-suite to the sales floor.

The New Sales Conversation

By the time you present your product or solution to the decision makers of a company, they have already done extensive research on the web, and compared your solution and that of your competitors to their internal checklists. They are already more than half way through the decision-making process before you even get a chance to say a word.

Wouldn’t it be great to know ahead of time what is on those checklists so that you could align your solution to their business priorities? This is what Linda Richardson promises to teach sales people in our upcoming Soundview live webinar, Changing the Sales Conversation.

To engage clients today you must demonstrate that you know their world and that you are prepared with insights and ideas to add to what they already know. Richardson gives you five clear strategies and tools to help you do just that. You will create and shape opportunities, prepare and probe in an entirely new way, gain client consensus, and use sales process and tools to guide and accelerate closing.

Richardson will talk about:

  • Futuring – to prepare for and anticipate customer needs.
  • Heat-mapping – to use insights to focus and engage customers.
  • Value-tracking – to connect your solutions to business outcomes and ROI.
  • Phasing – to use sales process to forecast accurately and close.
  • Linking – to reassert heart and trust into your sales conversations.

Linda Richardson is the Founder and Executive Chairwoman of Richardson, a global sales training business. As a recognized leader in the industry, she has won the coveted Stevie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sales Excellence for 2006 and in 2007 she was identified by Training Industry, Inc. as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals.”

Linda is credited with the movement to Consultative Selling, which is the cornerstone of Richardson’s methodology. Other innovations Linda has spearheaded in the sales training industry are: development of a comprehensive, integrated curriculum dedicated exclusively to sales, commitment to customization vs. generic training, and development of an interactive coaching-type training methodology. Her innovation in eLearning earned Richardson the Best Soft Skills Award from Elearning! magazine and Product of the Year for Richardson SkillGauge™ diagnostics from Customer Interaction Solutions magazine.

Invite your whole sales team to this webinar. The price is the same whether you’re sitting alone at your desk, or in a conference room with your team. And for subscribers, this and all Soundview Live webinars are free.