5 Ways To Add Value After A Sales Call

Posted by Bill Hart on Aug 15, 2018 9:17:14 PM

Everyone knows we live in a post-trust era.  The days when people trusted others until they gave them a reason not to are gone.  These days, trust has to be earned.

But trust is what advances the sales opportunity.  So how does today’s sales rep build the trust needed to succeed with customers?

Value = Trust:  the 21st century sales equation

Today’s customers demand value at every step of the relationship.  No value = no trust.  No trust = no sale.  The 21st century sales rep, who demonstrates value from the beginning of the relationship, builds trust

What your reps do after the first meeting with a customer has the power to advance the sales opportunity or cause the customer to slam on the brakes.  What they do here can either build trust or break it.

A rep’s behavior following sales meetings will either:

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Topics: sales process, sales training, Sales, sales strategy, Sales calls

7 Habits of Valued Advisor Reps

Posted by Bill Hart on Jul 25, 2018 5:52:12 PM

Renowned sales expert Neil Rackham wrote what many still consider to be the definitive guide to sales, SPIN Selling.  First published in 1988, this book was the "sales bible" for two decades.

But the author now acknowledges that the original edition of the book is out of date.  Many of the techniques it taught no longer work today!  Instead, Rackham now says that sales people must become value creators.

What is value?  Value is the information, insights, and actions a sales rep brings to the customer/prospect that they can’t find or achieve on their own.  The 21st century customer demands value at every step of the relationship. 

All sales strategies and processes should be targeted to this fundamental change.

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Topics: sales process, sales training, executive sales training, sales strategy

What's Wrong with Sales Quotas

Posted by Bill Hart on Jul 11, 2018 4:36:40 PM

Between 2010 and 2013, the greatest emphasis of sales force change was in the area of compensation and quota setting.  That’s according to Mark Donnolo, founder of The SalesGlobe, a sales consulting group in Atlanta.  During those two years, in over 100 large companies that participated in his research, almost every vice president of sales was focused on addressing the issues of compensation and quota setting for the next year.

Quotas and compensation plans are great drivers of change.  A good compensation plan can change the behavior of an entire sales force.  But in most cases, compensation plans and the quotas on which they are based are designed with one purpose in mind - to make the supplier/vendor more profitable. 

As I wrote in my last post, Zig Ziglar famously said that if you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want.  If you help the customer meet his or her needs, you have a much better chance of having your own needs met.  Therefore, making your customer’s bottom line your goal is the key to closing sales.

That leads us to the problem with many sales quotas:  they’re set for the wrong reasons by the wrong people

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Topics: sales process, sales training, executive sales training, sales strategy, forecasting

Why Your Sales Reps Must Follow the Platinum Rule

Posted by Bill Hart on Jun 27, 2018 4:06:36 PM

We’ve all heard the Golden Rule of Business: “He who has the gold makes the rules.”  That’s especially true in sales!  Your customers have the gold you’re after, so you must play by their rules.

To do so, you must also apply the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do to them, not as you would have them do unto you.”  There are lots of rules for successful selling, but they all boil down to this one rule.

The Platinum Rule of Sales

 Translated into the world of sales, The Rule means:

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Topics: sales training, executive sales training, sales strategy, Sales calls

3 Behaviors That Wreck Your Sales Training Initiatives

Posted by Bill Hart on Jun 13, 2018 4:56:31 PM

Many sales managers have become frustrated with sales training programs and have largely given up on pursuing training for their reps.  They have paid thousands of dollars for training in the past and received little or no return on that investment.

Unfortunately, instead of trying to find the root causes behind why the training didn’t work, they sometimes default to assuming the trainer they hired didn’t do a good job.  They may even conclude that sales trainers are all hype.  Or they may decide that their people just don’t have what it takes to be really stellar sales reps.

The reality is that most sales managers in this situation are unaware of the ways in which their own decisions and actions set them up for failure from the beginning. 

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Topics: sales training, employee engagement, motivation, productivity

Why You Can't "Manage" Sales - And What You Should Do Instead

Posted by Bill Hart on May 30, 2018 7:26:01 PM

Many organizations unwittingly suffer from a bad habit that greatly diminishes sales performance:  sales managers who spend too much of their time trying to manage a sales rep's outcomes.  You may ask, "Well, isn't that a sales manager's job?"

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Topics: sales training, employee engagement, motivation, productivity

Frustrated with CRM Utilization and Forecast Inaccuracy?

Posted by Bill Hart on May 16, 2018 5:31:37 PM

As a business owner or VP of Sales, have you been frustrated with your CRM utilization or forecast accuracy?  You are not alone.  Let's talk about one reason you may not be getting the results you wanted.

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Topics: sales training, engagement, CRM, forecasting

Being the Good Stuff in the Middle in Problem-Solving

Posted by Bill Hart on Apr 25, 2018 6:33:19 PM

Problems are a normal part of doing business. If you do not have any problems with customers now, you will in the future. Someone in their organization, or yours, will eventually create one.  How your people handle it when the time comes can make or break your relationship with them. 

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The Good Stuff In The Middle

Posted by Bill Hart on Apr 11, 2018 11:22:09 PM

OreosAt sales meetings, I like to hand out Double Stuff Oreos and watch people enjoy them. At least half the group wants to know where the milk is!  I enjoy seeing how people eat them.  Some eat them whole, and others pull them apart and eat the cream first.  After they have enjoyed their cookies, I ask, “What makes an Oreo an Oreo?”  

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Dealing With Challenging Buyers: The Antagonist and the Power Broker

Posted by Bill Hart on Feb 14, 2018 11:27:12 PM


In this post, we discussed how to identify the different types of buyers in a complex sale, and how to use the questions they ask to pinpoint what their buying concerns are.  Understanding each type of buyer’s decision criteria is key to winning the business.  

This can be challenging, even if everyone involved is a relatively easy-going person.  But sometimes, there are personality factors that can make this process a bit more complicated.  That’s what happens when one of your buyers is a power broker or an antagonist

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy