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Blog

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

Dealing With Challenging Buyers: The Antagonist and the Power Broker

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

Buyers.jpg

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

Dealing With Different Buyers in a Complex Sale

Posted by Bill Hart on Dec 14, 2017 4:56:50 AM

Complex sales where there are numerous decision-makers can be difficult to navigate.  Closing such a deal requires an understanding of the different types of buyers, what their concerns are, and what influences their desires.  It also requires the ability to anticipate, identify, and address the factors each individual cares about.

There are three players in a complex sale: influencer/user, technical, and financial buyer.  In smaller companies, one person can serve in all three roles, but with larger organizations, there are typically two or three people fulfilling them.  

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy

How to Deal With a Deal-Killer: RISK

Posted by Bill Hart on Nov 15, 2017 7:06:44 PM

After you’ve completed your sales presentation or product demo, the buyer enters the evaluation phase of the buying process, and a scary monster frequently rears its ugly head: risk.  Risk can kill a deal, and its threat can increase as your prospect evaluates your offering.

What is the opportunity cost of going with this solution or vendor?
What will happen if I commit and spend this money?
Will I truly get the value I need?
What if I’m missing something?

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy

What To Do When You're Asked To Lower Your Price

Posted by Bill Hart on Oct 26, 2017 3:40:46 AM

You’ve just made a great sales presentation for a great prospect.  The whole sales process has gone smoothly from the beginning.  You like your buyers, and they like you and your offering.  They definitely want to do business with you!  If only you can agree on a price.

It’s easy and natural to get a little discouraged when a buyer asks you to lower your fee.  But don’t assume they’ve applied the brakes just yet.  Price is only 18% of the buying decision.  The competence of the sales rep, however, is 39% of the buying decision.  You may feel uncomfortable, but your customer has just offered you an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a high degree of competence by handling his request correctly.

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy

Why Cold Calling Is Dead

Posted by Bill Hart on Oct 12, 2017 5:38:45 AM

The Internet.  That – in one word – is why cold calling is dead, even for B2B sales. 

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy

7 Rules Your Customers Expect You To Follow

Posted by Bill Hart on Sep 28, 2017 4:53:20 AM

In his book, Achieve Sales Excellence, author Howard Stevens set forth “The Seven Rules of the Customer.”  These seven rules emerged from comments recorded in over 80,000 interviews his company conducted as part of a fourteen-year study of 7,500 sales reps from 2,500 companies.   One of the things study participants - all of whom were business customers - were asked to share was  what qualities they believed a world-class sales organization must possess.

The participants were asked to list and weight the main criteria they use when making a buying decision and selecting a vendor.  Overwhelmingly, customers reported the same four factors and assigned similar levels of importance to them related to how much of the buying decision rests on each:

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Topics: sales strategy, Sales calls

The Modern Sales Strategy That Works Today

Posted by Bill Hart on Sep 13, 2017 10:40:26 PM

In my last post, I talked about why conventional sales strategies that were considered “tried and true” two decades ago are no longer working in today’s environment; they’re more about the seller than the buyer.  Unfortunately, many sales reps still cling to the old ways, despite the fact they are losing business to sales reps with inferior products.  What they don’t understand is that the sales reps who are beating them have an approach to selling that customers love: Customer Aligned Selling. 

 Customer Aligned Sales reps begin every sales call with the goal of creating value during every interaction with the prospect or customer.  They understand that the new sales formula is “value = trust.” They know that if their focus is on adding value, the prospect will trust them. That trust leads to true and loyal relationships, which lead to repeat business.

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Topics: sales strategy, Sales calls

The 2 forces that drive buying decisions - Part 2

Posted by Bill Hart on Jul 12, 2017 5:31:31 PM

If the rear wheel of your customer’s bike is the driving force, or the business reasons, behind why your customer buys (as we discussed in Part 1), then the front wheel is the one that determines the direction in which he will go – whether he buys from you or from someone else.  Here, personal motives are the deciding factor.

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy