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Embrace Sales 2.0, or Be Left in the Dust

The history of sales has largely been one of companies perceiving market needs, creating products and services to fill these needs and then turning their sales forces loose to "go do their thing"—in other words, go get customers. The worm began to turn more...

Excuses To Visit Great Places!

As I write this I'm sitting at a Starbucks in Kings Beach at Lake Tahoe, California. In an hour we have a sales meeting with a prospective client up here and I can only say I hope it goes well. It would...

More on Virgin America

As noted in the previous posting, checking into and boarding my first Virgin America flight was a breeze. The in-flight service is great and, in my opinion, greatly enhanced by the on board technology. This brand new airline is flying brand new...

Great Start With Virgin America

Yesterday was my very first flight on Virgin America, from San Francisco to New York. It was TERRIFIC! This new airline home based at SFO is going to shake things up and give the established players major heartburn. For starters, since...

Bright New Crop of Sales Graduates

Last month I presented at Ohio University's 10th annual Sales Symposium. The event was hosted by OU's Sales Centre (www.thesalescentre.com), one of just a few dozen colleges/universities to offer a degree or certificate in sales. That's right. You CAN now receive...

Customer Surveys Can Be Short and Effective–and Build Loyalty at the Sales Level

My partner, Jim Dickie, recently vacationed in Vietnam. He stayed in a number of very upscale hotels and on checking out of one was handed a customer satisfaction survey. OK, quick: How many times have you been handed one of these and tossed it?...

Whither “Sales?”

Before CRM it was called SFA—sales force automation. And back in those days, before CRM magazine, it was Sales & Field Force Automation magazine. Larry Tuck invited me to be a contributing editor and, as such, allowed me to write a regular...

When Technology Is an Enabler, Telesales Improves

The old adage is: "Nothing happens until someone sells something." The flip side of this coin, of course, is: "Nobody sells something until someone buys something." Early identification of buyers—lead generation—is a primary and ongoing responsibility of inside sales teams. This activity takes the...

Effectiveness Versus Efficiency: What Happens When Your Sales Productivity Is Maxed Out?

The first time I read Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I was blown away—it all made so much sense. In that book, Covey talks about efficiency versus effectiveness and gives this example: Efficiency is climbing the ladder as fast as...

Does Customer-Centric Selling Really Pay Off?

OK, class, once more, but this time with feeling: "People love to buy and hate to be sold." How many times and in how many ways have you heard this? That's a question. But the real question is: "Does it matter?" That is, are sellers...

If Your Employees Get No Satisfaction, Watch Out: A Lesson From Herzberg

An academic and researcher, Frederick Herzberg wrote articles focusing upon what motivates employees that have become classics in the Harvard Business Review. He came up with the two-factor theory, namely, that there are "satisfiers" and "dissatisfiers" in people's work. Herzberg found satisfaction and dissatisfaction were...

How Do You Design a Customer-Oriented Sales Compensation Plan?

Several years ago, a down-and-out character was standing at the driveway to our local grocery store holding a roughly printed sign: "Will Work for Food." My comment to my wife was, "What does he think the rest of us are doing?" This may strike...

Can Sales and Service Play Nice? Of Course

Paraphrasing the prison warden in 1967's Cool Hand Luke, we could say, "What we have here is a failure to collaborate." Today's technological advances make communication and collaboration easier than ever. But is copying someone—or, as is too often the case, everyone—on an email...

Sales Performance Is Up–But at a Price

Salespeople are working harder, and they're seeing some payoffs, according to this year's edition of CSO Insights' annual report, Sales Effectiveness Insights—2005 State of the Marketplace Review. For the first time since the dot-com bubble burst, the number of sales reps who meet their...

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