Jose Palomino

“Am I even in the right room?”

Sometimes as salespeople, we find ourselves asking this question.

sales competition

Image credit: Winged Wolf on flickr

A friend of mine had this very question a few months ago.  He owns a very small firm — providing high quality consulting and training — but smaller than his competitors.  While making a pitch, he noticed his buyer was interested in two other larger training organizations in the US.  I told him to lay his cards on the table.

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Everyone is familiar with ROI (Return on Investment).  It’s basic to sales and business planning.  Your customer is going to ask, “What’s the ROI?” — and you’d better be prepared to give an in-depth answer.

But is that all there is to it?

RONI

Image credit: Andy M Johnson on flickr

After examining return on investment and total cost of ownership (TCO) for your client, now consider what would take place if the client makes a decision to not invest in your solution category at all – neither yours nor a competitor’s.

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For the last few months, my team and I have been working diligently on my forthcoming book, Pivotal Conversations: How knowing what your prospect really thinks about your offering can radically boost forecast accuracy and goal attainment. I asked Sales Leader Bob Petrocchi about how he locks down deals or coaches his reps through the sales process, and he answered:

“Most of the time when deals slip, the reps or the manager don’t really know the steps to completion. The people who do a better job are the people who have a better sense of what the process is.”

Image credit: SalFalco on flickr

He then went on to describe how to lock in a deal with a customer in a simple — yet extremely unique — way.Read More »

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I have a tendency to hire non-traditional talent — and have seen great fruit from coaching eager and willing-to-learn Millennials. Since I’ve been working and coaching Millennials for the last few years, Strategic Propositions has seen its fair share of Millennial-related posts, including:

With that in mind, I wanted to share the following infographic for the visual learners out there:
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Hiring Great Salespeople Part Two: What You Don’t Know

December 3, 2013

Image credit: salvez on flickr Yesterday I gave a quick overview of studies that can inform how you hire when hiring salespeople.  Today I wanted to add a new study to the list:  The Dream Team study from Don Fornes at Software Advice.  Don keeps an informative blog over there entitled The New Talent Times [...]

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Hiring Great Salespeople Part One: What You Know

December 2, 2013

Without a doubt, you’ve read countless posts on how to hire great salespeople.  Maybe you’ve even read one here.  The reason is simple: this is still a hot button issue that everyone who hires and manages sales talent must face. Image credit: groundswell on flickr Studies have been conducted, analyzed, hashed, and rehashed.  “The best [...]

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Scientific Sales Forecasting & Sales Manager Coaching: Sales Leadership Interview with Dave Furtado

November 26, 2013

Image credit: neptunecanada on flickr

I asked sales leader Dave Furtado about his take on the best ways for sales managers to approach getting a real accurate sense of a forecasted deal. He took no time in responding. “Forecasting is — well, we wish it would be a science — and if it were, all sales leaders would be CEOs, right?” It’s true. Scientific sales forecasting is something many sales leaders say they could really use.

The sales manager and sales VP depend on forecasting — because if a forecasted deal doesn’t go through, someone has to answer for it. “Right, and there’s lots of those,” Dave admits with a laugh. “And I’ve been there before, in front of a board of directors, explaining why.”

Does sales management affect the ability to forecast accurately? Sure does, according to Dave.

Dave advises to put “a very structured process in place,” and realize — like he did — that the biggest challenge you’re going to face is the sales manager. If your managers aren’t on board with your processes, they can be the “weak spot” of your team.

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Real Sales Conversations: Sales Leadership Interview with Matt Park

November 19, 2013

salesconversations

Image credit: Cea on flickr

Matt has been in sales his whole life and has done a lot of training for sales teams in order to get them thinking more strategically. He’s been with sales teams who have good processes in place — but sometimes it’s not enough.

“They were doing the steps,” he said. “But they were not having the real conversations with customers that they needed to have.”

Sales reps receive great training — but then they don’t know what to do with it. “It’s like teaching football on a blackboard and expecting people to play on the field,” Matt astutely observed.

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