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The conversion rate of visitors to a website turning into buyers is an extremely important part of a successful Internet marketing campaign. If you’ve decided that you want to test a sales page for your product/service here’s exactly how to do it. The first thing you need to do is you really get inside their headspace. Walk a mile in their shoes. What motivates them? What scares them? Then start with... Headline The headline is the first thing people will see and will only read on if it’s of interest to them. Same as with a newspaper article. However, on the Internet the headline is even more important as if they don’t like what it is about they will not just read another story but click the back button and you’re done. So what captures people’s attention? A lot of things but in a sales situation what you want to make the headline is a benefit. A strong benefit to t... (more)

Conversation and Brand Evolution

Recently, I was interviewed by my friend Carol Ross, founder of Carol Ross & Associates, and prolific blogger at A Bigger Voice, and Ordinary Life, Extraordinary Living. The interview, done for members of her Networking Naturally community, focused on my experience in making powerful in-person connections as a result of online networking. Specifically, Carol wanted to explore more deeply some of my learnings as I went face to face with Twitterville. It was a fun interview! Sure, it’s true that I always enjoy chatting with Carol. Yet, for this inteview, she did several things to make the experience even more engaging and powerful. Prior to the interview, she prepared and sent me a thoughtful and orderly series of questions – questions that helped me think more deeply about what I planned to say. During the interview, she drove the conversation forward with periodic ... (more)

Automation for Sales - Part 2

To read part 1, click here. Sales operations commonly is one of the next functions businesses will automate after doing so to billing. Unfortunately, it also can be a difficult operation for which to quantify the benefit of automation. Typically, there are a number of key drivers that push a decision maker to invest in sales-force automation: Smaller customers or quotes are falling through the cracks; A desire to capture information on sales leads; so that if a salesperson leaves the company, all their sales pipeline information does not leave with them; There are enough salespeople such that even a small increase in sales productivity represents a cost savings; Sales operations are mechanical enough (for example: a high-volume lead calling shop) that automation will result in a clear operational cost savings; Salespeople are complaining about the existing sales man... (more)

Who Is Your Brand Advocate Numero Uno?

I’m often asked in workshops, “who needs to be my number one brand advocate?” The guesses range from my current supervisor, a trusted mentor, a current client or a leader in the industry.  Some, even after going over the ”18 Critical Connections You Need to Know” still ask, “is there one that stands out as more important than anyone else?” The answer is yes. Yet, it’s not one of the ones on the list nor is it any of the really good guesses.  Simply put – it’s you.  The biggest sale we make on any given day is the sale we make to ourselves – we either sell ourselves on our strengths and our great “you can do it attitude” or we sell ourselves short and buy into the many weaknesses, obstacles, should-ofs, would-ofs and could-ofs. Where people fall short is in HOW to be your best brand advocate.  It doesn’t mean getting really good at spouting your unique value or promis... (more)

Has Selling Changed Forever with the Technology Revolution?

Has technology forever changed selling? There's no question about it - Over the last two decades selling has changed, massively. Is it for the better or are we worse off from where we started? To help answer this question we've brought in:   Sam Jefferies: Digital Marketing Executive at Workbooks CRM. Providing CRM Software aimed at small to medium sized businesses. To find out more sign up for their 30 Day Free Trial. Ian Moyse: Sales Leader for Rackspace and Board Member of Eurocloud.   Q. So what exactly has changed? Ian begins: "Sales has moved on a great deal from my early days of a fax machine, no mobile phone and a PC tied to your desktop. In those times you did not have an inbox full of emails, were not expected to be always accessible and would work from paper maps when on the road, using the now rare red telephone box as your friendly reach back to base.... (more)

When the Plan Overrides Good Business Sense

Picture this. A big company has one last chance to rise from a serious downturn. But the company has lots going for it. An unbelievably loyal customer and market following, A game changing innovation, A significant demand for exactly that innovation, A bit of money to back it. I watched customer after customer 'light up' as we told our story. We relaunched the company around that game changing solution to widely acclaimed success. In all my years I've never seen customers react so passionately. It was the proverbial Slam Dunk. Within a month of the relaunch, there was $60+M of qualified potential revenue in the pipeline. Sounds great, right?  Wrong. Six months later the company is facing tougher times than ever. The new product?  It's still there, dying in the corporate gloom. So what happened? The Plan happened. There were other factors that played. But most of all, ... (more)

Pick the CEO, Not the Company

Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization, the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or suffer in a given work environment.  While this is true for a mid-level manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact your work satisfaction. I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held company that was acquired by a much large public company.  In a matter of a few weeks our approachable, personable CEO was replaced by a top down, autocratic manager who announced at our first management meeting, "there's a new sheriff in town, and if you don't like my way of doing things, feel free to leave before I make the decision for you." Later on, with a few battle scars and bumps along the ... (more)

IT Lessons from the King of Pop

Want to change the face of IT in your organization? You might find inspiration from a very unlikely source: Michael Jackson. You don't have to be a fan of the late superstar to recognize how the mega-successful Jackson changed the face of music. Can the face of IT be changed by following some of Jackson's best practices? Here are some insights straight from NeverLand that IT managers can consider to help change the perception of IT within their organizations. 1. Innovate by looking internally.  When Jackson changed the world of dance, he did not seek inspiration from areas outside the world of contemporary dance. He looked to a familiar and close community for creativity:  hip-hop dancers. That's where much of his innovative choreography came from. From an IT perspective, some IT managers look outside their organizations for innovative best practices and inspiration. ... (more)

100 Ways to Kill Your PPT Presentation

A CEO once asked me, "As an executive coach, what are the top mistakes you've seen when business leaders give a presentation"? He was expecting just a few insights, I'm sure. But once I got thinking about all the mess-ups I'd seen, I just could not stop writing them down. What started as a Letterman "Top Ten List" took on a life of its own. So, for all you executives getting ready to present, here are 100 of the top mistakes I've seen over the years. 100 Ways to Bore Your Audience Don't have a story Show lots and lots of slides Don't have clear messages Have plenty of bullets and lists Don't break your deck into sections or "chapters" Have 100 disconnected slides Don't have an introduction that "wows" people Read the slide word for word To make a point read the slide twice Don't close with a strong and memorable ending Don't use examples Make sure you use at least 1... (more)

B2B Marketing Content Turn Offs

Content marketing is growing in leaps and bounds. The formats and types of content that engage your prospects are multiplying. The majority of B2B buyers turn to the Internet first to begin their research. In fact, research by Interwoven shows that 22% of global marketing spend (read $1.5 Trillion!) is allocated to content origination, publication, syndication and promotion. So it just won't do to put all that effort into content development if it only results in turning off your prospects. In order to eliminate the turn offs from your marketing content, you've got to assume your prospects perspective and give your content some tough love—before you let it fly. Here's a down and dirty 7 Point Content Value Audit: Jargon, Hype, Fluff, and blatant Puffery have no place in compelling content. Do I need to say more? Actually, Go Thump Your Chest in the Gym a post from the... (more)

Tales Keep Prospects Talking

We all talk about defining leads, managing leads, the nurturing process and other facets of lead generation, but the most important component of good lead generation is overlooked - the content strategy. Demand generation communications are often approached in a one-off fashion as a reaction to an upcoming milestone, like a new product launch, or an event, such as webinar registration. When that’s over, the campaign is discarded in favor of the next “hot” idea in the market. We talk at our prospects and customers in single threaded, one-way electronic statements – when we have the opportunity to have ongoing, interactive conversations that keep them talking. Lois Kelly sums it up succinctly when she says, “…the goal of marketing is not to assert conclusions but to engage an audience in a dialogue, which leads people to discoveries of their own.” [Beyond Buzz, 2007] ... (more)