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How to Eliminate Waste in Your Sales Process

by Poornima Mohandas
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According to Smart Selling Tools, only 35% of a sales rep’s time is spent selling. What about the remaining 65%? Is it full of Muda? What is Muda? Muda is a Japanese word meaning waste and is a key concept in the famously efficient, Toyota Production System. “Eliminating waste is the key to efficiency” in the just-in-time system pioneered by the world’s largest car maker. Simply put, Muda comprises all tasks that are unnecessary and add no value. It applies not just to the factory floor; it applies just as well to your sales organization. Check out this infographic to [...]

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5 Proven Tips to Motivate Your Sales Reps

by Eric Brown
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First, let’s be 100% clear: The fundamental and most important character trait for a top-performing sales rep is motivation. Everything starts from there. Reps have to face hurdle after hurdle, objection after objection, “no” after “no”, with a smile on their face and a deep-rooted desire to overcome and win, no matter the odds or obstacles. They have to be persistent, tenacious, and relentless in the pursuit of their goals; it all starts with motivation. While you should hire sales reps that are self-motivated, that doesn’t mean organizations can sit this one out. Keeping reps happy, focused, and motivated is [...]

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4 Tips to Make the Perfect Acquisition

by Poornima Mohandas
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The mergers and acquisitions markets are super hot this year with blue chips like Pfizer and Comcast doing the rounds. Deal volumes have soared to over $1.75 trillion, the highest level seen since the Great Recession. But just because your company is cash rich and credit is cheap doesn’t mean you should go shopping to buy the first shiny object that catches your eye. So how do you identify the companies worth buying; distinguish the fads from the trends? Should you put your trust in a first-time CEO? Do you tend to underestimate a company because it’s unknown? These are [...]

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Are Your Sales Reps Stuck With Spreadsheets?

by Poornima Mohandas
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At a time when mobile phones are the primary device to clear inboxes and people spend over two hours a day on the mobile web, how modern is your sales force? Despite all the great new apps, devices, and technologies out there, often the only technology that sales reps use is a CRM platform, which is a reporting and forecasting tool that can do little to speed up the sales process. Let’s take the example of a sales rep in the manufacturing sector. For every meeting the rep has to lug around heavy pricing books and product books. An interested [...]

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What Makes Some Sales Reps Better Than Others?

by Eric Brown
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Some surveys indicate that sales reps add value to the customer conversation only 20% of the time, that means only once in five meetings! That is pathetically low coming at a time when buyers have heightened expectations, refusing to engage with reps until they have completed 70% of the buying journey, giving reps very little time to make a difference. In the digitally evolved marketplace, where information is at buyers’ fingertips, there is just no room for second impressions. Reps have to be great out of the gate. But every sales leader knows that not all reps are great. If [...]

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How Marketing Can Be the Hero

by Jen Kling
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Have you ever asked your sales reps what they think of marketing? More often than not you will hear one of these common comments: Marketers are: Disconnected and out of touch with reality Slackers with no quotas All fluff, pretending to be strategic Creators of pretty brochures Being in marketing myself, I cringe at every one of these generalizations but I do see where the sales reps are coming from, since I used to be a sales rep and sales leader myself, not too long ago. In far too many companies marketing and sales share an uneasy relationship, lacking channels [...]

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Want to Build a Great Value Proposition? Fawn Over the Customer

by Giles House
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What is the no.1 reason why reps fail to make quota? One would think: poor quality of leads, inefficient follow up processes, or maybe just poor rep performance. But it’s none of these. Inability to articulate value in sales conversations is the culprit going by a SiriusDecisions survey of B2B sales managers. For sure, this inability to articulate value is not for want of literature: from Philip Kotler to Michael Lanning the expertise is boundless. So why does building a stellar, yet meaningful value proposition elude us marketers? Is it that too many businesses offer me-too products that don’t really [...]

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Why Sales Leaders Should Care About Facebook’s Numbers

by Eric Brown
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Last week, Facebook announced some “phenomenal numbers”; its revenues shot up 61% beating all Wall Street expectations. With a dramatic rise in its mobile advertising business, Facebook now corners over 18% of the mobile advertising market even as it inches closer to its much larger rival, Google. Despite a shaky debut in the stock markets in 2012, the company’s share price recently touched an all-time high with its market cap soaring to $190 billion, on par with IBM. Much of this remarkable success is thanks to MOBILE. That got me thinking about sales: can mobile strategies significantly transform sales organizations [...]

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The End of the Apple-IBM Feud Gives Marketers Hope

by Jen Kling
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Last week the tech world was stunned by an unexpected landmark deal between Apple and IBM, ending a 30-year rivalry started at the dawn of the personal computing age. The unexpected partnership creates a marriage between the giant in personal computing and the giant in enterprise computing and services to capitalize on the increasingly mobile workforce. Perhaps the deal would never have materialized under Steve Jobs, given that he has dissed Big Blue many times be it in magazine interviews, advertisements, and even by flipping the finger at its logo. But that’s another matter altogether. This path breaking deal shows [...]

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4 Tips to Raise the % of Sales Reps Making Quota

by Eric Brown
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“Do more with less,” was the common refrain during the Great Recession of 2008. But there’s only so much you can do with LESS. How long will reps make quota if you constantly cut back on training, coaching, and enablement? In the years of the recession the percentage of reps making quota steadily rose through 2009, 2010, and 2011, until it plateaued at 63% in 2012 and finally dropped to just over 58% in 2013, says data from CSO Insights. This underlines the fact that there’s only so much productivity and efficiency that a rep can achieve while constrained for [...]

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