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CRM Implementation…Don’t Screw It Up

One of my core services that I’m brought in to do a lot is un-stick a stuck CRM. A typical client has essentially had a CRM (usually Salesforce.com) for 2-5 years, yet it’s not being used, it’s not working, and it’s not functional. The data is no good as a result and it’s frustrating to senior leaders and sales management …

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CRM Software – To Implement or Not To Implement?

I spoke today with a wonderful gentleman who is the CEO of a company that is actually much bigger than my typical client. I was introduced to him as a possible prospect for me to do a CRM software implementation, so when we got on the call I asked him all the usual questions about what they’re doing and currently …

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CRM Software and Indy Racing

I received a referral yesterday from a good friend and a past client, for which I was very appreciative. It was even nicer because the person I was referred to actually reached out proactively for help implementing their CRM software. They were moving for the first time to start to implement some tech on the sales and marketing side of …

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CRM Implementation Frustration: Invest Wisely

It’s been a fast-paced couple of weeks. I have started three or four new clients in the last month, all of whom I am working with to deploy Salesforce.com and, more importantly, getting their salespeople to use and integrate the CRM. I wanted to share some thoughts on this because a few recurring themes have emerged. First and foremost is …

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Executive Coaching – My Employees Won’t Use Their CRM!

The other day I had a conversation, and consequently an executive coaching opportunity, with the VP of Sales of a company for whom I had implemented their Salesforce.com instance a couple of years ago. Now that some things in their business have changed, they were asking me to come in to make some tweaks. The VP of Sales had a list …

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Salesforce Best Practices to Ensure Success

If you’ve read my last two blogs, you should probably be asking is what it takes to actually be successful, right? If Salesforce.com is a tool but we have to have our act together in order to capitalize on it, then what are the things that you really need to make sure you have if you’re going to be successful? …

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Salesforce Advantages: A Great CRM if Used Right

After all the Salesforce.com bashing in my last post, you’re probably wondering why I do like it, and I’ll tell you, Salesforce advantages are pretty compelling. First of all, it really has the flexibility to do just about anything you need it to do, whether you’re viewing it as a custom user-interface, configuration, integration or an object association. I have …

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Salesforce Implementation Mistakes

Salesforce.com is a terrible process tool; however, I’m actually a huge Salesforce advocate and have implemented upwards of 290 Salesforce instances. By working with a client, if they’re using something else like Sugar or Microsoft CRM, I often end up teasing them because Salesforce is by far what I recommend sales organizations use more than any other tool out there. So …

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Business Social Networking: It’s Ok to Connect in Real Life

As I typically do at the end of every year, I spent some time in December ‘cleaning up’ my LinkedIn account. Specifically, my goal was to look through my 1200+ contacts and take inventory of which of these ‘connections’ I actually knew; understand how we were connected; remember if we ever had a ‘real-world’ interaction; and cull those that were …

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Business Emailing for Sales Professionals – A ToutApp Review

This week, I had the opportunity to speak with the folks from ToutApp, a San Francisco based start-up that has launched a slick and cost effective business email creation and management tool designed specifically for sales teams. ToutApp founder Tawheed Kader started the company in 2010. Legend has it that after his first choice for a name was taken, he spent the weekend buried …

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5 Quick Tips to Build, Keep & Maintain a High Integrity Reputation

I met a woman a year ago whose company appeared to be a terrific strategic partner. Her company came highly recommended, their client portfolio was impressive and their body of work appeared top notch. Thanks to a sparkling introduction from an existing partner, she was intrigued by my company and showed great interest in an alliance. Let’s get together next …

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8 Closing Techniques in Professional Sales

Anyone you speak to in sales will tell you that they believe in “consultative sales”. All this really means is that they like to speak to their client, and ask them some discovery questions, make a recommendation, and then “cross their fingers”. This concept is not new, it just happens to be en vogue. In any type of sales, this …

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Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

No, No, No! If you have ever been in sales then you have experienced the dreaded “no”, whether from a cold call gone askew, a sales presentation that ended in rejection, or perhaps marketing denying your request for a new product slick. In sales hearing “no” is inevitable. You better learn to accept it and understand that you, and only you, …

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How To Do Effective Web Marketing With A Small Budget

As entrepreneurship is seemingly very hyped up and very excited, the reality is still that it takes a lot to actually stay afloat with your business (most startups go broke after just five years). As the economy is slowly recovering, there are a few more funding options for entrepreneurs but it still doesn’t mean that they will become successful. Funding …

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The Quickest Way to Increase Sales and Profits

“What is the quickest way to increase my sales and profits, and turn my sales around?” This question is by far the most frequent question business leaders and owners have asked me over the last 30 years. I wish there was a magic “create sales velocity pill” we could all take and everything would be fixed tomorrow, but unfortunately it …

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The Problem With Sales Is There Is No Lifeguard

Recently, I was lamenting to Townsend Wardlaw about a lost sale. Since it tied with his series on sales discovery and How to Win Sales and Why You Lose, by Ian Edwards, I thought dissecting my recent experience is a good way for me to debrief as well. I just lost a sale yesterday, or should I say, I never …

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How to Win Sales and Why You Lose

What are the top 3 reasons you don’t win opportunities? Can you list, right now, with confidence, the top reasons you lose and the relative frequency of each reason? I don’t know what the specific causes are for you, but I do know the reasons are a subset of just two predictable factors. Selling successfully has similarities to traveling to …

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Hey Marketers, Don’t Forget Your Most Important Customer

Are salespeople from Mars and marketing from Venus?  In most companies that are not strictly internet based, the answer may be yes.  Sadly enough, the front line sales force generating the majority of revenue is forgotten by marketing departments.  This is demonstrated in 2013 surveys by KnowledgeTree, a content management software company, and SirusDecisions, a global B2B research and advisory …

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Leverage your Sales Team to Make Your Website Sell

When you are working on your website, the conversation shouldn’t always start with your web guy; it should start with your sales guy. When I hold conversations about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with in-house marketers or CEOs, one of the first things we talk about is ROI, or more specifically how search engine ranking / visibility can assist their businesses …

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6 Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Salespeople

I was blessed to have lunch yesterday with two of the brightest young minds in the city of Denver.  They were both candidates of mine I placed as salespeople with the same client just about a year ago.  When they were on boarded, the same day, my client of twenty years expressed his gratitude to me coated with a blanket …

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9 Most Important Appointment Setting Tips You’ll Ever Hear

Selling is an art form consisting of a few simple actions that must be performed consistently and flawlessly. At the same time selling is a linear discipline, which means activities happen one at a time and, generally speaking, some activities need to happen before others. This article will discuss one area of selling that, if mastered, will dramatically improve your …

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Individual Sales Planning for a Successful New Year

Around this time of year I typically start speaking with my clients about what they are doing to plan and set up their sales teams for success in the coming year. Some of you may have downloaded my Sales Plan Toolkit, which is really designed for the VP of Sales to build an annual plan. However, what I am speaking …

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Executive Sales Training – The Best Sales Tips Ever

Top 12 Selling ‘Truths’ In my sales coaching and consulting work, I find myself articulating a few key concepts over and over again. Over the past year, I have made a conscious effort to identify those themes that keep rising to the top of the pile as well as those that have the greatest impact, yet seem to require the …

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Outbound Demand Generation – A Case Study and Roadmap

Have you thought about launching a demand generation outbound team but were not sure how to get started? Have you ever tried (and failed) to get your salespeople to make outbound calls? Are you trying to build the business case for a demand creation team? Do you have an outbound team in place today but want to improve your results? …

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The Mind of the Customer: Battlefield Ultimatum

Fortify the trenches! Hold your position! Pow! Rat-a-tat-tat. Ammo to the front! Company A, flank and roll!! Bang! Incoming!!!! Boom!! Blam. Blam. Zing. Pow, pow, pow!!! Battlefield Ultimatum. If this sounds like what’s going on in your customer’s mind during the sales process, you are right. Whether it is from the launch of your elevator speech, the strike of a …

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How To Avoid Sales Mirages

One of the challenges that sales professionals face in the sales process is distinguishing between what looks like a real deal and what actually is a real deal. Think of it as a mirage. It’s not that prospects are necessarily trying to lie or take advantage of you, but people in general unfortunately tend to be unaware. They perceive themselves …

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Is Cold Calling Dead?

I recently put up a handful of videos on cold calling techniques on YouTube. Not surprisingly, I got the usual round of folks who decry the use of cold calling at all and say it’s unprofessional, inefficient and a waste of time. I wanted to put that myth to bed once and for all. Click Here for a FREE Download …

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Always Start Your Sales Conversations With These 2 Questions

Discovery, to me, is the most important part of the sales process because it’s where the sales professional has the chance to add value. Discovery is not simply a gathering of requirements, but rather a mutual process of expanding knowledge. This makes it very rewarding from a sales standpoint, so I wanted to share with you one of my very …

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When The Sales Process Ends In “No Decision”

I just met with an old friend who’s a sales guy that works hard making cold calls for a company that has an incredibly tangible value proposition. However, they still struggle with losing deals, and it’s certainly far more challenging than it needs to be for the kind of value that they deliver. I knew he had been having some …

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Single-Threaded vs Multi-Threaded Sales Prospecting Methods

It’s April, and we’re all well into the second quarter, which means most of the hopes and dreams of the first quarter have been dashed on the rocks. It’s time now to buckle down and start packing up the pipeline for the rest of the year if we’re going to make our numbers. Sadly, none of my clients seem to …

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Keep Prospecting Calls Short and Sweet in the Sales Process

When my clients tell me about a 30 minute call they had that they think went really well because it ended up going 45 minutes, I usually burst their bubble when I let them know that’s not actually a good thing. In general I believe that meetings, interactions and conversations with our clients are a manifestation of the most important …

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The Most Important Piece Of The Ideal Target Customer Profile

In the world of defining the ideal target customer profile, the process involves taking them from what typically starts out as a vague or circumstantial description we’re looking for (for example, a CEO who is trying to drive profit and improve results) to very specific terms and terminologies. “I am looking for a CEO who has been on the job …

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Today’s Four Biggest Challenges to a Sales Organization

One of the topics that I keep bringing up with clients is how much harder sales has gotten in the last few years and how it has changed over several decades. When you think about how we used to sell years ago, it was pretty straightforward. You would call, get an appointment, get in front of somebody, ask some seemingly …

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Your Content Strategy is Selfish

When it comes to content marketing and content strategy, most companies really don’t get it. They think that content is just crap we send to people that includes specials, offers, promotions and things about us. Hopefully they at least move to the mindset of education. However, as it pertains to educating their audience, I find that the vast majority of content …

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Sales and Marketing Field Goal

I was catching up with a recent client to check in to see how they were doing and to offer to have a little chalk talk with their leadership team. I’m working on a presentation titled Sales and Marketing Integration for 2014 and Beyond with sort of a subtitle of things you need to do and understand if you actually …

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Social Selling: It’s Not New.

Anthony Iannarino put out a good newsletter the other week in which he talked about how business acumen is the new currency. In it, he said that: You are the primary source of value creation for your clients: It isn’t your product, your service, or your solutions. While all of these are important, nothing compares to the value you create as a salesperson …

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Social Selling – Get It While It’s Hot

I recently read an article written by Liz Gelb-O’Connor, a Senior Executive for Strategy and Innovation at ADP, a long time leader in the world of sales optimization. ADP takes the building of their sales organization seriously, so Liz’s article was included as part of a sales management compilation published by the good folks at CSO Insights. (This is the 10th release of …

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Content Marketing Emails: Don’t Waste Your Words

I have been working with a lot of my clients over the past couple of years helping them understand the interplay between sales and marketing, and specifically content marketing. The premise, of course, is based on the fact that you can interact with somebody initially and determine very quickly if they are qualified, meaning that they are in your target …

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Full Service Marketing, Fully Fueled

The Market Creation Group is a full service marketing agency that focuses on the B2B marketplace in the technology sectors. They understand that decision makers tend to be a smaller market than a typical B2C campaign would target, and that takes a certain kind of language as well. Being able to hit CXO’s effectively is a bigger challenge, so they recognize …

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Lead Nurturing – Why Not Outsource?

As part of my LinkedIn outreach project, I recently connected with Craig Harrell, Founder and President of Rainmaker Marketing OSA (Outsourced Sales Assistant). Craig was one of those contacts who I had no idea if or when we had ever met, and I was so impressed with his company and what he was doing that I decided to do a …

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Nurturing Leads – Are You Fishing With A Hole in Your Net?

A number of my conversations lately have focused on the various techniques and strategies for lead acquisition. Specifically, clients insist they need more new prospects to talk to. Figuring out how to put more people into the top of the funnel is certainly a healthy conversation and an important part of the sales strategy. When we dig into the problem …

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Sales and Marketing Management: Lead Hand Off Process

The talented folks at Kuno Creative recently published an excellent article:  Creating Lead Hand-Off Plans for Better Marketing and Sales Alignment. This article highlighted the importance of alignment of marketing and sales to the success of lead generation programs. It focused on the interface between the two departments, specifically what happens when leads make the leap from ‘marketing qualified’ to …

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Business Social Networking: It’s Ok to Connect in Real Life

As I typically do at the end of every year, I spent some time in December ‘cleaning up’ my LinkedIn account. Specifically, my goal was to look through my 1200+ contacts and take inventory of which of these ‘connections’ I actually knew; understand how we were connected; remember if we ever had a ‘real-world’ interaction; and cull those that were …

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11 Sales Interview Problems to Fix Now!

The way most companies approach hiring sales people, I am quite certain they would have equal success picking one of the applicants at random. It seems so many forget the most basis rule of interviewing – Have a plan and stick to it! FREE DOWNLOAD: Interview Process Guide for Hiring Sales People Alternately and for amusement purposes only, here are …

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Outbound Demand Generation – A Case Study and Roadmap

Have you thought about launching a demand generation outbound team but were not sure how to get started? Have you ever tried (and failed) to get your salespeople to make outbound calls? Are you trying to build the business case for a demand creation team? Do you have an outbound team in place today but want to improve your results? …

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Keep Prospecting Calls Short and Sweet in the Sales Process

When my clients tell me about a 30 minute call they had that they think went really well because it ended up going 45 minutes, I usually burst their bubble when I let them know that’s not actually a good thing. In general I believe that meetings, interactions and conversations with our clients are a manifestation of the most important …

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What Conversion Science Should Teach Us About Selling

One of my obsessions of late is science of conversion, particularly web conversion. I subscribe to a number of blogs and follow a number of noted experts who publish videos and other articles about conversions, specifically how to get people to convert from a visit to an opt-in, to a multiform opt-in, etc. Conversion is a science. Selling is a …

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Today’s Four Biggest Challenges to a Sales Organization

One of the topics that I keep bringing up with clients is how much harder sales has gotten in the last few years and how it has changed over several decades. When you think about how we used to sell years ago, it was pretty straightforward. You would call, get an appointment, get in front of somebody, ask some seemingly …

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Sales Process for Custom vs. Packaged Solutions

I was doing my onsite assessment with a prospect today, which is part of my sales process before I propose to work with somebody. In this assessment I spend at least a day with them and their people either in person or by phone to get to know them, their business, their culture, get to talk to everybody, find out …

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9 Most Important Appointment Setting Tips You’ll Ever Hear

Selling is an art form consisting of a few simple actions that must be performed consistently and flawlessly. At the same time selling is a linear discipline, which means activities happen one at a time and, generally speaking, some activities need to happen before others. This article will discuss one area of selling that, if mastered, will dramatically improve your …

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Sales and Marketing Field Goal

I was catching up with a recent client to check in to see how they were doing and to offer to have a little chalk talk with their leadership team. I’m working on a presentation titled Sales and Marketing Integration for 2014 and Beyond with sort of a subtitle of things you need to do and understand if you actually …

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Sales Mastery eMagazine You’d Be a Fool to Miss!

First a disclaimer: Mary Poul asked me to write an article for Sales Mastery Magazine, and I am featured in the latest issue. Second disclaimer: I had never heard of Sales Mastery until Mary reached out to me. With that out of the way let me say WOW! I am truly impressed with the content and quality of this magazine. Seems …

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Sales Discovery: More than Just a Needs Analysis

One of the topics that has been popping up quite a bit lately with clients has been about the specifics of sales discovery, the kinds of questions to ask and how to deal with it. Discovery is really one of the harder components of the sales process to help salespeople master simply because it’s non-linear. There are a lot of …

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Video: Sales & Marketing

“90 Days to Content Nurturing maps out your strategy and schedule for kicking off your content sales nurturing campaign in 90 days. Don’t wait to get started!”    

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Video: CRM Effectiveness

Get The Art of Cold Calling to master the language of the cold call to increase the conversion rate from your initial call to a scheduled interaction. Start converting today!    

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Video: Lead Generation

“The 2014 Sales Plan Development Toolkit is a definitive guide and sales plan template that was written for the VP of Sales (or the Founder or CEO who also wears that hat) to set their organization up for success in the new year. Get your copy today!”    

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Video: The Sales Process

“The 2014 Sales Plan Development Toolkit is a definitive guide and sales plan template that was written for the VP of Sales (or the Founder or CEO who also wears that hat) to set their organization up for success in the new year. Get your copy today!    

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Video: CRM Effectiveness

Get The Art of Cold Calling to master the language of the cold call to increase the conversion rate from your initial call to a scheduled interaction. Start converting today!    

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Video: Lead Generation

“The 2014 Sales Plan Development Toolkit is a definitive guide and sales plan template that was written for the VP of Sales (or the Founder or CEO who also wears that hat) to set their organization up for success in the new year. Get your copy today!”    

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Video: Sales & Marketing

“90 Days to Content Nurturing maps out your strategy and schedule for kicking off your content sales nurturing campaign in 90 days. Don’t wait to get started!”    

Video: Marketing Integration

A pipeline meeting is not a status meeting to determine when leads are going to close. So what should this meeting look like and how should it be run? Get this eBook to find out today!      

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Video: The Sales Process

“The 2014 Sales Plan Development Toolkit is a definitive guide and sales plan template that was written for the VP of Sales (or the Founder or CEO who also wears that hat) to set their organization up for success in the new year. Get your copy today!    

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Video: Sales & Marketing

“90 Days to Content Nurturing maps out your strategy and schedule for kicking off your content sales nurturing campaign in 90 days. Don’t wait to get started!”    

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Video: CRM Effectiveness

Get The Art of Cold Calling to master the language of the cold call to increase the conversion rate from your initial call to a scheduled interaction. Start converting today!    

Video: Marketing Integration

A pipeline meeting is not a status meeting to determine when leads are going to close. So what should this meeting look like and how should it be run? Get this eBook to find out today!      

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Video: Lead Generation

“The 2014 Sales Plan Development Toolkit is a definitive guide and sales plan template that was written for the VP of Sales (or the Founder or CEO who also wears that hat) to set their organization up for success in the new year. Get your copy today!”    

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Video: The Sales Process

“The 2014 Sales Plan Development Toolkit is a definitive guide and sales plan template that was written for the VP of Sales (or the Founder or CEO who also wears that hat) to set their organization up for success in the new year. Get your copy today!    

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How To Improve Your Sales Time Management

The presentation today is on time management for sales professionals, and was basically developed while I was running a company that primarily did lead generation outsourcing and sales outsourcing at a very high scale. Click Here for a FREE Download of My Time Management Template Worksheet To give you an idea, in a typical year we would do about three-quarters …

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9 Stages of the Sales Process & Problems You (Don’t) Have

Most of my client conversations, or I should say, prospect conversations, start with this concept of somebody coming to me and saying, “Hey, I have got a sales problem. I have got a revenue problem.” And the topic of today’s conversation is quite obviously, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a sales problem, and I don’t mean that …

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ALWAYS Schedule The Next Meeting With Your Prospect

I am pretty sure that if I had to pick one topic and one topic alone for the rest of my life, my career, talking about, it would be this concept of scheduling the next meeting. I swear that I feel like I sound like a broken record at times always harping on, did you get the next meeting? Did …

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Content Marketing for Outbound Prospecting

Got a really great topic today to talk about that comes out of some actual work we’ve been doing with a client, and as a lot of you know increasingly I am spending a lot of time working with, discussing, and figuring out sales and marketing integration. (And the topic of course, I got a little crazy with the title. …

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The Cold Calling Flow To Keep Them On The Hook

Click Here to Download My “Art of Cold Calling” Playbook One of the topics I end up speaking most about probably is cold calling and how do you make your cold calls? And I think the first thing about cold calling we have to understand is that the objective of cold calling is not what a lot of people think. The …

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Sales & Marketing Integration A Must In 2014

This is a presentation that I have been wanting to record for a while. I put it together after I came back from the Traffic and Conversion Conference in San Diego put on by Internet marketers, and really has impacted a lot of my thinking about what needs to happen in 2014 for sales organizations and marketing organizations. Click here …

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How to Manage the Sales Process Life Cycle

Click here to receive “Triple Your Prospecting Output” guide direct to your inbox. Welcome back to another edition of Whiteboard Wednesday. This is probably one of my favorite topics because it really gets into the concept of the work that salespeople do and how they can manage it more efficiently. And this is about sales efficiency even more than effectiveness …

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Artful Discovery in the Sales Process, Part 6

Click here to receive the “Triple Your Prospecting Output” guide direct to your inbox. Welcome back to another edition of Whiteboard Wednesday. This is the sixth and actually final video in my series on Artful Discovery and the topic today, as you can see, is understanding the buying process. We’ve talked about a lot of stuff in this series, specifically …

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Artful Discovery in the Sales Process, Part 5

Click here to receive the “Triple Your Prospecting Output” guide direct to your inbox. Welcome back to another Whiteboard Wednesday, and this is number five in my series on Artful Discovery, my professionally-produced Whiteboard Wednesday series. If you’ve been following along, we’ve been talking about discovery best practices as well as specific techniques within the discovery process. Today’s conversation is …

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Artful Discovery in the Sales Process, Part 4

Click here to receive the “Triple Your Prospecting Output” guide direct to your inbox. Welcome back once again to Whiteboard Wednesday, and this is part four in my six-part series on Artful Discovery. As you can see, the topic today is conversation or “interaction” logistics. I figured we’re doing lots of theory and concept and it would probably be good …

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