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When Sales Prospecting, NEVER Pitch into an Interruption

Those of you familiar with my approach to sales prospecting know that one of my cardinal rules is to never pitch into an interruption. This means that when you are making outbound phone calls, your objective is to convert the interruption to a brief scheduled meeting regardless of whether the sales prospect is a pure ‘cold’ lead or an inbound referral. …

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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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End of Year Sales Strategy: It’s Easier Than You Think

It’s always an exciting time as I look at the calendar and realize how few actual days there are between now and the end of the year. Because the year has come to a close, it gives us a chance to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, to start thinking about next year’s sales strategy, and of course, to deal with …

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Business Process Improvement – Sales to Production Hand-Off

One of the fun parts about what I do is that I work with clients to significantly increase both their sales and their pipeline. In this process we invariably get to the point of the conversation where we realize that there will be issues with how the work we’re selling gets implemented. That challenge exists in every step in the …

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Executive Coaching: Working with a Sales Consultant

I was chatting with a friend this morning who also happens to be a sales consultant, and he told me about a recent conversation he had that really encapsulated his frustration with potential clients. He was apparently sitting down with the CEO of a company to have an initial conversation, and the gentleman handed him a brochure and asked, “What’s …

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Sales Process Management: Inside vs Outside Sales

One of the conversations I end up getting into fairly frequently in sales process management is the pseudo-debate between the definition of inside and outside sales. “Inside sales” is a vestigial term that implies “inside salespeople” sitting in an isolated dark room someplace using the phone to communicate with the outside world. On the flip side of that coin, “outside …

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Business Process Improvement: Process vs. Habit

There’s a meaningful distinction between having a process versus having a habit, and I encounter it on a very regular basis. Often I am asked to help companies improve business processes specifically focused on sales or the the use of a CRM. In this work, one of the points of resistance that I frequently encounter is the status quo, by …

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Leading Organizational Change – No Pain, No Gain

I have a motto that I work from that goes something like this: “When conflict arises, dealing with the reason for the conflict is useless until we revisit the fundamental assumptions upon which the relationship is based.” To me this is a very powerful statement about how to deal with conflict resolution. You see, what I do in my work …

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How to Hire Salespeople and How NOT to Hire Them

I’ve been chatting with a friend of mine who I convinced to get into sales a couple of years ago, after which I trained him and have hired him in at least two places. Now he’s been working with a recruiter to get a new gig with a pretty interesting company in the luxury lifestyle space. The process has really …

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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 …