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woensdag 25 januari 2012

Thinking outside the box

Thanks to Rob Neilen http://nl.linkedin.com/in/robneilen


In the 20th century the cheetah was the world's fastest land animal, going from 0 to 110kph in just 3 seconds.

In the 21st century a sales executive must be faster to get the business.

maandag 23 januari 2012

Asking the right questions?

A man goes into a restaurant.
He's having a bowl of soup and he says to the waiter, “Waiter come taste the soup.”
The waiter says, “Is something wrong with the soup?”
He says “Taste the soup.”
The waiter says again, “Is there something wrong with the soup? Is the soup too hot?”
The man says again, “Will you taste the soup?“
“What's wrong, is the soup too cold?" Replies the waiter.
“Will you just taste the soup?!”
“All right, I'll taste the soup,” says the waiter, “where's the spoon??”
“Aha. Aha! ...”

Selective attention test

The original, world-famous awareness test from Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris.

Glengarry Glen Ross Sales Meeting

Sales 1.0

ABC Always be closing


dinsdag 17 januari 2012

The Five Minds of a Manager

This post is an article published in the Harvard Business Review, November 2003, in which Jonathan Gosling and Henry Mintzberg explain their proposition that “The world of the manager is complicated and confusing. Making sense of it requires not a knack for simplification but the ability to synthesize insights from different mind-sets into a comprehensible whole.”

Managers are told: Be global and be local. Collaborate and compete. Change perpetually, and maintain order. Make the numbers while nurturing your people. To be effective, managers need to consider the juxtapositions to arrive at a deep integration of these seemingly contradictory concerns. That means they must focus not only on what they have to accomplish but also on how they have to think.


Sales and buy cycles


Every year, the research firm CSO Insights publishes the results of its Sales Performance Optimization survey, an online questionnaire given to more than 1,000 sales executives worldwide that seeks to examine the effectiveness of key sales practices and metrics. In this article, two partners from CSO provide the 2005 and 2006 survey highlights, which describe the challenges today's sales organizations face and how they're responding. An overall theme is the degree to which the buy cycle has gotten out of sync with the sell cycle. Buyers have always had a buy cycle, starting at the point they perceive a need. Sellers have always had a sales cycle, starting at the point they spot a prospect. Traditionally, the two have dovetailed--either because the seller created the buyer's perception of need or because the buyer pursued a need by contacting a salesperson (often for product information). Now the buy cycle is often well under way before the seller is even aware there is a cycle--in part because of the information asymmetry created by the Internet. The implications for managing a sales organization are profound in that sales training must now address how reps handle an environment in which buyers have more knowledge than they do. The authors offer evidence that sales executives are taking--and should take--aggressive action to train and retain sales talent, manage the sales process, and use sales support technologies to meet the challenges of this new environment.

Value-added selling

In a marketplace too often focused on price, Value-Added Selling provides sales professionals with a market-proven approach for selling customers on the inherent value of a product. Based on a value-selling model proven to work across industries and product lines, we will explain how to define value in the client’s terms, orient a pitch to fit the client’s needs, and close the deal. This gives sales professionals the tools and confidence they need to deemphasize price in the selling equation.

Value-added selling is a proactive philosophy of seeking ways to enhance, augment, or enlarge your bundled package solution for the customer. It’s promising a lot and delivering more, always looking for ways to exceed the customer’s expectations. Value-added selling is a proactive philosophy. Value-added salespeople take the initiative to add value. Value-added sales-people do not wait for the customer to complain about the price. Value-added salespeople build in more value on the front end so that price becomes less of an issue on the backend. Being proactive with customers means you never have to say you’re sorry. Value-added selling is a business philosophy that emanates from rock solid core beliefs. The first belief is that trust is the currency of great relationships. If two people trust each other, like each other, and want to do business with each other, they will work out the details. Despite technology and the complexity of many industrial sales, selling is still relationship management. Buyers may prefer brands, but they reserve loyalty for people.

A second core belief is that people want to get as good as they give. This commitment to equity shows itself in the desire to achieve win-win outcomes. If it’s not a good deal for the buyer or the seller, it’s a bad deal for both of them. When customers feel that they gave better than they got, they defect when the first opportunity presents itself. Thus, the seller loses. When sellers perceive that they gave better than they got, they resent the business and fail to serve enthusiastically. Thus, the customer loses. Win-win outcomes are the only acceptable results for long-term relationships.

A third core belief stems from a customer value focus—that the sale is more about the customer than the seller. It’s their problem. It’s their money. It’s a solution with which they must live. The sale should be about the customer. Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Value-added salespeople define value in customer terms, not seller terms. If you define value in customer terms, they pay for it with a higher selling price. Conversely, if you define value in your terms, you pay for it with a bigger discount. Because of this customer value focus, value-added salespeople are in business to make a difference, not just to make a deal. They approach the sale by asking them-selves this question: “Where can we have the greatest impact on the customer’s business?” The natural outcome of this belief is that you will generate all the deals you can handle. This follows a parallel belief that you achieve success by helping other people achieve higher levels of success.

A fourth core belief is that you sell a bundled package solution, a three-dimensional solution: your product or service, your company, and yourself. Two major studies found that salespeople contribute at least one-third of the value that customers receive. The company and product contribute the balance. The same product from the same company from two different salespeople results in two different solutions altogether. The salesperson’s competence and attitude are primary drivers of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. This three-dimensional view of the solution offers great hope for companies and their salespeople. If you sell the product only, you open the field to too many competitors. Companies bring value to the table with their facilities, depth of re-sources, commitment to the industry, management philosophy, support, and people. People represent the single unique dimension of value, because there’s no commodity in creativity and no traffic jam on the extra mile. Salespeople add value with their problem-solving skills, follow-up, accessibility, knowledge, ability to get things done, logistics support, and initiative.