Tactics for Managing Marketing and Sales Roles

We need to cover what to do with your sales and marketing staff. They are the experts in developing new business and naturally resistant to any encroachment into their turf. The day you walk in and announce that everyone sells, their eyes will roll. It’s natural. They are the professionals, no one can do what they do. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to smooth the transition from an organization with siloed sales staff to a company where everyone looks for opportunities. To start, we define marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL).

Leads are individuals or organizations that are in the market for, or have expressed an interest in your goods and services. We break leads down into two types, the MQL and SQL. The easiest way to understand the difference is using Figure 6.3.

qualified-lead-grid Read more

The Future of Sales

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The constant news cycle centered around AI and machine learning forces leaders to consider where to apply this new knowledge and capability. Do we work strictly with existing data? What about security? Can it make my forecasts more accurate? And, if the robots are coming, when will they replace those pesky salespeople? What is the future of sales and selling? Read more

How to Become A Successful Sales Manager

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Two sales managers are promoted. Both are given teams of the same size, producing similar results, and are instructed to increase results. Both managers are given the same annual budgets, the same support systems, and report to the same VP. A year in, the VP notices a small gap in performance, but both teams are doing better, the VP is happy. Two years in, that small gap has grown and one team is clearly performing better, from the lowest sales rep to the top. The VP wants to know why? What is the difference? How does one become a successful sales manager?

Without interviewing or knowing the managers in question, I will give you one difference between the two. The best way to explain it is to think of a single sales representative and their new objective. Read more

Greg Chambers’ 5 Secrets to Sales Success

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One of my children is graduating from college this spring and will be starting a new job in sales. In case he decides to ask me what I think it takes to be successful in sales, I have prepared this short primer on sales success. Father to son style.  Read more

The Downward Pressure of Information on Seller Commissions

nyt-selling-jets-billionaires

If you’re a fan of sales and selling, this New York Times article on airplane seller Steve Varsano, owner of The Jet Business, is a page turner.

Selling Airborne Opulence to the Upper Upper Upper Class

Selling airplanes has been one of my go-to analogies when describing product complexity and budget prioritization, “on one end of the decision making spectrum you have something like a tube of toothpaste, on the other end you have something like a private jet.” This article gives a glimpse into the a world where buyers have big budgets and the ability to prioritize how those dollars are spent intersecting with a product that is complex and completely customizable. A $70MM private jet. Read more

Send Me a Proposal – Working Through Price Negotiations

overcoming price objections professional services

I sit through sales presentations. Many of them. Sometimes it’s with a professional sales person in traditional selling appointments and other times it’s with senior executives and labeled business development, but in every case it’s a conversation about an exchange of dollars for products or services.

As the conversation concludes, there is a thing that happens with pricing. It’s not the early ballparking discussion that I’ve discussed here and here, but closer to the final negotiation, the “send me a proposal” part of pricing. In this article, I’m going to touch on this part of the pricing discussion which sounds something like, “You said it’s going to be around $50,000 and that sounds about right. Why don’t you put everything we’ve been talking about into a proposal and send it to me.”* Both parties are in general agreement and now it’s time get into the details before exchanging money and services.

This article is about that transition. Read more

More on How to Write a Proposal

how to write a proposal

Before you send your proposal, take one more close look. Is the only quantifiable element the cost of your solution?

In the spirit of my other thoughts on writing proposals:

Writing a Project Proposal Outline
When to Write a Project Proposal
Before you Send That Proposal. . .
Decision Making and New Business Project Proposals

I am adding one more element. Read more

Wait, how much?

How Do You Overcome Price Objections

My work in lead generation results in a special by-product. Pricing discussions.

In this article, I’ll give you a framework and some language that clients find helpful in working through price and pricing. On the decision making continuum from simple to complex decisions in sales, these ideas are most helpful for complex decision making. If you’re selling toothpaste, you’ll find this less helpful than if you’re selling cloud storage solutions, but it may be interesting nonetheless. In your next complex sales discussion, these three ideas will help you navigate pricing conversations and price objections.  Read more

You’re Going the Wrong Way 
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This morning I was in a sales meeting when a role play broke out. Listening to the questions and answers, I thought, “You’re going the wrong way!”

Read more

Google AdWords Campaign Planning Template, Worksheet

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This is my 3-Minute One Product, One Solution AdWords™ Worksheet. There’s a link to the pdf at then end that contains a sample filled out worksheet.

I’m resurrecting this because I received a call from a client that I had designed a lead generation campaign for over three years ago. His niche is so specialized that we took a “set it and forget it” approach that used a little search engine optimization, a very focused couple of white papers, and a super specific AdWords™ campaign. In year one he collected email addresses, in year two he closed a few high-maintenance clients, and last week he brought on one of his biggest clients in years. Directly attributable to these AdWords™ campaigns. (in case you’re wondering, yes, I did just figure out the keyboard shortcut for ™) Read more