In October, Economist Christopher Thornburg gave his yearly address to the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. The man dubbed “Dr. Doom” for his notoriously pessimistic forecasts cited Wall Street’s failure to implement performance-based compensation as one reason for the mess. Most of us know about Wall Street’s failure to fairly tie compensation to performance. What about Main Street? With Thornburg predicting that the recovery is still two years away, what adjustments has your company made in its sales compensation plan to help it succeed? Read more.
One of the top New Year resolutions made each year is to improve one’s physical fitness. There are no secrets to achieving this common goal. People just need to eat better and exercise more. At the start of the year, people plan to do better in business, too. For salespeople, consultants, and small business owners, “doing better” translates to selling more. This leads to the concept of “Sales Fitness” and just like with physical fitness, there are two important factors; what a person consumes and the person’s activities. Read more.
Have you heard the old joke? A man asks a business owner: “How many salespeople work here?” “About half of them” the owner replies. The North Bay is predominately made up of small businesses whose owners have a different reply. When I meet with owners to help them optimize their sales operations, I ask, “How many salespeople work here?“ They frequently respond with, “Uh…one or two … or maybe three or you could say four … it depends. Steve is our salesman but he also does deliveries. Christina handles existing accounts and manages the books. Tim helps with sales in a pinch but his main job is building product and I still have a handful of accounts from the early days that I have not handed off.” Read more.
Woody Allen said, “80% of success is just showing up.” That may be true in show business but it takes more than showing-up to succeed in sales. Salespeople achieve better results after they learn how to professionally follow-up. Common “show up” behavior includes asking questions like, “Have you made a decision yet?” or “Do you have any questions?” These weak questions often lead to a conversation killing “No”. Effective sales follow-up keeps the sales process moving forward. It is a combination of the right timing and techniques. Read more.
These basic steps are in order of increasing sophistication to leveraging LinkedIn. Read more.