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Jump Start Your Sales Recruiting Process With These 3 Tips

  
  
  

jump start your sales recruiting process with these 3 tipsIs your sales recruiting process sluggish? It doesn't have to be, especially if you remember that the same set of skills that makes a great sales person also makes a great recruiter. Use those sales skills to find the very best sales reps out there. When you do, your sales team will be strengthened, and you'll never have an empty slot on your team. 

The following three tips can help you to jump start your sales recruiting process and help you find the sales reps you need.

1. Write a Killer Ad

If you haven't been attracting the best talent out there, your job listings might be to blame. Vague, unenthusiastic job listings attract the unambitious, desperate candidates, and those aren't the people you want to be attracting. 

You want to attract the go-getters, the sales reps who have outgrown their current positions and are looking for growth opportunities. If you start your sales recruiting process with a killer ad, you will find that you have better candidates to choose from. When you write your killer ad, don't forget to include the following: 

  • Job Title and Summary
  • Key Responsibilities
  • Company Overview
  • Location and Travel Expectations
  • Compensation and Potential for Bonuses

Remember to be specific and use direct language. Talk up your company; remember that you have to sell yourself in your job description to the best candidates.

2. Use Top Recruiting Sites

Where do most people search for jobs? Online. Find the top recruiting sites for your industry, and post your finely tuned job listing at each of those sites. If you've done your work creating an appealing job description, the resumes will begin to roll in. Reading through resumes and responding to each candidate can be a time-consuming process, so automate as much as you can. 

Make sure your sales recruiting process is as professional as possible. If applicants never hear anything from your company after sending in their resumes, they'll acquire distaste for your brand, and in sales, you simply can't afford this. To be efficient and professional at the same time, send an automated message to each candidate who emails an application. Your message can be as simple as, "Thank you for applying for this position”.

3. Step Up Your Interviews

Ultimately, your sales recruiting process should lead you to successful interviews with your candidates. Your first round of interviews should be brief; these interviews are just to narrow the field for the in-person interviews. Phone interviews are generally sufficient in a normal sales recruiting process. Your phone interviews simply confirm a candidate's experience and give you an impression of his or her personality. These interviews can be very brief; you can learn enough to make a decision about a first-round candidate in just three minutes. 

Your in-person interviews should be longer, around 30 minutes, in most cases. To keep control of your sales recruiting process, be aggressive and make your candidates sell themselves to you instead of selling your company to them. Don't go easy on your candidates because your prospects certainly won't. See if they're genial enough to break the ice with a tough, cold interviewer like you. 

Your sales recruiting process can play an integral part in the success of your company. Without a solid sales recruiting process, you may hire people who are barely able to handle the rigors of their jobs. When your recruiting is inspired, however, you can staff your sales team with the very best in the industry.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

5 Reasons Why Your Sales Team is Losing Clients

  
  
  

5 reasons why your sales team is losing customersAny sales team is bound to lose clients here and there, and as long as you're constantly gaining clients, everything balances out. However, if you notice that you're losing clients more than you're gaining, it's time to take a close look at the practices and strategies of your sales team. There are concrete reasons why your sales team is losing clients, and it's imperative that you reverse the trend before you're in real trouble.

1. Saddling Customers with Too Many Relationship Changes

Steady business relationships provide a backdrop of dependability in an ever-changing world, and if your clients have had to work with too many different people at your firm (multiple sales people, customer service reps, and key contacts), they might leave in order to seek a simpler, more predictable relationship with a different company.

Keep track of the number of people your clients deal with at your company, and do everything possible to protect and foster business relationships that last a long time. This might require shuffling responsibilities a little in order to keep certain sales reps with certain clients, but the rewards are worth the effort.

2. Treating New Customers Too Differently from Existing Customers

When your sales reps first develop a relationship with a new client, they probably pull out all the stops to make that client feel valued and welcome, and this is entirely appropriate. However, existing customers can begin to feel resentful if their loyalty isn't rewarded. If you offer deep discounts to brand new customers but are stingy with your existing customers, they will probably leave you for a company that treats them better.

Analyze the rewards you offer new customers, and make sure that those rewards aren't too different from the ones you use with existing customers. It's important to remember that existing customers generally have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

3. Focusing Too Heavily on Price Advantages

Offering low prices is a great way to find and keep clients, but you can't count exclusively on low prices. There will always be someone who will undercut you in the price department.

Instead, focus on providing the best value. Yes, value includes price, but it also includes service, relationships, and schedule. Consider your current combination of these factors, and think about how you can increase your value in your customers' eyes.

4. Allowing Your Sales Team to Turn Over Too Quickly

High turnover on your sales team means instability in your customer base. Some industries experience more turnover than others, but no matter your industry, you should do everything possible to keep your sales team intact. 

You can't expect to have long-term, repeat customers when your customers' contacts keep leaving. Do what you need to do to fix your turnover problem. The following ideas can help:

  • Compensate your sales team generously
  • Coach them to help them achieve their personal career goals
  • Encourage goal setting
  • Praise them often--when they deserve it
  • Get in the trenches and work with them

5. Forgetting Your Bread and Butter

Every business has products or services that are reliably their best sellers, but sometimes sales teams forget about these principal products because their heads are turned by newer, sexier products or services that get all the focus. If you forget about these principal products and neglect your customers who rely on them, you'll lose clients.

To focus on these principal products and services, make a list of the customers you can't afford to lose. What do these customers buy? The list of their purchases should form the foundation of your business. Make sure your sales team stays focused on that list.

If your sales team is making one or more of these mistakes, it's time for a course correction. Take the necessary steps to stop losing clients and to strengthen your sales team today.

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

5 Sales Phone Call Mistakes to Avoid

  
  
  

5 sales phone call mistakes to avoidDon't miss out on sales by making these five sales phone call mistakes. In today's competitive market, you can't afford to be making these kinds of mistakes. Stop losing sales to competitors. Avoid these common mistakes, close more sales, and grow the business.

Poor salesmanship

You should be creating custom sales presentations for each customer. Always plan ahead and put together a sales strategy. Pay attention to each individual sales phone call. You need to prepare for every sales phone call you make. No matter how experienced you are or how good you think you are, come up with a call plan and follow it. Show that you did your research by asking thoughtful questions. Remember to listen to what the customer tells you. You shouldn't be talking throughout the entire phone call. Engage the customers. Interact with them. Each call should be a discussion, not a one-sided sales pitch. Find out what they need and explain to them how you can meet their needs. Stop rambling on about how great your company is and how great your products are. This is a common sales phone call mistake. Instead, ask probing questions to determine what they really need and explain how you can help them.

Failure to develop clear objectives for each sales phone call

Obviously, you want to move the deal forward. This is not a clear objective. Set clear, measurable goals for each sales phone call. When you set objectives, the overall sales process will be clearer. It will also help you methodically move forward toward the end goal. You need to get fundamental explanations across and retrieve certain information from the potential customer so you can make informed decisions moving forward. When you have clear objectives in place, you can self-assess after the sales phone call to determine whether you achieved your goals for the call.

Failure to develop customer loyalty 

You need to develop and maintain relationships with your customers. Try to connect with each customer. Show that you are personally committed and dependable. Reassure them that you and your company are there for them and will meet their needs consistently. You need to win them over. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about customers before you call them. Find out what they need, what is important to them, and what they value. Have a conversation with them and ask them questions. You need to understand how you can help them and then show them that you can deliver.

Lack of value 

Rather than discussing products and pricing, great sales people strive to teach customers something new. Take advantage of each sales phone call and provide ideas, insights, content, and examples. Provide thought leadership and education. Use your expertise and knowledge to inform the potential buyer. You will gain their respect and trust. This will differentiate you from the competition. This will also strengthen your relationship with the customer.

Failure to define the next steps 

Reduce the length of the sales cycle by clearly defining next steps. A sales phone call shouldn't end with a vague mention that you'll get in touch soon to follow up. Explain exactly what the next steps will be so you and your prospective customer are on the same page. You are clarifying the next steps for them and for yourself. This will help everyone accurately gauge and understand where you are in the sales process, reducing the overall length of the sales cycle.

As a sales person, you need to maximize the effectiveness of each sales phone call you make. This will inevitably affect your bottom line. Avoid these five common sales phone call mistakes and increase sales.

Top 5 Traits of Successful Sales People Download

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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How to Build a Better Cold Calling Script

  
  
  

how to build a better cold calling scriptIf cold calling hasn't been going well for your sales team, maybe it's time for a new cold calling script. When you speak with prospects on the phone for the first time, impression is everything. You have just a minute or two to capture their attention and win the right to actually sell to them. Therefore, your cold calling script is paramount. Be sure to remember the following points when building a better cold calling script.

Nix the Small Talk

When you cold call a prospect, you're interrupting them. They might not be in a business meeting or talking with a client, but they're working on something, even if it's only straightening their desks. That's why it's important to nix the small talk. You didn't call to shoot the breeze; you called with a specific purpose in mind. So don't include any of the following phrases in your cold calling script:

  • "How are you?"
  • "How is your day going?"
  • "I hope you're well."
  • Instead, begin with a basic, "Good morning, Mr. Smith”, or "Good afternoon, Ms. Jones”.

Introduce Yourself Succinctly

Your prospect doesn't need to hear your entire resume or how you have relatives in the town where his company is located. Be considerate by introducing yourself succinctly. Include your name, your position in your company, and the company you represent. 

Even if all of your sales reps use the same cold calling script, help them to write out succinct introductions that meet the above criteria. Because introductions come first, it's important that they're spot on.

Anticipate Objections

If you've done a fair amount of cold calling, you know what the typical objections are to the products and services you offer. Improve your cold calling script by anticipating these objections and resolving them before your prospect ever has a chance to bring them up. 

For example, if a typical objection is that it's too big a hassle to switch to a new vendor, explain in your basic summary the services you include that make the switch seamless and easy for customers.

Ask a Qualifying Question

Maybe a prospect isn't well suited for the products and services you offer. You can save yourself (and the prospect) precious time by not setting up a sales meeting if the business relationship is an ill fit from the start. Carefully think of a question or two that would help you to determine if a prospect is a good match for what you have to offer.

Set the Appointment

This is the purpose of your cold calling script: to set an appointment. Don't use vague or open-ended questions in your quest to get an appointment with a prospect. Be concrete and specific. Say something like, "I think we should get together. How about Wednesday at 2 pm?" or "I'd like to stop by next Tuesday to tell you about the success other companies have found with our services." Questions and statements like these make strong closers for your cold calling script. 

Review your cold calling script, and make sure you nix the small talk, introduce yourself succinctly, anticipate objections, as a qualifying question, and set an appointment. All of this can be done quickly, getting you to the goal: an in-person appointment where you can really use your selling skills.

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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5 Things to Look for in a Sales Leader

  
  
  

5 things to look for in a sales leaderA good sales leader can make a huge difference to the rest of your team, but finding a responsible, inspiring sales leader can be difficult. In your search for a great sales leader, keep the following five attributes in mind. They'll pay off enormously in the long run.

1. Visionary Leadership

A good sales leader looks beyond this week's quota to see the big picture. A visionary outlook for the entire sales team can boost morale, help reps to feel that their work is valuable and rewarding, and keep a sales team's work and goals in line with the goals of the overall organization.

2. Coaching and Development Skills

A great sales leader does more than just motivate sales reps to make more sales. With excellent coaching and development skills, a sales leader can help sales reps to strengthen their weaknesses and capitalize on their talents. When sales reps feel that their current job is helping them to advance their long-term careers, they're more motivated and likely to stay where they are and perform their best.

3. The Ability to Motivate

If your sales team has lacked motivation in the past, and most sales teams do from time to time, you need a leader with the ability to motivate. Often, it all comes down to recognition. A leader who takes the time to carefully watch sales reps and notice what they do well will be able to recognize them in a way that feels genuine, sincere, and meaningful. A good sales leader will also have the ability to develop reward programs that help the team to meet its goals.

4. Innovative Use of Metrics

Metrics are important in sales, but a good sales leader will use those metrics in meaningful, innovative ways. Keeping overall goals in mind, a great leader will develop metrics that help sales reps to achieve distant goals. When these smaller goals are reached and measured, sales reps feel successful and motivated to continue on the long march to overarching, organization-wide goals.

5. The Ability to Delegate

It takes a capable person to manage all the various details and responsibilities required of a sales leader, but it takes serious leadership skills to be able to delegate responsibility. The wonderful thing about delegating is that it spreads the stress out until nobody feels it too keenly. At the same time, the rest of your sales reps will feel more important and satisfied with their jobs when they know that everyone on their team is depending on them to accomplish something. A sales leader who can delegate effectively has the ability to create unity and develop leadership skills in each sales rep on the team. 

As you interview for a sales leader position for your organization, look for these five attributes. A person who possesses these attributes will have the ability to make a positive impact on your organization.

Sales Management Worksheet

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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3 Questions You Need to Ask About Your Sales Hiring Techniques

  
  
  

3 questions you need to ask about your sales hiring techniquesIt's probably fair to say that the quality of your sales hiring techniques sits near the very top of the list of factors determining how your company performs. It's really that simple-any company that depends on sales people to keep profits moving in needs to be extremely, extremely aware of its sales hiring techniques, because poor techniques result in poor hires which results in poor teams. A team that starts out superb can quickly fall to the disrupting impact of a few bad apples. Once can't simply choose the recruit with the best pedigree and expect to build a high quality sales team. Sales hiring techniques involve far more than that. And the most frightening thing is this: Most companies won't recognize their sales hiring techniques are sub-par until it's too late. 

Fortunately, you're not in one of those companies. This article's here to help you figure out where you stand on sales hiring techniques, figure out why you're doing poorly (or well), and make decisions on how to hire moving forward. These three simple questions should give you wealth of information to ponder as you move forward in revising or refining your sales hiring techniques. 

Who Handles Hiring?

It's a simple question, and most companies will have bad answers. If you leave it to an individual not specifically trained to the task, it's almost inevitable that you have, are, or will be reaping the costs of poor sales hiring techniques. That's not an indictment of the team leader, HR manager, or executive doing the hiring, so much as a reminder that we rarely understand how much expertise goes into doing a job right. It's easy to common sense your way into bad sales hiring techniques, meaning it's almost inevitable for most non-experts. 

The solution, then, is simple. If you don't have an experienced sales recruiter, get one. In-house and third party options both work; the size of your company and your need for new blood will determine whether developing an in-house recruiter/team or utilizing a third-party recruiter will work out better, but either option is far superior to the alternatives. 

How Good Have Past Hires Been?

Of course, it doesn't matter much who you have doing the hiring if they're giving you garbage employees. Well, that's unfair-an employee can be a genius expert in his or her field, capable of performing at a level beyond every other sales person in your company, and still be a terrible hire from a number of viewpoints. Maybe you're paying too much for too little extra benefit. Maybe they much up the company culture, creating a poisonous atmosphere that damages the output of their peers. Maybe you keep hiring superstars, but they keep quitting as soon as a bigger company accepts their application. 

Any of these can have a disastrous impact on your bottom line, and they all stem from subpar sales hiring techniques. The secret lay in figuring out what went wrong and endeavoring to avoid it in the future. The inverse works as well-when you absolutely grab the perfect hire, figure out what made them so excellent. 

What are We Looking At?

This ties directly in to the previous question. When you look at potential recruits, what are you telling your recruiter to look at? Are they looking at resumes? At degrees? Writing samples, how well they interview, where they've worked before? Perhaps the biggest traps in sales hiring are limiting your hiring pool based on factors that aren't particularly important--a good hire can learn a new ERP solution or product type quickly--and ignoring soft data points-if you've analyzed a sales team before, you should understand how important soft factors can be in determining performance. 

The secret lay in divorcing needs from wants and really understanding which is which. Allow obvious details to obfuscate subtle, important ones lay at the core of terrible sales hiring techniques.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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Learn How to Lose Your Whole Sales Force With These 5 Tips

  
  
  

learn how to lose your whole sales force in these 5 stepsIf you're a skilled, thoughtful manager, or have been throwing quite a lot of money at your sales force to compensate, it can be a difficult task to be rid of them. It can be frustrating, knowing that everyone else suffers from a high turnover rate in his or her sales force but not being able to achieve that same situation in your own organization. Fortunately, it's rather easy-you just have to do what comes naturally to the short-sighted and intemperate. With these five tips, you'll be well on your way to sending your entire sales force running for the doors and starting over with a new crop of underachieving, undertrained amateurs in their place.

Set unrealistic goals.

Every sales force needs goals to work towards. Setting yours at some unrealistically lofty, unreachable height can do wonders for ridding you of your sales force. Nothing encourages high turnover quite as efficiently as the constant stress of unending failure to complete the goals set by unreasonable management. If your team can put in a little effort and meet goals consistently, that's the absolute worst place to be-it'll build their confidence and improve the bottom line. You'll never be rid of a sales force with that under their belts!

Ignore data.

Ignoring the facts in front of your eyes can quickly rid you of your sales force. If you like data too much to ignore all of it, then ignore half of it-either the soft data, things that you'd pick up from reports and direct observation of your employees, or the hard data, the numbers your metrics software spits out after crunching the numbers for you. If you ignore one or the other, that should be sufficient and creating an obfuscated, inefficient workplace. Perfect for driving your sales team away.

Make public examples.

Berating failures in public may lead to short-term gains in efficiency, but despite that in the long term, you'll see morale tank and turnover skyrocket. Even if you're bullying someone the rest of the team doesn't really like, the hostility of the work environment will work its magic on everyone over time. You'll likely see infighting, distrust of management, and a host of other turnover-increasing changes in your company culture. 

Threaten jobs.

Another simple way to get rid of your sales force. Using the threat of unemployment can get your best and brightest moving quickly on to greener pastures. Anyone with the skills to find a better job will do so as soon as possible, if you keep threatening to fire them over mistakes or 'low' productivity. They'll be eager to find somewhere stable to work, where they won't have to fear the whims of disgruntled management. Bonus points if your threats are public or predicated on unrealistic expectations. If you're eager to lose your sales force, aim for the hat trick.

Offer shoddy compensation.

This may seem obvious, but you can get rid of your sales force without being a cheapskate. Good pay isn't enough to keep turnover down. Cash bonuses won't affect productivity OR turnover much at all, so don't worry. Just be certain to keep compensation impersonal, base rewards on inscrutable systems and uncontrollable factors, and never publicly recognize or award success. Yes, a 'Good job' here and a 'Excellent service award' there can have a disastrous impact on turnover, increasing sales force satisfaction and keeping skilled workers around long after they should have fled to better paying competitors. Vacation time, personalized awards, and good benefits are all big red flags. 

Hopefully these five tips can rid you of your sales force quickly. Even if you don't get rid of every single member of your team, you'll definitely manage to drive off all your top performers. With your best and brightest gone, you'll likely see bankruptcy sooner rather than later--and that'll rid you of your sales force faster than anything!

How to Make Sales Compensation Work For Your Company

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

3 Questions Your Sales Team Has About Your Website

  
  
  

3 questions your sales team has about your websiteYour website can be an invaluable tool for your sales team--if they understand its value and if it has been optimized for sales. To this end, your sales team probably has some good questions about your website. It's worth spending some time training your team on the ins and outs of your website as well as different ways they can use it in prospecting, pitching, and even closing sales. 

The following are three questions your sales team probably has about your website. Use this information in your next sales meeting to help your sales reps use one of your best resources.

1. How can our website help me make sales?

This is the first question a good sales person will ask when given a new resource for selling. The Internet is constantly evolving, so it's important to think creatively about the ways your site can help sales reps to be more productive. Your sales reps may discover new ways they can use your website to make sales, but the following ideas are already tested and true:

  • It can provide reference materials. Instead of having to explain detailed information about your products or services, you can refer prospects to your website where they can peruse your materials when they're not crunched for time.
  • It can attract new customers. If your website is search engine optimized, prospects will find you instead of your sales reps having to find them, thus saving time and effort prospecting.
  • It can address concerns. If you keep hearing the same concerns from prospects and customers, you can publish blog posts addressing those concerns. When you hear these concerns, you can say, "Yes, we recently published information about that very topic. I'll send you the URL." This shows that you're proactive and aware of customer concerns.

2. How can our website help with social media selling?

Social media, with its potential for viral posts, retweets, and shares, can be an excellent tool for selling. Without a website, however, you can only post other people's content or write short, personal posts without links attached.

Therefore, having a company website gives your sales reps a chance to use social media to their best advantage. The key to providing your sales reps with tools for using social media is to include interesting, frequently posted content that they can share on their LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook accounts. If you don't have anyone on staff who can write weekly or bi-weekly blog posts for your website, you can hire the work out for a reasonable cost.

As your sales reps share your website's exciting new content, they will find more opportunities to start conversations with prospects and to spread their influence.

3. How will interested parties contact us?

If you go to the trouble of developing a website that attracts traffic, you need a good way for prospects to contact you. Assure your sales reps that you'll provide accurate contact information on each web page on your site. Make it easy for customers to reach you. Don't make them hunt for your information. Put your phone number on every single page, and include a contact form or email address for those would like to contact you online.

Develop a system within your sales team to parcel out web contacts among them. You could divide web contacts evenly, or you could use these leads as incentives for those who are performing the best.

By answering these questions for your sales team, you will offer them new ways to prospect, teach customers, and ultimately close sales. Your website can be a great tool for improve your sales and helping your sales team to reach their personal goals.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Break Out of Your Selling Slump

  
  
  

how to break out of your selling slumpBreaking out of a nasty selling slump isn't always an easy task, especially if you're not sure what precipitated the drop in performance. Have you lost your edge to stress or lost morale, has the industry moved out from underneath you, are your leads getting worse? No matter where the problem lay, even if the root problem lay in other people, there's going to be a path forward, a way to break your selling slump. In this article, we'll discuss four simple steps for crawling out of the hole and back to the top of the mountain-because no selling slump is insurmountable, with the right mindset.

Establish your situation.

Before you can work your way out of your selling slump, you need to take a hard, long, keen-eyed look at your situation. We discussed a few of the ways your slump may have started-start there. But there are as many ways for a slump to start as there are stars in the sky, and many will be unique to your position, so it's up to you to develop the attention to detail and resources for analysis that you need here.

That might mean implementing metrics software, taking notes during phone calls, putting your typical sales process on paper, and crunching a lot of numbers. It may mean asking coworkers, superiors, and gurus for insight. The important thing, however, is developing your ability to look at yourself and your environment and recognize important factors.

Plot a goal forward.

Once you know where you are, it's time to figure out where to go. There are many paths out of a selling slump, and not all of them are as simple as reversing whatever caused the initial selling slump. For example, if your sales are down because your best product fell behind the competition in features, then you're dealing with a problem that's beyond you. Your path out of the slump may be a change in product focus, working to develop stronger relationships and encourage brand loyalty, establishing a reputation with certain niches as a superior product for specific uses, etc. 

Or, maybe your morale has dropped, and you need to work on ways to improve your mood as you work. Or you've seen a drop in sales to a particular demographic-has that demographic changed beneath you, or has your approach changed? If you've analyzed yourself thoroughly in the first step, you have a good idea of where to go. You just need to set a firm goal and work for it.

Analyze constantly.

Analysis isn't a one-time thing. Every change you make, every shift in method or lead source or contact medium, even every anecdote used or unused, needs to be logged and analyzed later.  When you collect enough data, and look at it critically, you'll quickly see what's working to bring you out of the selling slump and what's sending you back into the hole. When you stop seeing gains, it's time to change goals and look for more ways to climb, more ways to improve, more ways to profit. You won't know where you stand if you don't keep up the analysis-and wasted effort will only lead to another selling slump.

Keep learning.

To not only break out of a selling slump, but also avoid later ones, it's important to become a sales person who keeps abreast of the latest developments in strategy, tactics, industry, market trends, demographics, etc. By always learning, you'll never be taken by surprise. If a competitor launches a new product based on a new principal, it shouldn't be a surprise-it should be something you knew about even before the competitor did. If you're that prepared, you shouldn't have much trouble staying on top of your game and avoiding the dreaded selling slump. You'll have your answers to client questions, your criticisms of the competition, and your adjustments for different prospect qualification ready. So keep learning!

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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How to be a Smarter Seller

  
  
  

how to be a smarter sellerSo you want to be a smarter seller, but you're not sure where to start? Good news, you're already making the right decisions to reach your goal. Every sales person should continuously educate themselves and look for new ways to advance, but few wish to deal with the trouble and put in the extra time that becoming a smarter seller entails. There's really no big secret beyond the will to become a smarter seller-those with that will, will, and those without that will, won't. That doesn't mean that there aren't places you should focus your attention, special things to be aware of, and ways to truly optimize your journey, of course. So that's what we'll discuss: Just what you want to learn as you endeavor to be a smarter seller.

Data and Metrics. 

Part one of becoming a smarter seller is learning to value the many, many forms of information you already have available to you. It's pointless to go learning about new sales mediums and changes in your industry when you don't even take the time to look at the sales statistics your ERP of choice spits or, or research prospects before you call them. You should be learning immediately relevant facts and figures before anything else. This isn't so much a 'thing to learn' as a 'habit to develop' to be a smarter seller. So pay attention to what you have available and use it to its fullest.

Strategies and Tactics. 

These are the big ideas, things like 'focus on relationships over immediate sales'. These, you'll want to learn as early as possible, because they're going to change the way you sell at a very basic level; they're not often something you can just toss in to how you're already doing things and expect everything to come up aces. Learn them too late, and you may end up being a smarter seller without necessarily being a more effective one, unused knowledge being useless knowledge. Until you have a grasp of the popular 'big ideas' of sales, general and specific to your own industry, stay away from the little things.

Techniques and Tools. 

Techniques and tools can greatly change the outcomes of your strategies and tactics without greatly changing how you do your job, so they're good to learn later. Things like phrases that result in more sales, or software for tracking relationships with customers, can be slotted in anywhere and give you their benefits. Furthermore, you'll be applying these specific ideas with a broad understanding of the underlying sales principals, which means you'll be better positioned to avoid the inevitable pitfalls and traps inherent to the tricks of the sales trade.

If you can't understand where an idea might mess up your strategy, you might not understand enough to be learning these yet. A smarter seller is one that understands what he's learned, not one that copy+pastes random ideas into his sales process.

News and Trends. 

Once you've built a strong knowledge base, enough that you're already a smarter seller than ever before, you can start pushing yourself to the limits of your profession. That means keeping up with the latest trends in your industry, noticing tangential news that might impact how you sell down the line, noticing that one social media site has started becoming popular with your prospects.

When you can do that, you stop being someone who learns from the sales gurus and jumps where they jump, and start becoming someone that others should watch and learn from. When you've reached this point, you'll know you're not just a smarter seller than you were, but a smarter seller than the vast majority of sales people in your field. And when you're there, success naturally follows; the early bird gets the worm, as long as he knows enough to make his head start take him in the right direction.

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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