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3 Reasons Why Your Cold Calling Process is Getting You Nowhere


3 reasons why your cold calling process is getting you nowhereSo you're trying and trying to improve your cold calling process, to nail down the particulars, to figure out just what to say to get past the massive barriers inherent to any cold contact with a prospect and you're getting nowhere fast. Cold calling may be the single most difficult form of sales to learn, because when your cold calling process isn't good enough you don't even get enough information to learn where you went wrong---just a 'not interested *click*' for your time. Fortunately, this article is here to help, with three major reasons for cold calling process failure, and a few hints at what you can do to overcome these barriers to success.

You're going in blind. 

Or, to put it another way, your cold calling process goes nowhere because your process is starting with 'Call the prospect" instead of somewhere earlier. Depending on the nature of your business and your role in the company, it may be difficult to go much 'earlier' in the pipeline, but you generally want to include everything from lead generation forward if you can. You'll have enough trouble wringing sales from your cold calling process with intelligently selected, well researched leads-you'll be fighting a near-impossible battle going in blind with terrible leads.

Even if you can't learn anything about the individual you'll be speaking with in advance, you'll want a general picture of the type of person you'll be talking to. Work demographics and general prospect statistics as hard as you can, if that's all you have. Otherwise, research research research. Just because they don't know you doesn't mean you shouldn't know them.

You're not analyzing your successes and failures. 

Do you take copious notes, use software to measure your metrics, sit down and rework your process? If not, you're never going to get anywhere with your cold calling process. Sales is a hybrid of science and art, and cold calling particularly relies upon the science side of the equation. You need a perfectly optimized door-opening prospect-warming approach before you can even begin applying the 'art' side of sales.

That means putting your cold calling process down in concrete terms and analyzing the impact of every anecdote used, every choice of greeting, every mention of the competition or boast about your product. You need to develop an encyclopedic knowledge of how different approaches work in different scenarios, with different demographics.

That's also why researching your prospects can be so important-the perfect approach for an older male at an established company already using a competitor's product and the perfect approach for a young female buying for a start-up with no existing solution can be very different things, and applying the scientific method and closely analyzing your cold calling process serves as the only way to concretely say which approaches work and which fail in these different situations

You're not talking to the right people. 

It's amazing how often cold callers fail to take into account the single most basic principal of making a sale, but all too often a lazy cold calling process will end with you speaking to a secretary or lower management figure instead of the C-level executive you need to be speaking with. This goes back to research and preparation. Find out who the decision makers are, then find out how to contact them. The faster you can start selling to the person who does the buying, the better.

Note that a straight line may not always be the fastest path to these individuals. Sometimes, approaching a few people one step removed from the target of your cold calling process will get you speaking to them and selling to them faster (and warmer!) than going straight to the boss. The point of this isn't 'go straight to the boss' as much as 'know who you're after and make sure every movement brings you closer'. 

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.


3 Mistakes Sales People Make When Under Pressure


3 mistakes sales people make when under pressureSales is a tough profession. Sales people know that their performance can make or break the success of a company.  Under the best of circumstances, being in sales can be one of the most pressure-filled jobs in any company. In addition to the normal pressure of sales, there are times when the pressure increases significantly for any number of reasons.

  • The "sure thing" sale starts to fall through.
  • You have not met your quota.
  • The sales people at the competition are edging in on your territory.

These are just a few of the scenarios that can make the pressure of sales seem unbearable.  The most important thing for sales people to remember during these times is to keep calm and cool.  This is the time when you need to keep your head and not make some of these common mistakes.

  1. You lose your confidence and stop acting like a professional. Sales people are professionals. Like any other profession, they work to help people by offering good solutions to often complex and serious problems. When you lose your confidence, you will lose the trust of your client and then you lose control of the sale. Sales people need to remember their role and act accordingly.  You are not begging a client to buy your product; you are providing a service or product to someone who will benefit from that service or product. When you start to feel your confidence is dropping, it is important to look back at past successes, get help from your manager if necessary, and remember that you are a professional sales person not an amateur.
  2. You stop listening and keep talking.  This is probably the most common mistake that sales people make when they are under pressure. Sales is about 70 percent listening and 30 percent talking. When those numbers are reversed, you know you are in trouble. When you find yourself in this position, you need to stop and get back on track. The easiest way to do this is to go back a sentence or two and turn what you have said into a question. For example, if you have been talking too much about the benefits of your product or service, explain to the client that you realize you are offering too much information because you are very excited about how you can help them. Then ask, them to tell you exactly what issue or need they are trying to fill. This gives you the opportunity to start over and get back on track.
  3. You fail to follow your sales process.  Professional sales people know that there is a process to any sale.  Many times you may find yourself having to jump around in the process but, normally, it is fairly easy to get back in sync with the process.  Sales people under pressure may find that they get off track in the course of the sale and then find it difficult to get back into the process. There are many reasons that this occurs. One reason that this can happen if you suddenly find yourself dealing with a new buyer at the company. No matter what the reason, the best way for a sales people to get back on track in the process is to go back at least one-step and start over.  It may feel a little redundant, but it is unlikely that the buyer will notice and it will help you to get on course to complete the sale.

Everyone faces times of pressure in their work; this includes professional sales people. When you are feeling additional pressure, it is important for you to stick to your sales process, make sure that you understand the needs of the client by asking and listening more than talking, and always remember that you are a professional who can help people by solving problems and making their lives easier.

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.

3 Reasons Why Following Up with Your Sales Lead is a Bad Idea


3 reasons why following up with your sales lead is a bad ideaIf you've spent any time at all reading up on ways to improve your sales game, you've no doubt read over and over the importance of rapid, consistent follow ups to every lead, every closed sale, every form of contact that might conceivably lead to a sale. And that's not bad advice, as far as it goes-far more sales people have a problem with not following up than with following up too much. But today, we're going to discuss the times when following up on that sales lead isn't a good idea-those times where jumping on a sales lead will only lead to wasted hours, chronic headaches, and maybe even some negative word-of-mouth.

It's not much of a sales lead.

Ideally, following on a sales lead should be done when there's a true sales lead to follow up on. That means you shouldn't be harassing any person that comes in to contact with your business, at least not immediately. Someone who gives their email to your website to get a bit more information probably doesn't want you looking them up and calling their business line to 'follow up'.

You might make a few sales that way, of course, but you'd likely do better with a more natural approach and wouldn't risk the complaints such an aggressive method inevitably generates. You want to foster positive relationships, even with prospects who ultimately don't buy, so methods with binary sell/annoy outcomes should be off the table.

You're not ready to sell.

Immediate follow-ups on a good sales lead only works if you're ready to sell. Maybe you need to know the prospect better for your preferred sales process, maybe the product you got a sales lead on isn't ready yet, maybe the sales lead indicates a prospect who doesn't want to buy yet. The point is you don't follow up until you think that follow up can generate a sale. Trying to follow up as quickly as possible is only admirable when that follow up has a chance to go somewhere otherwise; you're just wasting your time and the prospect's. 

This isn't so much a problem with following up, but in the preparation for following up. It's not enough to call as quickly as possible. When studies show the value of rapid follow-ups, they assume a parity of approach--that's to say, they assume you're going to be just as ready and capable regardless of when you follow up. If you're not going to be that ready, don't follow up that fast! People don't like having their time wasted, and you should be using yours getting ready to sell or pursuing a better sales lead.  

Which brings us to our last reason following up may be hurting you.

You have better leads in the wings.

Following up on a sales lead may be a great idea, but you have a limited amount of time to work every day. That means that you need to be picking which leads to pursue with a bit of discretion, in most cases. For example, if you're getting incoming calls from interested parties, you absolutely should not be wasting time following up on someone whose only filled out a 'maybe I might be interested, I guess' survey on your website (that they only filled out to get some sort of special offer). Follow ups are a step above cold calling and can enhance most passive sales methods, but don't forget the value of your best leads.

Many sales people read advice that tells them follow up, follow up, follow up, and don't realize the caveats. In short, all follow ups are not created equally, and when you have something better than a follow up waiting for you, put it on the 'to do' list for when you run out of better leads. Don't let the ideas you read about improving sales overwrite your common sense, and you'll do fine.

Find Sales Jobs

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 Make Your Sales Team Perform Better


how to make your sales team perform betterAnyone looking to make their sales team perform better should be considering a few key factors in their endeavor: Methods of selling, methods for improving, and methods for maintaining morale. These three areas together determine what you can expect from your team, and if any one area is lacking you'll struggle to make your sales team perform better in the long term. In this article, we'll cover four tactics you can utilize to make your sales team perform better in these areas and achieve sustainable improvements in your bottom line. 

Process and Analysis. 

Nothing gives you more tools for making your sales team perform better than establishing having your team members establish their sales processes and track their performance with appropriate metrics. With the combination of a fixed sales process and adequate metrics, you can analyze how team members are performing with a level of precision otherwise impossible.

Even if your team members frequently deviate from their established processes, you can see quite precisely how that deviation affected their sales performance and advise them appropriately. Sales processes might be the same across the team, or highly individualized-the important factor is that you understand the processes at work and know how to work with them. Without those sales processes, it can be difficult to tell where a failed sale to a perfect lead went wrong or where a successful sales to a bad lead went right, even with extensive data.

One-on-One Coaching. 

Studies show it time and time again-coaching individuals gives better returns on manager time than any other activity in terms of improving sales team performance. General coaching approaches are certainly valuable as well, but nothing beats individualized, personalized coaching in terms of making your sales team perform better. 

Why? First, there's less time wasted. You deliver exactly what needs to be heard: less anecdotes, more data; push harder, earlier; follow up more consistently; etc. Second, the personalized approach builds more trust in your leadership and thus improves team morale greatly. It's a two-for-one deal that every single sales manager who wants to make their sales team perform better should be taking advantage of.  

If you don't have enough time, you may be committing the greatest sin for a sales team manager. You might be babysitting your team, playing secretary instead of leading. Make sure your time's being spent on what only you can do: making your sales team perform better.

Personal Incentives. 

The most common sales incentive is fairly useless. Cash bonuses do little to make your sales team perform better, contrary to popular opinion. Study after study shows one thing: People care about earning bonuses in theory, but in practice they almost immediately lose the association between the cash and the extra work. So don't use cash bonuses. 

It sounds a little silly, but one of the strongest incentives may be simple recognition. Pay attention to your team and call attention to the brilliant moves, high performance figures, and other noteworthy actions your team members pull off. If you ask for ideas on a problem, and someone offers a good one, make sure you acknowledge that idea's virtues, whether you use it or not. For tangible bonuses, make it personal: figure out what a team member will really, really remember. Benefits and vacation time also work to make your sales team perform better.

Avoid Poisonous Tactics. 

Whether you're using them or suggesting them to your team, there are certain poisons to avoid if you want to make your sales team perform better. These moves will makes your short term numbers go up, but lose you earnings in the long term. That means avoiding high pressure tactics like threatening to fire underperformers and using failures as public object lessons, and making sure that your sales team isn't using high pressure tactics that endanger buyer's remorse, returns, bad word of mouth, and other long-term problems. They're just not worth it.

5 Traits of a Great Sales Manager

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 Ideas to Breaking Through Sales Barriers


3 ideas to breaking through sales barriersIt's fair to say that any sales person who masters the art of overcoming a recalcitrant prospect's sales barriers should be considered well on their way to total sales mastery. Turning a firm No into a Yes takes a much higher level of skill than turning curiosity, wariness, or apathy into a Yes. The tactics in play may look the same, but you need trumps up your sleeve to shatter through the sales barriers and make contact with your typical sales process. In this article, we'll be covering three potential tactics for making your pitch punch right through any sales barriers that dare stand in your way.

Research, Research, Research

To break down sales barriers, you need to know your enemy. In this case, there are several 'enemies' you need to know: The prospect, the competition (especially if the prospect's sales barriers are up because they're satisfied with a competitor), the industry, and perhaps most importantly the flaws and common complaints in and around your company and product.

Researching all of these things until you know them better than the prospect should be considered the basic first step for overcoming sales barriers. Even if you want to utilize other moves to get through to the prospect, you want to start here and build upon a firm foundation of information. Skipping ahead to other tactics will only bring you down.

Build Relationships First, Sales Second

Sales barriers don't impact your efforts nearly as much when you emphasize relationship building over the hard sale. In this case it's less about punching through the sales barriers a prospect might have erected and more about slipping past them unnoticed. With this tactic, you're selling yourself first, your product second. People will buy from you over their hesitation if they like you and want to work with you in the future. The important thing for this is, of course, to be someone who can genuinely engage with prospects as people and not numbers. If the delicate touch is beyond you, you'll just come across as a sleazy legal cousin to the common con artist.

It's worth pointing out that there are myriad benefits to utilizing a relationship-focuses sales process with all of your prospects. You build a rapport that will carry the customer through the buyer's remorse phase safely, encourage them to stick with you the next time they need to buy, and can even help you establish a base of clients that won't leave you even on those occasions where the competition has a superior product on the market. Consider making this your default approach instead of an emergency tool-you won't regret it.

Be Bold, Be Aggressive; You Have Nothing to Lose

When all else fails, and delicate approaches don't work, the brazen approach sometimes works as a sales barriers nuke. That means calling a client and telling them in concrete, blunt terms exactly what you've got that the competition doesn't exactly what they're giving up by passing you by, exactly why they'll feel like an idiot months down the line when they're missing out on everything you have to offer. 

To really pull this off, you need experience or talent in spades and a product you can throw your weight behind without shame or hedging. If there are complaints in the wild that the prospect might throw in your face, you need to be ready and able to not just brush them aside or sidestep them, but crush them completely. This is an approach that's about overwhelming sales barriers with sheer cheek and confidence. People love buying from a confident person that can tell them in no uncertain terms exactly what they're getting. Just make sure your product can hold up to what you're saying and that you can say what needs saying with that necessary level of unchecked confidence.

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 Key Factors to Hiring Sales Leaders


5 key factors to hiring sales leadersFew tasks determine the success of a company as much as hiring sales leaders can. Pick the right leaders, and they'll drive your company ahead of the competition in ways you wouldn't have ever thought of, turn their team into dedicated, highly efficient workers, and crank profits up to 11. Hiring sales leaders based on the wrong criteria, on the other hand, can crater your profits, drive up sales team turnover, and damage you in the public eye. With that in mind, it's vital that you take your time when hiring sales leaders, and consider these five key factors when vetting potential employees.

Method Oriented.

When hiring sales leaders, you want to select individuals with a strong appreciation for and affinity for using specific methods and processes to improve outcomes. That is to say, you want a sales leader who will help your team develop and refine a sales process, not one who intends to let everyone 'wing it' and gives advice that's all art and no science. Sales needs both sides of the equation, and in sales the science lay in firm methods as a foundation for charisma and the 'art' of sales.

Willing to Coach.

Nothing improves sales performance better than one-on-one coaching, and even group coaching presents remarkable improvements in bottom line outcomes. That means you need to be hiring sales leaders that are willing and able to sit down with their team and work to improve them-not with generic advice, but based on individual and team performance metrics. Hiring sales leaders that turn hard and soft data into personalized lessons will make your sales division boom. This is, in many ways, a sales leader’s most important duty-hire someone that will fulfill that duty, not someone who serves as a hybrid nanny/secretary.

Willing to Learn.

Hiring sales leaders that know their business today is well and good, but more important than their knowledge today is what they'll know tomorrow, next week, next year. If you're hiring sales leaders that will be behind the competition in every area a year out, that will be learning about industry changes from their new hires instead of teaching those new hires cutting edge lessons, then you're hiring the wrong people. The best sales teams grow under the watchful eye of managers that keep their edge and pass their knowledge along.

Team Oriented.

Hiring sales leaders that focus on their own career above all else rarely results in good outcomes across the company. These leaders sometimes look good in a vacuum, but they often engender long-term problems, issues ready to erupt and cause problems at any point. Self-centered sales leaders often apply high pressure tactics to their teams, and encourage similarly high pressure sales tactics, with an end result of short term gains leading into unhappy sales people and unhappy customers-neither a group you want deciding to go elsewhere.

Appropriate Expertise.

Never forget what expertise you need when hiring sales leaders. You'll need to make decisions on what skills and experience you value, and the best answers will often seem counter-intuitive at first glance. A hire with less relevant experience but a history of expert leadership will often present better outcomes in the long term than a hire with experience that matches your field perfectly but couldn't lead their team out of a paper bag.

Consider this: traits that make for an excellent sales leader, such as a willingness to learn and pay attention to details, lend themselves to picking up the details of a new industry. The traits of someone excellent in your industry but with minimal leadership experience do not, necessarily, help them learn leadership in the same way. Make sure you're putting your attention on the important details instead of drowning in the noise of a great industry pedigree. 


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.


7 Reasons Why Selling in Person is Superior


7 reasons why selling in person is surperiorThanks to modern communications technology, there are many different ways to make a sale. You can use inbound marketing online, email on your smartphone, phone calls to prospects, and social media for expanding your network. But despite all these innovative ways to communicate with people, selling in person is still the best. Face-to-face interaction will always have an edge over other forms of communication, especially when it comes to selling. Here are 7 reasons why selling in person is superior to any other method.

1. People Are Easier to Read in Person

There's a dimension to in-person communication that is impossible to capture any other way. Communication is much easier when you can listen to the inflection in a person's voice and watch their body language and hand-gestures, and this is critical for sales. Over the phone or through email, it's nearly impossible to ascertain a prospect's readiness or hesitations when it comes to buying, but it's easy to discern in person. Selling in person gives you a definite edge.

2. Relationships Grow Deeper Much Faster

You can learn more about a person in five minutes face-to-face than you can in weeks of emailing back and forth. In person, you share laughter, smiles, looks of concern, and other gestures that are impossible to convey with other forms of communication. Additionally, it's easier to find topics of conversation when you're with the person you're talking to. Selling in person helps you to build lasting relationships with clients and customers.

3. You Get a Better Understanding of Your Prospect's Problems

It's easy to stay hidden behind a phone or a computer screen, so it can be difficult for a sales person to get a firm understanding of a prospect's problems and challenges. Without this understanding, selling becomes much more difficult. In person, however, prospects are more likely to open up and confide in you about the challenges they face in their work.

4. You Prove That You're a Real Person

It sounds funny, but selling in person reminds your prospects that you're a real person with concerns and cares of your own. This can be easy to forget when your prospects only see your name on so-called junk mail or in their email in-box. Selling in person helps them to see you more as a colleague, a person in their business network who can be helpful--and to whom they can help as well.

5. It's Easier to Make a Good Impression

How can you differentiate yourself from the pack over the phone? It's definitely not easy. All you have to work with is your voice and your words, so most sales people try to cram as many exciting things to say as possible into their introductions. This can come across as overeager or even annoying, but what are your alternatives? Introduce yourself in person. You can present yourself as a polished, prepared, put-together professional who is ready to solve problems and overcome your prospect's challenges.

6. It's More Interactive

Selling in person allows you to have more interactive conversations. Pauses, questions, and comments are all more natural when you're speaking face-to-face with a prospect, and this makes your conversations more interactive and productive. When you're in person, you can see confusion on a person's face if you haven't explained a concept clearly enough, prompting you to back up and try explaining once more. Over the phone, you miss these cues and possibly miss the sale.

7. It's More Real

Desk jobs are simply less satisfying than jobs that get you out there among the people, and that's definitely true in sales. Selling in person is dynamic. It's energizing to have face-to-face conversations with the people you're trying to help, and it keeps you more invested in your work.

Selling in person is clearly superior to selling any other way. If you've neglected selling in person, brush up your skills and try it.

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.

3 Reasons Why Failure in Sales in a Good Thing


3 reasons why failure in sales is a good thingEvery sales rep sometimes feels like a failure in sales, and that's not such a bad thing. After all, if you made a sale with every single sales call, you'd never learn anything, and you'd never have any incentive to improve your skills. Additionally, you'd feel very little satisfaction with your job. Yes, it's tough to experience failure, but here are three reasons why failure in sales is a good thing.

You Learn in the Laboratory

Back in school, you probably had science labs to attend for some of your classes. In the lab, you got hands-on experience with the laws of nature. You have to see for yourself the cause-and-effect reactions you had read about in your textbooks.

Working in sales isn't so different from time in the lab. You read about sales techniques and attend meetings, but where you really learn your craft is out in the field. You learn how to be successful as you experience failure in sales.

After each failure in sales, and yes, it's normal to experience some failure on a daily basis, it's wise to take a step back and think about what went wrong. 

  • Did you do your research before first approaching the prospective customer?
  • Did you push too hard?
  • Did you listen to the prospects needs and concerns?
  • Did you suggest viable solutions to the prospect's problems?
  • Did you follow up after your initial contact?

By evaluating your performance "in the lab”, you can turn your failure in sales into successes the next time around.

You Gain Motivation

Nothing is quite as motivating as failure in sales, but you have to be willing to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and turn that failure into a success. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, use your failure in sales to spur you on to harder work, greater dedication, and more effective strategies.

Maybe you can read a book that will introduce you to new sales methods you haven't tried yet, or maybe you can meet with a mentor who can offer personalized, tried-and-true advice. Harden yourself to rejection--it's part of the job--and let that rejection motivate you and give you the energy you need to make your next sale.

You Find Satisfaction in Your Job

Working in sales can be a real roller coaster at times. When you lose a client or get oh-so-close to a big sale and then get rejected, the disappointment can be severe. On the other hand, when you finally make a big sale with a prospect you've been working with for some time, you can experience exhilaration and serious happiness.

This is one of the great things about failure in sales. Without failure, you can't experience those highs. Without having felt the rejection, success feels pretty ho-hum. Success after failure is incredibly motivating. You'll want to experience it repeatedly, and do what it takes to get there, and this pattern will lead you to a career of achievement and growth.

Clearly, failure in sales is part of the game, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it. As you experience failure in the laboratory of your job, you'll gain motivation and find greater satisfaction in your work.

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.

How to Achieve Outrageous Sales Success


how to achieve outrageous sales successYou didn't get into sales because you wanted a career marked by mediocrity. You chose a career in sales because you wanted to achieve sales success, to meet your career goals, and to make something of yourself. These are all achievable goals if you work hard and perfect your craft, but if you want to achieve outrageous sales success, make the following habits an integral part of your interactions.

Listen More Than You Talk

Want to shock and impress potential clients? Don't talk about yourself, your products, or your services. 

Then how are you supposed to sell anything? Think about it this way: if you call someone up on the phone, introduce yourself, talk about your products, and then deliver a carefully constructed sales pitch, you don't have any idea if what you're offering is of any use to the prospect. Instead of building a relationship and understanding what problems you might be able to solve, you just wasted several minutes of your own time and your prospect's time. That's no way to create a good first impression.

You can significantly increase your chances of sales success by listening. Yes, you should introduce yourself and state the purpose of your phone call, but then ask questions and listen well. The better you are at listening, the more sales success you'll find.

Get Interested in Your Prospects

People find themselves fascinating, and if you develop a keen interest in your prospects, they will be much more open to you and what you have to say. Don't feign your interest in people; make it genuine. Ask questions without any hidden agendas. You simply want to get to know them and understand their challenges so you can help solve them.

Find out what they're currently using and ask how that's going. Are they happy with the products and services they use? If they're not completely happy, find out why. Is it too expensive? Too inflexible? Too cumbersome? Too slow? Don't ask questions just for the sake of asking questions. Make your questions count. Every bit of information you learn about your prospects challenges helps you to formulate a powerful solution.

Be Real

Have you ever heard a colleague "switch into sales mode"? Suddenly they're talking in clichés and using exaggerated speech patterns. This is unappealing and will not lead you to sales success.

Speak with your prospects and clients just as you speak to your family and friends. Treat them respectfully, and use your everyday, pleasant, down-to-earth conversational skills that help you to be successful in other areas of your life.

Use More Self-Control

You have some amazing products and services to sell, so it can be difficult to be patient and listen as you ask questions of your prospects, but do be patient. Don't start talking about what you have to offer until after you know the person you're talking to and understand exactly what they're looking for. If you can do this, your sales success will increase overnight. It sounds simple, and it is. But that doesn't mean it's easy. 

In addition to being patient as you listen, once you begin talking, refrain from rambling on and on about everything your products and services can do for a person. You'll find much more sales success if you carefully handpick a few key features that will best help your prospect's particular situation.

Invite Sales Success by Forgetting Closing Techniques

If you have listened well and crafted an irresistible solution to your prospect's problems, you don't need to come up with a clever closing. All you need to do is invite your prospect to take some kind of action. Put the ball in their court, and remind them that you're there to help. They'll see in you a helpful partner, and you'll find increased sales success.

Incorporate these habits into your work, and you'll achieve outrageous sales success.

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.


5 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Sales Manager


5 steps to hiring the perfect sales managerNo company can survive without a great sales team. You can have the best product or service in the industry, but if your sales team is not performing, then your company will not succeed. And, like any team, you can have the best players in the world but if the person who manages the team is not the right person, your team will never live up to its full potential.

Build a job description for the perfect sales manager.

The first thing you need to do is develop a specific description of what is involved in the position. This position description should include anything that is important for the sales manager to accomplish.  This can include:

  • Manage new business
  • Build existing business
  • Generate leads
  • Build and manage a sales team
  • Meet projected goals
  • Other duties as assigned.

Determine a compensation package for the perfect sales manager.

If you want the perfect sales manager, you need to be ready to provide the perfect compensation package.  This can vary depending on the size of your company, but a general rule of thumb is to provide a salary with incentives.  Incentives can be based on a portion of the sales from the entire sales team, or can be based on generated revenue. Other compensation should include opportunities for professional advancement, vacation time and bonuses.

Look for the perfect sales manager.

You know that the perfect sales manager is out there. How do you find them?  You need to be constantly on the lookout.  Do you have someone that sells to your company that does a great job?  Put feelers out and ask other businesses if they know of anyone. When you are at conventions or trainings, always be aware of the skills and abilities of the other participants. The days of just putting an ad in the local paper are gone. You need to take advantage of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.  You should also list job opportunities on your own company web site.

Interview the perfect sales manager.

There are two goals for the interview process. One is for you to talk about the position and the company. The other is for you to find out more about the prospect and really try to find out if they will make the perfect sales manager for your company. As you interview, in addition to any skills and ideas the potential perfect sales manager can bring to the table, you also need to determine if the individual is going to fit with your company culture. If your environment is a laid back, tee shirts and jeans kind of place, a three piece suit guy is not going to fit in and is unlikely to succeed. Each of your candidates should also be interviewed by several people at your company. Human resources is important, of course, but also include other managers that this person will be interacting with.  Make sure everyone feels comfortable with the potential sales manager.

Follow up for hiring the perfect sales manager.

Obviously, you should do your part of the follow-up.  This will include:

  • Checking references
  • Background checks
  • Meeting with all individuals who interviewed the potential candidate and get input.

You also want to look at how the candidate for your perfect sales manager position follows up with you. Post interview, the candidate should reach out to you and the others that they spoke with. This can be in the form of a note, email or phone call.  This kind of contact allows you to easily invite them for a second interview, and also shows you the candidate’s interest in the position.

As you begin your search for the perfect sales manager, you need to put in time up front.  You should build a job description, develop an appropriate compensation packet and begin hunting for the person that will help to make your company even more successful.

5 Traits of a Great Sales Manager

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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